The Student Room Group

A level options

I just finished GCSE's and I'm thinking about future careers. I'm stuck between doing stem and law; if i was to do stem it would be something like biochemistry or something chemistry related as I enjoy Chemistry but I also equally find law interesting however for law I would need an essay based subject and for Chem at uni i would need 3 stem subjects at A level in order to be a competitive applicant

Is it smart to take 4 a levels eg. Chem, Maths, Biology and History/English lit or too fully commit to either a Stem career or law career ?
Reply 1
Most unis only require 2 stem subjects for that at uni, so i'd do 2 stem and history or english for more options
Only do 4 if you'll be able to handle the pressure
(edited 11 months ago)
Original post by nicesuperlight
I just finished GCSE's and I'm thinking about future careers. I'm stuck between doing stem and law; if i was to do stem it would be something like biochemistry or something chemistry related as I enjoy Chemistry but I also equally find law interesting however for law I would need an essay based subject and for Chem at uni i would need 3 stem subjects at A level in order to be a competitive applicant

Is it smart to take 4 a levels eg. Chem, Maths, Biology and History/English lit or too fully commit to either a Stem career or law career ?

Firstly I would note that biochemistry isn't a chemistry degree, it's a bioscience degree. There is relatively little chemistry in a biochemistry degree, it's a course in molecular biology. If your interest is in chemistry, you should do a chemistry degree - not a biochemistry degree, or a chemical engineering degree, or anything else. Nothing really covers chemistry in any substantial way except a chemistry degree; other courses may cover elements of it or applications from it, but you won't be doing chemistry in of itself, and those applications or related elements will be quite diluted compared to what you do in chemistry now.

Secondly I would note that you don't need to do a law degree to work as a solicitor (you do to work as a barrister, but there is no preference for it to have been an undergraduate law degree or a conversion course with another degree). Also from what I gather, studying law is very different to actually practicing law.

Thirdly I would note you do not need to do an essay subject to apply to a law degree anyway. Law courses including the likes of Oxbridge, LSE, etc, all happily take applicants doing 3 STEM subjects.

Finally, it's generally not advisable to take 4 subjects unless two are maths and further maths. You also do not get "bonus points" from unis for doing so, and run the risk of getting more average results across the bar. A*A*A >>> A*ABC as far as unis are concerned. Plus most unis just make offers on the basis of three A-levels and any extra may not be considered anyway...
(edited 11 months ago)
Reply 4
i would not do 4 unless the fourth is further maths or a language that you speak at home, unless your applying for a very competitive course at a top university, eg law, engineering, medicine, comp sci, econ etc, its not worth all the extra pressure, especially in year 2/year 13. most universities only look for 3 a levels anyways.

as i saw what other people said in the thread, taking a mix of both is the best option, i would take 4 to start and then drop your least favourite about a month in. definitely take maths and english though, they are very versatile subjects which are sought after by all universities.
Original post by ang2211
definitely take maths and english though, they are very versatile subjects which are sought after by all universities.


Utter rubbish. Unis state which subjects they require in the 'Entry requirements' section on the course pages of their websites. If they don't state maths and English they they don't need or value maths or English above other subjects.

Quick Reply

Latest