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.