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Do Universities look at the choice of A Levels?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
Help needed. I want to do AS media, communications and sociology next year, and yes, i know their considered more easier than others.
I would like to know if this will be a disadvantage when It comes to uni, do universities really pick people on what subjects they do rather than grades, I find this unfair. As far as im concerned UCAS points are ucas points. And i really enjoy these subjects.

My dad put the paranoia in me though, so i reluctantly put business studies on to my college app to (in my dads word) Beef up my A levels.

Does anyone have any experience or advice, for example anyone who has not be accepted because of their subjects?
thanks

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    it depends on the uni and course you are applying to really!!

    im doing a media type course, and some of the places i applied to would accept everything (going by ucas points alone) whereas others wanted specific subjects to be able to get in.

    (eg. hull university wanted me to have done fine art as a subject to get in, while other unis such as liverpool and manchester didnt)

    i say just read the prospectuses of the places you want to go to and see what theyre asking for. most places generally do go by ucas points so i dont think you have anything to worry about.
    some courses do ask you to have done maths or english in order to get in - but i dont think that really applies to media courses
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks , i ideally want to do public relations so my choices are perfect for that, but its just a fall back incase i want to do somthing else (eg tourism) I know i cant do maths or science etc but should have a broad range of things to choose from going on ucas point entries.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    "Do universities look at the choice of A Levels", you ask. I have an inkling they don't pay that much attention to them. If you want to study something like English, then obviously an A-Level in either the Literature or Language "disciplines", to use that stupid word, would be an advantage. Media studies, sociology and the like aren't so clear. The more UCAS points you have, the better, is a general rule of thumb.

    The one other question is, do you really need a degree for Public Relations? Ask yourself - is it completely essential, or can you get into it without one? Check with different firms that specialise in PR. This is not a criticism. What I am saying is, university is getting more and more expensive, and if you discover when you get a PR job that you didn't need the degree after all, might seem like a waste. Do the research, ask the right questions, and you won't go far wrong.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    soraliah wrote:
    it depends on the uni and course you are applying to really!!

    im doing a media type course, and some of the places i applied to would accept everything (going by ucas points alone) whereas others wanted specific subjects to be able to get in.

    (eg. hull university wanted me to have done fine art as a subject to get in, while other unis such as liverpool and manchester didnt)

    i say just read the prospectuses of the places you want to go to and see what theyre asking for. most places generally do go by ucas points so i dont think you have anything to worry about.
    some courses do ask you to have done maths or english in order to get in - but i dont think that really applies to media courses

    But don't most unis just ask for a C or above in GCSE Maths & English? This will depend on the course though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sofie wrote:
    But don't most unis just ask for a C or above in GCSE Maths & English? This will depend on the course though.
    Most colleges ask for much the same thing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, good universities do take into account what A'Levels you are doing when it comes to applying. They want the best people, and won't discard three Bs in tough subjects to accomodate people with 15 As in bollocks mickey mouse subjects. A B in physics is worth more than an A in communication studies at universities with sense, and that's how it should be.

    I was doing Maths, History and English A'Levels and my Durham offer was lowered a little to compensate for the fact I was doing three difficult A'Levels. My offer would have been higher if I was doing three "easy" subjects.

    Birmingham, on the other hand, didn't take that into account.

    And you do need certain A'Levels to do certain courses, e.g. maths to get on a Physics course.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I dont think its essential to have a degree but is an advantage. And something i want to do, and there are about 20-30 public realtion degrees at unis so someone must thinks its nessecary x

    also public relations is growing fast and becoming ever more popular. And maybe i could get a job with a levels and earn 25k but with a degree ive heard as much as 75k =]
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    jonjoe wrote:
    I dont think its essential to have a degree but is an advantage. And something i want to do, and there are about 20-30 public realtion degrees at unis so someone must thinks its nessecary x

    You will always find that there are subjects were there are loads of degrees. Remember, when you go to a Higher Education Fair (Thsi will be in Year 12) ask questions about the course(s) you're interested in - I did this on Thursday and found it quite useful. Also, do some research before going so you know exactly what questions to ask and which unis you shouldn't bother checking out - I did this and it meant that I saved my time asking 'do you accept NVQ Level 3 in Childcare?', etc.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    well the few unis ive looked at have usually said they want 2 Bs and a C In a level or whatever...then depending on the course they usually have a subject they would prefer you to have done or must have done. And usually ask for Cs in maths and english gcse. Nottingham uni though wanted AAB in a levels and you must have a B grade maths gcse to get in...they don't seem bothered about english. Then nottingham trent want BBC a level and C's in maths and english gcse. But usually, the better the uni, the harder it is to get in.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But usually, the better the uni, the harder it is to get in.

    Of course. When picking a uni to go to, is it best to stay at home or move away?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sofie wrote:
    Of course. When picking a uni to go to, is it best to stay at home or move away?
    You have to go to where is best for you, regardless of where it is. I will, more likely than not, be going to Manchester. I live in the North West of Wales, so it definitely isn't near home. I'm moving away for several reasons.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just go where is best for you. How close to home it is, is essentially irrelevant, i love my parents, but how close i live to them isn't a factor in my education, because i can see them, and my friends whenever i chose to simply by hopping on a train. Don't think "i'll chose x uni over y" just because it's nearer.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    jonjoe wrote:
    Help needed. I want to do AS media, communications and sociology next year, and yes, i know their considered more easier than others.
    I would like to know if this will be a disadvantage when It comes to uni, do universities really pick people on what subjects they do rather than grades, I find this unfair.

    ..And yet you yourself admit that you are going for "easy" A-Levels.. If you know that, don't you think that a university would know that too?

    To be honest I am fairly sure that it will depend on what course you want to do at uni. If you want to do a heavy or popular course at uni, then you might be better off tailoring your A-Levels towards it. For example, I doubt that your choice would be the best if you want to go and study medicine, or law.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Have a look on UCAS and see what the requirements are for courses you're interested in. Alot of courses will want specific courses, others won't. But general a levels which go down well in virtually all uni courses are chemistry biology maths english and foreign languages. If I'm honest: a lot of courses will look down on the "micky mouse" subjects: unless thats the specific subject area you want to go into.

    (I won't name what I class as "micky mouse" courses incase I get flamed!)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As a rule, avoid any A Level ending in studies.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So your all saying ive made a mistake? and im gonna waste two years of my life. :S
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    jonjoe wrote:
    So your all saying ive made a mistake? and im gonna waste two years of my life. :S

    Would depend on what it is you really want to do. And whether you're doing it because you want to do it or because your parents are forcing you to do it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    jonjoe wrote:
    So your all saying ive made a mistake? and im gonna waste two years of my life. :S

    Nothing is final...majority of colleges let you change your a level choices!

    And its only a waste if you do nothing with them...if you want to go into media etc. thats fine, otherwise I'd say other a levels are better in terms or rep.

    However, there is the point at which subjects you're going 2 get the best grades in: a uni is more likely to like an A in media than a G in chemistry.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    solid_L wrote:
    Nothing is final...majority of colleges let you change your a level choices!

    You can only change courses within the first few weeks or so of starting the course.
    However, there is the point at which subjects you're going 2 get the best grades in: a uni is more likely to like an A in media than a G in chemistry.....

    You can't get anything below an E at A Level.

    To the OP - have you thought about doing an NVQ instead of doing A Levels?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was exagerating...but I don't know, never get such low grades :lol:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    solid_L wrote:
    I was exagerating...but I don't know, never get such low grades :lol:

    I did unfortunately, which is qhy I'm changing my courses completely in September.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    you should also take into account which subjects you will do better in. theres no point taking an Alevel in physics if you're gona get an E when youcould get an A in sociology.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    lipsy wrote:
    you should also take into account which subjects you will do better in. theres no point taking an Alevel in physics if you're gona get an E when youcould get an A in sociology.

    Totally agreed here. I wanted to do History A Level but told I couldn't because I got an E at GCSE.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    lipsy wrote:
    you should also take into account which subjects you will do better in. theres no point taking an Alevel in physics if you're gona get an E when youcould get an A in sociology.

    I think theres an echo :lol: :thumb:
    However, there is the point at which subjects you're going 2 get the best grades in: a uni is more likely to like an A in media than a G in chemistry.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I reckon you're best off doing the A-levels that are closest to the subject you want to do at degree level. One thing that universities look for is someone who knows what they want to do and sticks to it, rather than someone who changes their mind, which is the impression you might give by picking subjects that have nothing to do with the degree course you're applying for. Remember that it is the lecturers that pick students for their course, so they're not going to have the same sort of snobbery about so-called easy subjects, that you see among the general public. Incidentally, isn't business studies considered a 'micky mouse' subject too?

    Remember though, that areas like media studies are incredibly competitive. For the top courses, it is likely that everyone applying will have an A, whereas this might not be the case in the 'proper' subjects, because fewer people do them, and therefore, fewer people get the top grades. (Well actually, the applicants for the very top courses in any subject will probably be straight A students, but you know what I mean). So yeah, you probably will need to do better in the 'easier' subjects, but that doesn't mean that getting a lower mark in a science or language is going to be the equal of an A in media studies.

    A good tip, also, is to look on graduate jobs websites, to find out exactly what employers are looking for. A first class degree in physics from Oxford means the square root of fuck all if you're going for a job in marketing and PR. I get a weekly email from graduate jobs, and all they ever send me is jobs in PR and marketing, so it's obviously an area with a fair number of grad jobs. Whether you need a degree to do them or not is besides the point; if employers want a degree, then you'd better get a degree or your CV will be thrown straight in the bin.

    I think you're choices are good for a PR related career. I would reckon that business studies will come in useful in terms of marketing and publicity. I would personally pick English Language instead of sociology, but that's just me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you are looking to study at a top university, I would select A Level options that are most related to your degree choice.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks everyone,I do like english but the college asks for a B in english lang or lit and i only have a C in Lang.
    Will i be able to 'wing it' lol?

    Im 85% sure im going to still want to have a PR career in the future so Im not to worried about a career change.

    Also my parents arent making me choose these courses, its infact the opposite they want me to do, law, psychology english etc. I wouldnt mind doing these but they dont really relate to what i want to do and are fairly more difficult.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    jonjoe wrote:
    Will i be able to 'wing it' lol?

    You know, you should really start asking the college some of these questions:D....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    jonjoe wrote:
    Thanks everyone,I do like english but the college asks for a B in english lang or lit and i only have a C in Lang.
    Will i be able to 'wing it' lol?

    Im 85% sure im going to still want to have a PR career in the future so Im not to worried about a career change.

    Also my parents arent making me choose these courses, its infact the opposite they want me to do, law, psychology english etc. I wouldnt mind doing these but they dont really relate to what i want to do and are fairly more difficult.

    Law isn't really that hard. Yes, there's loads to remember but it really isn't that hard as long as you put enough details into your essays, you should be fine.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I of course have the choice of styaing at 6th form and do business, sociology pscyh and law..... but this isnt what i want to do but maybe better subjects and teaching.
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