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Report Thread starter 3 years ago
so initially choosing my a level options (in year 11 now but i had to give in the application) i thought about what would be best, looked over the exam papers, thought about what i actually enjoy and had a talk with my parents i chose

English Lan (im good at it) , sociology (im good at it), psychology (im interested) and photography (im interested in.

but my english teacher is also head of media studies at a level and i had a talk with her about me choosing english language (i was between eng lan and media but i thought media would be too much work) and she said that my ideas about media are wrong and theres a new specimen that she thinks ill excel in. I would like to do media but im unsure what to drop if i choose it.

My parents want me to do eng lan and soc (i get a* and a's in both now) and i want to do psychology and photography. I dont know what to drop. I understand people would probably say drop photography but i am really interested in it, it would be good to have a subject i could just escape into sometimes. even then i would want to drop one in the second year. So 5 subjects but 4 slots and 3 in second year.

What do i choose to remove and what do i choose to stay?
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Report 3 years ago
It's tough having to have to narrow down potentially your life choices at this age, I know how you feel.

One piece of advice I could give is that if you intend on applying to a competitive (or even a semi-decent one - good name, nice city, etc) then there are certain subjects called Facilitating Subjects - these are preferred by the top (Russel Group) Unis since they are generally more demanding. All the subjects mentioned are viewed as 'less-demanding' by unis so that's a thing to keep in mind, as generic offers made to students don't usually require particular subjects, just the grades so in theory you could do those subjects and get really good grades and do well. However, when comparing you to another candidate with say Maths, English Lit & Biology, they may see them as being able to cope with a higher workload/ tougher work?
(Absolutely no criticism of the subjects you have chosen btw - just to give you a heads-up based on experience)

Then again, if you are interested in studying perhaps a more unique course at Uni (E,g, media studies, journalism, etc) then that combination of subjects could work really well! The skills gained would strengthen your application a lot

One thing about English - I myself was debating whether I should go for Lang or Lit. I was advised Literature, reason being (hearing from an English teacher recently out of a very good Uni studying English) that Unis prefer Lit much, much more than Lang simply because it is again, more demanding (it is one of the facilitating subjects). She made me think about it this way:

In Lang, you are learning more about how to write persuasively, techniques, etc. More to do with HOW to write. Literature however sort-of assumes you already have these writing skills (or develop them along the course) and use them to be able to analyse books, discover meanings, themes symbols, etc. It's much more detailed and analytical than language.

Another thing though - friends in my Lit class wanted Lang but my school didn't run it - they wanted it because of the chance to do Creative Writing - that was the most fun thing they did at GCSE and they wanted to excel and improve that at A Level (but Lit didn't allow such a free style of writing.) However, in our Lit coursework, we did get the chance to choose any two books/plays of choice and write 3000 words on any question comparing the two - that in a sense did make up for the creative writing as it gave us so much freedom (I'm doing AQA English Lit.)
So I find that Unis will value my Lit much more than if I had taken Lang - a more basic course.

If if was me, I'd keep: (if you think you can handle Lit, consider it, but it's a lot more demanding and I think it may be a bit too overloading with your other subjects. You might end up having to drop the English if you do the worst in it, so keep Lang if you want to) English Lang, Psychology, Sociology and Media Studies (over photography) - while photography may be really interesting (I did it on my NCS), it really isn't the kind of subject that you study at an 'Advanced Level' to get onto a Uni course if you know what I mean? Yes, if the unis course you want doesn't require certain subjects, you could swap the Media for photography. But as you said before, don't only take it just because your teacher said you might do well. Do it if you REALLY want to study it).

Last thing - a combination of similar subjects are discouraged (e.g. taking Business Studies with Economics). In the same way, Psychology and Sociology while they are different, may overlap slightly and may not help differentiate the skills you acquire through A-Level.

Hope you can persevere to the end! (Spent some time doing this No worries Good luck - Hope you choose the right subjects first time!
You always have a couple of weeks to change at the beginning of Year 12 if you need to, remember!

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