Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I have to apply to uni this year and I have no idea what I should do. I study Eng Lang, RS and German at A Level and English is my favourite. I really love Language so have been considering a degree in English Language and/or Linguistics with German. However recently I discovered that I could potentially do Physics with a prelim year. Physics was always my favourite subject at school and I always thought I would do it at A Level, but despite getting the grades and doing it for 2 weeks at A Level, I was convinced to drop it (long story). I really regret this decision and lost hope of doing it at uni, but now it seems there is a way around it. As far as I'm aware only 2 unis in the UK offer this and it is highly competitive. I don't know whether I should go for it or stick with English and German. I also doubt my ability as I did A Level Maths for 2 weeks and while I did understand everything, I didn't get it as quick as the rest of the class. Whatever degree I end up doing I'd like to teach and I'd ideally like it to be a 4 year course.
    Other possible degree subjects: Religion or Film Studies with Eng Lang
    TL;DR - Is it worth attempting a Physics degree with a prelim year or should I do English Language and German?
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by poppykelso)
    I have to apply to uni this year and I have no idea what I should do. I study Eng Lang, RS and German at A Level and English is my favourite. I really love Language so have been considering a degree in English Language and/or Linguistics with German. However recently I discovered that I could potentially do Physics with a prelim year. Physics was always my favourite subject at school and I always thought I would do it at A Level, but despite getting the grades and doing it for 2 weeks at A Level, I was convinced to drop it (long story). I really regret this decision and lost hope of doing it at uni, but now it seems there is a way around it. As far as I'm aware only 2 unis in the UK offer this and it is highly competitive. I don't know whether I should go for it or stick with English and German. I also doubt my ability as I did A Level Maths for 2 weeks and while I did understand everything, I didn't get it as quick as the rest of the class. Whatever degree I end up doing I'd like to teach and I'd ideally like it to be a 4 year course.
    Other possible degree subjects: Religion or Film Studies with Eng Lang
    TL;DR - Is it worth attempting a Physics degree with a prelim year or should I do English Language and German?
    Firstly you need to look into what physics is actually like at uni, just read some first year stuff like kinematics involving calculus, angular mechanics, electric fields, magnetic fields, planks solution to the black body radiation problem (though with this it can get quite heavy and easily slip into second and third year stuff). If youre going to look at this though make sure it is all first year physics NOT A-level stuff as it is covered at both ie electric fields is easy as a-level but changes a fair bit to a more rigorous derivation of equations at uni first year. Because you will have no idea what physics at uni is like, it is very different to GCSE and A-level as it has a high amount of maths (non of which you will have done so maybe read over some A-level maths stuff to see if you enjoy that too as there is, at least in first year, almost as much maths as there is physics), A-level and GCSE just require you to memorise equations but at uni level you will be expected to understand the material well enough to be able to derive most equations, it is just very different.

    As for the bit in bold, do you mean there are only 2 physics courses that offer prelim year? If so then I can say that is definitely not true though a lot are called foundation years in physic (note not foundation degrees or international foundation year, unless of course you are international) (I did one )

    Off the top of my head + plus quick bit of googling (so there are more than this) unis that offer these are

    - Cardiff uni
    - University of Leeds (known as interdisciplinary sciences though) (where I did mine)
    - University of Nottingham
    - University of sheffield
    - University of york
    - University of Birmingham
    - University of durham (note you need something like A*AA here)
    - University of Bristol
    - University of southampton
    - University of Manchester
    - Kent University
    - Swansea University
    - loughborough University

    On the whole I think there might be around 20 foundation year courses that allow entry to physics


    As for the whole physics or english thing, what do you really enjoy and want to study and do you have any idea of the careers you want to go into?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by poppykelso)
    I have to apply to uni this year and I have no idea what I should do. I study Eng Lang, RS and German at A Level and English is my favourite. I really love Language so have been considering a degree in English Language and/or Linguistics with German. However recently I discovered that I could potentially do Physics with a prelim year. Physics was always my favourite subject at school and I always thought I would do it at A Level, but despite getting the grades and doing it for 2 weeks at A Level, I was convinced to drop it (long story). I really regret this decision and lost hope of doing it at uni, but now it seems there is a way around it. As far as I'm aware only 2 unis in the UK offer this and it is highly competitive. I don't know whether I should go for it or stick with English and German. I also doubt my ability as I did A Level Maths for 2 weeks and while I did understand everything, I didn't get it as quick as the rest of the class. Whatever degree I end up doing I'd like to teach and I'd ideally like it to be a 4 year course.
    Other possible degree subjects: Religion or Film Studies with Eng Lang
    TL;DR - Is it worth attempting a Physics degree with a prelim year or should I do English Language and German?
    If you really want to do a physics degree a foundation course in physics could be the answer. Quite a few unis do it and you could count as a conversion student, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester, Southampton, Queen Mary, Loughborough, Durham if you a mature student...
    I applied to do physics with a foundation year (different reason though) and yes they are quite competitive but if you have the grades you should be ok

    I did some research before I applied to these courses and usually people who do foundation years come out better than people who didn't as they had an extra year to get used to the structure of the university and maths involved. Typically getting a 2:1 out of the degree (manchester said that)

    Feel free to message me if you have questions
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Laurenafenete)
    If you really want to do a physics degree a foundation course in physics could be the answer. Quite a few unis do it and you could count as a conversion student, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester, Southampton, Queen Mary, Loughborough, Durham if you a mature student...
    I applied to do physics with a foundation year (different reason though) and yes they are quite competitive but if you have the grades you should be ok

    I did some research before I applied to these courses and usually people who do foundation years come out better than people who didn't as they had an extra year to get used to the structure of the university and maths involved. Typically getting a 2:1 out of the degree (manchester said that)

    Feel free to message me if you have questions
    A few words of warning for the foundation year:

    While yes you do do a bit of extra maths, you will also miss some that is relevant but more fundamental like aspects of trig identities (and most likely the department you progress to won't tell you what is assumed knowledge as they expect most people to have done A-levels)

    So in one sense yes the foundation year for me was great prep for showing myself I could do the maths, but not knowing what was assumed knowledge (like I didn't even know to ask as I just thought the department knew what I would of covered) bit me (and a few friends who did foundations at other unis) in the ass when doing the jan exams, so just keep that in mind difficulty wise higher work load on foundation year, harder style of questions at A-levels (neither is better than the other as you will face both at points in the first year of physics (if thats what you go onto for example))

    Last point is you said most people who do the foundation year get a 2:1, well most people in general get a 2:1 anyway so don't view that as a advantage
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Physics and English dual hons is a possible combination at Keele... and they do a foundation year.

    afaik you'd be able to train as a physics teacher after doing that since it's 50% physics
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by madmadmax321)
    A few words of warning for the foundation year:

    While yes you do do a bit of extra maths, you will also miss some that is relevant but more fundamental like aspects of trig identities (and most likely the department you progress to won't tell you what is assumed knowledge as they expect most people to have done A-levels)

    So in one sense yes the foundation year for me was great prep for showing myself I could do the maths, but not knowing what was assumed knowledge (like I didn't even know to ask as I just thought the department knew what I would of covered) bit me (and a few friends who did foundations at other unis) in the ass when doing the jan exams, so just keep that in mind difficulty wise higher work load on foundation year, harder style of questions at A-levels (neither is better than the other as you will face both at points in the first year of physics (if thats what you go onto for example))

    Last point is you said most people who do the foundation year get a 2:1, well most people in general get a 2:1 anyway so don't view that as a advantage
    Just out of curiosity where did you do your foundation year? I'm planning to go to loughborough for mine, fortunately I did AS maths so do have a bit of background knowledge.
    According to the University of York's website for their foundation year they assume that you have no prior maths knowledge apart from GCSE maths
    Yeah, idk manchester said that at their interview day. A 2:1 in physics is very good though if you didn't have the grades or the prior A levels needed though
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Laurenafenete)
    Just out of curiosity where did you do your foundation year? I'm planning to go to loughborough for mine, fortunately I did AS maths so do have a bit of background knowledge.
    According to the University of York's website for their foundation year they assume that you have no prior maths knowledge apart from GCSE maths
    Yeah, idk manchester said that at their interview day. A 2:1 in physics is very good though if you didn't have the grades or the prior A levels needed though
    I did mine at leeds

    Ah sorry if I wasnt clear, what I mean is when going from the foundation year to first year physics you may have some missing maths knowledge that is presumed by the physics department but if it is anything like mine or 2 of my friends then you wont be told what knowledge is missing

    I met someone at an interview day for physics at bristol who was doing the loughborough foundation year (yes you can use it as alternative entry instead of A-level to other unis ie using my foundation year I had offers from kcl, birmingham, qmul and bristol as well as leeds) and they said they were mostly enjoying their time at loughborough

    If the loughborough foundation year is anything like the leeds on itll be hard work but enjoyable and worth all the effort in the end!
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by madmadmax321)
    I did mine at leeds

    Ah sorry if I wasnt clear, what I mean is when going from the foundation year to first year physics you may have some missing maths knowledge that is presumed by the physics department but if it is anything like mine or 2 of my friends then you wont be told what knowledge is missing

    I met someone at an interview day for physics at bristol who was doing the loughborough foundation year (yes you can use it as alternative entry instead of A-level to other unis ie using my foundation year I had offers from kcl, birmingham, qmul and bristol as well as leeds) and they said they were mostly enjoying their time at loughborough
    Ah nah thats ok, I've heard that Leeds is nice and its good to hear that about Loughborough. I'm a weird case because I technically count as a conversion student because I dont have an A level in maths but I take A level physics (and chemistry and history) and have an AS in maths. So I couldn't apply to Yorks foundation year but could apply to their normal Bsc physics, weird.

    Yeah I heard about using the foundation year results as another way of transferring to another uni both Queen Mary and Loughborough state you can do that. However with manchester they say you cant do that with their foundation year. There is another guy on the TSR who did that, who went to Loughborough and then went on to go to Durham for theoretical physics

    Are you using your foundation year to apply to other unis???
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Laurenafenete)
    Ah nah thats ok, I've heard that Leeds is nice and its good to hear that about Loughborough. I'm a weird case because I technically count as a conversion student because I dont have an A level in maths but I take A level physics (and chemistry and history) and have an AS in maths. So I couldn't apply to Yorks foundation year but could apply to their normal Bsc physics, weird.

    Yeah I heard about using the foundation year results as another way of transferring to another uni both Queen Mary and Loughborough state you can do that. However with manchester they say you cant do that with their foundation year. There is another guy on the TSR who did that, who went to Loughborough and then went on to go to Durham for theoretical physics

    Are you using your foundation year to apply to other unis???
    I am first year physics now but I did use my foundation year to apply to other unis last academic year and got offers from kcl, bristol, Birmingham and qmul but decided in the end that I preferred leeds to any of them and decided to stay here aha
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by madmadmax321)
    I am first year physics now but I did use my foundation year to apply to other unis last academic year and got offers from kcl, bristol, Birmingham and qmul but decided in the end that I preferred leeds to any of them and decided to stay here aha
    Ahahahaha fair enough. I didn't know that kcl accepted foundation years, nice to know. You doing the physics bsc or masters?
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Laurenafenete)
    Ahahahaha fair enough. I didn't know that kcl accepted foundation years, nice to know. You doing the physics bsc or masters?
    Yeah they do but if you were to apply to other unis then you would need to email the unis individually before applying to them through ucas as not all of them consider all foundation years as they are all cover different content in the foundation year

    bsc physics because a progression wasnt set up for the mphys even though I got almost 20% above the required progression percentage, but I will change to the mphys at the start of year 2 assuming I get the grade
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by madmadmax321)
    Yeah they do but if you were to apply to other unis then you would need to email the unis individually before applying to them through ucas as not all of them consider all foundation years as they are all cover different content in the foundation year

    bsc physics because a progression wasnt set up for the mphys even though I got almost 20% above the required progression percentage, but I will change to the mphys at the start of year 2 assuming I get the grade
    True true, fair point. I was surprised that all of those unis accepted foundation years. The only ones I knew were manchester and durham

    Yeah, I hope you do well in year 2 so you can do mphys. What was the progression criteria to get from the foundation year to the physics at leeds?
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Laurenafenete)
    True true, fair point. I was surprised that all of those unis accepted foundation years. The only ones I knew were manchester and durham

    Yeah, I hope you do well in year 2 so you can do mphys. What was the progression criteria to get from the foundation year to the physics at leeds?
    65% overall with 70% in maths and physics if I remember right, I got 81% overall with 95% in maths and 91% in physics (it was the skills module that dragged me down)

    modules covered in the foundation were maths, physics, physics lab, chemistry and skills to succeed in science (though this one was a waste of time imo)
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by madmadmax321)
    65% overall with 70% in maths and physics if I remember right, I got 81% overall with 95% in maths and 91% in physics (it was the skills module that dragged me down)

    modules covered in the foundation were maths, physics, physics lab, chemistry and skills to succeed in science (though this one was a waste of time imo)
    Wow! Those are very good scores, good on you.
    I was curious to see what other unis progression criteria look like, manchesters one one is ridiculously high something like 80% in all modules and 75% overall or something whilst loughborough sounds similar to leeds

    Was the succeed in science module science essays and presentations?
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Laurenafenete)
    Wow! Those are very good scores, good on you.
    I was curious to see what other unis progression criteria look like, manchesters one one is ridiculously high something like 80% in all modules and 75% overall or something whilst loughborough sounds similar to leeds

    Was the succeed in science module science essays and presentations?
    Yeah manchester ask for silly grades in comparison to how good at physics it actually is imo but joys of having the brian cox name i guess

    We had to do a critical essay (2000ish words), presentation (20 mintue presentation) and 'research project' (too many words aha) but unfortunately we didnt have access to labs or anything for the project so it made it very limited for what topic for physics otherwise it could of been really fun

    Even though that doesnt sound like a lot we had to use a lot of research papers as things like websites are viewed negatively for references in science so picking and understanding the material took a long time
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by madmadmax321)
    Firstly you need to look into what physics is actually like at uni, just read some first year stuff like kinematics involving calculus, angular mechanics, electric fields, magnetic fields, planks solution to the black body radiation problem (though with this it can get quite heavy and easily slip into second and third year stuff). If youre going to look at this though make sure it is all first year physics NOT A-level stuff as it is covered at both ie electric fields is easy as a-level but changes a fair bit to a more rigorous derivation of equations at uni first year. Because you will have no idea what physics at uni is like, it is very different to GCSE and A-level as it has a high amount of maths (non of which you will have done so maybe read over some A-level maths stuff to see if you enjoy that too as there is, at least in first year, almost as much maths as there is physics), A-level and GCSE just require you to memorise equations but at uni level you will be expected to understand the material well enough to be able to derive most equations, it is just very different.

    As for the bit in bold, do you mean there are only 2 physics courses that offer prelim year? If so then I can say that is definitely not true though a lot are called foundation years in physic (note not foundation degrees or international foundation year, unless of course you are international) (I did one )

    Off the top of my head + plus quick bit of googling (so there are more than this) unis that offer these are

    - Cardiff uni
    - University of Leeds (known as interdisciplinary sciences though) (where I did mine)
    - University of Nottingham
    - University of sheffield
    - University of york
    - University of Birmingham
    - University of durham (note you need something like A*AA here)
    - University of Bristol
    - University of southampton
    - University of Manchester
    - Kent University
    - Swansea University
    - loughborough University

    On the whole I think there might be around 20 foundation year courses that allow entry to physics


    As for the whole physics or english thing, what do you really enjoy and want to study and do you have any idea of the careers you want to go into?
    Wow I didn't realise so many unis offer this, obviously my researching skills are lacking lol I am kind of put off by the maths but maybe it would be ok. I want to go into teaching so to a large extent it doesn't matter what subject I take, it's just I'm not sure what I'd be happiest doing. I really enjoy English at the moment but I don't want to study literature at uni. I have a friend who loved physics but now he's taking it at a level he hates it and got a U in a recent mock.
    Anyway thanks for the info - I'm going to a UCAS convention soon so I'll ask some questions there.Just out of interest, what kind of grades did you get at school/college and how difficult was/is the maths at degree level?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by madmadmax321)
    A few words of warning for the foundation year:

    While yes you do do a bit of extra maths, you will also miss some that is relevant but more fundamental like aspects of trig identities (and most likely the department you progress to won't tell you what is assumed knowledge as they expect most people to have done A-levels)

    So in one sense yes the foundation year for me was great prep for showing myself I could do the maths, but not knowing what was assumed knowledge (like I didn't even know to ask as I just thought the department knew what I would of covered) bit me (and a few friends who did foundations at other unis) in the ass when doing the jan exams, so just keep that in mind difficulty wise higher work load on foundation year, harder style of questions at A-levels (neither is better than the other as you will face both at points in the first year of physics (if thats what you go onto for example))

    Last point is you said most people who do the foundation year get a 2:1, well most people in general get a 2:1 anyway so don't view that as a advantage
    I want to weigh up the pros and cons of each subject so thanks for pointing out the downsides I found GCSE maths ok but that's the highest level of maths I've completed so it's hard to imagine how I'd cope with HE maths. Maybe I'll have a look at my friend's maths work and picture working on stuff like that lol...
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Laurenafenete)
    If you really want to do a physics degree a foundation course in physics could be the answer. Quite a few unis do it and you could count as a conversion student, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester, Southampton, Queen Mary, Loughborough, Durham if you a mature student...
    I applied to do physics with a foundation year (different reason though) and yes they are quite competitive but if you have the grades you should be ok

    I did some research before I applied to these courses and usually people who do foundation years come out better than people who didn't as they had an extra year to get used to the structure of the university and maths involved. Typically getting a 2:1 out of the degree (manchester said that)

    Feel free to message me if you have questions
    What kind of grades are required? I checked a couple of sites and none of them specified...
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by poppykelso)
    Wow I didn't realise so many unis offer this, obviously my researching skills are lacking lol I am kind of put off by the maths but maybe it would be ok. I want to go into teaching so to a large extent it doesn't matter what subject I take, it's just I'm not sure what I'd be happiest doing. I really enjoy English at the moment but I don't want to study literature at uni. I have a friend who loved physics but now he's taking it at a level he hates it and got a U in a recent mock.
    Anyway thanks for the info - I'm going to a UCAS convention soon so I'll ask some questions there.Just out of interest, what kind of grades did you get at school/college and how difficult was/is the maths at degree level?
    aha sometimes its just knowing what words to use when searching If you arent a huge fan maths (I personally believe you have to really enjoy maths to do physics) then maybe I would suggest against physics as not only do you learn it in maths only modules you apply it all to physics (hence why you have to learn the maths)

    meh A-level physics is a bit dull imo, lacks a lot of mathematical backbone that hinders understanding.

    I got BBC at A-level (the C was in physics). The maths is a bit difficult at times but it is perfectly doable with practice but you have to want to learn it and put the time in, this only really comes from enjoying maths itself
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Joinedup)
    Physics and English dual hons is a possible combination at Keele... and they do a foundation year.

    afaik you'd be able to train as a physics teacher after doing that since it's 50% physics
    Ah cool thanks for the heads up!
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Would you rather give up salt or pepper?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Write a reply...
    Reply
    Hide
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.