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Taking science and maths at a level watch

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    If you did Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics at AS and A2 - do you have much choice in terms of courses at uni that are not science/maths based?

    For example if you took those subjects wanting to do medicine and then changed your mind and wanted to do something more arts/humanities based (eg english, history, philosophy) would you struggle to get places unless you undertook additional qualifications?

    I say this because I am slightly concerned that a friend is taking these subjects because they think they 'may as well' do medicine and seem to have no passion about medicine or indeed science and maths (but they are very good at all subjects). If they change their mind about it I'm worried their choices will be limited.

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    There'd still be room to switch. They'd have the disadvantage of having no practice with essay-based subjects, which most arts/humanities are, but that's something you can learn. These subjects are all considered very hard, so if they'd get good grades for them it would probably impress uni's. Better take a hard road which turns out to be unnecassary then do the easy thing and then regret it when you do want to do Medicine.
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    (Original post by helliethepinapple21)
    If you did Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics at AS and A2 - do you have much choice in terms of courses at uni that are not science/maths based?

    For example if you took those subjects wanting to do medicine and then changed your mind and wanted to do something more arts/humanities based (eg english, history, philosophy) would you struggle to get places unless you undertook additional qualifications?

    I say this because I am slightly concerned that a friend is taking these subjects because they think they 'may as well' do medicine and seem to have no passion about medicine or indeed science and maths (but they are very good at all subjects). If they change their mind about it I'm worried their choices will be limited.

    Thanks
    Well it's a balance that has to be struck. Obviously by picking A-levels like that you are pigeon holing yourself into the sciences side of the fence, and it would be difficult to make a successful application for an arts or humanities subject at a good university. Apart from anything else it would be very hard to demonstrate an interest in the subject if you have not studied it or any related discipline. However, if you spread yourself too wide with subject choices then you become jack of all trades, master of none and are less appealing to anyone. Medicine is an extremely competitive course and so "diluting" the A-levels to add more of an essay/humanities focus could actually harm an application here. It may be acceptable to do 1 out of 4 as an arts subject, perhaps dropping physics, or to do a 5th AS, but not really beyond this. Doing so would also limit their options with other science degrees.

    Basically, the time is rapidly approaching to decide where you're life is going, arts or science. To turn back from that is possible, but certainly not easy.
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    I did a range in my first year - maths, further maths, chemistry, philosophy and psychology. Half way through the year I decided I wanted to do genetics wasn't too much of a problem, and now I'm doing a third year of A-levels doing biology, physics and additional further maths, and got four offers off unis for genetics. There's always time to change course, and I've seen loads of courses that don't actually need the subject at A-level
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    (Original post by F1 fanatic)
    It may be acceptable to do 1 out of 4 as an arts subject, perhaps dropping physics, or to do a 5th AS, but not really beyond this.
    So for example dropping maths and taking a humanities subject like history instead would be acceptable?
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    (Original post by helliethepinapple21)
    So for example dropping maths and taking a humanities subject like history instead would be acceptable?
    depends on what your friend would consider in the science line if they were not doing medicine. Maths is an extremely useful A-level for virtually any science, including many of the biochemisty/biology type disciplines. Physics would be the one that is less directly relevant to life sciences if they wish to study something in this line, though lacking it would obviously hinder an application to a physical science. History is a very respected A-level so adding anything in this line would be fine, but only if its actually something they enjoy studying.
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    (Original post by F1 fanatic)
    depends on what your friend would consider in the science line if they were not doing medicine. .
    Sorry I think I have confused you! The question i wanted to ask at first was if they realise they don't want to do medicine - do they have many options in terms of subjects not in the science line. Because the reason I think they may change their mind about medicine is I don't see any real passion for medicine or the sciences - they don't seem to enjoy science a lot. I compare this to myself (medicine has been my ambition for a long time) and others i know who want to do medicine who are all really facinated by science and enjoy finding out how things work. I don't really see this in my friend.
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    (Original post by helliethepinapple21)
    Sorry I think I have confused you! The question i wanted to ask at first was if they realise they don't want to do medicine - do they have many options in terms of subjects not in the science line. Because the reason I think they may change their mind about medicine is I don't see any real passion for medicine or the sciences - they don't seem to enjoy science a lot. I compare this to myself (medicine has been my ambition for a long time) and others i know who want to do medicine who are all really facinated by science and enjoy finding out how things work. I don't really see this in my friend.
    Yes, but the problem is that a shift of that size is not straightforward in terms of A-levels, which comes back to my 1st post. It would be hard to apply for a pure humanities subject e.g. English and History with a strongly science based set of A-levels. At the same time, watering down those sciences too much is detrimental to a medicine application. Therefore, doing a science based degree that wasn't medicine would be an "easier" alternative.

    Ultimately, your friend has to make their own choices. Until you actually start A-levels it's hard to say what you will enjoy. Physics was my least favourite science before A-levels and now I have a degree in it. Things are very different in A-level and although a big swing isn't ideal, if need be it can be done.
 
 
 
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