August 3, 2023

Japa: Why aerospace engineering, law, accountancy are among UK’s tough courses – Oxford Royale Academy 

Japa: Why aerospace engineering, law, accountancy are among UK’s tough courses – Oxford Royale Academy 

By Biodun Busari 

A leading international summer school in the United Kingdom, Oxford Royale Academy has listed Aerospace Engineering, Law, and Chartered Accountancy as top three among 15 hardest degree courses. 

The school said other tough subjects are Architecture, Chemistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, Psychology, Statistics, Nursing, Physics, Astrophysics, Biomedical Engineering, Astronomy, and Dentistry.

Oxford Royale Academy made this known on its website on Wednesday, saying that these courses require passion to study as they are both fascinating and challenging. 

It listed multiple mathematical principles, synchronisation of facts, analytical skills, as parts of basic ingredients required to undergo these subjects in the university. 

Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace Engineers study the design, manufacturing and testing of aircrafts. It is an extremely rewarding subject, but there is a reason it is one of the most difficult degrees. 

“You must be skilled in multiple mathematics principles, including calculus, trigonometry and algebra, as well as having apt design and writing skills. 

“The subject is based in practical applications, so you must also have good critical thinking and problem solving abilities,” it said. 


“Law is officially the hardest subject to get a first class degree,” Oxford Royale Academy said. 

However, Law isn’t just about memorising the details of legislature, enormously useful though this is. You also have to understand how these facts work together to create a system of law, and why this system exists in the first place.

While you can enter a wide range of careers with a degree in Law, the path to becoming a barrister or solicitor is extremely competitive, and takes much longer than a three [or four] year degree. 

Chartered Accountancy

Chartered Accountancy is the realm of accounting that is officially accredited by trusted bodies, including the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. 

ORA said, “One of the reasons this is a difficult degree to undertake is that it includes a three year accountancy degree, followed by up to three more years of training, or a longer degree that is accredited by the right bodies.

“Students often say that the hardest part of the process is waiting for the day they become fully accredited,as  this can take many years, and there are no milestones along the way to fill the gap.”

An accounting degree sets students on a strong career path in business and finance, but in order to gain the benefits, students of accounting must have a comprehensive understanding of the field. 


The school clarified, “Architecture is one of those degrees that we wish was easy. Who doesn’t want to wander around the city, pointing out a stunning building and saying: “I built that”?

“But the truth is, Architecture is extremely challenging, and in some cases, as hard as a medical degree in terms of length and intensity.”

Sadly, Architecture is not just sitting around drawing cool design plans. It requires one to be good at maths, and have enough understanding of geometry, trigonometry and algebra to plan out the dimensions, quantities, volumes and areas of buildings. 

Not only this, but four years of an Architecture degree is only the beginning of becoming a professional architect.

Architecture degrees are known for having substantial workloads, and tasks are very time consuming. 


Chemistry is famous for being one of the hardest subjects ever, so it’s no surprise that a Chemistry degree is fiercely challenging. 

“Just one topic in Chemistry (for example, organic chemistry) is incredibly complex,” ORA submitted. 

“As well as involving huge amounts of memorisation, organic chemistry covers more than 15 million compounds, and there are an infinite amount of organic chemical reactions to investigate.” 

Speaking on the tasking nature of Chemistry, it said, “If you were to study Chemistry at a top university like the University of Oxford, your weekly schedule would look something like this: 12 hours of labs, 10 hours of lectures, 1 Chemistry tutorial and tutorials in Maths, Biochemistry or Physics, where you’ll learn things you can apply to Chemistry.”

Chemistry is one of those subjects where you have to have an advanced knowledge of maths and physics, because these subjects tie so much into Chemistry. If you struggle with mathematical and logical thinking, Chemistry may be the degree to avoid.

Also, there’s a lot of practical learning involved in Chemistry, which means that when you’re not trying to get your head around macromolecules and redox reactions, you’ll be spending the rest of your time in the lab. This brings with it a whole new skillset, including writing lab reports and carrying out complex experiments, to put your learning into practice.

Medicine, pharmacy and psychology 

About medicine, it said, “It’s no secret that Medicine is one of the hardest degrees in the world, not least because courses are so competitive.”

UCAS figures show that 29,710 people applied to study medicine in the UK in 2022. The number of applicants from the four countries of the UK shot up 3.5%  from last year.

With acceptance rates for Medicine at only 12.1% (Oxford University) and, in some cases, as low as 5% (Aston Medical School, Birmingham), the course is undoubtedly rigorous. 

The process of training to be a doctor is a long one, and you’ll need the ability and dedication to complete a five year degree in medicine.

“Pharmacy is one of the least well known degrees, and one of the most extraordinarily  challenging,” it said. 

Not only will you immerse yourself in the complex science and makeup of medicines, you’ll also have to do many hours of clinical placements, to learn how to become an experienced healthcare professional.

Pharmacy is one of the toughest subjects because it encompasses practically every part of science. Just one science subject is hard (we’re looking at you, Chemistry), but for Pharmacy you need an understanding of inorganic and organic chemistry, as well as biology in order to understand human anatomy, and how medicines interact with it.

It revealed that, “Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind, particularly in relation to behaviour and functionality.”

As with some of the other degrees mentioned, psychology is challenging due to the rigorous academic expectations in a number of fields, not just one. 

You will need to be skilled and interested in both the scientific and social aspects of psychology, including biology and evolution, social anthropology, politics, philosophy, and sociology. 

Statistics and nursing 

Statistics, or statistical science, is the study of data. A statistician uses mathematical principles to determine what types of data are needed in numerous different scenarios, how to collect such data, and how to appropriately analyse data in order to answer specific questions.

“If that sounds slightly ambiguous compared to other degree outlines, it’s because it is. Statistics is a degree that is applied across hundreds of careers: data analytics, financial risk analysis, operational research, economics, financial trading, as well as general statistical analysis,” it disclosed about Statistics. 

“As with Medicine and Dentistry, Nursing is one of the hardest degrees, for good reason. As a nursing professional you would be responsible for the health and care of a number of patients,” ORA said. 

Good programmes take a rigorous and immersive approach to prepare you for patient care. You will have pressing deadlines, lab skills to master, and essential exams to undertake. It is an exhaustive practice, but highly rewarding. 

Physics and Astrophysics 

Others are Physics, a rigorous degree with mathematical principles, complex formulas and calculations; and Astrophysics which is the branch of physics that studies objects outside of our solar system, a combination of both Physics and Astronomy that covers subject matter from planets and stars to galaxies and blackholes.

Biodmedical engineering, Astronomy and Dentistry 

Also there are Biomedical Engineering which is a degree that requires the study of many subjects all at once. The subject itself requires the problem solving skills of engineering with the aim of developing new technology and equipment to improve human health.

The subject is a combination of biology, chemistry, computer science, physics, mathematics, and medical science. 

This is followed by Astronomy that involves studying one of the most advanced branches of physics (Astrophysics), which gives you a clue as to how hard it is.

Like with any hard science, astronomers have to make falsifiable predictions about space and the universe, which they have to test in a controlled environment.

Sciences like Astronomy necessarily involve a lot of failure, as you continually experiment with hypotheses to try and reach a conclusion. It’s not the same as just having an idea: if you can’t follow through with it, it’s not worth much.

Lastly, Dentistry, like medicine, is an important profession, and if you wish to study it at university you must be prepared to undertake high volumes of both theoretical and practical work. 

You need an interest and background in biology, chemistry, and mathematics, as well as having the fine motor skills required for dentistry. 

Dentistry is a hard degree for both its content, and its competitiveness. There aren’t as many universities that offer dentistry as there are that offer medical sciences, so you must be dedicated to the degree before even applying. 

Each one of these degree courses is fascinating, challenging and rewarding, so if you have the skills and passion to study them, you will no doubt have a very exciting university experience.