The Most Popular A-Level in the UK: Ranking the Dominant Choice

Choose the A-level you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 19, 2024 06:45
Welcome to StrawPoll, the ultimate destination for the curious minds! As passionate supporters of constructive debates, we're thrilled to present our latest ranking - "What is the most popular A-level in the UK?" With thousands of students pursuing A-levels every year, we want to know which subject captures the hearts and minds of the nation. So, calling all academics, students, and opinionated individuals - now is your chance to make your voice heard! Vote for your favorite A-level subject or suggest one that's missing from our list. Don't let this opportunity pass you by, dive into the discussion and let's determine the UK's most popular A-level together. Remember, every vote counts, and your opinion matters. Happy voting!

What Is the Most Popular A-level in the UK?

  1. 1
    Mathematics has consistently been one of the most popular A-level subjects in the UK. It is a highly respected subject and is often a requirement for many university courses.
    Mathematics is a fundamental subject that focuses on the study of numbers, shapes, patterns, and relationships. It provides students with essential skills and knowledge in problem-solving, logical reasoning, and critical thinking. Mathematics plays a crucial role in various aspects of life, including science, technology, finance, and engineering.
    • Algebra: Mathematics involves the study of algebraic equations and manipulation of variables.
    • Geometry: It explores the properties and relationships of different geometric shapes and figures.
    • Statistics: Mathematics includes the analysis and interpretation of data using statistical measures.
    • Calculus: This branch of Mathematics deals with rates of change and mathematical modeling.
    • Probability: It involves the study of uncertainty and the likelihood of events occurring.
  2. 2

    English Literature

    A-level Examining Boards
    English Literature is another popular A-level subject in the UK. It is a well-respected subject that is often a requirement for many university courses.
    English Literature is a subject offered at A-level in the UK that focuses on the study of texts written in the English language, including novels, poetry, plays, and other forms of literature. The subject allows students to examine and analyze literary works from different time periods and genres to gain a deeper understanding of their themes, styles, and context.
    • Subject code: H472
    • Grading scale: A*-E
    • Assessment format: Written exams
    • Exam duration: 2 hours 30 minutes per paper
    • Content topics: Shakespeare, poetry, drama, prose, literary criticism, and others
  3. 3
    Biology is a popular choice for students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, medicine, or science.
    Biology is a scientific discipline that studies living organisms and their interactions with the environment. It involves the study of various aspects of life, including the structure, function, growth, evolution, and distribution of organisms.
    • Zoology: The study of animals, their behavior, classification, and evolution is an integral part of biology.
    • Cell Theory: All living organisms are made up of cells, which are the basic structural and functional units of life.
    • Evolution: Biology explores the theory of evolution, which explains how species have evolved and diversified over time.
    • Genetics: The study of genetics in biology focuses on the inheritance, variation, and expression of genes in living organisms.
    • Ecology: Biology encompasses the field of ecology, which examines the interactions between organisms and their environment.
  4. 4
    Psychology is a popular subject that explores the human mind and behaviour. It is a requirement for many university courses in psychology and related fields.
    Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. It encompasses various sub-disciplines such as cognitive, developmental, social, and clinical psychology. Its primary focus is to understand individual and group behavior, mental processes, and the underlying mechanisms that shape human experience. Psychology utilizes research methods, empirical data, and theories to explore different areas like perception, learning, memory, motivation, personality, emotion, and social interaction.
    • Branches: Cognitive, Developmental, Social, Clinical, etc.
    • Focus: Understanding mind and behavior
    • Areas of Study: Perception, Learning, Memory, Motivation, Personality, Emotion, etc.
    • Research Methods: Observational studies, experiments, surveys, interviews, etc.
    • Empirical Data: Data collected through systematic observation and experimentation
  5. 5
    Chemistry is a popular choice for students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, medicine, or science. It is also a requirement for many university courses.
    Chemistry is a branch of science that deals with the properties, composition, structure, behavior, and reactions of matter. It explores the substances that make up the universe and the changes they undergo. Chemistry is also concerned with the study of elements, compounds, and the interactions between them.
    • Central Science: Chemistry is often referred to as the central science because it connects the physical sciences, such as physics and astronomy, with the life sciences, such as biology and medicine.
    • Atomic Structure: Chemistry involves the study of atoms, their structure, and how they combine to form molecules. Understanding the arrangement of electrons, protons, and neutrons in atoms is crucial to understanding chemical behavior.
    • Chemical Reactions: Chemistry focuses on understanding and characterizing chemical reactions, including the transformation of substances, the release or absorption of energy, and the formation of new compounds.
    • Periodic Table: The periodic table of elements is a fundamental tool in chemistry. It organizes all known elements based on their atomic number, electron configuration, and recurring chemical properties.
    • Bonding and Molecular Structure: Chemistry explores the different types of chemical bonds and their influences on the structure and properties of molecules. This knowledge is essential for understanding the behavior and properties of substances.
  6. 6
    History is a popular choice for students interested in learning about the past and how it has shaped the present. It is also a requirement for many university courses.
    History is a subject that involves the study of past events, individuals, societies, and civilizations. It explores various aspects of human history, including political, social, cultural, and economic developments. Students examine primary and secondary sources to understand historical context, analyze different perspectives, and develop critical thinking skills.
    • Exam Board: History subject content is defined by exam boards in each particular country.
    • Time Periods: Students may study specific time periods ranging from ancient civilizations to modern history.
    • Topics: Various topics covered may include wars, revolutions, social movements, political systems, cultural exchange, and major historical events.
    • Source Analysis: Students learn to analyze and interpret primary and secondary sources, including documents, artifacts, and visual representations.
    • Interpretation: History involves interpreting historical evidence and understanding different historical interpretations.
  7. 7
    Physics is a popular choice for students interested in pursuing a career in science or engineering. It is also a requirement for many university courses.
    Physics is a branch of science that deals with the fundamental principles of the natural world, including the behavior of matter and energy. It seeks to understand and describe the physical phenomena that occur in our universe, ranging from the behavior of subatomic particles to the motion of celestial bodies. Through the use of mathematical models and experimentation, physicists aim to uncover the underlying laws governing these phenomena.
    • Branches: Classical physics, Quantum physics, Condensed matter physics, Astrophysics, Particle physics, etc.
    • Key Concepts: Force, energy, motion, gravity, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, relativity, etc.
    • Applications: Engineering, medicine, astronomy, telecommunications, materials science, computer science, etc.
    • Tools and Techniques: Mathematics, experiments, laboratory equipment, computer simulations, mathematical modeling, etc.
    • Mathematical Foundation: Calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, statistics, etc.
  8. 8
    Geography is a popular subject that explores the world around us and the processes that shape it. It is also a requirement for many university courses.
    Geography is a subject that focuses on the study of the Earth's landscapes, environments, and the relationship between people and their surroundings. It explores various aspects such as physical features, climate patterns, natural resources, human settlements, and cultural practices. Geography helps students develop a better understanding of the world they live in.
    • Broad Discipline: Geography encompasses a wide range of topics and incorporates elements from various disciplines such as biology, geology, sociology, anthropology, and economics.
    • Physical and Human Geography: It encompasses the study of both the physical aspects of Earth (landforms, climate, vegetation) and the human aspects (population, culture, urbanization).
    • Maps and Geospatial Analysis: Geography involves the interpretation and analysis of maps, as well as the use of geospatial technologies like Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
    • Regional Studies: Geography often includes the analysis of specific regions, exploring their unique characteristics, issues, and interconnections.
    • Environmental Awareness: It fosters an understanding of environmental issues, including sustainability, conservation, and the impact of human activities on the planet.
  9. 9
    Economics is a popular subject that explores how we allocate resources and make decisions as a society. It is a requirement for many university courses in economics and related fields.
    Economics is a social science discipline that explores the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. It analyzes how individuals, businesses, governments, and societies make decisions to allocate scarce resources to meet unlimited wants.
    • Microeconomics: Examines individual economic agents, such as households and firms, and their interactions in markets.
    • Macroeconomics: Studies the economy as a whole, including factors like inflation, unemployment, and economic growth.
    • Econometrics: Applies statistical and mathematical techniques to analyze economic data and test economic theories.
    • Game Theory: Explores strategic decision-making in situations with multiple players and interdependent outcomes.
    • International Economics: Focuses on economic interactions between countries, such as trade, exchange rates, and international finance.
  10. 10
    Sociology is a popular subject that explores how society is structured and how individuals and groups interact within it. It is a requirement for many university courses in sociology and related fields.
    Sociology is a field of study that examines social behavior, interaction, and society as a whole. It focuses on understanding how various social structures, institutions, and processes impact individuals, groups, and communities. Sociologists utilize various research methods to investigate social phenomena and analyze the patterns and dynamics of social relationships.
    • 1: Focuses on studying social behavior and society
    • 2: Examines social structures, institutions, and processes
    • 3: Utilizes research methods to investigate social phenomena
    • 4: Analyzes patterns and dynamics of social relationships
    • 5: Explores social inequality, stratification, and mobility

Missing your favorite A-level?


Ranking factors for popular A-level

  1. Pass rate and grades
    A popular A-level course should have a high pass rate and good average grades. This indicates that the subject is accessible, well-taught, and students are generally successful in it.
  2. Relevance to university courses and careers
    Subjects that are relevant to a wide range of university courses and future careers will be more popular among students than niche subjects.
  3. Accessibility
    Courses that are offered at a large number of schools and colleges are likely to be more popular due to greater accessibility of the subject.
  4. Student feedback and satisfaction
    Student feedback on the course content, teaching quality, and overall satisfaction also help determine the popularity of a subject.
  5. Teacher recommendation and reputation
    If a course has a strong reputation and is well-regarded by teachers, it is more likely to be popular among students.
  6. Competition and selectivity
    Popular A-level subjects might have higher competition and selectivity in terms of entry requirements or a limited number of spots available.
  7. Changes in the curriculum and subject availability
    New or revised subjects often gain popularity when they are introduced. Changes in subject availability, such as the removal of a subject from the curriculum, can also affect popularity.
  8. Labour market trends
    Subjects that align well with current job market trends and skills in demand tend to be more popular among students.
  9. Parental and societal influence
    Parental and societal expectations and perceptions of the usefulness or prestige of a subject can influence its popularity among students.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular A-level in the UK. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or A-level is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 174 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each A-level once every 24 hours. The rank of each A-level is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular a-level in the uk

A-levels are a popular form of post-secondary education in the United Kingdom. They are typically taken by students in their final two years of secondary school and are used to prepare them for university-level studies. There are a wide variety of A-level subjects available, ranging from traditional academic disciplines such as mathematics and science to more specialized subjects like drama and psychology. With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine which A-levels are the most popular among students in the UK. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the top A-levels and explore why they are so popular.

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