I've made the Wrong A level choices. International Relations? Watch

Babs003
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A level Choices: Biology, Chemistry, Maths, French.
So I literally knew from the first week of Sixth Form that I was gonna seriously struggle in Biology, but I tried to push it to the back of my mind. I currently go biology support since I've been getting a D or a U in recent tests but I literally feel like crying because I clearly don't understand anything (when I think I do). We didn't have a teacher until a week ago, when a retired teacher came back to teach, but she's been saying scornful comments to the class, (ie. low grades= lack of organisation, poor mindset), and it's making me so annoyed at myself and embarassed. I feel dumb so I have to rebuild myself everytime I go back to school.

Over the last month(s), I have seriously thought about taking International Relations. I'm pretty sure about dropping Biology (I don't want to study natural sciences at degree-level), but then I don't know whether unis will accept me with Chem, Maths, French even if I get good grades in them.

I've talked to a learning teacher and she said to have a think about what subject I want to get a qualification in at the end of Sixth Form. She's thinking of letting me sit the exams and mocks for a subject I'll self-teach but not changing my timetable as it's too late.

If I were applying to do International Relations, what subject would be best in the mix of French, Chem and Maths? Could I apply without i.e. economics, law, etc? If So, would I struggle at uni without having a basic knowledge of, ie. Law or economics, at A-level?

What's everyone's advice for me? I do really want to study International Relations. Not sure if politics could be self-taught... I just need some guidance after having been given an opportunity to gain an extra qualification.to help with uni application and personal statement.
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chapmase
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International Relations doesn't have any required A-level subjects at most universities. Universities will definitely admit you with Maths, French and Chemistry if you get the required grades, so definitely stick with these subjects and get the best grades you can!

Many colleges don't even offer subjects like law, economics and politics at A-level and a lot of people may not have studied them even if they had the chance to, so university courses will start from the beginning assuming that you haven't studied these subjects, so you don't need to worry about being behind.

If you're really interested in politics, you could teach yourself, but you'd have to make sure that it doesn't take away too much time from other subjects and lower your grades in those. Having high grades in your main 3 subjects is probably more important than attempting to teach yourself a 4th subject.
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Babs003
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(Original post by chapmase)
International Relations doesn't have any required A-level subjects at most universities. Universities will definitely admit you with Maths, French and Chemistry if you get the required grades, so definitely stick with these subjects and get the best grades you can!

Many colleges don't even offer subjects like law, economics and politics at A-level and a lot of people may not have studied them even if they had the chance to, so university courses will start from the beginning assuming that you haven't studied these subjects, so you don't need to worry about being behind.

If you're really interested in politics, you could teach yourself, but you'd have to make sure that it doesn't take away too much time from other subjects and lower your grades in those. Having high grades in your main 3 subjects is probably more important than attempting to teach yourself a 4th subject.
Thanks Chapmase! I'm so glad you replied, since uni courses have these assumptions, I'll continue with the three subjects above. I might talk to my learning teacher about Law because my sister (took law at uni too) and neighbour took Law, and they still have textbooks, practice essays. So I'd have some support with them. But it not, this response has really boosted my confidence! Thank you!
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Babs003)
Thanks Chapmase! I'm so glad you replied, since uni courses have these assumptions, I'll continue with the three subjects above. I might talk to my learning teacher about Law because my sister (took law at uni too) and neighbour took Law, and they still have textbooks, practice essays. So I'd have some support with them. But it not, this response has really boosted my confidence! Thank you!
Could you drop the Biology and pick up AS English or History? They would both strongly support IR.
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1st superstar
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(Original post by Babs003)
A level Choices: Biology, Chemistry, Maths, French.
So I literally knew from the first week of Sixth Form that I was gonna seriously struggle in Biology, but I tried to push it to the back of my mind. I currently go biology support since I've been getting a D or a U in recent tests but I literally feel like crying because I clearly don't understand anything (when I think I do). We didn't have a teacher until a week ago, when a retired teacher came back to teach, but she's been saying scornful comments to the class, (ie. low grades= lack of organisation, poor mindset), and it's making me so annoyed at myself and embarassed. I feel dumb so I have to rebuild myself everytime I go back to school.

Over the last month(s), I have seriously thought about taking International Relations. I'm pretty sure about dropping Biology (I don't want to study natural sciences at degree-level), but then I don't know whether unis will accept me with Chem, Maths, French even if I get good grades in them.

I've talked to a learning teacher and she said to have a think about what subject I want to get a qualification in at the end of Sixth Form. She's thinking of letting me sit the exams and mocks for a subject I'll self-teach but not changing my timetable as it's too late.

If I were applying to do International Relations, what subject would be best in the mix of French, Chem and Maths? Could I apply without i.e. economics, law, etc? If So, would I struggle at uni without having a basic knowledge of, ie. Law or economics, at A-level?

What's everyone's advice for me? I do really want to study International Relations. Not sure if politics could be self-taught... I just need some guidance after having been given an opportunity to gain an extra qualification.to help with uni application and personal statement.
same bro I should have done politics, business and chemistry... but NOPE I do 3 fricken S.T.E.M subjects (chemistry, physics and economics oh yeah forgot to mention that I could be doing 3 exams in one fricking day yay 5-6hrs of exams in one day like wtf do I do I refuse to do 3 exams in one day!!)... in year 12 btw
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(Original post by chapmase)
International Relations doesn't have any required A-level subjects at most universities. Universities will definitely admit you with Maths, French and Chemistry if you get the required grades, so definitely stick with these subjects and get the best grades you can!

Many colleges don't even offer subjects like law, economics and politics at A-level and a lot of people may not have studied them even if they had the chance to, so university courses will start from the beginning assuming that you haven't studied these subjects, so you don't need to worry about being behind.

If you're really interested in politics, you could teach yourself, but you'd have to make sure that it doesn't take away too much time from other subjects and lower your grades in those. Having high grades in your main 3 subjects is probably more important than attempting to teach yourself a 4th subject.
many school do offer economics and politics (i would consider them as standard a-levels all schools should offer and most do especially economics)... however i agree with law it's a rare a-level like: electronics, accounting etc... but it is becoming more common and more schools are offering law as an A-level.. seriously genuinely pissed that the sixth form i go to doesn't even offer a-level music and a-level politics like cmon those are common standard a levels but tbh i don't want to do a-level music...
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timelizard
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Hi. My A Levels were Biology, Chemistry*, Maths and Spanish.
I now study International Relations at LSE - so it's definitely possible

You can definitely get in without law or economics, especially since IR doesn't even need them. I considered taking politics AS in my second year of sixth form just so at least i could look political on paper! but i dont think it was possible for me logistically but in the end i didn't even need it.
Other ways I demonstrated my interest in IR other than reading was by going to public lectures and also attending a "summer school" of IR, which was just a week of classes to introduce different elements of IR to people considering studying it. I appreciate I was lucky to have the resources and the money to afford those events or even to live close enough to go to those places. But I don't think you need them. Because at most, in my personal statement i just used those things as spring boards to talk about further reading I did

Let me know if you have any questions.

(* i dropped chemistry after AS)

(Original post by Babs003)
A level Choices: Biology, Chemistry, Maths, French.
So I literally knew from the first week of Sixth Form that I was gonna seriously struggle in Biology.....
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Babs003
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Could you drop the Biology and pick up AS English or History? They would both strongly support IR.
I heard that at English AS, one has to study Hamlet, poetry, tamekaz? (A dance) but this seems a bit much to do as self-study. Ah but thank u for replying History... unfortunately, I chose geography at GCSE
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Babs003
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(Original post by 1st superstar)
same bro I should have done politics, business and chemistry... but NOPE I do 3 fricken S.T.E.M subjects (chemistry, physics and economics oh yeah forgot to mention that I could be doing 3 exams in one fricking day yay 5-6hrs of exams in one day like wtf do I do I refuse to do 3 exams in one day!!)... in year 12 btw
I appreciate the sympathy, thanks mate. Your choices do sound pretty cool tho 👍 Fingers crossed that we manage to succeed in studying IR am I right?
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Babs003
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(Original post by timelizard)
Hi. My A Levels were Biology, Chemistry*, Maths and Spanish.
I now study International Relations at LSE - so it's definitely possible

You can definitely get in without law or economics, especially since IR doesn't even need them. I considered taking politics AS in my second year of sixth form just so at least i could look political on paper! but i dont think it was possible for me logistically but in the end i didn't even need it.
Other ways I demonstrated my interest in IR other than reading was by going to public lectures and also attending a "summer school" of IR, which was just a week of classes to introduce different elements of IR to people considering studying it. I appreciate I was lucky to have the resources and the money to afford those events or even to live close enough to go to those places. But I don't think you need them. Because at most, in my personal statement i just used those things as spring boards to talk about further reading I did

Let me know if you have any questions.

(* i dropped chemistry after AS)
Ah I totally wanted to do a Summer school course on IR but my parents are quite unpredictable, sometimes they work and come at 16h00, other times they come back at 22h00 so I’m literally home alone or sometimes I’m just with my sis. I mean I could travel solo but it’s true, they are super expensive (last one I saw was £1400) and that’s a straight-up no from my house. Looks like I’ll need to look for other ways :/
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mpaprika
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hey I took the exact same a levels except German rather than French, and I'm in the same exact situation. I'm really struggling with maths and I honestly don't know what I want to do, I'm here for you
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timelizard
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(Original post by Babs003)
Ah I totally wanted to do a Summer school course on IR but my parents are quite unpredictable, sometimes they work and come at 16h00, other times they come back at 22h00 so I’m literally home alone or sometimes I’m just with my sis. I mean I could travel solo but it’s true, they are super expensive (last one I saw was £1400) and that’s a straight-up no from my house. Looks like I’ll need to look for other ways :/
the one I went to was about £500 based in central london but i appreciate that even that is a ridiculous sum of money for majority of families - they do have bursaries if i remember correctly so maybe thatll help if youre near enough to london

Send me a message if you want any info about IR in general (and some suggestions about what sort of stuff you should read/build ur knowledge base around for both background info and for ur PS) or about the course I went to I really think you'll be able to develop a good application and base knowledge for the subject without spending loads.
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timelizard
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(Original post by Babs003)
I heard that at English AS, one has to study Hamlet, poetry, tamekaz? (A dance) but this seems a bit much to do as self-study. Ah but thank u for replying History... unfortunately, I chose geography at GCSE
don't stress about these things honestly, especially with what you did at gcse. When i was applying (in 2015!) there was only one place that had an entry requirement for an a level in a humanities subject (Durham, btw). My gcses optionals were a bit random but by the time youre about to go to uni as long as theyre decent marks, no one really cares.
You're grades and your PS matter the most really. as long as youre doing well in them, that shows you are bright enough. and the fact you would go out of your way to discover this subject and learn about it independently, that shows you have interest and drive and blah blah blah.
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Babs003
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(Original post by mpaprika)
hey I took the exact same a levels except German rather than French, and I'm in the same exact situation. I'm really struggling with maths and I honestly don't know what I want to do, I'm here for you
:dancing:We should definitely keep in contact with the messaging system on here- IR at uni- that's the dream my friend.
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Babs003
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(Original post by timelizard)
don't stress about these things honestly, especially with what you did at gcse. When i was applying (in 2015!) there was only one place that had an entry requirement for an a level in a humanities subject (Durham, btw). My gcses optionals were a bit random but by the time youre about to go to uni as long as theyre decent marks, no one really cares.
You're grades and your PS matter the most really. as long as youre doing well in them, that shows you are bright enough. and the fact you would go out of your way to discover this subject and learn about it independently, that shows you have interest and drive and blah blah blah.
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