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chemistry or psychology a level??

I am picking my a-level subjects and have currently chose English lit and biology. I am interested in degrees in neuroscience, Law, human science, anthropology and forensic science/criminal law.

I do not enjoy chemistry much now and I am currently working at a grade 6/7. due to the lack of enjoyment and I find it boring, I am wondering if this would be a good choice as it would be difficult to get high grades without the passion. how different are a level and gcse chem?? would you say the depth makes it more interesting?

psychology is a subject I am passionate in and I know I will enjoy; however, I don't think it will open as many doors into stem or humanities careers, especially as I am looking into unis like oxford and Edinburgh.

should I pick a level psychology, chemistry, or another subject? and will I be able to study neurosciece (perhaps with another subject like forensics) without chemistry?? and is it possible for a certain a level combination (without maths) to keep the above degrees open??
Original post by 1234nsr
I am picking my a-level subjects and have currently chose English lit and biology. I am interested in degrees in neuroscience, Law, human science, anthropology and forensic science/criminal law.

I do not enjoy chemistry much now and I am currently working at a grade 6/7. due to the lack of enjoyment and I find it boring, I am wondering if this would be a good choice as it would be difficult to get high grades without the passion. how different are a level and gcse chem?? would you say the depth makes it more interesting?

psychology is a subject I am passionate in and I know I will enjoy; however, I don't think it will open as many doors into stem or humanities careers, especially as I am looking into unis like oxford and Edinburgh.

should I pick a level psychology, chemistry, or another subject? and will I be able to study neurosciece (perhaps with another subject like forensics) without chemistry?? and is it possible for a certain a level combination (without maths) to keep the above degrees open??

I would pick Psychology instead. Chemistry can be difficult and besides if you're in doubt, pick the subject easiest for you to get the highest grade. Psychology isn't too difficult - although you need to memorise (not as much as chemistry).

You can study forensics and neuroscience without chemistry. https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/2024/00617/bsc-neuroscience/#course-profile for neuroscience. No need chemistry.
Original post by 1234nsr
I am picking my a-level subjects and have currently chose English lit and biology. I am interested in degrees in neuroscience, Law, human science, anthropology and forensic science/criminal law.

I do not enjoy chemistry much now and I am currently working at a grade 6/7. due to the lack of enjoyment and I find it boring, I am wondering if this would be a good choice as it would be difficult to get high grades without the passion. how different are a level and gcse chem?? would you say the depth makes it more interesting?

psychology is a subject I am passionate in and I know I will enjoy; however, I don't think it will open as many doors into stem or humanities careers, especially as I am looking into unis like oxford and Edinburgh.

should I pick a level psychology, chemistry, or another subject? and will I be able to study neurosciece (perhaps with another subject like forensics) without chemistry?? and is it possible for a certain a level combination (without maths) to keep the above degrees open??

Hi @1234nsr,

I did chemistry at both GCSE and A-Level. I was in the same position as you, not having much interest in chemistry and dreaded the idea of doing it for A-level. I did it merely to just secure my university course choices. To answer your first question, chemistry A-levels are an extension of what we learnt in GCSEs, with much more content and detail- knowing this definitely scared me at the start of Year 12. Eventually, I grew a liking toward the subject as I found it so interesting and (believe it or not) super fun! Minus the inorganic and calculations aspect of chemistry, I found the organic side of it incredibly intriguing and loved learning it. The depth of content definitely made the subject more enjoyable for me at least.

If you are leaning more toward STEM university courses, I do recommend that you take chemistry as your third subject. However, in my opinion psychology can open doors to humanities subjects and law (if you're considering other universities beside Oxford and Edinburgh). Furthermore, I think that keeping Maths as one of your three subjects is very important if you're looking into STEM courses, regardless if you're applying to Oxford or elsewhere.

Hope this helps,
Danish
BCU Student Rep
Reply 3
dont take chemistry unless you are serious about something like medicine, so psychology.
Human Sciences at Oxford recommends biology and maths A-Levels. If you are predicted a 7 - 9 in maths GCSE, then I would strongly recommend considering A-Level. Some universities also view A-Level maths as highly desirable for degrees that wouldn't typically involve it (for example, Cambridge now appreciates A-Level maths for its history course).
Chemistry A-Level expands on the principles covered at GCSE. If it's not a subject you naturally gravitate towards or understand easily, there may be better A-Level options for you. However, if your heart is set on chemistry, go for it; you may need to work quite hard.
If your school/college lets you do four A-Levels (or lets you study four in Year 12 and do an AS exam in one), you might find choosing four helpful as you explore your options regarding degree choices.
(edited 3 months ago)
Reply 5
Original post by libertyalicexxx
Human Sciences at Oxford recommends biology and maths A-Levels. If you are predicted a 7 - 9 in maths GCSE, then I would strongly recommend considering A-Level. Some universities also view A-Level maths as highly desirable for degrees that wouldn't typically involve it (for example, Cambridge now appreciates A-Level maths for its history course).
Chemistry A-Level expands on the principles covered at GCSE. If it's not a subject you naturally gravitate towards or understand easily, there may be better A-Level options for you. However, if your heart is set on chemistry, go for it; you may need to work quite hard.
If your school/college lets you do four A-Levels (or lets you study four in Year 12 and do an AS exam in one), you might find choosing four helpful as you explore your options regarding degree choices.

Thank you! I do not enjoy, nor do I want to continue maths at a level. Yes, the reason I was considering 4 A-Levels was to explore my interests.
Original post by 1234nsr
I am picking my a-level subjects and have currently chose English lit and biology. I am interested in degrees in neuroscience, Law, human science, anthropology and forensic science/criminal law.

I do not enjoy chemistry much now and I am currently working at a grade 6/7. due to the lack of enjoyment and I find it boring, I am wondering if this would be a good choice as it would be difficult to get high grades without the passion. how different are a level and gcse chem?? would you say the depth makes it more interesting?

psychology is a subject I am passionate in and I know I will enjoy; however, I don't think it will open as many doors into stem or humanities careers, especially as I am looking into unis like oxford and Edinburgh.

should I pick a level psychology, chemistry, or another subject? and will I be able to study neurosciece (perhaps with another subject like forensics) without chemistry?? and is it possible for a certain a level combination (without maths) to keep the above degrees open??

Why not take Maths, Biology and Psychology? 🙂 Because English Literature is too much reading and too many essays. At least with Psychology you will have Research Methods which is simple Maths. Also Maths, Biology and Psychology would be the best combination for Psychology or Law at Oxford, LSE, UCL, KCL, QMUL, SOAS, City, RHUL, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Reading, Warwick and York. 😉
Reply 7
I’m in y13 and took biology psychology and chemistry but mainly took chemistry to meet subject requirements. While i’m not passionate about it, it is still possible to get a high grade (i’m predicted an A*), but it has been more of a struggle studying a subject im not passionate about compared to biology and psychology. Both chemistry and psychology also contribute to biology in different ways l with organic chem helping with the biological molecules topic in biology and the biopsych topic in psychology helping with the nervous system and synapses topic so both are also helpful! In my opinion i would take 4 and drop the one you aren’t sure of, it’s hard to tell which one you’d prefer without experiencing them first hand, hope this helps :smile:
Reply 8
Original post by thegeek888
Why not take Maths, Biology and Psychology? 🙂 Because English Literature is too much reading and too many essays. At least with Psychology you will have Research Methods which is simple Maths. Also Maths, Biology and Psychology would be the best combination for Psychology or Law at Oxford, LSE, UCL, KCL, QMUL, SOAS, City, RHUL, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Reading, Warwick and York. 😉

I won't be doing maths because it is the subject I despise the most 😭 but thank you
Reply 9
Original post by mmmm.
dont take chemistry unless you are serious about something like medicine, so psychology.

There are HUNDREDS of degree courses apart from Med that require or prefer Chemistry.
And many subjects like Geography, Psychology etc include elements of Chem at degree level.
So there are actually many reasons for taking Chemistry!
Reply 10
Chemistry is a difficult subject for a-level however as a Forensic Science student I’m glad I took it as Forensics includes a lot of advanced chemistry.
Reply 11
Original post by phi04
Chemistry is a difficult subject for a-level however as a Forensic Science student I’m glad I took it as Forensics includes a lot of advanced chemistry.


you don’t necessarily NEED it to get into the course but it definitely helps
Reply 12
Original post by 1234nsr
I am picking my a-level subjects and have currently chose English lit and biology. I am interested in degrees in neuroscience, Law, human science, anthropology and forensic science/criminal law.

I do not enjoy chemistry much now and I am currently working at a grade 6/7. due to the lack of enjoyment and I find it boring, I am wondering if this would be a good choice as it would be difficult to get high grades without the passion. how different are a level and gcse chem?? would you say the depth makes it more interesting?

psychology is a subject I am passionate in and I know I will enjoy; however, I don't think it will open as many doors into stem or humanities careers, especially as I am looking into unis like oxford and Edinburgh.

should I pick a level psychology, chemistry, or another subject? and will I be able to study neurosciece (perhaps with another subject like forensics) without chemistry?? and is it possible for a certain a level combination (without maths) to keep the above degrees open??

as long as you're doing two sciences (i.e. maths, bio, chemistry, physics, psychology) you shouldn't have any trouble getting into a neuro course - so go for what you enjoy! I got into uni of Nottingham for a neuro degree with maths, bio, and psychology, but you can honestly pick anything for your third! I wouldn't stress too much

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