Choosing Your Subjects
Studying A-Levels at Belfast Met
Belfast Met is the largest provider of Full-Time A-Level programmes in the Northern Ireland Further Education sector, with 545 Full-Time students enrolled during the 2022-23 academic year.
The college takes great pride in the fact our A-Level curriculum is wide and varied, offering up to 16 subjects each year to cater for the specialist interests and abilities of students from a broad spectrum of academic and social backgrounds. The variety of our curriculum offer is matched by the quality of teaching at the college.
Leaving school and coming to a new college can be a daunting experience for many. In addition to providing tuition of a high standard, we have a year group structure which ensures that each student feels valued and comfortable from the outset. Our First Year, Second Year and Fast Track Year Heads are experienced, senior staff members who coordinate the pastoral care provision for A Level students and who seek to ensure that the transition from school to college is as seamless as possible. We also allocate every student an Adviser of Studies (AOS) who provides educational and pastoral guidance on a weekly basis to help students make appropriate career/educational choices and arranges support when needed.
Achieving success at A-Level requires a high level of commitment to study. Our First and Second Year students must attend morning registration in the A-Level study hall before attending classes. Students are allocated a minimum of four supervised study hours per week in addition to lessons.
Making your Subject Choices
Choosing correct AS/A Level subjects can be a huge challenge for most students, especially if you are not sure what you want to do at university or later in the world of work. However, making the correct subject choices at this stage may impact on any future decisions. Therefore it is important to take time to research the various subject choices available to you in order to ensure your decision is as informed as possible.
The reason subject choices are made often come down to the fact that:
• You need it to pursue a particular career.
• It is a subject you enjoy and are good at.
• It is a subject you have not studied before but think it will suit you.
To help you, as a start point, consider the following:
Making the jump from GCSEs to A Levels
Be prepared for a big jump in the level of content and difficulty when you move from GCSE to AS/A level. Subjects that you might have studied at GCSE will have a new breadth and depth of unfamiliar content at A Level. It is important that you research what you will be studying in that subject at this level.
The key to successful A Level grades is often related to an interest in the subject. Research carefully the content of various A Levels, if you are very interested, you will remain very motivated throughout the year. Motivation = good attendance = good results.
Work to your Strengths
If you are strong numerically, consider selecting subjects that have an element of numerical assessment. Also, should you enjoy writing essays, select subjects that have a written assessment. Please refer to the subject spectrum in this booklet for further guidance in this area.
Coursework &/or Exams?
All A Levels are externally assessed with examinations at the end of the year. Changes in the curriculum mean coursework modules now contribute less to the overall award/grade than in previous years. Some subjects do carry controlled assessments including practicals and coursework, therefore if you think this is a particular strength of yours, consider these subjects.
Consider keeping your future options open by selecting a smart mix of subjects as this will open up more potential university courses. It is always advisable to view Undergraduate Prospectuses and identify key A Level and GCSE requirements for specific progression routes/career fields.