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How to choose a subject to study at University

© ralph and jenny (Flickr) Graduated!
© ralph and jenny (Flickr)

In the UK, choosing to study at university begins at sixth form, or college – where students are given the opportunity to study up to four AS Levels (or Highers in Scotland) and up to three A-Levels (or Advanced Highers in Scotland). For most of us, deciding what to study at university begins here. The majority of us who continue onto university will study a discipline we first started at A-Level, having learnt the basics at college or sixth form.

But what to choose? Firstly, it is important to study A-Levels which accurately reflect your ability – for example, it would be unwise (but not unheard of) to study new topics in sixth form rather than a continuation of your GCSE subjects. However, it is also important to choose a topic that interests you and for which you have a passion, as studying four boring subjects is certain to put you off going to university altogether.

After two years of studying at A-Level, and attaining the right grades, it is time to apply for your chosen university course. Many institutions offer their own unique variations of courses, so bear in mind that applying for English Literature at Oxford might not be the same as applying of English Literature at Cambridge.

Choosing which subject to continue to university is much like choosing A-Levels, but requires a far more objective view.

Firstly, are you good at your chosen subject? If not, it’s time to have a rethink because you just might not cut the mustard once you arrive. Secondly, do you enjoy your subject? This is extremely important, as for the next three years you will be spending a lot of money to study it. Finally, what do you wish to achieve from university? There is no point in studying to be a doctor if you do not plan on becoming a GP at the end of it.

Remember, if you do choose a subject which you end up not wishing to continue, most institutions will allow you to change course, if you are quick.

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