Some A-levels are required for entry to degree courses more often than others. These are referred to as ‘facilitating’ because choosing them at A-level leaves a wide range of options open for university study...
Many courses at university level build on knowledge students have gained while still at school. Some university courses require students to have studied a particular subject already. For example, Maths and Physics are typically essential A-levels for Engineering degrees. The A-Level subjects which are most often required for a wide range of university subjects are called 'facilitating subjects'.
Which subjects are facilitating subjects?
The facilitating subjects are:
- English Literature
- Modern & Classical Languages
- Maths & Further Maths
Why should you choose to study a facilitating subject at A-Level?
There are three reasons you might choose to study one or more facilitating subject at A-level:
1. You want to study a degree which requires one or more facilitating subject.
This varies between courses, so use the Unifrog Subjects Library or UK Universities tool to find out if it applies to you!
2. You have no idea what you want to study at university.
In this instance, choosing 2 facilitating subjects would leave a range of university courses available to you.
3. You want to study at a Russell Group university.
These 24 universities have outstanding teaching, research and student facilities. On average they also have more teaching staff per student. Choosing one or two facilitating subjects often supports applications to these universities. To see a full list of Russell Group universities, click here.
Does this mean you shouldn’t study any non-facilitating subjects?
Absolutely not! For instance, Psychology is not a facilitating subject, but if you’re certain you want to study Psychology at university, choosing it at A-Level is a good way to gain a solid foundation of understanding.
A good solution is usually to choose one to two facilitating subjects, depending on how certain you are of your next steps and whether or not you want to go to a Russell Group university, and one non-facilitating subject.
How to find out which degree programmes require facilitating subjects
There are two ways Unifrog can help with this:
1. Use the Subjects Library to find your ideal university subject. One the subject profile, you’ll see a list of the most popular school subjects for that subject. This uses data from students who have already gained entry onto programmes for that particular university subject. You’ll be able to see from that list whether or not any facilitating subjects are required.
2. Create a trial UK university Shortlist. Head over to the UK University tool and create a Shortlist of university programmes you would consider. On the Shortlist, you’ll see an ‘entry requirements at A Level’ section for each university degree programme.
Finally, another option is to check the entry requirements on the degree programme description itself, which you should be able to find on the university website. You could also ring the university admissions team or speak with your school careers adviser to discuss your options in more detail.
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