Confused about my degree course, thinking about changing to English Literature Watch

Flyteryder
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I have a place at Brighton to do adult nursing, which I really want to do. However, my mind is now wondering over to English Literature. English was always my best subject but after getting 2 A*'s in GCSE English and getting a C in AS English Literature, I became very disheartened with the subject. In A2 after the first term I really started to enjoy English again. I hated the coursework in the first term and came out with a B in it. I redid the AS exam and got 100%, and I got 99% in the A2 exam, giving me an A grade overall. If I'd had worked a bit harder in the A2 coursework and got 3 more UMS I'd have got an A* overall.

Brighton still have clearing spaces for English Literature and I'm starting to think I won't be very good at a nursing degree, even though I got 5 offers and the universities think I'm capable. I'm having doubts because I got a D in AS Biology last year, and this year I got an E overall despite working as hard as I possibly could and doing every past paper and revising every night. I got a B in A2 Geography which on the advice of my teacher I am getting remarked, because I'm only 2 raw marks away from getting an A overall. I also have a B in A2 Critical Thinking.

So with results of ABE and a B in CT, I'm thinking an English degree might be better for me, but am I being stupid potentially throwing away good job prospects in nursing? Brighton have still accepted me even though I got an E in Biology, but my confidence has been severely knocked and I'm not sure what to do.

Any advice would be really appreciated.
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Periwinkle
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This a personal decision, and only you can make it. However, I can throw out a couple of things for you to think about:

- English and nursing are very different. Why did you apply for nursing? Did you think about applying for English at the time?
- Nursing is more vocational, and obviously has a much clearer career path. What do you think you'd like to do with an English degree?
- You seem quite set on Brighton, since you're looking there for English clearing places. What's the course like at Brighton compared to other unis, and how well is it regarded? Maybe you should also investigate clearing spaces at other [nearby] unis and see what their courses are like?
- What is it that you like about nursing, and about English, and which of these is easier to pursue outside of a degree/career? For example, if you want to help people, that's something you can do through volunteering. If you like to read, then that's something you can pursue as a hobby. However, if you have an academic interest in either subject, that's something that's much better served by university.
- I'm sure you are capable of doing the nursing degree - as you said, you got 5 offers. However, if you feel more confident about English, that's worth taking into consideration.
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Flyteryder
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(Original post by Periwinkle)
This a personal decision, and only you can make it. However, I can throw out a couple of things for you to think about:

- English and nursing are very different. Why did you apply for nursing? Did you think about applying for English at the time?
- Nursing is more vocational, and obviously has a much clearer career path. What do you think you'd like to do with an English degree?
- You seem quite set on Brighton, since you're looking there for English clearing places. What's the course like at Brighton compared to other unis, and how well is it regarded? Maybe you should also investigate clearing spaces at other [nearby] unis and see what their courses are like?
- What is it that you like about nursing, and about English, and which of these is easier to pursue outside of a degree/career? For example, if you want to help people, that's something you can do through volunteering. If you like to read, then that's something you can pursue as a hobby. However, if you have an academic interest in either subject, that's something that's much better served by university.
- I'm sure you are capable of doing the nursing degree - as you said, you got 5 offers. However, if you feel more confident about English, that's worth taking into consideration.
I applied for nursing in the first place because I wanted to do something that really helped people and I wanted to be part of a team. I'm really fascinated by different illnesses and conditions so I wanted to be involved in treating people who were suffering. I didn't consider applying for English at the time because after getting a C in AS I thought I'd never be able to do well in an English degree.

I have no idea what I'd do with an English degree. I don't want to go into teaching and I can't see a clear path with English.

I'm set on Brighton because I've already been offered accommodation there and English is on the same campus as nursing so it would be a relatively easy transition if I were to be accepted into English. I've looked at other universities in clearing and I don't really like any of the others.

I've always loved English and it was always my favourite subject. I love reading and analysing and writing essays about things I'm interested in. Even though I got an A overall in English I would have got an A* if I got a few more marks in the coursework. I didn't do as well as I could have done in the coursework because what I had to write about was really boring and I hated doing it. I loved the books and poems I studied for the exam.

Thanks. Although part of me thinks I am capable and the universities thought so, that was when I thought I'd get a higher grade in Biology and now I don't think I have the aptitude to deal with anything to do with science in the future!
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Flyteryder
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Bump.
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Carnationlilyrose
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(Original post by Flyteryder)
I applied for nursing in the first place because I wanted to do something that really helped people and I wanted to be part of a team. I'm really fascinated by different illnesses and conditions so I wanted to be involved in treating people who were suffering. I didn't consider applying for English at the time because after getting a C in AS I thought I'd never be able to do well in an English degree.

I have no idea what I'd do with an English degree. I don't want to go into teaching and I can't see a clear path with English.

I'm set on Brighton because I've already been offered accommodation there and English is on the same campus as nursing so it would be a relatively easy transition if I were to be accepted into English. I've looked at other universities in clearing and I don't really like any of the others.

I've always loved English and it was always my favourite subject. I love reading and analysing and writing essays about things I'm interested in. Even though I got an A overall in English I would have got an A* if I got a few more marks in the coursework. I didn't do as well as I could have done in the coursework because what I had to write about was really boring and I hated doing it. I loved the books and poems I studied for the exam.

Thanks. Although part of me thinks I am capable and the universities thought so, that was when I thought I'd get a higher grade in Biology and now I don't think I have the aptitude to deal with anything to do with science in the future!
Don't rush into changing horses in mid stream. You won't have a free choice of what to study in an English degree any more than you did at A level. What you're saying sounds to me a bit more like cold feet over nursing and a desire to be at Brighton because you have accommodation than a love of English. I'd be the first to defend English - it's what I teach and what I studied myself - but you haven't quite convinced me that you are thinking of this for the right reasons. If my saying that strikes any kind of chord in you, then don't rush into things.
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TheBluejay
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Your enthusiasm for nursing and reasons for going into seem about spot on! Similarly, if Universities not only offered you places initially but then stuck with you despite you not hitting the requirements, then they clearly saw something they liked and think you'd suit them.

What exactly do you think it was that dragged you down in biology? Was is the exams themselves that you had trouble with or was it issues with the content?
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Alexandra's Box
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Going by what you've said, I think you'd regret not doing the Nursing.
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Flyteryder
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(Original post by TheBluejay)
Your enthusiasm for nursing and reasons for going into seem about spot on! Similarly, if Universities not only offered you places initially but then stuck with you despite you not hitting the requirements, then they clearly saw something they liked and think you'd suit them.

What exactly do you think it was that dragged you down in biology? Was is the exams themselves that you had trouble with or was it issues with the content?
I really don't know what went wrong with biology. I've never got higher than a C in a biology exam, and my coursework/ISA was an E grade because my school is the most by the book school you could get. They don't tell as anything or give us hints about what to do (a lot of private schools just give the answers to the students which is why the boundaries are so high) and they're really strict on marking. Of course that's fair enough to them and I'm not blaming them for that. Nobody in the class got above a C in the coursework and that was only two people. The boundaries keep being hiked up so where I would have got a C in the coursework last year I got an E.

The boundaries (again) have shifted since last year, and if the boundaries had stayed the same I would have got a C in most exams and maybe a C overall, although I know the boundaries are supposed to be scaled to difficulty, so I probably would have still got an E anyway if last year's papers were set this year instead of last year.

I found the content very hard to remember, but once I remembered it and understood it I thought I'd done okay. I had real problems with the exams because a lot of the questions were more about how science works and little sections from the textbook which although I revised, didn't involve any of the major stuff I'd really worked for. A lot of the papers didn't ask about the topics I was strongest on.

I keep trying to tell myself that the universities think I can do the degree but now I'm thinking I'm going to really struggle!
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TheBluejay
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Universities tend to be better at recognising the difference between content and exam technique, and considering your enthusiasm for the subject and the fact that the University still wants you, I would say go for it (although obviously it's just me)
It does sound a little like you may regret not taking up this nursing place - and remember that Universities do give you support and options if you do find yourself struggling with the course later on!
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shanghaichica
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(Original post by Flyteryder)
I really don't know what went wrong with biology. I've never got higher than a C in a biology exam, and my coursework/ISA was an E grade because my school is the most by the book school you could get. They don't tell as anything or give us hints about what to do (a lot of private schools just give the answers to the students which is why the boundaries are so high) and they're really strict on marking. Of course that's fair enough to them and I'm not blaming them for that. Nobody in the class got above a C in the coursework and that was only two people. The boundaries keep being hiked up so where I would have got a C in the coursework last year I got an E.

The boundaries (again) have shifted since last year, and if the boundaries had stayed the same I would have got a C in most exams and maybe a C overall, although I know the boundaries are supposed to be scaled to difficulty, so I probably would have still got an E anyway if last year's papers were set this year instead of last year.

I found the content very hard to remember, but once I remembered it and understood it I thought I'd done okay. I had real problems with the exams because a lot of the questions were more about how science works and little sections from the textbook which although I revised, didn't involve any of the major stuff I'd really worked for. A lot of the papers didn't ask about the topics I was strongest on.

I keep trying to tell myself that the universities think I can do the degree but now I'm thinking I'm going to really struggle!
Many nursing course don't even specify the need for biology in their entrance requirements. Also the biology that is required for nursing is more specific and directed than what you learn in a biology A-level. Personally I think you will be fine with what you have.

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