A Level Computer Science or Physics if want to study Computer Science/ Math at Uni?

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passby
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Hi,

I am in Y11 and my GCSE subjects include Math, Computer Science and triple Sciences. For A Levels, if I can handle 4 subjects, my initial intention was to choose Math, Further Math, Chemistry and Computer Science. If I can handle only 3 subjects, I would drop 1 subject after Y12 and choose Math, Further Math and Chemistry. I know that Physics is partly covered by Math and they both go very well together. However, Chemistry and Math are my best subjects so I don't intend to drop Chemistry.

The questions are:
1. If I want to study Computer Science or a combination of Computer Science and Math course at Uni, would it be better if I choose Computer Science over Physics?

2. Is the new A Levels Computer Science easier than Physics?

3. Do Uni regard physics better than the new A Level Computer Science (for Computer Science course)? What about for Math course at Uni?

Thanks in advance for your answers
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nayyir
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Hi! I think you should choose CS over physics because it’ll give you a strong foundation in CS for uni, plus all the physics parts in a CS major are covered by the CS and maths A Level
I can’t answer your second question bc I haven’t taken the new A Level CS, but for the question about uni, I’m sure it’s different from uni to uni however I don’t think they’d prefer one over the other. But just so you make sure send an email to the universities you’re considering applying to asking about this.
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user73867
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I would pick Physics. It's good to broaden your knowledge.


There's nothing you'll learn on an A-levels that you won't learn during CS at uni.
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eggbutt
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Speaking from experience (I also had to choose between continuing physics or computer science, when intending to do a compsci degree) I think what's BEST to do is do what you like the most. Genuinely this might sound kinda preachy, but if you're in a subject doing something you don't like then it's draining as hell - don't underestimate that, as especially at A-Level it can be a lot, especially when it's, like, a quarter of all the stuff you're studying.

What I will say though... Is that most (if not all) compsci courses do NOT ask for an A-Level in computer science specifically - usually, they only ever ask for maths (sometimes further maths, too, for some particular courses) and at least one science subject. Clearly you already have that covered. Due to this, many universities do begin with going over a lot of stuff you might have otherwise been taught at A-Level. That means if you choose computing, it really will help and give you a good leg up. Actually in some cases, you can even skip the first year, if you already have adequate experience.

That being SAID, physics would still certainly not be a bad option. Computer science would help you, of course, for a computing degree but an equivalent good grade in physics would definitely still get you the offers you want - you just wouldn't get that aforementioned benefit of getting the leg up, which is fine because everything would still be covered. Moreover... Even if you are absolutely certain NOW that that's what you want to do, in the case that you do change your mind, physics probably leaves more avenues open for you. Not that no other course would accept a CS AS-Level/A-Level, but I don't think it'd ever specifically be asked for, whilst a physics one would. Keep in mind, lots of subjects can be different at A-Level in comparison to at GCSE, so sometimes you can regret things.
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ONatusch
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Thinking away from the "what will get me in to uni" idea based on the actual course you study at A-Level, and more towards "what grades do I need". A-Levels are a BIG step from GCSE. Everyone will say this, and they're all telling the truth. I know many people who studied physics A-Level and, while they were fine at GCSE level for math and physics, they struggled with A-Level.

It is always worth looking at the subject and thinking "which of these will I potentially get a higher grade in".

I took Computer Science at A level going from an A at GCSE with 80%+ in my coursework module, to getting a C at A-Level with 60% roughly in my coursework (granted, I had a LOT of personal stuff going on, so didn't do as well as perhaps I could have).

However, taking CS at A-Level put me ahead for my first year of CS undergrad (going into 3rd year now sitting on a First). We had two mathematics modules, which were taught from scratch and thus I didn't need the math from A-Level (I enjoy math anyway, so picked it up fairly fast [you're going to hate stats]).

TL;DR - Do what you think you can do best in, explore your options, physics is hard but so is CS, A-Levels suck (sorry), make an informed choice, good luck!
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