Russell Group film advises prospective students on A-level choices
28 September 2012
The Russell Group of leading universities has launched a film urging students to think about how their A-level or equivalent subject choices can widen or limit the degree courses and careers that are open to them.
Informed Choices can be viewed on YouTube at http://youtu.be/54kKLOkoFxk.
Teachers, students and parents are free to show the film in classes or embed it on their own websites. A full Russell Group guide to A-level and equivalent choices can be read at http://russellgroup.ac.uk/informed-choices/.
Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group and the film’s presenter, said:
“A-level choices really matter. Too few students realise that some subjects and subject combinations keep open more degree course options at leading universities.
“If you think you know what you’d like to study, check the entry requirements on university websites and pick your A-level subjects accordingly. Otherwise, watch the film, read Informed Choices and think about how best to keep your options open.
“We hope students, parents and teachers will use this opportunity to start researching, discussing and reflecting on the importance of A-level and equivalent choices.
“We’re working really hard to attract students with the most talent, potential and ability from all backgrounds. But all too often students disadvantage themselves by choosing a combination of subjects at A-level which will not equip them with the right skills and knowledge for their preferred university course.”
Informed Choices includes a list of facilitating subjects, which are the subjects most commonly required for entry to degree courses at leading universities. They’re not essential for all courses, but picking at least two of these will help students keep their options open. These facilitating subjects are:
• Maths and further maths
• Modern and classical languages
• English Literature
Mike Nicholson, Director of Admissions at the University of Oxford and an interviewee in the film, said:
“All Russell Group universities are very clear about their entry requirements and we have no secret lists of qualifications we feel are unsuitable for admission, contrary to popular belief. Students should get online for the most up-to-date information and research what they might need to get into university ideally before picking A-level subjects.
“The list of facilitating subjects is really helpful. Students can do something such as mathematics, for example, and that will be useful for subjects like economics and geography as well as the maths-based subjects they immediately associate it with. It may even be a required subject, so the sooner you start researching courses the better.
“It can be very helpful for students to look early on at the selection criteria that universities put on their websites and see how the A-levels they are studying are helping them to develop those skills.”
Sir Peter Lampl, chair of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:
“Choosing the right A-level subjects is vital. There are too many young people who have the ability to benefit from a degree course at a leading university who miss out either because they don’t apply or they make the wrong subject choices. I hope this video helps to get that message across and encourages young people to think carefully about their options.”