Advice please about dd's A level choices. (She's asked me to ask you- I'm not being helicoptery)

(81 Posts)
seeker Sat 16-Mar-13 19:39:42

Dd is currently taking History, Philosophy, English and Theatre Studies at AS level. She has always intended to read History, so she was going to drop Theatre Studies after AS. However, since she's been in the 6th form, she has changed her mind, and now thinking about applying to study drama or theatre practice- in a completely ideal world, at Central. So she decided to take all 4 subjects on to A2 to keep her options open. So far, so good.

On Friday, she was told that they probably won't be able to timetable all 4 subjects. They are still trying, but it looks unlikely. So she'll have to drop one. Obviously TS is the one she should drop if she wants 3 good academic subjects for University entrance, but she needs it for any theatre based course. But she will be closing other doors for herself if she drops English, her least favourite, and doesn't have 3 solid subjects.

Any advice? Does history, philosophy and theatre studies look a bit lightweight? It does, doesn't it?

How would she feel about dropping philosophy?

DameFanny Sat 16-Mar-13 19:43:22

Nothing lightweight about philosophy? It's not like she's doing business studies or something?

Disclaimer - I'm a couple of decades past this for myself and dd's is only year 4

Ok. Begin with the end in mind. What exactly does she want to do, because thats not clear.

I work in the theatre and I must admit, I don't know what theatre practice is!? I've certainly not employed anyone with such a degree, what does it aim to do exactly?

I think she should drop the Philosophy. History and English are good solid 'proper' (I'm old!) subjects and I can see why she needs to do Theatre Studies but don't understand the need to keep Philosophy.

seeker Sat 16-Mar-13 19:44:59

Trouble is, she adores Philosophy! Would English, History and Theatre Studies look better?

Tabliope Sat 16-Mar-13 19:45:11

Could she do one at night school? The theatre studies one maybe?

BOF Sat 16-Mar-13 19:46:36

I'd drop Philosophy too.

From what you've said in OP the philosophy just looks a little redundant. But if she loves it well then it's more complicated

BOF Sat 16-Mar-13 19:47:45

Noooo, don't drop the Theatre Studies if that's her focus.

mysteryfairy Sat 16-Mar-13 19:49:03

If they can't timetable the 4 she is currently studying could she do another AS level next year that fits in with the rest of her subjects? Government and politics or economics would be good fits and require similar skills. The reason for this suggestion is a very successful sixth form college near us gets students to do this so there is presumably some benefit.

seeker Sat 16-Mar-13 19:52:40

This is the course she has her eyes on. There are similar courses at Bristol and can't remember where else.

deleted203 Sat 16-Mar-13 19:53:02

I wouldn't drop the English either way, personally. Whether she wants to go to Uni or into the Theatre then I would think English will be seen as relevant. It's difficult, as she is trying to keep her options open. But yes, to read History at Uni, Theatre studies will be viewed as non academic and a little irrelevant. She needs to think about the fact that other pupils will be applying for the same course who are likely to have A levels in something like History, English and Politics. Theatre Studies might backfire on her if she does drop one of the others in favour of it - and then decides to apply for a History degree.

CMOTDibbler Sat 16-Mar-13 19:55:10

Does she really need theatre studies to go on? I'd check the entry requirements tbh. I think the other A levels are much more acceptable to a wider range of courses

deleted203 Sat 16-Mar-13 19:55:16

Hmmm..ok, looking at the course she is keen on seeker I'd be concerned she was competing against students who had A levels in Textiles, Art and Drama perhaps.

(Not helpful, I know. Sorry)

BOF Sat 16-Mar-13 19:55:35

It looks a great course.

seeker Sat 16-Mar-13 19:57:54

I know, sowornout- she knows that- and I do keep saying it! But she has a fantastic portfolio- lots of stage management, directing, performing going back years.

Oh, bloody hell, give me toddlers any day!

louschmoo Sat 16-Mar-13 19:59:53

Yes, looking at that course I would expect applicants to have done art, possibly music. Has she emailed the admissions team at Central to ask what they would recommend?

CMOTDibbler Sat 16-Mar-13 20:00:25

Is the Bristol course the Old Vic one Seeker? If so, my nephew has just been accepted to do that - and he has no A levels, having decided to not do that. He does have a great portfolio though

EvilTwins Sat 16-Mar-13 20:44:33

I did English & Theatre Studies at Warwick with A Levels in English Lit, History & Classics. Get her to check the entry requirements on the UCAS website- they may not ask for A Level Drama/Theatre Studs.

Knowsabitabouteducation Sun 17-Mar-13 09:00:24

There are no specific A-leve requirement for that course, so she should do the ones she enjoys and can get the required grades in.

Drama & Theatre Studies requires a good team of students to guarantee a high grade. Is she confident that there will be other good students to work with? It can be a time-suck when preparing for performances, including weekend work, as well as numerous trips to the theatre.

History, English and Philosophy are all highly regarded A-levels, and Drama is fine too smile

She should do what she enjoys. The course she has chosen selects largely on what she does off her own back, extra-curricularly.

lljkk Sun 17-Mar-13 10:03:10

I vote drop English, she doesn't like it and she'll get plenty of writing practice skills with the H+P. I wouldn't bank on Theatre Studies as any kind of a career, but as a vocation/passion go for it. Lots of good directions to go after that. She'd be will set up to do a PGCE later, for instance.

TS may not be traditional but an excellent mark at any artistic A-level shows huge passion/dedication/hard work ethic potential.

Tigerstripes Sun 17-Mar-13 11:45:07

I would also recommend checking the entrance requirements for, e.g. Two courses to do a theatre type degree and two courses to do a history degree and see what they want. Only then can an informed decision be made.

slipshodsibyl Sun 17-Mar-13 11:53:14

She needs to go to the horses's mouth and ask the admissions tutor at Central and Bristol and, in addition, those who admit for History courses at universities she might like should she change her mind again.

From the website , TS isn't needed for the Central course but it might (possibly) be desirable (I doubt it matters though but it matters that she likes it.) If she is clearly doing it from commitment and to a high standard, it might not bother History admissions tutors as long as she achieves highly in it and in History (which is hard). Good luck.

slipshodsibyl Sun 17-Mar-13 11:54:55

But email the tutors for the actual subject, not just a general address.

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