UCAS Undergraduate: what to study

If you’re considering higher education, you’ll need to decide what subject, course type, and course provider is right for you. Here are some tips and advice to help you.
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Choosing courses
There's a lot to consider when choosing a course, so our guide gives you hints on what to think about.
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This signed video takes you through what to consider before deciding on what and where to study.
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1. Choosing a subject

It’s important you choose a subject you enjoy and will help you reach your goals. Here are some things to help you choose the right subject for you:

  • Think about what you enjoy day-to-day – maybe this could be part of a future job role?
  • Explore different job sites and graduate career options to look for ideas on what you’d like to do once you've finished your studies.
  • Think about your career goals and the qualifications required as part of a person specification.
  • Take a look at our subject guides to get an idea of the types of subjects you could study, and the industries graduates go on to work in.

UK degree courses tend to be very specialised from day one, allowing students to focus on their chosen subject. However, there are others that allow you more flexibility in what you study. Make sure you read the course descriptions carefully, and click through to university websites for further information.


2. Types of undergraduate course

Most undergraduate students study for an undergraduate degree. A combination of lectures and seminars, the courses are usually made up of a number of different modules, which together add up to a full degree.

Each course will vary in learning style, assessment methods, and topics studied – you’ll usually get to choose some of the modules you take.

Here are just some of the different undergraduate courses you can do.

 

Fast-track options

The following fast-track qualifications don’t directly lead to a degree, but you can go on and join the second or third year of a full degree if you change your mind and want to graduate after all.

  • One year of a degree – a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE)
  • Two years of a degree – a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), Higher National Diploma (HND), or a foundation degree, which combines academic study with workplace learning.
Looking to study performing arts?

As well as university and college courses, you can also choose to study at a UK conservatoire. Courses at conservatoires are more performance-based than you will find at a uni or college. Conservatoires offer courses in music, dance, drama, and musical theatre.

Find out more


3. Choosing where to study

Some students set their heart on a particular university, while others just want to choose the course they like the sound of best. Either way is fine, but make sure you do your research, as changing your university or college once you’ve started isn’t always easy.

Here are five top tips to help you when choosing where to study:

  1. Attend an open day – we cannot recommend this enough. It’s an opportunity for you to meet the course tutors, see the facilities, and explore the area.
  2. If you can’t attend an open day, explore the campus with a virtual tour.
  3. Check the application deadline – some universities and courses have a different application deadline, so make sure you know the deadline associated to your chosen course or uni.
  4. Check the entry requirements – different courses and universities will have different entry requirements, which you can check on the course listing in our search tool.
  5. Read our tips to help you choose between courses and universities.

How and when to apply