The Student Room Group

Which A Level will be helpful for a geography degree?

Hi, I want to study geography at uni, but I can't decide on a 3rd A Level. I am currently signed up for Geography, Maths and PE. I'll most likely stick with geo and maths, but I'm not sure if PE is just a waste of an option since it's not really relevant, plus I want to go to a top uni - will this badly affect my chances? If so, what would be a good 3rd subject - bio, physics, politics, computer science, german ??
Reply 1
I think this slightly depends on if you're leaning more towards physical or human geography. If it's physical, you might want to pick up a science like biology and if it's human then something like economics, history etc can be useful too. However, there's no absolute requirements needed for a geography degree and it's important to do something you enjoy and are interested in. A few top unis 'preferred subject' lists often state that they prefer at least 2 A-levels in 'traditional academic' subjects so if you're taking geography and maths then that should cover it, but taking PE probably does look a little less competitive compared to other subject combinations if you're specifically looking at competitive top unis.
Check the entry requirements on the relevant course pages at a range of differet Unis.
What 'sort' of Geography do you want to do - Physical, Human, a more specialised subject like Geology/Earth Science or International Development?
Look at them all. Usually Unis will specify one or maybe two essential subjects, and if the 3rd subject has nothing 'preferred' or 'excluded' then PE is fine - you just need to get the grade. There is no 'secret info' about Uni admissions, nothing that only 'special people' know - what you see on the 'entry requirements' on the course page on their website IS what they mean.

Suggestions to start with -
Sussex -
Newcastle -
Bangor (Wales) -
East Anglia (UEA) -
Most physical geography students should find the university course difficult as they include some mathematical skills and computer coding. I think doing AS physics and chemistry would be suitable. However, biology is the most useful for those taking oceanography components at first or second year. Ocean science includes a wide range of biological research, so having a foundation of bio knowledge is critical for understanding marine ecosystems. But , if you prefer human geography like population dynamics or development theory, doing Economics would be appropriate as the writing skills and critical thinking in human science is essential in human geography
Reply 4
The rest have already explained how your preferred area of specialization should determine the third subject. So, I'll just like to say: yes, PE is indeed a huge waste of a third option. Compared to applicants with Biology, Economics, Politics or Computer Science, your application would look quite weak if you go ahead with PE. Your choice should be influenced by your likes and preferences but make sure it's relevant enough to Geography, and will look strong on your application. You should also check the requirements of the universities you like. You could also just add the AS of Environmental Science to your combo if you can handle the workload. That'll show a lot of interest in the subject area.

As for the German you mentioned, if you want to study Geography with a Language, that would be nice. Otherwise, it's not relevant.

Quick Reply