Any opinions on this combination of AS levels please?

(54 Posts)

DD2 doesn't really know what she wants to do and doesn't appear to like much about school, except Art! We've had an absolute nightmare trying to think what AS levels might work for her, not helped at all by a v poor combination of option groupings.

She's wondering about doing: English Lang/Lit * Art * History * Sociology

Any opinions?

Thank you. smile

No idea, River! Not sure what an art degree could lead her to?

RiversideMum Sun 01-Sep-13 13:32:53

If her real interest is art, then is that the route she wants to be heading?

I think we can safely say she won't be applying to Oxbridge. smile

OttilieKnackered Sat 31-Aug-13 00:01:17

Tiger, yes, I agree that's how it's viewed by Oxbridge and quite possibly Russell group as well. But firstly, it doesn't necessarily sound like OP's daughter will be applying there and secondly, I don't see university recommendations as black and white/ good and bad. The list of facilitating subjects is very short, but I don't think all the remaining ones are viewed equally. For example, I would have thought that English language would be viewed more favourably than PE if applying to a Russell group as part of a mix of subjects.

I may well be wrong on this, please correct me if so.

bsc Fri 30-Aug-13 23:43:37

I'd say avoid sociology, and do a language instead, partic if politics not available.

lotsofdirections Fri 30-Aug-13 22:37:42

Speaking to an ex pupil's mother today, he did Lang/Lit, Media, Sociology and Psychology at AS and dropped Psychology for A2. At 25 he is earning 40k+ having graduated from Bournemouth (non RG) in Media, A highly regarded course in the workplace. He has just been named as one of the top 200 people in Media under 30. Success is not traditional A Levels, RG uni etc. A passion/enjoyment of the subject is probably worth at least an additional grade.

Tigerstripes Fri 30-Aug-13 22:31:07

I like Language as a course, don't get me wrong. And I would recommend it. But the OP was asking about subjects for her daughter who didn't know what she wanted to do next and Cambridge (which I do know is not the be all and end all) says that Lit or Lang/Lit are on the list of those which mean that "choosing one or more of these will help keep your higher education options open". Lang is on the list of those that "are useful preparation for some of our arts and social sciences courses".

littlemisswise Fri 30-Aug-13 22:25:09

DS1 did EngLit/Lang, History and Psychology at A2. He got offers from RG Uni's. He, has decided to defer for a year, though. He likes writing essays so he just got on with his courses quite happily.

The subjects your DD have chosen look like a good mix to me Remus.

Have PM'd you, OK.

OttilieKnackered Fri 30-Aug-13 22:18:12

Less analysis in language? I completely disagree. The technical detail of analysis in language is far greater than in lit.

OttilieKnackered Fri 30-Aug-13 22:16:38

I can't speak for all universities, but I'm an A level English teacher an would genuinely recommend any of the three options. English language at A level is very challenging. Most of our students that do both separately do better at Lit as it's much more like it is at school.

In comparison, English language is a lot more technical. There's a fair amount of crossover with psychology. Certainly English lit is the traditional facilitating option, but I don't think any university would consider any of the Englishes as soft per se.

Also, English lit graduates are ten a penny, English language/linguistics far less common.

Cheers, Tiger.

Tigerstripes Fri 30-Aug-13 22:14:11

That's right Remus. The straight Lang is more linguistics with less analysis, which is I assume why universities don't like it as much. Lang/Lit has both with more variety of text genres studied than Lit.

Sparkle - maybe we should send them to football club?!

Tiger - the tiny bit of research I've done so far seems to suggest that Lang/Lit is okay and straight Lang less so.

Tigerstripes Fri 30-Aug-13 22:07:26

I'm head of Key Stage 5 English and I've just put together information on Lang/Lit for our enrolment day. In the Information that Cambridge produces on subject choices they say that the subject is an "acceptable alternative" to Lit.
Your daughter's choices sound fine in the situation she has.

Sparklegeek Fri 30-Aug-13 21:54:36

Do you think Remus? I have to admit there's a part of me that thinks sod it, just let him choose what he is interested in, that's as far as it went when I made my A-level choices & my parents had no input whatsoever. But then I think, hang on, if he's going to come out of uni with 40k of debt it's got to be a degree & uni worth going to in the first place - & to ensure that he's got to be careful with A-levels! And he hasn't a clue what he wants to do after uni so I'm trying to get him to choose broadly but there's so many subjects he doesn't want to do.

Bloody hell. And one of my footballer lodgers has just informed me that Wayne Rooney is on A MILLION A MONTH. There are no words...

I honestly think that combined Lang/Lit, RE, Geog and Psychology would be fine tbh.

Sparklegeek Fri 30-Aug-13 20:15:20

My DS (currently starting Yr 11) is also looking at the combined Lang/Lit. He has always been v v strong at English, right from KS1! And it has always been a 'given' that he'd do it at A-level & then possibly at uni.

Now he has thrown a complete spanner in the works as during a chat we had last week, it came to light that he had no idea that 'English' at A-level & further actually means 'English Lit.' And he doesn't like the Lit side of it at all!!

I got into a bit of a panic as that is about the only subject at school that was a cert for sixth-form. So I have done a lot of research over the past week & can see that the Lang/Lit A-level looks v interesting & right up his street - but just doesn't seem to be held in the same high regard as Lit. Arrrgghh! I wouldn't be so concerned if he had chosen all facilitating subjects to go with it but at present the ones he's also considering are RS, Geography, Psychology or Computing. And 3 of those worry me too!!

I want to go back to the easy days of Biff, Chip & Kipper (there's something I thought I'd never say grin)

Thanks. This really is the only even half workable combination, we think. Unless she does her language rather than the sociology, which will probably be more challenging work-load wise. She could do IT rather than History, but can't really see any point in that tbh.

She's adamant that she wants the combined Eng, because that is what her friends are doing and, as I said, it seems cruel to deny that as she is having to compromise so much else whatever she ends up with.

SlowlorisIncognito Fri 30-Aug-13 18:59:20

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie What are the alternatives that she/ you are considering? Perhaps people could advise if any are better?

If she decides she wants to do an art degree, she'll probably have to do an art foundation year at college to build up her portfolio anyway, so from that point of view it probably doesn't matter too much which A levels she chooses.

I think English lit can be slightly better regarded than the combined A level, but again it depends what she might want to do afterwards. If she wants to leave the language side of things open- e.g. a degree in linguistics, then carrying on with some language at A level is probably a good idea.

There is nothing wrong with doing sociology, and she might find that she enjoys it. It may actually go quite well with history, depending on what kind of history she is studying. If she finds she really enjoys it, then it opens up a route to go down at degree level. If she's good at writing essays, then she'll probably get a better grade in it than she would in a MFL if she only got a B at GCSE.

Thanks all.

English Lit and the Combined Lang/Lit are both in the same block, along with her language and RE, so no option of changing the English to allow more choice elsewhere, sadly. It's the worst set of options choices I've ever seen tbh.

mumslife Fri 30-Aug-13 13:17:29

My daughter is doing govt and politics english lit ( regarded as best one by unis) history and RE was told they go well together but heavy essay wise but that is her strength. Was doing art but only got a c in it (big surprise but very flaky teacher) A lot of schools dont seem to offer govt and politics she was initially going to do eng lit history art and textiles as a lthough very english history type ofgirl also very creative wants to go to uni and was advised not to do two creative subjects mainly because of unis but also the time it would take

cory Fri 30-Aug-13 09:42:23

Sounds like a perfectly reasonable combination if she doesn't quite know where she is going. Leaves a lot of options open and while RG universities may prefer English lit, she still has history and Arts on there to show that she can do hard work. The only thing I would say is, make sure she is aware that it will be hard work and very time consuming.

englishteacher78 Fri 30-Aug-13 06:51:05

How ridiculous to block before their options at A level. And how even more ridiculous to put subjects that are often taken together (English/RS/MFL) in the same block! confused

mysteryfairy Fri 30-Aug-13 06:47:52

Is the English Literature in a different option block than the combined English? If so could she be persuaded if it re-opens RS or MFL as a possible option?

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