A Level Subject Options

(10 Posts)
DeiseGirl66 Mon 25-Aug-14 12:35:58

My DD has chosen to study Maths, Chemistry and Biology at A Level but is unsure what to choose for her final AS option. She'd hoped to do Drama but the Sixth Form she's enrolled in does not offer it as a subject, although it does have a very good drama society. Also, her Drama grade was less than expected - a B instead of the predicted A/A*. She doesn't want to study Physics, even though it was one of her best subjects in the GCSEs (A*) because in her view an all maths/science A Level programme would be too boring!! Her grade Bs in English and History would seem to confirm that the sciences are her strength, and she does not want to pursue further study in the Arts/Humanities. Business, politics, law or economics do not interest her either. So she's left with three choices - Psychology, Italian (she achieved Grade A at GCSE) or Religion/Philosophy (also an A). Does anyone have a DC who's studied any of these subjects at this Level? How did they get on? Psychology is probably the subject she is most likely to choose, but she's worried about the difficulty on top of her three other challenging options. In terms of third level study, she is leaning towards Marine Biology but would like to keep her options open in the sciences at this stage. However anything that involves blood (ie. vetinary science, medicine, dentistry) is out because of her natural squeamishness!

Greengrow Mon 25-Aug-14 14:31:28

What about economics? That might go well with her other choices?
Also I would say Italian was better than the other two - I suspect it is what is known as a "facilitation subject" (google them) and a bit harder, than the others are but I might be wrong so might be a good one to do.

If not Italian then I would go for RS.
Sometimes they start thinking they will do AS only in one then find the A level is awful in one of the A level choices so what was to be their AS becomes their A2 and vice versa so worth considering it carefully.

addictedtosugar Mon 25-Aug-14 14:49:11

What about geography (assuming its not all human geog)? Otherwise Italian, if its not a massive work load.

FWIW, in the days before 4 AS levels, and dropping one, I did Bio, Phys, Chem and Maths (and general studies). I've been reasonably successful.

Leeds2 Mon 25-Aug-14 15:34:19

I would choose Economics from the subjects you mention!

Of the three your DD is interested in, I don't really think it matters. Lots seem to choose Psychology as a new subject in sixth form.

roguedad Mon 25-Aug-14 19:32:51

I'd suggest Italian as a clear winner over the others. When it comes to uni admissions (if that is what she wants) this would help her stand out from the crowd, as having some real balance and it is a Russell Group preferred A level. It is also a valuable life skill. Neither Economics nor Psychology are preferred A levels neither are they even essential for doing an economics or psychology degree. But if she wants to do marine bio frankly then she has the basics covered with Math, Chem and Bio so you can probably be relaxed about it, but here is an extract from Southampton's Ocean Science page on entrance requirements:

Maths, Biology, Physics, Geology and Chemistry are considered ‘preferred subjects’ for all our degree pathways.

Environmental Studies is a ‘preferred subject’ for MSci Oceanography and Marine Biology pathways and BSc entry to Marine Biology, Geology and Oceanography.

Geography is accepted as a ‘preferred subject’ in very specific circumstances. We do not accept Psychology as a ‘preferred subject’.

poisonedbypen Mon 25-Aug-14 19:37:39

Many universities do not accept psychology as a science for marine biology (Plymouth, Swansea, Portsmouth (?) and others do). But with chemistry that wouldn't matter. Philosophy/ethics sits v well with biology. DD was told by Bangor uni that they like something like phil/ethics or English to show that they can write essays.

ElephantsNeverForgive Mon 25-Aug-14 19:43:41

The would be marine biologist I know is doing physics, chemistry, biology and art (she has an A for maths and a B for art, but she wishes to remain sane - she does art for fun).

ElephantsNeverForgive Mon 25-Aug-14 19:48:02

Also I know a physicist who is doing maths, physics and RE as there are various physics and philosophy courses she fancies.

I did three sciences and maths, some stupid idea of doing physics. Got a horrible maths grade and became a biologist at what's a RG uni instead.

Scoobyblue Tue 26-Aug-14 09:28:15

I would definitely do Italian. It's always good to have a language and it is a respected choice by universities.

DoctorDonnaNoble Tue 26-Aug-14 09:34:33

Don't write off RS if she enjoys it. The course at A Level has a core paper in Philosophy of Religion and then options in things like Ethics (alongside more specifically religiony things).
Interestingly, last time the 'facilitating' subject list was published Economics wasn't on it. I assume merely because not all schools offer it.
However, she has already chosen 3 facilitating subjects including the excellent choice of Maths (I always recommended this to my Year 11 form who didn't know what they wanted to do), so I think she should choose the one she would enjoy the most. And, many colleges and sixth forms allow changes of subject in the first few weeks.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now