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What A-levels do you need to study philosophy?

Thinking about philosophy? Find out what subjects you should be studying at A-levels to make your philosophy degree dreams become a reality. 

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Philosophy is a popular degree that is normally open to you with any A-levels. However, some smart A-level choices will help prepare you for philosophy at degree level.

A-level subjects for philosophy

What A-level subjects are needed or essential for philosophy?  

  • None!

Find out more about university entry requirements.


What A-levels are useful for philosophy?

  • maths
  • classical civilisations
  • philosophy
  • religious studies/theology

Choosing your A-levels? See where different combinations can lead with our Explorer tool.


Other typical A-levels taken by current philosophy students

  • maths
  • English literature
  • history

Take a look at individual philosophy courses on Which? University to find out the most popular subjects students studied before taking a philosophy degree. 

Do note that many degrees will be open to you whichever A-levels you choose. Some courses will be happy with a subject just at AS-level while some courses may want the full A-level, so this is something to check before you finalise your A-level choices in Year 12.


Examples of philosophy degree requirements

Below is a range of Bachelor of science (with Honours) courses offered by different universities and the A-level entry requirements they ask for (as of 12 April 2018):

University of St Andrews: ‘A,A,B. Subjects excluded: Citizenship Studies, Critical Thinking, Global Perspectives and Research (GPR) and General Studies.’

University of Dundee: ‘B,C,C-B,B,B’.

University of Bristol: ‘A,A,A. Contextual offer: ABB.’

Watch now: How to choose your A-levels


Other similar degree subjects

Similar subjects such as those listed above may have slightly different A-level requirements to philosophy, so if you want to keep your degree options open, be sure to check before you finalise your choices.

Where could your A-levels take you?

Enter your A-level choices below to find out

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