Analysis of 2020 A-Level Core STEM Entrants – Number of Core STEM* A-Levels completed by girls rises again

  • Number of Core STEM* A-Levels completed by girls rises again
  • Percentage of Computing A-Levels awarded to girls continues to grow year on year
  • Girls continue to be awarded a greater number of Science A-Levels than boys

Each of the Core STEM* subjects are showing progress in the right direction with increasing proportions of females taking each of the subjects. An extra 632 Core STEM* A-Levels have been awarded to girls this year, continuing the trend for growth in previous years. This is despite a drop of over 20,000 A-Levels awarded this year across all subjects.

Core STEM* A-Levels remain accountable for 29% of all A-Levels awarded.

For the second year in a row, there have been more science A-Levels awarded to girls than boys, with girls accounting for 51% of biology, chemistry, and physics A-Levels.


Computing is a growing subject and the number of girls being awarded A-Levels in it has increased by 22%, from 1,475 to 1,797. However, girls still only represent 14% of the total Computing A-Level entries this year despite continued high demand for skilled employees in the sector.

Maths and Further Maths

After a significant drop in the number of students taking Maths A-Level in 2019, we have seen the student population rise by over 2,000 students in 2020. The proportion of girls taking A-Level maths has remained stable.


The number of students taking Physics has dropped by over 1,000 between 2019 and 2020. However this is mainly due to a significant drop in the number of boys taking the subject – the number of girls has remained relatively stable.

Design and Technology

The number of students taking Design and Technology A Level has decreased, however the number of girls taking the subject shows the opposite trend.

This year, due to the uncertainty with gradings, WISE has decided against publishing statistics on attainment levels.

*Core STEM subjects include: Physics, Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, Computing, Design and Technology, and Other Sciences. It does not include Biology or Healthcare sciences.

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