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Oxford Physics and Philosophy Students and Applicants

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    hello
    i am wanting to study physics & philosophy at uni
    so i opted for maths physics philosophy at AS

    i was just wondering how useful chemistry is for a physics course at uni as i am undecided on my fourth (between chemistry and english)

    i enjoy both chemistry and english equally i think, i was just wondering how necessary chemistry was as english would inject some creativity into my timetable which might make my timetable more enjoyable/varie

    thanks!
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    According to Ox.U.Admissions: (http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...nts/table.html)

    For Physics and Philosophy
    Essential A-levels: Physics and Mathematics
    Recommended: Inclusion of Maths Mechanics module
    Helpful: An Arts subject and Further Mathematics

    So English will be more useful than chemistry; as it's what you prefer anyway, go for it.

    DtS
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    Chemistry won't really aid Physics at all. You'd be much better off with English, as as far as I'm aware essay skills are useful for studying Philosophy?
    Also, imo, Chemistry is a lot more difficult to do well in, so if you're looking for top grades, and you enjoy English, I reckon it should be your fourth choice!
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    do further maths
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    If you really want to do Philosophy A level then do it, but I wouldn't think it would actually help that much with the degree. If I were picking an ideal four for your course, it'd be maths, further maths (at least to AS) physics and then something like English or history. But if you have your heart set on Philosophy A level (A levels aren't just a means to an end, contrary to popular belief!) then I'd recommend English out of English or Chemistry, though further maths would also be helpful - perhaps you could do it as an extra AS? (it was an option available to me, anyway)
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    I am in my AS level year and am thinking of possible courses to study at university. Physics and philosophy has really caught my eye and I was wondering what is studied throughout the course (topics) and how essential maths is.
    My main worry is maths because I haven't taken further maths and it is reccommended on the Oxford website.
    My AS level subjects are : English lit, Maths, Physics and Spanish
    If anyone can fill me in I would be very grateful
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    Do Further Maths if you can. Chemistry and English are equally irrelevant.
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    I'm looking at going for P&P in 2011, I'm doing Maths, Further Maths, Physics A and Philosophy. I'm looking at taking them all to A2 because my GCSE's are weak (because of illness). I'm also going to look at doing STEP I & II just to increase my application strength. Hope to see you there!
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    I applied for this course and got rejected, however in hindsight I wish I'd applied nat sci at camb

    Anyways, Definitly go with maths, further maths, physics and the 4th personal preference. I can't stress the importance of further maths which rather annoyingly no one informed me of when making my decisions. Probably steer clear of philosophy to be honest, sounds weird but it doesnt give you an advantage in anyway and in fact in some ways its a disadvantage. I never took it but in the module of philosophy I do they are constantly telling people to forget what they learned at a level and combine that with the fact that its not exactly the most highly regarded A-level...

    Personally I had Maths, Physics, English and Chemistry and if I could pick again I would have gone Maths, Further maths, Physics and English.
    Having an essay subject is a help as they ask you to submit two essays as part of your application.
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    (Original post by Ebd)
    Probably steer clear of philosophy to be honest, sounds weird but it doesnt give you an advantage in anyway and in fact in some ways its a disadvantage. I never took it but in the module of philosophy I do they are constantly telling people to forget what they learned at a level and combine that with the fact that its not exactly the most highly regarded A-level...
    Sorry, but I think this is massively wrong. Some experience of philosophy (whether in the classroom or outside) makes a big difference to your interview performance. To be honest, I found the questions I was set in my first philosophy interview really basic and pretty much just tore through them (!), purely because I'd had a lot of experience of the subject before going up to Oxford. Other applicants said they'd struggled because they hadn't studied any philosophy and didn't really know what to expect or how to approach the questions. The idea that it's anything other than an advantage is just plain wrong. How could it be, unless you say you've done things you haven't?
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    Well okay it falls a lot under personal preference, I didn't feel like doing the a level would have helped at all, but further maths is more important than it in my opinion which was the point I was trying to stress as the OP was looking for a 4th subject.

    My school as with a lot of others don't offer philosophy and Oxford expect this, I'm not certain but I'd be fairly sure it gives you no advantage. They probably judge to different criteria but I could be wrong
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    I don't think A level philosophy would be that much use, because it's very wishy-washy and unacademic. It seems to me to be based largely around ethics, with important ideas such as Utilitarianism being hugely over-simplified, and I do feel that, unless you're aware of this, A level philosophy could give you unrealistic expectations of university philosophy (at least at Oxford) where you're expected to be very precise and accurate. That said, A level could bring about some awareness of some of the key issues in philosophy; however, it would be just as beneficial to read a few introductory texts and work from those - further maths would be much more useful, as physics without further maths would (from what I've heard) be torture.
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    I have an offer for physics and philosophy this year, with maths, further maths, physics and english. The offer requires my As to be in maths, further maths and physics, so the english didn't even come into consideration. I imagine of the two, chemistry would be more useful but I would seriously seriously consider further maths if that's the course you want to do, I think it does really make a difference.
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    thanks for the help guys.
    i decided on maths further maths physics and philosophy a while ago now
    i dont get why people think philosophy is a dud subject cus i dont think it's a walk in the park or anything - some of the ideas can take time to grapple with , and i dunno how i'd feel about applying for a joint honours without the a level experience
    i mean why is that people think that it's soft?
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    (Original post by romulus22)
    i dont get why people think philosophy is a dud subject cus i dont think it's a walk in the park or anything - some of the ideas can take time to grapple with , and i dunno how i'd feel about applying for a joint honours without the a level experience
    i mean why is that people think that it's soft?
    I don't think people are suggesting that it's soft in itself. It's more that A-level philosophy is a bit crap. I think some experience is important, though.
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    If you think you can cope: Physics, maths, FM, english, phil. Otherwise: Physics, maths, FM, english/phil and try and do some spare time reading about philosophy.
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    I am thinking of applying to Oxford to study Physics and Philosophy but I am worried that my GCSE results might hold me back. I know that GCSE results aren’t the be all and end all – and I think I would do well on the entryu exam as I have already looked at the past papers. I am studying History, Physics, Maths, and Further Maths (I am predicted As and A*s in all of these A-levels).

    My GCSE results were:

    English Language and Literature: A* A*
    Maths: A*
    Double Science: A*A*
    History: A*
    Sociology: A*
    Drama: A*
    RE short course: ½ A*
    Spanish: B
    Engineering Double Award: CC

    Obviously the result I am worried about is Engineering – I am worried a lot because Engineering is quite closely related to Physics (even though the GCSE course was really just glorified product design). Would it be best to omit it from my university application? Or would it be better to be honest??? Will it be a real hindrance to my getting in?
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    Eight and a half A*s? Your fine.
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    You are not permitted to omit certificated GCSE results from your UCAS application.
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    As pointed out above, you can't leave it off your form - but I think you will be ok anyway. Maybe talk to your referee about putting something in the reference about it? It may be that physics tutors know anyway that this course has nothing to do with physics ability - if you go to an open day you should get a chance to ask questions so if you are still worried you could always raise it then.

    Anyway, good luck with your application

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Updated: July 10, 2014
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