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    It's all about supply and demand. What people want vs. what employers want means that you'll end up with interesting and appropriate degrees like...

    Engineering for Society (Sussex)
    Interdisciplinary Science (Leciester - http://www.le.ac.uk/i-science/)
    MORSE - Maths, Operational Research, Statistics, and Economics (Warwick and elsewhere)

    I think this is the way to go. After all Biology is basically Chemistry, which is basically Physics, which is basically Maths. All these displinary boundaries simply serve to limit students' horizons.
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    (Original post by Fluffy)
    I blame the state of our science teaching in schools. Combined science is a joke, and doesn't prepare you for A-Level.
    I'm not so sure, I did double award science (wanted to do law originally) and had no problems with my science A-Levels.
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    My school made the top set do triple award (I would have done anyway) but it wasn't really that exciting - basically a bit more organic chemistry, a few more equations in physics and something about yoghurt in Biology
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    (Original post by Wise One)
    ... After all Biology is basically Chemistry, which is basically Physics, which is basically Maths...
    As far as I know, biology, chemistry and physics are all empirical subjects (ie we're doing experiments and making observations) and use inductive logic to propose general theories. Maths, on the other hand, is more related to, say, philosophy, using only deductive logic.

    That said, mathematical knowledge indeed has wide applications within physics, chemistry and biology as well as within the social sciences.
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    My school made the top set do triple award (I would have done anyway) but it wasn't really that exciting - basically a bit more organic chemistry, a few more equations in physics and something about yoghurt in Biology
    There wasn't any such thing when I were a lass! It was either double award or singles. The crap schools tended to just offer the double award, while the better and private schools made their thickos do double and their more able students, single subjects.
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    My school made the top set do triple award (I would have done anyway) but it wasn't really that exciting - basically a bit more organic chemistry, a few more equations in physics and something about yoghurt in Biology
    Yeah, luckily I got to do triple science too, so I had no problems with my physics A' Level (although, to be quite frank, by the time I'd started A' Level I'd forgotten my GCSE's anyway).
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    (Original post by Wise One)
    It's all about supply and demand. What people want vs. what employers want means that you'll end up with interesting and appropriate degrees like...

    Engineering for Society (Sussex)
    Interdisciplinary Science (Leciester - http://www.le.ac.uk/i-science/)
    MORSE - Maths, Operational Research, Statistics, and Economics (Warwick and elsewhere)

    I think this is the way to go. After all Biology is basically Chemistry, which is basically Physics, which is basically Maths. All these displinary boundaries simply serve to limit students' horizons.
    There may be a good economic argument for such courses, and if they increase student numbers in science that has to be a good thing, but I would imagine they lack the in-depth study of a particular field that can lead to development of new theory. The UK needs more cutting-edge research scientists, as well as scientists in industry.
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    (Original post by Fluffy)
    There wasn't any such thing when I were a lass! It was either double award or singles. The crap schools tended to just offer the double award, while the better and private schools made their thickos do double and their more able students, single subjects.
    Well, I mean the same thing - I got separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, but essentially we just did the double award course plus some extra bits and bobs. They weren't very exciting though. And I know plenty of people in Medicine who did dual award
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    (Original post by edders)
    Perhaps they 'don't want to' because not enough is being done to make science an attractive option. If more emphasis was placed on career options after graduation, more young people would recognise the value of science/technical degrees.

    Maybe we're just not that good at it. I dod biology and failed with flying colours. Lets face it, less people are good at sciences than tehy are at other subjects
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    (Original post by Miles)
    I'm not so sure, I did double award science (wanted to do law originally) and had no problems with my science A-Levels.
    but you are a super spod
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    (Original post by Ben.S.)
    I see - you realised!
    'Unfortunately', if you enjoy science (any part) then you do actually need a basic (or better, in most cases) grounding in pretty much all of the concepts covered at GCSE in biology, physics, chemistry and maths (except maybe ecology...which can go to hell). Later on you'll find that the distinction between areas of science you traditionally thought of as separate becomes increasingly hazy - there aren't any boundaries in reality; everyone learns from each other in order to make progress.

    Ben
    Didnt know that presumed that there was a distinct boundary between each 3 modules but i didnt do any a-level science subjects although part of me now wishes i did physics instead of business studies.
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    (Original post by edders)
    There may be a good economic argument for such courses, and if they increase student numbers in science that has to be a good thing, but I would imagine they lack the in-depth study of a particular field that can lead to development of new theory. The UK needs more cutting-edge research scientists, as well as scientists in industry.
    Actually, if you look at the cutting-edge of science in the UK today, you'll find that most major developments are being made in the 'grey areas' - ergonomics, biochemstry, AI, materials technology, genetics etc.
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    I think people should stop whinging about how science should be made more accessible or interesting. It seems they're blaming the teachers and the teaching system for their own inability to understand the subject. If you understand science then you'll be interested in it and nothing can change that. It's just like if you read a book and it interests you, then the teacher who you discuss it with isn't going to change that interest.
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    But then I always found throuh my Bio A-level that when the teachers did practical demonstrations and made it interesting I was much more able to undertsand the subject mater than when were sat down and dictated too for an hour. Even if the Subject was something as boring as communication.
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    I don't think it's much of an issue. If supplies of scientists were as acute as to pose a danger to firms which rely on them, rising wages & benefits would soon attract more potential undergraduates. Firms themselves know best what workers are needed and will choose their wages and recruitment intensity accordingly. Fewer mathematicians, physicists and chemists may appear alarming at first but I suspect the proportion of such graduates entering fields in which vital research is being carried out is small and fairly stable in absolute terms. As such, I’d rather the government didn’t spend money on promotions which will be carried out anyway (if truly needed).
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    (Original post by astralcars)
    I don't think it's much of an issue. If supplies of scientists were as acute as to pose a danger to firms which rely on them, rising wages & benefits would soon attract more potential undergraduates. Firms themselves know best what workers are needed and will choose their wages and recruitment intensity accordingly. Fewer mathematicians, physicists and chemists may appear alarming at first but I suspect the proportion of such graduates entering fields in which vital research is being carried out is small and fairly stable in absolute terms. As such, I’d rather the government didn’t spend money on promotions which will be carried out anyway (if truly needed).
    I don't think your basic economic theory quite applies here as not everyone has the ability to become a top class physicist or chemist. Only a minority have the ability and if they are tempted into other fields with high wages then simply increasing salary isn't going to convince them to study physics/chemistry.
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    (Original post by edders)
    http://www.hesa.ac.uk/holisdocs/pubi...ubject0304.csv

    Looking at this table on the subjects modern students are studying, is anyone else worried that there are a mere 13,360 students (total) in physics, while other (argubaly less strategically important) subjects have much more. For instance, 'cinematics & photography' has 12,035 students, almost as many as physics; psychology has 64,480; American studies 4,430.

    I'm not thinking we should have fewer students in these subjects necessarily, but perhaps more in physics and science, maths, technology generally. Is Britain putting its future economic and scientific power in jeopardy?
    There are high demands for jobs aquired with qualifications in these 'less strategically important' subjects. Also, you can't blame people for wanting to enjoy learning can you?
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    People think that science courses are hellish. And yeah, lots of people have trouble doing sciences.. especuially when they realise in their a levels that they are no good at it. People try to think that you need to be really clever to get to these courses when they actually do not. I think its just that they have to strive harder to get the grades they want...

    as what my mates said, better to do business and make yourself rich. I believe science, if you do it, is usually because of passion
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    (Original post by nasht)
    People think that science courses are hellish. And yeah, lots of people have trouble doing sciences.. especuially when they realise in their a levels that they are no good at it. People try to think that you need to be really clever to get to these courses when they actually do not. I think its just that they have to strive harder to get the grades they want...

    as what my mates said, better to do business and make yourself rich. I believe science, if you do it, is usually because of passion
    Some, mainly Indian/Pakistani families force their children to take Science at A-Level as so they can become a doctor. I am choosing Science because I enjoy it, and it's required for my furture career aspirations.
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    (Original post by Gaz031)
    I don't think your basic economic theory quite applies here as not everyone has the ability to become a top class physicist or chemist. Only a minority have the ability and if they are tempted into other fields with high wages then simply increasing salary isn't going to convince them to study physics/chemistry....
    That not everyone can become an Einstein or Feynman is obvious, though not particularly relevant. If firms couldn’t function without ‘top class’ employees, there wouldn’t be many firms around at all. In the real world, average to good employees will suffice. In addition, your argument is inconsistent. You claim top class physicists would be attracted to other high paying careers, yet when a rival scientific firm increases its own wage, the potential employee wouldn’t bother making the switch. Of course offering more money normally works; that’s why we don’t see people on this forum asking how to be a bin man.

    You’ve put forward no concrete evidence as to why the current number of science graduates should be a worry, nor do you outline why firms themselves wouldn’t devote resources to recruiting potential staff in schools and universities if there is genuine need. Are pharmaceutical firms relying on chemistry graduates so poor/passive/short sighted as to sit back and go bust due to lack of staff? Isn’t the lack of active recruitment campaigns in academic institutions evidence that there isn’t a real problem at the moment?
 
 
 

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