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Bad A level combination

I picked the worst A level combination. A level biology, btec business and btec ICT. With these subjects what can i do in uni?
Reply 1
Sorry tl;dr- It really depends on the situation. If you’re still in your first year then applying for an EPQ can help to boost your UCAS points and if your able to, doing a fourth A-level could help greatly. If this is not possible, this combination still allows for many University courses. You could do Biology at University, carrying on from the A-Level. Other options would be Data Sciences, Pharmaceutical sciences, Business management and Information Systems would also be great courses for this combination of options. Remember no matter what you pick as long as you do we’ll there’ll always be something for you.
Honestly it's a bit late to change now and this is why it's important to think ahead before picking your a level subjects. However, there are many paths you can take at uni with biology. ICT and business may also get you into doing a business related degree at uni asw.

I highly recommend at least starting maths now and dropping one of your btecs as if anything, maths is such a versatile a level and can get you into many different degrees. Sure it is a bit late but first year maths is very simple and you should be able to self teach it in the holidays using YouTube videos such as bicen maths and doing textbook questions.
Reply 3
Original post by shadowblades
Honestly it's a bit late to change now and this is why it's important to think ahead before picking your a level subjects. However, there are many paths you can take at uni with biology. ICT and business may also get you into doing a business related degree at uni asw.

I highly recommend at least starting maths now and dropping one of your btecs as if anything, maths is such a versatile a level and can get you into many different degrees. Sure it is a bit late but first year maths is very simple and you should be able to self teach it in the holidays using YouTube videos such as bicen maths and doing textbook questions.

Well if i do end up doing well in biology without the maths. Can i still do something biology related in uni?
Original post by i.a000
Original post by shadowblades
Honestly it's a bit late to change now and this is why it's important to think ahead before picking your a level subjects. However, there are many paths you can take at uni with biology. ICT and business may also get you into doing a business related degree at uni asw.

I highly recommend at least starting maths now and dropping one of your btecs as if anything, maths is such a versatile a level and can get you into many different degrees. Sure it is a bit late but first year maths is very simple and you should be able to self teach it in the holidays using YouTube videos such as bicen maths and doing textbook questions.

Well if i do end up doing well in biology without the maths. Can i still do something biology related in uni?


A lot of unis want bio plus another science or maths to do a biological sciences degree but I'm sure there's a niche biology related degree that does not require maths or another science or a lower tier university.
Original post by i.a000


A lot of unis want bio plus another science or maths to do a biological sciences degree but I'm sure there's a niche biology related degree that does not require maths or another science or a lower tier university.

I might consider studying maths privately by myself then but my school would not allow me to drop any of the subjects i chose already.

Yeah I mean maybe ask your school to let you do it as a fourth, but in sure given your circumstances they will allow you to drop one as that combo is quite limiting. Best to ask as this would be the best course of action. Remember to justify why and say it will give you better uni prospects and that you will work hard to get good grades. And then prove it. Nothing is set in stone and this way is much better than just privately studying it but ofc doing it private is still a viable option. This is my opinion ofc and I always say it's never hurt to ask.
Original post by i.a000


Yeah I mean maybe ask your school to let you do it as a fourth, but in sure given your circumstances they will allow you to drop one as that combo is quite limiting. Best to ask as this would be the best course of action. Remember to justify why and say it will give you better uni prospects and that you will work hard to get good grades. And then prove it. Nothing is set in stone and this way is much better than just privately studying it but ofc doing it private is still a viable option. This is my opinion ofc and I always say it's never hurt to ask.

I wanted to do A level maths from the start, but my school said no because I only got a 6 in GCSE. They let me choose only one science A level combined with two BTECs instead. Now it's too late to study maths in school, so I think I'll have to study it on my own. It'll be a challenge, but I think it's the best option for me.

Hmm that is interesting as my old school did let you in if you got at least a 6 although the school I go to now only let you in if you got an 8 and preferably a 9, and yeah that might be the best course of action for you. Good luck and hopefully it all goes well!
I chose alevel photography maths and psychology and had no problem getting offers from good unis and qualified for a lot of rigerous subjects because of maths which also qualified as a core science for some degrees . Everyone ik thought this was a dumb combination as it doesn’t have a clear route but I have 3 A* predictions and I think the variety of learning and assessment styles means you do better in each one . I would actually recommend taking a variety of subjects to people who are applying for college sorry if your experience wasn’t as good but I know people struggling a lot because they un necessarily chose 4 stem subjects
Original post by trtrrteter643
I chose alevel photography maths and psychology and had no problem getting offers from good unis and qualified for a lot of rigerous subjects because of maths which also qualified as a core science for some degrees . Everyone ik thought this was a dumb combination as it doesn’t have a clear route but I have 3 A* predictions and I think the variety of learning and assessment styles means you do better in each one . I would actually recommend taking a variety of subjects to people who are applying for college sorry if your experience wasn’t as good but I know people struggling a lot because they un necessarily chose 4 stem subjects


Yeah honestly I wish I didn't pick physics and instead did smth like politics or psychology or history or even theology and philosophy. Sure it's not as rigorous, but those are subjects that also interest me more than just your typical maths, physics and comp sci.
Original post by shadowblades
Yeah honestly I wish I didn't pick physics and instead did smth like politics or psychology or history or even theology and philosophy. Sure it's not as rigorous, but those are subjects that also interest me more than just your typical maths, physics and comp sci.

I chose photography because it interested me and I knew it’s the only chance I’d get to learn the techniques and have access to a dark room for free . It was also coursework which means I’ll be finished with it before I start my other academic exams which leaves me with a lot less stress in summer . Bothe my brothers took 4 stem subjects and we’ve gotten into the same unis granted I’ve applied for psychology and neuroscience courses which may be more lenient subject wise but are defiantly some of the most competitive courses in terms of number of aplicants . I was paranoid and every single university I asked said as long as you meet the clearly stated subject requirements then they won’t discriminate based on a third or fourth “soft subject . Every single teacher and student who thought they knew everything told me otherwise but the unis themselves said soft subjects are outdated and unfair towards students and the arts and humanities
Would core maths be an option for you? I don't know much about it but i think it's worth half an A-level.
Original post by trtrrteter643
I chose photography because it interested me and I knew it’s the only chance I’d get to learn the techniques and have access to a dark room for free . It was also coursework which means I’ll be finished with it before I start my other academic exams which leaves me with a lot less stress in summer . Bothe my brothers took 4 stem subjects and we’ve gotten into the same unis granted I’ve applied for psychology and neuroscience courses which may be more lenient subject wise but are defiantly some of the most competitive courses in terms of number of aplicants . I was paranoid and every single university I asked said as long as you meet the clearly stated subject requirements then they won’t discriminate based on a third or fourth “soft subject . Every single teacher and student who thought they knew everything told me otherwise but the unis themselves said soft subjects are outdated and unfair towards students and the arts and humanities

yeah i can imagine you enjoyed photography and the coursework must be so relieving. yeah ofc different courses have different requirements but as long as they are good unis, you will get a pretty similar education regardless especially since its competitive. and yeah i can relate so much with my parents going to unis in another country, and my mother doing an arts and humanities course, they had no idea how the system worked in England so i sort of had to figure it out myself and i just assumed you needed the combo i picked to get into comp sci. i know now thats not entirely true but at the time thats all i knew so i just went along with it especially since teachers like you said, assumed the same thing. its tough but well done for getting into those unis and hopefully everything else goes well for you!
Reply 12
Original post by JackSan123
Would core maths be an option for you? I don't know much about it but i think it's worth half an A-level.

I think it’s too late to start a subject now
Original post by i.a000
I picked the worst A level combination. A level biology, btec business and btec ICT. With these subjects what can i do in uni?

Plenty of degrees require no specific subjects to have been studied at A-level or equivalent before, so honestly the answer is "most subjects". Particularly when you consider most STEM subjects are available with a foundation year for those who did the "wrong" subjects at A-level.

Better to start from the perspective of:

What interests you intellectually - setting aside any considerations of professions or careers? What are the kinds of things you actually like to learn about when you remove school from the equation? That you might listen to a talk on, read an article or a book about, watch a documentary or news piece on, or even just read about on wikipedia or something.

What interests you professionally? What might you like to do long term? Think particularly less about the job title (and definitely not about salary!), but more about what the job involves. For example, how do you feel about working in an office environment, vs working in a job where you spend more time outdoors? How do you feel about public speaking and presenting? Is it important to you that you can work flexibly, and is it important to maintain a strong work-life balance and not worry about "crunch" periods where you need to work a lot more hours than usual?

What do you enjoy from your current studies? This can be both in terms of topics but also importantly ways of working - if you really enjoy the labwork from biology for example, you might want to explore science degrees more. If you prefer essay writing then you may want to look more at humanities or social science degrees

What don't you enjoy from your current/previous studies? As above, can be in terms of topics but also what you do - if you actually can't stand doing labwork in biology then a science degree may not be right for you! Equally if you hate maths and doing maths makes you cry, you can reasonably rule out e.g. CS and most physical sciences degrees plus other very quantitative subjects like economics.


Then you can start to build up a picture of what you might be looking for and see what possible options fit that picture. Then you can see if you meet the requirements and if so, start exploring if that's something you do actually want to pursue by doing further wider reading around that subject area. For example if you decide that you don't like doing labwork, but are interested in biological phenomena, and don't mind writing essay type material like in business, you might find that looking at something like biological/evolutionary/physical anthropology would fit a lot of your other interests. But it may also be that while on paper it looks like it fits your interests, it it has things that are "deal breakers" for you!

In terms of the professional/career side, I would honestly say focus on this less than the other factors, although do consider it. Ultimately, most graduates go into roles unrelated to their degrees, and research has found in the UK STEM and non-STEM graduates have equivalent career outcomes. Additionally, most graduate schemes don't have any specific requirements and certainly no "preferences" for what degree you did - they just want to see you have a degree at 2:1 or above. So for most cases this is something that you would start thinking about a bit more during the degree itself as you seek out internships and so on and utilise your unis career centre.

However there are some roles which do require a specific background, usually things requiring particularly accredited degrees, like in healthcare professions, teaching, social work, engineering, psychology, etc. Some might require a slightly specific background but not limiting to a particular course, e.g. some roles may require a "numerate" degree (for example data science positions), which could be any of a number of things such as maths, CS, physics, engineering etc. So do consider it a bit in this context, but if you know those roles aren't things you definitely want to do I would not worry overmuch about it

Also while a major concern for most school leavers and understandably, I don't think reducing everything to salaries that you read on a website is particularly helpful. Ultimately this obscures a lot of many more relevant factors, and also it's important to understand said statistics are averages and not necessarily representative of what you will end up earning in that field if you go into it - sometimes the salaries can be very variable (for example in the computing sector). Also understand that the actual availability of roles can vary considerably, and may also change by the time you graduate. So don't make a 10 year plan of life requiring you do a degree that you actually don't really like and aren't good at, because chances are a lot of things are going to change along the way - and then all that time doing the stuff you didn't like would've been for nought! Worth noting also that in most areas in the UK you don't actually need an incredibly high salary to live a comfortable life, and starting graduate salaries are not the be all and end all measure of things.
Original post by shadowblades
yeah i can imagine you enjoyed photography and the coursework must be so relieving. yeah ofc different courses have different requirements but as long as they are good unis, you will get a pretty similar education regardless especially since its competitive. and yeah i can relate so much with my parents going to unis in another country, and my mother doing an arts and humanities course, they had no idea how the system worked in England so i sort of had to figure it out myself and i just assumed you needed the combo i picked to get into comp sci. i know now thats not entirely true but at the time thats all i knew so i just went along with it especially since teachers like you said, assumed the same thing. its tough but well done for getting into those unis and hopefully everything else goes well for you!

No because I think we lived the same life 😭 my parents also knew little about the uni process in the uk , and my brothers were stemming it out but I was rlly not feeling the work load of that . Even when I applied for college and had an interview with the head teacher he was telling me because I had good GCSES I shouldn’t take photography but science subjects (if I took alevel Chemistry I promise I would have a D) and he was Litterally the head teacher he should know what he’s talking about . Everyone on tsr gaslit me into thinking I would never get into uni . But I’m actually really interested in computer science aswell and there’s a joint computer science and Psychology course at St Andrews I was thinking of doing
Original post by i.a000
I picked the worst A level combination. A level biology, btec business and btec ICT. With these subjects what can i do in uni?


It depends. Some courses at uni dont require any specific subjects, the just require certain grades/UCAS points.
What sort of thing do you want to do at uni?
Reply 16
Original post by Emma:-)
It depends. Some courses at uni dont require any specific subjects, the just require certain grades/UCAS points.
What sort of thing do you want to do at uni?

I want to do something biology related but i think you need another A level for that
biotechnology because you have ICT, biomedical engineering, material science, and dietetics. The ICT course is really good and will be helpful for applications
Reply 18
Original post by IO bear
biotechnology because you have ICT, biomedical engineering, material science, and dietetics. The ICT course is really good and will be helpful for applications

I think all those require a second science for A level
Original post by i.a000
I think all those require a second science for A level

nope, depend if OP is picky with their universities. For example aston university birmingham only requires one science for their biomedical engineering course

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