Medicine at top unis (Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial)

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mickel_w
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So I was wondering, do the majority of successful applicants for medicine at top universities do all 3 sciences at a-level? (by this i mean biology/chemistry/physics).

Is a candidate with 2 of the above 3 sciences and a maths A2 valued the same as an applicant with bio, chemistry and physics? Assuming the grades they achieve are equivalent?
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nexttime
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For Oxford, of all successful applicants 100% had chemistry (its a requirement), 100% had biology, 88% had maths and 29% physics.

20% of applicants were studying Chemistry AND Biology AND Physics AND Mathematics (compared to 22% of short-listed applicants and 23% of applicants offered places).

10% of applicants were studying Chemistry plus just one more science or maths subject. This compares with 5% of short-listed applicants and 5% of those offered places.

See this page. The answer will be that there is very little difference.
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human_13
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Well, no. Not all do, my friend only studies chemistry and human biology as a science, the rest are not scientific subjects (excluding maths too) and he has been accepted for medical school. If you meet their minimum,apply!

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Tplox
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(Original post by mickel_w)
So I was wondering, do the majority of successful applicants for medicine at top universities do all 3 sciences at a-level? (by this i mean biology/chemistry/physics).

Is a candidate with 2 of the above 3 sciences and a maths A2 valued the same as an applicant with bio, chemistry and physics? Assuming the grades they achieve are equivalent?
basically as long as you do biology and chemistry and 2 other respectable a levels you will be fine
so could be maths/physics/economics/history/geography etc
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Helenia
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Cambridge wants 3 sciences to AS level at least, and the vast majority of successful applicants (~98%, IIRC) will have at least three to A2. There was, however, no major difference in success rates between those having four sciences vs three, or in physics vs maths.
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mickel_w
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(Original post by nexttime)
For Oxford, of all successful applicants 100% had chemistry (its a requirement), 100% had biology, 88% had maths and 29% physics.

20% of applicants were studying Chemistry AND Biology AND Physics AND Mathematics (compared to 22% of short-listed applicants and 23% of applicants offered places).

10% of applicants were studying Chemistry plus just one more science or maths subject. This compares with 5% of short-listed applicants and 5% of those offered places.

See this page. The answer will be that there is very little difference.
damn.

so biology is necessary - the one science which I thought I could drop.
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Helenia
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(Original post by mickel_w)
damn.

so biology is necessary - the one science which I thought I could drop.
Not having Biology would restrict the number of medical schools you could apply to. Unless you really hate it, I'd keep going, as it does have some useful content too.

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nexttime
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(Original post by mickel_w)
damn.

so biology is necessary - the one science which I thought I could drop.
Its not necessary no, though not having it does limit your choices of medical school. The website cited above has a long narrative about biology which is worth reading, though remember that is only Oxford's view.

I think the TSR wiki is useful for looking up schools that do not need biology.
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Plasticity
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(Original post by mickel_w)
So I was wondering, do the majority of successful applicants for medicine at top universities do all 3 sciences at a-level? (by this i mean biology/chemistry/physics).

Is a candidate with 2 of the above 3 sciences and a maths A2 valued the same as an applicant with bio, chemistry and physics? Assuming the grades they achieve are equivalent?
Interesting that you dislike Biology, but want to study Medicine?

I admit that I prefer Chemistry over Biology (at A2 anyway), but I still very much enjoy studying Biology!

I would say studying 4 sciences doesn't help significantly, but its obviously the best combination to take if you're good at science
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mickel_w
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(Original post by Plasticity)
Interesting that you dislike Biology, but want to study Medicine?

I admit that I prefer Chemistry over Biology (at A2 anyway), but I still very much enjoy studying Biology!

I would say studying 4 sciences doesn't help significantly, but its obviously the best combination to take if you're good at science
I don't dislike it, I just prefer chemistry and physics. The big problem is that I'm not yet sure what I'd like to do at Uni, so I'm trying to keep my options open. The 2 careers which seem suitable to me as of right now (this changes all the time btw) are Medicine and Finance/Economics. I'm not sure what combination of A-levels to take in order to keep my options open for both of these pathways. This is why at the moment I'm considering taking 5 A-levels.
I will definitely take maths, chemistry, and if possible, physics. This is why I didn't want to do bio - so if I don't do 5 a-levels, I could still apply for either medicine or finance (I'd choose maths, chemistry, physics and economics). However now I see this isn't really feasible if I end up wanting to do medicine.
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Helenia
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(Original post by mickel_w)
I don't dislike it, I just prefer chemistry and physics. The big problem is that I'm not yet sure what I'd like to do at Uni, so I'm trying to keep my options open. The 2 careers which seem suitable to me as of right now (this changes all the time btw) are Medicine and Finance/Economics. I'm not sure what combination of A-levels to take in order to keep my options open for both of these pathways. This is why at the moment I'm considering taking 5 A-levels.
I will definitely take maths, chemistry, and if possible, physics. This is why I didn't want to do bio - so if I don't do 5 a-levels, I could still apply for either medicine or finance (I'd choose maths, chemistry, physics and economics). However now I see this isn't really feasible if I end up wanting to do medicine.
If you're not sure about medicine, have you got any work experience in it? It's important to be confident that it's the right career choice for you, rather than just picking it because it's hard/prestigious and you're good at sciences.
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mickel_w
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(Original post by Helenia)
If you're not sure about medicine, have you got any work experience in it? It's important to be confident that it's the right career choice for you, rather than just picking it because it's hard/prestigious and you're good at sciences.
Yeah I've got a week at a local hospital. That's the thing though, I'm only 16 and already the choices I make at A-level will, in one way or another, shape my future career. I just want to be able to keep other doors open, rather than putting all my eggs in one basket.
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Plasticity
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(Original post by mickel_w)
Yeah I've got a week at a local hospital. That's the thing though, I'm only 16 and already the choices I make at A-level will, in one way or another, shape my future career. I just want to be able to keep other doors open, rather than putting all my eggs in one basket.
I was pretty similar to you at 16, in that I was thinking between Finance and Medicine/ Science.

Work experience really decided for me; you have to ask whether this is something you would be able to do day in, day out.

It's smart keeping doors open, but you don't want to spread yourself too thin, and end up closing them all!
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