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Ancient History, Government & Politics or Philosophy & Ethics? Watch

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    I am currently trying to decide on what A-Levels to do and I know I'm going to do English Literature and Modern History but my three other options are the subjects in the title (Ancient History, Government & Politics or Philosophy & Ethics). History has definitely been my favourite subject at GCSE which is why I'm considering two history's at A-Level however I am very interested in politics and current affairs and philosophy has always been an interest of mine so picking between these three is proving to be tough! If anyone is studying these subjects or has past experience of them, advice on the content, exam and general opinions on the A-Level would be great! Also, are any of them seen as 'soft subjects' by universities?
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    If you really really like History & want to do it at uni, then I'd say two history courses might be good. However there is a chance you will absolutely hate History A level as its quite different than GCSE, so you might not want two Histories in case of that. Although I loved History at GCSE & still love it at A level

    My school doesn't offer Ancient History though, and the first time Politics is being offered is for the current year 11s - which is kind of annoying, because I wanted to take it I have looked at a couple of Politics textbooks, though, and it does look quite good. Obviously I have no idea what the exams are like though!

    I dropped Philosophy & Ethics in early year 12 and ever since I have regarded this as a massive mistake. Like the other subjects you've chosen, it's massively essay based and the subject matter looks quite interesting. I know the people at my school who do it find it quite interesting, and I really really wish I hadn't dropped it.

    Are you taking three A levels or four? If three, I wouldn't take the extra History - you want a wider range of subjects - but if you're taking four then maybe. Personally I'd go with politics over philosophy, but you really want to look at the pros and cons of each and decide for yourself. As far as I know those two are pretty much equally respected by unis

    You might also want to look at how much of the courses are assessed by coursework vs exams at your school.
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    (Original post by daftish)
    If you really really like History & want to do it at uni, then I'd say two history courses might be good. However there is a chance you will absolutely hate History A level as its quite different than GCSE, so you might not want two Histories in case of that. Although I loved History at GCSE & still love it at A level

    My school doesn't offer Ancient History though, and the first time Politics is being offered is for the current year 11s - which is kind of annoying, because I wanted to take it I have looked at a couple of Politics textbooks, though, and it does look quite good. Obviously I have no idea what the exams are like though!

    I dropped Philosophy & Ethics in early year 12 and ever since I have regarded this as a massive mistake. Like the other subjects you've chosen, it's massively essay based and the subject matter looks quite interesting. I know the people at my school who do it find it quite interesting, and I really really wish I hadn't dropped it.

    Are you taking three A levels or four? If three, I wouldn't take the extra History - you want a wider range of subjects - but if you're taking four then maybe. Personally I'd go with politics over philosophy, but you really want to look at the pros and cons of each and decide for yourself. As far as I know those two are pretty much equally respected by unis

    You might also want to look at how much of the courses are assessed by coursework vs exams at your school.
    I am actually considering history at A-Level but I'm probably more likely to do English. Many people have told me the same about taking two history based subjects and that and the amount of content is what worries me!

    I am taking 4 for my first year and then, most likely, dropping one at the end of year 12. Thanks so much, this is really helpful!


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    (Original post by aliceporter)
    I am currently trying to decide on what A-Levels to do and I know I'm going to do English Literature and Modern History but my three other options are the subjects in the title (Ancient History, Government & Politics or Philosophy & Ethics). History has definitely been my favourite subject at GCSE which is why I'm considering two history's at A-Level however I am very interested in politics and current affairs and philosophy has always been an interest of mine so picking between these three is proving to be tough! If anyone is studying these subjects or has past experience of them, advice on the content, exam and general opinions on the A-Level would be great! Also, are any of them seen as 'soft subjects' by universities?
    Personally I would pick philosophy and ethics - I've found the subject fascinating and as a result am going on to study it at uni! Cambridge released a list of A, B and C level subjects, with A being strongest and C weakest, with philosophy in the A category and politics in the B, so top unis may prefer philosophy - I'm not sure where ancient history ranks on the list but I would assume that it's an A subject! One thing to be careful of is if there's any overlap at all between ancient and modern history - for example, universities often look down upon people doing both English language and English literature, so there's a chance that could be the case for the history choices too. Hope this helps!

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    (Original post by Naomi12)
    Personally I would pick philosophy and ethics - I've found the subject fascinating and as a result am going on to study it at uni! Cambridge released a list of A, B and C level subjects, with A being strongest and C weakest, with philosophy in the A category and politics in the B, so top unis may prefer philosophy - I'm not sure where ancient history ranks on the list but I would assume that it's an A subject! One thing to be careful of is if there's any overlap at all between ancient and modern history - for example, universities often look down upon people doing both English language and English literature, so there's a chance that could be the case for the history choices too. Hope this helps!

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    Thank you, this is really helpful! Is there any way you could send me a link to the Cambridge list of A, B and C level subjects?
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    (Original post by aliceporter)
    Thank you, this is really helpful! Is there any way you could send me a link to the Cambridge list of A, B and C level subjects?
    Here you go good luck with your choice!

    http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/node/621

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