What To Do After A-levels?

After anxiously waiting for your A-level results, you are now set to reach new heights. Firstly, congratulations to you no matter what your results are! The only thing that matters is that you did your best. 

But what’s next? You may be wondering this right now. If you’re not sure about your next step after A-levels, read on to find out options you can explore.

Do you go to uni after A-levels?

Generally, most students would proceed with a tertiary education after completing their A-levels. Here are several educational options for you to choose from:

      a. A bachelor’s degree programme

A bachelor’s degree or baccalaureate is an undergraduate academic degree awarded upon completion of a minimum of 120 credits, which will take at least three years. A Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) are the two most common bachelor’s degrees. 

Students who pursue courses such as social sciences, linguistics, cultural and business sciences will be awarded a BA. Meanwhile, students pursuing a degree in natural sciences, engineering sciences, and mathematics will be awarded a BSc. Nevertheless, courses like psychology, business, accounting, economics, and architecture are sometimes offered as either BA or BSc.

In addition to this, students in specialised fields are awarded degrees such as a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) for law, a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) for engineering, and a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) for medicine.

      b. A diploma-level programme

A diploma-level programme comprises subjects similar to the ones in a degree programme. The perk of pursuing a diploma programme is that fewer modules are required to complete the course. It is suitable for those interested in studying yet unable to commit long-term time-wise or have financial constraints.

      c. A professional qualification

A professional qualification is an advanced vocational credential that provides specialised training and assessments in a specific line of work. To name a few, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualifications are well-known certifications pursued by aspiring professionals in the financial industry.

Such professional qualifications have gained industry recognition as equivalents to a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree by many employers due to the arduous journey, including extensive training and difficult examinations, that students have to undergo. Besides that, professional qualifications allow you to be part of professional bodies.

      d. Polytechnics

Polytechnics offer vocational courses whereby technical education and applied learning are emphasised. Combined with the in-depth study usually found at universities, it equips students with practical skills required for their profession and real-world opportunities. 

What degree can I study with A-levels?

If you plan to continue with a degree after A-levels, you may be wondering which courses are available for you to choose from. To answer this, the subject combination that you picked for your A-levels plays a significant role in determining this.

For Arts and Humanities students For Science stream students For both Arts and Science streams students
  1. Economics
  2. English Language
  3. Geography
  4. History
  5. Performing Arts
  6. Philosophy
  7. Political Science
  8. Sociology
  1. Biological Sciences
  2. Dentistry
  3. Engineering
  4. Health Science
  5. Mathematics
  6. Medicine
  7. Pharmacy
  8. Physics
  1. Accounting
  2. Business Administration
  3. Environmental Studies
  4. Graphic Design & Multimedia Production
  5. Law
  6. Management
  7. Quantity Surveying
  8. Sports Science

However, it may still be possible for you to pursue an arts-based degree as a student from the science stream in A-levels or vice versa. Note that different institutions have varying entry requirements that you will need to fulfil. 

What if I did badly in my A-levels?

It is okay even if you did not achieve the results you were expecting for your A-levels. While you may have been aiming for straight As, many degree programmes do not require it for admission. Consult an education counsellor to enquire about admission requirements.

If, unfortunately, you did not meet the minimum requirements for university admission, you may opt to retake your A-levels exam. However, take a moment to reflect on why you did poorly. Was it because you did not like the subjects you took? If so, you might want to consider changing your subject combination. Speak to a student advisor before making decisions.

What to do after A-levels before uni?

For some students, there is some time in between finishing A-levels and starting university. There are many things that you can do during this period that will help prepare you for uni and working life. Here are a few things you can consider if you have the time before heading off to university. 

      a. Get a job

Once you have completed your A-levels, you are free to look for a job and earn your first pay cheque. A full time or part-time job will help instil confidence and independence as a young adult. It creates an opportunity for you to learn how to handle difficult situations and improve your communication skills. Besides that, it also promotes financial independence, which teaches you to set financial goals and start budgeting early on.

Best jobs for A-level students

      a. Tutoring

Giving tuition is one of the most lucrative jobs if you have a passion for helping students struggling to keep up.

      b. Temporary admin jobs

A temporary admin handles day-to-day office duties, such as answering phone calls and emails, that support business operations.

      c. Part-time retail and F&B jobs

Working in the retail and F&B sectors can help you become more well-rounded. For example, you will obtain valuable skills such as communicating with and handling customers.

      b. Volunteer

It is advisable to begin enhancing your CV by accumulating experience through volunteering. Besides that, it allows you to network with people and gain invaluable skills beneficial for your personal development. There are various types of volunteering opportunities available, including environmental volunteer work and volunteering in health care and holistic centres.

      c. Become an entrepreneur

Have a great business idea brewing in your mind? Now is the time to materialise it. It is a great idea to build a business and gain practical knowledge of how actual businesses operate. However, consider the risks and do proper planning and research before starting a business.

      d. Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship allows you to obtain new skills, knowledge, and experience required for a profession while working. In other words, you get hands-on training while earning a salary. If you have a clear idea of what career you wish to pursue, an apprenticeship may be a good option as it equips you with practical experience through on-the-job training.

      e. Take a gap year

Are you feeling drained after A-levels? Perhaps a gap year would give you time to figure things out and what your next step should be. A long break can also help you recharge and allow you to experience new things such as travelling to novel places. However, a year-long trip can be costly. Many students offset this cost by working while travelling. There are gap year programmes that enable you to gain work experience while travelling abroad. Make sure to balance enjoying fun experiences with developing skills for the future.  

      f. Distant/online learning

If you have lots of time on your hands and want to learn something new, a short online course may be the right solution. All you need is a computer and stable internet connection at home. 

Short online courses are great for boosting your CV, enhancing your professional development, and offers you a chance to learn something you have always been interested in. It is considerably cheaper than conventional education and with the flexibility of studying at your own pace. Popular online learning platforms include Coursera and Udemy.

      g. Work on a passion project

A passion project is a work that brings you overwhelming joy and satisfaction, be it writing a blog, starting a community project, taking up painting, or learning a new language. Dedicating time to start a passion project shows your commitment to work on things that matter to you and equips you with transferable skills throughout the process.

      h. Research on uni life

​Starting uni can be an exciting yet daunting experience, so it is only natural to feel anxious and overwhelmed. Hence, you can spare some time before uni starts to research what university life is like to help you settle in quicker. Find out more about your lecturers and which clubs are available to spice up your study life.

What to do after A-levels to become a doctor?

The first step to pursuing a career as a doctor is to get a degree in medicine (MBBS), which typically takes five years to complete. Later on, you must undergo two years of housemanship to be a qualified medical officer.

To be a specialist, you will first need to gain several years of work experience as a medical officer before pursuing your postgraduate studies, which would take four to five years. Then, you will need to undergo another two to four years of supervised training. Once you have met all the criteria, you may register yourself as a specialist with the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC).


There are several educational pathways to choose from after completing your A-levels. The degree options available heavily depend on the subject combination you have taken during A-levels. However, fret not. It is still possible for you to pursue a course that deviates from your original stream. Last but not least, find something meaningful to work on before starting uni to ensure that time is well-spent.

Should you have any queries, visit UOW Malaysia KDU or attend our open days to talk to our career counsellors and find out more about what you can do after A-levels!

For more a comprehensive guide to A-Levels, read ‘What Are A-Levels?’ and if you’re wondering whether A-Levels will be too hard a program for you, read Is A-Levels Hard?’


23 May 2022