A level choices - Geology Watch

sqrt of 5
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I want to study earth science or geology at uni but I don't know what to do after my GCSEs. I'm definitely going to do geography because it's one of my favourite subjects and I know it will be helpful. I also love french but I don't know if it will help. What shall I do? Can I do AS French and the drop it?
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by sqrt of 5)
I want to study earth science or geology at uni but I don't know what to do after my GCSEs. I'm definitely going to do geography because it's one of my favourite subjects and I know it will be helpful. I also love french but I don't know if it will help. What shall I do? Can I do AS French and the drop it?
If you want to study Earth Sciences or Geology at university then you need (at the very least) two sciences, so in addition to Geography you will want to take one (or ideally, more) of Maths, Physics and Chemistry. Whether you take French as a third or fourth A/AS Level is up to you but no, it won't help.
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artful_lounger
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Generally for science courses (including geology) it's better to do more science and maths options than fewer. Although Geography is relevant and often accepted in lieu of a core science subject, you should plan to take at least one core science at A-level realistically (e.g. biology/chemistry/physics). It would then be much better preparation for those courses to do either a second core science or A-level Maths generally.

Plagioclase might have some thoughts
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sqrt of 5
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Generally for science courses (including geology) it's better to do more science and maths options than fewer. Although Geography is relevant and often accepted in lieu of a core science subject, you should plan to take at least one core science at A-level realistically (e.g. biology/chemistry/physics). It would then be much better preparation for those courses to do either a second core science or A-level Maths generally.

Plagioclase might have some thoughts
So maths is needed, there are no shortcuts right? I was going to do Chemistry but I have biology and I found physics a bit dull (but I love a few topics like waves and the last few modules of p2)

(Original post by Plagioclase)
If you want to study Earth Sciences or Geology at university then you need (at the very least) two sciences, so in addition to Geography you will want to take one (or ideally, more) of Maths, Physics and Chemistry. Whether you take French as a third or fourth A/AS Level is up to you but no, it won't help.
So doing french would just be a complete waste of time?
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by sqrt of 5)
So maths is needed, there are no shortcuts right? I was going to do Chemistry but I have biology and I found physics a bit dull (but I love a few topics like waves and the last few modules of p2)


So doing french would just be a complete waste of time?
I don't think A-level Maths is required specifically by most geology (although it is required for geophysics) courses, but bear in mind on almost any geology degree you will be learning the A-level Maths content sooner or later. It's generally easier to learn the material in A-level when you're doing it over two years, in a class of 20-30, with plenty of opportunities for individual attention from your teacher (who was actually trained to be an educator), lots of feedback etc, than in uni when you're learning it in less than a year in a lecture cohort of 100+ from a lecturer who is mainly a researcher, with 1 hour of office hour a week (of which you'll probably get 10-15 minutes), and a couple of quick notes on your work handed back and maybe a few minutes of a PhD going over something in a tutorial session.

If you know geology is your aim now, it'd probably be better to take it sooner rather than later, I think...
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by sqrt of 5)
So maths is needed, there are no shortcuts right? I was going to do Chemistry but I have biology and I found physics a bit dull (but I love a few topics like waves and the last few modules of p2)

So doing french would just be a complete waste of time?
Unfortunately, secondary education (and even some universities) sell a lie that mathematics is not an essential part of science. This is not correct. As artful_lounger says, whilst most geology courses (with some exceptions) do not require A Level Mathematics, you will not be able to escape doing maths at university if you study anything science-related, and this is even more true if you have any intention of going into research. So if you're serious about going into a science like geology, choosing the easy route and not taking at least two 'hard' sciences at A Level would be not be wise in my view.

Doing French would definitely not be a complete waste of time, learning a language is always a valuable life skill. But it won't help you in your geology degree. There's nothing wrong with taking it at A Level, as long as it isn't replacing subjects that are actually relevant.
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sqrt of 5
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
Unfortunately, secondary education (and even some universities) sell a lie that mathematics is not an essential part of science. This is not correct. As artful_lounger says, whilst most geology courses (with some exceptions) do not require A Level Mathematics, you will not be able to escape doing maths at university if you study anything science-related, and this is even more true if you have any intention of going into research. So if you're serious about going into a science like geology, choosing the easy route and not taking at least two 'hard' sciences at A Level would be not be wise in my view.

Doing French would definitely not be a complete waste of time, learning a language is always a valuable life skill. But it won't help you in your geology degree. There's nothing wrong with taking it at A Level, as long as it isn't replacing subjects that are actually relevant.
So, chemistry, physics and maths are good choices? Should I swap geography with physics? 😭😭
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by sqrt of 5)
So, chemistry, physics and maths are good choices? Should I swap geography with physics? 😭😭
I'm a bit confused about your current situation, why can't you do something like Geography, Biology and Chemistry, or Geography, Biology, French, or Geography, Biology, Chemistry and French AS?
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Emma:-)
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(Original post by sqrt of 5)
I want to study earth science or geology at uni but I don't know what to do after my GCSEs. I'm definitely going to do geography because it's one of my favourite subjects and I know it will be helpful. I also love french but I don't know if it will help. What shall I do? Can I do AS French and the drop it?
Id check on some unis websites to see what subjects they specify for the course, but if i were you id definitely do geography and maths. Then id do either chemistry or physics (or possibly biology) as a third.
If you want to do french as a 4th then thats up to you, maybe run it by your school first.
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sqrt of 5
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
I'm a bit confused about your current situation, why can't you do something like Geography, Biology and Chemistry, or Geography, Biology, French, or Geography, Biology, Chemistry and French AS?
Because I hate biology. At least most of the topics

(Original post by Emma:-))
Id check on some unis websites to see what subjects they specify for the course, but if i were you id definitely do geography and maths. Then id do either chemistry or physics (or possibly biology) as a third.
If you want to do french as a 4th then thats up to you, maybe run it by your school first.
I will tomorrow. Thank you
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MrMoment
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Ideal combination (in my opinion):

Geography, Physics, Maths
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