Choosing a University Course


Going to university is the final chapter of your education, but the first of the rest of your life. That’s why deciding on the right university and course requires serious consideration. For some it’s quite an easy decision, these people have clear aims and know their career path. For instance studying a veterinary course is probably the best, and only way to become a qualified vet. For others it might be more difficult, and require a little more thought. But if you’re one of those others (and I was too) that don’t have a clear career path – don’t worry. Here at Scape we’ve created a guide to help you pick the right course for university. Watch out for our future guides to help you pick the right university, and accommodation.

Traditional degree courses

We’ll start with traditional degrees; these are subjects like History, English, Maths, Politics or even Chemistry. These courses don’t lead to a particular job or specific career, but give you a broad base of skills. Doing a History degree I have been told by the careers office in Queen Mary that 60% of graduate jobs that are advertised each year accept any degree discipline. So if you’re not quite sure what you want to do with your life after university and you enjoy a specific subject, then pursuing it at degree level might be the best option for you.

Vocational degrees

On the opposite end of the scale are vocational courses such as Dentistry, Engineering and Law. Upon completion of this degree you have the ability to go straight into that area of work. In most cases pursuing these courses means that you will not have to complete a conversion course; like you would if you pursued a traditional degree, such as History, but then later decided to become a lawyer.

Something less traditional

Finally, a new branch of courses has recently evolved – the modern degree courses. These would not have been available a few years ago but with the expansion of universities and the job market, you can now take degrees in Marketing, Graphic Design, Animation and Business Management, to name a few. So perhaps if the above two course types don’t suit you, and you want to study something a little less traditional, this might be the one for you.

The most important thing to bear in mind when picking your university course is to make sure it’s something you enjoy. After all you will be studying it for three long years (although they go by really quickly), and that’s not even mentioning the tuition fees and other costs that go into studying at university level. Also don’t forget that depending on the course that you pick, there may be GCSE and A Level subject requirements that you need to fulfil.

For instance to study History at degree level, I can pretty much guarantee you will need an A Level in History. Some courses such as Journalism or Media Studies might ask for a portfolio of your work. These are some things to bear in mind before you make your decision. If there’s one thing you take away from our first guide it should be to pick a course on a subject that you love and want to learn more about. If you stick to that, I’m sure you’ll be just fine.

A good place to start your course search is the UCAS website.

Where next?