Medical degrees are some of the most challenging courses around, but they are also some of the most rewarding. They are also some of the most selective in terms of qualifications, so you will need to work out the best A level combination for medicine.
Your first first action should be to identify which universities you would like to study at. Once you have your shortlist, then you go through it, contacting the Universities to check for their preferred options.
Courses to Take
As a rule of thumb however, candidates will normally be expected to have high grades in at least two science subjects, typically Biology and Chemistry. Having an additional science subject; such as Physics or Mathematics as your third option will give you the widest possible set of options when applying for a course, but is not normally mandatory.
As we mentioned in our previous blog post on the Best A levels for Law, well roundedness can make a big difference in terms of how students are perceived by Universities. Many students will find that by rounding out their science courses with a subject such as History or English Literature will make them a more attractive prospect; some Universities have indicated that the give preference to students with a contrasting 4th subject, but this should always be clarified prior to enrolling.
While the standard course of A levels is to begin with 4 at AS level and drop one before going onto A2 level, most medical courses will require 4 A levels. As a result, dropping a subject is not advisable and this should be considered a factor when choosing your level courses.
Courses to Avoid
As per our previous post, courses such as Critical thinking or General Studies can help with preparing yourself for the course, but are not widely accepted. It therefore should be considered a supplementary A level, rather than one to rely on.
To ensure that you select subjects from the Universities approved list, make sure that you contact their admissions departments, as they will be able to give you the most up to date advice on what the preferred combination is.
What if I don’t have all of the A level options that I need?
If you don’t have the grades or opportunity to study a particular subject, then you will need to see how your current subjects stack up against the Universities expectations. If you feel that you need to add to your qualifications, then one option is to take a year out. This gives you the chance to add to your qualifications, for example by enrolling on a distance learning course, while either working or gaining practical experience as a volunteer, both of which can be helpful when applying at a later date.
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