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What GCSEs to take to maximise chance of getting into uni to study engineering? watch

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    Hi. My son is interested in pursuing a career in engineering, though he's not sure which type yet. He's about to choose his options but we're wondering what combination would be best and thought you might be able to help.
    He will do English lang and lit, maths, chem, biol, physics and definitely wants to study computer science and electronics Which TWO of the following would he be best off choosing, bearing in mind he may yet come to change his mind about career...
    resistant materials GCSE, engineering BTEC, geography GCSE, French GCSE. We are also considering getting him a tutor for German or Spanish, so that he could potentially get a language qualification that way instead of at school. I have to admit he's not keen on languages but we're told a lot of unis like to see a language in the list of qualifications. Hope some of you can help.
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    Geography and French are looked upon better, doesn't really matter what other GCSE's apart from maths + 3 sciences if he's going for engineering. It all depends on what A-levels he does, best combo would probably be Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry applying to uni, although depends on what type of engineering.

    Don't push your son into learning a language he doesn't want to, he will know naturally whether he wants to continue with a language. They aren't for everybody.


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    (Original post by ali.maria.hd)
    Hi. My son is interested in pursuing a career in engineering, though he's not sure which type yet. He's about to choose his options but we're wondering what combination would be best and thought you might be able to help.
    He will do English lang and lit, maths, chem, biol, physics and definitely wants to study computer science and electronics Which TWO of the following would he be best off choosing, bearing in mind he may yet come to change his mind about career...
    resistant materials GCSE, engineering BTEC, geography GCSE, French GCSE. We are also considering getting him a tutor for German or Spanish, so that he could potentially get a language qualification that way instead of at school. I have to admit he's not keen on languages but we're told a lot of unis like to see a language in the list of qualifications. Hope some of you can help.
    As long as he's got Maths and Triple Science it really doesn't matter a great deal. I suppose RM GCSE would possibly be the most relevant (not sure if BTECs is the best route to go down if he wants to go to university) but it doesn't matter a great deal, he's got all the subjects he needs to do the A Levels he'll need for university entry. I'd suggest he goes with the option he thinks he'll enjoy the most (which will hopefully also be the one he's best at). Not many universities require a language - UCL sort of does but if you don't have one, you can do a language module in your first year. IMO it's not worth taking a language if he really hates it.
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    (Original post by TirnanF)
    Geography and French are looked upon better, doesn't really matter what other GCSE's apart from maths + 3 sciences if he's going for engineering. It all depends on what A-levels he does, best combo would probably be Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry applying to uni, although depends on what type of engineering.

    Don't push your son into learning a language he doesn't want to, he will know naturally whether he wants to continue with a language. They aren't for everybody.


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    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I think he'll be happy to take geography - we will just need to consider the last option! Cheers again.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    As long as he's got Maths and Triple Science it really doesn't matter a great deal. I suppose RM GCSE would possibly be the most relevant (not sure if BTECs is the best route to go down if he wants to go to university) but it doesn't matter a great deal, he's got all the subjects he needs to do the A Levels he'll need for university entry. I'd suggest he goes with the option he thinks he'll enjoy the most (which will hopefully also be the one he's best at). Not many universities require a language - UCL sort of does but if you don't have one, you can do a language module in your first year. IMO it's not worth taking a language if he really hates it.
    Cheers for the reply. We have been told he's better off with GCSEs than the btec, as you suggest. I think he'll probably go for geography and we'll have a think about the last.
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    (Original post by ali.maria.hd)
    Cheers for the reply. We have been told he's better off with GCSEs than the btec, as you suggest. I think he'll probably go for geography and we'll have a think about the last.
    I think BTECs are traditionally for the 'less academic'...however...

    I went from doing BTEC in Art to presenting publishable scientific research at an international visual perception conference in just six years time. It's more important what you do with your interests and qualifications, than which variants you pick. If your interest in a subject is strong enough, you can succeed down any route.
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    (Original post by Magdatrix >_<)
    I think BTECs are traditionally for the 'less academic'...however...

    I went from doing BTEC in Art to presenting publishable scientific research at an international visual perception conference in just six years time. It's more important what you do with your interests and qualifications, than which variants you pick. If your interest in a subject is strong enough, you can succeed down any route.
    Hello. Thanks for the input. You make good sense!
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    One BTEC at GCSE level is not going to hinder anyone's chances of getting into university. Doing a BTEC instead of a-levels may limit university/course choice a little bit (most universities will accept BTECs provided they are appropriate to the course and the right modules have been taken) , but at GCSE, it really won't make any difference.

    Most universities will be interested in grades rather than the specific option choices taken. His maths grade may well be important, as will his English grade. To avoid limiting university choice, he would need at least a B in English language (although this can be re-taken alongside A-levels). Overall, the better his GCSE grades are, the stronger his application will be, and some good universities for engineering, like Imperial, do place emphasis on having good GCSEs.

    Subject choice only really becomes important post 16.
 
 
 
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