If you could do your degree over again, what would you study?

(75 Posts)
juneau Wed 28-Nov-12 10:39:27

Would you still make the same choice again?

I wouldn't. I studied something really interesting, but ultimately quite useless. If I had the chance to do things over again I'd study economics, which I find fascinating, and it would have been a lot more useful.

Thumbwitch Wed 28-Nov-12 10:45:03

I'd do the same again, I think (food science). It was a really interesting degree and has served me well, even though I haven't worked in the food industry. smile Although I have a bit of a thing for genetics so might do that instead.

Wishfulmakeupping Wed 28-Nov-12 10:46:49

Good question- if I was studying for interest now I would do something like criminology, if I could go back and study my degree I would have done something more vocational like social work.

sayanything Wed 28-Nov-12 10:48:14

I did law, I'd do medicine if I had my time again.

No, I went for something I wasn't particularly interested in but thought had 'prospects'...it didn't & now I don't use it at all. I'd rather research qualifications properly or do something useless but that I was really interested. I also wish I'd taken a gap year to really think about what I wanted to do.

willyoulistentome Wed 28-Nov-12 10:56:13

I would do German and French, rather the German and German Contemporary studies - fat lot that bunch of lecturers knew. I graduated in 89, having been told in lectures that 'The Wall' would be in place for the foreseeable - it was down that year. French would have been much more useful.

I would also have studied MUCh harder.....and drunk less...and I might not have spent so much time with Americans when I was supposed to be practicing my German on actual Germans on my year abroad.

juneau Wed 28-Nov-12 11:04:02

I would also have studied MUCh harder.....and drunk less.

LOL - me too. And I'd have spent less time running the student union, which was fun, but wasted a phenomenal amount of time and energy that could've been spent getting a better degree than the one I got.

Fortunately, I went to a Scottish university and no one in England understands the classifications of Scottish degrees. So yes, I have an MA! Luckily any employer has been so impressed by that they've never asked for it's classification (it's unclassified - I got thrown out before my honours year blush).

MothershipG Wed 28-Nov-12 11:11:36

Same subject, Human Geography, but I would work harder and do a post grad planning qualification so I could by now be a planning consultant making pots of money (like my mate).

Unfortunately at the ages of 18-21 doing as little studying as I could possibly get away with, without be chucked off the course, was my primary aim - but I did have a good time, did some growing up and learnt some life lessons, so it wasn't a complete waste of time. wink

Abzs Wed 28-Nov-12 11:22:58

I'd do an accredited Building Surveying or Town Planning degree then specialise later, rather than study the interesting unaccredited specialism at undergrad which now has me unable to qualify (and work) as either Surveyor or Planner without doing another degree.

andadietcoke Wed 28-Nov-12 11:29:13

I would have done business (I did European Studies and modern languages). I've just finished a masters in business and have been struck by how relevant it is to pretty much every job I could ever do in the private sector.

Saying that though, I also wish I'd worked harder rather than thinking I'd always have a cushy rugby wag lifestyle to fall back on, and made more of my year working in the parliament in Brussels rather than being homesick and coming home most weekends to see said rugby player.

Moviestar1979 Wed 28-Nov-12 11:38:43

I did law. I would still do the same degree, but on qualification I would go into something like family law, rather than corporate law

Itwillendinsmiles Wed 28-Nov-12 19:12:35

Hi juneau

I'm a mature student studying economics smile - in my third and final year. I eventually had to choose between this or maths/stats degrees and chose economics as I thought it would be a 'transferable/applicable to a variety of jobs' sort of degree (and still had a reasonable amount of maths in it to keep me happy!).

It is fascinating in parts but too much of the first two years was spent studying theories with little 'real world' application...

If I could start again, I'd do sociology!

Chubfuddler Wed 28-Nov-12 19:14:48

The same ( English literature and philosophy) but I would work much much harder. I was on course for a first and let it slide. If I'd realised I would never again in my life have free money to read books and ponce about ... I wish I'd made more of it.

outtolunchagain Wed 28-Nov-12 19:40:00

I did economics and politics , hated the economics partsad. Ds now doing straight politics and his course looks so interesting envyI went to a very old traditional University with frankly limited choice of options and lots of 3 hour exams , he has a seemingly unending string of options at his RG large University.Like me though I suspect he will not make the most of it because well, who does at 19!

Did love the politics bit always fancied archeology and anthropology , so if I had my time again maybe I would go for that .

SizzleSazz Wed 28-Nov-12 19:42:59

I did Accounting & Economics, and yes, would do the same again smile

VivaLeBeaver Wed 28-Nov-12 19:48:25


melliebobs Wed 28-Nov-12 19:50:09

I'm torn I think I'd rather have done sport science than sport development. But if I did my degree again I'd definately do different modules

kirrinIsland Wed 28-Nov-12 19:52:17

I did sociology - interesting but ultimately useless. If i could go back i'd do something vocational like radiography or midwifery

SingingSands Wed 28-Nov-12 19:52:58

I think I would do something completely different, but then I met my dh on my course so if I'd done a different course, my life might be different now...


Primrose123 Wed 28-Nov-12 19:55:05

I did French and German. I loved the subjects, and that's why I chose them. I thought they would give me great career prospects, but I was wrong. sad

I wish I had done medicine or something similar.

Himalaya Wed 28-Nov-12 19:57:32


I would have done economics too. I've picked up quite a lot along the way and am considering going back to do it as post-grad.

HanSolo Wed 28-Nov-12 19:57:51

i'd do PPE, or archaeology, or computing.
Hmm... bit of a mix there.
Or forensics.

I would do exactly the same, Clinical Communications at City (it's a degree with a qualification to work as a Speech and Language Therapist).

The degree was very interesting with a wide variety of modules (linguistics, psychology, anatomy, neurology, child development etc etc) and the job was fascinating.

Although the job pays a pittance and is widely unvalued and under resourced, I loved it.

TomblibooTrousers Wed 28-Nov-12 20:01:45

Ah. Neuroscience.

greyvix Wed 28-Nov-12 22:38:50

I did English and French. I am an English teacher, and think it is the best subject in the world. The French has been useful too, so I'm pretty smug. I didn't work hard though- nobody did back in the day-my DCs are getting a lot more from the academic side than I did.

LaVolcan Mon 03-Dec-12 15:00:26

I did Sociology too - never used it, and am now studying Earth Sciences with the OU primarily for personal development.

Allalonenow Mon 03-Dec-12 15:07:06

I did an arts degree, but I'm sorry I did not do law, my life would have been so different.

fussychica Mon 03-Dec-12 16:36:49

I'd still have done my BEd but would have taken a different major - perhaps English or History then I might have actually enjoyed it. Made the mistake of taking film & drama and ended up being stuck with a load of very affected wannabe actors who had no interest in teaching but had failed to get into RADA - hated the whole thing.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Mon 03-Dec-12 16:42:23

oh I would - I did Materials Science in the days before Graphene.
God, I would have loved to have been there when they discovered that!
and how exciting the degree must be now now they have it!

I did a project on carbon-carbon fibre composites and it was wicked- I could have done Graphene in a project.
it would have been ace.

and silicon used for baking? unheard of when I did Materials - still can't get my head round it - it looks like a polymer, behaves like a polymer but is a ceramic! how on earth did that happen?
and how on earth would I pass the polymer modules with that new ceramic being around? It was hard enough to work out what polymers did anyway!

cricketballs Mon 03-Dec-12 22:16:41

andadietcoke I would have done business (I did European Studies and modern languages). I've just finished a masters in business and have been struck by how relevant it is to pretty much every job I could ever do in the private sector

please repeat this to as many people as you can - especially those that think this subject is a soft option!

I spend so much time explaining to parents/students of every age about the fact they will be learning at every stage something that they will later relay on no matter what their career path takes them on just for parents to read MN/DM and decided the subject is not worthy. Education and qualifications are not just about Russell Group entries (even though it is a facilitating subject at A2 for some areasgrin) but also about life!

ImperialSantaKnickers Mon 03-Dec-12 22:22:39

Archaeology was less interesting than I thought it would be. The only bit I still find fascinating is the effect of geography on human development. Wish I'd done geography now, bet I'd make a better job of deciding where new homes should be built than whoever decided to concrete over flood plains....

BadRoly Mon 03-Dec-12 22:27:26

I would NOT do Chemical Engineering with Minerals Engineering again confused

I think I should have gone for Accountancy...

I did law. Should have done business with French, which were my best A levels and what I actually enjoyed studying.

MirandaWest Mon 03-Dec-12 22:38:32

I did Chemistry. I should not have done Chemistry as was useless at it (only skills gained are an ability to pour wine without spilling it). I should have studied Physics as I was a lot better at doing Physics and enjoyed it more. My stupid reason for not doing it was that my mum and dad were Maths teachers and always went on about how Physicists were not as good as Mathematicians due to not being so precise. So stupid 18 year old me thought they wouldn't like me if I did Physics hmm.

I did end up being an Accountant but am glad I did do a separate degree first - having seen people who did Accountancy degrees feeling that what we learned in about the first month of training to be accountants was more than what they learned in a whole degree I think I'd have felt a bit frustrated.

Also I wouldn't have done a Primary PGCE as I was useless at teaching (did that before the Accountancy qualification)

bellechristmas Mon 03-Dec-12 22:39:27

Something useful, Russian, seriously, what was I thinking?

CelticPromise Mon 03-Dec-12 22:50:12

I did law. I wish I'd done a language, probably French.

LadyLetch Mon 03-Dec-12 22:53:10

My first degree was in Theology. It wasn't something that I had particularly planned, but more fell into. As it turns out, there were some fascinating subjects that I covered, although I really enjoyed the philosophy side of the course and so wished perhaps I had done a joint honours in philosophy and theology (rather than just specialising in the philosophy modules within my theology degree). I also wish I had made more of my time at university. I was far too focussed on the fun, and didn't realise at the time how lucky I was to be able to have the time to study without all the other pressures in life. I did go on to do a Masters degree, but I did this alongside work, and it just wasn't the same. An old friend is now studying for his theology degree, and I have to say I'm quite jealous.

LRDtheFeministDude Tue 04-Dec-12 13:09:40

I would have done the same again (English Lit), but I'd have worked a shedload harder and done different modules - I need Old English and asked to do it but got told it wasn't very useful. And I would have done Russian instead of Italian for my second language (though I think I would have been shite at it).

If I hadn't done English, I would love to have had the confidence to do Art. I'm not sure I'd have been any good but I would like to know, and then maybe get into something like floristry or fabric design.

legalalien Tue 04-Dec-12 13:23:47

I did law. I would choose the same again, but if I had to choose something different I would have done mathematics.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Tue 04-Dec-12 13:26:55

BadRoly - what did you hate? maybe Materials would have been better?

nickelbabylyinginamanger Tue 04-Dec-12 13:27:41

Miranda - another contender for Materials! grin

losingtrust Tue 04-Dec-12 23:20:24

I did European Studies with German and loved the economics part. Did not consider doing economics only but realized I was good at it and went on to do economics based job so would have been really useful to do more instead of the politics component that I hated. Also would have worked much harder.

BadRoly Tue 04-Dec-12 23:56:06

Nickelbaby I enjoyed the minerals side of it but was pretty rubbish as the chem eng! I should maybe have gone for geology or materials like you say, but I didn't. I thought a vocational course would be a great idea.

Oh and I enjoyed the student lifestyle a bit too much for a full week of 9-5 lectures/tutorials wink

It did get me onto the PGCE and ultimately into teaching which was my plan by the end of my first year!

Now I do the books for our company and enjoy it so am considering looking into book keeping and eventually accountancy...

SorrelForbes Wed 05-Dec-12 00:23:05

I did theatre as intended to follow it with a postgrad in musical theatre but I moved abroad so never managed the pg. I wish I'd done history instead.

Selks Wed 05-Dec-12 01:39:57

I did social work, and it's given me a good career but if I could start over I would either do an ecology/ natural sciences degree (which is what I wanted to do at age 17 but didn't have the confidence) so that I could pursue a career in wildlife conservation, or follow my other love which is painting and do a fine art degree.

monsterchild Wed 05-Dec-12 01:44:57

I did Archaeology, but ended up in law. Some days I think I would have enjoyed medicine more, but slacker that I am, I'm probably best off where I am!

WhitesandsofLuskentyre Wed 05-Dec-12 14:06:41

I did French, German and Economics, and I'd do the same again. I worked in travel for a number of years, using my French and German on a daily basis, and am now a translator - I got my "in" with agencies by being an Economics specialist.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Wed 05-Dec-12 14:17:11

Roly - I'm recruiting MatScis in this thread wink
glad you enjoyed the minerals bit - I loved that part of my course, too. smile

I know what you mean about leactures - ours were 9o'clock starts every day! but at least the lab time meant that we didn't always have to stay all day.

BestIsWest Thu 06-Dec-12 20:19:52

I did Economics and liked it at the time but it has been of very little use to meso far though I do now work for a financial institution so it might come in handy.

I wish I'd done English, History or librarianship.

fraktion Thu 06-Dec-12 20:29:43

I'd have done a linguistics degree straight off instead of doing a second degree plus postgrad to get it.

I would have loved to do midwifery or nursing but I can't produce antibodies to hep B after the vaccine for some reason sad Had it 3 times and still nothing so I guess it'll never take.

sweetkitty Thu 06-Dec-12 20:45:54

I did Microbiology which was interesting but jobs are scarce and very poorly paid.

I would do something different Medicine (didn't think I'd fit in) or Midwifery oh or maybe Architecture.

BikeRunSki Thu 06-Dec-12 20:49:30

I'd either do a different degree (BEng Civil and Environmental Engineering) to get to where I am by a less tortuous route (BSc Geology and Physics, MSc, PhD and evening class top ups) or I'd be a solicitor.

juneau Sat 08-Dec-12 08:29:47

Sorry - I disappeared from my own thread. It's really interesting how many of us feel we made the wrong choice - or at least that with more life experience we'd have made a different one. Just goes to show that life is all backwards. No wonder so many of us go back to do a second degree or are considering it.

mathanxiety Sat 15-Dec-12 06:34:40

I wish I had done Russian as well as what I did -- I could have done a double honours major. The USSR seemed such an isolated backwater in the early 80s though and I would have been the only student taking Russian afaik. Not sure where that would have led but I have always been interested in things Russian.

I've just finished my degree in social care - loved it but wish I had done it before Ireland's economy went down the pan and I had a chance of getting a job- similarly with DH, both of us have worked hard to get our degrees and are still working in the minimum wage jobs we worked in whilst in college, with little hope of getting decent jobsangry

Arcticwaffle Wed 19-Dec-12 22:28:51

Yes, same again or something very similar, I read philosophy and psychology (with linguistics on the side) and I did very much enjoy it. And I still work in those fields so I can't say it's been useless, but noone studies philosophy because it's useful.

SquidgyMummy Wed 19-Dec-12 22:39:13

Not Chemistry and Business again.
I have used my gap year french more and should have done a couple of languages, Probably French and Italian and spent more time in each country.

goingmadinthecountry Thu 20-Dec-12 07:10:51

I wish I'd done Law. In fact. I've often thought about it since but I'll never do it now. Anyway, dd1 would only think I was copying her and that would be really sad!

What I'll never regret is the experience of university.

Veniceredmask01 Wed 16-Jan-13 10:21:05

Go for a subject that has a vocation attached to it. I did English Lang and Lit. I was a teacher for over 20 years worst choice of my life. Choose wisely otherwise get ready to cry!!!!

I definitely wouldn't do architecture again. 5 years (now at 9k per year yikes) of messing about with glue and card and lofty thoughts then 20 years later an average salary of £35k. And rampant unemployment ATM, including me and I'm a computer 'expert'.

Maybe I'd do forensics, I could see myself as one of those immaculately dressed CSI people with a cool haircut. or I'd just plan on winning X factor grin

cumfy Fri 25-Jan-13 13:46:17

Did: Mechanical Engineering

Should have done: Applied mathematics/software engineering

2rebecca Thu 28-Feb-13 23:07:40

Physics, I'd love to do natural science at Cambridge. In my teens I thought I wanted to work with people but have now decided they're over-rated and fancy a peaceful lab!

tattyteddy Sat 02-Mar-13 19:37:47

I did economics and politics the first time round. I've just gone back to uni to do an MA in social work. I wish I'd done that in the first place!

mum47 Sat 02-Mar-13 19:41:17

I did law, I wuold quite like to have done geography though not sure what I would have ended up doing with it.

I did law; moved into corporate. Left within minutes. Should have done anglo-saxon.

Zara1984 Sat 02-Mar-13 20:03:07

I did law, should've done medicine. Same prestige, better sense of achievement.

Zara1984 Sat 02-Mar-13 20:06:45

Noticing that there are a lot of disgruntled lawyers on this thread. Feel like we should all band together and create a family friendly, non-traditional law firm....

We could sponsor Goingmad and then get her to do it. [innocent]

If you do, Zara, I'll be the grounds maintenance lady if that's ok, having found a career as a self-employed (=starving) gardener far more satisfying.

Zara1984 Sat 02-Mar-13 20:10:41


interestingly some of the happiest lawyers I know are those who were either mature students, or who went and travelled the world AFTER their law degrees and then went into practice

not like this muggins who had to work two jobs during uni and then started in a law firm the day after her last exam....

OnGoldenPond Tue 05-Mar-13 12:41:42

I did microbiology. I chose science as I had some half baked idea when choosing A levels that I would have better job prospects with a science degree. Little did I know that there are few jobs in science in this country and they are very badly paid.

Wish I had followed my interests and done English. Might have got that first as I am sure I would have worked harder.

In fact, I am toying with the idea of doing another degree at my local uni.

sunnyday123 Mon 11-Mar-13 09:47:47

I did biology - loved it but no jobs so now in IT. Sometimes wish I'd one midwifery or something health related but I hate shift work so they wouldn't actually suit me!

LemonEmmaP Mon 11-Mar-13 10:10:26

I did maths, and would probably do the same again. However, I would choose different modules within the course. I ended up choosing lots of statistics modules as I'd enjoyed stats at school, but I proved to be pretty rubbish at it at university, while I was surprisingly good at pure maths. I should have gone with those subjects that I performed best in, rather than basing my decisions on false ideas that I'd built up two years earlier and in a very different learning environment.

The only other thing is that I initially started studying German A Level, but dropped it for Chemistry as I felt it went better with my maths/physics combo. I wish I had stuck with the German (hated Chemistry) and perhaps done a joint maths and German degree. But at the time the only uni that offered a German language/maths degree was Stirling, and I think I would have been too scared to go to uni so far from home (SE England).

Bonsoir Mon 11-Mar-13 11:36:58

All the Social Sciences fascinate me - economics, sociology, pyschology... etc. I studied Modern Languages and later did an MBA and am very glad to have done both but I think I'd like to study psychology now!

Bonsoir Mon 11-Mar-13 11:38:14

I am so glad I didn't read law! My parents thought I should and I applied for law initially but then decided to take a year out. Thank goodness. I would have hated law. I am such a disobedient sort of person!

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