Can I do 2 subjects at A level?

Education concept. Student studying and brainstorming campus con

Are you a student wondering what your options are when you finish school? The most obvious path for a lot of students is to go on to college to do A levels. But can you do just 2 subjects at A level?

3 A levels

Most students carry out 3 A levels. This is because almost all universities – including the top universities – require 3 subjects. Juggling 3 A levels demonstrates to universities and employers that you are well-rounded and have adopted different skillsets. So, having a range of subjects and skills is crucial for recognition. After all, your timetable would be very empty if you only studied for 2 subjects. For this reason, most colleges won’t let you take only 2 A levels.

Therefore, you won’t be accepted by universities with just 2 A levels, thus heavily limiting your future options. If you feel overwhelmed by the prospect of doing 3 subjects, then maybe A levels aren’t for you. These qualifications are difficult – they’re not for everyone, and doing them isn’t the only path you can take! Many students who prefer a less academic approach take BTEC qualifications instead.

Hard decisions

You might only be able to think of 2 subjects that you want to do. If this is the case, it will be worth picking something that complements your other subjects. For example, maths complements economics, and psychology complements biology. You could also opt for a new subject that you’ve not tried before to spark a new interest. Furthermore, if you’re really stuck, doing a facilitating subject as your 3rd A level is recommended. Facilitating subjects are well respected, recognised by universities and employers, and gives you useful skills. Asking your teachers for advice could be useful too as are attending a Easter half term revision courses. Usually willing to help, teachers will be happy to advise you.

A teacher smiling at camera in classroom

Doing 2 A levels

Although rare, there may be a few instances when students only take 2 A levels. For example, a student might take 2 A levels alongside 1 BTEC qualification. A mixed approach like this can be taken at some colleges, giving you similar amounts of UCAS points for universities. Students often like a mixed approach as they get a wide range of subjects to choose from. BTECs are technically recognised as equivalent to A levels by many universities, so you’ll still be accepted this way.

Furthermore, you might be accepted by some apprenticeships and jobs with 2 A levels if further education requirements aren’t necessary. After all, having a strong application can get you further than A levels for some job roles. This can entail doing extracurricular activities or having work experience in your chosen field. Moreover, you might be accepted onto some foundation year courses with only 2 A levels. A foundation year can be your ticket into university, so researching these will be helpful.

Therefore, not all opportunities are cut off if you do 2 A levels. However, it is strongly recommended that you take 3 of them if this is the route you go down.

If you, or your parents would like to find out more, please just get in touch via email at or call us on 0800 689 1272

If you, or your parents would like to find out more, please just get in touch via email at or call us on 0800 689 1272

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