GCSE Latin or GCSE Computer Science?

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karspider
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Madla Spadla
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(Original post by karspider)
In yr 9, I am top of the year in Latin, NC level EP (above 8a), pretty much guaranteed A*. But I am not sure how useful it is compared to Computer Science which I am also quite good at (but not as good as Latin) and tbh I am more interested in computer science but the teachers in that department don't give a bumlick about you.

also, would i actually need gcse computer science to take computer science in uni?
Take what you like more. If
you can´t decide which, just think about them and choose the more useful one.

If I were you and wanted to study comp. science at uni, I would probably choose it - it can be a good start to know the basics
Good luck with picking one of them
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by karspider)
In yr 9, I am top of the year in Latin, NC level EP (above 8a), pretty much guaranteed A*. But I am not sure how useful it is compared to Computer Science which I am also quite good at (but not as good as Latin) and tbh I am more interested in computer science but the teachers in that department don't give a bumlick about you.

also, would i actually need gcse computer science to take computer science in uni?
Firstly, you're not "pretty much guaranteed A*". There are plenty of students who are great in Year 9 and completely fail in Year 11.

I'd say Latin is probably more useful than Computer Science. Latin has a lot of applications in linguistics and science. The Computer Science GCSE is pretty basic and it's the kind of thing you'd learn in a couple of weeks later on in life if you needed it for your job.

However, it really depends on you. You're going to be studying the subject for 2 years, so choose the one you like the most.

And no, you don't need GCSE Computer Science (or A Level Computer Science). Mathematics is by far the most important subject if you want to get into CompSci.
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Bobjim12
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most unis don't ask for previous experience in comp. science, but yeah it can easily be self-taught (looking at the syllabus). Latin maybe, but don't underestimate doing a language. it is a lot harder in ks4 than ks3.
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the-black-lotus
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You don't need gcse computer science to do it at university, personally I enjoy gcse latin so I'd recommend it

Really you should just do which ever one you prefer, the main thing is getting a good grade and that's going to be easier/more fun if you like the subject
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wc01
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Since you want to do computer science at uni gcse computer science might help you but probably isn't essential

You've got really good grades in Latin and Latin is a language
Since you said that your pretty much guaranteed to get A* you should probably take Latin
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Look - either way, what you do at GCSE doesn't REALLY matter - AS LONG AS IT DOESN'T CLOSE DOORS.
At my school, for A-level Computer Science, you don't have to take GCSE Computing.

Assuming you'll take OCR Latin (it's THE main board for it - WJEC also does it but they're a tiny exam board), I'll tell you what I think of it:

Language-wise, I find it really easy. I got 92% in my Language Paper 2 (Harder one) mock. Seeing as you think you're 'pretty much guaranteed A*' (no idea what National Curriculum levels are - independent schools FTW but you sound really talented at Latin).

There's also a literature aspect to the course: you study a prose (usually one long one and a very short one- we do Apuleius' sagae Thessalae (Witches of Thessaly) and Pliny's Regulus. sagae Thessalae is about a town where 'witches are always taking bites out of the faces of corpses' - it's so fun - though you probably won't study it: but you'll have similarly weird and wonderful set texts when you do it!
You also study a verse text- we do Virgil's Aeneid Book XII.
This is harder than the language in my opinion, because it's really regurgitation - learn the translations and learn the commentary, and you'll get high marks (I got 94% in the Verse Lit Paper in my mock, surprisingly).
If you're good at English and find you can argue points well, based on evidence, you'll do well.

I find GCSE Latin really fun to do, and once you finish learning the set texts (which is absolute hell at times, believe me!) you'll be doing timed translations and chanting 'bor, beris, bitur, bimur, bimini, buntur'!

If I were you, I'd do Latin and you'll have a great time, you'll find it easy (I hope) and you'll have loads of 'they were being carried'
Spoiler:
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​portabantur!


At uni, CompSci GCSE or A level isn't really important - an aptitude in maths is. Choose what you enjoy the most, because the paths remain open for you.
Good luck!
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shrn
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You might want to take an even bigger leap and perhaps look at universities when you choose your GCSE options, I kinda wished my teachers told me this. If you're sure you want to do CS then see the sort of subjects they want you to take in AS and decide from that which GCSE subject will be the best for you.

Some uni's don't count Latin as a subject, but if you really love the subject continue on with it. Grades shouldn't matter so much when you are choosing your gcse's, just choose it on purely what you love and is interested in.

As for computer science, if you know you are definitely going to go into this field with no regrets then take it. Besides if you really did like latin you wouldn't have thought about taking computer science at all in the first place.
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Lindissa
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(Original post by shrn)
Some uni's don't count Latin as a subject, but if you really love the subject continue on with it. Grades shouldn't matter so much when you are choosing your gcse's, just choose it on purely what you love and is interested in.
That's not true - Latin is seem as an academically rigorous subject which is does have a considerably larger workload than other subjects. That's why WJEC has split its GCSE equivalent into 2 standalone subjects of language and literature. It may not be seen as a MFL for universities that ask for a GCSE language like UCL but it is most definitely counted.

Besides, at GCSE universities look for the top grades, rather than for particular subjects. Latin is not difficult if you enjoy it, just like most subjects.
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Dabossi89
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DO LATIN GCSE!!!! Its sooooo helpful in the long run especially with Oxbridge, because if you get an A or A* it means your smart,
I dunno really but that's what my Latin teacher said,
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dasul
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All Beginnings of the Computer Science courses taught at uni start with extreme basics, if you've had some previous knowledge then you'll hit the ground running, but there's a mountain to learn so it's not really significant that you do have previous knowledge.
Two of the big boys for teaching Computer Science - Cambridge and Glasgow - they don't ask that you have previous computer science experience, they just ask for mathematics.

If you really really enjoy it then study and practice it in your own time; there are a few platforms to start coding in different languages and there is more than likely a syllabus on somewhere.
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Lindissa
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Additionally, learning Latin will teach you many of the skills you need for computer science, such as logic, structured thinking and attention to detail.
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Are you Shaw?
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I wouldn't take any advice above (really Latin more useful for a job than computer science) (really Latin gives you a good understanding of linguistics) (really Latin gives you an understanding of logic), i'd still vote Latin as I highly doubt you'll have the understanding of mathematics to do serious computer science at GCSE, and it won't matter regardless as undergrad cs courses cover this.
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YasmineCherfi
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Latin, latin, latin!
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shrn
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(Original post by Lindissa)
That's not true - Latin is seem as an academically rigorous subject which is does have a considerably larger workload than other subjects. That's why WJEC has split its GCSE equivalent into 2 standalone subjects of language and literature. It may not be seen as a MFL for universities that ask for a GCSE language like UCL but it is most definitely counted.

Besides, at GCSE universities look for the top grades, rather than for particular subjects. Latin is not difficult if you enjoy it, just like most subjects.
Yeah I agree and understand where you are coming from about the grades.
Well earlier this school year I started doing research on uni's for courses and what the requirements are.
From a few (this is minor) really don't count Latin as being a language option taken at GCSE's, but again its only a FEW uni's. Obviously if you got an A/A* in the subject its something to be proud of because all languages are hard to take in my opinion, not really a linguistic person.

So- I just wanted to highlight the fact that there are universities out there who don't count that as a language, similarly (as an example) if you grew up in a household that speaks french and its your first language taking that at GCSEs won't count as a language grade when applying simply because it was your first language.

But again taking a subject should be purely on what this person likes more and is more relevant to their future.
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Lindissa
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(Original post by shrn)
Yeah I agree and understand where you are coming from about the grades.
Well earlier this school year I started doing research on uni's for courses and what the requirements are.
From a few (this is minor) really don't count Latin as being a language option taken at GCSE's, but again its only a FEW uni's. Obviously if you got an A/A* in the subject its something to be proud of because all languages are hard to take in my opinion, not really a linguistic person.

So- I just wanted to highlight the fact that there are universities out there who don't count that as a language, similarly (as an example) if you grew up in a household that speaks french and its your first language taking that at GCSEs won't count as a language grade when applying simply because it was your first language.

But again taking a subject should be purely on what this person likes more and is more relevant to their future.
Agreed. Although, even though it is a language, Latin (and Greek) are very different to modern languages and require different skills. They are more similar to humanities subjects such as History. In GCSE French you might learn to order at a cafe or book train tickets in French - these are valuable skills but different to in Latin where you study literature. In my opinion Latin's status as a dead language makes it much more interesting because, and I quote Mary Beard, 'you don't have to learn to learn to order a pizza in it'. The few universities that requires languages are looking for MFL skills, which are totally different from the skills you gain from studying classical languages. Latin is in no way inferior to modern languages in the same way that choosing Computing over Latin isn't necessarily the 'easier' option.
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