What degree?

(21 Posts)
Horsemad Sun 10-Apr-16 11:58:23

DS is Yr 12 and studying Maths, FM, History and Geog.

He hasn't a clue what he wants to do and is doing well in all his subjects but doesn't really have a passion for any.

He doesn't really know what he wants to do for a career either... hmm

Previously he has suggested Accountancy/Law.

OP’s posts: |
AtiaoftheJulii Sun 10-Apr-16 12:04:51

Maths would keep pretty much all options open. Maths and something?

I think it's fine that he doesn't know what career he might want though smile

calamityjam Sun 10-Apr-16 12:07:26

maths with archeology? do they do that?

Horsemad Sun 10-Apr-16 12:12:49

Maths was what I thought he'd go for but he hates FM! grin

OP’s posts: |
AtiaoftheJulii Sun 10-Apr-16 12:24:52

Maybe not maths then, lol! Loads of variety within geography - from political to geoinformatics (I think all that GIS stuff is completely fascinating grin ).

Maybe he should just order a load of prospectuses (my dd2 ordered 28 I think. I felt so sorry for our postman) and have a poke through - I find it easier to do that sort of browsing on paper, rather than having to choose links to click.

Eustace2016 Sun 10-Apr-16 12:28:52

Depends on grades. if he is 4 A* in all then for law it won't matter which degree he does (unless he wants to do a law degree first of course). If instead he will get higher grades in geog and history than maths or will get to a top 5 university with one degree subject but not others then pick whatever gets him to the better university and the high paying employers and law firms recruit by institution and degree classification not subject. So if he can study geography at Durham and get a high grade but with maths would be at an ex poly of lower grade university and not get such a high degree grade then he should go for geog a Durham, whereas if he's a maths whiz and he could get into a great university to read maths then do that.

(My daughter read geography and is a solicitor in London now).

sendsummer Sun 10-Apr-16 15:04:28

A level subjects seem a great fit for economics or PPE type degrees. Whether he is interested enough in those options is a different matter.


Kerberos Sun 10-Apr-16 15:39:33

Whatever he does works best if he has an interest in it. Maybe university isn't right for him right now - and a year working might help him to figure out what he wants to do? It's a lot of debt to get in to if he's not really sure.

Ohtobeskiing Mon 11-Apr-16 12:31:30

These are the degrees suggested by the Higher Ideas website based on his A level subjects:

Study areas matching mathematics, geography, history, further mathematics

Engineering + international development
International economics + international development
Mathematics + international development
Civil engineering + international studies
Computer science + American studies
Economics + ancient history
Economics + economic history
Economics + Egyptology
Economics + history
Economics + international development
Economics + medieval studies
Economics + modern history
Economics + Scottish history
Mathematics + American studies
Mathematics + arts and media informatics
Mathematics + human geography

Study areas matching mathematics, geography, further mathematics

Engineering geology and geotechnics
Mining geology
Surveying science
Applied geology
Coastal engineering
Earth science
Geological oceanography
Marine science
Ocean science
Quantity surveying

Study area matching mathematics, history, further mathematics

Political economics
Study areas matching geography, history
International development

Study areas matching mathematics, further mathematics

Acoustic engineering
Actuarial science
Aeronautical engineering
Aerospace engineering
Applied mathematics
Artificial intelligence
Business economics
Business mathematics and statistics
Civil engineering
Computational physics
Computer science
Computer systems engineering
Control systems
Energy engineering
Engineering/industrial mathematics
Environmental engineering
Financial economics
Financial management
Financial mathematics
Financial risk
Instrumentation control
Integrated engineering
International economics
Management science
Mathematical and theoretical physics
Mathematical sciences
Mathematics teaching (secondary)
Mechanical engineering
Operational research
Pure mathematics
Structural engineering
Systems engineering
Include combined courses

WordGetsAround Mon 11-Apr-16 12:35:11

Geography. It's got everything and is a well respected subject with lots of applications. It's a brilliant all rounder and if he is good at maths, this can be put to very good effect.

BoboChic Mon 11-Apr-16 12:36:17


quit2dis Mon 11-Apr-16 12:39:01

The long list given by Ohto is not really correct though - few good engineering courses take students without A level physics (only lower tier courses, which wouldn't usually require FM at all). No physics course would take a student without A level physics.

BikeRunSki Mon 11-Apr-16 12:44:39

Engineering Geology (what I did)
Civil and Environmental Engineering (what I would have done with hindsight).
Geography (what most of my non-Civils colleagues studied)
Environmental Science/Engineering/Management

Needmoresleep Mon 11-Apr-16 13:24:00

What about a variant of town planning, for example land economy at Cambridge. Lots of employment pathways including law, finance and public sector.

SquirrelledAway Mon 11-Apr-16 16:38:21

Nothing to do with engineering / geophysics if he doesn't like maths (from experience).

Land management?

Sunshowercap Mon 11-Apr-16 17:36:17

He hasn't a clue what he wants to do and is doing well in all his subjects but doesn't really have a passion for any
Why does he have to go to university?

I don't think it's useful for him to go to university until he really clicks with a course, a place, a topic he wants to pursue in detail & with hard work, for 3 years.

It's this sort of thing that a gap year is meant for. Working in a range of jobs, or one he really enjoys, or travelling, or whatever - something productive, that gets him out beyond study, school, and his usual life up until now. Not the "gap yah" type stuff, but there are worse things than bumming around India, or working in a bar 6 nights a week.

At universities, we want to teach young people who want to be there, not those who are there because they can't think of anything else to do, or because their parents think they should go.

He doesn't really know what he wants to do for a career either.
I don't think this matters, if he reads a generalist degree, but see my comments above.

Horsemad Mon 11-Apr-16 19:14:41

Wow thanks all for your responses.

Sunshowercap, he recognises the worth a decent degree brings. He wants to go to a good university, not just go to tick a box. He is a conscientious student and is a bright lad, doesn't want a gap year.

OP’s posts: |
Sunshowercap Mon 11-Apr-16 21:50:50

That's great for him, but wanting to go to a good university and recognising the worth of a degree aren't quite enough to get him through.

But there's time, I suppose. Maybe he should go to some Open Days at universities nearby - just to get a sense of what it's all about.

HocusWireless Mon 11-Apr-16 22:29:46

Horsemad - I think the thing is, there's getting in and there's actually doing the degree for 3 years. Ds was always pretty straightforward about what he wanted to study (but easier to decide , it was a mainstream subject) - it was a question of where, so I do appreciate it's harder if a DC does not have a clear preference.

Could he look up the faculties for a few places of the subjects he is doing and see if there is a slightly less mainstream option he has not thought about and which sparks his interest. Why did he say accountancy / law - a real interest or thought they would lead to a job?

Horsemad Mon 11-Apr-16 22:36:04

I suggested Accountancy as I thought it would suit him! And his uncle is a partner in a law firm. I could actually see him as a lawyer, he has a very deep sense of what is fair and right.

OP’s posts: |
Tatiana11235 Mon 11-Apr-16 22:38:56

As one of pp said maybe it's best to take a year out?

I always thought it's a bit silly to expect an 18yo to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. I know some kids know from an early age but if your son isn't passionate about a specific subject there is no point doing it just for the sake of ticking a box.

I attempted two different degrees until at 25 I realised I am truly passionate about maths and ended up getting a first at 29.

By the way, Maths degree isn't a breeze. It has very little in common with college material. Degree level maths is very abstract and almost never involves numbers.

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