The UK’s universities offer a wide variety of degrees, from the arts to medicine, engineering and more. But what are the most useful university degrees for future careers? We’ve put together a list of ten popular university degrees and their corresponding career paths. By checking the UK Shortage Occupation List, we’ve identified what industries have vacancies that need filling.

So, maybe you’re in the midst of your UCAS application and not sure what subject to pick? Or perhaps, you’re in your third year and are looking for a little validation that it will be worth it. Whatever your motives, we have wrapped up the most employable subjects and useful university degrees to study in the UK 2023.

1. Medicine

The most useful university degrees to study in the UK: 2022
Source: Canva

Graduates with a degree in medicine can work in the NHS or private sector, specialising in areas like surgery or psychiatry. It’s one of the most useful university degrees to study in the UK, which probably won’t change any time soon. The degree takes five years to complete, during which you’ll spend part of your time doing clinical placements. You can also do a foundation year if you don’t have any scientific qualifications prior.

If you want to work as a GP, then a degree in medicine is essential. After obtaining a medical degree, you’ll apply for foundation training, which is two years of work experience and training. To become a GP, you’ll need to have speciality training for three years afterwards. There are over 60 different specialities to choose from, so it’s a fairly varied career route.

The course is also very competitive and there are only a limited number of places available. You’ll need to be able to show that you have the right knowledge, skills, experience and attributes. Although training lasts considerably longer than other degrees, it’s one of the most stable subject choices for local and international students alike. Other related subjects that are in shortage at the moment include Dentistry, Psychology, Paramedical Science, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine.

2. Dentistry

dentistry is one of the most useful university degrees

Dentistry is a field that is always in demand, which is why dentistry degrees are among the most useful university degrees to study in the UK presently. They usually take five years of study and then one to two years of supervised practice. With the increasing ageing population and more people moving into retirement homes and sheltered accommodation, they’ll still need their teeth looked after by dentists then too!

There are many reasons why dentistry is a great career choice. Dentists have some of the most fulfilling careers around, alongside being one of the highest paid professions in the world. According to Indeed, an average base salary for dentists in the UK is £77,644 per year! Dentistry is also very rewarding as you can help people out with their teeth problems and improve their lives.

3. Health and Social Care

most useful university degrees UK 2023

Health and Social Care is a great choice for anyone who wants to work in the health and social care sector. You’ll be trained to deal with patients, work in the community and assist vulnerable people. You could also use your degree to work with children or older people in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, residential homes or hospices. As well as this you can also study how to manage long-term conditions such as diabetes and obesity which will help you understand how these illnesses affect people’s quality of life.

It’s not only one of the most useful degrees to study, but one of the most rewarding. You’ll be taught how to improve people’s health, wellbeing and ability to live independently. These jobs are so important, and are also highly in demand right now, according to the government’s job shortage list.

4. Chemical Engineering 

chemical engineering degrees are useful

A degree in chemical engineering is one of the most useful degrees for finding a job in the UK. It’s a very popular degree, with thousands of students studying it in the UK each year. It’s  essentially an engineering degree that requires you to study maths and physics as well as chemistry, so if you’re good at these subjects then it may be the right choice for you. In this course, you’ll learn how to design and manage chemical processes using mathematical models and computer programs. Additionally, those who pursue a degree in chemical engineering will gain a wide range of skills that can help them stand out from the competition. They’ll learn how to think critically, solve problems, and communicate effectively as well as having an understanding of mathematics, science and technology.

Chemical engineers are in demand and can earn base salaries of over £37,000. They’re are usually responsible for designing and implementing processes to produce, transport, and use chemicals, drugs, food, and fuel. With this knowledge they can solve problems related to health, energy efficiency or environmental protection. A chemical engineer can work in various sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, food production, biotechnology and energy which makes it a versatile degree. Moreover, many chemical engineers use their knowledge in the development of new products and processes to help improve existing products or services. This makes them an asset to most companies looking for employees with a strong technical background.

You can find more about what to do with a chemical engineering degree in our post.

5. Biology

The most useful university degrees to study in the UK: 2022
Source: Canva

A degree in biology is a highly useful and versatile choice for those looking to enter the job market in the UK. Biology degrees provide students with an understanding of living organisms, their functioning, interactions and evolution. This knowledge can then be applied to many different career paths within the health, life sciences and environmental sectors. Whether you’re interested in research, healthcare, developmental studies or conservation work, a biology degree will equip you with the skills and knowledge most useful for these roles. In fact, most of the most sought-after roles in the UK are closely related to biology, making it one of the most useful degrees out there.

With the right qualifications and experience, pursuing a career in biology could open the doors to a wide range of rewarding and meaningful jobs. From medical scientists to conservation officers, a degree in biology can prepare you for an exciting career in this field. As well as the most traditional roles, there are also plenty of other opportunities available that suit all skillsets and interests. Whether you’re looking for something hands-on or something more office-based, a degree in biology can help you find the perfect role. With so many options available, it’s no wonder that this degree is one of the most useful degrees for jobs in the UK. There’s a current shortage in biochemists and biological scientists across a wide range of jobs.

6. Engineering Geology 

Engineering geology is a useful university degree

Engineering Geology is another great degree that can lead to a range of exciting and career-defining jobs. From geological engineering to geotechnical consultants, this degree can help you find the most rewarding role for your skillset. With most major cities now facing growing infrastructure needs, having a degree in engineering geology could be extremely valuable to the most successful companies.

This degree is also one of the most useful degrees in the UK, since it covers both scientific and practical aspects of geological engineering. With a combination of theoretical understanding and hands-on field experience, you can be sure that your expertise will be put to good use. So if you’re looking for a career with plenty of opportunities to make an impact, engineering geology could be a great option. Plus, most employers in the UK value this degree highly, meaning you’ll be able to start off your career with a good salary and secure job prospects. So if you’re looking for most useful degrees in the UK, engineering geology may just be the right choice for you.

7. Social Sciences and Humanities

Training to be a psychologist is extremely useful

Social science degrees are useful for careers in public policy, education, and social work. You’ll learn about the social and natural aspects of humanity. Social science degrees combine social and natural sciences. Examples of social science degrees include psychology, sociology, economics, and anthropology. These degree programs can prepare you for a wide range of careers in government agencies where you might advise elected officials on policy issues related to health care or education; non-profit organisations that help those experiencing poverty; businesses that aim to make an impact on society at large through their products or services; and more!

Many social science degrees can be combined with a concentration in a specific area of study. For example, if you’re interested in psychology and want to work as a psychologist or counsellor, you can choose a degree program that offers concentrations in child development, health psychology, counselling and therapy, or another subfield.

8. Civil Engineering

Civil engineer

Civil engineering is a highly lucrative career path, where civil engineers design, construct and maintain the physical and natural environment. They work in the construction industry and public sector and are responsible for building roads, bridges, tunnels, dams, airports and railways. The civil engineering field is growing rapidly across the UK as more people seek out professionals for their expertise in infrastructure planning and development.

With a degree in civil engineering, you can work as an engineer designing projects or managing construction teams. You could also pursue roles in research or public policy related to the built environment or infrastructure. You’ll also have the chance to work on projects ranging from large-scale infrastructure developments to smaller scale residential buildings, giving you an opportunity to make a positive impact in your local community.

Civil engineering offers an abundance of job opportunities for those looking for a career with meaningful impact. So if you’re searching for most useful degrees in the UK, a degree in civil engineering is sure to be one of your most promising options. With its diverse job prospects, it provides an exciting and rewarding career path for people with a passion for problem-solving and creating solutions for society’s most pressing challenges. Whether you’re interested in designing structures or managing teams, a civil engineering degree will equip you with the skills and capabilities needed to be successful.

Most employers are willing to offer competitive salaries for those who graduate with a civil engineering degree. It is one of the most useful degrees to pursue in the UK, as it gives you an opportunity to work on projects that create a lasting legacy. Civil engineers are at the forefront of development and progress, and those with a strong skillset will be most likely to find positions in top organisations.

9. Mechanical Engineering

mechanical engineering degree is useful in the uk

Mechanical engineering is a broad engineering discipline that deals with the design, production and operation of machinery. It is one of the oldest engineering disciplines, with roots extending back to antiquity, when humans invented simple machines such as the lever, pulley and screwdriver. Today, mechanical engineers work in a wide range of industries including aerospace, automotive, civil infrastructure and renewable energy. It’s an exciting career choice that promises to stay relevant for years to come.

Mechanical engineers use their knowledge of materials and design to create products that serve a variety of purposes. They may work on the internal components of cars, such as engines or transmissions, or they may help develop new medical devices for hospitals. They use their knowledge of physics and chemistry to understand how different materials behave under various conditions, such as heat, pressure and stress. From developing new products for medical equipment to finding ways to reduce energy consumption in factories, mechanical engineers are most useful in the most cutting-edge industries

Mechanical engineering is one of the most useful degrees for a job in the UK. With such a versatile degree, mechanical engineers are in high demand across most industries. Currently, there is a shortage of all jobs within this discipline.

10. Graphic Design

The most useful university degrees to study in the UK: 2022
source: Canva

For budding creatives, you’re in luck. Graphic design jobs are in high demand right now. With a graphic design degree, you can be employed by a wide range of companies and organisations. What’s more, doing Graphic Design at a degree level opens the doors to loads of opportunities. These include Creative Designer, UX designer, Production Artist, Art director or Marketing Specialist. You could work for a magazine or a newspaper, for example, creating illustrations and photography. Or you might choose to take on roles in advertising or marketing, designing logos and posters. Graphic designers also spend time working on websites or apps that are used by millions of people every day.

You’ll need to have creative skills as well as analytical ones – you need to be able to look at something from all angles and make it look better than it was before! Communication skills are also vital so that you can interact with clients effectively, both in person and over email or other methods of communication like Skype chat rooms etcetera…

You will probably need a degree in graphic design to get into the industry, although some companies will take on people with other qualifications or experience. You could study for an undergraduate degree in graphic design and then look for work once you’ve finished your studies – find out what employers are looking for by talking to them directly or reading their job adverts.

Remember that there’s no black and white answer when it comes to picking a degree. Although – it’s worth considering the degrees that are considered to be useless, and weighing up the pros and cons of doing them. But ultimately how well you do, comes down to how much effort you put in and more importantly- how much you enjoy the subject. There’s no point doing a science degree if your heart is in the arts. Follow your passions and remember to think outside of the box- university is supposed to be fun. Check out this list of universities with the best student life, if you know what to study but aren’t quite sure where to study it!