notinvolved19
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Hello,

I am currently in year 11 and will soon be selecting my A levels. I'm really interested in Psychology, particularly social?criminal psychology and intend on pursuing it at university after sixth form. However I have no clue what to take for sixth form.

The ones I want to do most are: Psychology, History, Politics or Spanish. But I keep seeing on university entry requirements and everyone keeps advising me to do Biology, and I know it will be beneficial as the two subjects link and overlap a lot... but I am just so bad at Biology! I always have been. I reckon I could get the 7/7 which is what I need to get into the A-level course, but I really don't like it and struggle with it.

I've already applied to one college and I put Biology on it, but now I am applying for another one and am not sure what to choose since I only have 3 options.

Biology, Psychology, Politics, History, Spanish.
Not just for the Psychology course, but also for what is impressive and respected by universities... can anyone recommend which 3 I should choose? (Provided I meet the required grades for them)

Also hopefully if there are any Psychology uni students, especially criminal/forensic psychology students... what did you take? Are there any subjects you wish you had/hadn't? What A levels did you find helped you?

Thank you so much
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renaamz
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You don't need biology to do psychology at uni so if you're bad at it and don't enjoy it then it would be better to do something else. It will be much better to get high grades than lower grades with biology.

I am currently studying Psychology with criminology, I started off doing English, Psychology, Spanish and maths (I was also doing a GCSE on the side) and then dropped maths to an AS as I was struggling, didn't need it and wanted to focus on getting 3 good grades rather than 4 average ones. Taking psychology definitely helped as everything done in first term was very much what I had done in A level psych. English Language also helped quute a lot.

Hope this helped somewhat x
Last edited by renaamz; 6 months ago
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notinvolved19
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(Original post by renaamz)
You don't need biology to do psychology at uni so if you're bad at it and don't enjoy it then it would be better to do something else. It will be much better to get high grades than lower grades with biology.

I am currently studying Psychology with criminology, I started off doing English, Psychology, Spanish and maths (I was also doing a GCSE on the side) and then dropped maths to an AS as I was struggling, didn't need it and wanted to focus on getting 3 good grades rather than 4 average ones. Taking psychology definitely helped as everything done in first term was very much what I had done in A level psych. English Language also helped quute a lot.

Hope this helped somewhat x
Hi,
Thank you for the advice! This does really help.
It's definitely a good point about doing subjects which I can get higher grades with rather than doing Biology and getting lower grades so I reckon I will completely leave it out, and I don't enjoy it too much anyways.

Glad to hear that Psychology was helpful for you as I was keen on it! Also I feel relieved that you also took a language since I didn't want to let that go either haha.

If you don't mind me asking just one last question, do you think these A-level options sound good/suitable? That is; Psychology, History, Spanish.

I also want to do a type of Criminal Psychology degree; either Forensic Psychology or Criminology. Good luck with your degree!

Thank you so much again
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renaamz
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(Original post by notinvolved19)
Hi,
Thank you for the advice! This does really help.
It's definitely a good point about doing subjects which I can get higher grades with rather than doing Biology and getting lower grades so I reckon I will completely leave it out, and I don't enjoy it too much anyways.

Glad to hear that Psychology was helpful for you as I was keen on it! Also I feel relieved that you also took a language since I didn't want to let that go either haha.

If you don't mind me asking just one last question, do you think these A-level options sound good/suitable? That is; Psychology, History, Spanish.

I also want to do a type of Criminal Psychology degree; either Forensic Psychology or Criminology. Good luck with your degree!

Thank you so much again
Yes, I thibk they are good subjects to do, they are all essay based which will be super helpful for essay writing at uni. I was between psychology with criminology and forensic psychology. I'd say when it comes to applying just look at the modules and see which you prefer, you won't need to worry about that too much now but it's definitely good to have a good look around and have some idea of what you might fancy doing.

Thank you and good luck to you too!
If you have any more questions feel free to ask, I don't mind
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Interrobang
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It can be helpful for some unis to have two science-based subjects
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notinvolved19
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(Original post by Interrobang)
It can be helpful for some unis to have two science-based subjects
Thanks for the advice.
Do you know if they must be science science like biology, chemistry, physics or could they be social sciences like psychology or sociology?
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Interrobang
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(Original post by notinvolved19)
Thanks for the advice.
Do you know if they must be science science like biology, chemistry, physics or could they be social sciences like psychology or sociology?
Science subjects would normally be maths, biology, chemistry, physics and psychology. Maybe comp sci and geography. Not sociology I'm afraid
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Safy23
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Hi, any social sciences course at A levels, relevant to the degree of psychology & criminology would help. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same. Even with Health and Social care for example you can get on to a course for the Psychology with Criminology at University. It’s more about the UCAS points, and the relevance to the subject you wish to do at University. Do not do options you’re not comfortable with, or just for the sake of ‘standing out’. Even Psychology is sufficient at A Levels, and you can do 2 other courses which you enjoy at College. Also, your personal statement is always looked at before receiving an offer. So, showcasing your passion to Psychology with Criminal justice aspects would be the extra brownie points. Doing stuff you enjoy, will definitely help you on the long-run, it’s not like Medicine for example or Pharmacy where you need to do specific A levels. Social sciences are far more flexible, and you should do what you enjoy in relevance to this.
Last edited by Safy23; 6 months ago
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chazwomaq
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(Original post by notinvolved19)
Thanks for the advice.
Do you know if they must be science science like biology, chemistry, physics or could they be social sciences like psychology or sociology?
Here are a couple of examples from top universities:

Bath - "We are looking for study that shows ability in both numeracy and essay-based subjects. Examples of numerical subjects could include Mathematics, Statistics, any science, Economics or Psychology. Examples of essay-based subjects could include Economics, English Literature, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology or Religious Studies. If you study qualifications in a narrow range of subjects (such as A levels), you will ideally have three subjects from each of the above categories."

UCL - "To include at least one, preferably two subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology."

So if you are aiming high, you should probably take psychology and another numerical science. Personally, I think biology and maths are the most useful subjects, although universities don't have these as specific requirements.. I'm an admissions tutor and psychology lecturer FWIW.
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notinvolved19
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(Original post by Safy23)
Hi, any social sciences course at A levels, relevant to the degree of psychology & criminology would help. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same. Even with Health and Social care for example you can get on to a course for the Psychology with Criminology at University. It’s more about the UCAS points, and the relevance to the subject you wish to do at University. Do not do options you’re not comfortable with, or just for the sake of ‘standing out’. Even Psychology is sufficient at A Levels, and you can do 2 other courses which you enjoy at College. Also, your personal statement is always looked at before receiving an offer. So, showcasing your passion to Psychology with Criminal justice aspects would be the extra brownie points. Doing stuff you enjoy, will definitely help you on the long-run, it’s not like Medicine for example or Pharmacy where you need to do specific A levels. Social sciences are far more flexible, and you should do what you enjoy in relevance to this.
Thank you for being so thorough with your advice! This does really help.
I think I'll follow the suggestions of doing courses I enjoy. and therefore possibly Psychology, History and Spanish. There isn't really any courses relevant to Criminology at the school I'm attending, but I could consider Sociology possibly.
A lot to think about...
Thanks again
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notinvolved19
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(Original post by chazwomaq)
Here are a couple of examples from top universities:

Bath - "We are looking for study that shows ability in both numeracy and essay-based subjects. Examples of numerical subjects could include Mathematics, Statistics, any science, Economics or Psychology. Examples of essay-based subjects could include Economics, English Literature, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology or Religious Studies. If you study qualifications in a narrow range of subjects (such as A levels), you will ideally have three subjects from each of the above categories."

UCL - "To include at least one, preferably two subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology."

So if you are aiming high, you should probably take psychology and another numerical science. Personally, I think biology and maths are the most useful subjects, although universities don't have these as specific requirements.. I'm an admissions tutor and psychology lecturer FWIW.
Ohh great to know!
Thank you so much for this. It really helps
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Safy23
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(Original post by notinvolved19)
Thank you for being so thorough with your advice! This does really help.
I think I'll follow the suggestions of doing courses I enjoy. and therefore possibly Psychology, History and Spanish. There isn't really any courses relevant to Criminology at the school I'm attending, but I could consider Sociology possibly.
A lot to think about...
Thanks again
I’m glad it helped, honestly follow your heart and do what you enjoy and give it your all. As long as you have Psychology covered at A levels - you’re good to go, and definitely do course alongside it which you would enjoy. It’s good to showcase the difference in subjects you choose - it shows you’re passionate, and unique. Everyone’s experiences and background choices do not have to match. In terms of the criminology, that’s where you will express this interest on your personal statement. Also, if you could find a placement to do maybe during your semester breaks that could also support the criminology side. All the best, and good luck 😊
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