Trying to decide between studying science or modern languages? Watch

emilyy303
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I have just dropped out of the uni of birmingham after 2 months of doing biochemistry, I didn't like the course and the uni itself so I've decided to take a year out to reapply again through UCAS for different unis next September (my grades were AAA in bio, chem and german so I think I have a pretty good chance of getting into most courses I apply to).

I'm stuck between choosing to study modern languages (German and Spanish) or Biology. I know that if it were based on what I enjoy more I would pick languages, I really love the idea of doing a languages degree and think I am better at them as my true talents really lie in arts/languages subjects rather than sciences.

However my parents have always pressured me into going down the science path because it leads to better job prospects than languages, and I do enjoy biology, or at least I thought i did before I came to Birmingham...I'm not sure if it's the actual subject which isn't for me, or if it's just the course at Birmingham which I didn't enjoy (particularly lack of help with anything) and my dislike of the uni which tainted it even more. There's a course at Manchester called Biology with Science and Society which I think I would go for as this course has less of a focus on lab work and more things like science communication, history of science etc and is apparently a good choice for people who are into both sciences and humanities/arts, like me. Also I love Manchester uni as it's closer to home and my boyfriend goes there, it's right in the city which is the kind of environment I want to be in, rather than Birmingham's weird isolated campus setting.

So, I don't know...it's easy to say go for the degree you enjoy, but my parents work so hard to afford to send me to uni and they have always been so proud of me for studying/doing well in science at A Level, I don't want to do a degree with lower job prospects/respectability and make them disappointed, or end up regretting giving up science 10 years down the line if my career isn't taking off...
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emilyy303
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AdamCee
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(Original post by emilyy303)
I have just dropped out of the uni of birmingham after 2 months of doing biochemistry, I didn't like the course and the uni itself so I've decided to take a year out to reapply again through UCAS for different unis next September (my grades were AAA in bio, chem and german so I think I have a pretty good chance of getting into most courses I apply to).

I'm stuck between choosing to study modern languages (German and Spanish) or Biology. I know that if it were based on what I enjoy more I would pick languages, I really love the idea of doing a languages degree and think I am better at them as my true talents really lie in arts/languages subjects rather than sciences.

However my parents have always pressured me into going down the science path because it leads to better job prospects than languages, and I do enjoy biology, or at least I thought i did before I came to Birmingham...I'm not sure if it's the actual subject which isn't for me, or if it's just the course at Birmingham which I didn't enjoy (particularly lack of help with anything) and my dislike of the uni which tainted it even more. There's a course at Manchester called Biology with Science and Society which I think I would go for as this course has less of a focus on lab work and more things like science communication, history of science etc and is apparently a good choice for people who are into both sciences and humanities/arts, like me. Also I love Manchester uni as it's closer to home and my boyfriend goes there, it's right in the city which is the kind of environment I want to be in, rather than Birmingham's weird isolated campus setting.

So, I don't know...it's easy to say go for the degree you enjoy, but my parents work so hard to afford to send me to uni and they have always been so proud of me for studying/doing well in science at A Level, I don't want to do a degree with lower job prospects/respectability and make them disappointed, or end up regretting giving up science 10 years down the line if my career isn't taking off...
You dropped out of biochemistry, yet you're considering reapplying to do biology?

Doesn't matter the job prospectuses imo if you dropped out from a degree so similar it's quite likely you'll dislike the other course.

There's also nothing that says you can't do well with a modern languages degree, plenty of job opportunities there.
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Helloworld_95
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Modern languages actually has pretty decent prospects you just need to know where to go, like programming and business. One thing our engineering professors always make fun of is how apparently modern language students are better hires for programming jobs than CompSci students.
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grassntai
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why did you not do medicine with those subjects and grades?
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emilyy303
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(Original post by AdamCee)
You dropped out of biochemistry, yet you're considering reapplying to do biology?

Doesn't matter the job prospectuses imo if you dropped out from a degree so similar it's quite likely you'll dislike the other course.

There's also nothing that says you can't do well with a modern languages degree, plenty of job opportunities there.
that's a pretty good point, one i've been trying to avoid admitting to myself my problem is not knowing whether the subject in general was wrong for me, or just the course at Birmingham - i had only lectures and labs, no seminars or tutorials or anything so i had no idea who to go to about help for anything...

the more I think about it, I think languages are definitely what I want to go for, I just need to be brave enough to not worry about the job prospects
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emilyy303
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
Modern languages actually has pretty decent prospects you just need to know where to go, like programming and business. One thing our engineering professors always make fun of is how apparently modern language students are better hires for programming jobs than CompSci students.
haha that's interesting, do you know why he said they're a better hire? people say a lot of mixed things about the prospects for modern languages so it's always confusing who to trust! but then i guess people say bad things about prospects for biology as well sometimes, it's only things like engineering and physics which seem to be unanimously well respected :L
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emilyy303
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(Original post by grassntai)
why did you not do medicine with those subjects and grades?
I never thought I'd have a chance of getting AAA, I was really surprised and would never have put anything higher than like AAB as my firm choice :L

Also, I used to go through phases a few years ago of wanting to do medicine, but as I got to college and was in biology and chemistry lessons surrounded by all these people who really wanted to be doctors and I realised how competitive it was (they all either changed their minds or didn't get good enough AS grades to apply, or some did apply and got rejected except 3 people i think), I just realised my heart had to be firmly in it for it to be even worth applying, and it wasn't. I can also be pretty squeamish about things anyway, which is why I'd much rather be a pharmacist than a nurse! :L
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TheTechN1304
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Modern languages genuinely are respected degrees though, and the job prospects are certainly very good (probably better than biology ). If you just dropped out of biochemistry, you clearly aren't as interested in sciences, so going for languages seems like a no-brainer.
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by emilyy303)
haha that's interesting, do you know why he said they're a better hire? people say a lot of mixed things about the prospects for modern languages so it's always confusing who to trust! but then i guess people say bad things about prospects for biology as well sometimes, it's only things like engineering and physics which seem to be unanimously well respected :L
Something like programming languages are called that for a reason, and since modern language students have extensive experience dealing with languages, they're better hires than comp sci students who have less experience.

I'd agree Engineering is known for good prospects, physics isn't though, most people will say you need a first to even have a chance for a job in physics, where it comes into it's own is the opportunities you can get from doing masters in other subjects
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