Beyond A Levels: Your Path from Diverse Subjects to Ideal Degree Opportunities

30/03/202416 minute read
Beyond A Levels: Your Path from Diverse Subjects to Ideal Degree Opportunities

If you’ve completed A Levels in different subjects, you may be asking yourself what degrees best match your diverse A-Level qualifications. This blog will help you decide what to do with your A Levels. Read along and explore a full range of popular A-Level subjects and corresponding degree pathways. You’ll quickly find yourself ready to navigate the next chapter of your academic journey effectively, with insights that help you align your personal interests and academic foundations with a suitable and rewarding degree pathway, including some degrees you might never have thought of on your own!

A Quick A Levels Overview

What Are A Levels For?

Taking A Level courses and scoring well on corresponding A Level subject exams boost the academic rigor of your secondary education, introduce you to university-level academic content, and help you gain admissions to selective universities, as qualifications showcasing exceptional subject knowledge and mastery as well as overall readiness to take on university-level academic studies.

A Level qualifications are most popular in the UK system, but are also offered to students internationally as well.

How Do You Choose A Levels?

Typically there are many factors that can guide you in your choice of A Levels.

One important factor to keep in mind, when relevant, are any specific university entry requirements or subject knowledge prerequisites you wish to satisfy.

“It's important to be mindful of the subject choices that align with the entry requirements of your desired universities, especially for top institutions in the US and UK, which may expect students to take 6-8 A Level subjects to demonstrate their academic capabilities.”

- Crimson Global Academy

Choosing A Levels in certain subjects is also a great way to achieve a holistic education and broaden your background knowledge.

Finally, you might take on some A Level coursework to gain exposure to diverse subjects and disciplines, as a way of exploring potential academic and career paths.

While there's a wide variety of A Level subjects to choose from overall, your A Level course and exam options may be limited depending on the curriculum provider you rely on.

According to educators with the Crimson Global Academy, the two prominent assessment providers are CAIE (Cambridge Assessment International Education) and Edexcel.

Most Popular A-Level Subjects

Before we go on to matching your A-Level subjects to the ideal degree paths, maybe you're wondering which A-Level subjects are most popular.

It's really hard to overstate how many A-Level subjects are offered. That said, some are definitely more prevalent and popular, while others are less popular, and some downright obscure.

Here's a list of the most popular A-Level subjects in the UK in 2022, in descending order (courtesy of UK consulting firm FFT):

  • Mathematics
  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English
  • Sociology
  • History
  • Art, Design, and Media
  • Business
  • Physics
  • Economics
  • Geography

For all of these subjects and more, we'll now move on to considering what to do once you've completed all your A Levels and you're wondering what degrees you can use them for.

Blog Banner
Blog Banner

What Degrees Can You Do with Your A Levels?

Most or all of your A-Level subject qualifications will align with many different types of degrees, giving you a abundant choices for your next steps.

But, do keep in mind that how well your A Levels fit with your degree options can depend on the type of university degree and program you pursue and the different academic and admission requirements from institution to institution.

A Level Subjects and Matching Degrees

While matching an A-Level qualification in biology with getting a biology degree can be kind of, well, a 'no-brainer,' there's actually no full-proof formula for how different A Levels align with specific degrees, and you can use most A Levels for a good number and range of different degrees.

1. A Levels for Degrees in Liberal Arts, Humanities, and Social Science Fields

A Levels You Can Use for Degrees in Arts and HumanitiesA Levels You Can Use for Degrees in Social Science, Social Work, and Public Policy
Art, Design, and MediaEconomics
Drama and TheatreGeography
English LiteraturePolitics
Media StudiesLaw
Film StudiesSociology
HistoryGlobal Perspectives and Research
History of ArtHealth and Social Care
Religious StudiesGlobal Development
Latin or Classical GreekModern Languages (French, Spanish, German...)
Classical Civilization
Modern Languages (French, Spanish, German...)

2. A Levels for Degrees in STEM Fields

A Levels You Can Use for Degrees in Math & EngineeringA Levels You Can Use for Degrees in the Biological Sciences and Medicine
Further MathematicsChemistry
StatisticsLife and Health Sciences
PhysicsHealth and Social Care
ChemistryEnvironmental Science
Environmental ScienceSports Science
Digital TechnologyPsychology
Computer Science
Design and Technology
Software Systems Development

3. A Levels for Degrees in Business, Management, Finance, and Marketing

A Levels You Can Use for Degrees in Business
Design and Technology
Further Mathematics
Information Technology
Product Design
Environmental Management
Global Perspectives and Research
Computer Science
Travel and Tourism
Foreign Languages (French, Spanish, German...)

Charting Your Next Steps

Now that you're ready to go from A Levels to the next level, it's time to think about what the next steps in your university journey could look like and what they could offer you.

Here are a few suggestions we hope will spark some excitement and new ideas about where your next steps might lead...

Do Proper Admissions Research & Planning: Haven't quite figured out your perfect degree match? Don't worry! This is just a starting point. Research universities and their specific program requirements to get a clearer picture of your degree options, how different schools and programs approach the content and learning experience, and understand relevant pre-requisites. Remember, your A Levels are a strong foundation but you'll need some additional exploration to uncover the ideal path, one aligned with your passions, academic interests, and career directions.

Build a Full Foundation for Success: World challenges, industries, and economies are constantly evolving. This blog post provides some directional signposts to help point you to a satisfying degree pathway that aligns with your own A-Level successes, but be sure to stay informed about emerging fields and in-demand skillsets. For example...

  • consider joining a professional association related to your degree interests
  • research opportunities for relevant internships or work experience
  • check out online courses that complement your A Levels

All of these steps should help you build a well-rounded profile for the future of work.

Keep an Open Mindset: While we've covered lots of traditional degree pathways, from Classical Studies, to Law, Biology, and beyond... The higher education landscape offers a near limitless array of degree pathways, including programs that are cross-disciplinary or interdisciplinary, or aligned with emerging technologies, sometimes making for degrees and majors that never existed before! As you reflect on or select your own A Levels, what possible academic paths most pique your interests? How will your interests inform your decision making going forward?

Blog Banner
Blog Banner

Final Thoughts

A Levels help you develop and demonstrate foundational university level academic skills in a range of disciplines. As you make decisions about the life-changing steps ahead, your A Levels are also an opportunity to explore and sample different disciplines and academic pathways.

That said, be sure you don't let the tail wag the dog! Your A Levels are an exceptional stepping stone for realizing your ideal degree path but you're in the driver's seat... Your past accomplishments should empower not prescribe you next steps!

As you tackle decisions about degrees, target schools, and admissions planning, Crimson Education Advisors are here to help you get on track and stay the course, while measurably increasing the odds you'll get into a top school, maybe even your dream school.

Did you know you can simply schedule a free consultation to find out all the ways an experienced and knowledgeable admissions counselor can help? Reach out today. Together we can explore your university goals and what kind of personalized plan will most help you reach them.

What Makes Crimson Different