Up until this point, admit it, school has been fairly easy. But with A-level choices looming on the horizon the scary thought (that what you choose now will decide what options you have in the future) might just rear its ugly head.
Just in case that wasn’t enough pressure, a group of universities called the Russell Group have published a guide announcing which of their universities prefer certain subjects and, more scarily, which subjects they consider too ‘soft’ to take into account.
What does this mean?
A few years ago a think-tank called The Policy Exchange published a report, with the to-the-point title of ‘The Hard Truth about Soft Subjects’. It listed A-level subjects on application forms that top universities were tossing into the rejection pile.
Privately the universities know exactly which subjects they look for and which they avoid and the report’s made that information public. With that information, it’s a lot easier to match your subjects with universities that will actually appreciate them or, if you’re starting early, match you subjects to your uni of choice.
The list of ‘soft subjects’ includes media, travel and tourism and even law. Not studying these at A-level, particularly if you want to, might seem a bit odd if you’re planning to study the same subjects at uni but if you have your heart set on Edinburgh, Imperial College, or any of the other Russel Group universities it might damage your chances to do so.
Like with wine, chocolate or anything else in life, moderation is the key to impressing these unis. Their guide stresses “students who take one ‘soft’ subject as part of a wider portfolio of subjects do not experience any problems applying to a Russell Group university.”
Alternatively, you can study what you want and see what happens. Not every university agrees with the Russel Group after all.
Who’re the Russell Group anyway?
The Russel Group is a collection of 24 research-driven universities, who (some would argue) are held to the highest of academic standards. These occasionally change, but currently include:
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