dhackerc
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Hello! I'm a senior Canadian student who's interested in applying to Oxford
I'm from Toronto, Ontario and recently found an interest/passion for coding. I am not too familiar with UK teaching, so I really hope some of you could help me out!

I go to a pretty high-ranking school in Toronto, and I finished Gr.11 with 93%. I had 99% in Enriched Mathematics and 95% in Computer Science. I've also recently started going to hackathons (Hack the North next month!); I've hosted hackathons before; I was part of a "pretigious" (lol) summer program in Canada and had an internship over the summer. I also do pretty well in mathematics contests but pretty average with computer science contests (it was my first one).

Anyway, I have trouble deciding between Computer Science and Mathematics and Computer Science at Oxford. What are the pros and cons? I'm definitely interested in both, but I heard the joint degree is a lot more work. With the joint degree, will I fall behind the coders? How rigorous will be maths be in university? Please help me give more insight between the 2 courses! Also, which one is easier to get into?

Does Oxford also look at the male-female gender ratio?

Also, for MAT, how do I exactly study for that? I'm Canadian, and our mathematics curriculum is slightly behind UK's I think. I finished AP Calc BC with 5 but that was a year ago so I can't really remember anything either.

Thank you so much guys. I hope some of you could help me with all these. I'm slightly going crazy trying to balance UK-US-Canada haha
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gavinlowe
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(Original post by dhackerc)
Anyway, I have trouble deciding between Computer Science and Mathematics and Computer Science at Oxford. What are the pros and cons? I'm definitely interested in both, but I heard the joint degree is a lot more work. With the joint degree, will I fall behind the coders? How rigorous will be maths be in university? Please help me give more insight between the 2 courses! Also, which one is easier to get into?
The joint degree is more work, but I wouldn't say that it's a lot more work. Doing the straight CS degree obviously allows you to specialise more; that gives you a broader understanding of the subject, and so helps you to see connections. On the other hand, doing the joint degree gives you deeper mathematical skills, which helps in some areas (e.g. Machine Learning). The mathematics is certainly very rigorous!

The joint degree is harder to get into: we get lots of very strong candidates for it; and candidates have to satisfy tutors in two different subjects. The straight CS degree is still very competitive, though.

Does Oxford also look at the male-female gender ratio?
Yes, we look at it. But we certainly don't have quotas: we try to identify the best candidates, regardless of gender. (As with most CS degrees, the gender balance is a bit skewed, unfortunately.)

Also, for MAT, how do I exactly study for that? I'm Canadian, and our mathematics curriculum is slightly behind UK's I think. I finished AP Calc BC with 5 but that was a year ago so I can't really remember anything either.
Have a look at the published syllabus. I would be surprised if there's much on it that you haven't studied already. If you've forgotten things, then you need to learn them properly! Then practice, practice, practice: there are lots of old papers with solutions on the web site.

Gavin
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by dhackerc)
Hello! I'm a senior Canadian student who's interested in applying to Oxford
I'm from Toronto, Ontario and recently found an interest/passion for coding. I am not too familiar with UK teaching, so I really hope some of you could help me out!

I go to a pretty high-ranking school in Toronto, and I finished Gr.11 with 93%. I had 99% in Enriched Mathematics and 95% in Computer Science. I've also recently started going to hackathons (Hack the North next month!); I've hosted hackathons before; I was part of a "pretigious" (lol) summer program in Canada and had an internship over the summer. I also do pretty well in mathematics contests but I'm a complete **** in computer science contests lool.

Anyway, I have trouble deciding between Computer Science and Mathematics and Computer Science at Oxford. What are the pros and cons? I'm definitely interested in both, but I heard the joint degree is a lot more work. With the joint degree, will I fall behind the coders? How rigorous will be maths be in university? Please help me give more insight between the 2 courses! Also, which one is easier to get into?

Does Oxford also look at the male-female gender ratio?

Also, for MAT, how do I exactly study for that? I'm Canadian, and our mathematics curriculum is slightly behind UK's I think. I finished AP Calc BC with 5 but that was a year ago so I can't really remember anything either.

Thank you so much guys. I hope some of you could help me with all these. I'm slightly going crazy trying to balance UK-US-Canada haha
BC Calc will be more than enough provided you've also done a fairly rigorous algebra-precalc sequence. Maths at university, anywhere, but especially at Oxford, is very different from the Maths you encounter in high school. The emphasis is on rigour and abstraction.

I would suggest looking at Spivak's Calculus, which should be accessible to you, to get an idea of this - that book aims to reintroduce calculus from a rigorous point of view, which is much of how the early stages of Maths works out (reintroducing familiar concepts but with formal proof). That said the CS-Maths joint course will probably have a bit more emphasis on more relevant topics to CS than just analysis but, you can certainly get an idea from the course description.

Also in general, from applications Oxford will focus almost purely on your academic endeavours - in particular Maths. Programming experience and courses in CS are not expected or required beforehand, and a significant number, if not outright majority, of students applying to such courses in the UK (at Oxford or elsewhere) won't have much if any exposure to this. Maths on the other hand is a requirement as the course (both the single and joint course) is inherently mathematical and excellent grades in Maths tends to be a better predictor of success.

They will also consider your overall background in "college level" work - i.e. your APs, and in fact this is a primary consideration (as it's comparable to the A-level work UK students do, which is the core of what they look at when making decisions, although they do factor in many other aspects). You will likely need to have done more than just BC Calc - Cambridge requires 5 APs with 5s in each of them for their courses, for example (I'm sure Oxford is similar but the two do have slightly different application "styles" so this may be less emphasized at Oxford). BrasenoseAdm may have had some experience of Canadian (or US, if not) applicants and might be able to advise on the specific criteria for those education systems.

Also if you weren't already aware you can only apply to one of Oxford or Cambridge normally.
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
They will also consider your overall background in "college level" work - i.e. your APs, and in fact this is a primary consideration (as it's comparable to the A-level work UK students do, which is the core of what they look at when making decisions, although they do factor in many other aspects). You will likely need to have done more than just BC Calc - Cambridge requires 5 APs with 5s in each of them for their courses, for example (I'm sure Oxford is similar but the two do have slightly different application "styles" so this may be less emphasized at Oxford).
Oxford require three 5s in APs, although good candidates will typically have more. You don't actually declare your GPA on the UK UCAS application - just AP and ACT/SAT results. You'll also need a SAT (1470/1600) or ACT (32/36) - see here.

Your MAT result is key - you must register by the 15th October.

Good luck. It's insanely competitive to get in, but a really nice place to study.
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dhackerc
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Thank you everyone! As for 3 APs. I go to a non-AP Canadian school, so they're not required! I believe the 3+ APs are required for American students, though.
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