Can't choose which degree to do? You’re not alone

Freya Hugheson 30 September 2019
Can't choose which degree to do? You’re not alone

Choosing your degree can be tough. It’s the biggest decision you’ve come across so far in life (probably).

And with a huge choice of courses, cities, and clubs and societies, it can be overwhelming.

To the point where panic sets in everytime anything remotely to do with university, UCAS or the future is brought up. 

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

To help you get going, UCAS have subject guides available that can help you piece together what kind of future you’ll have. This is a great way to decide for some. 

We have also put together a simple Pick a Degree Quiz to help you narrow down your choices.

But for everyone else?

To the drawing board, if you will.

It starts with research

Ask yourself: what do you like doing? It doesn’t even have to be related to school. Just think about what makes you happy and use that as your starting point.

Cello? Football? Reading? Dissecting things?

Even if you only like it a bit, it’s worth considering. And because you’ll quickly find yourself in a serious relationship with your subject choice, it’s good to consider all of your options. 

Get a big piece of paper and write everything down. See if any link or crossover and put them on the maybe list.  

And don’t be afraid to ask around. 

Some of your teachers might think you’re the next Plato or Brian Cox. If that’s the case, pop those subjects on your list too. You don’t have to commit to anything just yet.

Likewise, your friends, family and even careers adviser will be able to give some insight into what could be next. 

There are jobs, careers and courses out there you’ve never heard of or thought of. You’ve gotta ask around to find out about them. 

Or maybe you’ll choose something completely new to you. Which is both brave and awesome. But we’d definitely recommend reading up on the possible course content to make sure you’re 100% sure.

Where do you see yourself?

If you’re eyeing up a couple of different courses, your next step is to look into which universities can do these things:

  1. Provide an excellent learning environment and fantastic course content.
  2. Offer a joint honours degree in your favourite subjects.
  3. Give you the most amazing university experience possible.

The first is a little easier to determine than the second. From university league tables to National Student Survey results, there’s plenty of information out there. 

If you’re still debating which course to do, look into similar courses across a few unis. Got eyes on Geology at Brighton? What if Geography at Bristol would be a better fit? Whittle it down and you’ll find your five. 

And if you can get a joint honours, your decision might be made for you.

But of course, you need that amazing experience. That’s an easy one to work out – you’re already on the right site. 

Simply search for the university you’re sizing up. 

It’ll be ranked for how nice the city or town is, nightlife, accommodation, clubs, societies and how good Fresher’s Week is. 

There are even longer form reviews left by real students. And they really don’t hold back.

Remember, though, that this is your experience so the decision needs to come from you. It’s the same as anything – don’t believe everything you read online.

And definitely, definitely head to some Open Days. Even if you hate it, you can make a road trip out of it.

It’s not only about university

Yes. You read that correctly. 

There’s a whole load of different courses and types of qualifications available. And they might be the best things to consider if you’re not university is for you. 

From apprenticeships to foundation years, entry level jobs or even travelling, there’s so much to do in the world that you don’t have to decide if you’re not ready. 

While you might have some family members and/or friends who are sure they know best, it’s all about you. 

You’re preparing for your future – nobody else is going to live it. 

Some apprenticeship schemes get you ready for your chosen career faster than a degree would. But do be careful you make the right decision – as great as apprenticeships are, some further education courses and some jobs will accept nothing less than a degree as part of their entry requirements. 

Furthermore, apprenticeships catapult you straight into working life. So if you’re not feeling ready for that, make sure you choose wisely.

The answer?

Hate to break it to you, but this bit has got to come from you. 

Don’t feel like you have to come up with an answer right away. And try not to do something because it seems easy. 

You’ll be spending three years studying this subject, so make sure it’s something that interests you.

It could be something in your course content that sparks the idea for your career path, what you specialise in during your next level of studying or even give you an idea to start your own business.

The possibilities for your future are pretty much endless. This is an exciting time, so try not to let the stress get to you.

Here’s to the future!

Freya Hugheson 30 September 2019