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A-Level Choices

Hey! I’m a year 10 and my school has recently started talking to us about choosing our a levels and making choices about the subjects we would like to pursue. I’ve researched sixth forms that I like near to where I live and I’ve come up with a few subjects that I like the sound of. These are:
- economics
- history
- maths
- psychology
- politics
- criminology
I already take maths, history and psychology at school.
I was wondering if anybody who takes these A-Levels could give any advice or opinions!
Or, if you could give some advice about how to choose between subjects.
Thankyou!

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Original post by isabella829138
Hey! I’m a year 10 and my school has recently started talking to us about choosing our a levels and making choices about the subjects we would like to pursue. I’ve researched sixth forms that I like near to where I live and I’ve come up with a few subjects that I like the sound of. These are:
- economics
- history
- maths
- psychology
- politics
- criminology
I already take maths, history and psychology at school.
I was wondering if anybody who takes these A-Levels could give any advice or opinions!
Or, if you could give some advice about how to choose between subjects.
Thankyou!

Criminology is not an A-level it is a level 3 qualification, which means some universities don't look at it as favourably as actual A-levels, which is probably something to bear in mind.
Original post by isabella829138
Hey! I’m a year 10 and my school has recently started talking to us about choosing our a levels and making choices about the subjects we would like to pursue. I’ve researched sixth forms that I like near to where I live and I’ve come up with a few subjects that I like the sound of. These are:
- economics
- history
- maths
- psychology
- politics
- criminology
I already take maths, history and psychology at school.
I was wondering if anybody who takes these A-Levels could give any advice or opinions!
Or, if you could give some advice about how to choose between subjects.
Thankyou!

Maths is the ideal subject if you are good at it. It opens more doors than anything and is a required subject for many universities for economics and is useful for business courses. If you are not good at it and dont take it you might find yourself restricted.

Criminology is probably the wjec level 3 rather than A level. Some top universities dont accept so you will be classed as just having 2 subjects.

History is a good essay based subject for Humanities degrees.

Economics is rarely a required subject but might be useful for things like Economics, Accountancy and Business courses.

Politics is a very well thought of subject for Humanities courses such a Law, Politics etc.

Psychology is a good subject and sometimes classes as a science so has that usefulness.

You need to view these courses more fully and decide which is right for you. What is right for one person is not the same for another.
Reply 3
Original post by flowersinmyhair
Criminology is not an A-level it is a level 3 qualification, which means some universities don't look at it as favourably as actual A-levels, which is probably something to bear in mind.


thankyou! i’ll definitely consider this!
Reply 4
Original post by swanseajack1
Maths is the ideal subject if you are good at it. It opens more doors than anything and is a required subject for many universities for economics and is useful for business courses. If you are not good at it and dont take it you might find yourself restricted.

Criminology is probably the wjec level 3 rather than A level. Some top universities dont accept so you will be classed as just having 2 subjects.

History is a good essay based subject for Humanities degrees.

Economics is rarely a required subject but might be useful for things like Economics, Accountancy and Business courses.

Politics is a very well thought of subject for Humanities courses such a Law, Politics etc.

Psychology is a good subject and sometimes classes as a science so has that usefulness.

You need to view these courses more fully and decide which is right for you. What is right for one person is not the same for another.

thankyou for your advice! very helpful :smile:
Original post by isabella829138
Hey! I’m a year 10 and my school has recently started talking to us about choosing our a levels and making choices about the subjects we would like to pursue. I’ve researched sixth forms that I like near to where I live and I’ve come up with a few subjects that I like the sound of. These are:
- economics
- history
- maths
- psychology
- politics
- criminology
I already take maths, history and psychology at school.
I was wondering if anybody who takes these A-Levels could give any advice or opinions!
Or, if you could give some advice about how to choose between subjects.
Thankyou!

Hey @isabella829138

it's great that you're starting to think ahead about A Levels. Do you have an idea of what you might like to do at university? I'd recommend taking your time over the summer to research some different university degrees for what you think would most interest you. Take a look at what their entry requirements are, not just the grades but if they have specified that they need maths or english for example. Most universities are looking at your best three A levels. Some require an 'essay based subject' and history is good for that.

If you enjoy it, I'd definitely suggest taking maths for A Level as it is so useful. The first year of a lot of degrees is kind of a 'speed-run' of different topics that you might have come across before but they go into much more detail. This is to get everyone up to the same level. Someone that has studied maths will have a greater understanding of certain modules like economics or statistics and it will not be as difficult to get your head around topics as someone that is trying to remember what they had done at GCSE a few years before.

Basically do what you think you will enjoy, but preferably relevant to a few degrees. It's not expected to have a final degree choice in mind now, as you will change your mind a million times between now and then, but working backwards from:

Potential career / industry field

Degrees they like to hire from

A levels needed to study those degrees

What you enjoy and excel at

Have a great summer and good luck in your education journey!

Best wishes - Essex Student Rep - Hayley
Reply 6
Original post by EssexStudentRep
Hey @isabella829138

it's great that you're starting to think ahead about A Levels. Do you have an idea of what you might like to do at university? I'd recommend taking your time over the summer to research some different university degrees for what you think would most interest you. Take a look at what their entry requirements are, not just the grades but if they have specified that they need maths or english for example. Most universities are looking at your best three A levels. Some require an 'essay based subject' and history is good for that.

If you enjoy it, I'd definitely suggest taking maths for A Level as it is so useful. The first year of a lot of degrees is kind of a 'speed-run' of different topics that you might have come across before but they go into much more detail. This is to get everyone up to the same level. Someone that has studied maths will have a greater understanding of certain modules like economics or statistics and it will not be as difficult to get your head around topics as someone that is trying to remember what they had done at GCSE a few years before.

Basically do what you think you will enjoy, but preferably relevant to a few degrees. It's not expected to have a final degree choice in mind now, as you will change your mind a million times between now and then, but working backwards from:

Potential career / industry field

Degrees they like to hire from

A levels needed to study those degrees

What you enjoy and excel at

Have a great summer and good luck in your education journey!

Best wishes - Essex Student Rep - Hayley

Thankyou this is great advice! I know i’d like to have a career in psychology so i’m trying to stem off that!
Original post by isabella829138
Thankyou this is great advice! I know i’d like to have a career in psychology so i’m trying to stem off that!

Hey @isabella829138

In that case I'd recommend Maths + Psychology A level + something fun that you think would be interesting.

Psychology is great as there are so many degree options from it. For example at Essex you can do also do combination degrees like psychology + economics or psychology + cognitive neuroscience,
https://www.essex.ac.uk/course-search?query=psychology&f.Department%7CDepartment=Psychology&f.Level%7CUG=Undergraduate&collection=uoe-courses-meta

criminology + social psychology
https://www.essex.ac.uk/courses/ug00092/1/ba-criminology-with-social-psychology

Sociology + social psychology
https://www.essex.ac.uk/courses/ug00372/1/ba-sociology-with-social-psychology

There's also psychoanalytical studies
https://www.essex.ac.uk/courses/ug01035/1/ba-psychosocial-and-psychoanalytic-studies

Have a look at a few of these. All universities offer different types of psychology degrees so don't just take my word for it, check out some other universities too. A lot of degrees don't specify what they want your best three A levels to be, as the personal statement that you write when you're making your university choice is super important and gives them an idea of who you are and why you want to study what you do.

Best wishes
Essex Student Rep - Hayley
Original post by isabella829138
Hey! I’m a year 10 and my school has recently started talking to us about choosing our a levels and making choices about the subjects we would like to pursue. I’ve researched sixth forms that I like near to where I live and I’ve come up with a few subjects that I like the sound of. These are:
- economics
- history
- maths
- psychology
- politics
- criminology
I already take maths, history and psychology at school.
I was wondering if anybody who takes these A-Levels could give any advice or opinions!
Or, if you could give some advice about how to choose between subjects.
Thankyou!


It will depend ultimately on what you plan on doing post-sixth form. However, I wouldn't pick A Level Maths unless you have either a true proficiency in it, or love for it.

I do A Level Politics and couldn't recommend it more. If you any specific questions regarding it, feel free to ask. :smile:
Original post by isabella829138
Thankyou this is great advice! I know i’d like to have a career in psychology so i’m trying to stem off that!

If you are interested in Psychology check whether you may need Biology.
Reply 10
Original post by isabella829138
Hey! I’m a year 10 and my school has recently started talking to us about choosing our a levels and making choices about the subjects we would like to pursue. I’ve researched sixth forms that I like near to where I live and I’ve come up with a few subjects that I like the sound of. These are:
- economics
- history
- maths
- psychology
- politics
- criminology
I already take maths, history and psychology at school.
I was wondering if anybody who takes these A-Levels could give any advice or opinions!
Or, if you could give some advice about how to choose between subjects.
Thankyou!

Heya!
If it helps, check out this uniguide alvl explorer to check out what you can do with different combos :h: Think about what you want to do in the future + look at the content of the courses and pick the one that interests you more.

I hope this helps!
Milena
UCL PFE
Study Mind
Original post by EssexStudentRep
Hey @isabella829138

In that case I'd recommend Maths + Psychology A level + something fun that you think would be interesting.

Psychology is great as there are so many degree options from it. For example at Essex you can do also do combination degrees like psychology + economics or psychology + cognitive neuroscience,
https://www.essex.ac.uk/course-search?query=psychology&f.Department%7CDepartment=Psychology&f.Level%7CUG=Undergraduate&collection=uoe-courses-meta

criminology + social psychology
https://www.essex.ac.uk/courses/ug00092/1/ba-criminology-with-social-psychology

Sociology + social psychology
https://www.essex.ac.uk/courses/ug00372/1/ba-sociology-with-social-psychology

There's also psychoanalytical studies
https://www.essex.ac.uk/courses/ug01035/1/ba-psychosocial-and-psychoanalytic-studies

Have a look at a few of these. All universities offer different types of psychology degrees so don't just take my word for it, check out some other universities too. A lot of degrees don't specify what they want your best three A levels to be, as the personal statement that you write when you're making your university choice is super important and gives them an idea of who you are and why you want to study what you do.

Best wishes
Essex Student Rep - Hayley

thankyou! i’ll definitely check these out 🙂
Original post by cephalothin
It will depend ultimately on what you plan on doing post-sixth form. However, I wouldn't pick A Level Maths unless you have either a true proficiency in it, or love for it.

I do A Level Politics and couldn't recommend it more. If you any specific questions regarding it, feel free to ask. :smile:

politics is definitely on my list of subjects i’d like to take! i’m trying to decide between politics and history. do you find it extremely difficult, is the content interesting?
Thankyou!
Original post by swanseajack1
If you are interested in Psychology check whether you may need Biology.

thankyou!
Original post by StudyMind
Heya!
If it helps, check out this uniguide alvl explorer to check out what you can do with different combos :h: Think about what you want to do in the future + look at the content of the courses and pick the one that interests you more.

I hope this helps!
Milena
UCL PFE
Study Mind

thankyou so much! i’ll definitely check this out 🙂
Reply 15
Original post by isabella829138
Hey! I’m a year 10 and my school has recently started talking to us about choosing our a levels and making choices about the subjects we would like to pursue. I’ve researched sixth forms that I like near to where I live and I’ve come up with a few subjects that I like the sound of. These are:
- economics
- history
- maths
- psychology
- politics
- criminology
I already take maths, history and psychology at school.
I was wondering if anybody who takes these A-Levels could give any advice or opinions!
Or, if you could give some advice about how to choose between subjects.
Thankyou!

Hello as a fellow Yr 10 my advice would be...
1. What kinda career path do you want to do? Bc a levels impact the degrees or jobs you can get in the future
2. Obvs pick subjects you already/or think you would enjoy unless it's needed for a entry requirement in a qualification etc
3. I suggest using uni guides a level tool to see what certain a level combos can take you
I hope this helps if you got any questions or want me to elaborate more just lmk
Original post by isabella829138
politics is definitely on my list of subjects i’d like to take! i’m trying to decide between politics and history. do you find it extremely difficult, is the content interesting?
Thankyou!


It's definitely my favourite subject! Generally, you'll do three papers:
Paper 1: Government and Politics of the UK
Paper 2: Government and Politics of the USA or Global Politics (depending on your sixth form)
Paper 3: Political Ideas

Once you have the structure down, I find it's quite manageable. It's very much an 'alive' subject - you have to keep up with current affairs and use them as examples in your essays. It can seem a bit daunting, but it's really as simple as following some news accounts on Instagram and maybe downloading the BBC app (if you don't have it already).

The content tends to be quite interesting (as interesting as constitutional reform can get), and it's pretty digestible. You don't necessarily have to learn everything by the book, I've come up with some pretty inventive arguments in my essays.

I don't take history, but a lot of my friends do (I have one friend who takes both) and the general feeling is that history is more difficult. Obviously, it's subjective - but it does tend to be a bit more demanding. :smile:
(edited 10 months ago)
Original post by Trickia
Hello as a fellow Yr 10 my advice would be...
1. What kinda career path do you want to do? Bc a levels impact the degrees or jobs you can get in the future
2. Obvs pick subjects you already/or think you would enjoy unless it's needed for a entry requirement in a qualification etc
3. I suggest using uni guides a level tool to see what certain a level combos can take you
I hope this helps if you got any questions or want me to elaborate more just lmk

thankyou!
Original post by cephalothin
It's definitely my favourite subject! Generally, you'll do three papers:
Paper 1: Government and Politics of the UK
Paper 2: Government and Politics of the USA or Global Politics (depending on your sixth form)
Paper 3: Political Ideas

Once you have the structure down, I find it's quite manageable. It's very much an 'alive' subject - you have to keep up with current affairs and use them as examples in your essays. It can seem a bit daunting, but it's really as simple as following some news accounts on Instagram and maybe downloading the BBC app (if you don't have it already).

The content tends to be quite interesting (as interesting as constitutional reform can get), and it's pretty digestible. You don't necessarily have to learn everything by the book, I've come up with some pretty inventive arguments in my essays.

I don't take history, but a lot of my friends do (I have one friend who takes both) and the general feeling is that history is more difficult. Obviously, it's subjective - but it does tend to be a bit more demanding. :smile:

thankyou! i definitely like the sound of politics:smile:
Reply 19
Original post by isabella829138
Hey! I’m a year 10 and my school has recently started talking to us about choosing our a levels and making choices about the subjects we would like to pursue. I’ve researched sixth forms that I like near to where I live and I’ve come up with a few subjects that I like the sound of. These are:
- economics
- history
- maths
- psychology
- politics
- criminology
I already take maths, history and psychology at school.
I was wondering if anybody who takes these A-Levels could give any advice or opinions!
Or, if you could give some advice about how to choose between subjects.
Thankyou!


hi!!!
i take maths further maths history and psychology!!
i personally have really enjoyed them all, particularly further maths, as it is so much more interesting than single maths
i would say that history i would be cautious with taking, as it has been my hardest a level by far due to the sheer amount of content and skill it takes to write the essays. I probably wouldn't take history if i had the chance to change them, but this might just be because i am more maths orientated and not all that good at essays.
I have enjoyed pyschology although some parts (research methods) can drag on and be incredibly boring, however, others, such as biopsych and psychopathology are incredibly interesting
If i were you, i would have a look at what degree you would like to do and arrange your a levels loosely around that, i know my subjects due to being so broad have opened up a whole host of degrees that i would be able to do.
Hopefully this helps

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