Just as there are many excellent ways to help you choose where you might want to study, there are a few that are abjectly, objectively terrible that I highly recommend you avoid.
1. League Tables
Let’s get this one out of the way first, league tables are a waste of mine, yours and everyone else’s time. They are inconsistent with each other, all use different metrics and the positions jump around so much year to year that you’d think these departments were in constant flux. This is obviously true to a very small extent given that staff and module content might change in their minutiae, but newspapers are writing them to sell newspapers and websites are writing them for clicks and ad revenue.
If you are going to insist on doing this, then just avoid choosing somewhere that’s right at the bottom of the list across multiple lists, but other than that I really don’t think it matters. Employers don’t care, I don’t care, and you shouldn’t care either. If you’ve found somewhere you want to go, then go there and don’t let anyone give you sh*t for it.
4. Your Parents Said So
The absolute worst reason of all, and something I’ve noticed multiple times when giving tours of Newcastle. Your parents, while they love you very deeply and I have no doubt want the absolute best for you, do not share your mind. They do not know as well as you do where it is you want to go and study, and if you are not able to stand up to them and tell them that, realise that it’s probably a good indicator of worse problems to come later on in life.
This is usually a particular type of parent, and it can lead to uncomfortable standoffs, but it’s far better to get it out the way - I myself have taken parents aside while doing tours and tried to recommend that they back off and allow the student to ask me questions. In cases where it’s plainly obvious that the applicant doesn’t want to be here, I’ll tell them that too, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Go where makes YOU happy, not your parents. If at all possible, go to open days without them, and then have a second visit with them in tow if you’re still interested.