How do you know which degree subject is right for you?

2 min


Finishing school can be a tumultuous time, at once full of possibilities but also the end of a really important period in anyone’s life. As you and your friends prepare to part ways and you get ready to drop most of your subjects and embark upon a new path, you’re bound to feel all sorts of really complex emotions, including sadness, happiness, fear and excitement.

One thing that can feel really daunting is not knowing whether or not you’ve made the right choice regarding what you want to do next. If you’d like to go to university but are wondering what subject is right for you, we’ve compiled a list of a few ways you can get to grips with what may well be the biggest decision you ever make.

Play to your passions

It might sound obvious, but looking for subjects that closely align with your personal interests is a great place to start. If you have a passion for Shakespeare, English Literature is probably the university course for you – and make sure you join the drama club when you get there! If you thrive on doing complex equations, it might seem like maths is one obvious option – but if you’d rather go for something more vocational, a related subject such as economics could be better.

If you love nothing more than football but the big clubs still haven’t come knocking, you may want to consider a subject like Sports Science, allowing you to continue to pursue your ambitions but leaving you with a diverse degree as backup.

It’s ok to take your time

Lots of students find that after many years of school, university just seems like another big slog too soon, and that’s fine! Taking a gap year to work or travel is a great way of putting some distance between you and your school experience and can give you the breathing space you require to work out exactly what it is you want to do next.

It might be something you’d never thought of before; a course you hadn’t previously heard of, or you never know – you might find your calling halfway around the world! At the very least, you’ll have an opportunity to save some money for your first year at university when you do end up going, and that’s always a plus.

Try a taster

One way many people establish exactly what it is they want to do is by spending time at a Immerse Education’s Cambridge summer school. If you’re looking at a subject that is notoriously tough – like, for example, law, architecture or medicine, a summer school provides an accurate representation of the kind of lessons you’ll have to take and experiences you can expect from the degree.

It’s an opportunity to dip your toes into the world of your prospective subject for an intensive period of learning. The Cambridge summer school by Immerse Education, for example, offers week-long and fortnight-long courses for teenagers in a whole host of subjects.

On that note, just as important as your subject is the university you choose. You might love what you’ve chosen to study, but your environment is a hugely important factor in your happiness, too. Make a checklist of things you’d like to be close by and make sure the universities you apply to have what you need; for example, if you like to be able to walk to the local shops, factor that in to your final decision. Likewise, if being able to reach open countryside is really important to you, don’t compromise on it just because you think the course is perfect – ultimately, your university experience is multi-faceted, but mostly, it’s not about the course; it’s about you!

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