I think it is firstly important to decide what criteria is important to you as a person. This might be if you want to study in a specific area of the country, or you might want to study abroad or have the opportunity to do so. It is also important to note the distance from home, although not everyone might want to go home often, lots of people at University have mentioned they got quite homesick in the first year especially. You might also want to take into account if you want a city or campus university, you might want to take into account the positives and negatives of each. This is also as important as more academic type criteria because you have to remember you will be living in and going out in this city for most likely three years or more so you have to make sure it’s a place you like and feel comfortable in! Also, take into account league tables for your course and the university too, you might also want to check the Russell group website if that is the type of establishment you are aiming for!
If you have decided your criteria for Universities then it is important to start to book open days and transport to these open days. I think it is important to go around as many universities as you can so you can make sure to pick a university you really like. I also think it is important to write down a generic list of questions to ask each University to allow you to not just compare universities but also the courses too. The type of questions I asked whilst looking around Law schools ranged from how many in the year to employability statistics and the number of optional units available in year 2 and 3 of your degree. There are generic questions you might ask to a university about for example accommodation but you might want to ask more course specific questions too.
The more universities you look around you can start to compare them which will help you to narrow down your choices down to your 5 options on UCAS. I found it helpful to write short overviews after each University visit which allows you to compare Universities with (relative) ease!
I hope this post has been helpful, if any has any further questions about University application feel free to leave them below! Larissa xo