A Level Curriculum

Career Paths General Information

You should choose a career based on the subjects you enjoy studying. There are many years of study to come – you should enjoy them!!

Try to narrow down the field of choice to ‘Arts’, Sciences’, ‘Business (Commerce)’, “Engineering’ etc.
Choosing a ‘specialty’ field over a ‘common’ field will give you more job opportunities. For instance, Accounting is ‘common’. Forensic Accounting is ‘specialised’.

South African University requirements are very specific and need to be adhered to for successful admission. For instance:

  1. National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) are required if you are pursuing Bachelor degree studies at a South African university.
    Please double check the website of your choice SA university(s) if your degree requires the NBT Maths
  2. If you are pursuing a Diploma or a Higher Certificate, the NBT is not needed.
  3. AS level First Language English is required for entry at many SA universities (please check the website of the SA university that you are wanting to apply to see if they require this).
  4. A level Maths is required for most all degrees except for Humanities degrees : Literature, Languages, Art, Music, Philosophy and Religion. 

Be aware of specific requirements in particular fields of study:

  1. A level courses for the Medical field varies per country. Some require Biology as compulsory and the UK (for instance) feels Chemistry is the compulsory subject. The other two programs that are secondary would be Math and Physics
  2. Engineering requires Mathematics and Physics and one science subject (Chem or Bio)
  3. Agriculture prefers Biology and Chemistry
  4. B Comms require some level of post IGCSE mathematics
  5. BA / B Soc Sci / Humanities degrees have very few restrictions.
  6. Architecture often requires Physics as Architecture is widely considered an ‘Engineering’ program

If in doubt, please visit the Careers Dept on the 1st floor of the Megahey Centre. Be involved in your future career choice – don’t follow the crowd.

Only you can truly choose what you want to do with the rest of your life so choose something you are passionate about –or– choose a career where you are helping people << this will, in turn, give you a sense of fulfilment and ultimately, a passion in life.

Jenny Kirkman
Careers Officer

A Level Curriculum

Foreword by the Rector

This document has been produced to help parents and pupils know exactly what is involved in choosing subjects at A level. The specific subject information, written by Academic Heads of Department, includes the course content, previous pass rates and the qualifications needed for entry into the subject concerned together with suggested/suitable combinations of subjects.

The selection of A level subjects is of critical importance and can have a long lasting influence on university applications and career choices.

To parents I would like to say the following:

  • please take time to discuss the implications of the choices made with your son/daughter; and
  • the selection of A level subjects should be heavily influenced by the ability/aptitude of your son/daughter and not by the aspirations you may have for him/her – you must guard against pushing you son/daughter in a direction which you rather than he/she wants!

To pupils I would like to add:

  • do as much research as you can into the various options and make sure that you understand the consequences of the choices you make;
  • do not be influenced by the choices which your friends are making – it is important that you make choices for your own benefit; and
  • above all else choose subjects which interest/stimulate you.

A level choices need to be made by half term, but it is possible to make changes to these choices following the publishing of IGCSE results.

When the IGCSE exam results come, we weight them by giving them the following values:

A* 6 points. 
A 5 points
B 4 points
C 3 points
D 2 point
E 1 point

To qualify to take 3 A levels, a pupil should ideally:

  • pass at least 6 subjects at IGCSE level including English Language;
  • obtain at least 23 points in the best 6 passes; and
  • have a viable A level package.

It is possible for pupils who do not qualify to take 3 subjects at A level to take 2 subjects at A levels and one subject at AS.

In addition to taking 3 A level subjects, in order to broaden the academic curriculum at 5th
form level, all pupils in the 5th Form will take a course in English Language, Global Perspectives or French Language, all of which are examined at AS level at the end of the 5th form year.

Mr Jon Trafford

A Level Subject Columns


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