Tom Osborne
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Hi everyone, so I'm currently in year 12 and wanting to study Physics at university. My issue is, I have been told by my school that I should aim for oxbridge, however I know that Oxford does a pure physics degree, whereas with Cambridge you have to go via Natural Sciences. So atm I would prefer Oxford, however I have heard that Oxford use GCSEs quite heavily in selection, whereas Cambridge don't use them that much( I was told this by someone in recruitment at Cambridge). Although, my GCSEs are good, they are not all 7-9s. I got : Physics-9 Chemistry-9 Biology-9 Maths-8 History-8 ICT-A* Geography-7 German-7 English Lit-6 English Lang-5. So my questions are, do you think Oxford is still possible with these grades, and if any one is at Cambridge doing Physics via NatSci, then what are modules like Earth Sciences and Material Sciences like that I would have to take in the first year?
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RuneFreeze
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You can do a proper physics degree at cambridge by doing mathematics and choosing the maths with physics option. I would recomend this. It means you do half of maths the physics part of nat sci in the first year. You can then switch to
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Tom Osborne
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(Original post by RuneFreeze)
You can do a proper physics degree at cambridge by doing mathematics and choosing the maths with physics option. I would recomend this. It means you do half of maths the physics part of nat sci in the first year. You can then switch to
Thank you for the reply. I hadn't heard of that before. I just checked the website and that looks really good. Is it 100% I would be able to switch after 1st year? Because obviously I don't want there to be a chance they won't let me transfer
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RuneFreeze
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(Original post by Tom Osborne)
Yes youThank you for the reply. I hadn't heard of that before. I just checked the website and that looks really good. Is it 100% I would be able to switch after 1st year? Because obviously I don't want there to be a chance they won't let me transfer
Yes, it is a standard route for people wanting to do physics proper. When you apply for mathematics, you can choose maths or maths with physics. You then choose whether to carry on with maths ( which involves plenty of theoretical physics anyway ) or switch to physics. Its designed so that people can do physics proper without any other ****e, and obviously it makes it a physics degree with a very firm mathematical grounding. This is probably the most respected physics course in the country, more so than oxfords.
Be warned though, look through some STEP papers. They are not for the faint hearted and take serious preparation (of course for physics getting better at undergraduate style maths is always a good thing and thats what STEP is, and why they require it for maths and maths with physics.

PS This all assumes you are doing Maths and Further Maths which you need whatever route incliding oxford tbh, and are good enough ( have enough wherewithal) to eventually get a 1,1 in STEP II and III ( STEP II is A level maths STEP III adds further maths)
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Tom Osborne
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(Original post by RuneFreeze)
Yes, it is a standard route for people wanting to do physics proper. When you apply for mathematics, you can choose maths or maths with physics. You then choose whether to carry on with maths ( which involves plenty of theoretical physics anyway ) or switch to physics. Its designed so that people can do physics proper without any other ****e, and obviously it makes it a physics degree with a very firm mathematical grounding. This is probably the most respected physics course in the country, more so than oxfords.
Be warned though, look through some STEP papers. They are not for the faint hearted and take serious preparation (of course for physics getting better at undergraduate style maths is always a good thing and thats what STEP is, and why they require it for maths and maths with physics.

PS This all assumes you are doing Maths and Further Maths which you need whatever route incliding oxford tbh, and are good enough ( have enough wherewithal) to eventually get a 1,1 in STEP II and III ( STEP II is A level maths STEP III adds further maths)
Wow, that sounds really good and yes I am doing Maths and Further Maths. Thank you very much for your help. If I have a chance of getting in, this is definetly what I will be doing!
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RuneFreeze
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Your welcome, the other advantage is they dont care as much about GCSE’s since STEP is such a big bottleneck. I was struggling between maths and maghs with physics, I went for maths in the end but it was tough!
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