How to Choose

Keeping the principle of enjoyment in mind above all, there are other aspects to consider. Evidently if you are good at a subject this matters; there is nothing wrong with playing to your strengths, as long as you don’t do so cynically or because the potential outcome will appear impressive.

You also need to give some thought to university requirements. It is true that some decisions have to be made now for specialist subjects. If medicine, architecture, Classics and drama school all appeal, then you are going to face some tough choices! However, four subjects give you the chance to keep working in a range of areas. Most people can’t be sure about where they might end up, so there is no point in trying to cover everything. In the end come back to what you enjoy doing most in classroom, lab and studio. That instinct is the most important and reliable.

Below you’ll find a brief guide to subjects recommended for various courses, but if you know there is a particular course that interests you, consult university websites for specific course requirements.

Accountancy, Finance or Actuarial Science Maths required
Anthropology Biology preferred
Archaeology Geography, history and sciences useful
Architecture Maths or physics and an art portfolio may be required
Computer Science Maths required
Further maths and physics useful
Engineering Maths and physics required
Another science dependant on field
Further maths useful
Geology or Earth/Environmental Sciences Two to three scientific or mathematical subjects
Geography useful
Law English sometimes required
History useful
Medicine or Dentistry Chemistry and biology required
Some prefer third subject in non-science
Cambridge likes science or maths
Work experience vital
Natural Sciences Chemistry and biology for a biological focus
Physics for a physical focus
Philosophy Maths, philosophy and theology useful
PPE Maths and economics useful
Psychology One or two sciences preferred
Veterinary Science Chemistry, biology and maths or physics
Work experience vital