Politics or Psychology A level? *edited by MNHQ*

(36 Posts)
Coconutty Thu 06-Feb-14 21:48:32

DS has chosen maths, economics and geography for A level.

He now needs to choose a fourth one and has narrowed it down to Psychology or politics. He would probably prefer psychology as a subject but isn't really keen on essays.

Are they both regarded the same by the universities and has anyone got any advice/opinions on either?

Lovemytablet Fri 07-Feb-14 14:25:42

Also surprised working it as my dc is at warwick doing Econ and didn't do further maths. Mind you he's finding the maths side tough and wishes he had done it. Most of the others have FM and A* single maths - he has neither. Not sure how he got in really!

ChocolateWombat Fri 07-Feb-14 15:04:33

Yes, an another poster said, Economics courses will never require Economics to do the degree,but they may make Maths a requirement. That is why maths is a facilitating subject and Economics is not.

If your kids are not being told this info when choosing A Levels, you need to speak to the Careers Dept or whoever gives them advice about choosing. Schools which get high numbers into RG Unis make sure their kids know this stuff. The RG is circulating info to make sure it isn't only kids in the nice middle class or private schools that get the info.

If you haven't got the right combination of subjects, you are excluded from certain subjects whatever your ability. Doors are closed. This in itself is not shocking, but the fact kids don't get told or don't have it really emphasised to them is shocking.

OP since your DS is looking at a 4th subject I don't think it matters. I would find out the exam board for both subjects and have a look in detail at what is covered. That might help him choose.
My DS is also undecided career wise and I have tried to advise him so as as to keep his options as open as possible. He has actually applied to do 5 subjects, Maths 3 sciences and computer science. The sixth form have said he can make his final choice in August. I think he will probably do four AS and 3 A2 though.

As to Further Maths. It's very tough. DS1 is doing it and he reckons there has been a huge drop out rate. Many GCSE A* students have struggled with Further Maths.
As others have said you don't need FM at most Unis for a Maths degree but if your school offers it you would certainly be expected to take it for the top unis.

I think economics has really changed and is now very mathematical in most places. It doesn't need to be - it's just part of economists fooling themselves it's a science wink. I write as a mathematician who studied economics as it was like real life maths and in the end concluded it was all politics really.

So does this help OP - I guess what we are saying is if your DS has an inkling of what he might study later this should drive his subject choice. I would say politics not pyschology but if he is good at maths consider that instead. Most universities will rate that higher she said in a broad generalisation!

And Reddidi re my DS he got that reaction on open days and at a UCAS fair early in his lower sixth so his UMS wasn't relevant at that stage. And I don't know what it was in fact...all turned out well as with more experience under his belt he realised his heart lay in something different and he will be studying that at Cambridge from October this year.

Coconutty Fri 07-Feb-14 17:39:04

He thinks he would enjoy psychology more but isn't really sure. It seems like quite a big decision tbh and one we want to get right.

No-one has commented on DT, would that be a total mismatch?

ChocolateWombat Fri 07-Feb-14 18:41:03

DT might be useful for some careers. In the broader academic sense though, not so highly regarded.

Coconutty Mon 10-Feb-14 19:39:20

Everyone keeps telling me maths A level is crazy hard and are really making me question if it's a wise choice or not.

He is predicted A* at GCSE and is doing a further maths GCSE. He did a test today on FM and said it was really hard.

God, it's so difficult isn't it?

Coconutty Mon 10-Feb-14 19:41:57

Has decided that psychology is going to be better for him than politics btw.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Mon 10-Feb-14 20:47:06

I teach Psychology (picked up psychology after years of teaching Biology A level) and really enjoy the content as do most of the students. It might be good if he borrowed a copy of the AS textbooks and have a flick through to see if he likes it as many students have a misconception as to what they will be studying in psychology.

It is very essay based in the A2 though.

OP thanks for the update!

Maths A level isn't crazy hard so long as you are good at maths - sounds like your son is. And it's a nice contrast to essay subjects as well as being in my biased view the most valued one by employers.

Coconutty Wed 12-Feb-14 19:46:31

Thanks working, I think he's just a bit concerned by everyone saying it's a very difficult.

Geography and economics are definitely in.

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