Can you get a Computer Science degree without A level maths?

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deathsprince
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Hi. I am currently in the middle of doing GCSEs and choosing my A levels, but I've discovered that in order to do a Computer Science degree at every uni high in the league tables, you must have done A level maths. I am predicted an 8 for maths in my gcse so I'm not terrible at it, but it's taken a LOT of effort to get to where I am now and I know A level maths is a huge step up, hence why I am reluctant on taking it. I already have 3 a levels that I really love and want to take (history, english lit, computing) , but every uni wants a maths a level. Would taking 4 a levels be too much? ( I'm predicted 8s in everything for my gcses) Or does anyone know any unis that don't require a maths a level ?
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username4003948
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(Original post by deathsprince)
Hi. I am currently in the middle of doing GCSEs and choosing my A levels, but I've discovered that in order to do a Computer Science degree at every uni high in the league tables, you must have done A level maths. I am predicted an 8 for maths in my gcse so I'm not terrible at it, but it's taken a LOT of effort to get to where I am now and I know A level maths is a huge step up, hence why I am reluctant on taking it. I already have 3 a levels that I really love and want to take (history, english lit, computing) , but every uni wants a maths a level. Would taking 4 a levels be too much? ( I'm predicted 8s in everything for my gcses) Or does anyone know any unis that don't require a maths a level ?
You can definitely do a foundation year for computing at university, without a maths a-level. So it would be a four year degree instead of the usual three - one year foundation and then three years of undergraduate study.

I'm doing foundation computing right now. I have 2 a-levels, graded C & C, sat in 2008. 10 GCSEs A - C including English/Eng lit/Maths/Science/History/Business/Media/Italian, sat those in 2006. When I pass this year I can choose to study Computer Science, any other computing related course (Business Computing, Creative Computing, Music Computing, Games Design etc etc) or - if my pass mark is high enough - any subject for which I can demonstrate a genuine interest.

I could even transfer to a different university, provided I get a good pass mark and the prospective new university is willing to accept it. So you could do a foundation year at a university which may not be the one you ultimately want to attend. Obviously with the Russel Group, they might take a bit more convincing, but perhaps they would consider the foundation grade in conjunction with some kind of entry test they might ask you to sit.
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ZdYnm8vuNR
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(Original post by deathsprince)
Hi. I am currently in the middle of doing GCSEs and choosing my A levels, but I've discovered that in order to do a Computer Science degree at every uni high in the league tables, you must have done A level maths. I am predicted an 8 for maths in my gcse so I'm not terrible at it, but it's taken a LOT of effort to get to where I am now and I know A level maths is a huge step up, hence why I am reluctant on taking it. I already have 3 a levels that I really love and want to take (history, english lit, computing) , but every uni wants a maths a level. Would taking 4 a levels be too much? ( I'm predicted 8s in everything for my gcses) Or does anyone know any unis that don't require a maths a level ?
As someone in y12 wanting to do computer science, I think you really should take A-level Maths. It's really not that much of a step up from GCSE, and with enough practice you'll handle it just fine. I do recommend that you drop one of your other subjects though as 4 is quite a lot, even for someone with all 8s.
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deathsprince
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(Original post by ZdYnm8vuNR)
As someone in y12 wanting to do computer science, I think you really should take A-level Maths. It's really not that much of a step up from GCSE, and with enough practice you'll handle it just fine. I do recommend that you drop one of your other subjects though as 4 is quite a lot, even for someone with all 8s.
What sort of content do you cover in maths a level? Is it the same topics as GCSE but at a higher level or completely new stuff?
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deathsprince
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(Original post by insouciancedward)
You can definitely do a foundation year for computing at university, without a maths a-level. So it would be a four year degree instead of the usual three - one year foundation and then three years of undergraduate study.

I'm doing foundation computing right now. I have 2 a-levels, graded C & C, sat in 2008. 10 GCSEs A - C including English/Eng lit/Maths/Science/History/Business/Media/Italian, sat those in 2006. When I pass this year I can choose to study Computer Science, any other computing related course (Business Computing, Creative Computing, Music Computing, Games Design etc etc) or - if my pass mark is high enough - any subject for which I can demonstrate a genuine interest.

I could even transfer to a different university, provided I get a good pass mark and the prospective new university is willing to accept it. So you could do a foundation year at a university which may not be the one you ultimately want to attend. Obviously with the Russel Group, they might take a bit more convincing, but perhaps they would consider the foundation grade in conjunction with some kind of entry test they might ask you to sit.
A foundation course does sound like a good option and would probably pay off long term, but the extra £9,000 I'd have to pay is swaying me against it 😂
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patry27
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(Original post by deathsprince)
What sort of content do you cover in maths a level? Is it the same topics as GCSE but at a higher level or completely new stuff?
It's pretty much completely new stuff but the a level will help you getting into uni since most unis want maths for a computing course
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deathsprince
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(Original post by patry27)
It's pretty much completely new stuff but the a level will help you getting into uni since most unis want maths for a computing course
Yep, almost every uni wants an a maths/physics a level. Kinda weird how none of them ask for a computer science one tho. Is the workload high for maths compared to other subjects?
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MeMyselfand I
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(Original post by deathsprince)
Hi. I am currently in the middle of doing GCSEs and choosing my A levels, but I've discovered that in order to do a Computer Science degree at every uni high in the league tables, you must have done A level maths. I am predicted an 8 for maths in my gcse so I'm not terrible at it, but it's taken a LOT of effort to get to where I am now and I know A level maths is a huge step up, hence why I am reluctant on taking it. I already have 3 a levels that I really love and want to take (history, english lit, computing) , but every uni wants a maths a level. Would taking 4 a levels be too much? ( I'm predicted 8s in everything for my gcses) Or does anyone know any unis that don't require a maths a level ?
No you don't need A level maths, but if you're good at it then you really should go for it.
I think goldsmiths, Kings college and some others only require B in GCSE maths, but check it anyway.
I would do A level maths, even if you don't do so well because it's hard at least you tried and it would still help you get into more universities
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patry27
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(Original post by deathsprince)
Yep, almost every uni wants an a maths/physics a level. Kinda weird how none of them ask for a computer science one tho. Is the workload high for maths compared to other subjects?
I believe it's the part that computing/computer science is a mathematical science so to understand certain topics/ideas you need to know how to think mathematically, which, an a level in maths will help you develop the skills to do so. Also maths is used quite a lot in specific areas which is why it's also wanted quite often.
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deathsprince
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(Original post by MeMyselfand I)
No you don't need A level maths, but if you're good at it then you really should go for it.
I think goldsmiths, Kings college and some others only require B in GCSE maths, but check it anyway.
I would do A level maths, even if you don't do so well because it's hard at least you tried and it would still help you get into more universities
It's annoying that only a few don't ask for maths haha, apart from King's and goldsmiths which others don't?
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MeMyselfand I
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(Original post by deathsprince)
It's annoying that only a few don't ask for maths haha, apart from King's and goldsmiths which others don't?
Westminster, Kingston maybe
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deathsprince
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(Original post by patry27)
I believe it's the part that computing/computer science is a mathematical science so to understand certain topics/ideas you need to know how to think mathematically, which, an a level in maths will help you develop the skills to do so. Also maths is used quite a lot in specific areas which is why it's also wanted quite often.
Fair enough. I think I'll see how I get on with it for the first few weeks of sixth form, hopefully it'll work out!
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MeMyselfand I
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Westminster, Kingston and queen Mary's maybe
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MeMyselfand I
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Queen Mary (Russel group) no maths A level.
ABB, and B maths GCSE.
Westminster also, ABB or BBB.
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MeMyselfand I
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(Original post by MeMyselfand I)
Queen Mary (Russel group) no maths A level.
ABB, and B maths GCSE.
Westminster also, ABB or BBB.
I heard that when universities don't ask for Maths A level it's because their degree has more of it, don't know if it's true.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by deathsprince)
Hi. I am currently in the middle of doing GCSEs and choosing my A levels, but I've discovered that in order to do a Computer Science degree at every uni high in the league tables, you must have done A level maths. I am predicted an 8 for maths in my gcse so I'm not terrible at it, but it's taken a LOT of effort to get to where I am now and I know A level maths is a huge step up, hence why I am reluctant on taking it. I already have 3 a levels that I really love and want to take (history, english lit, computing) , but every uni wants a maths a level. Would taking 4 a levels be too much? ( I'm predicted 8s in everything for my gcses) Or does anyone know any unis that don't require a maths a level ?
if you can't handle A level maths, you won't cope for 1 minute of a degree in comp sci, which is basically a degree in applied maths with some programming thrown in.
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ZdYnm8vuNR
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(Original post by deathsprince)
What sort of content do you cover in maths a level? Is it the same topics as GCSE but at a higher level or completely new stuff?
You start off with topics similar to GCSE but a bit more advanced (Extra algebra stuff eg. binomial expansion, factor theorem. this isn't very hard. Also some slightly harder trigonometry). Later down the course (end of first year and second year) is when you get something very different to GCSE called calculus, which involves a lot of algebra. However, this is only at the end of the first year and by then your maths skills will be good enough to tackle the problems just fine.
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DerivativeName
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(Original post by ZdYnm8vuNR)
You start off with topics similar to GCSE but a bit more advanced (Extra algebra stuff eg. binomial expansion, factor theorem. this isn't very hard. Also some slightly harder trigonometry). Later down the course (end of first year and second year) is when you get something very different to GCSE called calculus, which involves a lot of algebra. However, this is only at the end of the first year and by then your maths skills will be good enough to tackle the problems just fine.
Eh we're on differentiation now, but I suppose we haven't done any applied topics yet which is unusual.

But OP, calculus really isn't that hard, it's just different and if you're getting an 8 at GCSE you'll get it fine. Year 12 maths at least it's pretty easy tbh
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yt7777
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(Original post by CollectiveSoul)
if you can't handle A level maths, you won't cope for 1 minute of a degree in comp sci, which is basically a degree in applied maths with some programming thrown in.
Well I managed a bachelors and a masters in Comp Sci (+ considering a PhD) without A level Maths... 😂

The maths in Comp Sci is pretty tough, but its not overly relevant to the type of maths taught at A level, with the exception of decision maths, vectors/matrices and some FP stuff like proofs, all learnable without an A level in Maths, Comp Sci type maths, like set theory, graph theory (unless opting for D1/2), relations and logic, I don't believe is touched on at A level. Obviously it builds good problem solving abilities and exam technique but it's certainly not essential and I don't fully understand why it's so sought after
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by yt7777)
Well I managed a bachelors and a masters in Comp Sci (+ considering a PhD) without A level Maths... 😂

The maths in Comp Sci is pretty tough, but its not overly relevant to the type of maths taught at A level, with the exception of decision maths, vectors/matrices and some FP stuff like proofs, all learnable without an A level in Maths, Comp Sci type maths, like set theory, graph theory (unless opting for D1/2), relations and logic, I don't believe is touched on at A level. Obviously it builds good problem solving abilities and exam technique but it's certainly not essential and I don't fully understand why it's so sought after
well that;s very impressive then... many congrats
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