leojmcfaul
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I’m currently in year 12 and I take English literature, biology and psychology. At the beginning of the year I liked psychology so I started my EPQ on it as I thought I would take it at uni. However, I quickly realised that I don’t want to take it, at all. Now I don’t know what to do, I’m thinking either English lit or nutrition. My parents say there are not any jobs in English literature but they also don’t want me to take nutrition even though I enjoy learning about it, they say it’s pointless and a waste of money. Any advice on what I should take would be greatly appreciated as I need to figure it out soon to start looking at unis.
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PetitePanda
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Have you looked at linguist degree? Also, look at speech and language therapist - im not too sure if you can use an English lit degree but its a potential job you could look at
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absolutelysprout
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i wouldn't recommend rushing into making this choice as you'll be spending at least 3 years doing this degree. nothing wrong with taking a gap year if you're still trying to figure your choices out by then. you don't need to apply till next year so you've still got lots of time to think about it!! there might not be tons of jobs directly linked to an english lit degree, but lots of graduate schemes don't ask for specific subjects and lots of people do jobs that are completely different from their degree subject. if you really do enjoy english lit and can see yourself studying it further then go for it
nutrition's a fine choice too, i'd recommend doing some research over the summer on these two subjects as they're quite different to see which one you think you'd enjoy the most.
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giella
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You've got a really eclectic mix of A level subjects and they lend themselves to a number of different degree subjects.

Degrees come broadly in three kinds. You have the core academic degrees that specialise in a specific subject or pair of subjects (joint honours). These are an extension of your A level subjects in the main and teach you higher level skills and knowledge in those subject areas. Some are really good all-rounder subjects which may enable you to develop a broader range of transferrable skills but may be less specialist in terms of knowledge, such as business degrees. Now many core academic subjects also count as qualifying degrees, such as computer science, law or psychology or biomedical sciences which are pre-requisite subjects for going onto further study but which don't actually lead to any sort of professional registration. The third kind are vocational degrees; these include education, pre-registration courses in radiography, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, nursing etc., engineering, medicine, dentistry, surveying, accountancy and so forth.

These different degrees all lead to the same sort of qualification in the end: usually a BSc or a BA, but they qualify you in different ways. A core academic degree may not qualify you to do anything specific but it's a guarantee to employers that you have the ability to learn at a certain level, which opens up both further study options and vocational or professional training schemes/graduate schemes. You usually need work experience alongside this to bulk out your skills but the subject that you do is virtually irrelevant in the majority of cases. You can do accountancy or actuarial training straight from university on the basis of an English or History degree if you wanted.

The qualifying degrees that I mention enable you to go for more specific and technical training programmes which may require specific knowledge and skills. If you've done a general degree, you would have to do a conversion degree or training course on top e.g. if you'd done an English degree and wanted to go into software development, most IT employers would expect further qualifications or learning programmes in computer science or IT in order for you to cope with the training. Law degrees, for instance, are a pre-requisite qualification to enter graduate law training programmes, so you would need a law conversion course on top of your academic degree if you didn't have a qualifying law degree.

The vocational degrees qualify you to enter a profession at the most junior level. These are highly specific degrees where you're training from day one and they usually involve a mixture of both institution based learning i.e. in a classroom at university and practical on-the-job learning. They're suited for people who know they want to do a specific job by the time they're reaching the end of sixth form, which not many people do, to be fair. Like any of the others, though, you're able to access most of these through postgraduate degree courses if you've done a more general or academic degree first.

Your choice really depends on what your feelings are right now. If you're undecided, best bet is to do a subject you know you enjoy and which you would like to develop in. You can use your time at university to try different types of part time work, different societies and learn what you're good at. However, if you know you want to do something clinical or could see yourself doing something like surveying, do those degrees now. It will shave a few years of your time in education.

The one thing I will say in favour of core academic degrees, however, is that whilst it's possible to retrain in something vocational after doing a core academic degree, it doesn't necessarily work both ways. If you love studying literature now, now is the time to study it to a higher level as you'll never get another chance in future. Likewise with something like biology, although less so with something like psychology, which is a very popular degree to do as a conversion. The core academic degrees take three years to develop your skills and knowledge to a highly specialist level, which will sustain you through your entire life, whatever you decide to do. You may regret not taking that decision later.

If you're doing psychology to become a clinical psychologist however...see my other posts on that! If you want to do something clinical, do something clinical from the get go.

If you're interested in nutrition, please be warned that nutrition is technically a qualifying degree but it's not a vocational degree. You can't become a dietitian off the back of that degree and there are not many jobs available specifically in nutrition. Be careful with the degree choice. If you want to become a dietitian, make sure it's an approved pre-registration course.

I hope this helps.
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yotsr123
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I was also trapped between two very different types of degrees.
The one and only thing that helped me was WORK EXPERIENCE. That and watching lectures on YouTube and seeing which one I was interested in and which one I couldn't focus on for more than five minutes. The one I was interested in was law. And after doing work experience in both areas I was interested in, talking to different people in both sectors, talking to partners at law firms etc this definitely solidified my choice that I wanted to go down the law route.

You said it yourself - after EXPERIENCING psychology you realised it wasn't for you, and experience is the best way to weed out which jobs you like and which jobs bore you. I'd suggest start applying to get work experience in the fields/areas that interest you, as this is the best way to get a real idea of what you'll be working with. If you can attend taster lecture days at university or watch one on YouTube, talk to uni students and read their notes to see if it interests you, you'll have a holistic idea of the field.

Keep in mind that if you want to get a degree in either english lit or nutrition many graduate schemes do not specify what degree they want, and they prefer a well rounded applicant with a good degree classification and lots of work experience and extracurriculars. Once you have these things under your belt you become a very competitive candidate. And honestly for most degrees there really isn't a direct job at the end of it so most uni students will be relying on EC's and experience, "no jobs at the end of it" could pretty much be said for almost all degrees.
Last edited by yotsr123; 10 months ago
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leojmcfaul
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(Original post by entertainmyfaith)
i wouldn't recommend rushing into making this choice as you'll be spending at least 3 years doing this degree. nothing wrong with taking a gap year if you're still trying to figure your choices out by then. you don't need to apply till next year so you've still got lots of time to think about it!! there might not be tons of jobs directly linked to an english lit degree, but lots of graduate schemes don't ask for specific subjects and lots of people do jobs that are completely different from their degree subject. if you really do enjoy english lit and can see yourself studying it further then go for it
nutrition's a fine choice too, i'd recommend doing some research over the summer on these two subjects as they're quite different to see which one you think you'd enjoy the most.
Thanks for the advice! I know I shouldn’t rush it it’s just we have to do work experience this summer to do with the degree we want to take and it’s really stressing me out :confused:
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absolutelysprout
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(Original post by leojmcfaul)
Thanks for the advice! I know I shouldn’t rush it it’s just we have to do work experience this summer to do with the degree we want to take and it’s really stressing me out :confused:
well if you can find any work experience to do with both subjects it'd probably give you a good idea as to whether it's something you're interested in pursuing further. think it'd be hard to find wex for english though...
have you a careers advisor you could talk to in school?
:hugs:
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giella
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(Original post by leojmcfaul)
Thanks for the advice! I know I shouldn’t rush it it’s just we have to do work experience this summer to do with the degree we want to take and it’s really stressing me out :confused:
In which case it’s your school that’s being narrow minded. You could look for work experience in marketing, in law, in sales, digital marketing...again the list is endless for what you could do with an English Literature degree. If you want to study English, you can. The work experience just gives you an idea about what type of job you might want to do.

Alternatively, if you got work experience in a hospital, maybe in dietetics, you could rule in or out whether you wanted to do something more clinical. If you rule it out, do English.
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AdamCor
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(Original post by giella)
You can do accountancy or actuarial training straight from university on the basis of an English or History degree if you wanted.
I can't speak for accounting (but I assume it's at least somewhat similar), yes you could do the training after University, but you'd be at a huge disadvantage compared to other University graduates.
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giella
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(Original post by AdamCor)
I can't speak for accounting (but I assume it's at least somewhat similar), yes you could do the training after University, but you'd be at a huge disadvantage compared to other University graduates.
Why? Literally 80% of the accountants I know from university (mostly PwC but some smaller firms) have humanities or arts degrees. One did music tech for crying out loud. Look at all of the big four accountancy firms and check their requirements.
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AdamCor
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(Original post by giella)
Why? Literally 80% of the accountants I know from university (mostly PwC but some smaller firms) have humanities or arts degrees. One did music tech for crying out loud. Look at all of the big four accountancy firms and check their requirements.
That's why I said I can't speak for accounting...
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