​Supporting your goals


What subjects should I take?

With a great variety of subjects available it's important that you choose subjects you enjoy, that you are good at and that support you in your future plans. In addition, your estimated grades should indicate that you are qualified for your chosen subjects.

If you are planning to progress into higher education, you should try to ensure that your combination of subjects keeps open a range of options which is appropriate for you. Your current plans beyond A level may mean that you are already sure about two or even three subject choices.

If this is not the case, it may be advisable to choose at least one or more of the following subjects, providing they play to your strengths and you would enjoy studying them: Maths & Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English Literature, History, Geography, Modern and Classical Languages. By choosing these subjects you are likely to maximise the options in your degree choice.

Additional considerations

Any of the other Advanced level subjects on offer may be entirely appropriate for you and it’s important to remember that the overall combination of subjects is more important than the impact of any one subject choice. For example, if you are considering a future in a specialist area such as Art, Drama/Dance, Media/Film, Music, PE or if you plan to concentrate on a range of subjects in the Political & Social Sciences or in the Economics/Business field.

Students taking one subject with a vocational or practical bias as part of a wider portfolio of subjects should not experience any problems in applying to a competitive university. You may find it helpful to look at the Russell Group website www.informedchoices.ac.uk which gives really helpful advice as to which A level subjects are required or recommended for different degree courses. It also shows you what degree courses different combinations of A levels may lead to. Depending on how clear you are about your choices, you are advised to enter between three and five A level subjects on your application in your order of priority.

Information about a selection of career paths

The following information contains general guidelines which should always be supplemented by specific careers advice and careful research should be undertaken into the requirements of specific courses in higher education via the UCAS website or individual universities prospectuses.

Please visit our Careers department if you wish to enquire about other specific career paths; we will also discuss these with you at the informal guidance meeting following your application to Hills Road Sixth Form College.
Although relevant subjects such as Maths, Economics or Business are useful, they are not usually essential. You can enter directly into a training programme after A Levels, or you can enter the profession after a degree, which can be in a different discipline.

It is helpful to have subjects such as Art, Physics and Maths, but most universities are flexible. A portfolio of work may be helpful. Check with individual universities.

Maths is required by some universities.

Typically History, English or other essay writing subjects are required. Students can enter Law from a scientific background, with at least one essay writing subject.

Sometimes regarded as one subject by certain universities. Both subjects may be required or highly desirable for entry to the most competitive courses in Maths, Physics/Engineering or Economics.

If you study Chemistry, Biology and one A level from Mathematics or Physics you will keep all the medical schools open to you; with Chemistry and Biology A levels you will keep open the vast majority.

If you study Chemistry and one A level from Mathematics and Physics you will limit your range of choices much more. Maths and Further Maths will be counted as one subject at many places. Voluntary/community work is essential; the widest range of medical schools are available if you have 6+ GCSE grades 7/8/9 or A/A*.

Sometimes regarded as one subject by certain universities. Some degree courses in Music Technology require Music A level and may look for Maths and/or Physics as well as Music Technology.

Biology is generally required, although some universities will accept PE, plus evidence of working with people.

Minimum GCSE grade 4/5/C in Maths, English Language and a Science is required, plus usually at least one primary National Curriculum A level subject. Work experience essential.

Degree courses usually require one or two science subjects of which Psychology is included, but is not required.

If you take Chemistry and Biology and one A level from Mathematics or Physics you will have all universities open to you. Work experience essential.

The widest range of vet schools are available if you have 6+ GCSE grades 7/8/9 or A/A*.

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