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    I have firmed an offer for law at UCL and up until recently, I was really sure that this was what I wanted to do.

    I've always really enjoyed science/maths subjects as well as essay based subjects but thought that a law degree would be a much better route to go down since I didn't really feel that any of the science type degrees were right for me. I took AS levels in Biology, Maths, French, Economics, English Literature, and History and got 6 As at AS level, although I didn't want to, my school advised me to drop two of these a levels for A2 year and since biology and maths are both less relevant to law than my other four subjects (I'm doing law with French law) I dropped those.

    However I'm now strongly considering taking a gap year and reapplying for Neuroscience. I stumbled on this course while looking for courses with my friend who is in the year below and after reading about it and looking at the modules offered by different universities I feel that it's something I'd love to do. I feel so passionately about it and I just don't feel this way about law anymore. Although I'm on target for 3 A*s and an A in my essay based a levels I just don't feel passionate about it anymore and really miss science and maths in my life. I've kind of realised that this is where I feel challenged and those are the subjects I get excited about.

    From researching neuroscience I've seen that I'd probably be in the best position if I had both chemistry and biology a levels and probably maths too.

    My question is - can I take a gap year, finish both of my maths and biology a levels, and do chemistry a level in one year? So I would be doing 1 whole a level and two normal A2s. I know that this will be difficult, but I got an A* in GCSE chemistry so I'm hoping I could handle it. Would this be possible or completely out of my reach? I would probably self teach chemistry but attend A2 lessons for biology and maths?

    Therefore this September, I would be applying for Neuroscience with (hopefully) A*A*A*A a levels already achieved and AAA predictions in chemistry biology and maths - with AA at as already achieved in maths and biology.

    Can anyone tell me if this is a good plan or completely ridiculous? Also would universities look badly on me for resisting the year to complete my science as levels? Please help if you can
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    Help!
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    I don't know much about doing courses in gap years etc but one of my best friends has applied for neuroscience and she does chemistry, biology and psychology a levels, with an AS in geography. She has offers from all the universities she applied to so you may not have to do a maths A2 level, if you already have an A in it at as (as well as four others - Wow!)

    If I were you I'd do your chemistry a level in one year and finish off your biology A2, which would only be two subjects so less work. But as you've already managed A's in 6 subjects in one year I'm sure you'll be fine!

    Maybe also check with universities whether they look unfavourably on students who've done a third year at sixth form, but I'm sure they wouldn't because its not like you've failed your second year, more of a change of heart.

    Also have you considered looking to see if there are any foundation years for people who haven't done the correct a levels for courses?



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    (Original post by Icedancer95)
    I don't know much about doing courses in gap years etc but one of my best friends has applied for neuroscience and she does chemistry, biology and psychology a levels, with an AS in geography. She has offers from all the universities she applied to so you may not have to do a maths A2 level, if you already have an A in it at as (as well as four others - Wow!)

    If I were you I'd do your chemistry a level in one year and finish off your biology A2, which would only be two subjects so less work. But as you've already managed A's in 6 subjects in one year I'm sure you'll be fine!

    Maybe also check with universities whether they look unfavourably on students who've done a third year at sixth form, but I'm sure they wouldn't because its not like you've failed your second year, more of a change of heart.

    Also have you considered looking to see if there are any foundation years for people who haven't done the correct a levels for courses?



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    I agree that its not 100% necessary to complete my maths AS level but maths has always come very naturally to me and I scored 90% ums in both of my AS exams with fairly minimal revision so I think it would be a waste not to complete it, especially as it seems valuable for a course like neuroscience, many universities state 'chemistry with/or biology/maths so its obviously respected when sorting through applications and as I don't have any other relevant a levels I think it would give me the best shot. Especially as I'm hoping to apply to Cambridge.

    I don't think that they do foundation courses for neuroscience, just medicine courses, but ill look into it!

    Thank you!
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    Chemistry a level is unbelievably harder than gcse. Also what are the grade requirements for the unis you want to apply to for neuroscience??


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    id say so
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    (Original post by 95pc1)
    Chemistry a level is unbelievably harder than gcse. Also what are the grade requirements for the unis you want to apply to for neuroscience??


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    Yeah I thought it definitely would be, I've done biology and that was a lot harder than GCSE but I really enjoy sciences so I think I could do it.

    I haven't finalised my decisions yet but I'm thinking

    Cambridge -A*AA
    UCL- AAA
    Bristol - AAB
    St Andrews - AAB
    and then it's between Manchester and Sussex (both AAB)
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    (Original post by madfish)
    id say so
    Do you think universities would be accepting of an extra year at school?
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    (Original post by Molly9)
    Do you think universities would be accepting of an extra year at school?
    I don't think they'd mind

    email admissions
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    (Original post by madfish)
    I don't think they'd mind

    email admissions
    Good idea - thanks
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    (Original post by Molly9)
    My question is - can I take a gap year, finish both of my maths and biology a levels, and do chemistry a level in one year? So I would be doing 1 whole a level and two normal A2s. I know that this will be difficult, but I got an A* in GCSE chemistry so I'm hoping I could handle it. Would this be possible or completely out of my reach? I would probably self teach chemistry but attend A2 lessons for biology and maths?
    Self-teaching Chemistry AS and A2 would be difficult, but possible if your school/college supported you with it. The practical component/coursework obviously needs teacher involvement.
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    (Original post by fluteflute)
    Self-teaching Chemistry AS and A2 would be difficult, but possible if your school/college supported you with it. The practical component/coursework obviously needs teacher involvement.
    My school would allow me to resit a year of sixth form where I would take A2 biology and maths a levels and AS and A2 chemistry, I would attend both classes and do both As/A2 exams in January and summer and teachers helping with the coursework, although with the change in exam structure I'm not sure where I stand with that!

    Chemistry is my main worry as having not done it for 2 years it would be very challenging, but I do like a challenge!

    Im just going to have to make sure universities would accept this third year and not see it as me being lacking compared to other applicants!
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    (Original post by Molly9)
    AS and A2 chemistry, I would attend both classes and do both As/A2 exams in January and summer and teachers helping with the coursework, although with the change in exam structure I'm not sure where I stand with that!

    Chemistry is my main worry as having not done it for 2 years it would be very challenging, but I do like a challenge!
    The exam structure change just means you'd just have an awful lot of exams in the Summer. So tough, but probably manageable.

    If you could do some serious learning of parts of AS Chemistry this Summer, that would presumably give you the background knowledge that would make your A2 Chemistry class make some sense. Achieving A/A* might be tricky because of the A2 needing AS to make complete sense, but would probably work out okay.

    (Original post by Molly9)
    Im just going to have to make sure universities would accept this third year and not see it as me being lacking compared to other applicants!
    I'm sure you'll be fine, but email if you're concerned.
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    (Original post by fluteflute)
    The exam structure change just means you'd just have an awful lot of exams in the Summer. So tough, but probably manageable.

    If you could do some serious learning of parts of AS Chemistry this Summer, that would presumably give you the background knowledge that would make your A2 Chemistry class make some sense. Achieving A/A* might be tricky because of the A2 needing AS to make complete sense, but would probably work out okay.
    .
    It looks like ill be doing 3 maths A2 exams, 2 biology A2 exams and then 2 chemistry exams in summer 2014, but I know people with 7 exams this summer so I'm not too worried about the volume, more about learning and retaining the information for both AS and A2 chemistry,however hopefully I should be able to get the coursework up to a good grade before the exams.

    Thank you for the advice I really appreciate it
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    (Original post by Molly9)
    It looks like ill be doing 3 maths A2 exams, 2 biology A2 exams and then 2 chemistry exams in summer 2014, but I know people with 7 exams this summer so I'm not too worried about the volume, more about learning and retaining the information for both AS and A2 chemistry,however hopefully I should be able to get the coursework up to a good grade before the exams.

    Thank you for the advice I really appreciate it
    Probably four Chemistry exams (two AS and two A2).

    One thing you could try for learning/retaining lots of information is Anki.
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    (Original post by fluteflute)
    Probably four Chemistry exams (two AS and two A2).

    One thing you could try for learning/retaining lots of information is Anki.
    Oh dear, I was under the impression the coursework would be 50% it's going to be a tough year!

    Thank you!
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    (Original post by fluteflute)
    Self-teaching Chemistry AS and A2 would be difficult, but possible if your school/college supported you with it. The practical component/coursework obviously needs teacher involvement.
    itd be easy

    stop giving him a false idea
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    Heya. Just to give you another opinion, a friend of mine did a Biology A-level in a year plus an extra AS in English to get into Cambridge (she didn't, but she did do well in her exams, getting an A in English and got a B in Biology as a not very science-orientated student). As to universities thinking badly about you doing an extra year, I am almost certain they won't care at all, they are only against people resitting exams, which you would not be doing and could prove on your application. It would be worth asking the admissions tutors of the courses you are interested in though, to double check.

    I personally took Chemistry A-Level (albeit six years ago now!) and think it is easily do-able in a year, and that if you do struggle a decent tutor will help you get to grips with it. It is mostly about understanding it, other than the organic chemistry which is more about learning by rote. With your grades, it sounds to me like you would get on absolutely fine. I say go for it!
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    Also, I can attest to the importance of doing a subject you are passionate about. I studied Medicine for four years at Imperial College and although I loved it, I really missed having the chance to do arts-based stuff so in the end changed to studying English Literature! I think with law you can get involved in scientific stuff e.g. my friend is an intellectual property law barrister and a Physics graduate, and he works on all kinds of stuff such as learning about the aerodynamics of Formula One cars. However, it is obviously secondary to the actual law stuff!

    Before you have started the course, it is easy to change. Once you are accruing a massive debt, everyone tells you to just finish your course and stop whinging about not enjoying it, it's not fun. Follow your heart I say!
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    (Original post by Louise1787)
    Heya. Just to give you another opinion, a friend of mine did a Biology A-level in a year plus an extra AS in English to get into Cambridge (she didn't, but she did do well in her exams, getting an A in English and got a B in Biology as a not very science-orientated student). As to universities thinking badly about you doing an extra year, I am almost certain they won't care at all, they are only against people resitting exams, which you would not be doing and could prove on your application. It would be worth asking the admissions tutors of the courses you are interested in though, to double check.

    I personally took Chemistry A-Level (albeit six years ago now!) and think it is easily do-able in a year, and that if you do struggle a decent tutor will help you get to grips with it. It is mostly about understanding it, other than the organic chemistry which is more about learning by rote. With your grades, it sounds to me like you would get on absolutely fine. I say go for it!
    Thanks this is really encouraging, why didn't she get into Cambridge in the end? I would probably be aiming for A*s I'm biology and maths as I got high ums at AS but would be happy with an A in chemistry especially since I'd be doing it in one year. I've emailed some of the universities I'd like to apply to and so far had a response from Bristol who said they would not look at me any differently to other students and would take my entire academic profile into account (so the extra a levels might actually help)

    (Original post by Louise1787)
    Also, I can attest to the importance of doing a subject you are passionate about. I studied Medicine for four years at Imperial College and although I loved it, I really missed having the chance to do arts-based stuff so in the end changed to studying English Literature! I think with law you can get involved in scientific stuff e.g. my friend is an intellectual property law barrister and a Physics graduate, and he works on all kinds of stuff such as learning about the aerodynamics of Formula One cars. However, it is obviously secondary to the actual law stuff!

    Before you have started the course, it is easy to change. Once you are accruing a massive debt, everyone tells you to just finish your course and stop whinging about not enjoying it, it's not fun. Follow your heart I say!
    Exactly! I've worked really hard all through a levels and have got work experience in law etc so my parents think I'm really throwing everything away and delaying my life a year, but as I've explained to them, a year of my life is nothing if it means I do a degree that I'm really passionate about and will get a good 2:1/first in rather than slave away at something I hate and not do as well. I haven't really looked much into the possible careers of neuroscience but my sixth form head has said that's its pretty diverse, so that's fine with me!
 
 
 
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