Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hey,

    I am having second thoughts over my A-Level choices. I was previously going to take Maths, Further Maths, History & Philosophy for A-Level but am now considering whether to take English Lit. instead of Philosophy. I want to study Maths & Philosophy at university (hopefully at Oxford) and thought Philosophy might help, but according to Oxford's website:

    There is no obvious advantage to having taken Philosophy A-Level beforehand, at least from the perspective of how likely you’d be to obtain an offer of a place. Those who have studied these subjects tend to know a little more about philosophy, but this is not something we test for or are all that interested in at the admissions stage. (Two reasons: it doesn’t much matter to us at this stage, and knowing about philosophy before you come doesn’t seem related very clearly to ability as a philosopher.) It seems to have conferred no obvious advantage on candidates, whether they have studied philosophy as part of AS/A2 ‘Philosophy’ or ‘Religious Studies’.

    There is no direct disadvantage of studying Philosophy A-Level. If it’s a disadvantage at all, it’s often because studying philosophy will usually be at the expense of studying something else, and the ‘something else’ might be a better preparation – might better develop the skills and aptitudes we are looking for. To give one example: studying English literature ought to involve a development of skills of careful reading of, and critical engagement with, texts, which we value, and it seems to do this to a higher degree than A level philosophy. So there can be an indirect disadvantage; by studying philosophy, there is less time for mathematics, history, languages, and so on, studies which may support an application for one of our degrees involving philosophy better, and may in fact be better indicators of success in studying philosophy at university.


    How seriously should I take this advice?
    I received my GCSE results last week and got 99.5% in English Lit. and I do enjoy the subject; nearly as much as Philosophy and so I don’t know whether it’s best to take English Lit. instead, especially as the course looks probably more challenging and I could probably learn more from it, and it is probably more respected and leaves more options open; and then I could just read up on Philosophy in my own time. So is it better for me to stick to taking Philosophy A-Level or instead do English Lit? Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I'm doing Maths, Further Maths, English Literature and Philosophy & Ethics. Applying for Maths & Philosophy this year. :coma:
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by backintime)
    How seriously should I take this advice?
    I received my GCSE results last week and got 99.5% in English Lit. and I do enjoy the subject; nearly as much as Philosophy and so I don’t know whether it’s best to take English Lit. instead, especially as the course looks probably more challenging and I could probably learn more from it, and it is probably more respected and leaves more options open; and then I could just read up on Philosophy in my own time. So is it better for me to stick to taking Philosophy A-Level or instead do English Lit? Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks.

    I think you've just answered your own question :rolleyes:
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I'd say, as those above have said, that you've probably answered your own question, and are coming down on the side that Literature may be a better option. You can, and should anyway, keep Philosophy as a 'hobby' for the next year or so, and spend your time doing some background reading. That way you get to explore the subject you're interested in without missing out on doing another subject. Alternatively, if you couldn't make your mind up you could take five... it works for some...
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by backintime)
    Hey,

    I am having second thoughts over my A-Level choices. I was previously going to take Maths, Further Maths, History & Philosophy for A-Level but am now considering whether to take English Lit. instead of Philosophy. I want to study Maths & Philosophy at university (hopefully at Oxford) and thought Philosophy might help, but according to Oxford's website:

    There is no obvious advantage to having taken Philosophy A-Level beforehand, at least from the perspective of how likely you’d be to obtain an offer of a place. Those who have studied these subjects tend to know a little more about philosophy, but this is not something we test for or are all that interested in at the admissions stage. (Two reasons: it doesn’t much matter to us at this stage, and knowing about philosophy before you come doesn’t seem related very clearly to ability as a philosopher.) It seems to have conferred no obvious advantage on candidates, whether they have studied philosophy as part of AS/A2 ‘Philosophy’ or ‘Religious Studies’.

    There is no direct disadvantage of studying Philosophy A-Level. If it’s a disadvantage at all, it’s often because studying philosophy will usually be at the expense of studying something else, and the ‘something else’ might be a better preparation – might better develop the skills and aptitudes we are looking for. To give one example: studying English literature ought to involve a development of skills of careful reading of, and critical engagement with, texts, which we value, and it seems to do this to a higher degree than A level philosophy. So there can be an indirect disadvantage; by studying philosophy, there is less time for mathematics, history, languages, and so on, studies which may support an application for one of our degrees involving philosophy better, and may in fact be better indicators of success in studying philosophy at university.


    How seriously should I take this advice?
    I received my GCSE results last week and got 99.5% in English Lit. and I do enjoy the subject; nearly as much as Philosophy and so I don’t know whether it’s best to take English Lit. instead, especially as the course looks probably more challenging and I could probably learn more from it, and it is probably more respected and leaves more options open; and then I could just read up on Philosophy in my own time. So is it better for me to stick to taking Philosophy A-Level or instead do English Lit? Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks.
    Having just finished my A Levels in Philosophy and English Lit, I would advise you to pick English Lit. Philosophy was good, but it is definitely the sort of subject which you could teach yourself at a basic level. Buy a decent A Level Philosophy text book, study it in your spare time, and do English at school. I found that English helped with Philosophy anyway and was a more interesting course, and you seem to be good at it. Good Luck
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hi guys,

    wondering if any of you are actually doing this course and could shed some light on the application process.

    This is actually my second time applying to oxford (i'm at imperial now, hoping to get out cuz the fees are through the roof), last time round I was applying math and computer science and made a mess of the admission test as well as the skype interview. Hopefully i'll do better trying something different (and feel more suited to).

    everything up to the interview seems pretty straight forward but what does the interview actually entail? is it gonna be pretty much the same as any of the other "standard" joint math degrees where they give you black and white math questions and you answer them? or are there more open ended discussions that i can look forward to?

    Thanks,

    Mike ~
    Math and Computer Science Imperial College
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    The interviews are not really black and white maths questions, its puzzles that they expect to challenge you, you will probably not have seen any of the questions they ask you before, and the interview is meant to recreate a kind of one on one lesson, so the interviewers can see how you think.

    Also, I beleive you'll have a separate interview with philosophy which will be much more open ended questions.

    FYI, Im not doing the course, but I did do the interview process.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    My cousin applied for this course, there was an incredibly hard Maths paper involved.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'd strongly recommend you finish Imperial, and apply to Oxford as an affiliated student. Math and Computer Science is a good course to do at Imperial, and the university has a high reputation, and you're sure to get the degree. Now, I'll assume you're finishing the first year, in which case you're going to do a second year at Imperial, and presumably intend to do a transfer through UCAS to the third year at Oxford, and as far as I know (as an Oxford student myself) this is pretty hard. If you get in, you're really not secure once you get in (i.e. you only get one or two attempts at the end-of-year exams, depending on the college, and between Imperial and Oxford, the Oxford end-of-year exams are really the hardest I've seen), and considering that by that time you'll only have one year left on your BA at Imperial, you might as well finish at Imperial. Applying as an affiliated student to Oxford means if you get in you'll be able to skip the first year and do the course in two years, which is a very good deal. Courtesy of the last government, you'll have to pay higher fees for the affiliated degree, since it is a second undergraduate degree.
    Either way, if you end up doing an interview, be aware that the material varies wildly from college to college.
  1. See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Poll
Has a teacher ever helped you cheat?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Write a reply...
    Reply
    Hide
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.