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Choosing your STEP Subjects

STEP 2024 applicants will rank their top four academic subjects and state whether they would prefer to do academic Taster Sessions or a week focused on one academic subject. We will decide whether to run academic Taster Sessions or a single-subject summer school after selecting our successful applicants.

The subjects we are offering in 2024 are:

Accounting, Anthropology, Archaeology, Biosciences, Criminology and Sociology, Earth Sciences, Economics and Finance, Engineering, English, Geography, History, Law, Marketing and Management, Maths, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, and Theology and Religion.  

Don't see the subject that you were looking for? Try another subject you may be considering, or a completely new one to see what it is like! The STEP offer will apply to all single honours courses at Durham, as long as you meet the subject specific criteria when you apply through UCAS. 

Specific Subject Requirements

You do not need to be studying any specific A-levels or equivalent if you are applying for the STEP summer school. However, for some subjects, you will need to meet certain subject requirements such as having certain A-levels or equivalent when you are applying for these subjects in UCAS in Year 13. We will take these into consideration when allocating strands.

You can find out about the general entry requirements for the STEP subjects on offer in the table below. To find out more about any specific courses at the University, please look at the University's Entry Requirements pages (these are the current requirements and are subject to change for 2025 entry).


Subject strand

Specific-entry requirements


Students must either be taking Maths at A level OR have a grade 6 or above in Maths GCSE OR grade B or above in the Core Maths Qualification for this subject.


No specific subject requirements.


No specific subject requirements.


Students must be taking Biology, Chemistry, or Human Biology at A-level or equivalent, plus another science subject (Psychology, Maths, and Geography count as a science) at A level or equivalent.

Business (Marketing and Management)

Students must either be taking Maths at A level OR have a grade 7 or above in Maths GCSE OR grade B or above in the Core Maths Qualification for this subject.

Earth Sciences

A levels must include at least two science subjects (which can include Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Geography, Economics, and Biology or Psychology).

Economics and Finance

A levels must include Maths for this subject.


A levels must include both Maths and one of Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Geology for this subject

English Literature

A levels must include English Literature (or the combined English Language and Literature A level) for this subject.


A levels must include a science subject (Geography is accepted as a science) if students wish to pursue the BSc (Physical).


A levels, or equivalent,  must include History for this subject.


 No specific requirements.

Mathematical Sciences

A levels, or equivalent, must include both Maths and Further Maths for this subject.

Philosophy/Theology & Religion

For Theology & Religion, you need to take at least one social science or humanities subject at A level.


Students must study a social science or humanities subject in order to apply for this subject.


Grade 5 (or B) in GCSE Maths (or equivalent) is required.

Sociology & Criminology

 No specific requirements.