Is A-Level Computing/Computer Science essential?

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    Hi! I've come on an intrepid journey, all the way from the GCSE subforum, in order to ask here because it seems to be the most relevant place. I'm thinking of advancing into Computing/Computer Science when I get older, but was worried about making a bad choice now and compromising that opportunity without being aware I'd done so.

    I was wondering if an A-Level in specifically computing would be essential to obtain a good place at uni, as my current school, which I'm thinking of staying on at, does not offer Computing at a A-Level. I can consider moving, but am a bit hesitant as it is.
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    Well, I've just checked Cambridge entry requirements, along with a few others.

    Only A Level requirements is Mathematics. I have a friend looking to do computer science at uni and he hasn't studied it.

    If you are hesitant about moving, don't.
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    Your best option is Maths and if you can handle it Further Maths. Maths ability is what unis are looking for not computer skills. Anything of value you might learn in Computer Science A level is taught in the first year of the degree - makes the first year easier for you but not for getting into uni.
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    Computing A Level is a joke. No University requires it; I got in to Oxford without it. In fact, it is almost detrimental to your application as it takes the place of a subject which could be much stronger (like physics or chemistry). For computer science maths and further maths are the most important.
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    (Original post by caliex)
    Hi! I've come on an intrepid journey, all the way from the GCSE subforum, in order to ask here because it seems to be the most relevant place. I'm thinking of advancing into Computing/Computer Science when I get older, but was worried about making a bad choice now and compromising that opportunity without being aware I'd done so.

    I was wondering if an A-Level in specifically computing would be essential to obtain a good place at uni, as my current school, which I'm thinking of staying on at, does not offer Computing at a A-Level. I can consider moving, but am a bit hesitant as it is.
    This is an Oxford response; but I believe that other top universities are similar.

    As others have said, most universities do not require Computer Science A Level: I'm not aware of any that does. Mathematics is far more important, and most top universities require it. Further Maths is highly recommended.

    Having said that, there have been a lot of improvements to the Computer Science A Level in recent years, and it certainly provides useful background. (I disagree with project_legacy's description of it as a joke; he might be basing that view on the old version.) We like to see candidates with some experience of programming, to have some evidence that they have aptitude for it and enjoy it. This experience can be obtained via the A Level, or via private programming projects.

    To answer your specific query: if you're happy at your current school, and the teaching is good, then I suggest you stay there (and try to do some private programming projects).

    Gavin
 
 
 
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