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Choosing the right degree for you

A Picture of Abi

Choosing the right course to do at university can make or break your entire student experience. Four months into a Psychology degree I realised it just wasn’t the course for me, and luckily was able to transfer onto a course I’m passionate about. Here are my top tips on choosing the course that is best for you, so you don’t end up making the same mistake I did:

Do what you love!

Now this is the most obvious and cliché advice, yet I still see so many people who don’t do this very basic thing. If your degree choice doesn’t make you excited to learn and inspire total ‘geek out’ moments- it’s not the right course for you. After all, no one wants to pay £9000 in tuition fees for a course that inspires a ‘meh’ reaction at best.

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Do what you’re good at

Here we have another extremely cliché piece of advice, but it’s worth listening to this gem nonetheless… Choose a degree based on your talents! While you should always take on a challenge, your degree will be much easier to manage if your natural talent lies in that area of study. It’s pretty simple really: if you’ve always been amazing at Maths, loved Maths and clearly have a gift for Maths… You should probably take Maths.

Do NOT listen to what your parents class as ‘a good degree’

Parental advice will get you through many a sticky situation at university, but choosing a course is something that you should decide for yourself. A lot of parents favour more traditional subjects of study, but if that isn’t what you want to do it’s not worth sacrificing your degree to keep Mum and Dad happy. After all, you’re bound to lose parental approval when they see the state of your kitchen in student halls anyway!

Look at what the course entails

As an English Literature student you’ll be surprised to know how many people I speak to who hate reading. A course predominantly based around reading books is perhaps not the best choice if reading is something you despise. If you don’t like rocks, don’t choose Geology. You get the gist. Read around the level of work required on your degree- think about whether you’re prepared for 9-5 every day, or if you’d prefer a more laid back course.

Pile of books

If this makes you feel queasy…. take this into account when choosing!

Prospectus, prospectus, prospectus

I guarantee that you will be sick of the sight of the essential course bibles by the time UCAS applications roll around. This is good. It means you’ve explored your options and done a lot of reading around different courses. Order as many as you can, get a feel for the different approaches that different universities take and see what feels right for you.

Choosing the right course definitely isn’t easy, but it’s worth thinking long and hard about. University is a much more pleasant experience when you really love what you study and it’s worth finding the perfect degree for you. After all, in order to drag yourself out of bed and make a Monday morning 9am lecture…. You’re going to have to seriously enjoy your degree.

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