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    I intend to apply for the Modern History and Politics course in Oxford and I'm not sure yet which A levels to take. In the website, they say there aren't any specific A-levels required but maybe some subjects give you an advantage? I live in Greece and the British Council, apparently, offers the Edexcel exams only, so it'll be helpful if you suggested which edexcel GCEs are best. I consider English Literature, Languages (French, Italian, Spanish), Politics and Government, Biology, History, Psychology, Economics and Philosophy (I'm not sure the Ed offers it though). I must choose subjects and I've got to make sure I pick the right ones, especially since I'm an - one might call - independent student and I haven't been taught any subject in English, I'll just order some books and see what I can get out of that! :rolleyes: :dong:

    Help anyone?
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    I'd have thought History, Eng Lit, and either Economics or a language? But it's also important to think what you would enjoy doing and be good at!

    DtS
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    id definately say history and most likely politics. At a history roadshow run by Oxford i went to last year, they said theyd want a very good reason why you didnt do A level history if you never. Cant really go wrong with your third choice, a language seems to go with anything, economics is a good one from personal expierence, has helped a lot with my A level history and the approaches to history aspect of history where economic determinism is talked about. I did English Lit at AS and then dropped it. So long as your third choice is a good subject, and to a lesser extent an art (in the broader term, which includes humanities and social sciences), you cant go wrong.
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    I'm a former applicant myself. Obviously do A Level History. Politics is no better than any other humanities subject - they make it very clear that they do not discriminate based on whether you have A Level Politics, since it's basically irrelevant to the course. I strongly recommend doing English, and then choose any other relevant courses - Languages are good, Economics is good, even something scientific is fine as long as it's a 'hard' subject. I did ICT, which is acceptable as a third subject at Oxford (it isn't at Cambridge) but I wouldn't recommend it - it's just a generally messed up subject at the moment - mark schemes are all over the place and grades are very inconsistent. Plus there is an unbelievable amount of work to do for comparatively little reward.
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    Let's start with the basics: do History and (despite what Oxford say, I think you'd be a fool not to) Politics. Then just pick the two others based on your personal preference; I'd personally recommend English Literature, Philosophy and Sociology, which I did (Soc. in my A2 year). From what I hear Economics is also a strong choice, and a language is certainly worth strongly considering due to the respect they command. I don't know why, but I have a slight negative image surrounding Psychology, despite the fact I know how demanding people on the course find it.

    Finally, a word of warning about doing more than four, with the exception of General Studies and Critical Thinking. OK, maybe some people cope fine, but the universities don't require it, and to do a decent job I think it would impinge on your quality of life - i.e. take up a lot of your weekends. I did 4 "proper ones" (excluding CT) and could always have Saturdays free, except during exam time. Better to get high UMS in four than spread yourself thin and get OK As, or even one B. Some will disagree, but that's my thoughts.
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    History, Politics, a language + English/Philosophy/Economics/Maths/Another language.
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    According to this:

    http://www.admissions.ox.ac.uk/courses/enreq.shtml#tab

    History is basically compulsory, and Sociology/Politics is helpful.
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    I am doing MHP at Oxford. History is a must, obviously. Politics is not. I didn't do it, nor did most people on my course that I know; like law A level I hear it can be misleading compared to degree level study. I would recommend a language, by no means for entrance purposes, but because a lot of the really interesting history options require languages. Aside from that it's about you what you will enjoy/do well at. I personally did History, Eng Lit, Maths, Gen Studs, and Further Maths and French AS.
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    (Original post by History_is...)
    I am doing MHP at Oxford. History is a must, obviously. Politics is not. I didn't do it, nor did most people on my course that I know; like law A level I hear it can be misleading compared to degree level study.
    Yeah, that's what I was told as well. It's like A Level Law it's really not helpful. The majority of state sixth forms don't offer Politics anyway - mine certainly didn't.
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    (Original post by Cage)
    Yeah, that's what I was told as well. It's like A Level Law it's really not helpful. The majority of state sixth forms don't offer Politics anyway - mine certainly didn't.
    As someone who's done the course, I'll have to concede that Political Science at university level is probably very different, but I certainly don't regret taking it. I've got a thorough grounding in the UK/US political/governmental system, which is more than most can say.

    EDIT: Oxford seem to acknowledge this as they judge the subject "helpful" in that grid thingy.
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    Ecnomics can be a bit of a drag if your not into graphs, but you only have to learn about 20 at A2 level, about 12 at AS, and 80% of them are overwhelmingly easy. Plus, the macroeconomic aspect is pretty much common sense, literally. The workload isn’t really very high at all. Aside from it being quite useful for history in my opinion, its also invaluable in understand the current state of the world to an extent, i.e. why we're in things like the EU, or why we like free trade despite it perhaps creating unemployment in domestic industries. I definitely think it’s a winner, especially since its not much of a grind.

    Languages are no doubt good, but if its a bit of a grind learning them it might be worth jibbing them off, a few of my mates did them and just found it a constant battle to keep up despite doing well in them, but if your naturally good at them they are always fantastic choices. Same with Psychology, the workload is high and you still don’t really get much kudos relative to the effort because its still seen as a bit of a no-mark subject, even if it isnt - my ex was always having to do work for it, the workload seemed far higher than my subjects.

    Same goes for English Lit, it can be a breeze if you're doing old school books that have plenty of stuff (like York Notes) on them, but if you've got an ******* teacher who loves picking modern books which have no companions or whatever, and you're left to interpret everything off your own back, it just makes things absolutely unnecessarily hard.

    Politics, from what I’ve heard, sounds like a winner. Even if its nothing like degree Politics and is a bit of an iffy one reputation wise, its not as bad as things like ICT and, according to people I know who have taken it, the workload is alright. Same goes with Geography.

    Another one I did was Classical Civilisation, which was not only interesting and quite heavily related to history (it was the history/culture/society or Greece and Rome), it was damn easy. The books we had to study were very old school and had plenty of resources to copy off, they were things like The Iliad, Aeneid and Odyssey. It also had philosophical, artistic and archaeological aspects. The best thing about it was though that it was just watered down versions of all these disciplines. Your essays on history didn’t have to be as detailed or technically clear as history essays, your essays on the books didn’t have to be as high quality as English Lit essays, and your essays on Philosophy didn’t have to be as methodical as Philosophy students’ essays. I think 60% of people in my class got an A in it, and the rest got B’s. It’s the ultimate ‘filler’ subject in my opinion, especially since it has a fairly good reputation as a ‘hard’ subject.
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    Philosophy is offered by AQA. Search the AQA forums for centres in Greece that will offer it.
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    I'm going to do History and Politics at Oxford next year and I did History, Government and Politics, English Literature and Spanish. While the Politics course may not be like university, I would agree that it gives you a good understanding of the British and American systems, and one of my modules was on the concept of power, so we studied political theorists like Miliband, Locke, Wright etc. Also, I think doing Politics would definitely make you more confident in your interview, as it forces you to keep up to date!

    I really enjoyed English Lit and Spanish- I found English useful for essay work, and my synoptic module was on war literature which I found interesting from a history perspective as well.
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    A good friend of mine has an offer to read MHP at Merton next year, and his A-levels are/were History, English Lit, German and French. So History and English and a foreign language seems to be a winning combination from other posts. But remember to take enjoyable subjects too. You're much more likely to work and do well if you enjoy the subjects you are taking!
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    lets not forget here, subject choices when it comes to it mean little in your application sucess. Its not what you choose, its how good you are at it and more importantly, your interview is whats going to matter. AS long as its a hard subject and you get an A in it, it doesnt matter. The issue, it seems to me, is getting a subject which is the nice balance of ensuring a maxiumum chance of getting an A whilst still maintaining 'hard' status.
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    I study Medicine and did all science A levels, so I have nothing subject-specific to add, but I just really wanted to recommend making sure you choose subjects you like and will enjoy - I didn't enjoy one of my AS levels and it made things so, so much harder. It's so hard to motivate yourself to do standard homework and revision, let alone any further reading, in a subject you find tedious. Obviously you can't be sure what you'll enjoy at A level, but if you know you dislike a subject already, for God's sake avoid it at A level, even if you think it's prestigious and "respected".

    (Original post by Consie)
    Another one I did was Classical Civilisation
    Completely off-topic, but you did Class Civ and you're from Liverpool - which school did you go to? You're not yet another ex-KGV student headed to Oxford, are you? :p: Merseyside's a big place, but not many schools (state ones, at least) and colleges offer Class Civ, so I wondered - and the 60% of the class getting an A definitely sounded like a typical KGV statistic! I'll never forget the shame of being bottom of my AS Maths class when we got results for one module... I'd only got 93%. :cool:
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    yeah, i went to KGV lol. I tell thee though, its definately gone down hill now, not like the halcyon days of when i was an AS student i think, but everyone will probably still ace Class Civ, and maths by the sounds of it. Did you come back to speak to Oxford applicants last year? If you did, i probably met you. Did you get a big cheque off the college for going to Oxford? I got a wedge for simply getting in, which i couldnt believe, but we didnt have any of those pictures you see hanging round the college from the crew who went into Oxbridge in 05 and 06.
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    I've just finished 3 years of MHP, and I'd say Politics at A-Level was a great help.

    I'd choose History, politics, economics, and a language, (for which puproses i'd include english literature - the essay writing practic eyou can get the better).
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    While I did not apply to read Modern History and Politics at Oxford, I applied for that course at five universities (including LSE, Warwick and Manchester). I took A Levels in History, Government & Politics, French and Geography. When I began Year 12, I didn't know what I would end up applying for so my choices were primarily based on what I felt I would enjoy and what I felt I would be good at. I initially did not take Politics -- I switched to it after a week or two from German.
 
 
 
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