Informed choices

WhichWayNow02

The information below about University courses is derived from advice from The Russell Group of universities in their publication "Informed Choices". You can also download a copy from our 6th form downloads page.

Please note that the entrance requirements for individual universities and courses will vary and this list covers only the most popular courses.

Check the UCAS website for individual University courses and requirements.

Graduate02

The Department for Education commissioned the Institute of Fiscal Studies to produce a report into graduate earnings for differing subjects in differing universities. In June 2018 it published its report that shows differences in graduates earnings. Read the report here: Undergraduate degrees: relative labour market returns

For a shorter, more easily understood summary, you may want to read this BBC news story about the report: Background, subject and university 'all impact earnings'

Also the BBC website has a page where you can compare which University course has the best graduate earnings. Click here for that page.

 

 The table below shows figures drawn from the Institute of Fiscal Studies report on graduate earnings mentioned above, Undergraduate degrees: relative labour market returns

Average earnings five years after graduation, by subject

Subject Men Women
Medicine £44,923 £42,315
Economics £41,836 £39,575
Maths £37,662 £35,268
Veterinary science £34,709 £30,679
Physics £34,192 £33,050
Engineering £33,699 £31,507
Pharmacology £33,474 £32,525
Languages £32,303 £28,733
Architecture £31,871 £27,952
Business £31,678 £28,175
Politics £31,525 £29,530
Law £31,504 £27,884
Allied to Medicine £30,866 £27,232
Computing £30,625 £26,206
Geography £29,983 £28,230
Philosophy £29,849 £26,607
History £29,428 £27,076
Biosciences £28,618 £26,734
Nursing £28,077 £26,025
Physical sciences £28,019 £24,454
Agriculture £26,963 £22,505
Education £26,768 £24,039
Psychology £26,137 £23,678
Sports Science £26,013 £23,737
Sociology £25,764 £23,725
Technology £25,534 £26,069
English £25,350 £24,943
Social care £24,162 £21,030
Comms £23,973 £23,648
Creative arts £22,192 £21,246

 


University courses


Accountancy (also Banking / Finance / Insurance)accountant

Essential advanced level qualifications

Usually none although one or two universities require Mathematics.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Mathematics, Business Studies (AGCE, National and Diploma), and Economics.


Actuarial Science/Studiesactuary2

Essential advanced level qualifications

Mathematics

Useful advanced level qualifications

Further Mathematics, Economics, Business Studies (AGCE, National and Diploma).


Aeronautical Engineeringaeronautical_engineering2

Essential advanced level qualifications

Mathematics and Physics.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Further Mathematics, Design Technology


American Studiesamerican_studies

Essential advanced level qualifications

Requirements vary but English and/or History are often asked for.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Politics


AnthropologyAnthropology3

Essential advanced level qualifications

None

Useful advanced level qualifications

A small number of courses like a science AS-level such as Biology. Sociology is also very relevant.

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Archaeologyarchaeologists3

Essential advanced level qualifications

None

Useful advanced level qualifications

Geography, History or science subjects can all be useful.


Architecturearchitecture2

Essential advanced level qualifications

Some courses say they want an arts/science mix. Some may require Art.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Art, Mathematics, Design Technology and Physics. AGCE or National Art and Design may also be useful at some universities. Do note that a portfolio of drawings and ideas may be asked for.


Art and Designartdesign

Essential advanced level qualifications

Art or Design Technology including AGCE/National (to give you the portfolio to get onto an Art Foundation Course, though sometimes AGCE/National Art and Design applicants go straight onto a degree).

Useful advanced level qualifications

Design Technology, Art & Design. Do note that most entrants onto Art and Design degrees will have done a one-year Art Foundation Course after completing year 13


Biochemistrybiochem

Essential advanced level qualifications

Always Chemistry and some degrees will say you must have Biology as well, while some will say Chemistry plus one from Mathematics/Physics/Biology. Doing Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics or Physics will keep all Biochemistry courses open to you.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Biology, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics.


biologyBiology

Essential advanced level qualifications

Biology, Chemistry.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Mathematics or Physics.

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biomedical2Biomedical Sciences (including Medical Science)

Essential advanced level qualifications

Normally two from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics. Chemistry is essential for some courses.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics.


business-studies02Business Studies

Essential advanced level qualifications

None

Useful advanced level qualifications

Mathematics, Business Studies (AGCE, National and Diploma) and Economics.


biomedicalChemical Engineering

Essential advanced level qualifications

Chemistry and Mathematics and sometimes Physics as well.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Physics, Biology, Further Mathematics.


ChemistryChemistry

Essential advanced level qualifications

Chemistry and occasionally Mathematics. Most courses require Chemistry and would like Mathematics and one other science subject (for example, Physics or Biology).

Useful advanced level qualifications

Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Biology.


chinese_girlChildhood Studies

Essential advanced level qualifications

None

Useful advanced level qualifications

CACHE, Psychology, Sociology, AGCE / National Diploma Health and Social Care.

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classicsClassical Studies

Essential advanced level qualifications

For Classics courses Latin or Ancient Greek are required. For Classical Studies and Classical Civilisation courses most subjects will be considered.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Modern foreign language, English Literature, History. Do note that there are some Classics courses which will allow you to start Latin and/or Classical Greek from scratch.


computing04Computing

Essential advanced level qualifications

For some courses, Mathematics.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Computing, Physics, Philosophy, ICT.


DentristryDentistry

Essential advanced level qualifications

Chemistry and Biology for most courses, but some require Mathematics or Physics as well.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Mathematics, Physics, Further Mathematics.


dietics02Dietetics

Essential advanced level qualifications

Chemistry, Biology.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Mathematics


dramamask01Drama

Essential advanced level qualifications

Some courses require English Literature and for a few courses English and/or Theatre Studies.

Useful advanced level qualifications

English Literature, English Literature and Language, Theatre Studies.

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economics02Economics

Essential advanced level qualifications

Usually Mathematics.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Economics


education04Education

See Teacher Training

 

 


lighting-bulb-001Electrical/Electronic Engineering

Essential advanced level qualifications

Mathematics, Physics.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Further Mathematics, ICT, Design Technology.


engineeringEngineering (General)

Essential advanced level qualifications

Mathematics and Physics.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Further Mathematics, Design Technology.


englishEnglish

Essential advanced level qualifications

English Literature/English Literature, Language (some courses will accept English Language).

Useful advanced level qualifications

History, Religious Studies, a foreign language.

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environmentalstudies01Environmental Science/Studies

Essential advanced level qualifications

Many courses will ask for two from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and Geography.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Another facilitating subject, particularly a science.


EuropeanStudies3European Studies

Essential advanced level qualifications

A modern foreign language.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Another modern foreign language, English Literature, History, Politics.


tricolourFrench

Essential advanced level qualifications

French

Useful advanced level qualifications

Another modern foreign language, English Literature, History, Politics.


geography02Geography

Essential advanced level qualifications

Most degrees require Geography.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Some Geography BSc (science) degrees prefer one from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics


geology01Geology/Earth Sciences

Essential advanced level qualifications

Usually two from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Geography, Geology.

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germanGerman

Essential advanced level qualifications

German (a handful of universities offer the opportunity to study German from scratch, without German A-level).

Useful advanced level qualifications

Another modern foreign language, English Literature, History, Politics.


historyHistory

Essential advanced level qualifications

Most degrees require History.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Economics, English Literature, Philosophy, Politics, Sociology, Theology/Religious Studies, a modern or classical language.


historyofartHistory of Art

Essential advanced level qualifications

None

Useful advanced level qualifications

Art, English Literature, History, Theology/Religious Studies, French, German, Spanish, Italian.


italian

Italian

Essential advanced level qualifications

Italian or another language such as French, German or Spanish.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Another modern foreign language, English Literature, History, Politics.


law4Law

Essential advanced level qualifications

Usually none, although a few universities require English.

Useful advanced level qualifications

History; other facilitating subjects. There really are no essential subjects for Law. Maybe one choice should involve essay / report writing. History gives you good relevant skills for Law but is not essential.

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management2Management Studies

Essential advanced level qualifications

Sometimes Mathematics.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Mathematics, Economics, Business Studies (AGCE, National and Diploma).


materialscience3Materials Science (including Biomedical Materials Science)

Essential advanced level qualifications

Normally two from Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Biology (also Design Technology for some universities).

Useful advanced level qualifications

Chemistry, Design and Technology, Further Mathematics.


mathematicsMathematics

Essential advanced level qualifications

Mathematics and sometimes Further Mathematics.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Further Mathematics, Physics.


mechanicalengineering2Mechanical Engineering

Essential advanced level qualifications

Mathematics, Physics.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Further Mathematics, Design Technology. Mechanical Engineering departments may have a preference for Mathematics A-levels with a strong mechanics component.


media_studies2Media Studies (including Communication Studies)

Essential advanced level qualifications

A few courses ask for English or Media Studies.

Useful advanced level qualifications

English, Media Studies, Sociology, Psychology.

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medicine1Medicine

Essential advanced level qualifications

If you do Chemistry, Biology and one from Mathematics or Physics you will keep all the medical schools open to you. If you do Chemistry and Biology you will keep open the vast majority. If you do Chemistry and one from Mathematics and Physics you will limit your range of choices much more.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Further Mathematics or a contrasting (non-science) subject.


music4Music

Essential advanced level qualifications

For most traditional courses, Music and Grade VII/VIII.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Some universities have a preference for at least one essay-based subject.


nursingNursing and Midwifery

Essential advanced level qualifications

Usually Biology or another science.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Biology, CACHE, Sociology, Psychology, Chemistry.


occupationaltheraphy2Occupational Therapy

Essential advanced level qualifications

Some courses ask for Biology.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Psychology, Physical Education, Sociology or another science.


optometryOptometry (Opthalmic Optics)

Essential advanced level qualifications

Two from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics (some courses prefer Biology as one of the choices).

Useful advanced level qualifications

Further Mathematics.

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optometry3Orthoptics

Essential advanced level qualifications

Biology

Useful advanced level qualifications

Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics.


pharmacist2Pharmacy

Essential advanced level qualifications

Chemistry and one from Biology, Mathematics and Physics keeps the vast majority of courses open to you. Some courses like to see Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. Doing Chemistry and Biology keeps most courses open.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Mathematics, Physics.


philosopher3Philosophy

Essential advanced level qualifications

None

Useful advanced level qualifications

Mathematics, Classical Civilisations, Philosophy and Religious Studies/Theology.


physics2Physics

Essential advanced level qualifications

Mathematics, Physics.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Further Mathematics, Chemistry.


physiotherapistPhysiotherapy

Essential advanced level qualifications

Most courses will consider you with just Biology, however some alsorequire a second science from Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology.

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politicsPolitics

Essential advanced level qualifications

None

Useful advanced level qualifications

Politics, History, Philosophy, Law, Sociology.


psychology4Psychology

Essential advanced level qualifications

A few courses ask for one from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Biology, Mathematics, Psychology, Sociology.


theology4Religious Studies/Theology

Essential advanced level qualifications

None

Useful advanced level qualifications

Religious Studies/Theology, Philosophy, English Literature, History.


sociologySociology

Essential advanced level qualifications

None

Useful advanced level qualifications

Sociology, Psychology, Geography.


spanish_flagSpanish

Essential advanced level qualifications

Spanish (some degrees will also consider French, German or Italian).

Useful advanced level qualifications

Another modern foreign language, English Literature, History, Politics.

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speechtheraphySpeech Therapy

Essential advanced level qualifications

Some degrees want a science such as Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Some specify Biology, but some degrees will consider candidates with none of these.

Useful advanced level qualifications

A modern foreign language (for example, French, German, Spanish, Italian), English Language (and Literature), Psychology.


sports_science1Sports Science/Physical Education

Essential advanced level qualifications

Many courses want to see one from Biology/Chemistry/Mathematics/Physics (some courses will treat Physical Education as a science equivalent).

Useful advanced level qualifications

Physical Education, Psychology.


surveyingSurveying

Essential advanced level qualifications

None

Useful advanced level qualifications

For some types of Surveying i.e. Building Surveying, Mathematics and Physics could be helpful. For Estate Management (General Practice Surveying) most A-level combinations will be considered.


education04Teacher Training (Primary and/or Secondary)

Essential advanced level qualifications

(those best for Primary Teaching shown in italics)

At least one from Art, Biology, CACHE, Chemistry, Design and Technology, Drama (Theatre Studies), English, French, Geography, German, History, ICT, Italian, Mathematics, Music, Physics, Physical Education, Religious Studies (Theology), Spanish. CACHE meets the entry requirements for early years Primary Teaching and a large number of Primary Education Teacher Training Degrees.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Another of the subjects listed above.


veterinaryVeterinary Science

Essential advanced level qualifications

You should do Chemistry and Biology and one from Mathematics/Physics so that you have all universities open to you.

Useful advanced level qualifications

Further Mathematics

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