Computer science degree with no further maths and compuer science a levels

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Report Thread starter 3 years ago
I want to do computer science at leeds, york, manchester and sheffield but my a levels are biology chemistry maths. Will not having fm and comp sci alevels lower my chances.
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Report 3 years ago
tldr No. Unis care more about decent grades than actual knowledge, intelligence or experience. At least when initially looking at your application.

{there's a reason this is long}

Well. Here's my story - it's relevant to you

I studied Computing, Maths, Physics and Economics.

Throughout my first year, which shaped my eventual A Level grades by killing my morale, I was struggling to keep up with my workload. I eventually ended up retaking an exam at the end of my AS year (I had the initial exam in Jan - back when we had those). So I had three exams in one day. One of them was an Economics exam. I didn't learn much throughout the year, despite a lot of notes, due to lack of sleep and focus and so dropped that course a month or so before my exams. So I ended up not having an Economics qualification, despite spending a lot of time on it. Longer story short, I came out of A Levels with CDD in Maths, Physics and Computing respectively. I also had Dyslexia and other issues while studying that I got little/no support with. Though I did get a B in an EPQ on AI.

It's been 3 years since leaving college. I did not go Uni straight away (apprenticeship and other reasons). Now I am trying to, with solid experience in IT. I intend to eventually complete a Masters in Cyber Security.

I can get into Unis. But not the most decent ones. Will I still go to lower ranked ones? I will attend open days to decide that. I will likely need to take new A Levels, wasting a few more years; I need to save up money to pay for it first. I will be around 25 or 26 when I finally get into Uni for my undergraduate degree. And then there's a Masters I will take after I get more work experience. So I will finish my education in my 30s.

So currently, I am someone who has strong and solid experience in IT and a fond obsession with security. Spend a lot of my time researching it at home so I know it is for me. But despite my background in IT, decent Unis won't accept me because admissions teams are by design close minded to save time. All they care about is decent grades, not intelligence or enthusiasm (at least when first looking at an applicant). So I need to spend 2 years studying A Levels again only so the admissions teams can spend another 30 seconds before they would otherwise bin it.

Why did I take hard A Levels? I was foolishly convinced by other close minded people close to me that they were needed to study Comp Sci at Uni. I cannot even take a Comp Sci foundation year at a decent Uni like Loughborough because their foundation year is designed for applicants who got minimum CCC in other subjects. They don't consider applicants who took Maths at all! In other words, their foundation year is for people who changed their mind about their career; they don't take on people who had an interest in IT from before. Beats me why.

So had I studied easy A Levels (other than the stuff that "decent" Unis don't accept like critical thinking and general studies), and achieved good grades, I would have been accepted by decent Unis easily; despite the fact that technically, I could have been a dumb nut (no offence to anyone), without much IT experience. Though then again, I was hoping to get into Imperial before starting college - ironically did not take further maths.

The lesson from this is to take subjects you can get good grades in. Don't overload yourself with hard A Levels thinking they are necessary.
They are really not!

Even if you take A Levels that are not related to Maths or Comp Sci, you will still have decent options available to you to take Comp Sci at Uni. I would advise you to focus on getting the best grades possible. If you're concerned with proving that you have an interest in the field, that is where you free time comes in. You cannot convince a Uni you really want to do something just by taking a course and getting a good grade. You need to live and breathe whatever you are applying for and be able to show it when you talk. But unfortunately because the education system is still backwards, you will need good A Level results first before they consider your background.

If you are still not sure, call up your Unis and ask them if they would consider you with your circumstances. Best Unis for Comp Sci from top to bottom. Don't take it as a definitive list - it doesn't actually tell you anything about the Unis' contexts.

I wish you the best!


For others who are in my position, this is not meant to discourage you. I do have Uni options out there. My problem is that I need a decent lecturer I can look up to for inspiration, solid learning support (so that I can use dyslexia to my advantage), other passionate students in the field (lower entry requirements ironically decrease that probability) and a decent overall Uni environment, campus and accommodation. Simply being at Uni means nothing to me. If anyone knows of a Uni that fits the bill, let me know. But as far as I am aware, the only Unis that fit that bill are outside my reach because of my grades.
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Report 3 years ago
(Original post by Bobrosse21)
I want to do computer science at leeds, york, manchester and sheffield but my a levels are biology chemistry maths. Will not having fm and comp sci alevels lower my chances.
No, they are fine.

The offer rates for that course at those universities is very high.

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