NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1170828
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-4985
The Relationship between A-Level Subject Choice and League Table Score of University Attended: The "Facilitating", The "Less Suitable", and The Counter-Intuitive
Dilnot, Catherine
Oxford Review of Education, v44 n1 p118-137 2018
English students from less privileged backgrounds and state, rather than private, schools remain significantly under-represented at high-status universities. There has been little work to date on the role of A-level subject choice, as opposed to attainment, in access to university. Using linked administrative data for three recent cohorts of English entrants to UK universities, I examine the relationship between league table score of university attended and A-level subject choices, using a taxonomy of A-levels categorised according to their published efficacy for Russell Group university admission as "facilitating, useful", or "less suitable". I further examine the relationship of three "less suitable" A-levels with league table score of university for related degree courses commonly leading to professional business careers (accountancy, business, and law). Holding more facilitating A-levels is associated with attending a higher ranked university overall, even controlling for degree subject, and the converse is true for "less suitable" subjects. The heterogeneous relationships of professionally-related A-level subjects with university ranking make decision-making for aspirational 16-year-olds problematic: an apparently sensible subject choice for students wishing to prepare for a professional career may, in fact, put them at a disadvantage.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A