When it comes to deciding which A-level subjects you want to study, you also need to consider what you think you’d like to study at university. Whilst entry requirements can be flexible, some degrees do have prerequisites - subjects you are required to have studied before enrolling on the degree subject - that will certainly influence which A-level subjects you choose.
However, it can be tricky figuring out exactly which subjects are non-negotiable and which are merely useful for the degree you wish to pursue. At Oxbridge, we have extensive experience in the education sector, which is why we’ve put together this guide to help you determine what A-level subjects you need to study for your dream degree...
A-levels for a degree in architecture
For architecture degrees, there generally won’t be any requirements when it comes to A-levels; however, Mathematics might be the only exception. Whether you need to have Maths as an A-level subject will depend on the university you attend, as some university architecture courses will be more maths-orientated, whilst others will focus more heavily on art.
When it comes to a degree in architecture, what will be most important is that you can present a portfolio of your work. A-levels such as art or art & design will require you to produce such portfolios, which you can then use when applying to university.
For Architecture degrees, consider taking a combination of the following A-levels:
A-levels for a degree in the classics
A degree in the classics teaches students about a wide variety of subjects ranging from history and art to theology and literature. Therefore, it’s best to take a variety of A-levels that are grounded in the humanities.
Subjects such as Latin and Classical Greek are often highly sought after; however, few schools offer these courses at A-levels. Luckily, most universities will have ab initio courses where you can take summer classes in these subjects to get your knowledge up to a certain standard.
For a degree in the Classics, consider taking a combination of the following A-levels:
A-levels for a computer science degree
A degree in computer science will allow you to pursue many careers in the IT field, such as web development, data analytics, and other in-demand jobs. However, you’ll need to obtain the right A-levels before reaching this position.
In this degree, you’ll need a strong understanding of Mathematics, as this subject underpins much of the work taught during this degree. Thus, having A-levels in Maths is crucial, while A-levels in Further Mathematics will give you a good advantage. However, some universities may accept you if you only have a GCSE in Maths.
Additionally, having A-levels in any one of the sciences will also be desirable, as these will equip you with necessary skills, such as the ability to use logic and reasoning to understand abstract concepts.
For a computer science degree, consider taking a combination of the following A-levels:
A-levels for an engineering degree
Engineering jobs are predicted to be in high demand in the near future - obtaining a degree in engineering will be a necessary step to achieving a successful career in this field. However, if you’re considering this degree, you’ll have to complete the necessary A-levels first.
Typically, you will need to have an A-level in Mathematics and at least one of the sciences, especially Physics. Additionally, obtaining an A-level in Further Mathematics will also set you up with the knowledge needed to excel in engineering; however, it will not guarantee you a spot at university. Another popular subject for potential engineers to take A-levels in technology.
For a degree in engineering, consider taking a combination of the following A-levels:
A-levels for an economics degree
If you’d like to study for a degree in economics, you may be surprised to find that having A-levels in Economics is not essential. However, it will equip you with some basic knowledge of this subject and might give you an advantage over the competition.
However, some universities will require you to have A-levels in mathematics. Additionally, having A-levels in Further Maths will be highly advantageous if you choose to study up to Masters level. Finally, A-level in business studies is another excellent option for those looking to pursue a degree in economics.
For a degree in economics, consider taking a combination of the following A-levels:
A-levels for a degree in geography
Geography is a wide-reaching subject, teaching students about topics ranging from people and populations to the Earth’s many processes. This makes it an interesting and diverse subject. It also means that you will not be at a disadvantage based on the A-levels you complete - how great is that?
While an A-level in Geography will give you a basic understanding of some of the topics you’ll learn while at university, you don’t need it. Many universities favour candidates who have a mixture of science and humanity A-levels.
For a degree in geography, consider taking a combination of the following A-levels:
A-levels for a degree in the sciences
With a degree in the sciences, you will develop your critical thinking skills and learn how to use scientific and mathematic theories to solve complex problems. Additionally, a degree in any one of these majors will open up numerous career opportunities for you. So, let’s take a look at what A-levels are needed to study Physics, Chemistry and Biology, respectively.
Majoring in chemistry
At an undergraduate level, A-levels in both chemistry and mathematics are crucial. Additionally, taking A-levels in further mathematics as well as one of the other sciences will also be highly beneficial for you.
For a degree in chemistry, consider taking a combination of the following A-levels:
Majoring in physics
A degree in physics will leave you with a variety of career options ranging from scientific research to business. A degree in physics relies heavily on mathematics, so it’s recommended that you obtain at least A-levels in Maths; however, further mathematics is desirable. Otherwise, you may find the work overwhelming. Additionally, taking A-levels in two or more of the sciences is advised.
For a degree in physics, consider taking a combination of the following A-levels:
Majoring in biology
For an undergraduate degree in biology, you will, unsurprisingly, need to have A-levels in the subject. Additionally, it’s recommended that you have another A-level in either one of the sciences.
For a degree in biology, consider taking a combination of the following A-levels:
A-levels for a medicine degree
A career in medicine can be highly rewarding as it allows you to make a meaningful impact on people's lives. Admissions for this degree are highly competitive, which is why it’s important for you to take the right A-levels and achieve high grades.
For this degree, an A-level in Chemistry is highly recommended - it’s essential to understanding much of the work taught throughout the degree. Additionally, you should also take A-levels in at least one of the other sciences.
For a degree in medicine, consider taking a combination of the following A-levels:
A-levels for a mathematics degree
A degree in mathematics will open you up to a world of possibilities in terms of career options. In order to qualify for university entrance, you will have o obtain your A-levels in mathematics and, ideally, further mathematics as well.
Additionally, it’s recommended that you take an A-level in one of the sciences too, as it will strengthen your position and provide you with some of the skills needed to complete a mathematics degree successfully.
For a mathematics degree, consider taking a combination of the following A-levels:
A-levels for a psychology degree
Psychology, like many other social science degrees, generally does not have any prerequisites when it comes to which A-level subjects you have taken. However, having an A-level in one of the sciences, such as biology, and an A-level in mathematics will definitely be beneficial. Additionally, taking A-levels in psychology will teach you the basics and also give you an indication as to whether this is the right degree for you.
For a degree in psychology, consider taking a combination of the following A-levels:
A-levels for a degree in politics
Politics is a popular choice of degree and generally does not have any specific entry requirements; therefore, you will not be limited by the A-level subjects you take. However, taking a combination of humanities and science A-levels will give you a solid grounding for this degree.
For politics, consider taking a combination of the following A-levels:
A-levels for a degree in philosophy
There are usually no prerequisites for those looking to pursue a degree in Philosophy; however, your choice of A-level subjects can certainly strengthen the skills needed to succeed at an undergraduate level.
Skills such as essay writing, logic and reasoning are all essential to this degree which is why a combination of science and art-based A-level subjects is recommended for those looking to complete a degree in philosophy.
Additionally, taking A-levels in Philosophy will provide you will a good understanding of the subject and also help you decide if this is the right degree for you. However, very few schools offer this A-levels course, so it will not guarantee you entry into this degree.
For philosophy, consider taking a combination of the following A-levels:
Ready to choose your A-levels?
Now that you know which A-levels you need to complete in order to complete your dream degree, it’s time to take action and enrol on our A-level courses or explore some of the alternative paths available to you.