What A Levels for a Computer Science Degree? [Limited Options]

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username2424985
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#1
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#1
My school doesn't offer Computer Science A Level (or at least, it did for the previous Y12 entry but staffing shortages meant my year won't have the option to study it come September). I have ruled out the option of going elsewhere to study, as I've been to the one suitable nearby school and I wasn't impressed.

I am 100% definitely taking Maths and History A2. I am taking Further Maths AT LEAST AS, and seeing if I can cope with A2, and I am planning to self-teach myself the OCR Computer Science AS as evidence that I am passionate enough about the subject to pursue it independently (unfortunately the A2 I can't self-complete as it requires supervised coursework. Such is life.)

Now, I need a 3rd/4th option, and I feel like I should take a Science A Level, to complete my somewhat complimentary bouquet of subjects. My options are Physics, which I don't like a lot but I have heard Physics is looked upon well by CompSci providers (is this true, or is each of the three sciences equally helpful?), or Biology, which I also don't like but it seems a little easier and less depression-inducing, if not as relevant to CompSci. Chemistry I absolutely loathe and thankfully it isn't even available to me due to the lesson scheduling patterns.

My question is - do universities value broadness, and would not look down on me for taking Bio if I can take Phys, or would they rather have me "specialise" to a degree and take Phys? Or should I just focus on Maths, FurMath and History and not worry about a 4th A2?

EDIT: I should maybe mention that I am a high A/low A* in Phys and Bio, a mid A* in History and a mid-high A* in Maths. My Maths teacher claims she believes I can get an A* in Maths A2 and at least an A in FurMat, but **** if I know. I can definitely get an A in History A2. If it is considerably easier to get an A in Biology A2, then I will consider taking that over Physics as I want nothing less than AAA (AAAB if I decide to do 4), and I am under the impression that an A grade in Bio is better than a B grade in Phys.

Thanks for your help
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niteninja1
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#2
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#2
(Original post by plklupu)
My school doesn't offer Computer Science A Level (or at least, it did for the previous Y12 entry but staffing shortages meant my year won't have the option to study it come September). I have ruled out the option of going elsewhere to study, as I've been to the one suitable nearby school and I wasn't impressed.

I am 100% definitely taking Maths and History A2. I am taking Further Maths AT LEAST AS, and seeing if I can cope with A2, and I am planning to self-teach myself the OCR Computer Science AS as evidence that I am passionate enough about the subject to pursue it independently (unfortunately the A2 I can't self-complete as it requires supervised coursework. Such is life.)

Now, I need a 3rd/4th option, and I feel like I should take a Science A Level, to complete my somewhat complimentary bouquet of subjects. My options are Physics, which I don't like a lot but I have heard Physics is looked upon well by CompSci providers (is this true, or is each of the three sciences equally helpful?), or Biology, which I also don't like but it seems a little easier and less depression-inducing, if not as relevant to CompSci. Chemistry I absolutely loathe and thankfully it isn't even available to me due to the lesson scheduling patterns.

My question is - do universities value broadness, and would not look down on me for taking Bio if I can take Phys, or would they rather have me "specialise" to a degree and take Phys? Or should I just focus on Maths, FurMath and History and not worry about a 4th A2?

Thanks for your help
I took the extended diploma btec which is worth 3 a levels and Cardiff ranked 14 made me an offer solely based on that so. Maybe see if you could do just the single a-level equivelant diploma?
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username2424985
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#3
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#3
(Original post by niteninja1)
I took the extended diploma btec which is worth 3 a levels and Cardiff ranked 14 made me an offer solely based on that so. Maybe see if you could do just the single a-level equivelant diploma?
A BTEC Diploma for CompSci? Never heard of it. Board/Specification?
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niteninja1
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#4
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#4
(Original post by plklupu)
A BTEC Diploma for CompSci? Never heard of it. Board/Specification?
Edexcell btec level 3 IT

I it depends what units they choose i did 18 but they can choose from 60

Unit1 communication and employability
Unit 2 computer hardware
Unit3 information systems
Unit 6 basic programming (vb.net)
Unit 9 networks
Unit 10 communication systems
Unit 13 troubleshooting IT
Unit 26 mathematics for IT practishoners
Unit 28 website design (HTML)

Unit 15 object oriented programming (C++)
Unit 24 control systems
Unit 19 computer systems architecture
Unit 17 project planning with IT
Unit 14 event driven programming (android)
Unit 18 database design (MySQL)
Unit 32 network security
Unit 5 network administration
Unit 43 multimedia design

I got distinctions in all units except unit 3 which I got an merit in.

However some schools/colleges will not teach it as well for instance website builder instead of HTML and they kick other units.
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Hashtosh302
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#5
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#5
(Original post by plklupu)
My school doesn't offer Computer Science A Level (or at least, it did for the previous Y12 entry but staffing shortages meant my year won't have the option to study it come September). I have ruled out the option of going elsewhere to study, as I've been to the one suitable nearby school and I wasn't impressed.

I am 100% definitely taking Maths and History A2. I am taking Further Maths AT LEAST AS, and seeing if I can cope with A2, and I am planning to self-teach myself the OCR Computer Science AS as evidence that I am passionate enough about the subject to pursue it independently (unfortunately the A2 I can't self-complete as it requires supervised coursework. Such is life.)

Now, I need a 3rd/4th option, and I feel like I should take a Science A Level, to complete my somewhat complimentary bouquet of subjects. My options are Physics, which I don't like a lot but I have heard Physics is looked upon well by CompSci providers (is this true, or is each of the three sciences equally helpful?), or Biology, which I also don't like but it seems a little easier and less depression-inducing, if not as relevant to CompSci. Chemistry I absolutely loathe and thankfully it isn't even available to me due to the lesson scheduling patterns.

My question is - do universities value broadness, and would not look down on me for taking Bio if I can take Phys, or would they rather have me "specialise" to a degree and take Phys? Or should I just focus on Maths, FurMath and History and not worry about a 4th A2?

EDIT: I should maybe mention that I am a high A/low A* in Phys and Bio, a mid A* in History and a mid-high A* in Maths. My Maths teacher claims she believes I can get an A* in Maths A2 and at least an A in FurMat, but **** if I know. I can definitely get an A in History A2. If it is considerably easier to get an A in Biology A2, then I will consider taking that over Physics as I want nothing less than AAA (AAAB if I decide to do 4), and I am under the impression that an A grade in Bio is better than a B grade in Phys.

Thanks for your help
All you need to take is maths, further maths and (physics) if you really need to.
And also learn coding to create projects as it shows your more interested in it
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AfcFob
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#6
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If you don't like bio now, defo don't do it at college it's very hard and you will loathe it... Another point is that unis only make offers based on 3A2's so don't do 4, you'll risk not making the offer because you've got too much to revise

An idea would be to maybe do an EPQ instead in something relevant to CompSci?? I don't know if your college does it but it's a great way to show subject passion
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username2424985
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#7
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(Original post by Hashtosh302)
All you need to take is maths, further maths and (physics) if you really need to.
And also learn coding to create projects as it shows your more interested in it
Thanks, I think I'll do History, Maths and FurMat. Along with the self-taught CS AS I plan to do an A2-coursework-style large project in my own time to compensate for the fact that I can't do it in the actual course, so yes, I know I need to brush up on my coding portfolio and bung it in my Personal Statement
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username2424985
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#8
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(Original post by AfcFob)
If you don't like bio now, defo don't do it at college it's very hard and you will loathe it... Another point is that unis only make offers based on 3A2's so don't do 4, you'll risk not making the offer because you've got too much to revise

An idea would be to maybe do an EPQ instead in something relevant to CompSci?? I don't know if your college does it but it's a great way to show subject passion
Thanks for letting me know, if Biology gets harder I can't imagine what A Levels do to Physics D: I am planning to do that CompSci AS instead of an EPQ, as I don't really like the EPQ.
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AfcFob
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#9
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#9
(Original post by plklupu)
Thanks for letting me know, if Biology gets harder I can't imagine what A Levels do to Physics D: I am planning to do that CompSci AS instead of an EPQ, as I don't really like the EPQ.
Most people I know that do physics say the jump is not too bad. I have found the bio jump easy but bio is my best subject by far. One of my closest mates got an A at GCSE like me but has really struggled at AS so I don't recommend it unless you're really passionate about biology or really want to do Medicine
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username2424985
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#10
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#10
(Original post by AfcFob)
Most people I know that do physics say the jump is not too bad. I have found the bio jump easy but bio is my best subject by far. One of my closest mates got an A at GCSE like me but has really struggled at AS so I don't recommend it unless you're really passionate about biology or really want to do Medicine
Thanks. I reckon I'll try Physics out, if worst comes to worst I'll enter myself for an AS and drop it for Y13.
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AfcFob
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#11
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(Original post by plklupu)
Thanks. I reckon I'll try Physics out, if worst comes to worst I'll enter myself for an AS and drop it for Y13.
I've done the same for psychology, tried it and dropping it for Sep because it's awful and I hate it
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Hashtosh302
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#12
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(Original post by plklupu)
Thanks, I think I'll do History, Maths and FurMat. Along with the self-taught CS AS I plan to do an A2-coursework-style large project in my own time to compensate for the fact that I can't do it in the actual course, so yes, I know I need to brush up on my coding portfolio and bung it in my Personal Statement
I don't think you have to self learn computer science, because at uni they assume you have limited knowledge of it(hence why its not a requirment for uni). But that doesn't you should learn about computers in your space time, but you should try and get work experience aswell
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username2424985
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Hashtosh302)
I don't think you have to self learn computer science, because at uni they assume you have limited knowledge of it(hence why its not a requirment for uni). But that doesn't you should learn about computers in your space time, but you should try and get work experience aswell
Oh of course, I'm constantly looking for jobs and I love learning coding and theory in my spare time so the AS seems like a natural step.
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