A-Level Subjects & Choices For Best Subject Combinations

by Ignite Training Institute

Embarking on the A-level journey is a pivotal moment in a student’s academic life, representing a bridge between the structured foundation of high school and the specialized focus of university studies. A-levels, or Advanced Level qualifications, allow students to delve deep into their chosen subjects, shaping their educational trajectory and paving the way for future careers.

The breadth of A-level subjects caters to diverse interests and aspirations, from the sciences like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology to humanities such as English Literature. 

Ignite Training Institute stands out as a leading hub for A-level subject tutoring in Dubai, offering expert guidance in key disciplines like Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English, and more. With a commitment to personalized learning and a team of dedicated tutors, Ignite empowers students to navigate the intricacies of A-level studies.

What Are All The A-Level Subjects?

A-levels, or Advanced Level qualifications, are a key component of the British education system and are widely recognized internationally. Students typically pursue these qualifications in the final two years of their secondary education, commonly referred to as the sixth form or college.

A-levels are chosen based on individual interests, career aspirations, and university entry requirements. The subjects available for A-level study cover a diverse range of disciplines, allowing students to tailor their education to their unique preferences. 

1. Sciences:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Environmental Science
  • Marine Science

2. Mathematics:

  • Mathematics
  • Further Mathematics

3. Humanities:

  • English Literature
  • History
  • Geography
  • Philosophy
  • Religious Studies – Hinduism, Islamic Studies, etc

4. Social Sciences:

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • Politics

5. Languages:

  • French
  • Spanish
  • German
  • Mandarin
  • Latin
  • Classical Greek
  • Italian
  • Russian
  • Ancient Greek
  • Tamil
  • Urdu
  • Portuguese

6. Creative Arts:

  • Art & Design
  • Drama & Theatre Studies
  • Music

7. Computer Science & ICT (Information & Communication Technology):

  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology

8. Physical Education (PE) & Sports Science:

  • Physical Education
  • Sports Science

9. Business & Economics:

  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Accounting

10. Other Subjects:

  • Design & Technology
  • Digital Media & Design
  • Media Studies
  • Thinking Skills
  • Travel & Tourism

It’s important to note that the availability of subjects can vary between schools and colleges, and curriculum changes may have occurred since my last update. Students typically choose three to four A-level subjects, and the combination of subjects depends on individual preferences, academic strengths, and future career goals. 

Related: A-Level Subjects For Psychology: Ideal Subject Combinations

How Many A-Level Subjects Can You Take?

Typically, students in the UK & other countries take three A-level subjects, although some may choose to take four. The decision often depends on various factors such as academic ability, workload, and future aspirations. 

Taking three subjects allows for a focused study in areas of interest while maintaining a manageable workload. It also provides the opportunity to achieve high grades in those subjects, which can be crucial for university applications.

However, some students opt for four A-level subjects to demonstrate a broader range of skills and knowledge or to keep their options open for university courses with varied entry requirements. While this can offer more flexibility, it may also increase the workload and require effective time management skills. 

Popular A-Level Subject Combination

a level subjects

Choosing the right combination of A-level subjects is a crucial decision for students as it can significantly impact their future academic and career paths. While the choice ultimately depends on individual interests, career aspirations, and university entry requirements, there are some popular A-level subject combinations that students often consider. 

Keep in mind that the popularity of subject combinations can vary based on factors such as regional preferences and educational institutions. Here are some commonly chosen A-level subject combinations:

1. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics)

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry

This combination is popular among students interested in pursuing careers in engineering, physics, computer science, or other STEM-related fields. It provides a strong foundation for university programs in engineering, physics, computer science, and related disciplines.

2. Medicine & Biological Sciences

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics or Physics

Aspiring doctors, biologists, and those interested in health-related fields often opt for this combination. Some medical schools may require Biology and Chemistry, and adding Mathematics or Physics can broaden the range of potential university courses.

3. Economics, Business, & Finance

  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Business Studies or Further Mathematics

This combination is suitable for students aiming for careers in economics, finance, business, or related fields. The inclusion of Mathematics or Further Mathematics enhances analytical skills and is often preferred by universities offering economics and finance programs.

4. Humanities & Social Sciences

  • English Literature or History
  • Psychology
  • Sociology or Philosophy

Students interested in pursuing degrees in humanities or social sciences may choose this combination. It offers a balanced mix of subjects that develop critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills.

5. Languages & International Studies

  • Modern Foreign Language (e.g., French, Spanish)
  • English Literature or History
  • Geography or Politics

For those interested in languages, international relations, or global studies, this combination provides a well-rounded set of skills. It is particularly beneficial for students considering careers in diplomacy, international business, or translation.

6. Computer Science & Mathematics

  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Further Mathematics or Physics

This combination is ideal for students passionate about computer science and mathematics. It is highly valued by universities offering computer science, software engineering, or mathematics-related programs.

7. Arts & Creative Industries

  • Art and Design or Drama and Theatre Studies
  • English Literature or Media Studies
  • Music or another creative subject

Students with a flair for the arts and creativity may choose this combination. It provides a foundation for pursuing degrees in fine arts, literature, media studies, or performing arts.

It’s important to note that while these combinations are popular, there is flexibility in choosing A-level subjects based on individual interests and goals. Students should thoroughly research university entry requirements for their desired courses and seek guidance from teachers or career counselors when making their decisions. 

Additionally, some universities may have specific subject requirements for certain courses, so careful consideration is essential when planning an A-level subject combination.

Related: Guide To A-Levels Subjects For Different Career Options

What Are The Toughest A-Level Subjects

a level subjects

Determining the “toughest” A-level subjects can be subjective and varies from student to student based on individual strengths, interests, and learning styles. What proves to be a challenge for one student might be an area where another student excels.

Nevertheless, some A-level subjects are often perceived as more demanding due to their complexity, depth, or the intensity of the workload. Keep in mind that perceptions of difficulty can also be influenced by personal preferences and strengths. Here are some A-level subjects that are commonly considered challenging:

1. Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics is often regarded as one of the most challenging A-level subjects. It builds on the content of Mathematics A-level and delves into more advanced topics such as complex numbers, matrices, and differential equations. The rigorous mathematical reasoning and abstract concepts can make it demanding for many students.

2, Physics

Physics is known for its theoretical complexity and the need for a strong grasp of mathematical concepts. The subject involves understanding abstract theories, applying mathematical principles to real-world scenarios, and conducting experiments. The combination of theory and practical components can be challenging for some students.

3. Chemistry

Chemistry is considered demanding due to its detailed theoretical content, laboratory work, and the need for precision in experimental techniques. Students often find the understanding of complex chemical reactions, molecular structures, and quantitative analysis to be intellectually challenging.

4. Biology

While Biology may be perceived as more accessible than Physics or Chemistry, it can still be demanding due to the volume of content, intricate biological processes, and the requirement for memorization. The subject often involves a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

5. Mathematics

Mathematics at the A-level can be challenging for students who find abstract reasoning and problem-solving challenging. The subject covers a broad range of topics, including calculus, algebra, statistics, and geometry. A strong foundation in mathematical concepts is crucial for success in A-level Mathematics.

6. Economics

Economics is considered challenging because it requires analytical thinking, a solid understanding of economic theories, and the ability to apply economic concepts to real-world situations. Essay writing is often a key component, requiring students to articulate complex economic ideas coherently.

7. Further Physics

Some students may find Further Physics challenging due to its extension of A-level Physics topics into more advanced and abstract realms. Topics such as quantum mechanics and astrophysics can be intellectually demanding.

8. Modern Foreign Languages (e.g., Mandarin, Russian)

Learning a foreign language at the A-level can be challenging due to the depth of language skills required. This includes proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing, along with an understanding of cultural nuances.

It’s crucial to note that the perceived difficulty of A-level subjects can vary based on individual strengths, interests, and prior knowledge. Students should carefully consider their aptitudes and aspirations when selecting A-level subjects.

Related: A Level Computer Science Course: A CIE & AQA Overview

What Subjects Should I Choose For A Levels?

Choosing the right A-level subjects is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your academic journey and future career opportunities. It’s important to select subjects that align with your interests, strengths, and long-term goals. Here are some steps to help you choose the right A-level subjects for yourself:

1. Identify Your Interests: Consider the subjects you genuinely enjoy studying. Reflect on your favorite subjects from your GCSEs and any hobbies or extracurricular activities you’re passionate about. Identifying your interests can be a great starting point for choosing A-level subjects that you’ll find engaging and fulfilling.

2. Explore Career Aspirations: Think about your long-term career goals. Research the academic requirements for your desired university courses or professions. Some careers may have specific subject prerequisites, so aligning your A-level choices with your career aspirations is essential.

3. Assess Your Strengths & Weaknesses: Reflect on your academic strengths and areas where you may need improvement. Consider subjects in which you have performed well during your GCSEs and those that align with your natural aptitudes. At the same time, be open to challenging yourself and improving in areas where you may have weaknesses.

4. Consider University Requirements: Research the entry requirements for the universities and courses you are interested in. Some degree programs may have specific A-level subject requirements or preferences. Ensure that your chosen subjects are compatible with your desired university pathway.

5. Think Long-Term: Consider the long-term implications of your A-level choices. While it’s essential to select subjects that interest you now, think about how these choices might contribute to your future academic and career paths. Choose subjects that provide a solid foundation for your chosen field of study.

6. Seek Advice: Consult with teachers, career counselors, and subject specialists. Teachers can provide valuable insights into the demands and expectations of different A-level subjects. Career counselors can offer guidance on how your choices align with your career goals. Discussing your options with knowledgeable individuals can provide a well-rounded perspective.

7. Keep Options Open: Choose a balanced combination of subjects that keeps your options open. While specialization is essential, having a mix of subjects can provide versatility and flexibility in your academic and career choices. This is especially important if you’re unsure about your exact career path.

8. Consider Your Learning Style: Reflect on your preferred learning style. Some subjects may involve more theoretical content, while others may have a practical or creative focus. Choose subjects that align with your learning preferences to enhance your overall academic experience.

9. Balance Challenge & Manageability: Strive for a balance between challenging yourself and ensuring manageability. While it’s beneficial to push yourself academically, taking on too many highly demanding subjects can lead to stress and burnout. Consider your workload and how well you can manage the demands of your chosen subjects.

10. Review & Reflect: Review your A-level choices and reflect on your progress. If you find that a particular subject is not aligning with your interests or goals, explore the possibility of making adjustments. It’s okay to reassess and adapt your choices based on your evolving interests and aspirations.

Related: AQA VS CIE: A Closer Look Into The Examination Boards

Ignite Training Institute – #1 A-Level Subject Tutors In Dubai

Ignite Training Institute proudly stands as the premier destination for A-level subject tutoring in Dubai, earning its reputation as the number one choice for ambitious students seeking excellence in their academic pursuits. With a team of highly qualified and experienced tutors, Ignite is committed to providing top-notch educational support and guiding students through the challenging A-level curriculum with expertise and dedication. 

The institute’s personalized approach ensures that each student receives tailored assistance, fostering a conducive learning environment where individual strengths are nurtured and weaknesses addressed. Ignite Training Institute’s commitment to academic success, state-of-the-art facilities, and innovative teaching methodologies make it the go-to destination for students aspiring to achieve outstanding results in their A-level examinations.


1. What Is The Subject For A-Level?

A-levels offer a diverse range of subjects, including but not limited to Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English Literature, History, Economics, and more, allowing students to specialize in their chosen fields during the final two years of secondary education.

2. Which Subject Is Hardest In A-Level?

Determining the hardest A-level subject is subjective, but Further Mathematics is often considered challenging due to its advanced mathematical concepts. However, the difficulty can vary based on individual strengths and interests.

3. What Are The A-Level Qualifications?

A-level qualifications, or Advanced Level qualifications, are advanced academic certifications taken by students in their final two years of secondary education, covering a diverse range of subjects and serving as a key prerequisite for university admission.

4. How Many Subjects Are There In O Level?

In O Levels, students typically take between 8 to 10 subjects, including core subjects like Mathematics, English, and Sciences, along with additional subjects based on their interests and academic goals.

5. How Many Subjects Are Studied At A-Level?

Students usually study three to four subjects at A-level, focusing on areas of interest or requirements for their future university courses or career paths.


a level subjects

In conclusion, A-level subjects form the backbone of a student’s academic journey, providing a platform for in-depth exploration and specialization in diverse disciplines. The choices made during this pivotal period not only shape academic trajectories but also influence future career paths. 

Whether delving into the complexities of the sciences, exploring the nuances of humanities, or mastering the languages and arts, A-levels empower students to hone their skills and knowledge in areas of personal interest. The journey through A-levels is both challenging and rewarding, offering opportunities for growth, self-discovery, and the acquisition of valuable skills. 

Related: What Is The Difference Between Edexcel & Cambridge? 5 Facts