Deciding which A-levels to take is a major decision that can significantly expand or limit the university options available to you when the time comes to apply.

Most GCSE students will not have seriously considered where they would like to go to university, but need to try and avoid closing off options by default due to taking the wrong subjects.

We take you through some ideal A-level choices to get into the top 10 most popular degree subjects according to the Complete University Guide.

These A-level choices are only intended as a guide and by no means do you have to take them to do these degrees. You should always talk to your school and parents about the options available to you.


10. Marine biology

Example A-level set: Biology or human biology, chemistry, geography, physics

Why: The majority of courses in marine biology unsurprisingly specify biology at A-level, but many also specify a second science.


9. Medicine and surgery

Example A-level set: Chemistry, biology, maths and physics

Why: You may not require all of these A-levels for every medical school, but this set will keep the most options open to you.


8. Sports psychology 

Example A-level set: Psychology, physical education, biology

Why: To show your dedication to the pursuit, a background in psychology and sport is ideal, as is having an understanding of how the human body works.


7. Computer science

Example A-level set: Maths, further maths, physics and computing

Why: A strong grasp of mathematics is a necessity for a computer science degree, and most universities have strong maths requirements for prospective applicants.


6. Paramedic science

Example A-level set: Biology, chemistry, physics and psychology

Why: Most courses require a science subject at A-level, so having a couple under your belt, in particular biology and chemistry, will stand you in good stead.


5. Actuarial science

Example A-level set: Maths, further maths, economics, business studies

Why: A solid grounding in maths is required for most courses in finance, so taking further maths in addition to maths would be a good idea for applicants.


4. Psychology

Example A-level set: Biology, psychology, maths and English literature

Why: Taking maths, biology and psychology should keep most universities open to you, and essay writing skills are likely to be required, which is where English literature could come in handy.


3. Make-up

Example A-level set: Art, business studies and a level 3 BTEC in make-up design and hair styling

Why: While there are generally no entry requirements in terms of subjects, art will show your creative flair while also building a portfolio, and business studies should help if you ever want to go freelance.


2. Law

Example A-level set: History, English literature, a language, economics

Why: An academically rigorous selection will be a must for top universities.


1. Physiotherapy

Example A-level set: Biology, physical education (PE), chemistry and psychology

Why: Physiotherapy courses are very competitive, so beyond the academic those hoping to apply should try and gain some relevant work experience.