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I don't know what to do for my third A level...?

I'd like to do a university degree in biological sciences but also want to keep my options open because I'm prone to changing my mind. I want to do maths, biology and then either chemistry or physics.

A woman with brown hair doing an experiment inside a laboratory.

‘I don't know what to do for my third A level. I think I'd like to do a university degree around biological sciences but I also want to keep my options open because I'm prone to changing my mind. For my first two a levels I want to do maths (because I really enjoy it and it's a good one to have), biology (because I'd like to go into biology) and then either chemistry or physics. I just can't decide which. Which would be more useful to me whilst both keeping my options open for the majority of STEM but also for biological sciences? I also enjoy physics more. I have the capacity to do four A levels but I don’t particularly want to because I think it's better to focus on three.’

Thanks for your question. Firstly, you are absolutely right to be aiming just to focus on three A Levels rather than trying to do four. We always advise students that it is better to have three really good A Level grades rather than trying to spread yourself too thin and get four slightly lower grades. 

Next, you can check the subject requirements for all the degrees your are considering on the UCL website, or indeed any other university’s website. UCL only usually asks for up to two specific subjects, leaving the third choice up to you (though there are a couple of exceptions, and you should also check our list of ‘preferred A Level subjects’ – see the link at the bottom). Check any degrees you are interested in, and see if any request chemistry or physics, as this may help you decide. 

Lastly, if you’ve checked all your options and it still doesn’t seem to make much of a difference which you pick, then again you are absolutely right to go for subjects that you most enjoy! Studying subjects that you enjoy is one of the most important things. When you come to apply to university, a deep interest in and enjoyment of the subject you’re applying for is exactly what we are looking for in our students.

Take a look at UCL’s list of degrees, with entry requirements (including subjects).

Information on UCL’s preferred A Level subjects can be found on the website.

This question has been abbreviated. The full-length version submitted by a student reads:

‘I don't know what to do for my third A level. I think I'd like to do a university degree around biological sciences but I also want to keep my options open because I'm prone to changing my mind. For my first two a levels I want to do maths (because I really enjoy it and it's a good one to have), biology (because I'd like to go into biology) and then either chemistry or physics. I just can't decide which. Which would be more useful to me whilst both keeping my options open for the majority of STEM but also for biological sciences? I also enjoy physics more. I have the capacity to do four A levels but I don’t particularly want to because I think it's better to focus on three.’