What A-levels do you need to study psychology?
Are you thinking of studying a psychology degree at university? Make sure your A-level line-up ticks admissions tutors’ boxes…
- Essential A-levels for psychology
- Useful or handy A-levels for psychology
- Other typical A-levels taken by psychology students
- Examples of university entry requirements for psychology
- Other degree subjects with similar A-level requirements
Psychology and other social sciences like sociology are popular degrees normally open to you with any A-levels.
However, certain A-level subject choices will help prepare you for studying psychology at degree level, and may give you an edge over other applicants.
Psychology vs psychiatry, what's the difference?Although both study the mind, to do a psychiatry degree (so you can prescribe medicines as a psychiatrist) you must do a 5-year medicine course first. Learn more about the entry requirements for medicine.
A-level subjects for psychology
What essential A-levels do I need to study psychology?No notable essentials – but a few courses ask for one or more of the following A-levels:
What A-levels would be useful to have to study psychology?Some unis suggest that a mix of sciences and humanities would be useful. You could consider studying psychology, or sociology – having a feel for the subject before you start it is always helpful.
- general studies
Take a look at individual psychology courses on Which? University to find out the most popular subjects students studied before attending.
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 – something to check before you finalise your A-level choices for Year 12.
Before you make your final A-level choices, try our A-level Explorer tool to see where your choices will lead you.
Examples of psychology degree requirementsBelow are a range of Psychology BSc (Hons) courses offered by different universities and the A-level entry requirements they ask for, for September 2018 entry (figures correct as of 22 January 2018).
You should always check entry requirements yourself when it comes to applying, but this gives you a good idea of what to expect:
University of Glasgow: 'AAA - ABB. All applicants must have A-level or AS level or GCSE Mathematics at B or above. BSc: Two A-level subjects from mathematics, psychology or other science subjects (or mathematics plus one science subject).'
University of Bath: 'A*AA in 3 A level subjects. They do not accept A-levels in general studies. Your offer can include mathematics or further mathematics but not both. If you are taking a GCE A-level in a science subject, you will need to pass any separate science practical endorsement.'
Brunel University: 'BBB 3 A level subjects. Five GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above are also required, including English language and maths.'
Psychology students spill the beansHere are some thoughts from psychology students over on The Student Room:
You can read more of this thread on The Student Room.
What other similar subjects to psychology could you study?
- sociology – the study of the development and structure of human society
- criminology – the scientific study of crime and criminals
- behavioural sciences – the study of human actions
Remember that even similar subjects may have slightly different A-level requirements to psychology; so if you want to keep your degree options open, be sure to check the entry requirements for specific courses.