Bethanybarratt
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I am in year 11 deciding on my A levels and i am doing english lit and history and i am now stuck between biology and psychology. I am thinking of a law/criminology degree but not 100% sure.

I have never studied psychology before but have been doing some summer prep work for it and have been finding it really interesting.

My predicted biology grade is an 8 and i have also been doing summer work for that too and while i do find it interesting, i don't think i do as much as psychology but i think biology may be the "better" option since it is facilitating and it is seen as a harder subject. I am willing to do a subject i don't enjoy as much if it will make a huge difference in the future.

Do you think having a psychology degree with limit my future options or having biology would give me more options and how was the workload ect for them?

Psychology= AQA
Biology= OCR A

Sorry for the ramble😂 i need todecidee soon and im stressinggg
Thanks😃
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Dechante
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I took both these A levels so maybe I can help you out. I took OCR A biology and Edexcel psychology so it's not the same exam board but similar in terms of content.

Psychology:
- Very interesting
- I actually almost picked to study it as a degree because I loved it so much but changed to neuroscience instead
- Involves a bit of long writing
- You have to have a good memory as there are quite a lot of case studies you learn
- Many universities actually consider psychology to be a science subject on some courses
- Most people I know found the subject very interesting and went to take it at uni

Biology:
(I can help you more with this as it's the same exam board)
- It's a massive step up from GCSE
- To take biology I would say you have to love the subject already otherwise you won't enjoy it at A Level and the more you enjoy a subject the better you do at it at A level
- The exam board for OCR A biology has very specific mark schemes
- I would say biology was definitely my hardest A level but I enjoyed it
- Year 13 content was more enjoyable than year 12 and it made everything in year 12 click
- In the exams you have some multiple choice and then written answers but you don't get any higher than 6 mark questions from what I have seen
- You defo have to be willing to put the work in for biology

From what you're saying, I think you would love psychology especially if you're considering a criminology degree. I would only say pick biology if you were unsure what you wanted to do, want to keep your options open and really liked the subject. I ended up choosing neuroscience in the end to do at uni because I loved biological psychology in my lessons. I found psychology easier than biology but I found that was because I loved it so much to the point I wanted a career in it. Any more questions (especially biology bc I could help you more) lmk!
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Bethanybarratt
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(Original post by Dechante)
I took both these A levels so maybe I can help you out. I took OCR A biology and Edexcel psychology so it's not the same exam board but similar in terms of content.

Psychology:
- Very interesting
- I actually almost picked to study it as a degree because I loved it so much but changed to neuroscience instead
- Involves a bit of long writing
- You have to have a good memory as there are quite a lot of case studies you learn
- Many universities actually consider psychology to be a science subject on some courses
- Most people I know found the subject very interesting and went to take it at uni

Biology:
(I can help you more with this as it's the same exam board)
- It's a massive step up from GCSE
- To take biology I would say you have to love the subject already otherwise you won't enjoy it at A Level and the more you enjoy a subject the better you do at it at A level
- The exam board for OCR A biology has very specific mark schemes
- I would say biology was definitely my hardest A level but I enjoyed it
- Year 13 content was more enjoyable than year 12 and it made everything in year 12 click
- In the exams you have some multiple choice and then written answers but you don't get any higher than 6 mark questions from what I have seen
- You defo have to be willing to put the work in for biology

From what you're saying, I think you would love psychology especially if you're considering a criminology degree. I would only say pick biology if you were unsure what you wanted to do, want to keep your options open and really liked the subject. I ended up choosing neuroscience in the end to do at uni because I loved biological psychology in my lessons. I found psychology easier than biology but I found that was because I loved it so much to the point I wanted a career in it. Any more questions (especially biology bc I could help you more) lmk!
Thank you SO much that is really helpful!

I did well at GCSE but science has always been a subject that doesn't come naturally to me and one that I struggled with a little bit more and had to put in a little extra work to grasp the ideas, so the step up may be a bit worrying.

Do you think that if i decided not to do criminology/ law having it would harm me? since i'm not set in stone on what i want to do.

Also did you find the content hard to manage for biology since ive heard its content heavy?

And neuroscience sounds so interesting i hope you love uni!!
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H4ttie03
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I was in the same boat as you and am going into year 12 this year too! I went w psychology in the end because it focuses on the aspect I found most interesting in bio, the nervous system and the brain etc. I also like you, had to really work for my science grades and if I'm honest, idk if I'd do too well in bio at a level despite finding it rlly interesting. And because you're not doing a scientific degree/ one that requires bio then you're fine! Take psych if that's what youd enjoy more and do better in
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Bethanybarratt
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(Original post by H4ttie03)
I was in the same boat as you and am going into year 12 this year too! I went w psychology in the end because it focuses on the aspect I found most interesting in bio, the nervous system and the brain etc. I also like you, had to really work for my science grades and if I'm honest, idk if I'd do too well in bio at a level despite finding it rlly interesting. And because you're not doing a scientific degree/ one that requires bio then you're fine! Take psych if that's what youd enjoy more and do better in
thank you yes i am leaning more that way now i think, like you the brain is what i find interesting in bio so i think it would be good for me!
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Dechante
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(Original post by Bethanybarratt)
Thank you SO much that is really helpful!

I did well at GCSE but science has always been a subject that doesn't come naturally to me and one that I struggled with a little bit more and had to put in a little extra work to grasp the ideas, so the step up may be a bit worrying.

Do you think that if i decided not to do criminology/ law having it would harm me? since i'm not set in stone on what i want to do.

Also did you find the content hard to manage for biology since ive heard its content heavy?

And neuroscience sounds so interesting i hope you love uni!!
I wouldn't say that it limits your prospects unless you end up wanting to do a science degree. If you choose psychology, English lit and history as your A levels then I can tell you degrees people in my year went onto do. They tended to be more essay written degrees but they include law, criminology, sociology, psychology, social work, primary school teaching, nursing (this is because of psychology), anthropology, history, politics, IR and English lit. However, people who took biology in my year tended to actually use their biology a level for something. Some people went on to do psychology, biomed, biochemistry (but this needs chem anyway), biological sciences, nursing, medicine, radiology and nutrition. I know three people who took criminology in my year and these were their A levels. One took biology, maths and psychology and went to Leeds, another took biology, psychology and politics and is going to Nottingham Trent and the last one took business, psychology and history and still got offers from great unis like Durham and Birmingham so not taking biology isn't all doom and gloom.

When I first started I won't lie I struggled a lot and was getting Es and Us which was hard for me as I want from being an A grade GCSE student to failing. I say it all comes down to learning how to condense information but still keeping the important information. For me, I understood the content I was learning but it was more the application of the question, how specific the mark scheme was and I wasn't good at multiple choice as it would throw me off so I would get 8/20 For example, you have to say cell surface membrane instead of just cell membrane in biology or you would lose the mark. The application is also hard because you'll get a question with ''suggest'' in it and go ''wait my teacher hasn't taught me this??'' but it's about applying what you know to show your scientific skills. Videos were always so helpful and past papers. The CGP book is great to have on the side to condense information you're learning but obviously don't just rely on that. I would say that biology is ten percent maths based but it's not anything hard or drastic. Also I forgot to mention you have several practicals you do during the two years called PAGs and if you were to do a science based degree it is required you pass. I would say biology is hard but it's not unbearable but like I said, it's about putting the time in. Just don't leave revision to last minute, revise as you go along and don't just treat free periods like a holiday (I'm guilty of that)

I hope this insight helped
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Bethanybarratt)
I am in year 11 deciding on my A levels and i am doing english lit and history and i am now stuck between biology and psychology. I am thinking of a law/criminology degree but not 100% sure.

I have never studied psychology before but have been doing some summer prep work for it and have been finding it really interesting.

My predicted biology grade is an 8 and i have also been doing summer work for that too and while i do find it interesting, i don't think i do as much as psychology but i think biology may be the "better" option since it is facilitating and it is seen as a harder subject. I am willing to do a subject i don't enjoy as much if it will make a huge difference in the future.

Do you think having a psychology degree with limit my future options or having biology would give me more options and how was the workload ect for them?

Psychology= AQA
Biology= OCR A

Sorry for the ramble😂 i need todecidee soon and im stressinggg
Thanks😃
i graduated with a degree in biology so i love it more than anyone... but i do NOT recommend it to anyone who doesn't need it, especially as you'll have a massive workload with English lit. you already have 2 traditional a levels so you def don't need another
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Bethanybarratt
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(Original post by Dechante)
I wouldn't say that it limits your prospects unless you end up wanting to do a science degree. If you choose psychology, English lit and history as your A levels then I can tell you degrees people in my year went onto do. They tended to be more essay written degrees but they include law, criminology, sociology, psychology, social work, primary school teaching, nursing (this is because of psychology), anthropology, history, politics, IR and English lit. However, people who took biology in my year tended to actually use their biology a level for something. Some people went on to do psychology, biomed, biochemistry (but this needs chem anyway), biological sciences, nursing, medicine, radiology and nutrition. I know three people who took criminology in my year and these were their A levels. One took biology, maths and psychology and went to Leeds, another took biology, psychology and politics and is going to Nottingham Trent and the last one took business, psychology and history and still got offers from great unis like Durham and Birmingham so not taking biology isn't all doom and gloom.

When I first started I won't lie I struggled a lot and was getting Es and Us which was hard for me as I want from being an A grade GCSE student to failing. I say it all comes down to learning how to condense information but still keeping the important information. For me, I understood the content I was learning but it was more the application of the question, how specific the mark scheme was and I wasn't good at multiple choice as it would throw me off so I would get 8/20 For example, you have to say cell surface membrane instead of just cell membrane in biology or you would lose the mark. The application is also hard because you'll get a question with ''suggest'' in it and go ''wait my teacher hasn't taught me this??'' but it's about applying what you know to show your scientific skills. Videos were always so helpful and past papers. The CGP book is great to have on the side to condense information you're learning but obviously don't just rely on that. I would say that biology is ten percent maths based but it's not anything hard or drastic. Also I forgot to mention you have several practicals you do during the two years called PAGs and if you were to do a science based degree it is required you pass. I would say biology is hard but it's not unbearable but like I said, it's about putting the time in. Just don't leave revision to last minute, revise as you go along and don't just treat free periods like a holiday (I'm guilty of that)

I hope this insight helped
okay that made me fell a lot better than you for sparing some of your time to help me i really appreciate it. I think i will so psychology as i quite enjoy writing essays (as you may have guessed from my post 😂 and i think i will enjoy it alot more
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Bethanybarratt
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
i graduated with a degree in biology so i love it more than anyone... but i do NOT recommend it to anyone who doesn't need it, especially as you'll have a massive workload with English lit. you already have 2 traditional a levels so you def don't need another
Noted, thank you! I think i will pick psychology. it's not facilitating, but i checked and it's on the list that unis like you have have so i think i will be good with that!
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