Subject options

Why Choose What?

So, you’ve been told to choose the subjects that you’re going to take next year and beyond. A tricky decision to make…but an important one. The subjects you choose now will be the ones you carry forward into S4-6. Chances are they’re going to shape the route you take after school too.


In other words, you want to make the right choices. Don’t worry though, it's actually a good thing - this is an opportunity to focus on the subjects that you enjoy most and that are most useful to you. Sure, there might be a couple of important subjects you have to take that aren’t your favourites. But most of them are your choices. It’s up to you.

So how should you make your decision? Why choose what? We’ve put together some advice and some tools to help you.


Top 5 reasons for choosing a subject:

This is a chance to pick subjects that you’ll enjoy doing. Maybe it’s a subject you’ve liked in first and second year, or a new one that you think you’ll enjoy learning about. It’s pretty likely that the more you enjoy a subject, the better you’ll do in it.

Play to your strengths. You want to do the best you can. In the next couple of years you’ll have to start taking exams that could have a big impact on the path you take after school. So it makes sense to focus on the subjects you think you can do well in.

If you already have some career ideas, think about what subjects suit those careers best. Try our Job Matcher and see which jobs match your favourite subjects. The subjects you choose now could open the door to the career you want after school, so think hard about how different subjects might match your interests.

This is important. It might seem like early days to be thinking about what you’ll do after school but the choices you make now could have an effect.

Today, lots of jobs require you to have completed a higher education course at college or university. To get in to college and university, you need to have gained certain qualifications in your National and Higher exams at school. These are called entry requirements.

What you maybe don’t know is that, for lots of courses at college and especially at university, you’ll need to have taken Highers in one or more specific subjects.

The last thing you want is to get to the end of S6 and discover that you don’t have the subjects needed to get into the higher education course you want. That’s why we’ve come up with the Subject Chooser. If you have a career or a course in mind, enter it into the Chooser and we’ll tell you if there’s any subjects you need to take at school in order to access it. We'll also recommend other subjects that would suit your plans well.

If you know the route you might take after school, it’s really important that you choose the subjects that fit that path now. That way, you’ll be heading in the right direction.

Most people aren’t totally certain what they want to do after school until they’re a bit older. If that’s the case with you, then the best idea is to keep your options open.

Think about the subjects you’ll enjoy most and can do well in, and try and choose a spread that covers different areas, like languages, social studies, science, and arts.

You might not be able to cover them all but find a balance that suits you. Taking a spread of subjects shows that your strengths lie in more than one place…and that’s a good thing.


Order your choices:

rsz_bullet11.png Are there any subjects you have to take? 

Some subjects like English might be compulsory in your school. 

Others might be required for the higher education course you want to do. 

Choose these first! Check the Subject Chooser.


rsz_1bullet2.png Do you have a career in mind?

What subjects will build the skills you need and suit your interests?

Choose these next!


rsz_bullet3.png Fill your remaining choices with other subjects you enjoy and are good at.

Tools to help you:

1. Before making your choices, find out what each subject involves in My Subject Options.

2. What are your favourite subjects and why? Think about the skills they involve in My Subjects.

3. Find out which jobs match your favourite subjects with our Job Matcher.

4. Find out which subjects you have to take to enter your desired career or course by using our Subject Chooser.