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

It is also a challenging decision. This section will walk you through how to choose the right course by covering the following steps:

  • Choosing the right course. Some apply to university knowing exactly what they want to study. But most students 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 flexible learning options are now widely available.
  • Courses and career opportunities. Career opportunities vary depending on which subject area you choose to study.

There are over 30,000 courses offered at UK universities. However, with our guide you will be able to narrow it down to the perfect one for you.  

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Which subjects are most difficult to get onto?

There is no simple answer to this question. Generally speaking though, the most difficult subjects to get onto will be those that attract large numbers of good applicants.

Some very popular courses may have a relatively low standard of applications. For example, 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 entry 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.