A level confusion - any opinions(9 Posts)
DD either wants to perform or teach music (either on her main instrument or school teacher) and her back up plan is something environmental. She will be taking A level music and geography whatever. At the moment she'd like to go to a conservatoire or Russell Group university which will ideally require two facilitating subjects.
She was considering biology which would cover the above, but can't rule out RE/Philosophy - the positives of doing the later that her present teacher reckons she could get an A* at A level, the negative is that's it's not a facilitating subject. Her biology teacher has given her the impression that biology will be a lot of hard work. Is it any more than other subjects? She really wants to concentrate on her music and performing, so will be putting an awful lot into that.
She has the opportunity to do an IB, which would mean she wouldn't have to worry about the facilitating subjects. However, she doesn't want to particularly study English or Maths any more and doesn't like languages. These subjects may also drag down the level of the IB a bit as she's very strong in geography at the moment and has a passion for music. She could well do better at biology that Eng, Maths, language and much better in RE so might be better doing A levels in the hope of higher grades.
Something environmental at an RG institution won't need two facilitating subjects, so Music, Geog, RE would be fine.
See UCL for example.
I think you need to have a much better handle on what something environmental actually looks like at degree level. Environmental Engineering is usually part of civil engineering although there are a few freestanding environmental engineering courses. What other environmental courses were you considering and are they part of Geography? If she may like a geography degree, I would check the entrance requirements and how "environmental" they are. What job would she like ideally? Work back from that and check the courses and ideal qualifications to get on them.
A level biology is a really big step up from GCSE and many students taking it as a single science find it very difficult. It isn't heavy in terms of coursework but staying on top of the material can be a challenge. Is she going double science or triple science at the moment? What are her predicted grades in biology, chemistry and maths? They've recently changed the syllabus to include more maths.
I wouldn't worry about the "facilitating subjects" really - it's just a very general list of traditional subjects that can't be easily picked up at Uni if you've not studied them at A level. Very few unis require a fixed number of them - and RS, music and geography are all well thought of.
But depends what kind of environmental work she's interested in - if something sciency then she does need biology and possibly chemistry or physics. If she's more interested in policy/campaigning/etc then it might be less critical, but worth looking at actual subject pages of the sorts of uni she might be interested in to see what they require.
The IB sounds ill-advised for her if she doesn't like English, maths or languages. Is she able to start 4 A levels and drop one/take an AS? Some sixth forms will allow that if you push them and keeps more options open.
The Sixth forms we have looked at demand an A in Biology at GCSE to do the A level. Same for all the sciences. Is she likely to get an A? You don't need as much maths for biology as you do for chemistry of physics.
Cast your eye over a few degree courses at different Unis that would interest her, if her Conservertoire plans don't come to fulfilment, and see what they say. They will all be explicit about the A levels they want.
Most science-related jobs and degrees require at least 2 good science A levels. How about a humanity subject instead?
Music A level is hard work even without high level performance so a third subject should be something she enjoys and has ability for.
Echoing what PPs have said but unless she is naturally drawn to and is able at sciences then it sounds as though her second string to conservatoire or music degree would be geography as BA rather than BSc (or a combined honours). Geography alone would be sufficient entry requirement for that without a science or third 'facilitating' subject. RE /Philosphy is fine or perhaps Politics would be another good fit for her interests.
yy to what everyone else has already said
i would forget biology
how about english - might be worthwhile esp with the teaching ambitions?
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