Help with A-level Choices for a Potential International Relations Course at Uni

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3204turner
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Hi everyone (I'm new here) & I was just wondering if could get some help with picking my A-levels?
I'm thinking of doing International Relations/ International Law
(I took French, History & Geography for GCSE)
I have high predicted/ target grades 7's/ 8's/ 9's
So I can do almost any subject
What A-levels are best for International Relations?
Which aren't worth it?
What subjects are the hardest at A-level?
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joannefox6
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Look up on uni website and look on the entry requirements this can help see if you need a certain subject if not just study the ones that suit you
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PatrioticParrot
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As someone who got every offer from the universities I applied to (to study international relations) I'd suggest picking from these choices:
History, Government and Politics, Geography (these are the best three IMO)

It's good to have some range though, for example a lot of people that are doing international relations that I know of have done some of:
English, Psychology, a language, Sociology or Business/ Economics.

I'd also definitely recommend doing an EPQ essay and picking an 'international relations' topic, for example, mine was on Britains relationship with its former colonies.

BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO GET EXTRACURRICULAR EXPERIENCE, maybe volunteering for a local refugee support group, or getting involved with your local MP, or going on a European exchange etc.
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jelly1000
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(Original post by 3204turner)
Hi everyone (I'm new here) & I was just wondering if could get some help with picking my A-levels?
I'm thinking of doing International Relations/ International Law
(I took French, History & Geography for GCSE)
I have high predicted/ target grades 7's/ 8's/ 9's
So I can do almost any subject
What A-levels are best for International Relations?
Which aren't worth it?
What subjects are the hardest at A-level?
In essence it doesn't really matter, however it would look a bit odd if you did all sciences. Equally if you are aiming for a Russell Group university it would help to do 2 faciliating subjects: these are off the top of my head I believe: languages, sciences, english, maths, history, geography, rs.
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Michiyo
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(Original post by 3204turner)
Hi everyone (I'm new here) & I was just wondering if could get some help with picking my A-levels?
I'm thinking of doing International Relations/ International Law
(I took French, History & Geography for GCSE)
I have high predicted/ target grades 7's/ 8's/ 9's
So I can do almost any subject
What A-levels are best for International Relations?
Which aren't worth it?
What subjects are the hardest at A-level?
First year International Relations student here!

Funnily enough, I answered a similar question a week ago, so I will just copy-paste the list of A-levels I wrote back then and add some other thoughts :lol: In my opinion, the most relevant A-levels for International Relations are:
- Government and Politics
- History
- Sociology
- Foreign languages (French, German, Arabic, Japanese, etc)
- Philosophy
- Economics
- Geography

Any other subjects like Mathematics, English Literature or Psychology work.

Personally, my ideal combination would be Government and Politics, History, and a foreign language, Economics or Philosophy. For a fourth subject, Sociology or any of the three third options I mentioned (foreign language/Economics/Philosophy) would be of great help. Geography is fine and it could be useful if the modules you will take have a use for it, but trust me when I say that you do not really need to know anything beyond basic geography for International Relations. In fact, I do not believe my knowledge of geography has helped me at all ever since I embarked on this degree, while studying Government and Politics and Sociology helped a lot.

Having two facilitating subjects is good, but not necessary if you would rather study something else. I myself studied Government and Politics, English Literature, Psychology, and Sociology and got an offer from Exeter, so I doubt only taking one facilitating A-level was that much of a problem. Doing an EPQ is not mandatory either (I did not do any EPQ and here I am, in university studying international relations), so only do it if it is something you would be interested in.

I highly disagree that extracurricular activities are the most important aspect. Your grades matter most. No Russell Group university will let someone in with BCC because they did an immense amount of extracurriculars, after all. I do believe that extracurricular activities are important so that you stand out (I myself did quite a few extracurricular activities), but grades top them any day. To be completely honest, I think your evidence of wider reading is more important than extracurricular activities as they are very useful in order to show your interest in the subject.

This is how I would rank the importance of the components of your application for International Relations:
- Predicted grades
- AS grades (if applicable)
- Reading
- Subjects studied
- Extracurricular activities
- Everything else

Again, this is just my opinion, but it is based on my own experience.

Hope this helps and good luck! :hugs:
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3204turner
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(Original post by Michiyo)
First year International Relations student here!

Funnily enough, I answered a similar question a week ago, so I will just copy-paste the list of A-levels I wrote back then and add some other thoughts :lol: In my opinion, the most relevant A-levels for International Relations are:
- Government and Politics
- History
- Sociology
- Foreign languages (French, German, Arabic, Japanese, etc)
- Philosophy
- Economics
- Geography

Any other subjects like Mathematics, English Literature or Psychology work.

Personally, my ideal combination would be Government and Politics, History, and a foreign language, Economics or Philosophy. For a fourth subject, Sociology or any of the three third options I mentioned (foreign language/Economics/Philosophy) would be of great help. Geography is fine and it could be useful if the modules you will take have a use for it, but trust me when I say that you do not really need to know anything beyond basic geography for International Relations. In fact, I do not believe my knowledge of geography has helped me at all ever since I embarked on this degree, while studying Government and Politics and Sociology helped a lot.

Having two facilitating subjects is good, but not necessary if you would rather study something else. I myself studied Government and Politics, English Literature, Psychology, and Sociology and got an offer from Exeter, so I doubt only taking one facilitating A-level was that much of a problem. Doing an EPQ is not mandatory either (I did not do any EPQ and here I am, in university studying international relations), so only do it if it is something you would be interested in.

I highly disagree that extracurricular activities are the most important aspect. Your grades matter most. No Russell Group university will let someone in with BCC because they did an immense amount of extracurriculars, after all. I do believe that extracurricular activities are important so that you stand out (I myself did quite a few extracurricular activities), but grades top them any day. To be completely honest, I think your evidence of wider reading is more important than extracurricular activities as they are very useful in order to show your interest in the subject.

This is how I would rank the importance of the components of your application for International Relations:
- Predicted grades
- AS grades (if applicable)
- Reading
- Subjects studied
- Extracurricular activities
- Everything else

Again, this is just my opinion, but it is based on my own experience.

Hope this helps and good luck! :hugs:


Thanks, unfortunately, none of the schools in the area do Government/ Politics and so I decided to do
1. French (I love languages and French is my favourite)
2. History (My second favourite subject and also one of the Rusell Group
3. Economics (Closest I'll come to doing Politics
4. Philosophy/ Ethics (I enjoy the debates)

I've also considered doing Law but seems kind of useless.
My biggest concern is the careers after International Relations at Uni so I was wondering what career are you thinking of?
What do you think of my A-Level choice?
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Michiyo
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(Original post by 3204turner)
Thanks, unfortunately, none of the schools in the area do Government/ Politics and so I decided to do
1. French (I love languages and French is my favourite)
2. History (My second favourite subject and also one of the Rusell Group
3. Economics (Closest I'll come to doing Politics
4. Philosophy/ Ethics (I enjoy the debates)

I've also considered doing Law but seems kind of useless.
My biggest concern is the careers after International Relations at Uni so I was wondering what career are you thinking of?
What do you think of my A-Level choice?
If you want to do Law, go ahead It is no crime to have an A-level that is not completely related to the degree you want to study and there are way worse options for International Relations than Law It is important that you enjoy your A-levels too!

That A-level combination is beautiful! :grin: It shall prepare you for International Relations very well :yes: French is great because it is one of the most widely spoken languages and it is extremely useful (internships at the United Nations often require knowledge of French, for example, in case that is something you are interested in), history is very good as it could teach you how the past influences global politics, economics is good because it helps you consider the economic factors behind international relations and you might study game theory (which is important as you might have to study it during your degree; I myself have an entire assignment on game theory due in three days!), and philosophy is useful since it introduces you to basic philosophy, prepares you for reading philosophers during your degree (it is highly likely that you will learn about theories like liberalism, rationalism, and constructivism in an international relations degree and reading various philosophers helped me get a First on the essay I had to write on that topic), and you might end up reading some pieces that will help you in university. Overall, I would say that is a solid combination that will help you at least in the first year! :yes: And even if you replace one of them with Law, that is okay :hugs:

There are quite a few careers that can be done with a degree in International Relations :yep: I would love to become a political analyst or a strategy analyst

Career options for International Relations include, but are not limited to:
- Civil Service Fast Streamer (this is more of a scheme that provides a temporary job for a few years, but it is very competitive and useful; I will definitely apply for it when the time comes)
- civil servant
- political/social researcher
- diplomat
- politician's assistant
- intelligence officer/analyst (a.k.a. working for the secret services)
- public affairs consultant
- public relations accounts executive
- various jobs for international organisations like the EU and UN
- almost any job in charities and the government
- almost any business jobs like jobs in human resources, public affairs, et cetera

In practice, you can apply for any job that does not require a specific degree or a degree related to science.
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jelly1000
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(Original post by 3204turner)
Thanks, unfortunately, none of the schools in the area do Government/ Politics and so I decided to do
1. French (I love languages and French is my favourite)
2. History (My second favourite subject and also one of the Rusell Group
3. Economics (Closest I'll come to doing Politics
4. Philosophy/ Ethics (I enjoy the debates)

I've also considered doing Law but seems kind of useless.
My biggest concern is the careers after International Relations at Uni so I was wondering what career are you thinking of?
What do you think of my A-Level choice?
Just to add to Michyos very helpful post regarding careers getting work experience is absolutely crucial.
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3204turner
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(Original post by Michiyo)
If you want to do Law, go ahead It is no crime to have an A-level that is not completely related to the degree you want to study and there are way worse options for International Relations than Law It is important that you enjoy your A-levels too!

That A-level combination is beautiful! :grin: It shall prepare you for International Relations very well :yes: French is great because it is one of the most widely spoken languages and it is extremely useful (internships at the United Nations often require knowledge of French, for example, in case that is something you are interested in), history is very good as it could teach you how the past influences global politics, economics is good because it helps you consider the economic factors behind international relations and you might study game theory (which is important as you might have to study it during your degree; I myself have an entire assignment on game theory due in three days!), and philosophy is useful since it introduces you to basic philosophy, prepares you for reading philosophers during your degree (it is highly likely that you will learn about theories like liberalism, rationalism, and constructivism in an international relations degree and reading various philosophers helped me get a First on the essay I had to write on that topic), and you might end up reading some pieces that will help you in university. Overall, I would say that is a solid combination that will help you at least in the first year! :yes: And even if you replace one of them with Law, that is okay :hugs:

There are quite a few careers that can be done with a degree in International Relations :yep: I would love to become a political analyst or a strategy analyst

Career options for International Relations include, but are not limited to:
- Civil Service Fast Streamer (this is more of a scheme that provides a temporary job for a few years, but it is very competitive and useful; I will definitely apply for it when the time comes)
- civil servant
- political/social researcher
- diplomat
- politician's assistant
- intelligence officer/analyst (a.k.a. working for the secret services)
- public affairs consultant
- public relations accounts executive
- various jobs for international organisations like the EU and UN
- almost any job in charities and the government
- almost any business jobs like jobs in human resources, public affairs, et cetera

In practice, you can apply for any job that does not require a specific degree or a degree related to science.
Thank you for all of you’re help and advice. I have taken this on board and am now more confident about both my a levels and uni course 😁
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Michiyo
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(Original post by 3204turner)
Thank you for all of you’re help and advice. I have taken this on board and am now more confident about both my a levels and uni course 😁
You are more than welcome! :lovehug:

That is the spirit! :dance: I am really happy to hear that! :excited:

Honestly, International Relations is an aright degree for getting almost any job that does not require mathematical or scientific skills (excluding social science research), so you will be fine :yes:
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