In order to help advise students on which subjects to study, the accompanying table is intended to act as a guide of Advanced Level subjects required for university courses.

University Course

Advanced Level Subjects Required or Preferred

Additional Information

Accountancy, Finance, Business, Management

Mathematics and Economics are required for many top universities. Business Studies is advantageous.

Interested candidates should visit since requirements vary considerably depending on the institution.


Mathematics usually specified, plus one additional science (Physics preferred due its numerical nature).

3D Design and Art & Design is
recommended for portfolio development

Art A Level is often a requirement

A portfolio of drawings and sketches must be developed, and is required for interview.

Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Fashion Design, Textiles, Fine Art, Sculpture, Animation, Photography

A level Art & Design (or relevant subject above) and Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (1 year course).

A portfolio of drawings and sketches must be developed, and is required for interview.


Chemistry and two from Biology, Physics or Mathematics.

Ideally suited if you have a strong interest in experimental work and cutting edge research.

Biological Sciences

Biology and Chemistry.

For non-traditional qualifications, interviews may be applicable.


Chemistry and Mathematics to at least AS; A Level for Oxbridge and top universities.

A level in Biology and/or Physics useful and preferred by some universities but not essential.

Computer Science

Often Mathematics and/or Computing/ Computing Science.

Further Mathematics or another science would also be highly recommended.


Chemistry and Biology required to A Level. Psychology also identified as advantageous by some dental schools.

A candidate must complete 3-14 days’ work-shadowing experience preferably within a General Dental Practice setting. Applicants will need to be able to show evidence of manual dexterity, good communication skills, the ability to work in and lead a team.


English Literature and Drama are advantageous subjects.

For university and Drama School candidates will be asked to attend a group audition and prepare 2 contrasting monologues for performance to the admissions panel.


Mathematics essential for top universities, with Economics being highly advantageous.

You are strongly advised to take Further Maths for Cambridge, UCL, Warwick, LSE and Oxford.


Physics and Mathematics required, with Chemistry also needed for Chemical Engineering.

Due to the variety of engineering courses students should visit students/coursesearch to find out the requirements for specific courses.

English Literature

Students should read to have extensive range of literary movements, genres and forms to develop a detailed analytical overview of the development of both literature and critical theory through time as essential for UCAS applications.

Literature degree courses tend to place the emphasis firmly on independent study, often with a minimum of lectures and classes to attend, but an expectation that students can produce dissertations of up to 10,000 words, largely made up of their own research.




Most universities will ask for an A Level (or equivalent) in Geography. A Science or Maths A Level is also useful, but Geography also works well with other Humanities and Social Science subjects such as Business Studies, History, Sociology or English Literature Look out for Geography-related university subjects such as Environmental Studies, Geology, Humanities or Anthropology, These wil specialise on one area of geography, human or physical that you might have studies at A Level and make good links to other A level courses


History is essential, English Literature is advantageous.

Russell Group universities favour students who have studied English literature or a foreign language and can demonstrate they have the ability to make analytical judgements, be able to think laterally, discriminate critically, enjoy reading, and show an enthusiastic curiosity about the past.

International Business

Many top Universities require a foreign language as a requirement to pursue a career in these fields. A Level French would be an asset.

Students may have to spend one year abroad to widen their scope of French with a particular focus on the communicative approach of language learning.


Philosophy, English Language, History and English Literature provide students with the skills needed for a degree in journalism, and therefore are viewed favourably by many universities. Many journalists have a Philosophy background due to the need for clear and convincing writing.

Due to the competitive nature of journalism courses, students are advised to seek a period of work experience prior to submitting their UCAS application in order to provide evidence of a real passion for the subject.

Work experience is not essential but is looked on favourably by the top universities.


None specified – although subjects such as History and English Literature provide students with the skills required to succeed in a Law degree.

A small number of universities may ask you take a Sixth Term Exam Paper (STEP) or Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT) or Advanced Extension Award (AEA) as part of their conditional  offer.


Mathematics required. Further Mathematics required for Oxbridge, and frequently preferred for other top universities. Physics is advantageous

Further Mathematics required for certain top universities and Oxbridge colleges.


Chemistry required to A Level. Biology usually required to at least AS Level. Some medical schools actively seek a broader academic base with one non-science subject.

Students looking to study medicine need to  be aware that places on these courses are highly competitive, and students need to have almost exclusively a mixture of 8 and 9 grades at GCSE. Students need to obtain a period of medical-related work experience prior to their UCAS application. This could be work experience in a hospital, or also in a care home as it indicates an interest in caring for others.


None specified, but BTEC Level 3 Health and Social Care, Sociology and Psychology ae helpful.

Students may need to achieve a certain level, for example a merit or distinction in the case of BTEC. It might be possible to combine academic qualifications with vocational qualifications. For example, an A level and a BTEC qualification. Nursing degree apprenticeships are also available with some employers. Work experience is not essential but is looked upon favourably by the top universities.


A Level subjects involving essay writing such as History, Sociology, English Literature and Philosophy would be highly beneficial. However, philosophy has links with a wide
variety of subjects and students in Maths and the Sciences often perform well in Philosophy.

Students looking to study Philosophy at university should develop an awareness of both classic and modern philosophers.


Physics and Mathematics are required.

Further Mathematics at AS or A Level is an advantage.


Biology required. Sport BTEC would be beneficial.

One further science often preferred.


None specified, but Economics and History are helpful.

Students must have an up to date understanding of the political climate, which would need to be evidenced in their personal statement.


Biology required. Sport BTEC would be beneficial. One further science often preferred.

Primary Education

Many institutions require students to have studied at least one national curriculum subject at A Level. Core National Curriculum subjects are Maths, English and Science.

A minimum of 2 weeks work experience is mandatory for entry on to many Primary Education programmes. There is no requirement to carry out the work experience all in one go, it can be gained over time, such as half a day a week.


Psychology A-level preferred but not essential. If applying for a BSc Psychology degree Biology is also preferred.

Students wishing to specialise after their degree should be looking to get work experience with people in different circumstances and particularly the field of psychology they are interested in (i.e. occupational, forensic, child, sports etc.)

Social Work

Non specified, but Health and Social Care, Sociology and Psychology are helpful.

Students must be able to demonstrate care and compassion, dedication, sensitivity and empathy, resilience, and social skills. Experience working with vulnerable groups will be useful, but again, not essential


Non specified, but Sociology, Psychology, Health and Social Care, Media Studies, History, Geography Government and Politics and English Language/Literature are helpful.

Look out for Sociology-related university subjects such as Social Policy, Criminology, Behavioural Sciences, Humanities or Anthropology. These will specialise on one area of Sociology that you might have studied at A Level and make good links to other A level courses.

Sports Science

One science often preferred (usually Biology). PE and Sport BTEC would be beneficial.

Students should have a keen interest in sport and sports performance, matched with good academic skills and an application for science.

Veterinary Science

Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics/Physics are required.

A minimum of two weeks (or occasional days over a substantial period) work or shadowing experience with a vet and that they are comfortable with large animals (cows/horses). Broad experience of and contact with a wide variety of animals is viewed favourably.

Note: Students must be aware that universities often change or make additions to entry requirements on a yearly basis. Students must carry out their own research regarding entry requirements for the course(s) they are interested in studying.

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