What degree should I choose?
Choosing what degree you want to do in university can be very difficult, so we have compiled some advice on common questions people have when deciding what degree to do.
What criteria should I use to decide what to do?
Deciding on what degree to choose is based on what you enjoy doing and what you’re good at. If you did well in Sciences during your HSC and you enjoyed it, you will probably want to go into a Science-related course in university (e.g. Health Sciences, Mathematics or Psychology). If you aced English or Humanities subjects, you might want to go into Arts, Law or Media.
If you have no idea what you want to do, picking subjects you did well in and enjoyed in high school is a good place to start. When you start university, you have the freedom to change degrees until you figure out what you actually want to do, so don’t stress if you have no idea.
Is there a way for me to see what a course is like?
– Universities hold Orientation Days and Open Weeks where you can attend a short lecture and find out more information about the courses you’re interested in.
– Some universities hold information sessions.
– You can always email the Faculty you’re interested in to find out more about the course.
– Research on the university website and browse through course handbooks to have a read about what you learn in your degree and see if it interests you.
– Ask friends or people in university about the course you’re interested in! Don’t forget you can ask our team as well! Have a look through our ‘Meet the Team’ series to see what each team member studies, and feel free to ask them any questions or ask for advice.
Does having a higher ATAR requirement mean that that university is better?
No! The ATAR cut-off is not just based on which university is better, but can take into account the difficulty of the course or how many people want to take the course. The more demand to enter the course, the higher the ATAR. Some universities have a limit on how many students can enrol in each course.
Which university is more appropriate?
This will depend on you entirely. Most students make this decision based on three factors – academics, university life, and friends. The top universities are quite competitive and there will be competition between your peers in your degree. You shouldn’t base your decision entirely on how ‘prestigious’ or ‘academically superior’ the university is – you should consider the university environment and whether it suits your personality.
I’m not sure whether to do a double degree or just a single degree. What should I do?
Double degrees allow you to specialise in 2 areas in a shorter amount of time than compared to if you were to study them separately. Generally double degrees DO offer more job opportunities because you have two fields of specialty to find careers from. However, keep in mind that double degrees require a lot more work and cost more money because the duration of your degree will be slightly longer. I would suggest doing a double degree if the two degrees relate, or one can be incorporated into another. For example, a double degree of Commerce and Maths because you can utilise the knowledge learnt from a field in Math (i.e. Statistics) and incorporate that into your field of specialty in Commerce.
I don’t know if I can make it into my degree of choice. What should I do?
Some universities such as the University of New South Wales offer bonus points. There is a whole list compiled on what bonus points can be offered, so if you wanted to get into UNSW but couldn’t make the ATAR cut-off fear not! Getting a band 6 in a subject that is relevant to the university degree can give you 2 bonus ATAR points (a band 5 is an extra 1 ATAR point). You can see which HSC subjects are part of the Bonus Points scheme here. You can also apply for Elite Athletes and Performers Bonus Points, which awards up to 5 bonus points.
At the University of Sydney, there are heaps of alternative entry schemes to help you get into the degree of your choice. You can have a look at their site and see if you are eligible for any. You should apply to as many as you can, you have nothing to lose!
I’m worried that I’m going to choose a course and find out I hate it, but I feel like it’ll be too late to change.
It is NEVER too late to change. Plenty of people realise they hate what they’re studying and switch into something else in their second or third year. Our advice is, if you’ve been considering switching into something else for so long, chances are you’re not happy with your degree right now. Don’t ever feel pressured to have to graduate ON TIME, because a year or two are so insignificant for people in the long-term. Don’t stay in a degree just because you want to get out of uni faster, because this job determines what you will most likely do for the rest of your life.
If you have any more questions, don’t be afraid to ask us. We’re always happy to help you out!