From Ancient Languages to Engineering: Top subjects in the UK |

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While there are lots of great reasons to study in the UK, like high global rankings, value-for-money, and of course the UK’s culture and history, they’re only part of the decisions you need to make. 

In general, UK graduates are among the most employable in the world; in fact one in five world leaders studied in the UK, including former and current leaders of Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, and even Zambia. Literally, world leaders from A to Z are UK alumni. 

Huge Range of Options

Your biggest problem may be deciding on your course from the huge range of options on offer, including over 50,000 courses, across nearly 170 universities nationwide. 

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The UK is home to some of the oldest educational institutions in the world, with schools like Oxford (est. in 1096) and Cambridge (est. in 1209). While centuries of pedigree never hurts (we all want to attend Hogwarts, after all), many of the UK’s younger universities, like Oxford Brookes, Kingston, and Coventry, also rank in QS’s top global schools under 50 years old. Coventry (est. 1992), for example, is ranked in the UK top 10 in 15 subjects, including Food Science, Forensics, and Physiotherapy, and boasts a graduate employment rate of 97%. 

After picking the UK, your next big step is choosing what you want to study. So what is the UK good at?

Oxford Brookes University


The UK is widely acknowledged as a global leader for subjects in the humanities, law, literature, and social sciences, with schools like King’s College, LSE, Durham, and SOAS ranked as some of the top schools in the world for a humanities degree. 


As a global centre of business and media, the UK is a natural bridge between the Anglophone world and Europe, so it’s not surprising it’s a leader in the study of Languages. There are dozens of UK universities that are renowned for Languages, with top-ranked programmes including Surrey, Durham, St. Andrews, and SOAS, among others. The main determinant is what you want to specialise in, e.g. modern languages, ancient languages, or subjects like philology (the study of ancient historical texts). 

A language degree can take you around the world. You can join the media, or roles in corporate comms, not to mention translation, or working in education as language teachers, or even in allied health as language therapists.

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Medicine & Dentistry

The UK is known worldwide for teaching excellence in the medical field; not surprising, since it’s home to 5 of the world’s top 20 medical schools according to QS Rankings (2019). This is partly due to the fact that medical education in the UK has undergone substantial changes in recent years, compared to many other countries. 

Teaching is focused on learning through a problem-based curriculum and patient-based interactions via its own universally-lauded NHS, giving a UK medical undergrad a strong grounding in medical, clinical, and diagnostic fields. Read more about the UK’s 19 accredited medical schools here and its 13 accredited dental schools here

Biological Sciences

Students of the biological sciences gain a vast understanding of how life works, literally.  In fields like haematology, immunology, and molecular biology, graduates get to directly impact (and improve), the quality of life for millions of people worldwide. Students focus on diagnosis and treatment of some of today’s biggest issues, like viral outbreaks, blood disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

It’s of the most stable career paths out there, and the UK is an ideal place to study, as it is home to four of the world’s top twelve programmes for biological sciences, according to QS, with many other universities accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).

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A UK Law degree is recognised in dozens of countries, empowering you to work around the world. Studying law in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales equates to a 3-year undergraduate degree programme which results in an LLB (Legum Baccalaureus), with 11 UK Law schools currently recognised in Singapore, including Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham, and Warwick; the full list can be found here.

Allied Health Degrees like Psychology

Allied health includes a diverse group of specialties, providing a vast range of services to people. One of the UK’s most popular allied health degrees is psychology – the scientific study of the human mind. Beyond behavioural science, critical thinking, and interpersonal communications, psychology also contributes to many other disciplines, from computer science to linguistics, in addition to specialist fields like Behavioural Psychology, where practitioners help companies make more user-friendly products, or smarter living spaces. 

A psychology degree could also lead to job opportunities in areas like media management, civil service, and business. The UK has some of the best psychology departments in the world, like LSE, Edinburgh, Bristol, and Cardiff with degrees normally taking 3 to 4 years depending on the programme. 

Engineering & Technology

The UK also excels in STEM, with Times Higher Education ranking Oxford #1 in the world for engineering in 2019, while Cambridge is ranked #3 in 2020, followed closely by Imperial College which is ranked ahead of Singapore’s own NUS and NTU.

An amazing 38% of Nobel Laureates who studied abroad chose the UK, while overall the UK boasts a 90% satisfaction rating in UK graduates. A big part of that is thanks to its world-class facilities – the UK is a top 5 country for university-industry collaborations – and that students can learn directly from industry-leading researchers.

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Computer Science

Covering areas like A.I., Big Data, and Cybersecurity, Computer Science is one of today’s most in-demand degrees! The UK is a global leader in teaching it, starting with Oxford, which is ranked #1 in the world, and includes faculty members like Prof. Sir Tim Berners-Lee – the actual guy who invented the World Wide Web. Meanwhile, other leading UK universities like Cambridge, UCL, Imperial College, and Edinburgh all rank in the top 25 globally for Computer Science. 

Planning for your future, now

We all know the situation today is complex. Remember that planning for your education and career are long-term decisions that will impact the rest of your life. It’s important to look at the fundamentals like, what do you really want to do, and what are you good at? 

According to the World Economic Forum, by 2035, London will have the fourth highest GDP of any city in the world, ranking it ahead of every city in China, and every other city in Europe. As a centre of global finance, tech, innovation, and education, it’s got all the fundamentals in place to play a leading role on the global stage in the coming decades. 

While none of us can predict the future, it’s safe to say London (and the UK) has the fundamentals in place for a strong, globalised future. And there’s no better way to get in on the action than being there as a student.

To find out more, visit the Study UK website here.