UCL Modern Language Requirement and combined sciences question Watch

student101
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Hi hopefully someone can help, I have tried researching my question on the net and also here but can't really find the solution.

As I understand UCL will have a modern language requirement from 2012. My son has just started his GCSE'S and his school doesn't provide any modern languages. He is taking arabic. I have looked on the UCL prospectus and it does say that you can do some kind of modern language course alongside medicine if you didn't have the oppurtunity to study a modern language.

The question I have is - my son is taking 8 GCSE'S which is the maximum offered at his school. He is willing and capable to take on another 2 GCSE'S using a home study course in order to improve his chances for medical school in the future.

Should he choose a modern language GCSE as one of his choices? he would rather take Geography and something like psychology and I think learning a new language at home without a teacher will be difficult.

I know UCL give you certain ways around it but I feel that it would be viewed as a set-back and they would most likely favour someone with a modern language rather than without - if looking at 2 very similar candidates, both with good GCSE/AS/A level passes and good personal statement/work experience etc.

Another question is - his school provides science and additional science at GCSE, would it be worthwhile him taking say biology or chemistry as one of his extra GCSE'S? I know these subjects are studied in science/additional science but would combined sciences be looked on unfavourably? I'm confident he will do really well in his GCSE'S but I just want to help him maximise his chances so he is on a level footing as someone from a better school.

Any help or advice would be greatlly apprieciated.
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Silly Goose
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(Original post by student101)
Hi hopefully someone can help, I have tried researching my question on the net and also here but can't really find the solution.

As I understand UCL will have a modern language requirement from 2012. My son has just started his GCSE'S and his school doesn't provide any modern languages. He is taking arabic. I have looked on the UCL prospectus and it does say that you can do some kind of modern language course alongside medicine if you didn't have the oppurtunity to study a modern language.

The question I have is - my son is taking 8 GCSE'S which is the maximum offered at his school. He is willing and capable to take on another 2 GCSE'S using a home study course in order to improve his chances for medical school in the future.

Should he choose a modern language GCSE as one of his choices? he would rather take Geography and something like psychology and I think learning a new language at home without a teacher will be difficult.

I know UCL give you certain ways around it but I feel that it would be viewed as a set-back and they would most likely favour someone with a modern language rather than without - if looking at 2 very similar candidates, both with good GCSE/AS/A level passes and good personal statement/work experience etc.

Another question is - his school provides science and additional science at GCSE, would it be worthwhile him taking say biology or chemistry as one of his extra GCSE'S? I know these subjects are studied in science/additional science but would combined sciences be looked on unfavourably? I'm confident he will do really well in his GCSE'S but I just want to help him maximise his chances so he is on a level footing as someone from a better school.

Any help or advice would be greatlly apprieciated.
The best place to get an answer to these questions would be to email medical admissions at UCL: [email protected].

Though I would have thought, since so many countries use it as their official language, that Arabic would count as a modern foreign language.
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purplefrog
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(Original post by student101)
Hi hopefully someone can help, I have tried researching my question on the net and also here but can't really find the solution.

As I understand UCL will have a modern language requirement from 2012. My son has just started his GCSE'S and his school doesn't provide any modern languages. He is taking arabic. I have looked on the UCL prospectus and it does say that you can do some kind of modern language course alongside medicine if you didn't have the oppurtunity to study a modern language.

The question I have is - my son is taking 8 GCSE'S which is the maximum offered at his school. He is willing and capable to take on another 2 GCSE'S using a home study course in order to improve his chances for medical school in the future.

Should he choose a modern language GCSE as one of his choices? he would rather take Geography and something like psychology and I think learning a new language at home without a teacher will be difficult.

I know UCL give you certain ways around it but I feel that it would be viewed as a set-back and they would most likely favour someone with a modern language rather than without - if looking at 2 very similar candidates, both with good GCSE/AS/A level passes and good personal statement/work experience etc.

Another question is - his school provides science and additional science at GCSE, would it be worthwhile him taking say biology or chemistry as one of his extra GCSE'S? I know these subjects are studied in science/additional science but would combined sciences be looked on unfavourably? I'm confident he will do really well in his GCSE'S but I just want to help him maximise his chances so he is on a level footing as someone from a better school.

Any help or advice would be greatlly apprieciated.
As Silly Goose has said, your only definitive answer is to speak to Dr Aspinwall or Dr Cross via the mentioned email address. They will give a very prompt and consistent reply.

In terms of additional/core science vs. seperate sciences. It will not disadvantage your son in terms of an application to medical school at all to have double science. All medical schools recognise some schools only teach the double science course so they treat them as equivalent. The only slight difficulty your son may have is the transition from GCSE --> AS in biology and chemistry. I myself have core + additional science GCSE and have a UCL Medicine offer. So long as your son gets good grades in GCSE sciences and gets As and Bs in Bio/Chem at AS, he will be in good stead.

With the language requirement, as far as I understand it, if the school does not offer the course then UCL will be far more accommodating. Make sure you make this explicitly clear when you contact admissions that he was not even presented the opportunity to study a language. I doubt they would expect you to fork out and have your son study a language in his own time as that is really unfair on him.

Arabic GCSE should be fine. And all they want is a pass in a modern language (so being pedantic, an C should be fine :p: if not an E)

Though as said, your best bet is to explain and clarify your situation with the Deans and faculty tutors of medicine at [email protected]


Best of luck and hope it all goes well :-)
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student101
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Thank You both for your helpful advice. I have emailed UCL admissions and will update with their answer once they reply.
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