Choosing a Course

Choosing a university course is the most important decision a student makes. Your enjoyment of your course has a huge bearing on your overall university experience.

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10 courses you might not know about • The most difficult subjects to get onto

With 30,000 courses offered at UK universities, finding the right course can be difficult. This section will walk you through the key steps in the decision making process:

  • Choosing the right subject area. Some students apply to university knowing exactly what they want to study, but most are faced with a huge variety of courses and subject areas to consider.
  • Choosing how to study your chosen course. There are a number of different ways to study. Find out about joint honours, accelerated degrees, part-time study and other learning options.
  • Considering career opportunities. Graduate prospects vary depending on which subject area you choose to study.


Which subjects are the most competitive to get onto?

The most competitive subject areas to apply to are those that attract a large proportion of strong applicants.

Some very popular courses may have a relatively low standard of applications.

Primary Teacher Training and Nursing make the top ten most popular subjects but the average UCAS tariff score of new entrants is one of the lowest for any subject.

These courses look at other important factors such as work experience, empathy and motivation rather than just grades.

In contrast, far fewer people apply for Veterinary Medicine, but with only seven universities offering courses in it, it has much more demanding entry requirements.

Some students will narrow down their choice of university with their subject choice. If you want to study Burmese, there is only one option – SOAS, University of London. For those interested in one of the major subjects such as English, Chemistry or Law there may be 40 or more universities offering suitable courses.