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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

It's an absolute pain.

HmmAnOxfordComma Fri 30-Aug-13 00:17:35

They sound like a good combination to me (personally think pure Eng Lit would be better if possible and RS would be better than Sociology but if it's not possible, it's not...). A good mix of traditional and less traditional, and also keep her options fairly open.

I second not attempting a language A level with a grade B at GCSE; the step up in languages is really massive.

I also personally think English Lit would be better (I'm an English teacher) but it feels mean to enforce it when dd is already losing out so much because of the silly options groupings.

She's actually very good at languages and the teacher would be happy to have her. The B was a product of not working v hard, rather than any lack of aptitude, it seems. But she can't do both English and a lang anyway so it's a moot point.

HmmAnOxfordComma Fri 30-Aug-13 00:45:42

She might enjoy the language element of the English course, too, if she's good at language(s) generally.

As long as she's happy that she won't be missing out on any potential choice of Uni with the combined English instead of Lit, then it sounds like the best of her options!

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?

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

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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. 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.

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)

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

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...

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.

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 22:14:11

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.

Cheers, Tiger.

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.

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.

Have PM'd you, OK.

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.

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".

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.

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

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

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