Computer science/maths/physics degree A-levels? Watch

orporman
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Helloo
I'm not at the stage of choosing a degree yet - not even close - but I was wondering what would be the best A-level combination for computer science, maths, and physics. I know maths, further maths and physics (my favourite subjects by far ) but what would the fourth be? (My school doesn't offer computing/comp sci to GCSE let alone A-level. We just did horrendous BITE - Business IT Enterprise - lessons until GCSE's where we can choose to drop it.)
Thanks
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alow
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Chemistry? Electronics maybe.
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k4l397
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Yeah my school didn't offer Computing or CompSci... they offer ICT (ie biggest load of cr** ever - at least if you are interested in computer science). I'm doing Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry. As long as you have Maths, Further Maths and Physics you'll be fine, choose whatever you like as a 4th. If you want something more relevant choose a science (like chemistry), or if you don't really enjoy the other sciences (and I wouldn't blame you if you did, especially biology :P) any subject will do. I know top uni's like Cambridge look at your 3 most relevant for science subjects like maths, physics and compsci so your 4th doesn't matter too much (as long as it's not critical thinking or something since a lot of uni's don't even look at it).

I went to one of the Cambridge physics master-classes over the weekend and some of the things they mentioned were: Biology is a branch of chemistry, and chemistry is a branch of physics (which is why physics is the best science ). Also Mathematics is the language of physics so you definitely can't go wrong with the choices you've already picked.

Hope this helps
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Oxford Computer Science Dept
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(Original post by orporman)
Helloo
I'm not at the stage of choosing a degree yet - not even close - but I was wondering what would be the best A-level combination for computer science, maths, and physics. I know maths, further maths and physics (my favourite subjects by far ) but what would the fourth be? (My school doesn't offer computing/comp sci to GCSE let alone A-level. We just did horrendous BITE - Business IT Enterprise - lessons until GCSE's where we can choose to drop it.)
Thanks
Hi
This is an Oxford answer, but we're not too different from other top Unis, so hopefully it will be useful to you.

Our standard conditional offer, for our CompSci degree is: A*AA with at least an A in Maths. The A* has to be in either Maths, Further Maths, Physics or Computing. (Note the order is significant.)

Computer Science is a mathematical subject, especially in the way we approach it at Oxford. So for us maths is essential and we strongly recommend Further Maths as the best preparation for our courses. We also suggest a science subject such as Physics. So you've got that down nicely. It's perfectly possible to apply to us without having formerly studied computing at school. We're looking for people with a genuine interest in the subject: but there's lots of ways of developing that interest outside of the classroom.

We normally only make offers based on three A levels. We notice if candidates have done more but they don't (normally) form a part of any offer we make. So, if you do decide to pick up a fourth A Level (and assuming it's not going to adversely affect your achievements in the most important ones) I'd recommend picking something you'll think you'd enjoy doing.

If you're still deciding what to do at Uni you might consider coming along to our Lesser-Spotted Sciences day. We've not confirmed the date yet - probably September - but details about last year's event are given here: http://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/ugadmissions/...d_Sciences_Day (We're likely to open it up to year 11s this year too.) Similar to our annual Further Maths - What Next? day, it's a chance to find out more about mathematical/science subjects at undergraduate level: especially those not commonly found on the school curriculum.

Hope that helps.
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somegirlcalledea
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I was also thinking of doing computer science at uni (ideally Oxford). I chose my a-levels as maths, further maths, computing and geography (as well as opting for extended project and critical thinking although these dont really count). I chose not to go with physics as my school has a relatively bad physics department. Do I need to change my options to include a science? I was told by my teacher that geography is a good aid to computer science, and has a small basis of science behind it, as well as computer science now being reconised as a science alongside the 'traditional' science subjects (I dont know if this is true for a-level but it counts in the EBac as a science). Is this true?

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Oxford Computer Science Dept
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(Original post by somegirlcalledea)
I was also thinking of doing computer science at uni (ideally Oxford). I chose my a-levels as maths, further maths, computing and geography (as well as opting for extended project and critical thinking although these dont really count). I chose not to go with physics as my school has a relatively bad physics department. Do I need to change my options to include a science? I was told by my teacher that geography is a good aid to computer science, and has a small basis of science behind it, as well as computer science now being reconised as a science alongside the 'traditional' science subjects (I dont know if this is true for a-level but it counts in the EBac as a science). Is this true?
Hi. Delighted to hear you're thinking of applying.

Not having Physics wouldn't be an issue for us. For us it's Maths that's essential and Further Maths that is strongly recommended. You've got those two - that's the important thing.

We want you to have had time to develop your mathematical thinking. Physics is recommended (note suggested; not required) because of it's maths focus; rather than you specifically needing knowledge of its content. If you think it's not the subject for you - and it might jeopardize you getting the A*AA - then you might well do better picking something other than Physics.

As I mentioned above our standard conditional offer is A*AA with at least an A in Maths. THe A* has to be in either Maths, Further Maths, Physics or Computing. So with the combination of A Levels you mention it's perfectly possible to meet that offer. (Note: we only normally make offers on 3 A Levels, although we notice if you've done more. AAAA wouldn't be seen as equivalent to A*AA.)

It's not unusual for us to see successful candidates who've done something like a foreign language or history or music alongside the more Mathsy ones. We don't often see Geography but we certainly wouldn't have a problem with it.

It's important that you enjoy the subjects you take and that you think you'll do well in them. We wouldn't have a problem with the subject selection you've chosen: if it's what you want to do, great, go for it.

Hope that helps.
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somegirlcalledea
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(Original post by Oxford Computer Science Dept)
Hi. Delighted to hear you're thinking of applying.

Not having Physics wouldn't be an issue for us. For us it's Maths that's essential and Further Maths that is strongly recommended. You've got those two - that's the important thing.

We want you to have had time to develop your mathematical thinking. Physics is recommended (note suggested; not required) because of it's maths focus; rather than you specifically needing knowledge of its content. If you think it's not the subject for you - and it might jeopardize you getting the A*AA - then you might well do better picking something other than Physics.

As I mentioned above our standard conditional offer is A*AA with at least an A in Maths. THe A* has to be in either Maths, Further Maths, Physics or Computing. So with the combination of A Levels you mention it's perfectly possible to meet that offer. (Note: we only normally make offers on 3 A Levels, although we notice if you've done more. AAAA wouldn't be seen as equivalent to A*AA.)

It's not unusual for us to see successful candidates who've done something like a foreign language or history or music alongside the more Mathsy ones. We don't often see Geography but we certainly wouldn't have a problem with it.

It's important that you enjoy the subjects you take and that you think you'll do well in them. We wouldn't have a problem with the subject selection you've chosen: if it's what you want to do, great, go for it.

Hope that helps.
Thank you!

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Anonymous #1
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Hi, I just started my a level and I chose Maths, Computer Science, Physics and Btech Engineering.
I am planning to apply uni and study computer science along with engineering.
I just want to know if the choice I made are good are not.
Also does uni look at the gcse result ?
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k4l397
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi, I just started my a level and I chose Maths, Computer Science, Physics and Btech Engineering.
I am planning to apply uni and study computer science along with engineering.
I just want to know if the choice I made are good are not.
Also does uni look at the gcse result ?
Sound okay to me, key thing though will be Maths/Physics for both engineering and computer science. Uni's never used to really look at GCSE's much idk if that's changed since they restructured A levels, can't imagine it'll make a huge impact to the application though.
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Anonymous #1
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Thank you
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by k4l397)
Sound okay to me, key thing though will be Maths/Physics for both engineering and computer science. Uni's never used to really look at GCSE's much idk if that's changed since they restructured A levels, can't imagine it'll make a huge impact to the application though.
Thank you
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