This year, Oxford have created a very useful ‘traffic light’ system for prospective students. The traffic light system helpfully indicates which school subjects are important for each course. Subjects listed as ‘red’ are considered essential for the course, e.g. Maths for a Computer Science degree. Other subjects are listed as ‘yellow’ meaning that they are recommended to pursue in preparation. Finally, courses that are listed under green are considered to be helpful and useful. 

Students who are still unsure about their course decision should definitely have a look at which subjects are held at which traffic lights because it may help to whittle down your choices. For those who are finishing up their GCSE’s, this is the perfect time to plan ahead and work out which A-Level, IB and Pre-U subjects are necessary or recommended for courses you are interested in.

Of course, you can find this information on each course page on the Oxford website but to make things a little easier, we have compiled an all-in-one table for you to have a look at which includes whether written work is required. 

SUBJECTRed - EssentialYellow - RecommendedGreen - UsefulWritten work?
Archaeology and AnthropologyCombination of arts and science subjects2 pieces
BiochemistryChemistry and another science or MathsMathsBiology beyond GCSEnone
BiologyBiology and either Chemistry, Physics or Mathsnone
BiomedicalTwo from Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physicsnone
ChemistryChemistry and MathsAnother science or Further Mathsnone
Classical Archaeology and Ancient HistoryA classical language, Classical Civilisation or Ancient History2 pieces
ClassicsLatin and/or Greek (for Course I only)2 pieces
Classics and EnglishLatin and/or Greek (for Course I only), English Literature or English Language and Literature 2 pieces
Classics and Modern LanguageLatin and/or Greek (for Course I only), and a modern language (depending on course choice) 2/4 pieces
Classics and Oriental StudiesLatin and/or Greek2 pieces
Computer ScienceMathsFurther Mathsnone
Computer Science and PhilosophyMathsFurther Mathsnone
Earth Sciences (Geology)Maths, plus Chemistry or PhysicsChemistry or PhysicsBiology, Geology, Further Mathsnone
Economics & ManagementMathsnone
Engineering SciencesMaths and PhysicsMaths Mechanics modulesFurther Mathsnone
English Language and LiteratureEnglish Literature or English Language and LiteratureA language, History1 piece
English and modern languageA modern language (depending on course choice) and English Lit or English Lang and Lit1/3 pieces
European and Middle Eastern LanguagesA modern language (depending on course choice)2 pieces
Fine ArtArtportfolio
HistoryHistory1 piece
History (Ancient and Modern)HistoryA classical language, Classical Civilisation, Ancient History1 piece
History and EconomicsHistory, Maths1 piece
History and Modern LanguagesEnglish Literature or English Language and LiteratureHistory3 pieces
History and PoliticsHistorySociology, Politics, Government and Politics1 piece (History)
History of ArtEssay-writing subjectHistory of Art, Fine Art, History, English, a language1 piece, 1 response
Human SciencesBiology, Maths
Law (Jurisprudence)A relevant modern language for Law with Law Studies in Europe (not required for European Law)A subject involving essay writing
Materials ScienceMaths and PhysicsChemistryFurther Maths, Design and Technology (Resistant Materials)
MathematicsMathsFurther Maths
Mathematics & Computer ScienceMathsFurther Maths
Mathematcs & PhilosophyMathsFurther Maths
Mathematics & StatisticsMathsFurther Maths
MedicineChemistry with either
Maths or Biology or Physics
Modern LanguagesOne or more modern languages (depending on course choice)2/3 pieces
Modern Languages & LinguisticsA modern language (depending on course choice)English Language, Maths, a science or any other language1-3 pieces
MusicMusicABRSM Grade V keyboard ability or above3 pieces
Oriental StudiesA language2 pieces
Philosophy & Modern LanguagesOne or more modern languages (depending on course choice)1/2 pieces
PPEMathematics, History
Philosophy & TheologyA subject involving essay writing1 piece
PhysicsPhysics and MathsMaths Mechanics modulesFurther Maths
Physics & PhilosophyPhysics and MathsMaths Mechanics modulesFurther Maths
Experimental PsychologyOne or more science subjects (including Psychology) or Maths
Religion & Oriental StudiesA subject involving essay writing/ a language1 piece
Theology & ReligionA subject involving essay writing1 piece