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Revealed: These degree subjects see the most students drop out over mental health

On average, 278 humanities students drop out because of their mental health per year


Some universities are more intense than others, leading to different numbers of students dropping out each year. At Cambridge, only one per cent of students drop out per year equating to around 40 students. But Queen’s University Belfast has a dropout rate of 6.2 per cent working out at a huge 352 students dropping out of uni in their first year. But do some uni degrees cause students to drop out more than others?

Research by Sleep experts at Bed Kingdom led to a ranking of the most sleep-deprived uni degrees. But to work this out, one of the factors studied was the percentage of students in each degree course that drop out as a result of their mental or emotional health. They ranked this course by course.

At the top of the list, students studying humanities and liberal arts are most likely to drop out of uni for mental health reasons. With 0.45 per cent of students dropping out, although this doesn’t seem like a high number, with around 200,000 students studying humanities in the UK, this works out to around 900 students.

Humanities is shortly followed by physical sciences where 0.41 per cent of students have dropped out due to their mental or emotional health. With just over 68,000 students studying physical sciences last year, this works out to around 278 students dropping out because of their mental health.

At the other end of the scale, is combined and general studies where 0.14 students have dropped out for mental health reasons, closely followed by dentistry with a 0.22 per cent dropout rate. With only 1,100 places made available across the country to study dentistry every year, this means that, on average, only two students have dropped out of dentistry courses due to mental health problems.

These are officially the uni degrees where most students drop out because of mental health reasons:

14. Combined and general studies – 0.14 per cent

13. Dentistry – 0.22 per cent

12. General sciences – 0.22 per cent

11. Engineering and technology – 0.23 per cent

10. Architecture, building and planning – 0.34 per cent

9. Medicine – 0.29 per cent

8. Computing – 0.29 per cent

7. Art and design – 0.32 per cent

6. Maths – 0.34 per cent

5. Biological and sports sciences – 0.36 per cent

4. Agriculture, food and related studies – 0.4 per cent

3. Education and teaching – 0.4 per cent

2. Physical sciences – 0.41 per cent

1. Humanities and liberal arts – 0.45 per cent

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, please speak to someone or contact Samaritans on 116 123 at any time. You can also contact Anxiety UK on 03444 775 774, Mind on 0300 123 3393, and Calm (Campaign against living miserably, for men aged 15 to 35) on 0800 58 58 58.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• The Russell Groups where students are the least happy with their uni’s mental health services

Nap time! These are officially the most sleep deprived uni degrees in the UK