The Student Room Group

Help me choose what to do

So basically, I have offers to study psychology at Newcastle and York but I’m still waiting for a reply for Durham. Recently I’ve became increasingly worried about the employment prospects available to me as a psychology grad and I am considering contacting Newcastle and York to switch my degree to law because I also love my law A level. I’ve talked to my tutor and she said they’ll be likely to accept. So my dilemma is this: if im accepted at Durham I won’t be able to switch to law due to the LNAT, I’d have to take a gap year but that’s a big no for me, but I rly like Durham and it’s a good uni so maybe I’ll still do ok if I get accepted there even with a psychology degree. However I can’t decide between doing law at Newcastle, law at York, or psychology at Durham. Here are the pros and cons I’ve come up with so far: Durham- pros: I can commute via car because I live close by, therefore saving a lot of money which is important to me. A degree from Durham is very well respected. Psychology is a versatile degree so I may have options by the end of it. Cons: the employment and salary prospects aren’t as good as a law degree from Newcastle or York. York- pros: employment prospects are excellent for a law degree there, compared to the other two. Cons: I’d have to live there. Very expensive place to live. Accommodation doesn’t look that great, and it’s quite late on so may not be able to get one with an en suite (very important to me), overall financially worrying. Newcastle- pros: can commute via either train or car, employment prospects are ok, best friend is going there as well. Cons: not as respected as the other two, employment prospects are better at York. I know this is an essay but I feel paralysed, I can’t make a decision.
Original post by MachuPichu229
So basically, I have offers to study psychology at Newcastle and York but I’m still waiting for a reply for Durham. Recently I’ve became increasingly worried about the employment prospects available to me as a psychology grad and I am considering contacting Newcastle and York to switch my degree to law because I also love my law A level. I’ve talked to my tutor and she said they’ll be likely to accept. So my dilemma is this: if im accepted at Durham I won’t be able to switch to law due to the LNAT, I’d have to take a gap year but that’s a big no for me, but I rly like Durham and it’s a good uni so maybe I’ll still do ok if I get accepted there even with a psychology degree. However I can’t decide between doing law at Newcastle, law at York, or psychology at Durham. Here are the pros and cons I’ve come up with so far: Durham- pros: I can commute via car because I live close by, therefore saving a lot of money which is important to me. A degree from Durham is very well respected. Psychology is a versatile degree so I may have options by the end of it. Cons: the employment and salary prospects aren’t as good as a law degree from Newcastle or York. York- pros: employment prospects are excellent for a law degree there, compared to the other two. Cons: I’d have to live there. Very expensive place to live. Accommodation doesn’t look that great, and it’s quite late on so may not be able to get one with an en suite (very important to me), overall financially worrying. Newcastle- pros: can commute via either train or car, employment prospects are ok, best friend is going there as well. Cons: not as respected as the other two, employment prospects are better at York. I know this is an essay but I feel paralysed, I can’t make a decision.

Study psych at Durham and apply to training contracts in your third year with the hope of getting one at a firm that will fund your legal studies after you finish uni.
Original post by Gmaster1980
Study psych at Durham and apply to training contracts in your third year with the hope of getting one at a firm that will fund your legal studies after you finish uni.

Thank you for replying! It’s just are you sure a firm would even consider me without an llb in law? I thought I would’ve had to do the gdl conversion course if I wanted to switch after completing a psych degree
Original post by MachuPichu229
Thank you for replying! It’s just are you sure a firm would even consider me without an llb in law? I thought I would’ve had to do the gdl conversion course if I wanted to switch after completing a psych degree

Yes. They would consider you and pay for your gdl (or whatever they're calling it at that point)
Original post by Gmaster1980
Yes. They would consider you and pay for your gdl (or whatever they're calling it at that point)

Ok do you think that would be better than doing the llb if I’m going into law regardless of my degree? I’m just worried I won’t get funding as a psych grad
Original post by MachuPichu229
Ok do you think that would be better than doing the llb if I’m going into law regardless of my degree? I’m just worried I won’t get funding as a psych grad

50% of City solictors have a non-law degree. I think more than half of my TC cohort has a non-law degree and all but one of them got their TC before doing the GDL. One even has a psych degree. If you get good results at Durham and do all the other things even law students need to do to be competitive for TCs, it wont hold you back at all.
Original post by Gmaster1980
50% of City solictors have a non-law degree. I think more than half of my TC cohort has a non-law degree and all but one of them got their TC before doing the GDL. One even has a psych degree. If you get good results at Durham and do all the other things even law students need to do to be competitive for TCs, it wont hold you back at all.

Ok thank you very much for the advice! So as long as I apply for any summer internships or any other legal experience I can while I’m at uni and achieve at least a high 2:1 in my degree I’ll stand a good chance of having my studies funded?
Original post by MachuPichu229
Ok thank you very much for the advice! So as long as I apply for any summer internships or any other legal experience I can while I’m at uni and achieve at least a high 2:1 in my degree I’ll stand a good chance of having my studies funded?

Hi there

That's one way to say it but I think it's more appropriate to put it like this: you should be doing all you can to secure a training contract. You do not necessarily need to do first-year schemes or vacation schemes and can apply for a direct training contract. However, having some legal work experience, especially with the firm you want a training contract at shows a lot about your motivation and passion for law. Firms also look at grades so yes, you should aim for atleast a 2:1 irrespective of what course you're on. Once you get a training contract, all trainees are treated equally and provided the same information and knowledge to train them to be a solicitor. If a firm funds their trainees' LPC/GDL/SQE (which is true for 95% of the firms), then it's done for all trainees equally irrespective of what course they studied at uni.

Hope that makes sense!

-Himieka (Official DU Rep)
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Durham Students
Hi there

That's one way to say it but I think it's more appropriate to put it like this: you should be doing all you can to secure a training contract. You do not necessarily need to do first-year schemes or vacation schemes and can apply for a direct training contract. However, having some legal work experience, especially with the firm you want a training contract at shows a lot about your motivation and passion for law. Firms also look at grades so yes, you should aim for atleast a 2:1 irrespective of what course you're on. Once you get a training contract, all trainees are treated equally and provided the same information and knowledge to train them to be a solicitor. If a firm funds their trainees' LPC/GDL/SQE (which is true for 95% of the firms), then it's done for all trainees equally irrespective of what course they studied at uni.

Hope that makes sense!

-Himieka (Official DU Rep)

Any firm that funds someones TC isn't going to consider them for a direct TC without them having some legal work experience under their belt first. It's also going to slim their odds of getting a TC in the end pretty significantly. OP should definitely be doing vac schemes if they can get them.

Most firms also don't fund btw. Typically only large commercial firms do.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Gmaster1980
Any firm that funds someones TC isn't going to consider them for a direct TC without them having some legal work experience under their belt first. It's also going to slim their odds of getting a TC in the end pretty significantly. OP should definitely be doing vac schemes if they can get them.

Most firms also don't fund btw. Typically only large commercial firms do.

Hi there

I only said that options for direct training contracts do exist and simultaneously mentioned the importance of vac schemes. Plus people who get a direct training contract do have it funded just like everybody else. OP had to know about the possibility of direct TCs which I correctly mentioned.

Since OP was worried about getting a high paying legal job, I assumed they were going to apply to large law firms which is why I said that 95% of the firms provide funding. Most medium and large firms do fund the GDL/LPC/SQE although the amount they provide can vary largely.

-Himieka (Official DU Rep)
Original post by MachuPichu229
So basically, I have offers to study psychology at Newcastle and York but I’m still waiting for a reply for Durham. Recently I’ve became increasingly worried about the employment prospects available to me as a psychology grad and I am considering contacting Newcastle and York to switch my degree to law because I also love my law A level. I’ve talked to my tutor and she said they’ll be likely to accept. So my dilemma is this: if im accepted at Durham I won’t be able to switch to law due to the LNAT, I’d have to take a gap year but that’s a big no for me, but I rly like Durham and it’s a good uni so maybe I’ll still do ok if I get accepted there even with a psychology degree. However I can’t decide between doing law at Newcastle, law at York, or psychology at Durham. Here are the pros and cons I’ve come up with so far: Durham- pros: I can commute via car because I live close by, therefore saving a lot of money which is important to me. A degree from Durham is very well respected. Psychology is a versatile degree so I may have options by the end of it. Cons: the employment and salary prospects aren’t as good as a law degree from Newcastle or York. York- pros: employment prospects are excellent for a law degree there, compared to the other two. Cons: I’d have to live there. Very expensive place to live. Accommodation doesn’t look that great, and it’s quite late on so may not be able to get one with an en suite (very important to me), overall financially worrying. Newcastle- pros: can commute via either train or car, employment prospects are ok, best friend is going there as well. Cons: not as respected as the other two, employment prospects are better at York. I know this is an essay but I feel paralysed, I can’t make a decision.

Focus on what you would be interested in subject-wise and also on which university environment you would feel more comfortable in. There are differences in both how the university looks and also in the kind of students that attend it.

A psychology degree would give you very similar 'prospects' if you were considering a legal career as a law degree - the reason why law students make more is because they tend to be in an environment full of hotheads that are constantly applying to opportunities and improving their CV, as opposed to, say, drinking and messing around in general. A Psychology student should have no difficulty doing the same if they apply themselves.

I don't think that Durham is so well regarded that this would be a reason to choose it over the other two.



Please also consider learning to use paragraphs, they were invented for a reason.

Original post by Durham Students
Hi there

That's one way to say it but I think it's more appropriate to put it like this: you should be doing all you can to secure a training contract. You do not necessarily need to do first-year schemes or vacation schemes and can apply for a direct training contract. However, having some legal work experience, especially with the firm you want a training contract at shows a lot about your motivation and passion for law. Firms also look at grades so yes, you should aim for atleast a 2:1 irrespective of what course you're on. Once you get a training contract, all trainees are treated equally and provided the same information and knowledge to train them to be a solicitor. If a firm funds their trainees' LPC/GDL/SQE (which is true for 95% of the firms), then it's done for all trainees equally irrespective of what course they studied at uni.

Hope that makes sense!

-Himieka (Official DU Rep)

Psychology students and graduates can apply to the same opportunities as everyone else, so I am not sure why you chose to bring up the fact that they can apply for a direct TC.

I think that the 95% point has been discussed already but it would help if you clarified which firms sponsor, given the OP's ignorance. It's typically large commercial law firms. These may make up 95% of law firms on the Legal Cheek 'Mosts' list - which I gather is a popular source of information for you students - but these most certainly do not make up 95% of graduate openings in law nationwide! OP would benefit from providing us with an indication as to what sort of law he would be interested in, as the funding/financing calculation does vary a lot depending on the firm, specialism and location.
Original post by Augustino D
Focus on what you would be interested in subject-wise and also on which university environment you would feel more comfortable in. There are differences in both how the university looks and also in the kind of students that attend it.

A psychology degree would give you very similar 'prospects' if you were considering a legal career as a law degree - the reason why law students make more is because they tend to be in an environment full of hotheads that are constantly applying to opportunities and improving their CV, as opposed to, say, drinking and messing around in general. A Psychology student should have no difficulty doing the same if they apply themselves.

I don't think that Durham is so well regarded that this would be a reason to choose it over the other two.



Please also consider learning to use paragraphs, they were invented for a reason.


Psychology students and graduates can apply to the same opportunities as everyone else, so I am not sure why you chose to bring up the fact that they can apply for a direct TC.

I think that the 95% point has been discussed already but it would help if you clarified which firms sponsor, given the OP's ignorance. It's typically large commercial law firms. These may make up 95% of law firms on the Legal Cheek 'Mosts' list - which I gather is a popular source of information for you students - but these most certainly do not make up 95% of graduate openings in law nationwide! OP would benefit from providing us with an indication as to what sort of law he would be interested in, as the funding/financing calculation does vary a lot depending on the firm, specialism and location.

Hi there

I agree, I should have clarified which firms were in my mind when I was seeking to respond to the question. Maybe 95% is a bit of an exaggeration- all I meant to say was that most of the larger firms do fund the courses. Ultimately I don't think the OP is going to care about the statistic as they will be researching the firms that best suit them to find out the funding prospects for each specific one.

As to why I brought up the direct TC thing- just to impart information. It's like saying you don't need a law degree to be a solicitor. You don't always need to do vac schemes to get a TC at all firms. I also mentioned the immense help from doing vac schemes though.

-Himieka (Official DU Rep)
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Augustino D
Focus on what you would be interested in subject-wise and also on which university environment you would feel more comfortable in. There are differences in both how the university looks and also in the kind of students that attend it.

A psychology degree would give you very similar 'prospects' if you were considering a legal career as a law degree - the reason why law students make more is because they tend to be in an environment full of hotheads that are constantly applying to opportunities and improving their CV, as opposed to, say, drinking and messing around in general. A Psychology student should have no difficulty doing the same if they apply themselves.

I don't think that Durham is so well regarded that this would be a reason to choose it over the other two.



Please also consider learning to use paragraphs, they were invented for a reason.


Psychology students and graduates can apply to the same opportunities as everyone else, so I am not sure why you chose to bring up the fact that they can apply for a direct TC.

I think that the 95% point has been discussed already but it would help if you clarified which firms sponsor, given the OP's ignorance. It's typically large commercial law firms. These may make up 95% of law firms on the Legal Cheek 'Mosts' list - which I gather is a popular source of information for you students - but these most certainly do not make up 95% of graduate openings in law nationwide! OP would benefit from providing us with an indication as to what sort of law he would be interested in, as the funding/financing calculation does vary a lot depending on the firm, specialism and location.

I’m sorry for my poor writing I’m just super stressed right now. There isn’t a particular area of law that I’m most interested in, I don’t think I’d like to do criminal law, commercial or tort law seems to appeal to me more though, I want to be a solicitor, sorry I forget to mention that. I live in the north east and from what I’ve read it’s very difficult to find a law firm up here that would be willing to fund the gdl.

To save me potentially having to fund myself would a law degree be a safer option if I want to become a solicitor. In terms of the degree itself, I like both psychology and law equally so it’s not really a matter of which interests me the most, more of which one would give me the best head start at getting a decent career. I’m not really bothered about making lots of money, I just want a stable salary, around 35k something like that I’d be happy with.

It’s just the statistics around psych grads and the horror stories of them not being able to find work have put me off the degree. I thought a law degree could carry a bit more weight and help me stand out a bit even if I decide not to go into law at all.

Btw I don’t mean to be ignorant, my college advisors haven’t been much help and my own research just confuses me further so I’m a bit in the dark when it comes to uni.

Quick Reply

Latest