Which Subject is Most Difficult to Get Into?

There is no simple answer to this question!

  • Some courses are very popular – they receive lots of applications – but the standard of those applications may be relatively low.
  • 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 imporant factors such as work experience, empathy and motivation rather than just entry grades.
  • Similarly, Veterinary Medicine only gets 1,400 applications but has very demanding entry requirements.

Generally, the most difficult subjects to get into will be those that both attract large numbers of applications and attract lots of good applicants and so will have high average tariff scores.

  • For some, the choice of subject and type of course will narrow down the number of possible universities to just a few.
  • If you want to study veterinary medicine, there are only seven places you can go; if you want to study Burmese, only one.
  • For many though, particularly if you are interested in one of the major subjects such as English, chemistry, law or mechanical engineering, there may be 40 or more similar courses.

Research into the reasons why students leave universities early in the course often finds that choosing the wrong course was an important factor so it is crucial to do good research and decide carefully.