The Student Room Group
Students in Lecture Theatre, University of Liverpool
University of Liverpool
Liverpool

Can I get into Liverpool?

Guys, I dont get if I will be eligible for getting into Liverpool computer science foundation year. My GCSE grades are this:

Maths- Grade 5
English Language- Grade 6
English Literature - Grade 7
Music Tech Level 2 Merit
Media Studies- Grade 8
Graphics- Grade 8
French Grade 9
Combined higher Science Grade 9-8




Now the thing that confuses me is this:


All applicants must have a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English Language, Mathematics and two Sciences (any two of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, or Core and Additional Science/Dual Science acceptable). Applicants over 21 can be considered on GCSEs alone.

Can I get in even though I did combined science?
(edited 5 months ago)

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Original post by Clivierx
Guys, I dont get if I will be eligible for getting into Liverpool computer science foundation year. My GCSE grades are this:

Maths- Grade 5
English Language- Grade 6
English Literature - Grade 7
Music Tech Level 2 Merit
Media Studies- Grade 8
Graphics- Grade 8
French Grade 9
Combined higher Science Grade 9-8




Now the thing that confuses me is this:


All applicants must have a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English Language, Mathematics and two Sciences (any two of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, or Core and Additional Science/Dual Science acceptable). Applicants over 21 can be considered on GCSEs alone.

Can I get in even though I did combined science?


You are. I'm not entirely sure why you're looking at the entry requirements for foundation year when you're suppose to be applying with A Levels. You can alternatively try to apply for the standard computer science degree without the foundation year.

My interpretation of the above is:
All applicants must have a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above
You have the equivalent of 8 GCSEs above grade 4. (Not sure abot your music qualification, but it's likely above a grade 4 as equivalent)

including English Language, Mathematics and two Sciences (any two of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, or Core and Additional Science/Dual Science acceptable).
English Lang - 6, which is above grade 4
Maths - 5, which is above a 4
Combined higher Science Grade 9-8, which are above 4, 4
Combined higher science is considered equivalent to dual science i.e. 2 science subjects combined.

If you're really really insecure about this, consider contacting their undergrad admissions. This should be [email protected] according to the following webpage: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/computer-science/study/undergraduate/
Alternatively, you can go to the bottom of the course page and use the contact details there e.g. https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/courses/2023/computer-science-bsc-hons#contact-us
https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/courses/2023/computer-science-bsc-hons-foundation-4-year-route-with-carmel-college#contact-us
(edited 5 months ago)
Students in Lecture Theatre, University of Liverpool
University of Liverpool
Liverpool
Reply 2
Original post by MindMax2000
You are. I'm not entirely sure why you're looking at the entry requirements for foundation year when you're suppose to be applying with A Levels. You can alternatively try to apply for the standard computer science degree without the foundation year.

My interpretation of the above is:
All applicants must have a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above
You have the equivalent of 8 GCSEs above grade 4. (Not sure abot your music qualification, but it's likely above a grade 4 as equivalent)

including English Language, Mathematics and two Sciences (any two of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, or Core and Additional Science/Dual Science acceptable).
English Lang - 6, which is above grade 4
Maths - 5, which is above a 4
Combined higher Science Grade 9-8, which are above 4, 4
Combined higher science is considered equivalent to dual science i.e. 2 science subjects combined.

If you're really really insecure about this, consider contacting their undergrad admissions. This should be [email protected] according to the following webpage: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/computer-science/study/undergraduate/
Alternatively, you can go to the bottom of the course page and use the contact details there e.g. https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/courses/2023/computer-science-bsc-hons#contact-us
https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/courses/2023/computer-science-bsc-hons-foundation-4-year-route-with-carmel-college#contact-us


Hi thank you for this! Sorry for not mentioning this but the reason why Im doing a foundation year is because my A Levels are irrelevant to the course and I have not completed a maths A level.
Original post by Clivierx
Hi thank you for this! Sorry for not mentioning this but the reason why Im doing a foundation year is because my A Levels are irrelevant to the course and I have not completed a maths A level.


https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/courses/2023/computer-science-bsc-hons#entry-requirements
According to the entry requirements, you would need A Level Maths or Computer Science. What's stopping you from doing it during a gap year, assuming you meet the grade requirements in your other A Levels?

By all means go and do a foundation year should you wish, but it can limit your options in terms of applications for other courses at other unis. If Liverpool is the sole university that you would ever want to do your degree at, then I don't think whether you do an extra A Level during your gap year or doing the foundation year would make much difference (except for the fact you have more debt to pay back).
Reply 4
Original post by MindMax2000
https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/courses/2023/computer-science-bsc-hons#entry-requirements
According to the entry requirements, you would need A Level Maths or Computer Science. What's stopping you from doing it during a gap year, assuming you meet the grade requirements in your other A Levels?

By all means go and do a foundation year should you wish, but it can limit your options in terms of applications for other courses at other unis. If Liverpool is the sole university that you would ever want to do your degree at, then I don't think whether you do an extra A Level during your gap year or doing the foundation year would make much difference (except for the fact you have more debt to pay back).


Hi, I'm not too sure about doing a whole extra new A level. the link you sent me is the normal 3 year course, but the one with foundation year doesn't require any subjects (let me know if I am wrong).

https://digital.ucas.com/coursedisplay/courses/a45981ad-38c4-261c-4bf8-54393b56af53?academicYearId=2024
Original post by Clivierx
Guys, I dont get if I will be eligible for getting into Liverpool computer science foundation year. My GCSE grades are this:

Maths- Grade 5
English Language- Grade 6
English Literature - Grade 7
Music Tech Level 2 Merit
Media Studies- Grade 8
Graphics- Grade 8
French Grade 9
Combined higher Science Grade 9-8




Now the thing that confuses me is this:


All applicants must have a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English Language, Mathematics and two Sciences (any two of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, or Core and Additional Science/Dual Science acceptable). Applicants over 21 can be considered on GCSEs alone.

Can I get in even though I did combined science?

As above, combined science is "Core and Additional Science/Dual Science ". So yes.

The fact you got a 5 in GCSE Maths I think should be something that gives you pause though. CS is a necessarily mathematical degree, and you will need to cover quite a bit of maths content in the foundation year fairly intensively to get up to speed to begin in the first year alongside those who did A-level Maths.

So it's just important to consider that and whether maths is a strong point for you or not - as if not, then a CS degree is probably not the best idea.

Also worth considering is, what are your reasons for wanting to pursue a CS degree in the first place?
Original post by Clivierx
Hi, I'm not too sure about doing a whole extra new A level. the link you sent me is the normal 3 year course, but the one with foundation year doesn't require any subjects (let me know if I am wrong).

https://digital.ucas.com/coursedisplay/courses/a45981ad-38c4-261c-4bf8-54393b56af53?academicYearId=2024


Yes, I sent you the link for the normal 3 year course because the main differences between the 3 year course and the one with the foundation year are:

The 3 year course requires you to have done A Level Maths or Computer Science

The foundation year would be covering the necessary material from A Level Maths or Computer Science, as @artful_lounger pointed out, but doesn't require any specific subjects

The 3 year course has higher grade requirements



Whether you take a gap year to do an extra A Level + 3 year course or do the 4 year course with the foundation year, you would require the same amount of time (unless you don't have the grades). I recommended the extra A Level because it's significantly cheaper. Which course you end up picking is still up to you; I'm just here to highlight the alternatives.
Reply 7
Original post by artful_lounger
As above, combined science is "Core and Additional Science/Dual Science ". So yes.

The fact you got a 5 in GCSE Maths I think should be something that gives you pause though. CS is a necessarily mathematical degree, and you will need to cover quite a bit of maths content in the foundation year fairly intensively to get up to speed to begin in the first year alongside those who did A-level Maths.

So it's just important to consider that and whether maths is a strong point for you or not - as if not, then a CS degree is probably not the best idea.

Also worth considering is, what are your reasons for wanting to pursue a CS degree in the first place?


Hi, thank you for your comment. I am completely aware of having only a 5 in maths, however, I have been doing extra-curricular like Udemy courses on coding etc. However, and idea of mine would be to resit higher maths and try to aim for a 6 or higher (however I'm not sure if it's a good idea since if I fail that grade would be my new grade making it harder to get accepted into other universities.

My reasons for why I want to get into CS is that it was something I've always wanted to pursue and have a genuine passion for it, I like to see the technical sides of computers, the coding, the computer parts and the ins and out, i just find it very fascinating. I'm not going to lie here as well it is for the money aspect, I want to move to the US where IT salaries are insanely good to help support me and my future family. I also find coding to be very rewarding as it's almost like a project and when you finish it the dopamine is insane. I have more reasons but I hope I managed to pain a picture on why I want to do it.

Let me know :smile:
(edited 5 months ago)
Reply 8
Original post by MindMax2000
Yes, I sent you the link for the normal 3 year course because the main differences between the 3 year course and the one with the foundation year are:

The 3 year course requires you to have done A Level Maths or Computer Science

The foundation year would be covering the necessary material from A Level Maths or Computer Science, as @artful_lounger pointed out, but doesn't require any specific subjects

The 3 year course has higher grade requirements



Whether you take a gap year to do an extra A Level + 3 year course or do the 4 year course with the foundation year, you would require the same amount of time (unless you don't have the grades). I recommended the extra A Level because it's significantly cheaper. Which course you end up picking is still up to you; I'm just here to highlight the alternatives.


Wow yeah I see where you're coming from now, You're absolutely correct, especially with how it's like 99% cheaper. Do you think it's risky to go on and do the computer science course with foundation year, if I don't like the foundation year I could always back out and pursue another normal 3 year course that my 3 A Level options allow me to pick?
Original post by Clivierx
Hi, thank you for your comment. I am completely aware of having only a 5 in maths, however, I have been doing extra-curricular like Udemy courses on coding etc. However, and idea of mine would be to resit higher maths and try to aim for a 6 or higher (however I'm not sure if it's a good idea since if I fail that grade would be my new grade making it harder to get accepted into other universities.

My reasons for why I want to get into CS is that it was something I've always wanted to pursue and have a genuine passion for it, I like to see the technical sides of computers, the coding, the computer parts and the ins and out, i just find it very fascinating. I'm not going to lie here as well it is for the money aspect, I want to move to the US where IT salaries are insanely good to help support me and my future family. I also find coding to be very rewarding as it's almost like a project and when you finish it the dopamine is insane. I have more reasons but I hope I managed to pain a picture on why I want to do it.

Let me know :smile:


I mean basically all of what you've said is about coding. It's very important to recognise that a degree in CS is not a degree in programming. In fact programming is often a relatively smaller part of the degree used to illustrate the actual concepts you're studying - which are the theoretical underpinnings of how computers work i.e. the science of computing - which is a necessarily mathematical endeavour.

If your only interest in it is programming and then going into a professional role doing coding, I would honestly strongly recommend looking at degree apprenticeship options in the field instead. This will get you doing what you want to do sooner, and more of it (i.e. coding), and you'll get a lot of relevant experience to continue into other roles in the field. You also then aren't going to be spending three years studying linear algebra and computational complexity and other such things.

Especially if you think there is a good chance if you resit GCSE Maths at higher tier and get a worse grade I think that's a huge red flag as you realistically need to already be very confident in the GCSE Maths content to start with and be comfortable using that day in and day out without thinking about it...and then build on that material continually in the foundation year and the main degree and use it routinely throughout. You will cover A-level Further Maths material in your first year of the degree after you finish the foundation year and this is foundational to computer science as a discipline. This is why I think it's really important you take a step back now and look at the whole picture, your strengths and weaknesses, and what your goal is, and whether there are other routes to it.

At present essentially I think you have got a quite distorted picture of what a CS degree actually entails, and taking that in the context of your background, means I think you would honestly struggle with a CS degree - and that it's not even necessary to realise your goals! As you can very well do a degree apprenticeship, get your degree that way, but doing all the stuff you want to be doing. Which I think you'd do much better in, enjoy a lot more, and have better short and long term outcomes from honestly.
Original post by Clivierx
Wow yeah I see where you're coming from now, You're absolutely correct, especially with how it's like 99% cheaper. Do you think it's risky to go on and do the computer science course with foundation year, if I don't like the foundation year I could always back out and pursue another normal 3 year course that my 3 A Level options allow me to pick?

I mean you can back out of the foundation year or decide not to proceed with the degree after the foundation year should you wish, but you would still be liable for the £9k. You can later pick a degree of your choice that you would be eligible for, however, universities might ask questions about why you didn't proceed with the degree after your foundation year (or why you have dropped out of your foundation year even) - not completing courses is a big red flag to university admissions.

There's also the issue that foundation years aren't usually transferrable between universities or between subejcts. In other words, if you did get the grades you need in the foundation year and want to say go into physics or even computer science at another uni, your chances of succeeding is slim to none.

If on the other hand you do A Level Maths, you would have more flexibility of which uni you choose as well as which course you can apply for.
Reply 11
Original post by artful_lounger
I mean basically all of what you've said is about coding. It's very important to recognise that a degree in CS is not a degree in programming. In fact programming is often a relatively smaller part of the degree used to illustrate the actual concepts you're studying - which are the theoretical underpinnings of how computers work i.e. the science of computing - which is a necessarily mathematical endeavour.

If your only interest in it is programming and then going into a professional role doing coding, I would honestly strongly recommend looking at degree apprenticeship options in the field instead. This will get you doing what you want to do sooner, and more of it (i.e. coding), and you'll get a lot of relevant experience to continue into other roles in the field. You also then aren't going to be spending three years studying linear algebra and computational complexity and other such things.

Especially if you think there is a good chance if you resit GCSE Maths at higher tier and get a worse grade I think that's a huge red flag as you realistically need to already be very confident in the GCSE Maths content to start with and be comfortable using that day in and day out without thinking about it...and then build on that material continually in the foundation year and the main degree and use it routinely throughout. You will cover A-level Further Maths material in your first year of the degree after you finish the foundation year and this is foundational to computer science as a discipline. This is why I think it's really important you take a step back now and look at the whole picture, your strengths and weaknesses, and what your goal is, and whether there are other routes to it.

At present essentially I think you have got a quite distorted picture of what a CS degree actually entails, and taking that in the context of your background, means I think you would honestly struggle with a CS degree - and that it's not even necessary to realise your goals! As you can very well do a degree apprenticeship, get your degree that way, but doing all the stuff you want to be doing. Which I think you'd do much better in, enjoy a lot more, and have better short and long term outcomes from honestly.


I really want to go uni not only for the study but for the "experience" if you know what I mean. What about software engineering? I've researched it a little and apparently its more hands-on, coding etc. I think you're right, I think I am more after the practical aspect or even purely about the coding. Btw is there any other degree I could take that fulfills my goals like you said. I really don't want to go to the apprenticeship route if possible
Original post by Clivierx
I really want to go uni not only for the study but for the "experience" if you know what I mean. What about software engineering? I've researched it a little and apparently its more hands-on, coding etc. I think you're right, I think I am more after the practical aspect or even purely about the coding. Btw is there any other degree I could take that fulfills my goals like you said. I really don't want to go to the apprenticeship route if possible

Some software engineering courses are just identical to the CS degrees at the same uni with a few optional modules preselected for you; a few might be a bit more focused on what you are interested in. Degrees in IT or ITMB type courses are probably more focused on the practical aspects.

Otherwise you'd really just need to be careful and look at the course content and see if it's mostly CS topics (e.g. databases, algorithms, computational complexity, computer architecture, compilers, mathematical methods, discrete mathematics, graph theory, combinatorics etc) or more development focused topics (e.g. software development, web development, app development, programming for applications, applied programming, etc).
Reply 13
Original post by artful_lounger
Some software engineering courses are just identical to the CS degrees at the same uni with a few optional modules preselected for you; a few might be a bit more focused on what you are interested in. Degrees in IT or ITMB type courses are probably more focused on the practical aspects.

Otherwise you'd really just need to be careful and look at the course content and see if it's mostly CS topics (e.g. databases, algorithms, computational complexity, computer architecture, compilers, mathematical methods, discrete mathematics, graph theory, combinatorics etc) or more development focused topics (e.g. software development, web development, app development, programming for applications, applied programming, etc).


Do both courses lead to high-paying average positions (50K+) honestly I can't lie but I also want to make a fair bit of money. Why do you think a CS degree isn't for me? I think I could perhaps cope with the theory and maybe even the maths (I might be completely wrong).
Original post by Clivierx
Do both courses lead to high-paying average positions (50K+) honestly I can't lie but I also want to make a fair bit of money. Why do you think a CS degree isn't for me? I think I could perhaps cope with the theory and maybe even the maths (I might be completely wrong).

Any degree can lead to a position paying that much in principle. Research has found STEM and non-STEM graduates have similar salary outcomes in the long run: https://figshare.le.ac.uk/articles/report/The_employment_trajectories_of_Science_Technology_Engineering_and_Mathematics_graduates/10234421

Some key findings of the study are that STEM and non-STEM graduates have similar immediate and long-term employment prospects, and encouraging people to pursue STEM degrees for employment purposes is ethically dubious (they literally say this); that the majority of highly skilled (HS) STEM roles are filled by non-graduates without any undergraduate degree at all; and that the majority of STEM graduates don't go into HS STEM roles anyway.

Also worth noting CS as a degree itself is not actually known to be "good" for graduate prospects, as they were in fact so poor the government commissioned two inquiries into the matter - you can see one here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/518575/ind-16-5-shadbolt-review-computer-science-graduate-employability.pdf

If you're aiming to do a CS degree because you think you'll be rolling in cash as a result of it then you should just do literally any other degree, because the outcome is, on average, the same. The only reason to do a CS degree rather than something else is if you specifically have an interest and aptitude in the science of computing. This is not the same thing as being interested in programming. Anyone can learn to code.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

The reason I think a CS degree isn't for you is because:

a) your preparation in maths is historically weak (based on your GCSE Maths grade and it sounds like you might have done foundation t ier as well?), and by your own admission you are not confident you could actually improve in this if you retook your GCSE Maths. Why you think you could do well in the mathematical methods modules of the foundation year and the degree which cover topics from A-level Maths, A-level Further Maths, and beyond, I don't see the logic in personally.

b) Moreover the maths in a CS degree are not just potted in modules that you do them and then forget and never do any maths again. The mathematical concepts and problem solving methods you learn will come up constantly throughout the course and you will need to use them day in and day out. Unless you want to be doing maths every day for the next 4 years, it seems like a bad idea

c) By your own admission you are exclusively interested in coding/programming, and have expressed little interest in any other area of CS. Programming is a small part of computer science and much of your degree would be spent doing other things. It's like doing a biology degree because you love statistics. Yes, it comes up, but much less than everything else and mainly in the service of everything else in the degree.

d) Your reasoning also seems to be largely pegged to erroneous beliefs that a CS degree will in of itself give you better employment outcomes than any other degree subject - which per the above, has been shown to be categorically untrue in the UK.

Hence per a) and b) I think you will actually just find it difficult to make it through the degree with a good result, and per b) and c) I think the degree is actually very much not what you think it is and you would be disappointed with the actual content if you got onto it. Finally I think per d) that you don't have a compelling reason for doing that degree otherwise as your only remaining reason is not the case.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you want to go to uni "for the experience" (which I don't think is a good reason to go to uni anyway - you can go out and get hammered while working a 9-5 job just as easily as you can at uni, and you can meet people and do social activities that don't involve drinking just as easily in a 9-5 job as well) then I think you'd be served as well or better by really any other subject. And I'm sure that if you took the time to explore other subjects much more widely, including humanities, social sciences, arts, and other STEM fields, you would likely find a subject that is of much more personal, intellectual interest to you, which would ultimately have the same outcomes socially while at uni and employment wise after graduating.

So, that's the rationale for my suggestion that you consider alternatives to CS. If you really do love coding alone then a degree apprenticeship is a much better option for that, and you will still have the opportunity to do all the usual stupid things young people do. If you did think about it and found your "interest" in coding was just due to a belief that it would make you money (which is unclear here; it sounds like you have done some coding before and enjoyed the process which is something in favour of the above), then you might find you have some other niche interest you could pursue a degree in. Maybe you always were fascinated by ancient Egypt and mummies and would actually find a degree in Egyptology much more rewarding. Maybe you love learning about marine ecosystems and the ocean and would want to do a degree in marine biology and/or oceanography. Maybe you actually are a creative individual that would enjoy a degree in illustration or music production or acting!

There are lots of options and I think ignoring them in favour of a degree you are, by all accounts, ill suited to, largely uninterested in the actual content of the course, and mainly considering due to understandable but incorrect assumptions about graduate destimations, is a mistake. And note this is not a personal criticism! I just think the other options are more likely to give you a much more positive experience and an outcome much more aligned with your expectations.
(edited 5 months ago)
Reply 15
Original post by artful_lounger
Any degree can lead to a position paying that much in principle. Research has found STEM and non-STEM graduates have similar salary outcomes in the long run: https://figshare.le.ac.uk/articles/report/The_employment_trajectories_of_Science_Technology_Engineering_and_Mathematics_graduates/10234421

Some key findings of the study are that STEM and non-STEM graduates have similar immediate and long-term employment prospects, and encouraging people to pursue STEM degrees for employment purposes is ethically dubious (they literally say this); that the majority of highly skilled (HS) STEM roles are filled by non-graduates without any undergraduate degree at all; and that the majority of STEM graduates don't go into HS STEM roles anyway.

Also worth noting CS as a degree itself is not actually known to be "good" for graduate prospects, as they were in fact so poor the government commissioned two inquiries into the matter - you can see one here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/518575/ind-16-5-shadbolt-review-computer-science-graduate-employability.pdf

If you're aiming to do a CS degree because you think you'll be rolling in cash as a result of it then you should just do literally any other degree, because the outcome is, on average, the same. The only reason to do a CS degree rather than something else is if you specifically have an interest and aptitude in the science of computing. This is not the same thing as being interested in programming. Anyone can learn to code.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

The reason I think a CS degree isn't for you is because:

a) your preparation in maths is historically weak (based on your GCSE Maths grade and it sounds like you might have done foundation t ier as well?), and by your own admission you are not confident you could actually improve in this if you retook your GCSE Maths. Why you think you could do well in the mathematical methods modules of the foundation year and the degree which cover topics from A-level Maths, A-level Further Maths, and beyond, I don't see the logic in personally.

b) Moreover the maths in a CS degree are not just potted in modules that you do them and then forget and never do any maths again. The mathematical concepts and problem solving methods you learn will come up constantly throughout the course and you will need to use them day in and day out. Unless you want to be doing maths every day for the next 4 years, it seems like a bad idea

c) By your own admission you are exclusively interested in coding/programming, and have expressed little interest in any other area of CS. Programming is a small part of computer science and much of your degree would be spent doing other things. It's like doing a biology degree because you love statistics. Yes, it comes up, but much less than everything else and mainly in the service of everything else in the degree.

d) Your reasoning also seems to be largely pegged to erroneous beliefs that a CS degree will in of itself give you better employment outcomes than any other degree subject - which per the above, has been shown to be categorically untrue in the UK.

Hence per a) and b) I think you will actually just find it difficult to make it through the degree with a good result, and per b) and c) I think the degree is actually very much not what you think it is and you would be disappointed with the actual content if you got onto it. Finally I think per d) that you don't have a compelling reason for doing that degree otherwise as your only remaining reason is not the case.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you want to go to uni "for the experience" (which I don't think is a good reason to go to uni anyway - you can go out and get hammered while working a 9-5 job just as easily as you can at uni, and you can meet people and do social activities that don't involve drinking just as easily in a 9-5 job as well) then I think you'd be served as well or better by really any other subject. And I'm sure that if you took the time to explore other subjects much more widely, including humanities, social sciences, arts, and other STEM fields, you would likely find a subject that is of much more personal, intellectual interest to you, which would ultimately have the same outcomes socially while at uni and employment wise after graduating.

So, that's the rationale for my suggestion that you consider alternatives to CS. If you really do love coding alone then a degree apprenticeship is a much better option for that, and you will still have the opportunity to do all the usual stupid things young people do. If you did think about it and found your "interest" in coding was just due to a belief that it would make you money (which is unclear here; it sounds like you have done some coding before and enjoyed the process which is something in favour of the above), then you might find you have some other niche interest you could pursue a degree in. Maybe you always were fascinated by ancient Egypt and mummies and would actually find a degree in Egyptology much more rewarding. Maybe you love learning about marine ecosystems and the ocean and would want to do a degree in marine biology and/or oceanography. Maybe you actually are a creative individual that would enjoy a degree in illustration or music production or acting!

There are lots of options and I think ignoring them in favour of a degree you are, by all accounts, ill suited to, largely uninterested in the actual content of the course, and mainly considering due to understandable but incorrect assumptions about graduate destimations, is a mistake. And note this is not a personal criticism! I just think the other options are more likely to give you a much more positive experience and an outcome much more aligned with your expectations.


Wow. This was super impactful. I really understand everything you've said, and I agree. The only part being maths, I think I would be quite confident if I put myself into it (I got moved to higher 3 months before the exam and willingly stepped down because it was too late). You're right about computer science being more Science and not the actual coding because that's a smaller module..

Now all it comes down to is real self-reflection on what I actually want to do. Are you saying any degree can lead to financial success then? I saw that you sited studies that we only UK I presume? I don't mind leaving the country to go places like the US so I can get a better salary on top of a subject that I like to do.

Finally, it's researching what subjects I want to do, I find it really daunting and quite confusing as I don't know how to see the array of different courses (for example I never even knew the ocean uni course was a thing). How do I research new courses that I haven't hear of that might be of interest to me?
Original post by Clivierx
Wow. This was super impactful. I really understand everything you've said, and I agree. The only part being maths, I think I would be quite confident if I put myself into it (I got moved to higher 3 months before the exam and willingly stepped down because it was too late). You're right about computer science being more Science and not the actual coding because that's a smaller module..

Now all it comes down to is real self-reflection on what I actually want to do. Are you saying any degree can lead to financial success then? I saw that you sited studies that we only UK I presume? I don't mind leaving the country to go places like the US so I can get a better salary on top of a subject that I like to do.

Finally, it's researching what subjects I want to do, I find it really daunting and quite confusing as I don't know how to see the array of different courses (for example I never even knew the ocean uni course was a thing). How do I research new courses that I haven't hear of that might be of interest to me?

I mean you previously said you didn't think you would necessarily get a higher grade in your GCSE Maths if you retook it, which is what my assessment was based on.

In any event, in principle yes though, that research found that both STEM and non-STEM graduates had similar outcomes. It's important to note that a large factor in this is that most graduate jobs are generalist roles, and recruit graduates from any degree. This is because they aren't recruiting you for what you know from your degree, they're recruiting you because your degree shows that you can learn how to do the job after they hire you. As noted previously there are some specialist roles where they will require some specific background knowledge, but unless you specifically want to go into those roles that's really neither here nor there.

Case in point - I personally know people who have gone into accounting grad schemes at the big 4 with degrees in accounting and finance, history and politics, and engineering. All of them were successful and all did the same job (and were paid equivalent salaries - probably minor differences in benefits between the firms). I know physics grads that have gone into business roles and physics grads that went into call centre jobs (and in this case they were from the same uni even). I know a data analyst whose first degree was in geography! He then went back to uni quite a few years later after having eventually worked in some data related roles and realising he wanted to develop himself in those areas, and got a masters in a relevant area and got a job as a data analyst.

The subject isn't what makes the difference, it's the person and what they do to make themselves employable by getting internships, placements etc lined up during uni and then being diligent in applying to a lot of roles consistently and preparing appropriately for assessment centre days, psychometric tests, interviews, etc. I'd also note that there are plenty of people who have gone into quite senior roles eventually without having done a degree at all. It is certainly possible to start in at the ground floor and work your way up - it just takes time.

In terms of subjects available at unis, the best way to start exploring this is just looking through the uni prospectus pages online, look through the degrees there and if any look interesting or unusual to you, take a closer look. See what the course content is, what students on the course actually do - see what they do after the degree. If they have "talk to a current student" options give that a go. If you think it might be something you are interested in, explore that interest by reading more around it - not just wikipedia and google results, but actually look at the kind of material students on the degree do. Look in your local library for books in that subject area; read ethnography to get an idea of what anthropology students might be reading, go to archives to look at primary sources to understand what a history student might look at, read a textbook on whatever scientific area of interest there is and try some of the problems listed, read journal articles in scientific journals - if you don't understand something you read there, go and find out what it means in a book somewhere else!

Also just, think about what it is you actually choose to do in your spare time. What is it you do when you're not at school? What activities do you particularly enjoy when you have the opportunity to pursue them? What is something that you think you'd be quite happy to listen to someone telling you about? This might give you some ideas of areas to look into. If you love hearing about the different experiences people have abroad meeting other cultures, then you might find a languages degree or a degree in anthropology is of interest; if you love visiting zoos and learning about conservation efforts, and think a lot about environmental issues, you might find a degree in conservation biology and ecology appealing. There are lots of subjects available at degree level that aren't taught in school in any direct way, and often the only way to know if you're "into" that is by stumbling across it and giving it a try.

Granted though whatever you do a degree in, if you do go to uni, as noted above it is absolutely essential that you make yourself employable by actively pursuing any opportunities for work experience, internships, placements, summer schemes etc. Even if you went to Cambridge and graduated with a 1st, if you just sat exams the whole time and didn't get any work experience whatsoever, you're no more employable than a school leaver in most situations!
(edited 5 months ago)
Reply 17
Original post by artful_lounger
I mean you previously said you didn't think you would necessarily get a higher grade in your GCSE Maths if you retook it, which is what my assessment was based on.

In any event, in principle yes though, that research found that both STEM and non-STEM graduates had similar outcomes. It's important to note that a large factor in this is that most graduate jobs are generalist roles, and recruit graduates from any degree. This is because they aren't recruiting you for what you know from your degree, they're recruiting you because your degree shows that you can learn how to do the job after they hire you. As noted previously there are some specialist roles where they will require some specific background knowledge, but unless you specifically want to go into those roles that's really neither here nor there.

Case in point - I personally know people who have gone into accounting grad schemes at the big 4 with degrees in accounting and finance, history and politics, and engineering. All of them were successful and all did the same job (and were paid equivalent salaries - probably minor differences in benefits between the firms). I know physics grads that have gone into business roles and physics grads that went into call centre jobs (and in this case they were from the same uni even). I know a data analyst whose first degree was in geography! He then went back to uni quite a few years later after having eventually worked in some data related roles and realising he wanted to develop himself in those areas, and got a masters in a relevant area and got a job as a data analyst.

The subject isn't what makes the difference, it's the person and what they do to make themselves employable by getting internships, placements etc lined up during uni and then being diligent in applying to a lot of roles consistently and preparing appropriately for assessment centre days, psychometric tests, interviews, etc. I'd also note that there are plenty of people who have gone into quite senior roles eventually without having done a degree at all. It is certainly possible to start in at the ground floor and work your way up - it just takes time.

In terms of subjects available at unis, the best way to start exploring this is just looking through the uni prospectus pages online, look through the degrees there and if any look interesting or unusual to you, take a closer look. See what the course content is, what students on the course actually do - see what they do after the degree. If they have "talk to a current student" options give that a go. If you think it might be something you are interested in, explore that interest by reading more around it - not just wikipedia and google results, but actually look at the kind of material students on the degree do. Look in your local library for books in that subject area; read ethnography to get an idea of what anthropology students might be reading, go to archives to look at primary sources to understand what a history student might look at, read a textbook on whatever scientific area of interest there is and try some of the problems listed, read journal articles in scientific journals - if you don't understand something you read there, go and find out what it means in a book somewhere else!

Also just, think about what it is you actually choose to do in your spare time. What is it you do when you're not at school? What activities do you particularly enjoy when you have the opportunity to pursue them? What is something that you think you'd be quite happy to listen to someone telling you about? This might give you some ideas of areas to look into. If you love hearing about the different experiences people have abroad meeting other cultures, then you might find a languages degree or a degree in anthropology is of interest; if you love visiting zoos and learning about conservation efforts, and think a lot about environmental issues, you might find a degree in conservation biology and ecology appealing. There are lots of subjects available at degree level that aren't taught in school in any direct way, and often the only way to know if you're "into" that is by stumbling across it and giving it a try.

Granted though whatever you do a degree in, if you do go to uni, as noted above it is absolutely essential that you make yourself employable by actively pursuing any opportunities for work experience, internships, placements, summer schemes etc. Even if you went to Cambridge and graduated with a 1st, if you just sat exams the whole time and didn't get any work experience whatsoever, you're no more employable than a school leaver in most situations!


Wowww I see. Honestly thank you, you've really opened my eyes and I realize I haven't been looking deeply enough into the subjects I want to do and look at surface level stuff.

I'll make sure to look at the prospectus and have e a feel of what I can do.if everything seems fine and checks all the boxes, I am just really worried about a decent enough pay, as you said you need experience, placements inter ships etc and it's not the actual degree. But can you do this with any degree? Thank you so much and honestly this is my last question you've been a huge help and I wish you all the best of life has got to offer.

Stay safe :smile:
Original post by Clivierx
Wowww I see. Honestly thank you, you've really opened my eyes and I realize I haven't been looking deeply enough into the subjects I want to do and look at surface level stuff.

I'll make sure to look at the prospectus and have e a feel of what I can do.if everything seems fine and checks all the boxes, I am just really worried about a decent enough pay, as you said you need experience, placements inter ships etc and it's not the actual degree. But can you do this with any degree? Thank you so much and honestly this is my last question you've been a huge help and I wish you all the best of life has got to offer.

Stay safe :smile:

Per the research linked above, outcomes are similar for STEM and non-STEM graduates and so degree subject is evidently not a signifcant factor. The only thing they observed is that sometimes non-STEM graduates had a "slower start" than STEM graduates in securing a graduate level role, but within 10 years of graduating there weren't any statistically significant differences. There are plenty of well paying jobs that are outside of STEM sectors as well - for example in the civil service (which also has very good benefits including an excellent pension scheme I understand). But you can go into those just as well with a degree in viking and old norse studies (!) as you could with a degree in CS or economics or whatever, provided you make a point of making yourself employable in the process :smile:
Reply 19
Original post by artful_lounger
Per the research linked above, outcomes are similar for STEM and non-STEM graduates and so degree subject is evidently not a signifcant factor. The only thing they observed is that sometimes non-STEM graduates had a "slower start" than STEM graduates in securing a graduate level role, but within 10 years of graduating there weren't any statistically significant differences. There are plenty of well paying jobs that are outside of STEM sectors as well - for example in the civil service (which also has very good benefits including an excellent pension scheme I understand). But you can go into those just as well with a degree in viking and old norse studies (!) as you could with a degree in CS or economics or whatever, provided you make a point of making yourself employable in the process :smile:


So it's all about making yourself employable with things like placement years etc. I might get into the creative field then! I'll definitely get researching for new courses and make sure to analyze properly. Thank you for saving me :smile:

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