Choosing Your Subjects

Teacher helping a student at Holy Cross college

How Many A Levels or BTECs will you take?

Most students take three full time Advanced Level subjects. You will be asked to choose three main subjects at application. You can add a fourth subject, which you may take as part of your course.  Whether you take 3 or 4 will depend on your results at GCSE.  The subjects you choose can be made up purely of A Levels, BTECs or a combination of both.

Choosing your course

You have a great choice of 40 Advanced Level subjects at Holy Cross, but it's important to choose the right ones. We want you to enjoy your time here, and to give you the best chances of getting onto your preferred university course or career. When choosing a subject, try asking yourself these three questions:

1. Have you been good at and enjoyed the subject in the past?

2. Do you have a strong interest in the subject and, if you haven’t studied it formally before, have you researched it and made sure that it will suit your strengths and interests?

3. Do you need particular subjects to enter a particular university or degree course (you’ll find details on the UCAS website and the university's website, and staff here can also help you)?


'Facilitating' subjects?

The Government refers to some subjects as ‘facilitating’ subjects. They are: Maths, Further Maths, English Literature, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, History and Languages (Modern and Classical).

Russell Group universities, which are the most competitive, no longer use a list of ‘facilitating’ subjects in their subject recommendations, although it is sensible for students to look at to help select the right subjects for them.

English and Maths GCSE

If you start at Holy Cross without a GCSE pass at grade 4 in Maths or English Language we will require you to re-sit the GCSE or take another appropriate qualification, as it will be important for you in later life and for university entries. 

Student on a laptop computer at Holy Cross College