You choose your optional subjects from those your school offers. You will be encouraged to take a range of subjects to keep your future options open. Some subjects may help with your future career but many optional subjects are not required, so ask your careers adviser for advice.
ICT - computer skills are needed for nearly every job and ICT helps you develop thinking and problem solving skills.
Humanities – help you to understand the world, its people and the past, and how we react in certain situations. It’s may be possible to start a humanities A level without having done a GCSE.
- History involves researching, analysing and presenting arguments and facts – useful for the media, education, law and architecture. Check the course covers the period you like.
- Geography is helpful for careers in meteorology, planning, transport, environmental conservation and cartography.
- Religious studies helps with understanding of beliefs and moral behaviour and can be useful for careers in management, law, journalism, social care, nursing, teaching and advice work.
Business studies - involves learning about company organisation, business communications and administration and can be useful for careers in office work, finance, insurance, management services, council work or the Civil Service.
Physical education - everyone will do PE but you can also choose GCSE PE as an option, useful for PE teaching, the Armed Forces, professional sport, physiotherapy, the police, sports centre and swimming pool attendants.
Technology - studying food, information or design technology develops practical skills in planning, research and design and team working skills. They're useful for design, catering, printing, engineering, construction and manufacturing.
Art and design - art GCSE is often needed if you want to go to art college or have a career in design. You need high level skills in drawing, a good eye for colour, creative ideas and for design, and an interest in the latest trends.
Music, dance and drama - performing music and drama are useful for careers in teaching, youth work and developing confidence and communication skills. If you’re good you may become a successful actor or musician.
Languages - foreign languages are increasingly sort after by employers that make or sell things abroad, as well as working as an interpreter, translator, teacher or foreign correspondent. Some top universities may ask for a GCSE language.
Work-related subjects - cover broad sectors of work such as applied business, health and social care, leisure and tourism, construction, engineering and more. They may suit you if you are a practical person and you want to develop 'work' skills. They are offered as BTECs and Applied GCSEs (a Double Award needing the same amount of study time as two GCSEs).