Acceptable A-level Subject Combinations

In assessing applicants taking A-levels for all Cambridge courses, Trinity takes into consideration not only the individual A-level subjects offered but also the combination of subjects.

To be a realistic applicant adequately prepared for studying here, A-level candidates will normally need to satisfy certain basic requirements.

The following Table lists the most commonly studied subjects at A-level according to four categories: A1 and A2 contain respectively Science and Arts A-levels about which we have no general concerns regarding suitability; B lists A-levels we consider to be of more limited suitability (the University subject(s) for which we deem each of these A-levels to be useful is/are specified in brackets); and category C consists of A-levels we consider suitable only as a fourth subject.

If you are taking an A-level not listed, please consult the College’s Admissions Office. The College’s compulsory A-level requirements are described below, and further details about preferred A-level choices are available in the information sheets about individual subjects.


All Arts applicants should offer a minimum of two subjects from Lists A1 and A2. They should also offer a third A-level from Lists A1, A2 and B. Some List B options are restricted to applicants in particular subjects, which are specified in brackets where relevant.

In addition, there are a number of subject-specific compulsory A-level requirements:

  • Applicants for the three-year Classics course must have at least Latin or Greek A-level;
  • Economics applicants must take Mathematics A-level;
  • English candidates need to take either English Literature or combined English Language and Literature at A-level;
  • History applicants must take History A-level;
  • Music candidates need Music A-level;
  • Applicants for Modern Languages must take at least one of their selected languages at A-level.


All applicants for Computer Science, Medical Sciences and Natural Sciences will normally be expected to offer three subjects from List A1.

In addition;

  • Maths A-level is compulsory for those wishing to study Computer Science and Natural Sciences, and Chemistry A-level is compulsory for applicants in Medical Sciences.
  • Engineering candidates are expected to offer Maths, Further Maths and Physics; those unable to take Further Maths A-level may take Maths, Physics and either another subject from List A1 or Electronics along with an AS level in Further Maths.
  • Computer Science applicants should ideally also offer Maths, Further Maths and Physics but Mathematics, Further Maths and Computing or Maths, Physics, Computing and AS Further Maths are acceptable alternatives.
  • Applicants for Maths are normally expected to offer Maths, Further Maths and Physics, although if necessary another subject from List A1 or A2 may be substituted for Physics; those unable to take Further Maths A-level must offer Maths, Physics, AS Further Maths and another subject from List A1 or A2.
  • Maths with Physics applicants and those Natural Sciences candidates intending to study Physics ideally require Maths, Physics and Further Maths, but may if necessary take Maths, Physics and another subject from List A1 or A2 as well as AS Further Maths.

A-Levels by Suitability

LIST A1 Generally Suitable Science A-levels

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Further Mathematics
  • Physics

LIST A2 Generally Suitable Arts A-levels

  • Art History
  • Chinese
  • Classical Civilisation
  • Economics
  • English Literature
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • Greek
  • History
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Religious Studies
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Welsh

LIST B A-levels of More Limited Suitability

  • Archaeology (HSPS)
  • Art & Design (Arts)
  • Business Studies (Economics)
  • Computing (Computer Science)
  • Creative Writing (English)
  • Design & Technology (Architecture)
  • Drama/Theatre Studies (Arts)
  • Electronics (Engineering)
  • English Language (Arts)
  • Film Studies (Arts)
  • Government & Politics (Arts)
  • Law (Land Economy & Law)
  • Media Studies (Arts)
  • Psychology (Arts)
  • Sociology (Arts)

LIST C A-levels Suitable Only As Fourth Subjects

  • Accounting
  • Applied Science
  • Citizenship
  • Communication Studies
  • Critical Thinking
  • Dance
  • Environmental Science
  • General Studies
  • Health & Social Care
  • Home Economics
  • ICT
  • Leisure Studies
  • Music Technology
  • Performance Studies
  • Performing Arts
  • Perspectives on Science
  • Photography
  • Physical Education
  • Science
  • Science for Public Understanding
  • Sports Studies
  • Travel & Tourism
  • World Development