Choosing Your Subjects

How Many A Levels will you take?

Government policy is for most students to 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, depending on how well you achieve at GCSE.

Choosing your course

You have a great choice of over 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 now refers to some subjects as ‘facilitating’ subjects. They are: Maths, Further Maths, English Literature, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, History and Languages.

To keep the widest range of opportunities open to you at university and if you are aiming to apply for a competitive course, it is recommended by the Russell Group, to study two of these subjects. You do not have to choose more than two, as these universities appreciate some wider choices, but you are free to choose a third if it strongly appeals to you. You can read more on the website below of what these Groups of universities think: their advice is quite subtle and complex and, as they stress, it may vary from course to course.

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. (The Government requirement is already a 4 and we feel it is likely to move to grade 5 in the next year or two, so it is important to do your best to aim high, to 'future proof' your qualifications. Holy Cross understands this and is geared up to help you to improve your grades, with a great track record of success.)

© Holy Cross College & University Centre 2019