What’s in a name? Deciding what and where to study…

Whether you are just beginning to think of what and where to study at University, half way through your application but still doing research, or just doing some last minute research before results day *incase* you end up having to rely on quick decisions made through clearing, it’s important to understand exactly what a course entails, and this can’t be judged solely on a name.

I, for instance, started by studying Physics. All I knew was that I enjoyed Physics, I didn’t think any further than that. What I should have looked at was

the course content – what topics would I be studying? I also should have checked out the structure of the course, so how much of the course was lab work, how much was lectures? And also, how was I going to be assessed, coursework or exams? After a year of studying and realising that it wasn’t for me, I ended up changing course and starting again in a more technological, rather than theoretical degree.

It is not enough to decide on a subject you enjoy, because that subject will be taught differently at each and every university that offers it as a course. And there may be variants of that subject through different courses, such as Politics. Say you have finally narrowed down that Politics is the subject you want to study, at The University of Manchester alone, there are 11 different courses that involve studying politics (which you can find by using the search tool on the ucas website!

So what is the difference between Politics and Social Anthropology and Politics and Sociology? Well that research is down to you, it may not seem like something to sweat about now, but when you are living and breathing the subject at university, it could be all the difference.


To get a better idea, check this news story out. This article discusses the differences between courses at different universities, and how to make sure you are making the right decisions for you.

So if you are looking at what and where you want to study, whether you are at the start of your application or the end, a read of this article and a little extra research will go a very, long way.