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What do I need to study to prepare for my university course?

University requirements

The IB is recognised internationally as an excellent preparation for university, but entry requirements do vary.  Those wishing to apply to a German university, for example, will have to do Higher Level (HL) Mathematics or a HL Science, Maths Studies is not accepted. The Humanities generally accepted are Economics, Geography and History and generally German A Literature HL or Standard Level (SL) or German B HL is required.  

Any pupil planning to attend a non-UK university will need to check entry requirements with the relevant education ministry or university.

A summary of UK university requirements is given below, although of course it is essential that pupils consult university websites for specific admissions criteria.

Degree Programme Subjects usually required Recommendations
Anthropology Biology or another Science Cultural knowledge background subjects e.g. Geography, History, Philosophy
Archaeology Biology or another Science History
Architecture Physics and Mathematics. Preferably a creative subject such as Design Technology or Art History, Languages to show cultural appreciation
Art Art + Portfolio (IB HL Art or A-level)  
Biology Biology plus 2 other Scinces incl. Mathematics. IB SL Maths acceptable. Biology (A-level) and Science at HL  
Bioscience Chemistry and Biology (IB HL or A-Level) Mathematics (IB SL acceptable)  
Business Management Business Management (IB HL), Business Studies (A-level). Mathematics - IB Maths Studies is acceptable A range of subjects to show diverse skills in literacy and numeracy
Chemistry Chemistry (IB HL), plus 2 other Sciences including Mathematics (IB Maths SL is acceptable). Second Science should be HL. Chemistry A-level.   
Classics Latin and/or Greek (IB/HL) Many courses allow ab initio for either Greek or Latin, if other subject has been taken into the Sixth Form
Dentistry Biology and Chemistry (IB HL or A-levels), plus Mathematics (IB SL acceptable, or Studies in some cases) Essay-based subject useful, e.g. Philosophy. Work experience essential - should be varied and not just shadowing. Interview skills key. BMAT and UKCAT - mixture of questions on science, aptitude tests, skills test and essay.
Economics Economics (IB HL or A-Level) and Mathematics. Many courses require HL Maths/Further Maths Personal statement key.
Engineering MAths (IB HL) and Physics (IB HL). Further Mathematics often required at A-level  
English English Literature (IB HL). Possibly English Language and Literature (IB HL). A-level English Additional essay based subjects or Modern Foreign Language or classical language.
Geography Geography (IB HL).
 
Science or Mathematics would be preferable to Modern Foreign Language/other humanities if choosing A-level combination
Geology Chemistry (IB HL), plus another Science (IB HL). Mathematics is preferable, IB Maths SL is usually acceptable. Geophysics will need HL MAths and HL Physics also.  Biology or Geography helpful.
History History (IB HL or A-level) Modern or classical language an advantage
International Relations Non specific Geography, Economica, Modern Foreign Language an advantage
Law Non specific No particular advantage to have studied Law at A-level. LNAT test. Evaluative subjects e.g. History, literature, an advantage
Mathematics
 
IB HL Mathematics or A-level Maths and Further Maths  
Medicine Biology and Chemistry (IB HL), plus Mathematics (IB SL acceptable, or Maths Studies in some cases) Essay-based subject useful, e.g. Philosophy. Work experience essential - should be varied and not just shadowing. Interview skills key. BMAT and UKCAT - mixture of questions on science, aptitude tests, skills test and essay.
Midwifery Biology (IB HL), possibly Chemistry (IB HL), Biology and Chemistry A-levels Work experience and interview skills key
Modern Foreign Languages First language (IB HL), second language an advantage  
Music Music (IB HL or A-level) Often combined successfully with History, English
Natural Science Two Sciences (IB HL), and Mathematics (IB SL is acceptable)  
Pharmacology  Chemistry (IB HL), plus two other sciences, including Maths (IB Maths SL acceptable)  
Philosophy Philosophy (IB HL) or Religious Studies (A-level) an advantage. Maths (IB SL or Studies) also an advantage Other essay-based subjects
PPE No previous knowledge or Philosophy, Politics or Economics, but AS Mathematics or IB MAths SL or Studies useful  
Physics Physics (IB HL) and Maths (IB HL) or A-level Physics, Mathematics and Further Maths Chemistry useful
Politics Non specific History, Geography, Economics, Philisophy, Religious Studies, Modern Foreign Langauge
Psychology Biology (IB HL) and Mathematics (IB SL or Studies acceptable)  
Theology Non specific Philosophy, RS, History, MFL, Classical language
Veterinary Science Biology and Chemistry (IB HL), plus Mathematics (IB SL acceptable, or Studies in some cases)

Essay-based subject useful, e.g. Philosophy.  Work experience essential – should be varied and not just shadowing.  Interview skills key. BMAT and UKCAT – mixture of questions on science, aptitude tests, skills test and essay