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Top 10 Hardest Degrees in UK | Updated 2024

Selecting your degree program is one of the most significant professional decisions you will ever make. Your university experiences, the people you meet, and even the career you ultimately decide on all begin with your UCAS application. Which is why it is essential to be sure of what you want to get. Every job has its own good and bad, but some are pretty hard to study and gain your degree in. 

In this blog, we’ll review the hardest degrees UK since it’s critical to know how difficult your degree will be before applying.

You can feel overpowered by the course material, if you have preconceived notions about how simple the material will be. On the other hand, you might look forward to university with excitement at the challenge ahead if you know what to expect from your course. It’s critical to have thorough knowledge and allow ample preparation time when pursuing your passion.

Word of caution: Only pick these degrees if you are entirely sure you are ready to tackle the difficulty of it. 

What Are The Hardest Degrees UK Subjects?

  • Aerospace engineering
  • Law
  • Chartered accounting
  • Architecture Chemistry
  • Medicine
  •  Pharmacy
  •  Statistics
  •  Psychology
  •  Nursing

Let’s begin and examine the reasons behind these hardest degrees UK.

1. Aerospace Studies

Aerospace Studies

Aerospace Engineering is about designing, making, and testing things that fly. This can be split into three parts: aeronautical (planes and jets), astronautical (rockets and spaceships), and avionics (electronic systems in these vehicles).

It’s a subject with multiple hurdles, making it challenging for students to study. Plus, aerospace requires strong maths skills like calculus and algebra, sound design and writing skills, and the ability to solve problems. But it can lead to essential jobs working with planes, rockets, and satellites.

You’ll need high grades if you want to study this at a top university like Imperial College London. In the first two years, you’ll learn how things fly, how to make them light but strong, and how to control them. Then, you can choose what to focus on.

You might study how air flows over wings, how to design an aircraft, the physics of flight, business management, and the dynamics of airplanes and flight. You’ll also learn some general engineering principles.

It’s one of the hardest degrees UK, but it can be gratifying if you’re ready to work hard.

2. Studies Of Law

Studies Of Law

Law is known to be the most challenging subject to get top grades in. Law students spend a lot of time reading and studying in the library. If you want to study law, be prepared to be a bookworm.

You’ll quickly learn to find essential details in these large amounts of text, but there’s no easy way in law. You need to understand laws on different topics in different countries in detail for your exams.

But enrolling in the subject of law isn’t just about memorising laws. You also need to understand how these laws work together to form a legal system and why this system exists. 

Meanwhile, a law degree can open doors of opportunities for various successful careers; becoming a barrister or solicitor is very competitive and takes longer than a three-year degree. In the UK, it takes six years to become a lawyer, which includes a one-year Legal Practice Course and a two-year training contract with a law firm.

As a law student, you’ll be under pressure to get work experience, especially if you want to become a lawyer. You should use your summer breaks to get internships at law firms, and if you’re aiming to be a barrister, try to shadow as many barristers as possible. But if you’re passionate about law, this process can be exciting as you work towards your dream career.

3. Chartered Accountant

Chartered Accountant

Chartered Accountancy is a type of accounting that trusted organisations, like the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, officially recognise. It’s tough because it involves three years of accountancy study, then up to three more years of training or a longer course that the suitable bodies approve of. The most challenging part for students is the long wait to become fully accredited, which can take many years without significant milestones.

Accounting is one of the hardest degrees UK, which puts students on a promising career path in business and finance. But accounting students need a deep understanding of the field to reap the benefits. They need strong maths skills and often computer science skills. The degree demands good analytical and problem-solving skills and business management and economics knowledge, or at least a willingness to learn these.

As an accountant, you’ll need to know tax laws for individuals and businesses, as this is vital to the job. In accounting, mistakes are not an option. This, along with the demanding skills and long course duration, makes accountancy, especially Chartered Accountancy, a tricky subject. However, studying accountancy at the degree level opens up many professional opportunities, and if you’re committed to the subject, it could lead to profitable results in the long run.

4. Architectural Studies

Architectural Studies

Studying Architecture is tough. It’s not just about drawing cool designs. You need to be good at maths and understand geometry, trigonometry, and algebra to plan outbuildings. A four-year Architecture is one of the hardest degrees UK, and it is just the start of becoming a professional architect.

After your degree, you need a year of practical work experience, two more years of full-time university like a Barch, another year of practical training, and a final exam. It’s hard, but if you love architecture, it’s worth it. You can also use an Architecture degree for jobs like a building control surveyor, urban designer, or interior and spatial designer.

Architecture degrees have a lot of work and tasks, which makes it a long-period course. You’ll spend more time making models and designing floor plans than having fun. Making architectural drawings can take hours, leading to late-night studying. In the US, Architecture students get the least sleep, averaging just 5.28 hours a night.

Ben Sweeting, an Architecture course leader at Brighton University, says Architecture is hard to do well and pass. Your creative vision has to work in practice. Unlike other creative subjects like English Literature, you can’t get marks by defending a subjective idea. In Architecture, it’s no good if your design isn’t mathematically accurate and physically sound.

5. Degree in Chemistry 

Degree in Chemistry

The subject of chemistry is famous for being one of the hardest degrees UK. Just one area, like organic chemistry, is very complex. It requires a lot of memorisation and covers over 15 million compounds and countless chemical reactions.

Chemistry also includes other topics like inorganic chemistry, which involves learning about molecular orbital theory, acids and atomic structure, and physical chemistry, which requires strong math skills.

You’d have a busy schedule if you studied Chemistry at a top university like Oxford. You’d spend 12 hours in labs, 10 hours in lectures, and have weekly tutorials in Chemistry, Maths, Biochemistry, or Physics.

You need advanced knowledge of maths and physics for Chemistry. If you find maths and logical thinking difficult, Chemistry might not be the right degree for you.

Chemistry also involves a lot of hands-on learning. When you’re not studying things like macromolecules and redox reactions, you’ll be in the lab. You’ll need to learn new skills like writing lab reports and doing complex experiments.

6. Study Of Medicines

Study Of Medicines

Medicine is known as one of the hardest degrees UK. Also very competitive. In 2022, 29,710 people applied to study medicine in the UK, a 3.5% increase from the previous year.

Enrolling in a Medicine course is quite challenging. For instance, only 12.1% of applicants get into Oxford University’s Medicine course. And at Aston Medical School in Birmingham, it’s as low as 5%.

Becoming a doctor takes a long time. It would help if you did a five-year Medicine degree, a two-year foundation course, two to three years of core medical training, and four to seven years of specialist training, depending on your chosen field.

Studying medicine involves learning a tremendous amount of information. This is why it takes so many years. You need to understand the complex science of medicine and disease, memorise many medical facts, and develop excellent clinical skills to work with patients.

7. Pharmacy Studies 

Pharmacy Studies

Pharmacy subject has one of the hardest degrees UK. It involves studying the complex science of medicine and doing many clinical placements to become a skilled healthcare professional.

Furthermore, it is challenging because it covers almost all areas of science. You need to understand inorganic and organic chemistry and biology to understand the human body and how medicines work with it.

Pharmacy is not just intellectually challenging but also very practical. Suppose you studied Pharmacy at University College London (UCL). For example, you’d have lectures, problem-solving classes, clinical seminars, and tutorials. You’d also do clinical placements, patient skills workshops, and hospital visits.

Becoming a registered pharmacist in the UK requires more training after your degree. It would help if you did a year of pre-registration training and passed the GPhC’s difficult qualifying exam.

8. Psychology


Psychology is the study of how the human mind works and affects behaviour. It’s a tricky subject because it involves many different areas. It would help if you were good at and interested in both the science parts, like biology and evolution. And the social parts like politics and sociology.

When you study psychology, there are many different areas you can focus on. You’ll need to learn about them, including Social and 

Developmental Psychology, Neuroscience and Cognitive Function, and Experimental Psychology.

If you want to study this at the University of Cambridge, one of the best universities in the world, you need excellent grades. You might also have to take a written test to get in, so you must know much about psychology and sociology. 

The Cambridge course includes many lectures and classes and focuses on coursework. In your final year, you must write a 7,000-word research paper on your chosen topic.

Studying psychology is hard, and using your degree after you graduate is also challenging. You must be a well-rounded person ready to handle all parts of the course to do well.

9. Study Of Statistics

Study Of Statistics

Statistics is the study of data. Statisticians use maths to determine the type of data required, how to acquire it, and how to analyse it to answer particular questions. This may sound broad, but statistics may be utilised in various fields, including data analytics, financial risk analysis, operational research, economics, financial trading, and general statistical analysis.

Understanding statistics and how to apply them can take time and effort. The degree is difficult since it involves many diverse talents. You should be proficient in mathematics, linear algebra and probability, computer science, problem-solving, and matrix approaches. Unlike other analytical courses, such as computer science, you must be strong at communicating because a large portion of the job entails explaining data to individuals who may be unfamiliar with data analysis.

To study this at university, you need excellent grades, including at least three A* at A Level or equivalent, with one being in Mathematics. In the first year, you’ll focus on improving your maths skills. After that, you’ll start to specialise. For example, at the University of Oxford, you’d have about ten lectures a week and three tutorials in the first year. This could increase to 12 lectures and four weekly classes in your third and fourth year, not including time spent on final-year projects.

Having a degree in statistics can make you more employable in many areas. But it’s one of the hardest degrees because it requires many skills, from maths to communication.

10. Nursing


The path to becoming a nurse is renowned for its rigour, but the rewards are equally profound. While demanding, this degree equips you with the essential skills and knowledge to be entrusted with the health and well-being of others.

Nursing programs, on the other hand, balance in-depth theoretical knowledge with practical application through demanding coursework, lab sessions, and clinical placements. Subjects encompass bioscience, healthcare disparities, and global health determinants, providing a comprehensive understanding of patient care.

Developing both independent problem-solving abilities and effective teamwork is crucial. Learning alongside diverse disciplines fosters collaborative skills while mastering theoretical concepts empowers you to identify and address health concerns confidently.

Admission to top programs like King’s College London is competitive, often requiring strong science backgrounds and A-level scores. Be prepared for a demanding schedule, intensive study, and continuous dedication to theoretical and practical aspects.

The challenges outweigh the immense satisfaction of serving your community as a nurse. You’ll play a vital role in providing care to the most vulnerable, making a tangible difference in the lives of countless individuals.

Choosing nursing is an investment in both personal growth and the well-being of others. This path may be your calling if you’re ready for a demanding yet rewarding journey.


So, there you have it: a glimpse into the ten hardest degrees UK offered. Remember, the difficulty is relative, and what pushes one person might be exhilarating for another. 

Don’t be daunted if you find yourself drawn to these challenging fields! Embrace the opportunity for intellectual growth, valuable skill development, and an advantageous career path. 

Research the programs thoroughly, understand the commitment required, and, most importantly, fuel your journey with genuine interest. With dedication and enthusiasm, you can conquer any academic challenge and pave the way for a fulfilling future.

Remember, the hardest degrees UK often shape the most remarkable individuals. Are you ready to answer the call?

In the UK, pursuing the hardest degrees often requires unparalleled dedication and intellect. Fields like Medicine, Engineering, and Astrophysics stand out for their rigorous coursework and demanding practical components. Many students seek assistance from top assignment writers to navigate through the intricate challenges these degrees present. These professionals offer invaluable support, aiding students in crafting well-researched papers and mastering complex concepts. Their expertise not only enhances academic performance but also cultivates a deeper understanding of the subject matter. As students tackle the toughest degrees, the guidance of top assignment writers becomes indispensable, helping them excel in their academic pursuits and beyond.