Issue 1

Help your students pick the right course
There are 1,200 degree subjects to choose from, which can be overwhelming for students unsure about what to study. Brian Heap has some advice to help you, help your students choose the right degree course.

Brian Heap picture

Brian Heap

Brian spent many years as a careers master in a large northern grammar school before writing his annual reference book Degree Course Offers now titled Heap 2016, which was first published in 1968. He is internationally accepted as the 'guru' of university choice and has lectured in universities and schools throughout the UK and at international schools in Europe, the Far East, Middle East and the USA. He broadcasts on radio and TV.

Almost 30,000 students drop out of their university courses by the end of their first year.

Whilst most school and college advisors stress the importance of choosing degree courses in good time, there are many students who put things off until the last minute, which accounts for the high number of students who drop out.

So, how can you help your students choose the right course, first time? There are two key schools of thought.

The most obvious route your students can take is to pick a subject relevant to their chosen career choice, or select a named degree in their best and favourite A level subject. But if they’re still confused, there are two other approaches to take.

Firstly, there are many courses to explore leading from named subjects that your students might not have thought of. For example, in the case of biology there are more than 160 related courses, including animal behaviour, food science, nutrition and radiography; and in chemistry more than 100 possible courses, including brewing, forensic science, and even cosmetic science.

Alternatively, you can work with your students to help them identify their distinctive personality types to find a suitable degree course:

  • the ‘organisers ‘ (airport management, event management, hospitality management)
  • the ‘ communicators’ (law, marketing , public relations, teaching)
  • the ‘social’ types (nursing, psychology , social care)

These are just a few thoughts, but you can find all the subject options suggested above listed in full in ‘Choosing Your Degree Course and University’ (Trotman Publishing) and in the standard reference book ‘Heap 2016 - Degree Course Offers’ (Trotman Publishing) which also lists all the offers made at every university, in every one of the 1,200 degree subjects!

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