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Study abroad : Subject Guides

How to select your major?

Choosing your major is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make on your university journey. We take a look at what to consider when making your selection.

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Though there are many decisions to make when applying to university, what you will study is most likely the biggest. This decision will not only shape your entire university experience but also have an impact on your future, so it’s important to be happy with your decision. 


It can be a hard decision to make, especially if you aren’t sure what you want to do in the future. However, after going over your options, the choice can be made much easier. 


What is a major? 


A major is the primary subject you choose to study at university. While you might have extra courses that you take and your subject may have a lot of varying topics, your major is the degree you will hopefully graduate with one day. 


The term “major” is a lot more common in places like the US, but even if the word isn’t used very often, the concept is universal. No matter where you choose to study, whether that’s at home or abroad, you will have to pick a major. 


Due to the range of courses offered by universities all over the world, there is so much choice out there when it comes to choosing a major. Some examples of the most popular majors include: 



Making the decision 


Several factors will impact your decision when choosing a major. Some of them rely on how you feel and others on external factors. 


What you can study 


You can’t decide on what major to choose without having some an understanding as to what you can apply for. All universities have entry requirements you must meet to be considered for a particular course. 


These requirements may include, but aren’t limited to: 



If, for whatever reason, you don’t meet these requirements, you may not be able to apply for the course. Understanding what you can and can’t apply for is the first step in deciding on a major. 


Whether you can study something isn’t just about meeting the university requirements. It’s also about seeing what is feasible for you. 


Courses and universities all over the world vary in cost, and this may impact your decision. One course at a university in a particular country might be different from another in terms of cost. 


If you’re looking at studying somewhere like Australia or the UK, the cost of studying in these two areas can be drastically different. 


Studying in the UK can be quite a bit cheaper than studying in Australia, so it could be easier for you to study there. Figuring out what is possible for you in this area is a matter of looking into student loans vs scholarships and talking to your parents about it. 


Once you’ve figured out what is available, your options will become much clearer. A great way to do this is to narrow down the universities you want to study at and see what's on offer. A university prospectus can help with this.  


What are your plans for the future? 


Even though you may want to study several topics, the one you choose must align with your future goals


Maybe you have a certain career in mind or want to continue your education after getting your undergraduate degree. If you have plans like this, you must make sure your choice of major helps you. 


For example, if you know you want a career in law, majoring in marketing won’t help you get there, even if you would enjoy doing the actual course itself. That's why it’s so important to think about where your major will take you. 


The clearer your idea of what you want to do in the future, the easier this will be for you. If you know the exact job you want to eventually do, finding out the course you need to obtain the knowledge and skills required is all you need to do. There will likely be a handful of courses available to you, as more than one degree can lead to the same career. 


For instance, if you know you want to work in the world of social media, there are so many degrees that can help you with this. These include: 


●     advertising 

●     marketing 

●     business studies 

●     communication 

●     media  


Majoring in any of these subjects will set you up for a role working in social media and will show a prospective employer that you have the relevant education. 


What do you want to study? 


Many students step into university not knowing what they want to do, and that’s okay too. In these cases, just picking something you are interested in may be enough. Take a look at what different universities offer and what you might enjoy studying for the next few years. 


Even when you have other things to consider, like your career goals, it’s still important to have some interest in the subject matter of your prospective course. Without this, you may struggle to find the motivation throughout your studies. 


There is so much about the university experience that students enjoy and your course should be one of them. It may be difficult at times, but you should ultimately want to be there. 


Choosing your major is almost as big a decision as deciding to go to university. You can start your journey by finding the perfect course with our course matcher tool

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