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Choosing your A Levels can be daunting. RMY are here to help!

You still may not know what you want to study at A Level let alone at University. A Level choices is are generally guided by your interests, what you’re good at and what career you would like to pursue. These factors may still be unknown to you but don’t worry! On this page we hope to provide you with a guide to A Level choices when considering university. 

Subjects

Top Tips

  • Some degrees require certain A Levels so if you know what sort of degree you would like to study have a look at the A Level requirements.
  • If you’re completely unsure on what subject to take, an A Level in a ‘Core Subject’ will leave your options open.
  • Choose a subject that you are fairly confident you will do well in. There is a large jump between GCSE and A Level and so picking one of your weaker subjects will only make this transition worse. 
  • Choose an A Level subject you enjoy. A Levels are difficult and forcing yourself to do a subject you hate will only make this worse.
  • At A level there are lots of new subjects on offer. Have a read around the subject to see if it interests you. Some “new” subjects may overlap with something you have studied before. For example, GCSE history may be relevant to A Level Politics.

Core Subjects

If you are considering university but still are unsure on what A Levels to pick choosing an A Level in a ‘Core Subject’ can leave your options open. 

Some university courses generally either require one or a few core subjects. Alternatively there are courses that do not require specific A Levels.

  • Maths (and Further Maths)
  • English Literature
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • History
  • Geography
  • Languages

A Level Subjects

Use the tabs below to navigate which A Level subjects are generally offered to you. 

It is worth consulting with your own school/ college A Level choices guide to check that you are able to study the subject you are interested in. At the bottom of each tab there is information relating to what A Levels are likely required if you want to study that subject area at university.

Studying more than one subject at University

There are a vast array of university courses that combine 2 or even 3 subjects together. Some may be related e.g. Economics and Finance whilst others may be largely unrelated e.g. Maths and History. In some cases both subjects may be requirements at A Level, in others one or even neither with other A Level subjects required. 

A Level Subject Combinations and Non-preferred subjects

A Level Combinations

Your A Level choices will likely complement each other if you have a university course and/or career path in mind. Some combinations of A Levels are not encouraged by high ranking universities if they are too similar.

Examples of these combinations:

  • A Level Biology and A Level Human Biology
  • A Level Business and A Level Economics
 Non-Preferred subjects

Some UK universities, particularly those ranked in the top 25, may have a list of non-preferred A Level subjects. These are A Levels which the university deems to not provide effective preparation for studying any of their degrees. In extreme cases, university admissions may discount the A Level from your application.

For example LSE listed these as non-preferred subjects: Media, Business studies, Art and Design, Drama, ICT, Leisure studies, P.E.

 

 

Non-Subject A Levels

Some non-subject choices may be available to take alongside your subject A Levels. Whilst generally they are not considered A Levels that count towards a university application they may help you develop.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

This is equivalent to an AS Level and allows you to carry out a project on a subject of your choice. You will be required to research extensively to produce either an extended essay or work to an equivalent standard e.g. video and a short essay. An EPQ is similar to a university dissertation and can whilst not counting as a separate A Level it can be excellent preparation for university. Some universities offer lower grade requirements if an applicant as completed an EPQ to a high standard.

A Level General Studies and A Level Critical Thinking.

These A Levels are generally not accepted by university admissions at all and they may not be offered at your school or college. So long as you feel like it will not compromise your ability to succeed in your subject A Levels there is no harm in taking either of these as an extra.