We all know that the graduate prospects of a particular university can help or hinder your choice of attending. But, did you know that the type of degree you take can be as important as what university you go to? Some degrees might even have you earning less than those that don’t go to university at all. Because of the overwhelming debt that students face when they go into higher education, there is a lot of pressure to minimise the money owed by choosing the right degree from the get-go. A lot of thought goes into a student’s career path. If you’re worried that you’re going to make the wrong choice, take a look at our list of the worst-paying degrees in the UK and decide for yourself. Keep in mind that to pay back your student loans, you must earn over a certain threshold, which (as of 2022) stands at £27,295 a year.

Arts and Design – £18,000-£25,000

worst paying degrees in uk
Source: University of Bolton

With a Bachelor of Arts degree, you can expect to be earning on average £23,248. The higher-paid roles include Project Manager, Marketing Manager and Senior Graphic Designer.

Fashion – £18,000-£25,00

worst paying degrees in the UK
Source: Target Careers

To reach the higher-paid levels of your fashion career, you have to slowly climb the career ladder. This can be difficult for some, but if you’re persistent your annual salary could increase to £42,000-£85,000. Most graduates work as assistants first and then gain experience.

Humanities – £20,446-£25,656

worst paying degrees in the UK
Source: Oxford University Press

Popular pathways for humanities students (including subjects like English, Languages, History and Philosophy) include teaching, retail, business, HR and finance. According to Prospects Luminate, in 2018-19 humanities students were in full-term employment only 52% of the time, with more students moving on to further education rather than work.

American Studies – £22,001-£24,500

worst paying degrees in the UK
Source: Complete University Guide

The average percentage of graduates that go onto full-term employment with an American Studies bachelor’s degree is 62.1%, while 11.4% go on to further study. Typically, students will move into the retail, HR, marketing, business and finance sectors (according to Prospects.ac.uk).

Politics – £26,746

worst paying degrees in the UK
Source: University of Southampton

Most politics students gravitate towards HR, marketing, retail and business sectors. Jobs directly related to the degree include policy officers, social researchers, and politician’s assistants. Of course, you’ll earn more with the more experience you have.

Film – £24,878-£28,899

worst paid degrees in the UK
Source: Whatuni

The highest-paid roles in this sector require a lot of experience and the right connections. Videographers and senior video editors earn the most (besides big movie directors), with annual salaries exceeding £27,000.

Hospitality and Tourism – £18,720-£32,989

Worst paying degrees in the UK
Source: Study and Go Abroad

The average annual salary for someone with a degree in hospitality and tourism is £23,173. Common career paths include jobs like event managers, hospitality managers and hotel management.

Psychology – £21,479-£32,500

worst paying degrees in the UK
Source: Medical News Today

Although more experienced psychologists can earn a hefty salary, a lot of psychology students who graduate with just a bachelor’s degree will earn significantly less than those in their field. With clinical psychology paying the most, you’ll have to get to PhD level before you can qualify (with average salaries ranging from £47,126 to £63,862).

Education – £25,724-£32,157

worst paid degrees
Source: Graduate Programs for Educators

Teachers are famously underpaid. The average salary for teachers with an education degree is £25,724, to begin with. Teachers in London get paid £5,000 more n average than teachers outside of London.

Agriculture – £19,457-£36,500

worst paid degrees in the UK
Source: Uni Compare

With this degree, you might become a farm manager or an agricultural engineer and so on. The average salary for a farmer is £28,600 but can vary massively due to the high number of roles in the industry.

So, that’s our list of the worst-paying degrees in the UK! If you find your subject on this list, remember it’s not the end of the world. Success doesn’t follow a linear path and your options are limitless if you keep your opportunities open. If your degree is ending soon and you’re worried about what to do after, our list of the best graduate recruitment agencies for students might help you make the next step. Or, if you’re still deciding what’s best to study, take a look at the most pointless degrees to study at university.