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Advice on A levels please ( law and psychology)

(34 Posts)
kilmuir Sun 15-Jan-17 10:58:08

DD2 is researching A level subjects.
She fancies English Language, Psychology and Law. Her school offers these. She is a smart girl and loves English.
My concern is she would be going straight into Psychology and Law without a GCSE in them. Would this be a problem?

Matildatoldsuchdreadfullies Sun 15-Jan-17 11:02:19

The lack of GCSE in them is irrelevant - but she should check whether universities/courses that she is thinking of would accept them.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 15-Jan-17 11:04:33

Yes. Neither of those are 'enabling' subjects. They are also not necessary to study those subjects at university.

LIZS Sun 15-Jan-17 11:07:15

Be cautious about doing 2 non enabling subjects. Maybe history or a language would be a better choice. You need neither psychology nor law a level or gcse to take them at uni.

Chopchopbusybusy Sun 15-Jan-17 11:09:12

Lack of GCSE is not a problem. Does she plan to go to university? If she does she should have a look at entry requirements for courses she might be interested in as these subjects won't necessarily be considered 'good' choices.
Am I also right in thinking that English Lit would be a better choice at A level than English language?

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 15-Jan-17 11:10:17

Every year we send students to do both Law and Psychology at a range of universities. We don't offer either of those subjects at A Level or GCSE.

whathaveiforgottentoday Sun 15-Jan-17 11:15:43

Neither Psychology nor Law expect you to have a GCSE in them to study them at A level.

exexpat Sun 15-Jan-17 11:22:09

What is she thinking of doing at university? None of those three subjects are on the list of 'facilitating subjects' seen by universities as providing a good basis for most degree subjects. If she is interested in studying law or psychology, for example, she would do much better picking at least two more traditional subjects, e.g. a science, maths, history or English literature.

kilmuir Sun 15-Jan-17 11:33:40

Oh this is all new to me.
She loves History so might be an option.
She does want to go to uni, only just looking at courses. She has mentioned law.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 15-Jan-17 11:35:52

If not going on to further study at uni, what does she want to do? Why those subjects?

titchy Sun 15-Jan-17 11:40:33

For a law degree at a lower ranked institution those subjects would be fine. For a higher ranked institution I'd strongly suggest swapping one for History, and Lit not Lang.

If she's interested in a Psychology degree she needs another science - would suggest biology. There's a lot of Biology in Psychology A level.

The lack of GCSE is not a problem - no one does those subjects at gcse!

senua Sun 15-Jan-17 11:42:08

None of them are facilitating subjects. Eng Lit is; Eng Lang isn't.

Bluntness100 Sun 15-Jan-17 11:50:34

You don't need to do law a level to study law. My daughter is doing a law degree and when we went to open days the unis said the overwhelming majority of students did not have an a level in law, many schools don't offer it.

Looking at the course she wishes to do in broad terms is important when picking a level subjects. So for example for medicine it should be more science based.

My daughter did English, history and government and politics at a level. The odds of her being able to do a medicine based degree would have been limited based on these. She doesn't have to decide now, but she should have a fair idea of the sort of degree she wishes to do.

If she does do law she should look at that carefully, it's not an easy career path and it's not an easy degree, it involves a lot of work, primarily reading, with a long road to qualification as either a solicitor or barrister and is very highly competitive.

DrDreReturns Sun 15-Jan-17 12:37:11

As pp have said, I'd advise her to stick to facilitating subjects.

RalphSteadmansEye Sun 15-Jan-17 16:04:49

Yep, another one suggesting she needs at least two facilitating subjects if she's aiming for a top third ranked uni (roughly!)

Eng lit plus history with either psychology or law would be better.

Law degrees prefer you not to have done law A level (usually) - for psychology degrees(bsc) they might prefer maths and a science (but English etc ok for a BA in psychology).

You should check requirements of any potential degree subjects at a range of unis.

Basically, facilitating subjects keep more options open.

MrsK8541 Sun 15-Jan-17 16:12:53

I'm a psychology teacher and have taught at A-level and GCSE. It's never expected that students have studied psychology at GCSE, the A-level course starts from the basics. I had people on my psychology degree course who hadn't even studied it at A-level - they had a little extra work to do to catch up on basics.

Although it's not considered a facilitating subject, the skills associated with psychology are transferable and a number of employers and universities say they actually really like it if individuals have studied psychology (this was during careers sessions).

Manumission Sun 15-Jan-17 16:18:05

One non-facilitating subject with two or three facilitating ones is arguably okay. After all, even Music doesn't make the list.

AtiaoftheJulii Sun 15-Jan-17 18:15:03

One non-facilitating subject with two facilitating ones is definitely okay, because that's what the rather restrictive Russell Group booklet says. Mumsnet does tend to want to be stricter, lol! The Trinity list is much more informative imo.

And over 3/4 of students aren't at RG unis anyway. If your dd is likely to be aiming at A's for her A level results, maybe she should think about swapping a couple of her A level choices for ones on the Trinity A2 list. If she's not, those choices are probably fine.

Manumission Sun 15-Jan-17 18:20:01

It's not just Mumsnet either (although it does get silly here). Some schools try to push able students towards all facilitating subjects. The whole thing is a bit out of control.

RalphSteadmansEye Sun 15-Jan-17 18:43:36

And some schools let very able dc choose all non-facilitating choices, potentially restricting their university options, so it's good to have the conversation!

bojorojo Sun 15-Jan-17 19:07:00

Very few Barristers go to non Russell Group universities. If you want to do Law at university, aim for the best possible universities because it is ultra competitive in the world of work. As suggested, English Lit, History and Pschology would be fine. The other A levels may even rule you out from certain employers. It would not be the profile they are looking for. Law A level is not considered particularly worthwhile.

If she wants to do Law, it is possible to convert after a first degree so you don't even need to do Law at university. It would be ok to do English, History etc.

myfavouritecolourispurple Mon 16-Jan-17 09:47:17

Why literature instead of language? If you do literature you have to enjoy dissecting books. If I had had the choice, I'd have done English Language A level.

You don't need Law A level to do law, in fact in my day, I don't know if it's still the case, law faculties preferred you to do something different at A level.

I'd suggest swapping the law A level for history. The other two are fine. If she decides she doesn't want to do law after all, she'll still have a good breadth of subjects.

bojorojo Mon 16-Jan-17 10:06:28

The whole reason why English literature is better for a law career is precisely because you disect books. Very many lawyers do this every day! This is also why it it is a facilitating subject and Language is not. When you are applying for very competitive courses at the best universities, choice of A level is important. So if you are aiming high, then Literature with the other A levels gives two facilitating ones. If students prefer Language, that is no problem but it is not best prep for Law.

Allthebestnamesareused Mon 16-Jan-17 15:49:49

As a solicitor I would say not to bother with law at A level. Yes at degree level or even do the 1 years conversion after your first choice degree before the LPC (Legal Practice Course).

NotThrowAwayMyShot Mon 16-Jan-17 15:56:08

Statistically RG universities accept more potential law students with A level Drama then they do Law

I would definately reconsider both psychology & law A levels. Maybe pick one, plus one facilitating subject.

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