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The Russell Group has published a list of "facilitating (preferred)" subjects

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    Full article is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12365050

    They 'advise' people to study two A levels from a list of 'facilitating subjects' which are:

    English, maths (and fm), physics, biology, chemistry, geography, history and languages (classical and modern)

    "If you plan to take more than one perceived 'soft' subject, some caution may be needed."

    It lists these soft subjects as those "with a vocational bias" such as media studies, art and design, photography and business studies.
    *que 10 page discussion on why subject X is/isn't a soft subject*
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    I think if you have a fair idea of what you want to study at university right before your GCSEs (I personally didn't) then you know what subjects to take, it's not rocket science (so to speak) and the universities normally show their preferred subjects on the online prospectuses. But personally I wasn't very well informed, so I can see why it's good that unis publish this. Many people don't want to take a hard subject right after GCSEs, I'd probably have failed!

    IMO there is an awfully bad attempt made by some schools to get students thinking about this. Personally my careers advisor was absolutely horrific and advised me against what I really wanted to do, and hadn't a clue of how I could start doing it, and if you said ''well I guess I like maths'' (many people can say this, or any subject for that matter) he would simply say ''cool, well do maths at uni then!''

    retard...

    The irony is taking career advice from someone who hasn't got one. Labour's shambles of a government thought just ship anyone off to university would solve all our generation's problems, what did they do? Just reduced the quality of a typical Bachelor's. Mickey Mouse courses which are nowhere parallel with the real world, and many people haev no chance of getting into their preferred industry/trade.

    It's now a business for universities to attract students leading them to think they can actually get a job in the media, music, <insert topic> industry.

    It's REALLY high if 40% get a job in their preffered industry these days for these types of subjects.
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    In other news, bears **** in woods. It's nice of them to make this information freely available for sure, but sadly I suspect the kids that this would actually help probably won't read it.
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    (Original post by kevin6767)
    No that is mentioned under the field specific section in the report. As few russell group universities offer degrees in art then it wouldn't be appropriate for them to devote large sections of the report to the subject. These are researched based universities and offer advice on how to achieve a place with one of their 20 members.
    They act like these subjects aren't hard and they really are. Stupid. I'd like to see them try Art A Level.
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    Is Music a soft subject? Funnily enough it hardly ever comes up on publications like these as it is rather difficult to place, as it is a combination of both academic and talented study. According to an admissions tutor (I'm applying for Physics) they liked the fact that I did music as well, as few people study it to A level and it demonstrates a wide range of skills and talents and an interesting candidate
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    (Original post by chlobofro)
    I lol'd at it really. Like it matters.
    So what if you wanted to do an Art Degree? Art A Level wouldn't be helpful? *facepalm*
    You don't need a degree to make art...
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    (Original post by kevin6767)
    If you check out the report you will see, as I mentioned, they refuse to put a general definition of soft or hard subjects. They are research lead institutions primarily in sciences. All they are saying is if you want to come to one of our universities we prefer these subjects because they are more relevant to the courses we offer. For example maths, biology and chemistry would be relevant to the study of biochemistry, art would not as it provides no knowledge relative to the subject. It is a question of relevance to the needs of their courses.
    Yes but isn't that ridiculously OBVIOUS to an intelligent person? Christ, Nanny State Britain.
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    (Original post by chlobofro)
    They act like these subjects aren't hard and they really are. Stupid. I'd like to see them try Art A Level.
    I agree. I'm a pretty good artist but got a D at AS in Art. It's insanely hard.
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    (Original post by Stratos)
    You don't need a degree to make art...
    You don't NEED a degree to write a book or do Maths.
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    (Original post by Stratos)
    You don't need a degree to make art...
    But if you want to be an art critic, dealer or curator you'll need a degree in Fine Art and/or Art History.
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    (Original post by chlobofro)
    They act like these subjects aren't hard and they really are. Stupid. I'd like to see them try Art A Level.
    It's nothing to do with them being hard or not, it's to do with them being useful. An A level in art is great for Art, but that's about it. (Ok a few other things like graphic design and whatnot, but generally very limied)

    An A level in Maths or a Science however can be applied to hundreds of degrees
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    (Original post by spyka)
    It's nothing to do with them being hard or not, it's to do with them being useful. An A level in art is great for Art, but that's about it. (Ok a few other things like graphic design and whatnot, but generally very limied)

    An A level in Maths or a Science however can be applied to hundreds of degrees
    Funny how they call them "hard" or "soft" subjects.
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    I agree that in most cases it should just be common sense.......
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    Art is devalued because of instances such as this.

    "The invisible painting"



    Ludicrous.
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    This sort of advice needs to be extended into schools, not just available via internet really.
    My careers advice was absolutely shockingly bad - I told them I originally wanted to be a doctor and they advised me to take the health and social care btec.
    Lots of kids don't have access to some of the more traditional subjects either, and especially at my old school, which is failing and based in a low income area, there was no motivation for people to do harder or traditional subjects - the majority of my friends are now doing drama, english language etc. Obviously great for some degrees, but it doesn't help when careers advisors don't have a clue what they are talking about and there isn't any motivation or goal presented whatsoever.
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    Meh, big deal. I go to a Russell Group uni and I have a feeling that 4/4 of my A Levels would be considered 'soft'. Obviously I'd never apply for anything like Medicine or Law with them, but for a lot of courses they don't care too much. This is what I've deduced from being at Manchester, anyway.
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    (Original post by chlobofro)
    They act like these subjects aren't hard and they really are. Stupid. I'd like to see them try Art A Level.
    I agree that art is an insanely difficult qualification - it took over my entire life at GCSE (although I did compound this problem by taking graphics as well :cool:) and the sheer quantity of things you have to do is amazing.

    The problem is, however, that it's not relevant to other things you might want to do - but schools tell you this doesn't matter. We were actively advised to take a 'contrasting' subject to show 'breadth of abilities', when for maths at least they only actually care about how good you are at maths. An intelligent student may well think 'I'd better drop art to concentrate on maths' and then be told that if they don't counter-intuitively continue with art, they're endangering their place - ****ty advice, but the sort of thing that schools like to say, and so the reason why guides like this are required.
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    (Original post by kevin6767)
    Those from disadvantaged backgrounds may not have access to this sort of advice and it is them this information is aimed at, again try reading the report before you dismiss everything in it. Not everyone will know maths is often an essential prerequisite of studying things like physics or that the only essential qualification for studying law is history or biology A level isn't needed to study medicine. They are just trying to provide more information to a wider range of people who otherwise might not be able access relevant information due to poor careers advice. I am the first in my family to go to university and I was told by my school biology A level was essential to studying medicine and as I at the time was clueless as to how university worked, having no point of reference, I believed them. I later found out at college I would have been better off taking maths with my other A levels. It is all about widening information to those that otherwise don't have a clue about how to apply to university.
    I agree they need some decent careers advice (the advice in my school was atrocious.. just printing off sheets?) but they shouldn't concentrate on giving advice on "hard" subjects only. It just seems like science, maths etc is shoved down our throats. News reports like that are extremely biased IMO. They shouldn't call them "soft" subjects, just irrelevant ones. Makes my Media Studies A2 look pathetic and it was flipping hard.
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    (Original post by chlobofro)
    They act like these subjects aren't hard and they really are. Stupid. I'd like to see them try Art A Level.
    I'd like to see you try a chemistry A Level.

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Updated: February 17, 2011
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