Step Two: Applying for University

You may have a very clear idea about which university you would like to apply for, or it may be that you are unsure. Should it be a university near home, or should you travel further afield?

Watch Sofia’s story as she talks about her experience of choosing a university, the challenges she encountered, the solutions she found and some top tips.

When applying to university, it is advisable to consider the following areas:

  • Think about what university you would like to be at, for example would you prefer somewhere that is central to a town so that you are able to access local amenities easily? Or would you be more comfortable in a rural, quieter location?
  •  Is the university you are applying to a city or a campus university? City universities may have multiple buildings in different areas resulting in more travel. Campus universities are usually more contained, with all the buildings located on site and may be more accessible. You will still have to get across the campus to travel between buildings and some campuses may still present mobility challenges.
  • Discuss the possible course options with your career’s adviser, subject teachers/ lecturers, support staff and parents. Try and think about what you are passionate about learning, career goals you may have and what qualifications you will need to achieve this
  • Be mindful of course structure and materials – some courses require lab work or rely on visual analysis. Do not be put off by any assumptions about your vision impairment though – most subjects and professions can be made accessible with the appropriate support.
  • Every university should have a designated Disability Support Office (DSO) who can provide additional support. Contact them in advance of any open days and ask them any questions you may have on how the university can support you. This can vary from arranging individual visits, accessibility information on accommodation, learning facilities or any other general inquiries you may have
  • After narrowing your choices, ask if a representative from the university would be able to meet with you for a tour of the campus or university buildings. This is a great opportunity to get a ‘feel’ for the place you will be living and studying at for the next few years

Here is a downloadable checklist along with some useful questions to ask when visiting the university to give you a better idea of what to expect should you choose to study there.

Applying to university can be a daunting process as there is lots to consider; following these tips will hopefully provide some clarity and reassurance. The top tips above tend to work in unison; for example, the course you want to do may only be available at a specific university which could influence your decision on attending a campus or city-based university. It is important to remember that these decisions are faced by all students and if you are not sure on what decision to make, feel free to reach out to the Student Support Service for additional support.

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