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What A-levels do you need to study English?

If you're thinking of taking an English degree, you’re probably aware that an A-level in English is a must-have. But what subjects should you combine it with?

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If you’re planning to study English at university, an A-level in English literature or English language and literature will keep all English courses open to you; but you may find that combining your English A-level with certain other subjects will help prepare you for studying this at a degree-level.

A-level subjects for English

What A-level subjects are needed or essential for English?  

English literature or English literature and language (some courses will accept English language on its own).


What A-levels are useful for English?

  • history
  • religious studies
  • French or another foreign language
  • Latin or another classical language

Choosing your A-levels? See where different combinations can lead with our Explorer tool...


Other typical A-levels taken by current English students

  • psychology
  • general studies

Take a look at individual English courses on The Uni Guide to find out the most popular A-levels, Highers or BTEC subjects students took before studying their English degree (plus lots more).


Examples of English degree requirements

Below are a few English BA courses offered by different universities and the A-level entry requirements they ask for (as of 12 April 2018):

UCL (University College London): ‘A,A,A. English Literature (or combined Literature and Language) required.’

Southampton Solent University: ‘B,B,C. From two completed A levels. GCSE English at grade C / grade 4 or above.’

University of Cambridge: ‘A*,A,A. Typical A Level offer: A*AA All Colleges require: A Level English Literature (English Literature and Language or English Language may be accepted as a substitute at some Colleges).'

Search for a course or subject to see the full entry requirements for a specific degree course. 


Other similar degree subjects to English

Even similar subjects may have slightly different A-level requirements to English; so if you want to keep your degree options open, be sure to check the entry requirements of individual courses before you finalise your choices.

Learn more about studying English literature and language at degree-level. Alternatively, you can start browsing English courses.

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