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Top 5 Worst Degrees in the UK to Avoid in 2023

All degrees are essential, but some degrees are better than others. Some degrees are more respected and lucrative in the job market than others. If you study any of these degrees, your chances of getting a decent job that pays well are high.

Other degrees are at the bottom of the ladder. These degrees are the worst to study because they don’t provide many opportunities in a job market as competitive as the United Kingdom. Avoid them if your goal is to get a good job quickly after graduation.

This article will educate you on all you need to know about the worst degrees to study in the UK. You’ll understand why they’re amongst the worst and what to do if you’re already reading for one of these degrees.

What Makes a Degree Worth It?

Unless you have other motives, the first thing that makes a degree worth it is the job prospects. Getting a degree is a massive investment, and it’s only fair if you get a job quickly after you finish. It’s one thing to get a job; it’s another to get good pay. The best degrees are those that ensure a high wage.

A good degree will also give you a decent shot at postgraduate study. Some professions require an advanced degree before making the most of them. Therefore, you need to study a Bachelor’s degree related to them if you want to advance.

The institution that you attend is another underrated aspect of getting a degree. You can study for a good degree and still struggle after graduation if your university is not prestigious. Therefore, you should choose a reputable school to make the most out of your degree.

The Worst Degrees in the UK

Below are some of the lowest-ranked college degrees in the United Kingdom in 2023.

1. Education

Education concept

Education is on this list due to the relatively low pay. It boasts a decent employment rate of around 92%. However, expect to be compensated with only around £28,000 at base level, and can rise to around £38,000 if you’re more qualified.

You can increase your chance of getting employed if you study a specific education degree rather than a general one.

2. Psychology

psychology and neuroscience learning relationship

Psychology isn’t a decent degree because you get limited job opportunities after graduation. Your best career path is working as a guidance counselor, forensic psychologist, or industrial and organizational psychologist.

The number of psychology graduates who hunt for these jobs overwhelms the openings, making it more challenging than ever to get employed. Only 59.1% of its graduates get gainful employment 15 months after graduation.

Expect to earn a base salary of around £38,878 per year. You can make more with experience, but that’s if you’re lucky and outstanding. The rigorous years of studying to be a psychologist aren’t just worth the effort.

3. Design, Creative, and Performing Arts

Creative arts

Design, creative, and performing arts aren’t courses you’ll need to go to school to succeed. Most of the world’s best artists or actors don’t have a degree in the field. If you get one, you still need to go through the process of trying to market your talent so you can be famous if you want to earn real money.

There aren’t many realistic job openings for you after school. Only 56.5% of creative arts graduates work for an employer. However, it has one of the lowest unemployment rates of all courses at 0.4%.

Fresh graduates from this field earn one of the lowest amounts of all professionals. Expect a base salary of just around £20,000. While it can potentially rise with experience, it will take some time before you settle that expensive student loan.

4. Fashion and Interior Design

Interior design

The job opportunities for a fashion and interior design degree are another reason studying it isn’t a good option. Many companies hiring fashion or interior designers will prioritize your skills over a degree. Therefore, you’re better off attending a fashion school rather than a university if you plan to get a job.

A degree in the field can help you if you want to start your fashion brand. However, you’ll need time and connection to succeed. Fashion designers have a base salary of around £29,686, which is impressive, but getting a starter job related to the field that would pay that much is the challenge.

5. Hospitality and Tourism

Hospitality and tourism

Hospitality and tourism is what it sounds like. You learn about different places and people globally and how to improve their hospitality experience.

The main problem with majoring in hospitality and tourism is that few job opportunities are available. Also, the skill is specific, and you can’t get employed in many other fields.

What to Do if You’re Already Studying These Courses

The best time to research the best and worst degrees is before you choose. However, it isn’t the end of the world if you’re already in the university before discovering that you’re studying for the wrong degree. This section will educate you on what to do to succeed even if you choose the “wrong” degree.

1. Don’t Panic

It can be demotivating to learn that there aren’t many lucrative career opportunities for your study midway through your degree. However, the best way to deal with it is to stay calm.

Understand that no degree is useless; you can get gainful employment if you’re exceptional. Don’t lose your motivation, and you can speak to your tutor on the way forward.

2. Change Courses

Most universities will make provisions for you to change your course if you don’t like the one you’re studying. The reason is that dropping out might harm their statistics. Also, why would they lose a student willing to work hard to succeed in another degree?

However, you should understand that it’s easier to switch between some degrees than others. For instance, transitioning from a degree like Law to English Literature will be easier than vice versa. Therefore, you should understand the requirements for changing degrees in your university before you attempt it.

3. Get a Second Bachelor’s Degree

Education is a lifelong process. Therefore, you should understand that you can get a second Bachelor’s degree if you’re near the end of the first. The experience from your first and second degrees will open up more opportunities for you.

4. Get a Postgraduate Degree

A postgraduate degree adds to your knowledge in the field and enhances your chances of getting employed after graduation. If you discover you’re studying the wrong degree late at uni, getting a post-graduate degree will almost always make you stand out.

What Really Matters

If a degree has a 1% employment chance, only 1% of its graduates get employment. Therefore, you’ll massively increase your chance of success if you take your coursework seriously and graduate with distinction.

Even some degrees considered good are only so if you graduate well. Firms will prioritize an Economist who graduates with distinction over one with a  lower second-class degree.

Also, understand that life is all about doing what you enjoy. You can major in English Literature or fine arts if it’s what you love. Enjoy doing it, learn additional skills, and you’ll surely make a living out of it. Even the so-called good courses still require rigorous hard work before you can make a living out of them.


Psychology, Creative Arts, History, and Fashion degrees are among the worst to study in the UK. They offer the least job opportunities, although they’re usually the easiest to navigate. However, succeeding in them isn’t impossible; go for them if you want them.

If you want a degree worth your time and money, it’s best to conduct adequate research before selection. Research the time and money you’ll spend and the potential pay after graduation.

Understand that you shouldn’t prioritize only after-graduation earnings when choosing a career. Navigating through university studying a course that you don’t enjoy is more complicated than you think. Find a degree that you love and offers you a decent job opportunity.

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