Subject Combinations

The information provided below can change and therefore students should always consult university websites for admissions criteria.

Degree Programme Subjects
Anthropology Some programmes require a science (may be Biology) – subjects which involve cultural elements in study will be advantageous (e.g. geography, psychology, philosophy, history)
Archaeology Some programmes require a science (may be Biology) – depends on emphasis in the course. History will be advantageous.
Architecture A diverse combination is often a strength. Portfolio submission is very likely which is very hard unless Art is studied. In addition, Physics and Maths may be required for some courses and knowledge of history and/or language shows cultural appreciation.
Art Art + portfolio submission.
Biology Biology plus 2 other sciences including maths e.g. Biology, Chemistry, Maths. In IB, Maths Standard Level is acceptable. Should take 2 sciences (e.g. Chemistry and Biology) at Higher Level.
Bioscience Chemistry and Biology usually both required. A third ‘science’ (i.e. maths or physics) also helpful. In IB, Maths Standard Level acceptable. Other sciences should be Higher Level.
Business & management Mathematics required for some courses. Economics may be an advantage. Consider a range of subjects that shows a diversity of skills in numeracy and literacy.
Chemistry Chemistry plus two other sciences including maths (e.g. Chemistry, Physics, Maths). In IB, Maths Standard Level is acceptable. Should take 2 sciences (e.g. Chemistry and Biology) at Higher Level.
Classics Latin and/or Greek required. Many courses allow ab initio entry where only one of these is taken (usually only Latin).
Dentistry As for medicine. Also note requirement for BMAT / UKCAT aptitude test – a mix of science questions, aptitudes and skills and essay writing.
Economics Mathematics required for many courses, Higher Level Maths / Further Mathematics required for some. Highly competitive. Different courses will look for slightly different profiles in terms of raw academic profile and engaging personal statement.
Engineering Mathematics and Physics required. Further Mathematics or Maths Higher Level required for many courses. IB students must take Physics and Maths Higher Level.
English English Literature required. Additional essay-based subjects will be an advantage as may be modern foreign language or classical language.
Geography Geography required. Science / Maths vs. other humanities / languages might be preferred depending on route as social science or science in the degree (sometimes available as BSc or BA).
Geology Chemistry and another science are key. Mathematics is an asset. Depends on type of geology / geophysics course. If the latter, then Physics will be important. Other, environmental subjects such as Biology or Geography may be helpful but not essential. IB students should take 2 sciences at Higher Level. Mathematics Standard Level is perfectly acceptable for some courses – students should check. Geo-physics is likely to require Maths Higher Level as well as Chemistry and Physics Higher Level. For A Level, further mathematics would be required for these courses.
History History required. Modern Language often seen as an advantage, or a classical language (depending on modern or ancient history chosen).
International Relations No specific requirements although ability to convey current knowledge of real world issues may be an advantage – e.g. economics / geography. Foreign Language has obvious relevance.
Law No specific requirements. ‘Traditional’ subjects preferred. Ability to convey logic, to handle large amounts of information, skills of analysis etc. Note requirement for LNAT or other aptitude test (at Cambridge) a requirement. Study of evaluative subjects – e.g. from humanities, literature, foreign language an advantage. Maths and/or science a possible benefit. Whatever taken, students must achieve high results.
Materials Science Physics and Mathematics. Chemistry likely to be useful. In IB, Physics and Maths should be Higher Level. Chemistry is likely to be Higher Level.
Mathematics As much mathematics as possible. Physics likely to be an advantage as a complement. Further Mathematics a requirement of many courses if taking A Level (otherwise Maths Higher Level is fine). STEP maths also necessary. IB students should seek advice in this area.
Medicine Biology and Chemistry. Mathematical skills are important. An essay-based subject can also assist. Work experience essential – greatly preferred to show a long term (substantially over 1 year) commitment to entry to the profession. Work experience should be varied – not just work shadowing. Highly competitive. Performance in interview critical. BMAT or UKCAT required for virtually every course. A Level students could take Physics instead of Mathematics to show the mathematical skills. For IB, Biology and Chemistry must be Higher Level subjects, Maths is perfect as Standard Level. Maths Studies Standard Level is acceptable in some courses.
Midwifery Subject combination similar to that for medicine. Work experience in medically-related areas and performance in interview essential.
Modern Language First modern language, a second modern foreign language is likely to be an advantage. Depending upon the course, additional study of literature may be advantageous. In IB, one of the languages may be an Standard Level – depends on the course chosen.
Music Music. Other subjects may influence depending on type of music degree applied for. For example, study of history, literature, language or other evaluative subject can be relevant.
Natural Science Specific requirements depend on the exact course and the university chosen – this degree subject varies notably in content and options between institutions. Two sciences plus mathematics would be the base-line requirement. In IB, the Maths Standard Level is perfectly acceptable for Biological Nat. Sci. Physical Nat. Sci. should take Maths and Physics Higher Level as the starting point, likely also Chemistry Higher Level.
Pharmacology Chemistry plus two other sciences including maths (e.g. Chemistry, Biology, Maths). In IB, the Maths SL is perfectly acceptable.
Philosophy Mathematics an advantage for many courses (logic). In IB this would mean Maths Standard Level if results will be high but Maths Studies Standard Level is perfectly acceptable for most. Diversity of subjects may be an advantage with at least one essay-based subject. Foreign or classic language can be helpful as can RS / Philosophy.
Physics As much Physics and Maths as you can! For IB this means Maths Higher Level and Physics Higher Level. For A Level, take Physics and Further Maths.

Other subjects such as Chemistry can help – depends on exact course – see Natural Sciences.

Politics No specific requirement. Ability to show engagement with current issues (e.g. economics, geography) will be useful as may be knowledge and study of History or Philosophy / RS. Foreign language likely to be a strong asset.
Psychology Mathematics and Biology, or at least one of these, is strong advisable. In IB, Maths Standard Level or Maths Studies Standard Level is perfectly acceptable – no need for Maths Higher Level . Courses vary – check entry requirements according to the route – depends on how scientific / medical the course is.
Theology No specific requirements. Philosophy / RS, history and modern or classic language likely to be an advantage.
Veterinary Science As for medicine. Also note requirement for BMAT / UKCAT aptitude test – a mix of science questions, aptitudes and skills and essay writing. Work experience essential. Diversity of work experience highly advisable – farms, domestic, voluteering in zoos, animal welfare, abattoir. Highly competitive – even more so than for medicine.