How to Pick a Course

By Olivia Morris

Instagram: @oliviamorris

Youtube: Olivia Morris

Picking a course at university can be stressful. You might have a main idea of what you are interested in or what options you have with the A-levels you took, but there are so many courses to choose from that it becomes overwhelming, so i’m going to give you 5 things to think about when you have to pick which university course to study!

1. Remember that you might be able to change your course.

A lot of universities give you the option to change your course in the first couple weeks of the year, provided you meet the entry requirements, so don’t be scared to have to pick between two similar courses because you might be able to switch if it isn’t the right fit for you. I personally switched my course in my second week from politics and philosophy to politics and social policy because philosophy turned out to not be for me. So don’t be afraid to take a risk and pick a subject you don’t know very well because even if it doesn’t work out, you might be able to transfer courses.

2. Remember you can do a joint honours degree.

If you are torn between two subjects, remember that a joint honours degree is an option! Not all courses can be combined as a joint honours degree, so be sure to check whether the two subjects you want to do can be combined, but if they are similar such as economics and politics, they are very likely to be able to be combined. I do a joint honours degree in politics and social policy and it covers two aspects of a similar subject matter, so it has become a great option for me!

3. Think of what you personally enjoy.

A lot of people tend to be hyper-focused on their results or predicted results when it comes to choosing a university degree. You may be really good at maths and decide to do maths at university but then realise once you can only study maths that you aren’t actually that interested in it! So make sure you keep in mind what actually brings you joy. What were your favourite a-level subjects? What subjects do you like to talk about or do for fun? I love politics and critical thinking, so I chose politics and philosophy originally because that fit into my interests even if it was something I’d never done before.

4. Think of what you’re good at.

While it is important to pick a course you enjoy, it is also important to make sure you are doing something that you are capable of doing. Have you always done poorly at labs but excel at essays? Maybe stick to an essay based subject since your university grades will depend on those skills. While it isn’t necessary to always do your best subject, it is important to make sure you are playing to your strengths so that you are able to do your best at university.

5. Think of where the course you are interested in is offered.

Not every university does every course. If you get your heart set on one university, make sure you are planning on doing a course that is actually offered at that university. Also, be willing to make compromises to your course if you are dead set on a specific university. When I was applying, I applied for PPE, but I was also certain I wanted to apply to Bristol, which didn’t offer PPE. So instead of taking off Bristol as an option, I adapted my course to something similar which was available at that university, so just be aware of what the universities you like offer.