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How to Choose your A-Levels for Medicine

Want to study Medicine at uni? Are you studying for your GCSEs and trying to choose which A-Levels to take? You’ve come to the right place! This blog will guide you through how to choose your A-Levels for Medicine.

How should I choose my A-Levels for Medicine?

Chances are, if you’re wanting to study Medicine, you’re pretty good at (and enjoy!) science subjects at GCSE. This is good news for your A-Level choices, as most universities will require these to see that you’re genuinely interested in how science works. Fortunately, for aspiring medics, A-Level subject choices are pretty straightforward.

Which A-Levels should I take for Medicine?

The short answer: Biology and Chemistry. These two subjects are required by almost all UK universities to study Medicine, so in order to keep your options open, these two are the way to go!

Want to know which universities require which A-Levels? Visit our page on What A-Levels do you Need to be a Doctor? for university-by-university A-Level entry requirements. We’d also recommend checking each individual uni’s website.

Most universities will require Biology and Chemistry to an A or A* grade, so an important point to make here is make sure you really enjoy the subjects at GCSE. This goes without saying, but your Medicine degree at university will be packed with biology and chemistry, so it’s crucial you have a genuine interest in how science works, the human anatomy, calculation and chemicals! If you’re unsure about taking these subjects at A-Level, try asking your teacher for advice to see if they think you’d be suited to further study.

What about my third A-Level subject?

Good question! This is where universities differ – but most ask that the third A-Level is an academic one, so have a think about which other subjects you enjoy at the moment. A popular third choice is Maths or Physics.

A good general rule is that Critical Thinking or General Studies are not accepted by most medical schools – so steer clear of these!

Many universities may have their own A-Level requirements, so make sure you double check these on their websites to see if your choices fit with any universities you have your eye on. For example, Cambridge requires Chemistry and two from Biology, Human Biology, Maths or Physics, while Brighton and Sussex suggest an arts or humanities subject for aspiring medics to broaden academic horizons.

Top 3 Tips on Choosing your A-Levels for Medicine:

  1. Take the cue from your GCSEs. Take subjects you’re interested in and enjoy. If you’re not that keen on chemical formulas or learning about human biology at GCSE level (or if you prefer writing essays on Of Mice and Men) maybe Medicine isn’t for you. It’s important to make the right choices to suit you, so go with your instincts.
  2. Look at the courses you’re interested in, and work from there. If you’re dreaming of applying to Oxford, but only discover after applying that they don’t accept Critical Thinking, that will not make for a nice afternoon!
  3. Speak to your teachers. If you’re struggling to make up your mind, they’ll be able to advise you to choose the right A-Levels to suit your academic strengths.
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