UCAS Undergraduate: what to study

Trying to decide what degree you should do? Find information and advice about choosing what to study and where to go to university.
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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. Choose a subject

  • The important thing is to choose a subject you’ll enjoy that will help you reach your goals.
  • Think about what you enjoy doing day-to-day – maybe this could be part of a future job role.
  • Explore jobsites and graduate careers to look for ideas to work or study towards.
  • Take a look at our subject guides to get an idea of the types of subjects you could study.
  • Thinking about more than one course or subject?
    To increase your chances of getting a place on a course we give you the option of applying to up to five courses at once, usually all in a similar subject so that your application is relevant to all of them.

    Please note, there are a couple of restrictions though.

    • You can only apply maximum of four courses in any one of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or veterinary science.
    • Usually you can only apply to one course at either the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge. There are exceptions though – if you'll be a graduate at the start of the course, and you're applying for graduate medicine (course code A101) at the University of Cambridge, you could then also apply to medicine (course code A100) at Cambridge, as well as graduate medicine (course code A101) at the University of Oxford. (Some applicants will need to complete an additional application form to apply – visit the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge websites for more information.)
  • International and EU students
    In the UK degree courses tend to be very specialised, allowing students to focus on their chosen subject from their first day.

    However there are others that allow you more flexibility in what you study. So when you start searching for courses, make sure you read the course descriptions carefully, and click through to university websites for further information.

2. Choose a type of undergraduate course

Most students study for an undergraduate degree.

These are dynamic academic environments with lectures and seminars, usually made up of different modules adding up to the full degree. Each course varies in learning styles, assessment methods and topics studied – and you'll usually get to choose some of the modules you take.

  • Usually three or four years beginning in September/October, and also known as a bachelor’s or first degree.
  • Usually one subject, although a few are broader, or you can study two subjects 50/50 or 75/25.
  • Some offer work experience – a 'sandwich course' where you work for a year in a relevant industry.
  • After completion you graduate, opening up new career options and postgraduate study.
There are quicker qualifications too.

They don't lead directly to postgraduate study, but you can go into 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.
  • Interested in performing arts?

    There are theory-based music, dance and drama courses in undergraduate education, but if you're looking for more performance based courses, studying at a conservatoire could be the answer for you. If so, please apply through UCAS Conservatoires.

3. Choose where to study

Some students set their heart on a particular uni, while others just want to choose the course they like the sound of best. Either way is fine, but there are a few things to check first.