Choosing A level subjects

For a lot of university degree courses, the entry requirements insist on a minimum of 2, but usually 3 A levels. There are, of course, other alternative qualifications which also enable university entrance but for the purposes of this article we are only considering subjects at A level. However, if a student is unsure of which subject to study at degree level, does it matter which subjects are chosen at A level?

Before students make their A level choices, it is often worth looking at the kind of subjects they may be interested in studying at university and then having a look at the entry requirements for those types of courses.

There are some courses which do require very specific A levels and they will also often demand very specific grades too. For example, pharmacy degree courses will require A level chemistry and then at least one option from biology, maths or physics. Economics degree courses will demand A level maths, though not always A level economics.

If you are predicted good A level grades and are hoping to go to a good university with a good reputation, then you would be wise to study a selection of more traditional subjects. You may be advised to avoid subjects like media, design technology and communications studies, unless you know that you definitely want to study design or media at university. Also, be careful not to take 2 subjects which are too similar, like biology and human biology or business studies and economics as some universities may only consider those subjects as one A level and not as two separate A levels.

However, there are plenty of degree courses, including accountancy, marketing, psychology, law and archaeology, among others, which will consider a wide range of A level subjects and do not usually have specific subject requirements.

Whatever you do, the most important thing is to study subjects at A level that you enjoy and are keen to study.

Do you have creative flair? Why not follow a career as a florist?

The most common way to enter this creative profession is to find work at a florist’s and then train and learn on the job. You will often be expected to do this whilst also following a relevant college course, either as a day release student or on a part-time basis. To find a place with a florist you must show a keen interest and it is helpful if you also have some retail experience as you will, of course, be dealing with customers. There are floristry apprenticeships available too and it is a good idea to check which schemes are available in your local area.

The qualities and skills required for the job include having an artistic flair, developing a growing knowledge of plants and flowers, having a helpful, pleasant manner and good communication skills and an ability to work under pressure. Working as a florist, like most retail jobs, will most likely include working on Saturdays. You will also be expected to work longer hours over busy times of the year like St. Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day, Christmas and Easter.

Once qualified, and with a few year’s experience under your belt, it is possible to do this job on a self-employed basis, maybe even working from home or you could even start your own business. There may also be opportunities later to go into floral design or teaching and lecturing.