The Student Room Group

What a levels should I pick?

I’m currently in year 11 studying my gcses and I was wondering which subjects I should choose for a level between English Literature, Sociology, Psychology, Rs and Media. I can only pick 3 subjects and I am having a hard time deciding. As of now I study English Lit and Rs gcse and are predicated 7s in both but I’ve heard they are very different at a level- at least Rs is? I have never studied Sociology Psych or Media. I think I will enjoy Media but I am nervous it won’t be good for “top” unis as it can be considered too vocational. I also think I will like Socio and Psych but i was wondering between the 2 which will compliment the other subjects more and if one is easier than the other. Although I’m not sure if I’m going to enjoy the science side of Psych and I’ve heard that is quite a big part of it!
Thanks:smile:
Original post by anouk_
I’m currently in year 11 studying my gcses and I was wondering which subjects I should choose for a level between English Literature, Sociology, Psychology, Rs and Media. I can only pick 3 subjects and I am having a hard time deciding. As of now I study English Lit and Rs gcse and are predicated 7s in both but I’ve heard they are very different at a level- at least Rs is? I have never studied Sociology Psych or Media. I think I will enjoy Media but I am nervous it won’t be good for “top” unis as it can be considered too vocational. I also think I will like Socio and Psych but i was wondering between the 2 which will compliment the other subjects more and if one is easier than the other. Although I’m not sure if I’m going to enjoy the science side of Psych and I’ve heard that is quite a big part of it!
Thanks:smile:

I've lost count of the number of times I have written posts about this. I sometimes wonder whether I should just put up a blog article and just point people to go read it.

Before you even contemplating picking your A Levels, I would think carefully what job you want to do, because that would dictate what qualifications you would need more than anything.
If the specific job (or jobs) you want to do require specific degrees (or benefit from having specific degrees), then I would look at the entry requirements for the specific degrees. Those requirements will dictate what your A Level choices are more than anything.
If you're fine with whatever subjects you pick, then I would pick the A Levels that you can get the highest grades in because grades will matter the most when it comes to application to uni right after getting the right grades in the right subjects.

As far as I know, only Enlgish Lit and Psychology are sometimes required subjects in your list of subjects. All the other subjects are not requested by universities (Masnchester may sometimes be the only university that may be a little picky about the subjects you pick). English Lit is usually a required subject for Literature degrees. Psychology is sometimes required for psychology related degrees, as well as considered as a science for some science related degree. You would not likely find a situation where you would Sociology A Level for sociology degrees, RS for theology degrees, or media for media degrees.

The rule of thumb is that the more 'traditional' and 'harder' a degree is, the more respect that it would have. So in terms of ranking (as much as I hate to say it), I would rank RS ahead of Sociology, and Media come in last. Bear in mind, they're all A Levels, so don't expect an easy ride with any of them.

If you want specific information, I would need to know your career and degree subject aspirations. That would probably make it easier to advise.

However, irrespective of what people say (even me), you should look at the university's entry requirements for the specific course that you want to do. That would override whatever me or anyone else says or opines.
Original post by anouk_
I’m currently in year 11 studying my gcses and I was wondering which subjects I should choose for a level between English Literature, Sociology, Psychology, Rs and Media. I can only pick 3 subjects and I am having a hard time deciding. As of now I study English Lit and Rs gcse and are predicated 7s in both but I’ve heard they are very different at a level- at least Rs is? I have never studied Sociology Psych or Media. I think I will enjoy Media but I am nervous it won’t be good for “top” unis as it can be considered too vocational. I also think I will like Socio and Psych but i was wondering between the 2 which will compliment the other subjects more and if one is easier than the other. Although I’m not sure if I’m going to enjoy the science side of Psych and I’ve heard that is quite a big part of it!
Thanks:smile:


Hi,

I'm currently in Second Year and I study History, Eng Lit and Sociology, so obviously I can only advise on the latter. I did at one point consider Psychology but the idea of doing more maths/science horrified me. Sociology is really interesting, and compliments English Lit really well. Because in sociology you look at things such as social class, gender, ethnicity and those are the kind of things that come up really heavily in the texts you read. There's a lot of content in sociology (at least with AQA) but if you're interested in the content and it's the stuff you are at least somewhat passionate about, then it's a great choice. English Lit is quite different to GCSE. I do Edexcel and for Paper 1 we have to use critics in our essays which was quite hard to get used to at first. There's definitely a lot but with pretty much all subjects, if that's what you feel passionate about, then it can be really fascinating and not so much of a drag. You get to gain a much deeper understanding of texts, I feel, and discussions will be more in depth and often you'll talk about Feminist, Postcolonial readings etc. I found picking subjects so hard and you can always change it if you decide it's not for you (depending on your college but I imagine most operate the same). I know loads of people who changed subjects and are much happier. The best advice is picking what interests you most because it's a lot of work and it'll be even more difficult if you hate the subjects.
Reply 3
Thanks everyone this has been really helpful!
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 4
Original post by MindMax2000
I've lost count of the number of times I have written posts about this. I sometimes wonder whether I should just put up a blog article and just point people to go read it.

Before you even contemplating picking your A Levels, I would think carefully what job you want to do, because that would dictate what qualifications you would need more than anything.
If the specific job (or jobs) you want to do require specific degrees (or benefit from having specific degrees), then I would look at the entry requirements for the specific degrees. Those requirements will dictate what your A Level choices are more than anything.
If you're fine with whatever subjects you pick, then I would pick the A Levels that you can get the highest grades in because grades will matter the most when it comes to application to uni right after getting the right grades in the right subjects.

As far as I know, only Enlgish Lit and Psychology are sometimes required subjects in your list of subjects. All the other subjects are not requested by universities (Masnchester may sometimes be the only university that may be a little picky about the subjects you pick). English Lit is usually a required subject for Literature degrees. Psychology is sometimes required for psychology related degrees, as well as considered as a science for some science related degree. You would not likely find a situation where you would Sociology A Level for sociology degrees, RS for theology degrees, or media for media degrees.

The rule of thumb is that the more 'traditional' and 'harder' a degree is, the more respect that it would have. So in terms of ranking (as much as I hate to say it), I would rank RS ahead of Sociology, and Media come in last. Bear in mind, they're all A Levels, so don't expect an easy ride with any of them.

If you want specific information, I would need to know your career and degree subject aspirations. That would probably make it easier to advise.

However, irrespective of what people say (even me), you should look at the university's entry requirements for the specific course that you want to do. That would override whatever me or anyone else says or opines.


Thanks so much this has been really helpful!:smile: In terms of career/degree subject aspirations I was thinking something to do with English/Drama or Social Science.
How to Choose A level Subjects - read it all - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/a-level/subjects/choosing-your-subjects

Good careers site with hundreds of job / career profiles - https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles
Not Going to Uni - other ideas - https://www.notgoingtouni.co.uk/
Reply 6
Original post by misseuropa
Hi,

I'm currently in Second Year and I study History, Eng Lit and Sociology, so obviously I can only advise on the latter. I did at one point consider Psychology but the idea of doing more maths/science horrified me. Sociology is really interesting, and compliments English Lit really well. Because in sociology you look at things such as social class, gender, ethnicity and those are the kind of things that come up really heavily in the texts you read. There's a lot of content in sociology (at least with AQA) but if you're interested in the content and it's the stuff you are at least somewhat passionate about, then it's a great choice. English Lit is quite different to GCSE. I do Edexcel and for Paper 1 we have to use critics in our essays which was quite hard to get used to at first. There's definitely a lot but with pretty much all subjects, if that's what you feel passionate about, then it can be really fascinating and not so much of a drag. You get to gain a much deeper understanding of texts, I feel, and discussions will be more in depth and often you'll talk about Feminist, Postcolonial readings etc. I found picking subjects so hard and you can always change it if you decide it's not for you (depending on your college but I imagine most operate the same). I know loads of people who changed subjects and are much happier. The best advice is picking what interests you most because it's a lot of work and it'll be even more difficult if you hate the subjects.


Hi and thanks! I think I will definitely choose English Lit and/or Sociology as those subjects do sound really interesting!
Original post by anouk_
Thanks so much this has been really helpful!:smile: In terms of career/degree subject aspirations I was thinking something to do with English/Drama or Social Science.


I don't think that would help that much.

If you're looking at English/Drama, are you thinking of theatre? Writing? If so, you don't need a degree or any qualifications in it.

Where you say social science, are thinking of becoming a researcher? Clinical psychologist? If so, you would need a specific degree in the subject that you want to research.
If you want to become a clinical psychologist, your psychology degree needs to be BPS accredited. If you want to be an academic in psychology, then any psychology should be fine so long you end up and do your PhD. A number of psychology degrees won't require you to have any specific A Level subjects.
If you want to work for the government to help with policies, see the following for specific requirements: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/social-research-scheme-2021. If you want to be an academic, then you would require the specific degree. Degrees in sociology won't require specific A Levels.

Do note that you can go into English/Drama with a degree in the social sciences, since you don't need any qualifications to start writing or acting. You will need to be good at it though.

If you're not completely sure, then I recommend you use National Careers Service (https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/explore-careers) or Careers Pilot (https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/job-sectors/sectors) to get a better idea.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 8
Original post by anouk_
I’m currently in year 11 studying my gcses and I was wondering which subjects I should choose for a level between English Literature, Sociology, Psychology, Rs and Media. I can only pick 3 subjects and I am having a hard time deciding. As of now I study English Lit and Rs gcse and are predicated 7s in both but I’ve heard they are very different at a level- at least Rs is? I have never studied Sociology Psych or Media. I think I will enjoy Media but I am nervous it won’t be good for “top” unis as it can be considered too vocational. I also think I will like Socio and Psych but i was wondering between the 2 which will compliment the other subjects more and if one is easier than the other. Although I’m not sure if I’m going to enjoy the science side of Psych and I’ve heard that is quite a big part of it!
Thanks:smile:

I'm in year 13 and I don't really think there's a difference between GCSE and A level Eng lit, aside from them going into more depth. At least at my sixth form the A level english lessons are a lot more engaging as its smaller classes and there's much more room for discussion.
do english! and two of your options except media studies if you want to go to a top uni and have more options

Personally i would choose english, sociology and psycholgy (out of my personal preferences) because its a respected combination by unis and allows you to go onto to apply for competitive courses that you meet the subject requirement for! but also rs is a good choice. ONLY CHOOSE A SUBJECT IF YOU ENJOY IT AND YOU ARE WILLING TO PUT IN THE WORK :smile:

just dont choose media unless you want to study that at uni - even then theres no point as a media degree is essentially useless considering the importance of work experience for media jobs anyway (this comes from someone who genuinely wanted to take media a level and possibly study a media-related course at uni until i really researched and how unis don't rly regard media favourable like lse perhaps or oxbridge and the lack of options. Also i became more interested in a different field anyway)

goodluckk anyway and this only applies if you're going to pursue uni as apprenticeships would not rly disregard media ofc :smile:
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by anouk_
I’m currently in year 11 studying my gcses and I was wondering which subjects I should choose for a level between English Literature, Sociology, Psychology, Rs and Media. I can only pick 3 subjects and I am having a hard time deciding. As of now I study English Lit and Rs gcse and are predicated 7s in both but I’ve heard they are very different at a level- at least Rs is? I have never studied Sociology Psych or Media. I think I will enjoy Media but I am nervous it won’t be good for “top” unis as it can be considered too vocational. I also think I will like Socio and Psych but i was wondering between the 2 which will compliment the other subjects more and if one is easier than the other. Although I’m not sure if I’m going to enjoy the science side of Psych and I’ve heard that is quite a big part of it!
Thanks:smile:

Heya!
What are you thinking of doing at uni? Perhaps Unicompare could give you an insight into different degrees and entry requirements. Note down unis and courses you want to do and check their entry requirements. Some unis require specific subjects but there are also unis that don't require something in particular (really depends so it's better to best to note it down). Unis may also have a list of a-levels they recommend to have when one applies :h: I would recommend making an excel sheet and noting down what each uni wants and see what is better for you to choose.

I hope this helps!
Milena G.
UCL PFE
Study Mind
Reply 11
Original post by MindMax2000
I don't think that would help that much.

If you're looking at English/Drama, are you thinking of theatre? Writing? If so, you don't need a degree or any qualifications in it.

Where you say social science, are thinking of becoming a researcher? Clinical psychologist? If so, you would need a specific degree in the subject that you want to research.
If you want to become a clinical psychologist, your psychology degree needs to be BPS accredited. If you want to be an academic in psychology, then any psychology should be fine so long you end up and do your PhD. A number of psychology degrees won't require you to have any specific A Level subjects.
If you want to work for the government to help with policies, see the following for specific requirements: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/social-research-scheme-2021. If you want to be an academic, then you would require the specific degree. Degrees in sociology won't require specific A Levels.

Do note that you can go into English/Drama with a degree in the social sciences, since you don't need any qualifications to start writing or acting. You will need to be good at it though.

If you're not completely sure, then I recommend you use National Careers Service (https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/explore-careers) or Careers Pilot (https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/job-sectors/sectors) to get a better idea.


Hi
in terms of careers I have thought about getting a degree at uni and then going into something like journalism or acting but as of now I am uncertain! I will take a look at the links you sent, they look helpful thanks.
Reply 12
Original post by StudyMind
Heya!
What are you thinking of doing at uni? Perhaps Unicompare could give you an insight into different degrees and entry requirements. Note down unis and courses you want to do and check their entry requirements. Some unis require specific subjects but there are also unis that don't require something in particular (really depends so it's better to best to note it down). Unis may also have a list of a-levels they recommend to have when one applies :h: I would recommend making an excel sheet and noting down what each uni wants and see what is better for you to choose.

I hope this helps!
Milena G.
UCL PFE
Study Mind


Hi
I was thinking of maybe doing an english or some sort of social science degree. This sounds like a good idea and I’ll take a look thanks:smile:
Reply 13
thank you!!


Original post by Cant.be.asked
do english! and two of your options except media studies if you want to go to a top uni and have more options

Personally i would choose english, sociology and psycholgy (out of my personal preferences) because its a respected combination by unis and allows you to go onto to apply for competitive courses that you meet the subject requirement for! but also rs is a good choice. ONLY CHOOSE A SUBJECT IF YOU ENJOY IT AND YOU ARE WILLING TO PUT IN THE WORK :smile:

just dont choose media unless you want to study that at uni - even then theres no point as a media degree is essentially useless considering the importance of work experience for media jobs anyway (this comes from someone who genuinely wanted to take media a level and possibly study a media-related course at uni until i really researched and how unis don't rly regard media favourable like lse perhaps or oxbridge and the lack of options. Also i became more interested in a different field anyway)

goodluckk anyway and this only applies if you're going to pursue uni as apprenticeships would not rly disregard media ofc :smile:

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