A-level Sociology, Business, or Philosophy? Watch

CameronCronje
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Hello
My family and I are emigrating to the UK. I'm 17 (18 in April) and as you know, that's a bad time to emigrate to the UK, but it is what it is. I'll be starting Sixth Form, and only finish school when I'm 19.

I know what I want to study in Uni: Psychology. During uni I'll decide which career to go into between Clinical psychologist, Counselling psychologist, Clinical neuropsychologist, Psychotherapist or Occupational psychologist.

The A-levels I already know I'm taking are Biology and Psychology, but I am having trouble choosing the third.
The options for the third subject are Maths, Sociology, Philosophy, or Business. Leaning more toward Philosophy or Sociology.

Which subject combination would you recommend?
A: Biology, Psychology, Sociology
B: Biology, Psychology, Philosophy
C: Biology, Psychology, Business
D: Biology, Psychology, Maths

It's very difficult to choose. I'll start off by saying I hate Maths but universities look on it favourably.
Business studies would be useful for private practice or perhaps going into marketing if I don't get into a postgraduate course (unlikely, but I like to have backup plans).
Sociology would aid me in the understanding of the societal influences of human behaviour - which could be important for a psychologist because the factors that can be assessed to find the cause of a behaviour/thought are physiological (biological), environmental (including societal), individual experience, and internal psychological factors.
Philosophy would be useful too, since it asks many questions and is very analytical. It would be a nice complement to Biology and Psychology since Biology would be purely scientific, Psychology would be social science, and Philosophy would be more-than-meets-the-eye-thinking (does that make sense?). So Psychology would be like a middle ground between Philosophy and Biology and I think that is a good balance. Philosophy will help me understand more obscure or even spiritual aspects of psychology and human behaviour. I also have a personal interest in philosophy, so that's an added bonus.

I'm mostly torn between options A and B. Both will aid my journey to becoming a psychologist, but I need to consider which one universities would prefer.

Noting I can get at LEAST BBB (I am a realist; but also a dreamer, so I can get A*A*A* if I put my mind to it.)
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s.m999
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DEFINITELY option B- Biology, Psychology and Philosophy. Having that extra scope when it comes to essay writing is going to be vital to the top universities.
That’s my opinion, anyway!
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CameronCronje
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(Original post by s.m999)
DEFINITELY option B- Biology, Psychology and Philosophy. Having that extra scope when it comes to essay writing is going to be vital to the top universities.
That’s my opinion, anyway!
Thanks! I also realised that Oxford University has a Philosophy and Psychology BA so they obviously deem the two subjects good together!
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harrysbar
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(Original post by CameronCronje)
Hello
My family and I are emigrating to the UK. I'm 17 (18 in April) and as you know, that's a bad time to emigrate to the UK, but it is what it is. I'll be starting Sixth Form, and only finish school when I'm 19.

I know what I want to study in Uni: Psychology. During uni I'll decide which career to go into between Clinical psychologist, Counselling psychologist, Clinical neuropsychologist, Psychotherapist or Occupational psychologist.

The A-levels I already know I'm taking are Biology and Psychology, but I am having trouble choosing the third.
The options for the third subject are Maths, Sociology, Philosophy, or Business. Leaning more toward Philosophy or Sociology.

Which subject combination would you recommend?
A: Biology, Psychology, Sociology
B: Biology, Psychology, Philosophy
C: Biology, Psychology, Business
D: Biology, Psychology, Maths

It's very difficult to choose. I'll start off by saying I hate Maths but universities look on it favourably.
Business studies would be useful for private practice or perhaps going into marketing if I don't get into a postgraduate course (unlikely, but I like to have backup plans).
Sociology would aid me in the understanding of the societal influences of human behaviour - which could be important for a psychologist because the factors that can be assessed to find the cause of a behaviour/thought are physiological (biological), environmental (including societal), individual experience, and internal psychological factors.
Philosophy would be useful too, since it asks many questions and is very analytical. It would be a nice complement to Biology and Psychology since Biology would be purely scientific, Psychology would be social science, and Philosophy would be more-than-meets-the-eye-thinking (does that make sense?). So Psychology would be like a middle ground between Philosophy and Biology and I think that is a good balance. Philosophy will help me understand more obscure or even spiritual aspects of psychology and human behaviour. I also have a personal interest in philosophy, so that's an added bonus.

I'm mostly torn between options A and B. Both will aid my journey to becoming a psychologist, but I need to consider which one universities would prefer.

Noting I can get at LEAST BBB (I am a realist; but also a dreamer, so I can get A*A*A* if I put my mind to it.)
Firstly, you really shouldn’t chose Maths if you dislike it already as it’s not needed to do a Psychology degree and you will definitely get Uni offers without A level Maths. As for the others, there’s not much in it so just do the one that appeals the most or start 4 with a view to dropping one by Christmas, if your new school allows that
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ltsmith
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D: Biology, Psychology, Maths
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harrysbar
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(Original post by ltsmith)
D: Biology, Psychology, Maths
Even though OP hates maths?
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ltsmith
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(Original post by harrysbar)
Even though OP hates maths?
i only read 1st half of op.

but op wants to study psych so op will have to get used to liking statistics (at least)
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CameronCronje
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(Original post by ltsmith)
i only read 1st half of op.

but op wants to study psych so op will have to get used to liking statistics (at least)
I like Statistics, Algebra and Probability. I'm actually very good at Stats...

Absolutely hate Trigonometry and Calculus
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Quick-use
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(Original post by CameronCronje)
I like Statistics, Algebra and Probability. I'm actually very good at Stats...

Absolutely hate Trigonometry and Calculus
As someone who's doing his second degree now and will start a Master's degree soon, one thing I would say is: your combination of subjects don't really matter (unless the course you want to do at university asks for specific subjects as Medicine does). You really should do the subjects that you're interested in the most and the ones that will get you the best grades. Universities want the best grades you can offer them as well as a soundly written Personal Statement.

In other words, your grades are everything. Don't do yourself a disservice by picking subjects you won't get the best possible grades you can get.
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CameronCronje
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(Original post by Quick-use)
As someone who's doing his second degree now and will start a Master's degree soon, one thing I would say is: your combination of subjects don't really matter (unless the course you want to do at university asks for specific subjects as Medicine does). You really should do the subjects that you're interested in the most and the ones that will get you the best grades. Universities want the best grades you can offer them as well as a soundly written Personal Statement.

In other words, your grades are everything. Don't do yourself a disservice by picking subjects you won't get the best possible grades you can get.
Golden advice, thanks! I think I'll start AS with Biology, Psychology, Philosophy and Maths, and then drop either Philosophy or Maths in the first week/month depending on which class I like more.

The reason I don't like maths is because for the past two years (my grade 10 and grade 11) I've been homeschooling. No tutors. No teachers. No lecturers. Just myself, and nobody to explain and guide... So maths got kind of frustrating. Consider that WHICH teacher you have for a subject can greatly impact your grades, now imagine NO teacher at all.
Homeschooling has taught me great skills, but it has also given me anxiety. I've always had good self-discipline, but the anxiety arises from uncertainty of whether or not I'm doing this right, or not knowing where I'm going wrong. With a teacher, or even lecturer, I'd be well off because I can learn through observation.
My point is that maybe if I have a good maths teacher, I can learn to love the subject...
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Quick-use
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(Original post by CameronCronje)
Golden advice, thanks! I think I'll start AS with Biology, Psychology, Philosophy and Maths, and then drop either Philosophy or Maths in the first week/month depending on which class I like more.

The reason I don't like maths is because for the past two years (my grade 10 and grade 11) I've been homeschooling. No tutors. No teachers. No lecturers. Just myself, and nobody to explain and guide... So maths got kind of frustrating. Consider that WHICH teacher you have for a subject can greatly impact your grades, now imagine NO teacher at all.
Homeschooling has taught me great skills, but it has also given me anxiety. I've always had good self-discipline, but the anxiety arises from uncertainty of whether or not I'm doing this right, or not knowing where I'm going wrong. With a teacher, or even lecturer, I'd be well off because I can learn through observation.
My point is that maybe if I have a good maths teacher, I can learn to love the subject...
Hey, just remember - take the easiest route for yourself and you'll succeed.

In high school, I had terrible teachers for maths and physics and as a result, my grades suffered. It was disappointing for me because I used to enjoy maths a lot and used to get good grades.

Anyways, when I was 16 I chose English Lit, Spanish and History - all subjects that I was really, really good in. Thinking that universities would see me as not being well-rounded, I also chose to study Biology without ever having studied it properly which was a huge mistake. I struggled throughout the entire year, my grades in my other subjects suffered and it caused me a lot of anxiety.

After that year, I continued with English Lit, Spanish and History and did AS French. Guess what? I did amazing and got into university for a subject I really wanted to do. Has doing poorly in Bio and not being well-rounded negatively impacted my life so far? Not at all. If anything, I regret wasting so much time on Biology. It just wasn't for me at all and I did it for all the wrong reasons.

Lesson: Just do what you like and what you want to do.

As you get older, you'll learn to prioritise and let go of certain things - not enough time and energy to do everything.
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CameronCronje
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(Original post by Quick-use)
Hey, just remember - take the easiest route for yourself and you'll succeed.

In high school, I had terrible teachers for maths and physics and as a result, my grades suffered. It was disappointing for me because I used to enjoy maths a lot and used to get good grades.

Anyways, when I was 16 I chose English Lit, Spanish and History - all subjects that I was really, really good in. Thinking that universities would see me as not being well-rounded, I also chose to study Biology without ever having studied it properly which was a huge mistake. I struggled throughout the entire year, my grades in my other subjects suffered and it caused me a lot of anxiety.

After that year, I continued with English Lit, Spanish and History and did AS French. Guess what? I did amazing and got into university for a subject I really wanted to do. Has doing poorly in Bio and not being well-rounded negatively impacted my life so far? Not at all. If anything, I regret wasting so much time on Biology. It just wasn't for me at all and I did it for all the wrong reasons.

Lesson: Just do what you like and what you want to do.

As you get older, you'll learn to prioritise and let go of certain things - not enough time and energy to do everything.
You've been very helpful. I appreciate it.
I love Biology and Psychology. Don't know enough about Philosophy to tell you for sure, but I am watching Crash Course Philosophy so I'll know whether or not I love it soon. So far I LOVE it but I should get past the introductory videos before I conclude that I love it. But so far so good. It excites me. And I love it when subjects excite me.
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Quick-use
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(Original post by CameronCronje)
You've been very helpful. I appreciate it.
I love Biology and Psychology. Don't know enough about Philosophy to tell you for sure, but I am watching Crash Course Philosophy so I'll know whether or not I love it soon. So far I LOVE it but I should get past the introductory videos before I conclude that I love it. But so far so good. It excites me. And I love it when subjects excite me.
Sounds like you know what you want to do.
Enjoy your A levels!
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Quick-use
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(Original post by CameronCronje)
Hello
My family and I are emigrating to the UK. I'm 17 (18 in April) and as you know, that's a bad time to emigrate to the UK, but it is what it is. I'll be starting Sixth Form, and only finish school when I'm 19.

I know what I want to study in Uni: Psychology. During uni I'll decide which career to go into between Clinical psychologist, Counselling psychologist, Clinical neuropsychologist, Psychotherapist or Occupational psychologist.

The A-levels I already know I'm taking are Biology and Psychology, but I am having trouble choosing the third.
The options for the third subject are Maths, Sociology, Philosophy, or Business. Leaning more toward Philosophy or Sociology.

Which subject combination would you recommend?
A: Biology, Psychology, Sociology
B: Biology, Psychology, Philosophy
C: Biology, Psychology, Business
D: Biology, Psychology, Maths

It's very difficult to choose. I'll start off by saying I hate Maths but universities look on it favourably.
Business studies would be useful for private practice or perhaps going into marketing if I don't get into a postgraduate course (unlikely, but I like to have backup plans).
Sociology would aid me in the understanding of the societal influences of human behaviour - which could be important for a psychologist because the factors that can be assessed to find the cause of a behaviour/thought are physiological (biological), environmental (including societal), individual experience, and internal psychological factors.
Philosophy would be useful too, since it asks many questions and is very analytical. It would be a nice complement to Biology and Psychology since Biology would be purely scientific, Psychology would be social science, and Philosophy would be more-than-meets-the-eye-thinking (does that make sense?). So Psychology would be like a middle ground between Philosophy and Biology and I think that is a good balance. Philosophy will help me understand more obscure or even spiritual aspects of psychology and human behaviour. I also have a personal interest in philosophy, so that's an added bonus.

I'm mostly torn between options A and B. Both will aid my journey to becoming a psychologist, but I need to consider which one universities would prefer.

Noting I can get at LEAST BBB (I am a realist; but also a dreamer, so I can get A*A*A* if I put my mind to it.)
Also, I know this is completely off-topic, but if you don't mind me saying - emigrate and immigrate are two separate words. So, you're immigrating to the UK = You're entering the UK. You're emigrating your current country = You're exiting your current country.

Ergo, immigrate = in / emigrate = exit
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harrysbar
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Golden advice, thanks! I think I'll start AS with Biology, Psychology, Philosophy and Maths, and then drop either Philosophy or Maths in the first week/month depending on which class I like more.
Again, I would urge you not to pick Maths as Statistics is the only part of maths that is required in a Psychology degree and people with GCSE Maths can cope with the maths part perfectly well, after a bit of tuition from the Uni. Maths A level is notoriously difficult, so much so that most sixth forms will require you to have achieved an A or B at Gcse level (at my school it is an A). It's up to you OP, but don't choose maths lightly if you struggle with it now as it gets much, much harder at A level
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CameronCronje
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(Original post by harrysbar)
Again, I would urge you not to pick Maths as Statistics is the only part of maths that is required in a Psychology degree and people with GCSE Maths can cope with the maths part perfectly well, after a bit of tuition from the Uni. Maths A level is notoriously difficult, so much so that most sixth forms will require you to have achieved an A or B at Gcse level (at my school it is an A). It's up to you OP, but don't choose maths lightly if you struggle with it now as it gets much, much harder at A level
That's also worth considering. In South Africa, grade 11 is equivalent to IGCSE-2. I fell short a mere 1% of a B in Maths, so with a teacher I'd be able to do it, but my intuition is telling me not to take Maths. Although intuition can be exactly wrong, it tends not to fail me. I won't blindly trust intuition without rationale, but rationale also guides me towards not taking maths because it isn't something I enjoy, and I would rather take Philosophy and get good grades.

A side note: it's interesting to me how this relationship works. There's a pattern in many behaviours that implies we decide based on emotion, and rationalise with logic. Even in buying say, a phone. You want the phone but it is expensive. But you'll rationalise the decision because the phone has certain features, and end up buying it. Emotion drives action, logic is used to rationalise it. This can also be seen in cases where our habits are against our logic. Logic tells you exercise is good, but habit/emotion keeps you lazy unless you actually change your routine through awareness of the habit loop.
Just something I noticed.
My mind is geared towards psychology and finding the cause and effect relationship of behaviours. I should just be careful because correlation≠causation. I'd love to find the truth by studying psychology, and I'd love to let go of beliefs/ideas that aren't true in my search for knowledge.
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harrysbar
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(Original post by CameronCronje)
That's also worth considering. In South Africa, grade 11 is equivalent to IGCSE-2. I fell short a mere 1% of a B in Maths, so with a teacher I'd be able to do it, but my intuition is telling me not to take Maths. Although intuition can be exactly wrong, it tends not to fail me. I won't blindly trust intuition without rationale, but rationale also guides me towards not taking maths because it isn't something I enjoy, and I would rather take Philosophy and get good grades.

A side note: it's interesting to me how this relationship works. There's a pattern in many behaviours that implies we decide based on emotion, and rationalise with logic. Even in buying say, a phone. You want the phone but it is expensive. But you'll rationalise the decision because the phone has certain features, and end up buying it. Emotion drives action, logic is used to rationalise it. This can also be seen in cases where our habits are against our logic. Logic tells you exercise is good, but habit/emotion keeps you lazy unless you actually change your routine through awareness of the habit loop.
Just something I noticed.
My mind is geared towards psychology and finding the cause and effect relationship of behaviours. I should just be careful because correlation≠causation. I'd love to find the truth by studying psychology, and I'd love to let go of beliefs/ideas that aren't true in my search for knowledge.
Haha, very true and I like the phone analogy I think in this case you should trust your instinct, which is backed up by the rationale of maths being one of the hardest A levels out there. I imagine you would find Philosophy more enjoyable, and that's important to get the high grades to get into a top Uni
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