Blog 10 July 2019

How to choose your degree subject

If you have decided that university is the right step for you, it’s now time to think about what you would like to study. University is a great opportunity to delve into a subject, meet new people and develop those all-important ‘soft’ skills that you’ll have from doing your DofE. With so many subject options, it can seem like a daunting task to research and choose a subject. However, it’s likely that your current studies and extracurricular interests can help decide which is the right subject for you. Here are a few tips to help you decide.

Think about your future career

If you already have a career path in mind, do some research and take a look at the training required to land your first job. For some careers, there’s a corresponding degree – e.g. if you’re interested in working in healthcare (such as nursing or dentistry) there are courses you need to take in order to qualify. However, this isn’t the case for every job, and a lot of jobs don’t require specific degrees, but rather look for employees with skills such as resilience, confidence and determination, that you’ll continue to develop at university. You can find out more about how these skills develop your career here.

Work out what you enjoy

It’s important to analyse your current school subjects and figure out what you actually enjoy studying. If you have a favourite subject at school, consider sticking to what you know and love. A huge amount of jobs are open to graduates from all disciplines. You can keep your options open, whilst learning about topics which interest you.

Look outside of the classroom

A lot of degrees are vocational, meaning they aren’t based on an academic subject, but more of a practical skill or job. So, if you don’t want to continue a school subject as your degree, it’s worth looking outside of your classroom experiences for inspiration. For example, which activities do you enjoy the most from your DofE? There may be something in your skills, physical or volunteering activities that could inspire a degree subject.

Ask for help

You don’t have to make this decision all on your own. Ask your teacher, or an adult you trust like your DofE Leader. If your school has a careers advisor, chat to them. They can give you some new ideas and point you in the right direction. Also, talk to your family and have a look at online services, such as the UCAS website. It can help to get a range of perspectives. Do you know anyone already at university who you can talk to? They might be able to give you a first-hand account of what it’s like to study there.

It’s important to weigh up your options, but also to stay calm. Lots of universities do allow for degree changes early on in your time there, so it’s not impossible to change once you’re there. It’s also important to remember that your degree is a big part of your university experience, but there are many other things you’ll learn outside of your lectures which will be valuable for your future!

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