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A-level choices for a geography student!

i've just finished my gcses and I'm going to start a-levels in september, but I still haven't chosen my options bc im very indecisive! I love geography and i definitely 100% want to study it at uni. most courses are pretty flexible so will let you do anything/any combination of subjects and don't require anything specific (some require geography). in addition i'm also taking chem and french (two subjects i really enjoy). for my fourth im really torn because biology would be a great option if I wanted to do environmental science in the future, and I'm pretty good at it (9 predicted grade) and I dont hate it but i am really interested in politics. my dad and my friend say i should do bio, and it does seem more relevant to geography, but I'd really regret not doing politics because im really interested in it and want to learn more. help! idk what to do... (sorry if this was long) if anyone could recommend any other subjects that would go well with my combination that would also be great :smile:
Geography, Chemistry and French don't really suit Politics as a combination. Biology would suit Chem better :smile:
Poltics, Sociology, Law and many other social science degree subjects do not require any specific A level subects - just evidence of an obvious academic interest in the subject,

Geography - I'd advise that you do Geography A level even if some Unis do not require it.
It will expose you to higher study in that area - ie. does it interest you beyond GCSE, and enough to want to do a degree in Geography. It will give you relevant topics to discuss on your UCAS Personal Statement.

What sort of Geography interests you, ie. Human, Physical etc? If you are also interested in Politics etc then have a look at a degree subject called International Development. This can include many different social sciences in one degree. Some examples -
Geography and International Development - https://www.uea.ac.uk/course/undergraduate/ba-geography-and-international-development
International Development and Politics - https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/govsoc/international-development-and-politics.aspx
International Development with/and several other subjects - https://www.sussex.ac.uk/development/ugstudy/prospectus
Career potential - https://www.careers.ox.ac.uk/international-development
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by McGinger
Poltics, Sociology, Law and many other social science degree subjects do not require any specific A level subects - just evidence of an obvious academic interest in the subject,

Geography - I'd advise that you do Geography A level even if some Unis do not require it.
It will expose you to higher study in that area - ie. does it interest you beyond GCSE, and enough to want to do a degree in Geography. It will give you relevant topics to discuss on your UCAS Personal Statement.

What sort of Geography interests you, ie. Human, Physical etc? If you are also interested in Politics etc then have a look at a degree subject called International Development. This can include many different social sciences in one degree. Some examples -
Geography and International Development - https://www.uea.ac.uk/course/undergraduate/ba-geography-and-international-development
International Development and Politics - https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/govsoc/international-development-and-politics.aspx
International Development with/and several other subjects - https://www.sussex.ac.uk/development/ugstudy/prospectus
Career potential - https://www.careers.ox.ac.uk/international-development

thanks so much for responding
I would say I'm more interested in human geography, especially urban areas.
I've looked into doing an international development and geography combined course, it looks like something that could be interesting. if I did want to do that kind of course, would it be better to do politics? even though strictly it isn't necessary?
Original post by rosy_posy
Geography, Chemistry and French don't really suit Politics as a combination. Biology would suit Chem better :smile:

thx for replying!
that's true, I will consider it in combination with my other subjects.
Original post by ellacharras
thx for replying!
that's true, I will consider it in combination with my other subjects.


Poltics, Sociology, Law and many other social science degree subjects do not require any specific A level subects - just evidence of an obvious academic interest in the subject,
Hi,
I have just finished my Geography degree at Lancaster university and studied geography, biology and sociology for my Alevels. I would definitely recommend doing geography but both politics and biology also being great options. I would say biology leans more towards physical geography with politics lending itself to human geography. From the experience of friends I do think doing chemistry made biology significantly easier. That being said I would recommend taking the a levels you will enjoy the most and do the best in without worrying too much how they will relate to your degree.
If you have any further questions about doing a geography degree please just ask.

I hope this helped,
- Esme (Lancaster University student ambassador).

Original post by ellacharras
i've just finished my gcses and I'm going to start a-levels in september, but I still haven't chosen my options bc im very indecisive! I love geography and i definitely 100% want to study it at uni. most courses are pretty flexible so will let you do anything/any combination of subjects and don't require anything specific (some require geography). in addition i'm also taking chem and french (two subjects i really enjoy). for my fourth im really torn because biology would be a great option if I wanted to do environmental science in the future, and I'm pretty good at it (9 predicted grade) and I dont hate it but i am really interested in politics. my dad and my friend say i should do bio, and it does seem more relevant to geography, but I'd really regret not doing politics because im really interested in it and want to learn more. help! idk what to do... (sorry if this was long) if anyone could recommend any other subjects that would go well with my combination that would also be great :smile:
Original post by ellacharras
i've just finished my gcses and I'm going to start a-levels in september, but I still haven't chosen my options bc im very indecisive! I love geography and i definitely 100% want to study it at uni. most courses are pretty flexible so will let you do anything/any combination of subjects and don't require anything specific (some require geography). in addition i'm also taking chem and french (two subjects i really enjoy). for my fourth im really torn because biology would be a great option if I wanted to do environmental science in the future, and I'm pretty good at it (9 predicted grade) and I dont hate it but i am really interested in politics. my dad and my friend say i should do bio, and it does seem more relevant to geography, but I'd really regret not doing politics because im really interested in it and want to learn more. help! idk what to do... (sorry if this was long) if anyone could recommend any other subjects that would go well with my combination that would also be great :smile:


Hiya! I didn’t study geography myself but know a couple of people who did!

I studied bio and chem and would recommend if you’re going to study chemistry, to study another pure science subject or maths alongside it as if you do end up changing your mind about what course you want to do and decide you really like the outer science side, most universities require 2 or more science/maths A-Levels!

As said I studied bio and chem and thought they worked really well together. I was also incredibly indecisive about A levels and also what I wanted to study at uni so doing two sciences kept the doors really open for me personally. And if you decide you really like geo and bio/chem at the end you could look at something like natural sciences!

From what friends have said, doing geography and politics was useful for the human geography side/geopolitics sections however those that studied bio with geog said it was also useful for the more physical geography side of things as well as scientific coursework etc… like organic cycles.

Just to add as well, my best friend studied geography, chemistry, biology and photography and found that he had to drop photography as there was too much work with the main three so personally I really wouldn’t recommend four a-levels as no university will ever ask for more than 3 and it may take focus and effort away from the others! My sixth form were very reluctant to let anyone study 4 a levels unless it was like maths and further maths. I was truly indecisive about my a levels but am so glad I decided not to study 4 as I don’t know how I’d manage it however I do know some people can and if it’s offered as an AS qualification it may be useful in your decision.

Best of luck!
-carxlinefxrbes_ :smile:

(PS sorry for any typos this was quickly typed up on my phone)
Original post by ellacharras
i've just finished my gcses and I'm going to start a-levels in september, but I still haven't chosen my options bc im very indecisive! I love geography and i definitely 100% want to study it at uni. most courses are pretty flexible so will let you do anything/any combination of subjects and don't require anything specific (some require geography). in addition i'm also taking chem and french (two subjects i really enjoy). for my fourth im really torn because biology would be a great option if I wanted to do environmental science in the future, and I'm pretty good at it (9 predicted grade) and I dont hate it but i am really interested in politics. my dad and my friend say i should do bio, and it does seem more relevant to geography, but I'd really regret not doing politics because im really interested in it and want to learn more. help! idk what to do... (sorry if this was long) if anyone could recommend any other subjects that would go well with my combination that would also be great :smile:


Heya! It's great to see that you already know what you want to do in the future :smile: Geography sounds fun! Regarding choice it's up to you really, I would say biology has to do more with the physical side of geography while politics would have to do more with human geography (as mentioned previously). Think about what do you enjoy more :smile: I would recommend looking into the optional module list on the university pages and see what sounds good to you and which ones you thinking of picking! They usually also have descriptions under them so have a read and think over it!

Also, be careful with taking 4 a-levels! I've done 4 a-levels (bio, chem maths and econ) and it was extremely hard and unnecessary in my case. I found that having an extra subject was too much work, and A*A*A looks better than AABB for universities. If you find it manageable that's great but do think over it if you start finding the workload a bit too much during the year! Your wellbeing is more important! A-levels will be much harder than GCSEs, so for that, I would also recommend checking out Study Mind free resources to help you with your revision!

Hope this helps and good luck!
Milena G.
UCL PFE
Study mind
Reply 9
Original post by ellacharras
i've just finished my gcses and I'm going to start a-levels in september, but I still haven't chosen my options bc im very indecisive! I love geography and i definitely 100% want to study it at uni. most courses are pretty flexible so will let you do anything/any combination of subjects and don't require anything specific (some require geography). in addition i'm also taking chem and french (two subjects i really enjoy). for my fourth im really torn because biology would be a great option if I wanted to do environmental science in the future, and I'm pretty good at it (9 predicted grade) and I dont hate it but i am really interested in politics. my dad and my friend say i should do bio, and it does seem more relevant to geography, but I'd really regret not doing politics because im really interested in it and want to learn more. help! idk what to do... (sorry if this was long) if anyone could recommend any other subjects that would go well with my combination that would also be great :smile:

i did bio + geo
some things in bio like a few maths things in bio overlapped with geo and experimental stuff in bio helped in geo exam papers
there wasn't A LOT of things that helped but yh they did link in a few ways

geo was the best alevel for me so im glad ur doing it too
also i got a 9 for gcse bio but i hated it during levels so content heavy, from ur first 1/2 lessons in bio pls make a decision if u like them or not because that's basically what it's going to be like for the rest of the year
bio is basically a subject where u write down a bunch of notes like lecture style, can answer questions and are left to memorise them at home
so it can get a bit boring or repetitive and the workload piles up

my friends did politics and enjoyed it and applied it to real life news things and stuff so that was cool
that's why i like geography u can apply it to real life things and there's geo trips as part of the NEA
Original post by Lancaster Student Ambassador
Hi,
I have just finished my Geography degree at Lancaster university and studied geography, biology and sociology for my Alevels. I would definitely recommend doing geography but both politics and biology also being great options. I would say biology leans more towards physical geography with politics lending itself to human geography. From the experience of friends I do think doing chemistry made biology significantly easier. That being said I would recommend taking the a levels you will enjoy the most and do the best in without worrying too much how they will relate to your degree.
If you have any further questions about doing a geography degree please just ask.

I hope this helped,
- Esme (Lancaster University student ambassador).

thanks so much for your input, it's really nice to hear from a geo university student :smile:
i finally chose biology because i think its easier to return to social sciences with no prior qualifications at uni than it is to return to natural sciences if I want to go down that path, and I want to keep my options open.
Original post by carxlinefxrbes_
Hiya! I didn’t study geography myself but know a couple of people who did!

I studied bio and chem and would recommend if you’re going to study chemistry, to study another pure science subject or maths alongside it as if you do end up changing your mind about what course you want to do and decide you really like the outer science side, most universities require 2 or more science/maths A-Levels!

As said I studied bio and chem and thought they worked really well together. I was also incredibly indecisive about A levels and also what I wanted to study at uni so doing two sciences kept the doors really open for me personally. And if you decide you really like geo and bio/chem at the end you could look at something like natural sciences!

From what friends have said, doing geography and politics was useful for the human geography side/geopolitics sections however those that studied bio with geog said it was also useful for the more physical geography side of things as well as scientific coursework etc… like organic cycles.

Just to add as well, my best friend studied geography, chemistry, biology and photography and found that he had to drop photography as there was too much work with the main three so personally I really wouldn’t recommend four a-levels as no university will ever ask for more than 3 and it may take focus and effort away from the others! My sixth form were very reluctant to let anyone study 4 a levels unless it was like maths and further maths. I was truly indecisive about my a levels but am so glad I decided not to study 4 as I don’t know how I’d manage it however I do know some people can and if it’s offered as an AS qualification it may be useful in your decision.

Best of luck!
-carxlinefxrbes_ :smile:

(PS sorry for any typos this was quickly typed up on my phone)

thanks so much for the reply! finally I went with your recommendation of bio because I think it's easier to go down the social sciences/human geography/politics route at uni with no prior A-levels than it is with natural sciences like bio and chem, so I want to keep my options open.

just to clarify, I'll probably drop french at AS, because my school doesn't let people do 4 A-levels because like I've heard, it's too much work.
Original post by StudyMind
Heya! It's great to see that you already know what you want to do in the future :smile: Geography sounds fun! Regarding choice it's up to you really, I would say biology has to do more with the physical side of geography while politics would have to do more with human geography (as mentioned previously). Think about what do you enjoy more :smile: I would recommend looking into the optional module list on the university pages and see what sounds good to you and which ones you thinking of picking! They usually also have descriptions under them so have a read and think over it!

Also, be careful with taking 4 a-levels! I've done 4 a-levels (bio, chem maths and econ) and it was extremely hard and unnecessary in my case. I found that having an extra subject was too much work, and A*A*A looks better than AABB for universities. If you find it manageable that's great but do think over it if you start finding the workload a bit too much during the year! Your wellbeing is more important! A-levels will be much harder than GCSEs, so for that, I would also recommend checking out Study Mind free resources to help you with your revision!

Hope this helps and good luck!
Milena G.
UCL PFE
Study mind

thanks so much for the kind reply. it's nice to have some encouragement so Ty for that :smile:. I've looked at a couple courses at uni online but I'll continue doing some research. I chose biology because I think I'm more interested in physical geography overall.

just to clarify, I'll definitely drop french at AS, because the workload is too much and my school doesn't let you do 4 A-levels. it definitely seems like far too much, thanks for the warning.
Original post by ellacharras
i've just finished my gcses and I'm going to start a-levels in september, but I still haven't chosen my options bc im very indecisive! I love geography and i definitely 100% want to study it at uni. most courses are pretty flexible so will let you do anything/any combination of subjects and don't require anything specific (some require geography). in addition i'm also taking chem and french (two subjects i really enjoy). for my fourth im really torn because biology would be a great option if I wanted to do environmental science in the future, and I'm pretty good at it (9 predicted grade) and I dont hate it but i am really interested in politics. my dad and my friend say i should do bio, and it does seem more relevant to geography, but I'd really regret not doing politics because im really interested in it and want to learn more. help! idk what to do... (sorry if this was long) if anyone could recommend any other subjects that would go well with my combination that would also be great :smile:


Go for Biology.
Original post by thrush
i did bio + geo
some things in bio like a few maths things in bio overlapped with geo and experimental stuff in bio helped in geo exam papers
there wasn't A LOT of things that helped but yh they did link in a few ways

geo was the best alevel for me so im glad ur doing it too
also i got a 9 for gcse bio but i hated it during levels so content heavy, from ur first 1/2 lessons in bio pls make a decision if u like them or not because that's basically what it's going to be like for the rest of the year
bio is basically a subject where u write down a bunch of notes like lecture style, can answer questions and are left to memorise them at home
so it can get a bit boring or repetitive and the workload piles up

my friends did politics and enjoyed it and applied it to real life news things and stuff so that was cool
that's why i like geography u can apply it to real life things and there's geo trips as part of the NEA

glad to hear that geo A-level is good :smile: . I finally chose bio because I think it goes better with chem and I want to keep my options open a bit more. thanks for the warning about a-level bio, I got a 9 in my mocks and it's generally been one of my best subjects, but I've heard it definitely gets tougher at a-level. my brain is pretty good at memorising, so hopefully that will help? thanks for your reply and taking the time to respond to me, I appreciate it

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