Uni course dilemma and subject choice(18 Posts)
Our dd 2 is currently looking to study Eng Lit and Film at various universities - Reading, UEA, Leicester, R.H. and UWE. All five are asking for grades in the region of ABB/BBB. She achieved an A in her Film AS and a D in Classical Civilisation. (She will be retaking the AS C.C. in June alongside the A2 exam). Her Eng Lit end of year exam was a C. She is passionate about Film and pretty noncommittal about Eng Lit - never reads beyond the syllabus etc - but thinks it is sensible to study Eng with Film as it would eventually make her more employable. I can understand this train of thought but surely if you're looking to study literature, you should LOVE reading?!
She works well in her classes but fritters away 'free' periods at college and does minimal studying at home; constantly on social media. We are anxious about her attitude and her determination to pull out the stops in the next six months to achieve her required grades.
We have had several chats with her about whether she actually wants to go to uni - there's no pressure from us to do so - but she's adamant that she is what she wants to do. She's a bright girl who did well at GCSE but hasn't really embraced the step up to A level. She isn't going to achieve the grades necessary for her preferred universities at this rate but won't listen to us ....... what do we know?!!
I have made an appointment to speak to her college tutor next week about her realistic final grades. I don't want her to send her UCAS form until she has thought long and hard about subject choice ....
I'm in the US, but have a son about the same age who is in the process of applying to colleges (our system of seconday/college/post graduate study is a bit different I think).
He sometimes seems to molly about with his application tasks, which is mostly out of character for him. When I discussed it with him he said that he was dreading the waiting to find out who would offer him admission. I think he's also a bit anxious about being away from home for the first time.
Does she have to make an irrevocable choice on her subjects now? Our colleges/uni's ask, but it's not final until the end of their second year of study.
She won't get on with English at uni level unless she absolutely loves reading.
I too wouldn't have thought it was sensible to apply for a degree involving Eng Lit when she doesn't really seem to enjoy the subject. There must be lots of other things that she could study with film, subjects that perhaps she hasn't studied before and may not necessarily have thought of. Something like Psychology or Sociology perhaps.
Thanks for your replies. I agree that the Eng Lit issue is one that needs to be resolved. When we try to talk to her, she perceives it as criticism and refuses to discuss it. It's immensely frustrating because I don't want her to start studying it next year and then realise she doesn't have the love and breadth that she needs to succeed.
Taking a joint degree in a subject she is half hearted about may result in a 2.2 or a 3rd instead of a 1st in a single subject degree she loves. The subject choice does matter when it comes to employment prospects but so does the result. I think she needs to think more carefully. And I think if film is something she is serious about then it might be an idea to look at institutions with strong industry links that will be able to provide work experience opportunities.
What about this? It's UEA BA Film and Television Studies with a Foundation Year - you need CCC.
Many thanks, MBD. I'll have a look at this. Sounds interesting to me!
I teach English Lit at university. Honestly, if she feels like this she will hate it and she might not make it very far.
Thanks, Dragon. I completely agree. Our other DD is studying English (Oxford) and we can see how much passion and dedication is required for this subject.
DD2 seems to think that having English will make her more employable ..... but she doesn't have a career in mind at the moment.
She sounds like an ideal candidate for a gap year imho.
I also teach related subjects and agree with LDR that this sounds like something that might end in tears.
I would sit her down and have words. Explain that English will only make her more employable if she actually passes her modules preferably with a good grade. And that passing your modules will mean 3 years of reading very long books, participating actively in seminars and writing very long essays.
Does she feel ready for this? Would it perhaps be better to take some time out to think about what she wants to do? If it's Film she's passionate about, what does she want to do with that passion? Does she want to actually make films, be part of film production, or does she want to study them? Is she doing anything outside of college to develop her interest in film?
What does she want to do with degree?
My dd did a degree at Dundee University in Film and Philosophy ( graduated 2:1) did A levels in English, RE, Geography and Drama and got C,CC,D ....
Was heavily involved in drama and student TV and was determined to follow a film like career, however after work experience in TV soon realised how misogynistic it was!
She's now graduated MSc from Edinburgh university and is now teaching English as foreign language in China and loves it!
I think this is a large part of the problem. She really doesn't know what she wants to do post-uni.
She loves the analysis of film but is realistic that this isn't going to be a career option!
I'm in the first year of a mixed English degree. We're expected to read two short stories and week and be able to discuss them in detail. So far, the short stories have all been around the 5k mark.
Thanks for the replies. I'm seeing her tutor on Thursday so hope to have some more detail from college to add to our perceptions.
Watch this space .....
I don’t think huge numbers of students of Film/English courses at university really know what they want to do afterwards. What most of them know is that they want to do a degree that interests them and they can successfully complete. During a degree there is time to do work experience and think about grad training schemes. She doesn’t have to think of that now but she will need to build up a cv whilst at university. As she gets nearer work, the need to think about it becomes more important. Most people don’t work in a job that is really a hobby - film. So she will need transferable skills and look at avenues of work that interest her. Others at university will be doing the same.
bubbles totally agree, my dd did a film and philosophy degree ( never having studied either subjects before ) although had done English lit Drama and Religous studies at A level, so knew how to read for the subjects
She loved both subjects and even became manager it the student TV channel....her MA thesis was the role of Disney and father figures!
She had originally wanted to go into TV production but after doing work experience for STV found there were too many barriers ( eg having to travel extensively at short notice, irregular hours and pay, working freelance- not for her)
At least she found this out before going down that road
However the skills she learned while volunteering at the student TV and STV gave her transferable skills and within 48 hrs of posting her CV on line she was offered a dozen teaching jobs!
Fine not to know what you want to do afterwards- but only if you are prepared to throw yourself into the subject for its own sake. Or because you are the kind of person who throws themselves into anything they do.
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