With both the subjects that you’ve grown familiar with and some that you wouldn’t quite expect, there are a wide range of degree programmes to choose from. This can make it hard to tell how different degree subjects compare to each other. One of the most interesting ways of comparing different degrees is looking at how easy students consider them.
You may want to use this list to help you lead a less stressful university life, or you might want to know which subjects to avoid if you want a challenge. Either way, this list is a great starting point for research about which university degree you would like to take.
You may also find one of our other articles listed below helpful in aiding your decision.
Disclaimer: The ranking of the degree subjects in this list is not definitive. Every student will have individual strengths and weaknesses, and so will find some subjects more challenging than others. Additionally, judgements about the easiest degrees is highly subjective. Please keep in mind that the list here is formed of opinions which are based on polling. Although you may want to take them into account when choosing your degree subject, you should also think about what your specific skills are and what it is that interests you when choosing your degree.
Easiest university Degrees: Student Perception
Below you can find the visualisation of university degree difficulty rankings (top – easiest, bottom – 12ᵗʰ easiest).
(*) Difficulty perception represents the proportion of students who voted that specific degree as the easiest university degree during our polling. You can learn more about how we collected this data at the end of the article.
Walkthrough of the university degree difficulty rankings
Continue reading to learn more about what students consider the 10 easiest degree subjects. This section will take you through the results of our poll and give you some insight into why students may think this.
4.11% of the poll considered a degree in Anthropology as the easiest undergraduate degree, putting it in 10th place.
Anthropology refers the study of humans and how they live. In this degree students will learn about social anthropology and biological anthropology.
Social anthropology is the study of human life, which includes a wide range of areas, such as relations, societies, religions, conflicts, nationalism, power and justice. Biological anthropology looks more at the evolution and biological variation of humans. This can include analysing DNA, researching fossils, archaeology and more.
This means that a degree in Anthropology can be rather varied and broad. Students may consider it to be one of the easiest degree subjects as despite the broadness of the subject, it doesn’t go into as much depth or complexity as many other subjects do, particularly science-based ones.
To learn more about Anthropology degrees, check out this guide by UCAS.
5.4% of the poll considered a degree in Philosophy as the easiest undergraduate degree, putting it in 9th place.
In a Philosophy degree, students learn about the key theorists and study their different ideas while developing their own. Students will often do this by taking modules in areas such as, ethics, knowledge and perception, metaphysics, realism and normativity, philosophical texts and philosophy of religion.
Students may consider degrees in Philosophy as one of the easiest degrees due to it not being as intense as others. This is particularly because among Philosophy degrees, there is an average of 9 contact hours per week, which is much less than the average across all degree subjects of 14.
On top of that, compared to other degrees, the content of Philosophy degrees is much less complex, which may also be a reason for students considering it one of the easiest degree subjects.
8. Religious Studies
5.91% of the poll considered a degree in Religious Studies as the easiest undergraduate degree. This narrowly puts it into 8th place with less than half a percent more of the poll considering it the easiest compared to a Philosophy degree.
In a Religious Studies (or Theology) degree, students study different faiths and look at the impact religion has had on the world, which may include areas such as society, politics or culture. The modules you study in a Religious Studies degree may include philosophy of religion, in-depth study of specific religions, in-depth study of religion in specific regions of the world as well as religion with other themes, such as race, human rights, the media, violence and mental health.
Similarly, to a Philosophy degree, students may consider a Religious Studies degree as one of the easiest due to its lack of intensity compared to other degree subjects. Once again, the average number of contact hours is 9, which is much less than the average across all subjects.
6.17% of the poll considered a degree in Music as the easiest undergraduate degree, putting it in 7th place.
In a Music degree, students are able to develop their musical abilities, while also learning about musical theory, composition, performance and music history. The teaching methods used will generally be a mixture of lectures, seminars as other subjects would have, but also through individual tuition for vocal and instrumental training.
Due to this, students may consider a Music degree one of the easiest degree subjects due to the nature of the content. This is because there isn’t as much for students to memorise as with other subjects. Also, as students will already have a high musical ability before beginning this course, it may be easier for them, which may also increase the perception of easiness.
6. Liberal Arts
6.68% of the poll considered a degree in Liberal Arts as the easiest undergraduate degree, narrowly putting it into 6th place.
In a Liberal Arts degree, students are able to study what they choose to. Liberal Arts degree programmes are flexible interdisciplinary programmes and so they allow students to specialise in different areas, which wouldn’t be possible in tradition single or joint honours programmes.
What students are exactly able to study may depend on the university. However, students will generally be able to choose from humanities, arts and social sciences with the possible option of sciences, depending on the university.
Due to this flexibility, a Liberal Arts degree may be considered one of the easiest degrees as it can be tailored to the student’s strengths. Also, due to the specialisms being in multiple subjects, this course will go into less depth about specific subjects. This may also make it appear easier to students as the content will be less detailed and may be less difficult.
5. Creative Writing
6.94% of the poll considered a degree in Creative Writing as the easiest undergraduate degree, putting it in 5th place.
In a Creative Writing degree, students learn to develop their own writing skills through practise and studying texts, such as poems, novels, short stories, plays, film/ TV scripts and articles. Students may take modules on genre, journalism, documentary storytelling and literature from different parts of the world or different time periods.
A Creative Writing degree may also be considered as one of the easiest due to the simplicity of the content compared to other degrees. This is especially because students who choose this subject will generally have a deep interest in literature as well as writing and are also likely to have at least some skill in doing so.
4. English Literature
7.97% of the poll considered a degree in English Literature as the easiest undergraduate degree, putting it in 4th place.
In an English Literature degree, students study different texts, from the classics to modern stories, and look at the contextual factors and underlaying themes within them, including the historical, social and cultural contexts. For an English Literature degree, students may take modules in Shakespeare, poetry, narratives and tragedy as well as looking at literature from specific time periods or countries in depth.
Students may consider an English Literature degree as one of the easiest degree subjects due to the content being a lot simpler than on other degree programmes. This is because an English Literature degree largely carries on from what students may have previously learnt in A-Level or Higher, only going into much greater depth of study, rather than being very different as many other degree programmes are.
3. Graphic Design
9% of the poll considered a degree in Graphic Design as the easiest undergraduate degree, putting it in 3rd place.
In a Graphic Design degree, students are able to develop their own design skills as well as creative problem skills while also learning about the features of graphic design, where and how graphic design is used and also the contextual factors behind graphic designing.
It may be considered one of the easiest degree subjects as the content of the course is often heavily focused on the context and students practising their own skills. This means that the course itself isn’t very complex, particularly in comparison to other degree subjects.
Also, students who choose to study a Graphic Design degree will likely also have a strong artistic background, making this degree more accessible to them. This is especially as students may need to submit a portfolio when applying, meaning that their skillset will be suitable for the degree, allowing it to be easier for them.
2. Education Studies
20.31% of the poll considered a degree in Education as the easiest undergraduate degree. This puts it into 2nd place with a substantial amount more of the poll considering it the easiest degree subject.
In an Education degree, students learn about how people of different ages learn and what affects this with a particular focus on elements of education theory that may also cross into other subject areas. When taking this degree, students may do modules in areas such as equality and diversity, education policy, developmental psychology, behaviours and more.
Education may be considered one of the easiest degree subjects as it is less specialised and in-depth compared to other degree programmes. This is because an Education degree is interdisciplinary and so students will learn more briefly about certain aspects of psychology, history, sociology, philosophy and other subjects that are related to education and the theories behind it.
To learn more about this degree, check out this article by The Complete University Guide. For more on what you may study in an Education degree, check out this article by the University of Birmingham.
1. Hair and Make-up
21.85% of the poll considered a degree in Hair and Make-up as the easiest undergraduate degree, putting it in 1st place.
In a Hair and Make-up degree, students develop their skills in make-up, in order to pursue it as a professional career. The bulk of the degree will generally be through workshops and projects, allowing you to actively develop and improve your make up skills. Other modules may allow you to develop as a professional, for example some universities may offer fashion business modules, work placements as well as specialist modules in make-up, such as 3D effects.
Due to having very little actual content, Hair and Make-up degrees may be considered the easiest degree by so much of this poll due to students not having to properly remember content but instead to build on and advance their pre-existing make up skills.
How were these rankings decided?
Over the past few years, we’ve asked students what their opinion is on the easiest university degree. When we refer to student polling, we are referencing the results of these polls. If you wish to add your vote to the list, please navigate to the questionnaire below.
How was the polling data collected?
Between February 2021 and January 2023, we displayed a poll to our readers which prompted them to vote on which university degree they thought was the easiest. Within this timeframe, we collected 389 votes, excluding submissions that were disregarded from the data set due to formatting issues or other errors.
Listed below are some key limitations of our polling methods that could’ve swayed results:
- Static ordering of subjects on voting form: A previous iteration of our survey form listed university degrees in the same order each time. It could be argued that this would favour the subjects that were listed at the top. This issue has been fixed in our updated voting form below.
- Voting form displayed only a subset of university degree subjects: Previously, only a small selection of university degree subjects was displayed on the survey. We have since expanded the size of this selection on the voting form.
- Potential bad actors: Despite having anti-spam software in place, it is possible repeated entries were made by single individuals. With respect to privacy, we don’t ask for more information than we need and as a result, it is almost impossible to identify submission users to check if they are unique.
This article is a member of a series of university degree ranking articles listed on this site. If you find our data and analysis within this article helpful, you may also wish to take a look at this Think Student article to learn about what students have voted the 10 hardest degree subjects.