*MEGATHREAD* Medicine A-Level subjects queries Watch

ecolier
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Please use this thread to ask Medicine related A-Level subject queries.

Common questions answered:

(1) Read this (https://www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2357/msc-entry-requirements-for-uk-medical-schools.pdf) before posting. It's medical schools requirements for 2020 entry. It will be similar (but not identical) for 2021 and beyond

(2) Chemistry is required in most med schools, and Biology is required in most of the rest. Some medical schools may require both. Newcastle doesn't require either.

Note from GANFYD: There are 18 med schools who require Biology and 25 who require Chemistry (out of 35, omitting Buckingham and UCLAN). Of those, several require both. People should really take both if they have the option and don't want to limit their choices.

(3) The 3rd subject can be anything of your choosing - as long as it's not General Studies or Critical Thinking (both now discontinued, so you can't pick them after Year 12), Further Maths or a foreign language for which you are a native speaker. Except for Cambridge (click here for college-by-college requirements) - they would prefer your third subject to be Maths or Physics.

(4) Most medical students will have picked Chemistry, Biology and Physics or Maths. You don't have to do this of course

(5) Finally, doing a 4th A-Level confers no advantage at all (because med schools give out offers for 3 A-Levels - typically A*AA or AAA), it only means you are studying harder.*

*Disclaimer: Yours truly did Chemistry, Biology, Maths and General Studies at A2, and dropped Physics at AS.

All future queries which are made as a separate thread in the Medicine / Applications, Clearing and UCAS forums will be merged without notice into this thread.
Last edited by ecolier; 1 day ago
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Hamid2468
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hi, im in year 11 now and i have to choose my a level subjects. what im thinking is maths , chemistry, biology and further maths. id drop further maths in year 13 but i wna do it cause i could easily get an A and its something i really enjoy.

BUT i have seen and heard that many unis disregard further maths so pls can anyone help me decide if i should do it or not and propose any alternatives?
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ArthurMargolis
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I’m starting my a levels this year and I’m wondering if it’s worth continuing with further maths. I’m already doing bio chemistry and maths and I’m not struggling with the work just finding the time to do the homework and the independent study. Is it worth continuing or should I drop to focus on work experience and EPQ?
Thanks!
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Doones
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(Original post by ArthurMargolis)
I’m starting my a levels this year and I’m wondering if it’s worth continuing with further maths. I’m already doing bio chemistry and maths and I’m not struggling with the work just finding the time to do the homework and the independent study. Is it worth continuing or should I drop to focus on work experience and EPQ?
Thanks!
Nope, FM is not required and is just a distraction for Medicine.

PS. I'm moving this to the Medicine forum
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ArthurMargolis
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Nope, FM is not required and is just a distraction for Medicine.

PS. I'm moving this to the Medicine forum
Cheers. I’m still new to all this and idk where to put it
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Doones
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(Original post by ArthurMargolis)
Cheers. I’m still new to all this and idk where to put it
No worries at all. I've been here for years and still get it wrong
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username4250202
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I take chemistry, biology and art. Will me not having maths put me at a disadvantage to other applicants??
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Reality Check
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(Original post by qveen)
I take chemistry, biology and art. Will me not having maths put me at a disadvantage to other applicants??
Depends where you apply to. For instance, if it was Cambridge, then the vast majority of successful applicants offer three or more science/maths A levels. You're only offering two. However, for lots of places having a third A level in a non-scientific subject isn't a problem.

Take out - do some research on target unis to see what they require.
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Doones
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(Original post by qveen)
I take chemistry, biology and art. Will me not having maths put me at a disadvantage to other applicants??
Moved to the Medicine forum

Maths isn't required. And as RC indicated, only Cambridge effectively asks for 3 sciences (and even they don't specify Maths).
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Popeye_ukuk
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(Original post by qveen)
I take chemistry, biology and art. Will me not having maths put me at a disadvantage to other applicants??
Not at all
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WorryFlurry
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I think it’s better to study what you like and get an A* than to study what you don’t like and scrape a C. Medicine is medicine. I got an A at gcse maths and didn’t want to do it at alevel so I didnt and I really don’t regret that decision.
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Aelin1234
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My aspirations have changed a lot throughout my life, from wanting to be a vet for years, then computer scientist/coder and then this past year I decided to do languages instead since it was something I've always been good at. But when I completed my UCAS application the other day I realised I wasn't sure I wanted to do languages anymore.

Part of me thinks this is really weird since I had everything all planned out and I'd been quite excited to do languages. However, now I have this feeling that I should be doing something scientific instead, namely medicine. It isn't too weird since I've always thought medicine would be really interesting but that I'd be too much of a germophobe to be able to be a doctor but I spoke to someone about it and they said I'd get over my fear of germs anyway if I was a doctor. Plus, all my previous aspirations were STEM related.

My real issue now is that I didn't take the right A-Levels because I majorly screwed up when taking my options and I'm currently studying Spanish, Maths and History. I know that there are foundation courses but I'm only eligible for 4 since I don't have biology or chemistry and of those, only one is really a uni I'm interested in. I have really good UCAS grades (A*A*A*) so entry requirements aren't too much of an issue.

I have three questions really. 1) Can I do year 0 at a university that offers 6 year foundation degrees and then move in year 1 to a university that I prefer?
2) Does anyone have any other ideas of how I could do a medical degree without doing another degree first?
3) Am I making a huge mistake switching to medicine?

Any help would be so greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading my mini-essay of a question😂
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SilverLipa
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I am looking to do medicine at university and I am currently studying Biology, Chemistry, Sociology (& EPQ) at A level.I am in year twelve and I would prefer to study at universities in London (Imperial, UCL, Kings college, St George’s,Queen Mary).I have some research but my answers are always varied. Can I get into these medical schools with sociology?
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Democracy
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(Original post by SilverLipa)
I am looking to do medicine at university and I am currently studying Biology, Chemistry, Sociology (& EPQ) at A level.I am in year twelve and I would prefer to study at universities in London (Imperial, UCL, Kings college, St George’s,Queen Mary).I have some research but my answers are always varied. Can I get into these medical schools with sociology?
Yes, it's fine. Sociology is actually taught and researched at medical schools, just fyi.
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Doones
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(Original post by Aelin1234)
I have three questions really. 1) Can I do year 0 at a university that offers 6 year foundation degrees and then move in year 1 to a university that I prefer?
2) Does anyone have any other ideas of how I could do a medical degree without doing another degree first?
3) Am I making a huge mistake switching to medicine?
Moved to the Medicine forum

1) All Medschools are fully accredited by the GMC. Nobody cares which medschool you went to. I doubt you can transfer unless there are exceptional circumstances, but the experts in this forum will know much better than me...

Posted from TSR Mobile
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Fakbarpoor
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I think manchester does a foundation year for students with non science subjects. Check their website. Also, i think you need UKCAT for that.
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Liv2126
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I'd suggest taking a year out to decide what you want to do, because there's no point in going through the long-winded process of applying for medicine if you change your mind halfway down the line! Don't worry about changing your mind, i'm exactly the same! I couldn't decide what degree to do during my A-levels - I went from nursing to illustration to religious studies, but I took a year out and came to a decision on what subject to take at uni (and i've never regretted doing so!). Also perhaps (if you haven't done so already) you could undertake some work experience in a clinical setting to make sure it's what you want to do. In terms of your A-level's I think you can take extra ones online if you pay a certain amount, and at the end of the year you go to a local school or college (or wherever the online course is linked with) to sit the exams. I'm not 100% sure but perhaps if you talk to a careers advisor at your school/college/local job centre, they might be able to give you some more advice!Good luck!
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AzureCeleste
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If medicine is what you want to do and you don't want to do another degree first or foundation years. Do you have the possibility to sit 3 new A-levels (so chem, biology and one other one) at your current school or some other one?
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Aelin1234
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Thank you so much to everyone that's replied! I'm currently looking at being able to do my chemistry and biology in my gap year on my own since I'm not able to stay at my school, so we'll see how I do on that front. Thanks again and I'd welcome any more advice, especially if you do medicine and can give me tips on what it's really like at university/things to watch out for.
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Tipanan99
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So now I'm doing my A level for the first year and I'm doing maths, physics, chemistry, and biology. But now I found that they are so stressful especially I have moved across the country to live with my family in Northern Ireland and a completely new environment and school with an intensive course keep making me feel so overwhelmed.

So I decided to talk to my personal tutor and he said I could even drop either maths or physics but I need to keep Chem and Bio which is fine for me.

But I'm not sure if i drop either of those could give me bad effect when I'm going to the uni or not (I'm looking to do at Queen's University Belfast as my first choice but I don't mind having another options)

Could anybody help me sort this out please? Thank you so much
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