Thomas Becket Catholic School

Thomas Becket Catholic School

The subjects you choose to study in VI Form can have a significant impact on your Post 18 options.

The Pathways we offer endeavour to support the transition between GCSEs and Level 3 qualifications and are built to offer subject combinations that are logical and will not unduly limit the opportunities available to you should you decide to apply to university in the future.

The pathway you pursue doesn't just determine the qualifications you study; they also guide the additional experiences you have with it: work experience, interview and CV workshops, visits to universities including our Oxbridge partner colleges and specific careers guidance.

Our 'Pathways to Success' provide you with the academic, skill and experience package to support your journey into the world of Post 18 choices.

When assessing applicants, universities consider not only the individual subjects taken, but also the combination of subjects. Universities generally prefer applicants to have taken certain subjects, or combinations of subjects, because they believe that they are more likely to provide an effective preparation for study at the University.

How should I choose what subjects to study?

Deciding upon what to study after you have completed your GCSEs can be really tough, but it should also be exciting as you get to build your own curriculum.

It is crucial that you take the time to find out about the subjects on offer; some will be completely new, and not subjects that you have previously studied so you need to ensure that you understand what you will be studying. Similarly there will also be subjects that appear familiar as you have studied them for GCSE but often Level 3 study will be quite different in terms of topics and approaches. Use the information in the subject information booklet (hyperlink to subject information booklet) as a starting point but seek feedback from staff who will be able to give you an insight.

With the time, energy and commitment required of you for Level 3 studies, the most important thing is for you to enjoy the subjects you choose.

If you already have an idea about what career or industry you want to work in, then this is also a great place to start as there might be specified requirements to access these courses or careers that will guide you. Use to help you in identifying whether the undergraduate courses you are interested in, specify obligatory or preferred subjects.

Facilitating Subjects

Facilitating subjects are the subjects most commonly required or preferred by universities to get on to a range of degree courses. They help you keep your options open when choosing a degree, and many of the top universities will ask you to have at least one A-level in a facilitating subject when you apply.

Which Subjects are Facilitating?

At Thomas Becket we offer a number of the subjects The Russell Group, which represents 24 leading UK universities, defines as facilitating:

  • English Literature
  • History
  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Geography

Why these subjects?

These subjects have been recognised as those that will support students in their study of a variety of degree courses. Lots of courses at A-level and beyond take their content or structure from facilitating subjects. For instance, Engineering includes elements of Maths and Physics, and Communication and Culture includes skills from English and Media Studies – so choosing a facilitating subject will prepare you for a range of courses.

Does this mean I shouldn’t study non-facilitating subjects?

Absolutely not. There are lots of other subjects, which are excellent at preparing you for university. The only difference is that they aren’t usually required by universities to get onto a particular course. For example, psychology and economics are considered useful subjects for lots of courses, but you don’t actually need them to get on to a psychology or an economics degree.

What if university isn't for me?

There are many different paths to your chosen career and university is just one of them. One option which is becoming more and more popular is completing an apprenticeship. The benefit of this is that you can earn while you learn and get some valuable on the job training while studying for a qualification.