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

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hi everyone. My problem is that I have always been interested in space, astronomy and physics as a whole. However, at A-level I did not take physics or maths! The reason being; I found them such a struggle at GCSE. I achieved a grade AA in Double-Award Science and a B in maths (I put all my effort into maths...).

    The A-levels I am taking at the minute:
    -Geology
    -Geography
    -Biology

    So as you can see I won't be getting onto a Physics degree course at University. However, I have come across courses that offer physics with a foundation year. Does anyone have any advice on these? Exactly how hard is the maths and science involved in physics?

    Alternatively, I have found this course at the University of Glamorgan. The course is Observational Astronomy, it has very little maths and physics. But how employable would I be? Is it a good degree? Or should I stick with geology, because I love geology and I get good marks with little revision (in mocks at least! - but I'm revising hard atm! :P)

    Below is the page for the course; Observational Astronomy at Glamorgan:
    http://courses.glam.ac.uk/courses/59...onal-astronomy

    Thanks for any help, much appreciated!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Anyone?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    ...
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Uniiverse)
    Hi everyone. My problem is that I have always been interested in space, astronomy and physics as a whole. However, at A-level I did not take physics or maths! The reason being; I found them such a struggle at GCSE. I achieved a grade AA in Double-Award Science and a B in maths (I put all my effort into maths...).

    The A-levels I am taking at the minute:
    -Geology
    -Geography
    -Biology

    So as you can see I won't be getting onto a Physics degree course at University. However, I have come across courses that offer physics with a foundation year. Does anyone have any advice on these? Exactly how hard is the maths and science involved in physics?

    Alternatively, I have found this course at the University of Glamorgan. The course is Observational Astronomy, it has very little maths and physics. But how employable would I be? Is it a good degree? Or should I stick with geology, because I love geology and I get good marks with little revision (in mocks at least! - but I'm revising hard atm! :P)

    Below is the page for the course; Observational Astronomy at Glamorgan:
    http://courses.glam.ac.uk/courses/59...onal-astronomy

    Thanks for any help, much appreciated!
    can't you switch your A-levels to maths/ physics?

    if you really want to do physics then drop out of college and take the required a-levels or go with the foundation year

    i'd advise against the course at glamorgan - physics degrees are so sought after because of the huge problem solving skills from all the maths and physics. if the course doesn't have that, i can't see it being that employable.

    are you sure you want to do physics? they're very maths heavy, and the fact that you got a B at gcse maths kinda makes me think you wouldn't be suited for it. have a look at a-level maths, see how it is. if you don't enjoy, i doubt you'll enjoy a physics degree tbh

    i'd say stick with geology
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hey,

    I think me and you are similar in terms of interests. I have a passion for physics and astronomy, but unlike yourself I actually did go on to do Physics for A level. I then went on to read Physics at UCL for one year before dropping out.

    I realised that although I had an interest in the field, studying it at university was much harder and you go very deep into the fundamentals. I then realised I had an interest in the field but studying it required more!

    I believe in the first year you will be taught the mathematics you will need to know to cope with the Physics degree, however, I strongly believe that without an A level in Maths you will find it hard to get up to speed even with that.

    Now the foundation degree you found may cover the level of mathematics you need to know, but that's for you to investigate.

    A degree in Physics (provided you get a 1st or 2.1 at least) is very powerful. Opens up trillions of doors to employment in scientific, engineering, consulting fields as well finance!


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by boner in jeans)
    can't you switch your A-levels to maths/ physics?

    if you really want to do physics then drop out of college and take the required a-levels or go with the foundation year

    i'd advise against the course at glamorgan - physics degrees are so sought after because of the huge problem solving skills from all the maths and physics. if the course doesn't have that, i can't see it being that employable.

    are you sure you want to do physics? they're very maths heavy, and the fact that you got a B at gcse maths kinda makes me think you wouldn't be suited for it. have a look at a-level maths, see how it is. if you don't enjoy, i doubt you'll enjoy a physics degree tbh

    i'd say stick with geology
    Thanks for the reply, this is the sort of reply I wanted. :P Why advise against Glamorgan course? And I was thinking I might not enjoy Physics due to the maths heaviness. I just like the whole theory parts, not the maths/working out parts :P.

    Thanks again.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    And yeah, physics degrees are very very very maths heavy.

    Observational astronomy may not be maths heavy, but I doubt there is much employment opportunities on that.


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Uniiverse)
    Thanks for the reply, this is the sort of reply I wanted. :P Why advise against Glamorgan course? And I was thinking I might not enjoy Physics due to the maths heaviness. I just like the whole theory parts, not the maths/working out parts :P.

    Thanks again.
    I mate the same mistake .

    Loved the theory parts. But at uni it's very detailed and maths heavy hence why I got bored.

    Having an interest in something and actually studying it are very different things.


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Physics at university is basically watered down maths, but its still kinda hard
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Brandon26)
    I mate the same mistake .

    Loved the theory parts. But at uni it's very detailed and maths heavy hence why I got bored.

    Having an interest in something and actually studying it are very different things.


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    I wish there was a degree in just the theory side of physics (without the maths!).

    May I ask, did you stay on at university? And if so, what are you now studying?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Uniiverse)
    Thanks for the reply, this is the sort of reply I wanted. :P Why advise against Glamorgan course? And I was thinking I might not enjoy Physics due to the maths heaviness. I just like the whole theory parts, not the maths/working out parts :P.

    Thanks again.
    (Original post by Uniiverse)
    I wish there was a degree in just the theory side of physics (without the maths!).

    May I ask, did you stay on at university? And if so, what are you now studying?
    physics and maths go very hand in hand at university

    afraid you can't have physics theory without maths especially the really weird, but cool, stuff. the maths is what makes physics beautiful don't you think? how elegant sets of equations can define the world we live in?

    and i'd advise against the course in glamorgan purely as it's not very maths based, so i doubt it would really test your problem solving skills, which is the very reason physics degrees are so sought after

    only advice i can give really is try a-level maths/ fm and see how you like it if you enjoy it, and think you can do well on it, feel free to go for physics, but if you don't think you have the ability/ interest/ motivation, avoid a physics degree and stick with geology
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Uniiverse)
    I wish there was a degree in just the theory side of physics (without the maths!).

    May I ask, did you stay on at university? And if so, what are you now studying?
    Yes I stayed on at university. I went onto to do Economics and Finance and graduated two years ago. Work for one of the Big 4 now .


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Uniiverse)
    I wish there was a degree in just the theory side of physics (without the maths!).

    May I ask, did you stay on at university? And if so, what are you now studying?
    Yes I stayed on but went on to study Economics and Finance. Now I work for a Big 4 .


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Uniiverse)
    I wish there was a degree in just the theory side of physics (without the maths!).

    May I ask, did you stay on at university? And if so, what are you now studying?
    That would be impossible and make no sense. Since theory is all mathematical
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Uniiverse)
    Hi everyone. My problem is that I have always been interested in space, astronomy and physics as a whole. However, at A-level I did not take physics or maths! The reason being; I found them such a struggle at GCSE. I achieved a grade AA in Double-Award Science and a B in maths (I put all my effort into maths...).

    The A-levels I am taking at the minute:
    -Geology
    -Geography
    -Biology

    So as you can see I won't be getting onto a Physics degree course at University. However, I have come across courses that offer physics with a foundation year. Does anyone have any advice on these? Exactly how hard is the maths and science involved in physics?

    Alternatively, I have found this course at the University of Glamorgan. The course is Observational Astronomy, it has very little maths and physics. But how employable would I be? Is it a good degree? Or should I stick with geology, because I love geology and I get good marks with little revision (in mocks at least! - but I'm revising hard atm! :P)

    Below is the page for the course; Observational Astronomy at Glamorgan:
    http://courses.glam.ac.uk/courses/59...onal-astronomy

    Thanks for any help, much appreciated!
    I'd just reiterate what everyone else has said really; physics at uni is very maths heavy; well beyond the standard of A level. While conceptual stuff is involved, degree content is very heavily based on expressing that mathematically, so if you don't like maths then it might not be for you. If you just find it hard then I wouldn't rule it out; maths ability comes purely down to practise, but be prepared to put a lot of effort in, and sacrifice a lot of time.

    You would obviously have to go down the route of a foundation course, which isn't a bad thing; basically what they do is get you up to the standard of maths and physics for first year. I believe that the content of A level maths, physics and further maths are basically covered, although there may be some topics that aren't covered to tailor it for the physics in the degree itself.

    If you were interested in space/astronomy, then it would be worth looking around for astrophysics courses, and more specifically at unis that have astro departments specialising in the observational side of things. The majority of content will still be core physics in the first couple of years at least, and be very maths heavy throughout, but those kinds of places may offer more modules in 3rd/4th year that are more observation based, and a bit less maths heavy.

    I would avoid the Glamorgan course though, as it doesn't seem to offer what a standard physics/astrophysics degree would in the problem solving and analytic skills, as well as the mathematical ability developed, which are the reasons employers like physics graduates. Looking at the unistats page for the course ( http://unistats.direct.gov.uk/Subjec...eturnTo/Search ), the employment numbers look alright, but it just seems to be different to most physics degrees as well; heavily coursework assessed, not many in further study (which suggests that it's not enough for a physics PhD), not many in a professional job, average graduate salary is quite low etc...Looking at the jobs graduates go onto as well, 20% go into 'sales assistants and retail cashiers', which to me suggests that they can't find a job. I don't think it's accredited by the IOP either. It looks to me like a degree in astro labs basically, which is a small part of an astrophysics degree, and ultimately useless without the fundamental physics knowledge to make anything of it. It looks like an interesting degree, but not one you could really do much with; communication based jobs with an astronomy twist are probably the best you could hope for, but then the astrophysics graduate who's written in the Student paper would probably be a better candidate.

    It's hard to say what's best; if you hate maths then it probably isn't for you, but if you just find it hard then it might be worth it, you will have to tackle a lot of maths though, and core physics is a big part of astrophysics degrees. You could have a look for courses which offer more lab based astronomy, or conceptual modules (galaxy modules are often less maths heavy, but I do one galaxy module which basically covers all the conceptual side of it, so any further modules would be more mathsy I imagine), but you'd still have to tackle a lot of maths. You'd need to go down the foundation year or gap year with study route though. You would be employable outside of physics as well, so you're not committing for life, but you need to enjoy it to do well.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by freeurmind)
    Physics at university is basically watered down maths, but its still kinda hard
    I would ignore this person though, because they're clearly clueless. A physics degree isn't a 'watered down' maths degree. The maths content is different; more applied, but not watered down.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by heyimbored)
    I'd just reiterate what everyone else has said really; physics at uni is very maths heavy; well beyond the standard of A level. While conceptual stuff is involved, degree content is very heavily based on expressing that mathematically, so if you don't like maths then it might not be for you. If you just find it hard then I wouldn't rule it out; maths ability comes purely down to practise, but be prepared to put a lot of effort in, and sacrifice a lot of time.

    You would obviously have to go down the route of a foundation course, which isn't a bad thing; basically what they do is get you up to the standard of maths and physics for first year. I believe that the content of A level maths, physics and further maths are basically covered, although there may be some topics that aren't covered to tailor it for the physics in the degree itself.

    If you were interested in space/astronomy, then it would be worth looking around for astrophysics courses, and more specifically at unis that have astro departments specialising in the observational side of things. The majority of content will still be core physics in the first couple of years at least, and be very maths heavy throughout, but those kinds of places may offer more modules in 3rd/4th year that are more observation based, and a bit less maths heavy.

    I would avoid the Glamorgan course though, as it doesn't seem to offer what a standard physics/astrophysics degree would in the problem solving and analytic skills, as well as the mathematical ability developed, which are the reasons employers like physics graduates. Looking at the unistats page for the course ( http://unistats.direct.gov.uk/Subjec...eturnTo/Search ), the employment numbers look alright, but it just seems to be different to most physics degrees as well; heavily coursework assessed, not many in further study (which suggests that it's not enough for a physics PhD), not many in a professional job, average graduate salary is quite low etc...Looking at the jobs graduates go onto as well, 20% go into 'sales assistants and retail cashiers', which to me suggests that they can't find a job. I don't think it's accredited by the IOP either. It looks to me like a degree in astro labs basically, which is a small part of an astrophysics degree, and ultimately useless without the fundamental physics knowledge to make anything of it. It looks like an interesting degree, but not one you could really do much with; communication based jobs with an astronomy twist are probably the best you could hope for, but then the astrophysics graduate who's written in the Student paper would probably be a better candidate.

    It's hard to say what's best; if you hate maths then it probably isn't for you, but if you just find it hard then it might be worth it, you will have to tackle a lot of maths though, and core physics is a big part of astrophysics degrees. You could have a look for courses which offer more lab based astronomy, or conceptual modules (galaxy modules are often less maths heavy, but I do one galaxy module which basically covers all the conceptual side of it, so any further modules would be more mathsy I imagine), but you'd still have to tackle a lot of maths. You'd need to go down the foundation year or gap year with study route though. You would be employable outside of physics as well, so you're not committing for life, but you need to enjoy it to do well.
    Thank you very much. This is the sort of answer I wanted! :P

    Thanks to everyone else too for all your help, its helped me rethink my options. Thanks :P
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by heyimbored)
    I would ignore this person though, because they're clearly clueless. A physics degree isn't a 'watered down' maths degree. The maths content is different; more applied, but not watered down.
    Ive done a masters and bachelors in physics so I pretty much know what i'm talking about. Physics is just an easy version of applied mathematics
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by freeurmind)
    Ive done a masters and bachelors in physics so I pretty much know what im talking about
    Physics uses mathematics to describe physical situations (in many cases). That's not 'watered down', it's a different subject entirely; closely linked but different, where maths is used among other things.

    By extension you're saying that maths is 'concentrated' (ie difficult) physics, which is again stupid. It's like if you had a cake, and a bag of flour; that flour isn't 'concentrated' cake, and the cake isn't watered down flour. The cake would be nothing without the flour, but it's not a watered down version of the same thing.

    I'm coming to the end of an undergrad masters in physics, so I also pretty much know what I'm talking about
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by heyimbored)
    Physics uses mathematics to describe physical situations (in many cases). That's not 'watered down', it's a different subject entirely; closely linked but different, where maths is used among other things.

    By extension you're saying that maths is 'concentrated' (ie difficult) physics, which is again stupid. It's like if you had a cake, and a bag of flour; that flour isn't 'concentrated' cake, and the cake isn't watered down flour. The cake would be nothing without the flour, but it's not a watered down version of the same thing.

    I'm coming to the end of an undergrad masters in physics, so I also pretty much know what I'm talking about
    LOL with real physics you are right, but degree level physics is pretty much an easy version of maths

    Compare cosmology, general relativity or quantum mechanics on a mathematics courses to that on a physics course
 
 
 
  • 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
    Will you be richer or poorer than your parents?
  • 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

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