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What to Study :/

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    Hey all
    New to The Student Room but in need of some advice and help! I have just finished my as levels and I studied economics, english literature, biology and history. Hoping to achieve A's and B's in my results (16th August).
    The time has come to think about personal statements, ucas and the dreaded issue of university!
    I say dreaded because after open days and prospectus after prospectus I am no clearer in what I want to study.
    The shortlist of courses is down to four options....
    1) English Literature
    2) History
    3) English and History (Joint Honours)
    4) Law
    A couple of weeks ago I was set on doing the joint honours to combine both my passions but after two weeks of work experience at a solicitors then a court I have discovered a new passion for law and could see myself becoming a solicitor or barrister in the future. The only issue is that I haven't studied law at A level and although I know that isn't an issue for getting into courses, I am not certain that law is a definite career path for me!
    I really hope some of you can read this and give me any advice whether you are studying any of these subjects or thinking of doing any, I'd really appreciate it as the time has come to decide then write my personal statement.
    Thanks in advance
    Hannah x
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    If you want to be a lawyer, you don't actually need to do a law degree- you can do a conversion course at the end of your traditional degree, so you're freer to do English and History if those are your passions.
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    Law is a good solid degree for many careers, saying that you don't have to have law to be a lawyer
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    (Original post by liesels)
    If you want to be a lawyer, you don't actually need to do a law degree- you can do a conversion course at the end of your traditional degree, so you're freer to do English and History if those are your passions.
    If I did this would it restrict job opportunities or anything? Would it mean an extra year at the same uni?
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    (Original post by fimblesocks)
    Law is a good solid degree for many careers, saying that you don't have to have law to be a lawyer
    That's why I didn't want to restrict myself to just law... what would you have to do to become a lawyer if you hadn't studied law?
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    (Original post by H_McNamara)
    If I did this would it restrict job opportunities or anything? Would it mean an extra year at the same uni?
    There are definite pros and cons to both- I'd do a quick google or trawl through the TSR forums to see what people who know more on the subject have said about it.

    I know that a lot of people say they find Law degrees very dry and dull, whereas a less vocational degree is more varied and interesting. However, taking a conversion course is an extra year (can be a different uni) which is a consideration.

    But yeah, have a look round to see what other people are saying about the differences

    Hope this helps!
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    Hi, I am in a similar position to you, having just finished my AS levels, and trying to decide between subjects for my university course, and which university to go to!

    I am trying to decide between Philosophy/religious studies, English and Law
    English has always been my number one, because for some reason, I always found it easy, however it doesnt seem to be my passion.
    Philosophy/religious studies I am passionate about - I love debating and exploring unanswered questions 'why do we exist' etc
    However, I believe I have all of the skills to be a lawyer, my analytical English skills combined with passion for debating seems to add up to Law. But, I am scared to jump into a law degree because I have never done it before (I too didnt take it at a level)

    I do know that Law is a hard area to get into, as most law firms tend to pick from the traditional russell group universities that do traditional law degrees, ie Oxbridge, Kings College London etc
    Personally, I would say go with your passion - English and History are traditional and well respected subjects for degrees and work with the same skills as you would use in a Law degree, ie being analytical and comapring evidence.
    However, it sounds as though you may have a passion for Law, so perhaps the conversion course would be best for you, and if it isn't, then you have traditional subjects to fall back on.

    You don't want to take a Law degree and wish you had gone with your first passion instead.
    Good luck!
    Jess
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    (Original post by JMeechan)
    Hi, I am in a similar position to you, having just finished my AS levels, and trying to decide between subjects for my university course, and which university to go to!

    I am trying to decide between Philosophy/religious studies, English and Law
    English has always been my number one, because for some reason, I always found it easy, however it doesnt seem to be my passion.
    Philosophy/religious studies I am passionate about - I love debating and exploring unanswered questions 'why do we exist' etc
    However, I believe I have all of the skills to be a lawyer, my analytical English skills combined with passion for debating seems to add up to Law. But, I am scared to jump into a law degree because I have never done it before (I too didnt take it at a level)

    I do know that Law is a hard area to get into, as most law firms tend to pick from the traditional russell group universities that do traditional law degrees, ie Oxbridge, Kings College London etc
    Personally, I would say go with your passion - English and History are traditional and well respected subjects for degrees and work with the same skills as you would use in a Law degree, ie being analytical and comapring evidence.
    However, it sounds as though you may have a passion for Law, so perhaps the conversion course would be best for you, and if it isn't, then you have traditional subjects to fall back on.

    You don't want to take a Law degree and wish you had gone with your first passion instead.
    Good luck!
    Jess
    It is so difficult to decide what subject to do because it not only decides the next three/four years but also your future and career opportunities. Law is really hard to choose because not studying it at a level restricts your knowledge of what the degree would really entail.
    I'm too nervous about jumping into a law degree but the prospect of an additional year with fees etc.. is also not too appealing! I am just worried that I am not being decisive enough and if I took english and history joint honours, followed by a law conversion that i am doing too many subjects. I've looked into joint honours and it seems as though it is still as respected so that may not be an issue.

    Could you not follow a similar route and do something connected to either philosophy and religious studies and keep the option of a conversion to law open in case you decide during the three years that law is right for you? You might in your three years find an alternative career that is perfect and more linked to your passion.
    Would be useful to keep in contact during this tedious process,
    good luck to you too!
    Hannah
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    Those are all great subjects for a degree. If you get a good degree (high 2:1 or first) from a good uni (Russell Group) in any of these subjects, you will have good employment prospects.

    If you would really love to study literature and history, then do that. Not only will you enjoy university more, your enjoyment of the subject will help you achieve better grades than you otherwise would.

    Of course, it may be that you would enjoy studying law just as much, but you just don't know since you haven't ever studied it. I was in the same position. Then I went to a 'law taster day' at the SOAS in London and loved it. I found that the subject had a great mix of philosophy, history, analysis, logic and common sense. Shadowing barristers and solicitors is useful for deciding your career, but it does not give you a goo representation of what law is like as a university subject.

    My advice would be to find out which subject you would most enjoy studying at university. You can do this by going on taster courses for each subject, or asking those who have studied the subject about their experiences. Don't worry about the employment prospects so much.

    Best of luck!
    x
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    (Original post by xobile)
    Those are all great subjects for a degree. If you get a good degree (high 2:1 or first) from a good uni (Russell Group) in any of these subjects, you will have good employment prospects.

    If you would really love to study literature and history, then do that. Not only will you enjoy university more, your enjoyment of the subject will help you achieve better grades than you otherwise would.

    Of course, it may be that you would enjoy studying law just as much, but you just don't know since you haven't ever studied it. I was in the same position. Then I went to a 'law taster day' at the SOAS in London and loved it. I found that the subject had a great mix of philosophy, history, analysis, logic and common sense. Shadowing barristers and solicitors is useful for deciding your career, but it does not give you a goo representation of what law is like as a university subject.

    My advice would be to find out which subject you would most enjoy studying at university. You can do this by going on taster courses for each subject, or asking those who have studied the subject about their experiences. Don't worry about the employment prospects so much.

    Best of luck!
    x
    Thanks for the advice it is really helpful! I know that my choice should mainly be down to interest and enjoyment but with the tuition fees etc... employment prospects are also a consideration. I have heard a lot of debate about studying joint honours in comparison to single hnours and how some people respect single honours more. I don't know how true that is though!

    Joint honours has always been an consideration as I enjoy both of the subjects and at the moment am really struggling to choose between them... I have attended taster sessions in all three subjects, the most recent a law taster day at Lancaster and I really loved all three subjects which is why I am struggling to choose between them :') x
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    (Original post by H_McNamara)
    Thanks for the advice it is really helpful! I know that my choice should mainly be down to interest and enjoyment but with the tuition fees etc... employment prospects are also a consideration. I have heard a lot of debate about studying joint honours in comparison to single hnours and how some people respect single honours more. I don't know how true that is though!

    Joint honours has always been an consideration as I enjoy both of the subjects and at the moment am really struggling to choose between them... I have attended taster sessions in all three subjects, the most recent a law taster day at Lancaster and I really loved all three subjects which is why I am struggling to choose between them :') x
    Well done on the taster sessions!

    I agree that employment prospects are a consideration. But changing from english to law will not improve your employment prospects much. If you want to boost your employment prospects, you can do so by attending one of the top 10 unis (Oxford, Cambridge, the London unis, and a few others), getting a high grade in your degree and pursuing a wide range of extra curriculars. And the best way of getting into a good uni and getting a good grade is by doing something you enjoy.

    Since all your choices are traditional, respectable, academic subjects, which many lawyers have themselves studied at university, the subjects themselves won't change your employment prospects much.

    As for the joint honours english and history, I don't think that is looked down upon. It is a solid, sensible combination since the two subjects are quite complementary. I wouldn't expect an employer to look down upon you for studying that as a degree.

    Hope that helps! x
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    (Original post by xobile)
    Well done on the taster sessions!

    I agree that employment prospects are a consideration. But changing from english to law will not improve your employment prospects much. If you want to boost your employment prospects, you can do so by attending one of the top 10 unis (Oxford, Cambridge, the London unis, and a few others), getting a high grade in your degree and pursuing a wide range of extra curriculars. And the best way of getting into a good uni and getting a good grade is by doing something you enjoy.

    Since all your choices are traditional, respectable, academic subjects, which many lawyers have themselves studied at university, the subjects themselves won't change your employment prospects much.

    As for the joint honours english and history, I don't think that is looked down upon. It is a solid, sensible combination since the two subjects are quite complementary. I wouldn't expect an employer to look down upon you for studying that as a degree.

    Hope that helps! x
    Thanks, it definitely helps!
    I wouldn't do law to improve employment prospects, would convert to go into law
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    Just remember that if you take Law, it's unlikely they'll throw you in the deep end straight away. In my school we were told NOT to take Law at A-Level if we were thinking about doing it at uni, because it's so different to the proper course and you have to un-learn A-Level and re-learn "proper" Law. So the lecturers will be totally prepared for people who don't have the first idea about the subject but come from a good background of achievement in English or have a passion for the subject.

    That said, you could take an English degree and maybe branch into Law later on. It might require more studying or time at university but if you really wanted to study Law, I'm sure you'd enjoy it.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by H_McNamara)
    That's why I didn't want to restrict myself to just law... what would you have to do to become a lawyer if you hadn't studied law?
    I would advise doing either History or English lit then a law conversion course. Many law firms have the majority of their trainees from a law conversion course background. You essentially do your main degree then a 1 year law conversion course. I was advised to do this by a barrister, who said as an academic subject law is actually quite dry(coming from a QC!) so eng or history would probably be more interesting.
    Many firms actually prefer you do have done a conversion course anyway, and hist and eng lit tie into law very well.
    In terms of whether to go for history or english lit, choose the one you enjoy most , also look at university websites to see the course content for both degrees. For example, some history degrees focus more on modern history and some might focus more on medieval history, which you might find not as interesting
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    (Original post by British-Student)
    Just remember that if you take Law, it's unlikely they'll throw you in the deep end straight away. In my school we were told NOT to take Law at A-Level if we were thinking about doing it at uni, because it's so different to the proper course and you have to un-learn A-Level and re-learn "proper" Law. So the lecturers will be totally prepared for people who don't have the first idea about the subject but come from a good background of achievement in English or have a passion for the subject.

    That said, you could take an English degree and maybe branch into Law later on. It might require more studying or time at university but if you really wanted to study Law, I'm sure you'd enjoy it.

    Good luck!
    Thank you!!
    I was aware that it was not a necessity taking law at a level but the difficulty is finding out about a subject that you haven't studied before.
    I think that doing an alternative degree then conversion course looks like the best way! I can study subjects I am passionate about in further depth with the option of law later on. I don't really might the extra time or more studying as I am quite academic anyway
    Thanks for your advice x
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    (Original post by smile:D)
    I would advise doing either History or English lit then a law conversion course. Many law firms have the majority of their trainees from a law conversion course background. You essentially do your main degree then a 1 year law conversion course. I was advised to do this by a barrister, who said as an academic subject law is actually quite dry(coming from a QC!) so eng or history would probably be more interesting.
    Many firms actually prefer you do have done a conversion course anyway, and hist and eng lit tie into law very well.
    In terms of whether to go for history or english lit, choose the one you enjoy most , also look at university websites to see the course content for both degrees. For example, some history degrees focus more on modern history and some might focus more on medieval history, which you might find not as interesting
    Thank you, when I work shadowed a solicitor they mentioned the conversion course but at the time I hadn't heard much about it. It now seems like the best route into law as well as the opportunity to study other interests in more depth.

    With deciding against history or english, i continue to struggle. I have loved both subjects from a young age. That sounds really cheesy and cliche but it's true :') I have looked into single honours degrees in both and found great courses for both but am still trying to work out whether a joint honours in both subjects would be more suitable
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    In that case, I would do a combined course. That way, you get the best of both worlds and don't regret that you didn't do english or history
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    (Original post by H_McNamara)
    Hey all
    New to The Student Room but in need of some advice and help! I have just finished my as levels and I studied economics, english literature, biology and history. Hoping to achieve A's and B's in my results (16th August).
    The time has come to think about personal statements, ucas and the dreaded issue of university!
    I say dreaded because after open days and prospectus after prospectus I am no clearer in what I want to study.
    The shortlist of courses is down to four options....
    1) English Literature
    2) History
    3) English and History (Joint Honours)
    4) Law
    A couple of weeks ago I was set on doing the joint honours to combine both my passions but after two weeks of work experience at a solicitors then a court I have discovered a new passion for law and could see myself becoming a solicitor or barrister in the future. The only issue is that I haven't studied law at A level and although I know that isn't an issue for getting into courses, I am not certain that law is a definite career path for me!
    I really hope some of you can read this and give me any advice whether you are studying any of these subjects or thinking of doing any, I'd really appreciate it as the time has come to decide then write my personal statement.
    Thanks in advance
    Hannah x
    I know this sounds strange but most unis prefer for you not to have studied law, and as long as you have a passion and willingness to learn it wont be a problem. I study politics and IR and my alevels were english lit, Philosophy and ethics, psychology and biology.

    If you cant decide they do do joint law courses, but make sure that it is accredited by the law society or you'll still have to do the law conversion course...
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    Media *lol*
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    I was in a similar position to you, I did 3/4 of the same A Levels and was debating whether to do Law or not at Undergraduate as I have a passion for Law too. In the end, I decided to do something and I plan to do a Law conversion after my undergraduate. I did work experience at a top Law firm in London last year in Year 12 and I asked the same question. It's not necessarily an advantage or disadvantage to do a Law degree straightaway but I think the consensus was that it would be slightly more preferable to do a degree in another subject then do a Law conversion afterwards. I know a few friends who do Law at university and generally, they said that it has periods where its really interesting followed by periods where it's extremely dry. In my opinion (Which is obviously subjective because I was in the same position and chose an option already), I think you should do a degree in a non-Law subject that still could have some relevance and (most importantly) something you really enjoy. History and/or English are perfect options and it is a bonus if you do a joint Law degree (Providing it's an LLB instead of a BA).

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