Degreekey Blog

How to Choose the Right Degree for You

Eliza Mahoney
October 16, 2020

Are you struggling to decide on a degree to study at university? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Choosing the right degree for you can seem like the trickiest decision you’ve ever had to make. There are so many subjects to choose from at so many different universities, it’s hard to know where to start. Read these three top tips to calm those nerves and get you on the right track!

Tip 1: Choose a subject that you enjoy

Start by thinking of which A level subjects you enjoy studying the most. This is the most important factor in choosing your degree. You have to remember that you will be studying this subject for at least three years, so you don’t want to be stuck studying a subject that you really aren’t interested in at all. 

Being good at a subject is not necessarily the same as enjoying a subject! Just because you may get your best marks in one subject does not mean that this is the subject that you are the most passionate about. For some people, these two factors do align which is great, however, this is not always the case. Instead, try to think of the lessons at school that you look forward to. Can’t decide between two subjects? Maybe a combined course exists that involves both of the subjects you love! 

Explore other options! Not everyone studies their degree subject at A level. Do you love studying human geography but find that you’re also interested about the history and development of different societies? Maybe Anthropology is the course for you! Or perhaps you love being outdoors and your favourite subject is History? Archaeology could be the perfect fit. There are so many different and exciting subjects out there so don’t feel you have to limit yourself to the subjects you study at A level. 

Tip 2: Research 

Once you have an idea of what subjects you enjoy the most, why not do some extra reading? Reading around your subject can give you a great insight into whether you really love a subject. If you’re left feeling invigorated and excited to learn more, then you’ve probably found the right degree for you. Do you find yourself watching endless documentaries about art? Then maybe you’d enjoy doing a History of Art degree! What you do in your spare time can be a great indication of your interests (and be a great help when it comes to writing your personal statement)!

Why not also try reading degree course guides? They can be found on all university websites and provide loads of information about what studying that degree will really be like. The same subject will be taught very differently by different universities so read a wide array of course guides to get a good indication of whether this is a degree that interests you. You can find out more about this on our blog post about ‘How to Choose the Right University for You’.

Tip 3: Some jobs need particular degrees

Already know what career you want? Great! You’re one of the lucky few! Let’s just make sure you’re taking the right degree before you get there. It goes without saying that studying Medicine is a prerequisite for being a doctor, but there are some non-vocational jobs out there that you may find have a preference over the degree that you have. 

For example, do you want to be a political correspondent? You might find it useful to study a subject that allows you to develop your written skills such as English, or showcases your interest in current affairs such as Politics and International Relations. When it comes to applying for jobs, you want to be able to show proven experience and interest in the field which you are hoping to enter. It might seem a little random if later down the line you’re applying to jobs in chemical engineering with a History degree…

However, even if you have your heart set on a career or vocation, still go back to the degree course guides to ensure that you really are interested in that subject. If you don’t really find that you’re interested in the degree, chances are you won’t enjoy the job.

Tune into your Gut Instinct

Choosing the right degree for you is always going to be a challenge. However, by following these three simple tips, hopefully the road to your decision will be slightly smoother. Ask your friends, family, and teachers for advice, but remember that at the end of the day it’s your life, your choice, and your university experience. Make sure you are the one making the decision. 

By creating a free account with Degree Key today, you’ll instantly be able to access reviews, blog posts, and insights into university life that will help you in your decision-making. Join now and begin your journey to university!

about the author

Eliza Mahoney

Eliza Mahoney

Eliza is in her third year at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where she is reading English. This year she has taken optional papers in the Victorian period (1847-1872) and in visual culture (art, photography and film). Her first dissertation centred around beginnings in the prose of Stevie Smith, and her final dissertation explored the relationship between dance and literature, focusing on Charlotte Brontë's 'Jane Eyre'. She is a Full Blue in dance and spent this year as the captain of the Cambridge Dance Team - she has danced for 19 years! Eliza has been accepted to study for a PGCE in Primary Education at Cambridge and looks forward to returning for her fourth year in September.

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