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    (Original post by DanMargetts)
    Oh more than a wee bit, this was very helpful, thank you!
    Yes, that sounds like a very good idea indeed! And the Science Academy will help me make a decision as I may enjoy the trips a lot and 'narrow' my options to a paticular discipline, or just throw all of the tables and decide to do History! Thanks again, t'was very helpful indeed!
    You're welcome!
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    Just so you know, in the end, I chose to study History at university. Reading around the subject is a huge plus, and you seem to do that already. Whatever you choose you'll be fine
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    (Original post by Airfairy)
    This might not be as detailed a response as I'd like but I need to go to work so I'm rushing a bit. Anyway, first thing that comes into my head is that you've not even started your AS levels yet. You have a year to study those, and it is likely that once you're studying both science and history, you will lean towards one or the other. I loved biology and school, then I chose it for A-Level and absolutely hated it. And like you, I thought I liked science. So you never know it could end up not being what you expect. Same goes for history too.

    Another thing. If you are still absolutely torn by application time, remember the job prospects. I have just finished a politics degree, which is probably equal to history in terms of job prospects, and it is hard. I have lots of friends who have done varying science degrees and none have struggled to get a job, even with a 2:2. So bear that in mind when you are choosing.

    Don't worry about extra curricular stuff in a history application. There are certain degrees where there aren't many things to put down. I briefly did economics before my politics degree and for neither application did I put extra curriculars down (and I went to good unis). As long as you demonstrate your love for history in your personal statement, it doesn't matter if you've volunteered at some poncy national trust property :lol: . Anyway, that's a way off for you yet, so don't worry about personal statements. You'll get loads of help at the time.

    Like I said, sorry I've just sort of bashed this out, but a year's worth of study on these subjects will help you a lot. Come back to TSR once you've started your ASs if you're still having the issue
    I bet to differ, this answer was very detailed and very helpful... thank you! I imagine I will lean towards a certain subject when I start my AS Levels, so I'll keep that in mind! Who knows, with Politics, I might be the next Airfairy! I guess the naive side of me was manifested through my earlier question as I didn't really consider job prospects, but I sure will now... I imagine that it'll all become very real soon *gulp*

    Thank you again, and as you said, if I am in trouble or something, I'll be sure to come right back here! Enjoy work!
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    (Original post by Rachelmcl13)
    You're welcome!

    I just knew that the stereotype labelling Oxford students as helpful was true!
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    (Original post by jammy4041)
    Just so you know, in the end, I chose to study History at university. Reading around the subject is a huge plus, and you seem to do that already. Whatever you choose you'll be fine

    Oh, how interesting! What lovely words indeed! Even if I picked x, I can still read about y, so I just hope that everything will work out in the end.

    Thanks again!
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    (Original post by DanMargetts)
    I just knew that the stereotype labelling Oxford students as helpful was true!
    Im actually not an oxford student, I'm still in high school haha I just thought I'd answer your question because I'm in interested in science too
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    Are you planning to apply to/attend Glasgow Uni?

    If you are, the choice between history and science is by no means preclusive; the first two years are spent studying a variety of subjects. I don't know how well the two mix, particularly as they are in different colleges, but you might be able to study a combination of them for at least the first two years.

    Whichever universities you're considering, the best thing you can do is look at what they offer and if you can combine the subjects.

    As for NEVER studying something else: you can ALWAYS study something else. If you decide, once you've finished your science degree, you'd like to study history, there's nothing to stop you. The only thing to remember is that tuition loans (if tuition fees apply to you) are only applicable for your first BA/BSc. You would have to pay for any subsequent Bachelor's degree.
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    (Original post by Soontobesuper)
    Thats true, I only did maths AS and when I went thru a phase of wanting to do che a lot was closed to me. I then didn't apply to those places for Biochem as I felt they would be to mathsy and ot Bio enough (often they didnt have a biomed course) *ahem*Bristol *ahem* Nottingham
    Thanks for the heads up on those Universities, I'll be well aware!
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    (Original post by DanMargetts)
    Hello, first off, I'm a 16 year old boy in the Summer of going into Sixth Form to do my AS Levels (Biology, Chemistry, History and Government&Politics) - I've picked 2 Sciences and 2 Essay based subjects so as to meet the subject requirements for the eventual Uni course that I decide... whenever that might be!

    Anyway, I just cannot, for the life of me, decide which of the 2 to study at University (for Science, it'd more than likely be Molecular Biology or Biochemistry... something like that).

    Okay, for as long as I can remember, I've LOVED History, I used to read those Horrible Histories books when I was younger and watched the TV version. I also avidly read History books (e.g. Marr's A History Of The World), Political books like 1984 and Animal Farm and watch History documentaries. I also thoroughly enjoyed History at GCSE and have no doubt that I'll enjoy it at A Level! The only problem is that, well, firstly, my Dad doesn't really want me to study History at Uni, although he is interested in it as well, and the biggest issue I face is some kind of work experience or extra-curricular activity involving History. I have no idea where to go or what to do so I an put it on my personal statement and 'wow' the University if I chose History, as I'm aware that just academic interest is not enough, right?

    Now for Science. Once again, I have always been hugely interested and curious as to why things around us work, what makes them work and I often ponder the, still, unanswerable questions such as: what is life? Where did we come from? Who are we? I also often read Science books and watch Science documentaries on TV... because that is the only way to judge interest in a subject! This section of the question may not seem as interesting or as eye-catching, but honestly, I do LOVE Science too, I always have and I'm pretty sure I always will. As for my Sixth Form, because I have opted to do 1+ Science AS Levels, I am automatically enrolled into their Science Academy, which is where they take us out on trips to NHS hospitals, engineering conventions etc, lots of things like that where you can experience Science in industry. Also, work experience wise/extra-curricular, my Mom works at the local NHS hospital and so I could try and work/volunteer there in the Pathology section for a bit and gain some experience. As I imagine that would be very beneficial if I was applying to a Biology course at Uni, right?


    Thank you for sitting through this. This question has pervaded my mind incessantly over the last few months, if not the whole year really! I just think that the earlier I have an answer, the Better it'll be!

    Lastly, another issue I face is that if I choose one subject, I will NEVER be able to do the other. Is that right? As I believe that it'd hurt a lot just because I have a burning passion for both. Thanks again!
    Hi, firstly I'd add that you can combine humanities and sciences in a degree course, this for example, at UCL, would allow you to take history and biochem as options , so if you're genuinely interested in both, this might be a pathway to consider.

    In terms of history, I'm probably more knowledgable about this as I'm going to study it at uni . I would also say that as a degree it's very flexible and well-regarded, so there shouldn't be a problem in terms of jobs. Well I wouldn't say that work experience and extra-curricular stuff are overly important, I didn't do anything like that - just extra reading, but if you want to help your application, maybe volunteering at your local museum would be a good idea. Alternatively, I know the national trust offer work experience, so that might be worth investigating as well. In terms of whether academic stuff is enough, I would say that it should form the bulk of your application, but anything related to this is helpful. I think it also probably depends on the uni you apply for, Oxbridge, for example would be more interested in your academic interest in the subject.

    For sciences, I think to get more of an idea if you like it at that level, I would definitely take up the opportunities of work experience that your school offers, as this will help you to understand more about a career in science, or equally I'd recommend extra reading generally, for both history and science . Work experience is beneficial, but not super-beneficial and it certainly won't be a dealbreaker the way it would be for medicine, for example.

    Good luck with whatever you choose
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    Well just start your course in September and see what subjects you enjoy more, you're only about to study AS so you have about a year to decide. The jump from GCSE to A Level is very big so you have to be dedicated and engaged with the subjects you're doing so you can decide what you would like to pursue further.
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    You have a passion for both. Not only does your dad not want you to do one of them, but it's also hard to get work-experience, or to envisage a career in the field. On the other hand, your mum already works in the field of your other passion, you are able to obtain work experience, and there are very real career paths you can take in the field. On top of this, you also love it, just as you love the other one. It's a no-brainer to me. You should go down the science path.

    Regarding your last question, I don't know where you got your information, but of course you can pursue the other subject after completing the first! You will probably not be able to obtain a student loan the second time around, but you will still be able to take the course (and fund it yourself), assuming you've met the entrance requirements.
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    (Original post by Rachelmcl13)
    Im actually not an oxford student, I'm still in high school haha I just thought I'd answer your question because I'm in interested in science too

    Oopsie, rookie mistake... maybe... probably not! :eek:

    It was still helpful though!
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    I'm not sure I can say anything to get you past this decision - you ultimately may have to pick one and go for it. However, I have two things to say that might help you:

    -There are courses like 'combined honours' at Exeter and Durham, or 'Arts & Sciences' at (I think) UCL. These allow you to mix your choices together and do a bit of everything, maybe specialising in later years.

    -Academic interest is enough. You don't need relevant work experience or extra-curricular activities relevant to your subject (at least not for History or pure Science degrees). All you need is the right grades and evidence that you have an interest in your subject. It's not so much extra-curriculars that can help you, but 'super-curriculars'. You already seem to be doing these things, like reading History and Science books. Spend your personal statement making some intelligent observations about one or two things you've read, and it'll be stronger than 95% of people's personal statements. Don't just list things - you want to show breadth and depth, not just one (or if you do show just one, make it depth). Don't completely ignore any extra-curriculars (course relevant or not), but they shouldn't make up the bulk of your statement, regardless of where you're applying.
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    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    I'm not sure I can say anything to get you past this decision - you ultimately may have to pick one and go for it. However, I have two things to say that might help you:

    -There are courses like 'combined honours' at Exeter and Durham, or 'Arts & Sciences' at (I think) UCL. These allow you to mix your choices together and do a bit of everything, maybe specialising in later years.

    -Academic interest is enough. You don't need relevant work experience or extra-curricular activities relevant to your subject (at least not for History or pure Science degrees). All you need is the right grades and evidence that you have an interest in your subject. It's not so much extra-curriculars that can help you, but 'super-curriculars'. You already seem to be doing these things, like reading History and Science books. Spend your personal statement making some intelligent observations about one or two things you've read, and it'll be stronger than 95% of people's personal statements. Don't just list things - you want to show breadth and depth, not just one (or if you do show just one, make it depth). Don't completely ignore any extra-curriculars (course relevant or not), but they shouldn't make up the bulk of your statement, regardless of where you're applying.
    Thank you very much, both points were very helpful indeed! I will make note of what to do for a personal statement as your advice seems very effective. Thanks again!
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    (Original post by Riivus)
    You have a passion for both. Not only does your dad not want you to do one of them, but it's also hard to get work-experience, or to envisage a career in the field. On the other hand, your mum already works in the field of your other passion, you are able to obtain work experience, and there are very real career paths you can take in the field. On top of this, you also love it, just as you love the other one. It's a no-brainer to me. You should go down the science path.

    Regarding your last question, I don't know where you got your information, but of course you can pursue the other subject after completing the first! You will probably not be able to obtain a student loan the second time around, but you will still be able to take the course (and fund it yourself), assuming you've met the entrance requirements.

    I've never really thought about it like that, thank you, you've really opened my eyes!!

    I will definitely take all of this under consideration, this really has taken a weight off my shoulders!
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    (Original post by mosshawk)
    Are you planning to apply to/attend Glasgow Uni?

    If you are, the choice between history and science is by no means preclusive; the first two years are spent studying a variety of subjects. I don't know how well the two mix, particularly as they are in different colleges, but you might be able to study a combination of them for at least the first two years.

    Whichever universities you're considering, the best thing you can do is look at what they offer and if you can combine the subjects.

    As for NEVER studying something else: you can ALWAYS study something else. If you decide, once you've finished your science degree, you'd like to study history, there's nothing to stop you. The only thing to remember is that tuition loans (if tuition fees apply to you) are only applicable for your first BA/BSc. You would have to pay for any subsequent Bachelor's degree.


    Okay, thank you very much as I didn't know about that! This has really helped, thanks again!
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    (Original post by Kelytha)
    As far as I can recall there's a TSR user who is going to do a joint honours in biological sciences and history. So, theoretically you could do both if you can find a uni you like that offers them both as a joint honours.

    Interestingly your interests in science 'who are we' 'where do we come from' sound more anthropological than anything! Have you thought of doing anthropology instead? There are many approaches, biological, social, forensic etc!

    My advice is to Persue extra curriculars in history as well as biology, it looks like you've got biology sorted already but perhaps do something history orientated. Maybe help a history teacher once a week in one of their classes, I used to do that in sixth form. You could always subscribe to a history journal as well!


    Posted from TSR Mobile

    Well, you see, Biological Anthropology was my first 'love affair' about a year and half ago when I really buckled down and started considering career paths!
    Thank you very much, this was very helpful indeed!
    I may go and subscribe to one right now, if you don't mind! ... and talk to teachers when I go back in September

    Thanks again!!
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    (Original post by DanMargetts)
    ...the biggest issue I face is some kind of work experience or extra-curricular activity involving History. I have no idea where to go or what to do so I an put it on my personal statement and 'wow' the University if I chose History, as I'm aware that just academic interest is not enough, right?...Lastly, another issue I face is that if I choose one subject, I will NEVER be able to do the other. Is that right? As I believe that it'd hurt a lot just because I have a burning passion for both. Thanks again!
    Hi, I'm reading History at Oxford - until next Tuesday!

    Your 'biggest issue' isn't an issue at all as far as History at Oxford is concerned. No extra-curricular activities will be expected and neither will they directly advantage your application. In fact, your Personal Statement won't 'wow' Oxford as far as History is concerned, because very little weight is placed upon it. However, most other unis may well put more emphasis on the PS, because they do not tend to have aptitude tests and interviews as part of the selection process.

    If you came up to Oxford to study a Science, there would be plenty of opportunities to pursue your love of History. For example, you could join the University's History Society.

    Prob'ly best to see how you feel in a year's time; the choice may have resolved itself by then in terms of your progress and interests.

    Good luck
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    (Original post by DanMargetts)
    Hello, first off, I'm a 16 year old boy in the Summer of going into Sixth Form to do my AS Levels (Biology, Chemistry, History and Government&Politics) - I've picked 2 Sciences and 2 Essay based subjects so as to meet the subject requirements for the eventual Uni course that I decide... whenever that might be!

    Anyway, I just cannot, for the life of me, decide which of the 2 to study at University (for Science, it'd more than likely be Molecular Biology or Biochemistry... something like that).

    Okay, for as long as I can remember, I've LOVED History, I used to read those Horrible Histories books when I was younger and watched the TV version. I also avidly read History books (e.g. Marr's A History Of The World), Political books like 1984 and Animal Farm and watch History documentaries. I also thoroughly enjoyed History at GCSE and have no doubt that I'll enjoy it at A Level! The only problem is that, well, firstly, my Dad doesn't really want me to study History at Uni, although he is interested in it as well, and the biggest issue I face is some kind of work experience or extra-curricular activity involving History. I have no idea where to go or what to do so I an put it on my personal statement and 'wow' the University if I chose History, as I'm aware that just academic interest is not enough, right?

    Now for Science. Once again, I have always been hugely interested and curious as to why things around us work, what makes them work and I often ponder the, still, unanswerable questions such as: what is life? Where did we come from? Who are we? I also often read Science books and watch Science documentaries on TV... because that is the only way to judge interest in a subject! This section of the question may not seem as interesting or as eye-catching, but honestly, I do LOVE Science too, I always have and I'm pretty sure I always will. As for my Sixth Form, because I have opted to do 1+ Science AS Levels, I am automatically enrolled into their Science Academy, which is where they take us out on trips to NHS hospitals, engineering conventions etc, lots of things like that where you can experience Science in industry. Also, work experience wise/extra-curricular, my Mom works at the local NHS hospital and so I could try and work/volunteer there in the Pathology section for a bit and gain some experience. As I imagine that would be very beneficial if I was applying to a Biology course at Uni, right?


    Thank you for sitting through this. This question has pervaded my mind incessantly over the last few months, if not the whole year really! I just think that the earlier I have an answer, the Better it'll be!

    Lastly, another issue I face is that if I choose one subject, I will NEVER be able to do the other. Is that right? As I believe that it'd hurt a lot just because I have a burning passion for both. Thanks again!

    This is a popular myth circulated by schools sadly. For an academic degree which doesn't lead to a particular job then academic interest is enough as this is what it is all about. Obviously if you have some kind of work experience you can talk about that would look nice but its not a requirement- do it out of interest not just for the sake of your PS. Places to consider for work experience would be a local musem or heritage centre, National Trust/English Heritage property- along those line.

    It is true that because History and Biology are so different you can't study them together (unlike History and Politics or Bio & Chem).

    Honestly my advice though would be don't panic yet, you haven't started A-Levels, wait until you see how you get on with the subjects at A-Level, they can be a step up from GCSE.
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    (Original post by DanMargetts)
    my AS Levels (Biology, Chemistry, History and Government&Politics)

    Anyway, I just cannot, for the life of me, decide which of the 2 to study at University

    Okay, for as long as I can remember, I've LOVED History, I used to read those Horrible Histories books when I was younger and watched the TV version. I also avidly read History books (e.g. Marr's A History Of The World), Political books like 1984 and Animal Farm and watch History documentaries. I also thoroughly enjoyed History at GCSE and have no doubt that I'll enjoy it at A Level! The only problem is that, well, firstly, my Dad doesn't really want me to study History at Uni, although he is interested in it as well, and the biggest issue I face is some kind of work experience or extra-curricular activity involving History. I have no idea where to go or what to do so I an put it on my personal statement and 'wow' the University if I chose History, as I'm aware that just academic interest is not enough, right?

    Now for Science. Once again, I have always been hugely interested and curious as to why things around us work, what makes them work and I often ponder the, still, unanswerable questions such as: what is life? Where did we come from? Who are we? I also often read Science books and watch Science documentaries on TV... because that is the only way to judge interest in a subject! This section of the question may not seem as interesting or as eye-catching, but honestly, I do LOVE Science too, I always have and I'm pretty sure I always will. As for my Sixth Form, because I have opted to do 1+ Science AS Levels, I am automatically enrolled into their Science Academy, which is where they take us out on trips to NHS hospitals, engineering conventions etc, lots of things like that where you can experience Science in industry. Also, work experience wise/extra-curricular, my Mom works at the local NHS hospital and so I could try and work/volunteer there in the Pathology section for a bit and gain some experience. As I imagine that would be very beneficial if I was applying to a Biology course at Uni, right?

    Lastly, another issue I face is that if I choose one subject, I will NEVER be able to do the other. Is that right? As I believe that it'd hurt a lot just because I have a burning passion for both. Thanks again!
    *All the stuff in bold is what I shall be giving you advice on*

    First of all, you are only 16 and you have 1 year before you need to decide on what subject you will be dropping and what uni course and where you need to be applying too. Now it's quite common that AS level students will plan to study English at uni because they liked it at GCSE. However they get to AS and absolutely hate it because they thought it was going to be the same at GCSE. You have no idea whether you will like Biology, Chemistry or History at A-level - you might read this and say "oh no, I will like it" but you just never know. I fell in love with the Sociology and read about it in my extra time. Picked it at AS... I dropped it after two weeks. It was the worst. A lot of GCSE students fall in love with the idea of their subject, instead of falling in love with their subject.

    Having said that, by your description you seem very enthusiastic to study History at A-level. All the things that you mentioned abotu Horrible Histories and etc you could put in your introductory paragraph in your PS. But, I believe many Admissions Tutors for History would have read that over and over again. Depending where you live, there could potentially be quite a few work experiences you could do. You could work in a school, shadow a History teacher and look at how they work with their subject with their students, you could go to museums and see if you could work there. But History work experience will be limited depending on where you live. You probably do love your dad, but at the end of the day, it is your life and you have to choose what YOU want to study. It is unfair to you to go to university and study something your dad has chosen for you. It will seriously affect your uni life and your life in general. It's one of those things where you have to confront your parent about and sit down with them and say this is what you want and it's your life. It's very cliche but it needs to be done. If you want to study something you have a passion to study for, then why should anyone get in the way of your own happiness? Do not use the emotional guilt-trip of "because he's my dad".. no, that just isn't right to feel emotionally blackmailed. Academic interest is not enough. When I was doing my English PS, I wrote about novels that I personally read because the synopsis was good. I also interlinked it with my Philosophy A-level. For example, at the time, we were learning about Conscience and Free-Will, so I linked that with Adam and Eve's choices in John Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost. I also wrote about why I would like to study certain things in Literature such as Sexuality and Victorian Literature.

    You can also do a science subject too. However, it really should depend on what you would like to do after uni. If you don't have a vague thought about what you'd like to do after, narrowing a degree becomes 10x harder. You shouldn't pick a science degree simply because finding work experience will be less harder than finding a History one. I know that an ex-friend of mine did Human Biology at uni... ending up working as a manger in Starbucks at an Airport.... I personally would hate to be in 30K debt just find myself in a job that has NOTHING to do with my degree. It's just a waste. As you get further into your studies, you will know the topics in Chem and Bio that you will like, enjoy and dislike and hate. So perhaps you will like botany or learning about the immune system and that would steer you into more of a direct approach to Biology. Who knows.

    Some students who do not know what they want to study right up until the point of having to apply, tend to apply for both subjects. They might apply for History and Biology so they tend to right their PS 50/50 on both subjects. However, I personally wouldn't do this because it could show unis you are not dedicated to one particular subject and you are indecisive. I mean History and Biology joint honours really won't work and I doubt a lot/any unis do this. However, it's not to make up for this but I do know some/a lot of History degrees do look at science/medicine in their modules so perhaps you could look into that? And who knows, in your 3rd year of History, you could be writing a Dissertation on the history of medicine. You never know to be honest.

    There's a lot of time to wait until there's any real pressure to decide on what you want to study at degree level. (A-levels are the worst btw)!
 
 
 
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