A Level choices checklist (Continuously being edited)

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ANO-NI-MUS
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This is a nice A level checklist that people might wanna keep in mind when choosing their A level choices. Keep in mind that this is in no way a completely exhaustive list. However my uncle has worked in university admissions for 20 plus years including a couple years at Cambridge. Anyone is free to add info or correct it if required.

Firstly the idea of facilitating subjects is more or less outdated even for Oxbridge. The list was published in 2011 and since then unis place much more emphasis on the requirements of the course.

But some things to keep in mind.

If you do not know at all what you wanna do at uni but want to do A levels then selecting atleast 2 from the following list might be helpful as they get accepted for a vast number of courses. The list includes:
Physics
Chemistry
Biology
Math and/or Further math
English Literature
History
Any Language (apart from english)
Other subjects that although not traditionally facilitating subjects are equally accepted and respected by unis: Geography, economics (Cambridge, along with most unis consider economics a facilitating subject if applying for economics) and perhaps english language (this one's a bit debatable)

Business Studies and economics SHOULD NOT be taken together and unis generally consider economics a more respectable subject than Business.

I would recommend against taking Accounting if it is one of your 3 A levels. It is not a traditionally accepted subject by most well ranked unis. (Edit: LSE will accept Accounting as one of the 3 A levels only if applying for Finance and Accounting)

RE, psychology and sociology are not useless A levels at all. Like I said it depends on the degree. They are on the preferred subject list for both LSE and UCL and I personally know a person doing HSPS at Cambridge now who had literature, history and sociology for A levels.

Media, for the most part should ideally be taken only if applying for theatre or film related degrees. Many unis, if applying for other courses not in any way related to media may not accept it as one of the 3 A levels.

Art can be a good A level. Obviously if applying for art or fashion for example. But I wouldn't recommend having art as one the 3 A levels and applying to Warwick for econ for example. However, art can be a good A level for architecture.

General Studies and Critical Thinking should not be taken as one/two of the 3 A levels.

Some course specific A level combination advice.

Medicine
Definitely have both biology and chemistry. I know there are some unis that will accept only biology and only chemistry but honestly, having both will open up your options much more.
If Cambridge is a potential medicine option, have math as your 3rd A level. Math usually isn't required by most other med unis. At the end of the day you need the grades. However, I would personally argue that biology, chemistry and math is one the best medicine A level combos you can take. So if you are good at it and like it then take math as your 3rd A level. But it is NOT a requirement (apart from maybe Cambridge). For example, biology, chemistry and psychology or biology, chemistry and history (for a bit of variety) or even biology, chemistry and physics can be very good combinations as well.

Law
There are no specific requirements but having a range of subjects can be helpful and make sure to have an essay subject. Good options include history, a language, literature, sociology, math and economics. A diverse range can be helpful. For example, math, history and literature or a language, economics and sociology or even a science.

Economics
Definitely take math. It's a requirement for most unis. If applying for LSE (straight econ) or Cambridge, definitely take further math if offered at your school. But if taken, you need 4 A levels. Taking FM as a 4th A level can be helpful for Warwick as well (straight econ) though they tend to be a bit more lenient with this. Take economics too if possible.
The absolute ideal combination for Cambridge would be math, FM, economics and history/literature. Oxford doesn't mind not have FM but they don't have straight econ. If you do not want to take FM and want to apply for LSE you could consider dual degree courses like Econ and history, econ and politics, PPE or econ and management.

Engineering
Definitely take physics and math. FM can be very helpful as well. A second science (ideally chemistry is good).

Architecture
Physics, math and art can be a very good combo (with FM if possible)

Nat Sci.
Try taking physics, chemistry math and further math.
Last edited by ANO-NI-MUS; 10 months ago
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roseabates
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(Original post by ANO-NI-MUS)
This is a nice A level checklist that people might wanna keep in mind when choosing their A level choices. Keep in mind that this is in no way a completely exhaustive list. However my uncle has worked in university admissions for 20 plus years including a couple years at Cambridge. Anyone is free to add info or correct it if required.

Firstly the idea of facilitating subjects is more or less outdated even for Oxbridge. The list was published in 2011 and since then unis place much more emphasis on the requirements of the course.
But some things to keep in mind.
If you do not know at all what you wanna do at uni but want to do A levels then selecting atleast 2 from the following list might be helpful as they get accepted for a vast number of courses. The list includes:
Each of the 3 sciences
Math and/or Further math
English Literature
History
Any Language (apart from english)
Other subjects that although not traditionally facilitating subjects are equally accepted and respected by unis: Geography, economics (Cambridge, along with most unis consider economics a facilitating subject if applying for economics) and perhaps english language (this one's a bit debatable)
Business Studies and economics SHOULD NOT be taken together and unis generally consider economics a more respectable subject than Business.
I would recommend against taking Accounting if it is one of your 3 A levels. It is not a traditionally accepted subject by most well ranked unis. (For example, LSE does not accept Accounting as one the 3 A levels even when applying for Finance and Accounting).
RE, psychology and sociology are not useless A levels at all. Like I said it depends on the degree. They are on the preferred subject list for both LSE and UCL and I personally know a person doing HSPS at Cambridge now who had literature, history and sociology for A levels.
Media, for the most part should ideally be taken only if applying for theatre or film related degrees. Many unis, if applying for other courses not in any way related to media may not accept it as one of the 3 A levels.
Art can be a good A level. Obviously if applying for art or fashion for example. But I wouldn't recommend having art as one the 3 A levels and applying to Warwick for econ for example. However, art can be a good A level for architecture.

Some course specific A level combination advice.
Medicine
Definitely have both biology and chemistry. I know there are some unis that will accept only biology and only chemistry but honestly, having both will open up your options much more.
If Cambridge is a potential medicine option, have math as your 3rd A level. Math usually isn't required by most other med unis. At the end of the day you need the grades. However, I would personally argue that biology, chemistry and math is one the best medicine A level combos you can take. So if you are good at it and like it then take math as your 3rd A level. But it is NOT a requirement (apart from maybe Cambridge). For example, biology, chemistry and psychology or biology, chemistry and history (for a bit of variety) or even biology, chemistry and physics can be very good combinations as well.

Law
There are no specific requirements but having a range of subjects can be helpful and make sure to have an essay subject. Good options include history, a language, literature, sociology, math and economics. A diverse range can be helpful. For example, math, history and literature or a language, economics and sociology or even a science.

Economics
Definitely take math. It's a requirement for most unis. If applying for LSE (straight econ) or Cambridge, definitely take further math if offered at your school. But if taken, you need 4 A levels. Taking FM as a 4th A level can be helpful for Warwick as well (straight econ) though they tend to be a bit more lenient with this. Take economics too if possible.
The absolute ideal combination for Cambridge would be math, FM, economics and history/literature. Oxford doesn't mind not have FM but they don't have straight econ. If you do not want to take FM and want to apply for LSE you could consider dual degree courses like Econ and history, econ and politics, PPE or econ and management.

Engineering
Definitely take physics and math. FM can be very helpful as well. A second science (ideally chemistry is good).

Architecture
Physics, math and art can be a very good combo (with FM if possible)

Nat Sci.
Try taking physics, chemistry math and further math.
Wow thank you this is amazing!
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ANO-NI-MUS
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(Original post by roseabates)
Wow thank you this is amazing!
Glad I could be of help!
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Lucy98654
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(Original post by ANO-NI-MUS)
This is a nice A level checklist that people might wanna keep in mind when choosing their A level choices. Keep in mind that this is in no way a completely exhaustive list. However my uncle has worked in university admissions for 20 plus years including a couple years at Cambridge. Anyone is free to add info or correct it if required.

Firstly the idea of facilitating subjects is more or less outdated even for Oxbridge. The list was published in 2011 and since then unis place much more emphasis on the requirements of the course.
But some things to keep in mind.
If you do not know at all what you wanna do at uni but want to do A levels then selecting atleast 2 from the following list might be helpful as they get accepted for a vast number of courses. The list includes:
Each of the 3 sciences
Math and/or Further math
English Literature
History
Any Language (apart from english)
Other subjects that although not traditionally facilitating subjects are equally accepted and respected by unis: Geography, economics (Cambridge, along with most unis consider economics a facilitating subject if applying for economics) and perhaps english language (this one's a bit debatable)
Business Studies and economics SHOULD NOT be taken together and unis generally consider economics a more respectable subject than Business.
I would recommend against taking Accounting if it is one of your 3 A levels. It is not a traditionally accepted subject by most well ranked unis. (For example, LSE does not accept Accounting as one the 3 A levels even when applying for Finance and Accounting).
RE, psychology and sociology are not useless A levels at all. Like I said it depends on the degree. They are on the preferred subject list for both LSE and UCL and I personally know a person doing HSPS at Cambridge now who had literature, history and sociology for A levels.
Media, for the most part should ideally be taken only if applying for theatre or film related degrees. Many unis, if applying for other courses not in any way related to media may not accept it as one of the 3 A levels.
Art can be a good A level. Obviously if applying for art or fashion for example. But I wouldn't recommend having art as one the 3 A levels and applying to Warwick for econ for example. However, art can be a good A level for architecture.

Some course specific A level combination advice.
Medicine
Definitely have both biology and chemistry. I know there are some unis that will accept only biology and only chemistry but honestly, having both will open up your options much more.
If Cambridge is a potential medicine option, have math as your 3rd A level. Math usually isn't required by most other med unis. At the end of the day you need the grades. However, I would personally argue that biology, chemistry and math is one the best medicine A level combos you can take. So if you are good at it and like it then take math as your 3rd A level. But it is NOT a requirement (apart from maybe Cambridge). For example, biology, chemistry and psychology or biology, chemistry and history (for a bit of variety) or even biology, chemistry and physics can be very good combinations as well.

Law
There are no specific requirements but having a range of subjects can be helpful and make sure to have an essay subject. Good options include history, a language, literature, sociology, math and economics. A diverse range can be helpful. For example, math, history and literature or a language, economics and sociology or even a science.

Economics
Definitely take math. It's a requirement for most unis. If applying for LSE (straight econ) or Cambridge, definitely take further math if offered at your school. But if taken, you need 4 A levels. Taking FM as a 4th A level can be helpful for Warwick as well (straight econ) though they tend to be a bit more lenient with this. Take economics too if possible.
The absolute ideal combination for Cambridge would be math, FM, economics and history/literature. Oxford doesn't mind not have FM but they don't have straight econ. If you do not want to take FM and want to apply for LSE you could consider dual degree courses like Econ and history, econ and politics, PPE or econ and management.

Engineering
Definitely take physics and math. FM can be very helpful as well. A second science (ideally chemistry is good).

Architecture
Physics, math and art can be a very good combo (with FM if possible)

Nat Sci.
Try taking physics, chemistry math and further math.
Thankyou! I dont know what to do in the future at all but I am sure on biology and maths and im not sure if I should do art textiles or psychology. I enjoy textiles but tbh I dont think I would pursue it in the future. Even if I get a amazing grade will it still be looked badly upon if I apply for something un-textiles related.
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ANO-NI-MUS
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(Original post by Lucy98654)
Thankyou! I dont know what to do in the future at all but I am sure on biology and maths and im not sure if I should do art textiles or psychology. I enjoy textiles but tbh I dont think I would pursue it in the future. Even if I get a amazing grade will it still be looked badly upon if I apply for something un-textiles related.
Psychology bio math is probably the best choice here. Textiles isn't the most appealing subject to have unless applying for something textiles related.
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Lucy98654
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(Original post by ANO-NI-MUS)
Psychology bio math is probably the best choice here. Textiles isn't the most appealing subject to have unless applying for something textiles related.
Thank you. Would philosophy and ethics be better than psychology even though the teachers are bad?
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ANO-NI-MUS
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(Original post by Lucy98654)
Thank you. Would philosophy and ethics be better than psychology even though the teachers are bad?
No. Bad teachers are always a risk. I wouldn't recommend it.
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JGoosey2002
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(Original post by ANO-NI-MUS)
This is a nice A level checklist that people might wanna keep in mind when choosing their A level choices. Keep in mind that this is in no way a completely exhaustive list. However my uncle has worked in university admissions for 20 plus years including a couple years at Cambridge. Anyone is free to add info or correct it if required.

Firstly the idea of facilitating subjects is more or less outdated even for Oxbridge. The list was published in 2011 and since then unis place much more emphasis on the requirements of the course.
But some things to keep in mind.
If you do not know at all what you wanna do at uni but want to do A levels then selecting atleast 2 from the following list might be helpful as they get accepted for a vast number of courses. The list includes:
Each of the 3 sciences
Math and/or Further math
English Literature
History
Any Language (apart from english)
Other subjects that although not traditionally facilitating subjects are equally accepted and respected by unis: Geography, economics (Cambridge, along with most unis consider economics a facilitating subject if applying for economics) and perhaps english language (this one's a bit debatable)
Business Studies and economics SHOULD NOT be taken together and unis generally consider economics a more respectable subject than Business.
I would recommend against taking Accounting if it is one of your 3 A levels. It is not a traditionally accepted subject by most well ranked unis. (For example, LSE does not accept Accounting as one the 3 A levels even when applying for Finance and Accounting).
RE, psychology and sociology are not useless A levels at all. Like I said it depends on the degree. They are on the preferred subject list for both LSE and UCL and I personally know a person doing HSPS at Cambridge now who had literature, history and sociology for A levels.
Media, for the most part should ideally be taken only if applying for theatre or film related degrees. Many unis, if applying for other courses not in any way related to media may not accept it as one of the 3 A levels.
Art can be a good A level. Obviously if applying for art or fashion for example. But I wouldn't recommend having art as one the 3 A levels and applying to Warwick for econ for example. However, art can be a good A level for architecture.

Some course specific A level combination advice.
Medicine
Definitely have both biology and chemistry. I know there are some unis that will accept only biology and only chemistry but honestly, having both will open up your options much more.
If Cambridge is a potential medicine option, have math as your 3rd A level. Math usually isn't required by most other med unis. At the end of the day you need the grades. However, I would personally argue that biology, chemistry and math is one the best medicine A level combos you can take. So if you are good at it and like it then take math as your 3rd A level. But it is NOT a requirement (apart from maybe Cambridge). For example, biology, chemistry and psychology or biology, chemistry and history (for a bit of variety) or even biology, chemistry and physics can be very good combinations as well.

Law
There are no specific requirements but having a range of subjects can be helpful and make sure to have an essay subject. Good options include history, a language, literature, sociology, math and economics. A diverse range can be helpful. For example, math, history and literature or a language, economics and sociology or even a science.

Economics
Definitely take math. It's a requirement for most unis. If applying for LSE (straight econ) or Cambridge, definitely take further math if offered at your school. But if taken, you need 4 A levels. Taking FM as a 4th A level can be helpful for Warwick as well (straight econ) though they tend to be a bit more lenient with this. Take economics too if possible.
The absolute ideal combination for Cambridge would be math, FM, economics and history/literature. Oxford doesn't mind not have FM but they don't have straight econ. If you do not want to take FM and want to apply for LSE you could consider dual degree courses like Econ and history, econ and politics, PPE or econ and management.

Engineering
Definitely take physics and math. FM can be very helpful as well. A second science (ideally chemistry is good).

Architecture
Physics, math and art can be a very good combo (with FM if possible)

Nat Sci.
Try taking physics, chemistry math and further math
I’m not sure I agree with the accounting being bad. I have a friend who takes econ, business and accounting and got offers from 4 top unis for A&F. Also he has not yet been rejected by LSE although from what you say, it looks like he will be. I also take accounting as one of my 3 and got an offer from Bristol for econ and management. Another person in my class got an interview for maths at Cambridge. He was rejected but they didn’t say it was due to his A levels. There are more examples of people I know getting offers from top unis with A level accounting even though many aren’t applying for A&F
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ANO-NI-MUS
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(Original post by JGoosey2002)
I’m not sure I agree with the accounting being bad. I have a friend who takes econ, business and accounting and got offers from 4 top unis for A&F. Also he has not yet been rejected by LSE although from what you say, it looks like he will be. I also take accounting as one of my 3 and got an offer from Bristol for econ and management. Another person in my class got an interview for maths at Cambridge. He was rejected but they didn’t say it was due to his A levels. There are more examples of people I know getting offers from top unis with A level accounting even though many aren’t applying for A&F
Yes I'll recheck, I might be wrong although I am surprised about the math interview at Cambridge but if he had good FM grades it could have been enough. And yes if he got till an interview, it's unlikely his A levels were an issue. As for LSE (I actually found this out later and I should have corrected it I'm sorry), accounting can be be an accepted choice only if applying for something under the accounting department.
Thanks for the info.
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A2212
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Hi, Thank you for the detailed information. If I take Further maths As and Maths, Economics, Geography/ Politics for A-Level, would these subject combinations consider as a strong for Eco/E-M for Oxbridge, Warwick and LSE?
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ANO-NI-MUS
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Hi, Thank you for the detailed information. If I take Further maths As and Maths, Economics, Geography/ Politics for A-Level, would these subject combinations consider as a strong for Eco/E-M for Oxbridge, Warwick and LSE?
If possible do take the whole FM a level but otherwise yes they seem ok.
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JGoosey2002
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(Original post by A2212)
Hi, Thank you for the detailed information. If I take Further maths As and Maths, Economics, Geography/ Politics for A-Level, would these subject combinations consider as a strong for Eco/E-M for Oxbridge, Warwick and LSE?
No FM A level is basically a must at LSE even tho they don’t say it. You could go anywhere other than the places you mentioned without it so long as you get an A* in maths which I’m assuming you will due to ur aspirations
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Theloniouss
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For Natsci, you should change that to Physics/Biology, chemistry and Further maths. If you want to do physical Natsci, take physics; If you want to do Biological Natsci, take Biology.
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ANO-NI-MUS
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(Original post by Knortfoxx)
For Natsci, you should change that to Physics/Biology, chemistry and Further maths. If you want to do physical Natsci, take physics; If you want to do Biological Natsci, take Biology.
Thanks for the heads up. Changing it now.
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Tony4567
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(Original post by ANO-NI-MUS)
This is a nice A level checklist that people might wanna keep in mind when choosing their A level choices. Keep in mind that this is in no way a completely exhaustive list. However my uncle has worked in university admissions for 20 plus years including a couple years at Cambridge. Anyone is free to add info or correct it if required.

Firstly the idea of facilitating subjects is more or less outdated even for Oxbridge. The list was published in 2011 and since then unis place much more emphasis on the requirements of the course.

But some things to keep in mind.

If you do not know at all what you wanna do at uni but want to do A levels then selecting atleast 2 from the following list might be helpful as they get accepted for a vast number of courses. The list includes:
Physics
Chemistry
Biology
Math and/or Further math
English Literature
History
Any Language (apart from english)
Other subjects that although not traditionally facilitating subjects are equally accepted and respected by unis: Geography, economics (Cambridge, along with most unis consider economics a facilitating subject if applying for economics) and perhaps english language (this one's a bit debatable)

Business Studies and economics SHOULD NOT be taken together and unis generally consider economics a more respectable subject than Business.

I would recommend against taking Accounting if it is one of your 3 A levels. It is not a traditionally accepted subject by most well ranked unis. (Edit: LSE will accept Accounting as one of the 3 A levels only if applying for Finance and Accounting)

RE, psychology and sociology are not useless A levels at all. Like I said it depends on the degree. They are on the preferred subject list for both LSE and UCL and I personally know a person doing HSPS at Cambridge now who had literature, history and sociology for A levels.

Media, for the most part should ideally be taken only if applying for theatre or film related degrees. Many unis, if applying for other courses not in any way related to media may not accept it as one of the 3 A levels.

Art can be a good A level. Obviously if applying for art or fashion for example. But I wouldn't recommend having art as one the 3 A levels and applying to Warwick for econ for example. However, art can be a good A level for architecture.

General Studies and Critical Thinking should not be taken as one/two of the 3 A levels.

Some course specific A level combination advice.

Medicine
Definitely have both biology and chemistry. I know there are some unis that will accept only biology and only chemistry but honestly, having both will open up your options much more.
If Cambridge is a potential medicine option, have math as your 3rd A level. Math usually isn't required by most other med unis. At the end of the day you need the grades. However, I would personally argue that biology, chemistry and math is one the best medicine A level combos you can take. So if you are good at it and like it then take math as your 3rd A level. But it is NOT a requirement (apart from maybe Cambridge). For example, biology, chemistry and psychology or biology, chemistry and history (for a bit of variety) or even biology, chemistry and physics can be very good combinations as well.

Law
There are no specific requirements but having a range of subjects can be helpful and make sure to have an essay subject. Good options include history, a language, literature, sociology, math and economics. A diverse range can be helpful. For example, math, history and literature or a language, economics and sociology or even a science.

Economics
Definitely take math. It's a requirement for most unis. If applying for LSE (straight econ) or Cambridge, definitely take further math if offered at your school. But if taken, you need 4 A levels. Taking FM as a 4th A level can be helpful for Warwick as well (straight econ) though they tend to be a bit more lenient with this. Take economics too if possible.
The absolute ideal combination for Cambridge would be math, FM, economics and history/literature. Oxford doesn't mind not have FM but they don't have straight econ. If you do not want to take FM and want to apply for LSE you could consider dual degree courses like Econ and history, econ and politics, PPE or econ and management.

Engineering
Definitely take physics and math. FM can be very helpful as well. A second science (ideally chemistry is good).

Architecture
Physics, math and art can be a very good combo (with FM if possible)

Nat Sci.
Try taking physics, chemistry math and further math.
Thanks for the info -- I am currently doing history, econ, maths and FM and looking for economics or E&M in uni, can I drop history? It is kind of dragging me behind, being very time consuming and I could not get ideal grades.
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Deggs_14
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Math?
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_gcx
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Looks good but I'd advise against the use of the term "facilitating subject". It is a term now dropped by the RG.

Also due to their reputation/treatment, General Studies and Critical Thinking were dropped in the reforms a few years ago, at least in the UK. Think CIE still has a "general paper".
Last edited by _gcx; 10 months ago
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(Original post by Deggs_14)
Math?
for maths, more or less the only hard requirement is a-level maths.

those able enough should really be doing further maths, though it's only a hard requirement for the very top universities. (can only think of Cambridge and Warwick off the top of my head) if you're offered further maths and are thinking of doing maths or something closely related and have the background to take it, you don't really have an excuse not to.

third is usually a science (typically physics) but really it can be anything, you see people doing languages or music as their third/fourth.
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5hyl33n
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Hi there,

Firstly, thank you for making this thread. I am in year 12 currently and I just wanted to know how competitive a Chemistry course is compared to other ones.

Also, how much emphasis do the following universities put on GCSE’s for a Chemistry degree?
UCL
Liverpool
Kings College London
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