ItsAlicia
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Hello 👋 to start I’m going to share my GCSE results (class of 2020 and did not sit the exams) and my a-level subjects.

GCSE:
English Literature: 7
Combined Science: 66
Spanish: 4
History: 6
English Language: 5
Religious Studies: 6
Mathematics: 5
BTEC Health and Social Care: Level 2 Distinction*

A Level Subjects:
English Literature
Psychology
Government and Politics

So basically, I have just started my a-levels and I would like to study Human Social and Political Sciences (HSPS) at the University of Cambridge. On the Cambridge website, it says that there isn’t a specific subject needed for HSPS, it just needs to be essay based. This isn’t a problem since my subjects are essay based.

However, I dislike my government and politics a-level and I find it quite boring. I would like to switch that subject with Drama and Theatre Studies. My worry is, Drama and Theatre is considered a ‘soft’ a level and probably wouldn’t be regarded well in the likes of Cambridge. Especially since I only have one facilitating subject (English Literature). So right now I’m struggling to make a decision. If I SWITCH my a-levels would be:

Drama and Theatre Studies
English Literature
Psychology

If I DON’T SWITCH my a-levels would be:

Government and Politics
English Literature
Psychology

Thank you 🙏
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anamazingperson
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what grades were you getting for your teacher to "predict" you a 4???
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tiktoksensation
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(Original post by ItsAlicia)
Hello 👋 to start I’m going to share my GCSE results (class of 2020 and did not sit the exams) and my a-level subjects.

GCSE:
English Literature: 7
Combined Science: 66
Spanish: 4
History: 6
English Language: 5
Religious Studies: 6
Mathematics: 5
BTEC Health and Social Care: Level 2 Distinction*

A Level Subjects:
English Literature
Psychology
Government and Politics

So basically, I have just started my a-levels and I would like to study Human Social and Political Sciences (HSPS) at the University of Cambridge. On the Cambridge website, it says that there isn’t a specific subject needed for HSPS, it just needs to be essay based. This isn’t a problem since my subjects are essay based.

However, I dislike my government and politics a-level and I find it quite boring. I would like to switch that subject with Drama and Theatre Studies. My worry is, Drama and Theatre is considered a ‘soft’ a level and probably wouldn’t be regarded well in the likes of Cambridge. Especially since I only have one facilitating subject (English Literature). So right now I’m struggling to make a decision. If I SWITCH my a-levels would be:

Drama and Theatre Studies
English Literature
Psychology

If I DON’T SWITCH my a-levels would be:

Government and Politics
English Literature
Psychology

Thank you 🙏
You have a great set of GCSEs but since Cambridge is that bit more competitive your grades might have an impact on your application. This is what it says on their website:

“Applicants have generally achieved high grades in subjects relevant to their chosen course, and most students who apply have at least four or five 7/8/9s at GCSE (an A is considered equivalent to 7 and an A* is considered equivalent to 8/9). However, there are always exceptions and we don’t require a minimum number of 7/8/9s at GCSE. One of the strengths of the Cambridge admissions system is its ability to assess all applicants individually.

Our research shows that post-16 examination performance is a much better predictor of degree success at Cambridge. While GCSE results are looked at as a performance indicator, this is within the context of the performance of the school/college where they were attained, and strong performance in Years 12 and 13 can make up for a less stellar performance at GCSE.”


You can make up for your GCSEs by performing well at A Level. The subjects you’ve chosen already would be good preparation for HSPS. I don’t think swapping Politics for Drama would have a negative impact on your application since Drama is still quite a rigorous A Level. If you have no interest in doing Politics then don’t do it since it’ll only make the next 2 years more difficult than they need to be. Just do your best to get the highest predicted grades you possibly can and hopefully you’ll be made an offer. Good luck!
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lawbynamii
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In the end it's the grades that are going to get you into Cambridge! Swap subjects if you feel like you'd do better, and more importantly enjoy, drama.
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Sinnoh
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By whom is drama considered a 'soft' subject? What do you mean by 'soft' and what do others mean by 'soft'?

Facilitating subjects don't really matter in this case.
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Theloniouss
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Is government and politics not going to be useful for (or similar to) HSPS?

There's no such thing as a 'soft' A level. All are equally difficult.
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ItsAlicia
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
By whom is drama considered a 'soft' subject? What do you mean by 'soft' and what do others mean by 'soft'?

Facilitating subjects don't really matter in this case.
I didn’t mean to offend anyone. That’s just what people have been telling me.
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artful_lounger
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As above, it shouldn't make much difference whether you do drama or politics I imagine, since your other two subjects (psychology and English lit) are traditionally academic subjects anyway, and HSPS incorporates anthropology, and anthropology departments tend to be more receptive to subjects like drama, music, and art (in combination with traditionally academic subjects) due to the relationship the visual and performing arts have to culture generally.

However something you may want to consider is that two of the four main areas covered by HSPS are politics related (i.e. politics/international relations), and you will need to study at least one of these areas in first year, minimally. It may be something to reflect on if you find boring and don't like at A-level what forms at least a quarter to a half of your first year study on that degree, whether that particular degree programme/subject is best suited to your interests.

So personally I think the major concern should be less about what admissions will think about the subjects you've chosen and more about whether the degree programme you are looking at fits your interests really...
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ItsAlicia
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(Original post by anamazingperson)
what grades were you getting for your teacher to "predict" you a 4???
That was in Spanish. Languages was my least favourite and challenging subject. However, in the middle of year 11 (after January) I was getting grade 5s and sometimes grade 6s in that subject. I was expecting higher in that subject. But that shouldn’t be the main focus of my question anyways. I just wanted to know whether drama would be a good swap or not 🤷*♀️
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