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Despite some of the more weird and wonderful course options available to students these days, the usual suspects are still top of the leaderboard. Thanks to earning-potential and the range of career options provided by each, it’s unlikely that these degrees will be going out fashion anytime soon. If you haven’t made a final decision about which course to apply for, this article will give you a good overview of what everyone else is choosing – we’ll bet that you know at least one person studying one of these subjects.


Why it’s popular: Medicine has always been a popular choice when it comes to undergraduate degrees. Whether it’s a personal calling or a calculated choice based on the graduate salary, the course always has a spot near the top of degree rankings. Despite the length of time it takes to gain the degree, it remains a sought-after choice, with the option to specialise later down the line.

Where to study: Cambridge, Oxford, Queen Mary

Tips for applying: Medicine is a highly competitive field, and you’ll need excellent grades in the sciences and maths as a bare minimum.

Computer Science

Why it’s popular: The digital world is part of our everyday lives, which has led to a boom in the number of people applying to study computer science degrees. With new and exciting developments in the technological field (like virtual reality and artificial intelligence), computer sciences offers students the chance to pick apart how machines work and the theory behind how computers are designed and used.

Where to study: Cambridge, Imperial College London, St Andrews, Loughborough

Tips for applying: Although it’s not one of the most popular branches of science, what it does have in common with other scientific subjects is the high entry standards. If you want to set yourself apart from other applicants, some practical coding knowledge can go a long way in demonstrating your familiarity with the subject.


Why it’s popular: Long gone are the days where psychology was reserved for those looking for a career in research or working as a therapist. The course is now gaining popularity because it can lead to a career in anything, from marketing to criminal investigation. If you are naturally curious about what makes people tick and you have a clinical way of thinking, you’ll no doubt find this a challenging but rewarding choice.

Where to study:  Cambridge, Bath, St Andrews,

Tips for applying: Although it’s not an entry requirement for all universities, an A-level in psychology will look good on your application, along with other subjects that will show off your ability for analytical thinking.


Why it’s popular: Far less time-consuming than having to take a pre-clinical and clinical degree, physiotherapy is the course of choice for those who are looking to get into practical work as soon as possible. Like nursing, you’ll have job security courtesy of the NHS, or if you want to explore the sporting side of the profession, football and rugby teams are always looking for in-house physiotherapists.

Where to study: BirminghamLiverpool, Bradford, East Anglia

Tips for applying: Aside from studying relevant subjects for your A-levels, try and get some experience shadowing a GP or a physiotherapist. This will allow you to get a feel for what the practical side of the job involves, and will demonstrate that you are keen to learn about all areas of the profession.


Why it’s popular: By no means an easy degree, architecture still remains popular because of the earning potential and the continuously evolving nature of the profession. A fully qualified architect can expect a salary of £30k-£45k depending on their level of experience, and the course usually involves travel time abroad in order to explore famous architectural landmarks.

Where to study: Cambridge, University College London, Bath, Sheffield

Tips for applying: Architecture requires a sharp eye and precision, but what you might not expect is the need for creative flair. An art subject – and a strong portfolio to accompany it – will do your application a lot of good.

Feeling inspired to apply to one of these courses? Don’t forget about the 10 questions you should be asking on your open day. If you’re looking for more advice on student life, head over to our blog for everything from five sources of motivation for university students to decorating your student room on a budget.