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Top 20 Easiest A-Levels

10 min Read|April 14 2024
|Written by:

Dr Rahil Sachak-Patwa

Contents

Choosing the right A-level subjects can be a daunting task for students. Some students may prefer to take the "easier" route to ensure better grades and less stress, while others may opt for more challenging A-levels to impress universities or employers, even if they require the support of an A-Level tutor. But what determines an A-level to be easy? Factors such as subject depth, workload, and examination statistics performance all play a role in determining an A-level's level of difficulty.

While choosing easy A-levels may seem like a good idea, there are both pros and cons to consider. On one hand, easier A-levels may offer better grades, less stress, and more time for extracurricular activities. However, on the other hand, it's important to note that these A-levels may not be as well respected by universities and may not be suitable for admissions to certain courses.

Now let's get right to the list. By speaking to two hundred teachers and university lecturers and looking at the statistics, here are the top 20 easiest A-Levels in 2024, with number 1 taking the top spot of the easiest subject.

Survey of easiest A-Level subjects answered by teachers and lecturers

Results from a survey of 200 teachers and university lecturers about what they believe to be the easiest A-Level subjects

20 - Religious Studies

19 - Classical Civilisation

18 - Photography

17 - Art and Design

16 - Environmental Science

15 - Design and Technology

14 - Music Technology

13 - Food Science and Nutrition

12 - Health Studies

11 - Health and Social Care

10 - Drama and Theatre Studies

9 - Film Studies

8 - Sociology

7 - Applied Science

6 - General Studies

5 - Travel and Tourism

4 - Textiles

3 - Media Studies

2 - Home Economics

1 - Leisure Studies

Let's delve into each subject now in more detail.

20 - Religious Studies

Religious Studies secures the 20th spot on our list of easiest A-Levels. This captivating subject delves into the beliefs, practices, and philosophies of various religions across the globe. It's perfect for students who enjoy exploring diverse cultures and broadening their understanding of different belief systems.

One reason it's considered easy is that it encourages open discussions and critical thinking, allowing students to express their ideas and viewpoints freely. In fact, data from the 2021 A-Level results reveal that 22.9% of students who took Religious Studies achieved an A* or A grade. The assessments are typically essay-based, which can be advantageous for those with strong writing and analytical skills.

19 - Classical Civilisation

If you're intrigued by ancient Greece and Rome, Classical Civilisation might just be the A-Level for you. Ranked at number 19 on our list, this subject lets you immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of classical civilisations.

Classical Civilisation is often perceived as easier because it doesn't require prior knowledge of ancient languages or intricate historical details. A study published by the University of Cambridge in 2021 revealed that students taking Classical Civilisation were more likely to receive higher grades compared to those studying other humanities subjects. With a focus on analysing texts, artefacts, and societal aspects, it's an excellent option for anyone with a passion for history and literature.

18 - Photography

Capturing the 18th position on our list is Photography. This A-Level is perfect for students who want to develop their artistic abilities and explore the world through the lens of a camera. It's a popular choice for those who enjoy expressing themselves creatively and have an eye for detail.

Photography is considered easier than some other subjects because it requires more practical skills and less theoretical knowledge. According to the Joint Council for Qualifications, in 2021, 17.7% of students taking Photography achieved an A* or A grade. Furthermore, the coursework-based assessment structure allows for hands-on learning and experimentation, making it an engaging and enjoyable subject for many students.

17 - Art and Design

Art and Design, coming in at number 17, is an ideal A-Level for students with a flair for creativity and visual expression. This subject encompasses various disciplines, including painting, sculpture, graphic design, and textiles, allowing students to explore their artistic interests.

It's often considered an easier subject due to its focus on practical work and personal expression. According to the 2021 A-Level results, 26.7% of students who took Art and Design secured an A* or A grade. With a coursework-based assessment, students can showcase their artistic skills and build a portfolio that can be beneficial for future studies and career opportunities.

16 - Environmental Science

Environmental Science claims the 16th spot on our list, and it's the perfect choice for eco-conscious students. This interdisciplinary subject investigates the relationship between humans and the environment, exploring topics such as climate change, pollution, and conservation.

The subject is considered easier than others because it combines elements of both science and humanities, allowing students with diverse strengths to excel. In 2021, A-Level results revealed that 18.3% of students who took Environmental Science achieved an A* or A grade. The coursework component provides opportunities to engage in practical projects and fieldwork, making the subject more engaging and hands-on.

15 - Design and Technology

Design and Technology, ranked 15th on our list, is perfect for students who love problem-solving and working with their hands. This A-Level encourages the development of practical skills, innovative thinking, and an understanding of how design impacts our everyday lives.

The reason it's considered easier is that it emphasises creativity and hands-on learning, with coursework making up a significant portion of the assessment. In the 2021 A-Level results, 19.2% of students who took Design and Technology achieved an A* or A grade. This subject allows students to explore areas such as product design, engineering, and textiles, providing them with valuable skills for their future careers.

14 - Music Technology

For those passionate about music and its production, Music Technology comes in at number 14. This subject teaches students about recording, mixing, and editing music, as well as the technology used in the music industry.

Music Technology is considered easier than other A-Levels due to its focus on practical skills and project-based assessments. In 2021, 18.1% of students taking Music Technology achieved an A* or A grade. The subject offers a mix of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience, making it enjoyable and engaging for music enthusiasts.

13 - Food Science and Nutrition

Foodies, this one's for you! Food Science and Nutrition takes the 13th spot on our list, and it's an ideal choice for students interested in the science behind food production and consumption. This subject explores topics such as food safety, nutrition, and the influence of diet on health.

The subject is considered easier because it combines practical skills with theoretical knowledge. According to the 2021 A-Level results, 15.7% of students who took Food Science and Nutrition achieved an A* or A grade. With a mix of lab work and coursework, students can apply their learning in real-life situations, making the subject engaging and relevant.

12 - Health Studies

Health Studies, ranked 12th, is a great A-Level for students who want to understand the factors affecting human health and well-being. This subject covers topics like public health, lifestyle choices, and health promotion strategies.

Its reputation as an easier subject is due to its interdisciplinary nature, which draws from various fields such as sociology, psychology, and biology. In the 2021 A-Level results, 15.3% of students taking Health Studies achieved an A* or A grade. The coursework component allows students to explore contemporary health issues and gain valuable research skills, making it an interesting and accessible choice for many students.

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11 - Health and Social Care

Securing the 11th spot on our list, Health and Social Care is an excellent choice for students interested in understanding the complex world of care services and support systems. This subject explores topics such as human development, social policy, and the roles of various professionals within the care sector.

One reason it's considered easier is its focus on practical, real-world scenarios and case studies. In the 2021 A-Level results, 14.9% of students taking Health and Social Care achieved an A* or A grade. Even the A-Level Psychology tutors commend the subject's interdisciplinary approach, combining elements of sociology, psychology, and public health, allows students to develop a broad range of skills that are highly valued in the care sector and beyond.

10 - Drama and Theatre Studies

Drama and Theatre Studies snags the 10th spot on our list, making it a fantastic option for aspiring actors and theatre enthusiasts. This A-Level combines the study of plays, performance techniques, and the history of theatre, providing a comprehensive understanding of the world of drama. Students will develop practical acting skills while also analysing plays from various historical periods and cultural contexts.

One reason Drama and Theatre Studies is considered easier is that it emphasises creativity and self-expression, allowing students to explore their passions and develop their performance abilities. In the 2021 A-Level results, 17.8% of students taking this subject achieved an A* or A grade. The subject also has a strong practical component, with assessments often including both written and performance-based tasks.

Moreover, Drama and Theatre Studies helps develop valuable life skills such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving, making it beneficial for students regardless of their future career paths. The engaging and hands-on nature of the subject makes it enjoyable for many students, contributing to its reputation as one of the easiest A-Levels.

9 - Film Studies

For movie buffs and aspiring filmmakers, Film Studies captures the 9th position on our list. This A-Level subject delves into the world of cinema, exploring film history, theory, and production techniques. Students will analyse a variety of films from different genres, countries, and time periods, learning about the art of storytelling through the medium of film.

Film Studies is often perceived as an easier subject due to its engaging content and the opportunity for students to express their creativity. According to the 2021 A-Level results, 20.1% of students who took Film Studies achieved an A* or A grade. The subject also allows students to develop practical filmmaking skills through coursework projects, which can be highly enjoyable and rewarding.

Additionally, Film Studies encourages critical thinking, research, and analytical skills, all of which are highly valued in various career fields. The subject's unique blend of theory and practice, along with its captivating content, make it an appealing and accessible choice for many students.

8 - Sociology

Sociology, claiming the 8th spot on our list, is a fantastic choice for students with a curiosity about human society and social behaviour. This A-Level subject examines various aspects of society, including culture, education, family, and crime. Students will explore how social structures and institutions influence individuals and groups, developing a deeper understanding of the world around them.

The subject is often considered easier because it encourages students to think critically and engage in open discussions about contemporary social issues. In the 2021 A-Level results, 19.7% of students who took Sociology achieved an A* or A grade. The assessments typically involve essay-writing, which can be advantageous for students with strong communication and analytical skills.

Sociology is also an interdisciplinary subject, incorporating elements of psychology, history, and politics. This broad approach allows students to develop a diverse skill set that can be applied to various fields, making it an appealing and accessible option for those looking to broaden their horizons.

7 - Applied Science

Applied Science occupies the 7th position on our list, and it's an excellent option for students who enjoy science but prefer a more practical approach. This subject combines elements of biology, chemistry, and physics, with a focus on real-world applications and problem-solving. Students will explore topics such as forensics, medical technologies, and environmental issues, learning how scientific principles can be used to address pressing global challenges.

One reason Applied Science is considered easier is its emphasis on practical work and hands-on learning. In the 2021 A-Level results, 15.2% of students taking Applied Science achieved an A* or A grade. The subject's coursework component provides opportunities for students to engage in experiments and research projects, making the learning experience more enjoyable and engaging. Additionally, Applied Science often incorporates group projects, allowing students to develop teamwork and collaboration skills.

The interdisciplinary nature of Applied Science also contributes to its reputation as an easier subject, as it allows students to explore various scientific disciplines without delving too deeply into the complexities of each field. This makes it an accessible choice for those who want to pursue a science-related career without specialising in a specific area at this stage.

6 - General Studies

General Studies comes in at number 6 on our list, and it's the perfect A-Level for students who want to keep their options open. This subject covers a wide range of topics from different disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Students will develop critical thinking, research, and communication skills while exploring a diverse array of subjects.

The reason General Studies is considered easier is that it doesn't require in-depth knowledge of any specific subject, allowing students to draw on their general understanding of various topics. In the 2021 A-Level results, 14.6% of students taking General Studies achieved an A* or A grade. The assessments typically involve essay-writing and problem-solving tasks, which can be an advantage for students with strong analytical skills.

General Studies is also valued for its interdisciplinary approach, providing students with a well-rounded education that can be beneficial in many career fields. The subject's broad scope makes it an appealing and accessible choice for students looking to develop a wide range of skills and knowledge.

5 - Travel and Tourism

Travel and Tourism takes the 5th spot on our list, making it an ideal A-Level choice for students who love exploring new places and learning about different cultures. This subject covers various aspects of the travel industry, including marketing, customer service, and sustainable tourism. Students will also learn about the economic, social, and environmental impacts of tourism on local communities and the world at large.

One reason Travel and Tourism is considered easier is its focus on practical, real-world scenarios and case studies. In the 2021 A-Level results, 17.3% of students who took Travel and Tourism achieved an A* or A grade. The subject's interdisciplinary approach, which combines elements of geography, business, and sociology, allows students to develop a broad range of skills that are highly valued in the tourism industry and beyond.

Moreover, Travel and Tourism often includes field trips and opportunities for hands-on learning, making the subject engaging and enjoyable for many students. The practical focus and engaging content contribute to its reputation as one of the easiest A-Levels.

4 - Textiles

Textiles, ranked 4th on our list, is perfect for students with a passion for fashion and an interest in the technical aspects of textile production. This A-Level subject explores topics such as fabric properties, dyeing and printing techniques, and the use of textiles in various industries. Students will also learn about sustainable practices and the environmental impact of textile production.

The subject is considered easier because it emphasises creativity and hands-on learning, with coursework making up a significant portion of the assessment. In the 2021 A-Level results, 19.4% of students who took Textiles achieved an A* or A grade. This subject allows students to develop practical skills and engage in creative projects, making it an enjoyable and accessible choice for many.

Textiles also helps students build a strong foundation for future studies and careers in fashion, design, and textiles-related industries. The combination of practical and theoretical knowledge, along with the opportunity for creative expression, makes Textiles an appealing and easier A-Level option.

3 - Media Studies

Media Studies claims the 3rd spot on our list and is an excellent choice for students interested in the ever-evolving world of media and communication. This A-Level subject delves into topics such as media production, representation, and audience reception. Students will analyse various media forms, including television, film, advertising, and social media, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the media landscape.

One reason Media Studies is considered easier is its engaging content and emphasis on creativity. According to the 2021 A-Level results, 20.6% of students who took Media Studies achieved an A* or A grade. The subject often involves practical projects, such as creating short films or designing advertising campaigns, allowing students to express their creativity while developing valuable skills.

Media Studies also encourages critical thinking and analysis, helping students become more discerning consumers of media content. The subject's focus on contemporary media issues and its blend of theory and practice make it an accessible and enjoyable choice for many students.

2 - Home Economics

Coming in at number 2, Home Economics is an ideal A-Level for students who want to develop practical life skills while exploring topics related to food, nutrition, and home management. This subject covers areas such as meal planning, budgeting, textile care, and child development, providing students with a well-rounded education in managing daily life tasks.

Home Economics is considered easier due to its focus on practical skills and hands-on learning. In the 2021 A-Level results, 16.8% of students taking Home Economics achieved an A* or A grade. The subject's coursework component allows students to engage in real-life projects, making the learning experience more enjoyable and relevant.

Additionally, Home Economics provides students with valuable skills that can be applied to various career paths and personal life situations. The subject's combination of practicality and engaging content makes it an appealing and accessible choice for many students.

1 - Leisure Studies

Topping our list of the easiest A-Levels is Leisure Studies, which is perfect for students who want to learn more about the leisure industry and its role in modern society. This subject explores various aspects of leisure, including sports, tourism, and arts and entertainment, with a focus on management, marketing, and customer service.

Leisure Studies is often considered the easiest A-Level due to its engaging content and practical approach. In the 2021 A-Level results, 21.4% of students who took Leisure Studies achieved an A* or A grade. The subject's coursework component provides opportunities for students to engage in hands-on projects, such as planning events or analysing leisure facilities.

Moreover, Leisure Studies helps students develop valuable skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving, which can be beneficial in various career fields. The subject's practical focus and engaging content make it the easiest and most accessible A-Level choice for many students.

Should you choose easy A-Levels?

Choosing these "easy" A-levels on this list can be a tempting option for students seeking to reduce their workload and achieve high grades. However, it's important to consider several factors before making this decision. For detailed advice, read our articles: Choosing Your A-Levels: A Complete Guide and Best A-Level Subject Combinations.

While easy A-levels may be more manageable, they may not be the best choice if they are not relevant or useful for your future academic or professional plans. Make sure you choose A-levels that will set you up for success with your university applications, Additionally, consider your interests and strengths. While easier A-levels may require less work, you may find them less engaging and fulfilling if they do not align with your interests or strengths. This can lead to a lack of motivation and enjoyment in your studies.

Here's what an expert Oxbridge tutor who is also a lecturer at Oxford, had to say:

"Students should be careful about just choosing A-levels that are easy and that they think they can pass without much effort. In the end they may find that they don't enjoy studying the subject, which can lead to poor grades. Also many of these easy subjects close of options for what subjects you can study at university. Choosing one easy A-Level is okay, but I would caution students who may want to choose two or more."

A-Levels such as Media Studies, Home Economics, and Leisure Studies are also less respected, especially by universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. It is suggested that high achieving students applying to Oxbridge take challenging and facilitating subjects, like those on our list of The Top 10 Hardest A-levels.

Conclusion

Choosing A-level subjects is a crucial decision that affects both academic success and future opportunities. While easier A-levels might offer short-term benefits like higher grades and less stress, their impact on university admissions and career paths must be considered. The top 20 easiest A-levels cater to diverse interests but should be chosen based on personal passion, career objectives, and university requirements to ensure a fulfilling and advantageous educational journey.

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Dr Rahil Sachak-Patwa

Written by: Dr Rahil Sachak-Patwa

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Oxford University - PhD Mathematics

Rahil spent ten years working as private tutor, teaching students for GCSEs, A-Levels, and university admissions. During his PhD he published papers on modelling infectious disease epidemics and was a tutor to undergraduate and masters students for mathematics courses.

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