What do universities think about A-level general studies?
General studies. Waste of time or useful addition to your A-level line-up? We asked universities for their views on general studies and critical thinking courses…
Important update (Oct 2015): The government will be scrapping the General Studies A-level as it has been deemed undevelopable within the new A-level reforms coming into place in the next few years. It will no longer be available to take from 2017 with 2018 being the final A-level exams to take place.
Do universities accept general studies?
Exeter and Nottingham - no
Portsmouth - maybe…
It all depends on the specific course and university you’re interested in. Let’s take a specific degree example – law.
Nottingham Trent - no
Aston – it can be useful
Our advice would be to take it if offered at your school or college, and to try and achieve a good grade. It may actually mean securing a place at a competitive university such as Aston.
Glamorgan - not immediately obvious
In this case, no mention is made about general studies - but it may still prefer other subjects. If you’re unsure, contact the university directly.
General studies – good, or good-for-nothing?
There are always exceptions, but many universities will not count it as one of your accepted qualifications to get into university. After all, it was originally designed to be an ‘extra’ on top of your core four AS-level / three A-level subjects.
So should you bother with it all? The choice is yours, but it does have its merits. The course content is usually a broad mixture of politics and current affairs, culture, technology and science. This can help to keep skills such as essay writing, problem-solving and analytical thinking fresh – especially if your other subjects are closely related.