Choosing the right subjects for 16+

Give yourself the best chances in life and:

Choose subjects that interest you

If you study what you like, you will enjoy your studies more and you will do better.

If you have an idea of future courses or careers, check what subjects you will need for that course

  • Look at the job profiles on the National Careers Service and Prospects websites. They tell you what is involved in particular jobs and what qualifications you will need to do them.
  • Look at the detailed and specific requirements for courses you might be interested in. They should be listed on the relevant university or college website.
  • Look at the information on Informed Choices produced by the Russell Group of leading universities. This gives very direct and useful advice about the best subjects to get into good universities.
  • If you find that the courses or jobs you like involve subjects you don’t enjoy, then that course or job is probably not for you. Think about other possibilities which do match your interests.

If you don’t know what course or career you might like to do in the future, keep as many options open as possible

If you think you might want to go to university, but are not sure about which subject or which university, check out the Russell Group’s advice about facilitating subjects on their Informed Choices page above. You will keep the widest range of degree courses open to you if you do two or more out of:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English Literature
  • History
  • Physics
  • Modern and Classical Languages
  • Maths and Further Maths

If your school or college does not offer enough facilitating subjects, and you want to keep your university options open, consider choosing a different school or college

You might also be interested in our pages on:

Plan your future
Choosing the right place to study 16+
Your future
Making the most of education – looking beyond 18
Get a job
Discover the joys of work