Should I pick A Level Physics, for a Chemistry degree?

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tkb661998
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Hello,
I'm starting A Levels at sixth form this year. I'm definitely going to do: Chemistry, Maths and Biology. My trouble is the fourth option. I know that taking Physics would be beneficial, but it's not really I subject I enjoy terribly. I love English lit though, and would like to take that for A Levels. The only thing is though, would not having Physics hamper my chances? I want to become a pharmaceutical Chemist anyone; developing drugs and all that good stuff, so wouldn't Biology be way more useful? Any help appreciated!
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Youk
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You're absolutely fine from an admissions point of view not taking physics, especially with three other highly relevant subjects. From a degree standpoint, you will be slightly behind those who did study physics when it comes to physical chemistry lectures at university but nothing to worry about as a large proportion will be in a very similar position to yourself.

Keep in mind there is a lot of crossover between maths and physics at A level. You'll probably be doing mechanics modules in maths which are almost identical to parts of the physics course, and it is regarded usually as slightly easier than chemistry (if you're more mathematically inclined).

Pick the subject you enjoy the most, you're first three options are more than enough for what you want to do!
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peanutbutterjam
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Most universities require chemistry and another science/maths, so I don't see the problem with taking english lit even in A2.

I also plan to read chemistry at university
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Xin Xang
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There is quit some overlap between Chemistry and Physics, in fact an entire section of Chemistry is devoted to Physics.
If you pick up any physical chemistry textbook, they assume you are familiar with a fair amount of Physics, at least to AS level. I would suggest doing physics purely for the fact that it will smoothen your transition into some parts of Chemistry, but it is by no means necessary for university admissions. But I only speak as a fairly amateur chemistry enthusiast.

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tkb661998
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(Original post by Xin Xang)
There is quit some overlap between Chemistry and Physics, in fact an entire section of Chemistry is devoted to Physics.
If you pick up any physical chemistry textbook, they assume you are familiar with a fair amount of Physics, at least to AS level. I would suggest doing physics purely for the fact that it will smoothen your transition into some parts of Chemistry, but it is by no means necessary for university admissions. But I only speak as a fairly amateur chemistry enthusiast.

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Hello,
Thanks for the advice. Would it not be easier for me to just revise areas of Physics that relate to Chemistry, through tuition or private Learning, as oppose to taking a full a level? The trouble is, if I choose Physics, I have to do it for the full two years.
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tkb661998
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(Original post by peanutbutterjam)
Most universities require chemistry and another science/maths, so I don't see the problem with taking english lit even in A2.

I also plan to read chemistry at university
What A levels are you studying?
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Big-Daddy
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(Original post by Xin Xang)
There is quit some overlap between Chemistry and Physics, in fact an entire section of Chemistry is devoted to Physics.
If you pick up any physical chemistry textbook, they assume you are familiar with a fair amount of Physics, at least to AS level. I would suggest doing physics purely for the fact that it will smoothen your transition into some parts of Chemistry, but it is by no means necessary for university admissions. But I only speak as a fairly amateur chemistry enthusiast.

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Not really. The undergrad textbooks tend not to "assume" anything except some basic middle-school maths. Have a look in Atkins for example (the gold standard for primary physical chemistry texts - though not necessarily the best).

I do find this argument to propose the wrong conclusion. If anything, physics AS-level can only be useful from an applications and university admissions point of view; it will not be useful or necessary in the slightest for someone taking a chemistry degree.

The reason for this is as follows. At the basic level of chemistry you will cover in the first year or two of your degree, the overlap with concepts widely studied in pure physics courses in minimal. As you say (though strongly exaggerate), physics does play a huge role in its applications in chemistry, but - even as the concepts are not too advanced and might almost crop-up at A-level - the descriptions and material used at the standard to which physics must be studied, before you can see clearly how that will carry into chemical situations in general, is far above A-level. You will begin to see this relationship for real in the last years of a degree that approaches both. It doesn't resemble an A-level approach or description at all. And if the OP one day wants to understand chemistry so deeply he is willing to go into the full physics behind theoretical and physical chemistry, he would IMO be better served learning that physics from scratch than trying to "build up to it" from A-level.

I would highly recommend Further Maths A-level instead of anything else. It seems to me that studying maths deeply gives one an advantage in studying any science, and I remember this applying even at A-level for me.
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peanutbutterjam
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(Original post by tkb661998)
What A levels are you studying?
Maths, chemistry, geography and biology. I'm going to drop geography at A2
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tkb661998
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(Original post by peanutbutterjam)
Maths, chemistry, geography and biology. I'm going to drop geography at A2
Are you finding not having Physics disadvantageous?
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Gnomes&Knights
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The first 3 subjects you chose are strong enough anyway for you to get into a Chemistry degree at any university so choosing a 4th weak subject will not hamper your chances in any way. If you love English Literature then do that as your 4th option. English Literature is not a weak subject and is just as respected as Physics.
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peanutbutterjam
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(Original post by tkb661998)
Are you finding not having Physics disadvantageous?
I absolutely hate physics and I suppose when it comes to university I'll have a disadvantage to the people who have taken physics but at this point, I really don't care.
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tkb661998
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(Original post by peanutbutterjam)
I absolutely hate physics and I suppose when it comes to university I'll have a disadvantage to the people who have taken physics but at this point, I really don't care.
Yeah, I see where you're coming from. Besides, I'm sure universities will have extra tutorials or modules in Physics, for people who didn't do it.
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FrescoDiMorte
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(Original post by tkb661998)
Hello,
I'm starting A Levels at sixth form this year. I'm definitely going to do: Chemistry, Maths and Biology. My trouble is the fourth option. I know that taking Physics would be beneficial, but it's not really I subject I enjoy terribly. I love English lit though, and would like to take that for A Levels. The only thing is though, would not having Physics hamper my chances? I want to become a pharmaceutical Chemist anyone; developing drugs and all that good stuff, so wouldn't Biology be way more useful? Any help appreciated!
Hey , I'm in my first year of a Chemistry degree and you should definitely take up Physics at least at AS. Most of Physical chemistry (obviously) and a fair bit of Inorganic chemistry relies on it. Spectroscopic methods like IR and NMR are based on the behavior of particles that make up elements which are covered in AS physics. We also go into quite a lot of detail on particle energies, momentum etc.. Although a lot of universities say it isn't required it's from my own experience it's definitely made understanding some of the concepts in lectures a lot easier than people who haven't taken physics.
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