Bella.tigerlily
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Looking for some input from anyone who’s done either or both at a level.
The other subjects I want to do are maths, further maths, and chemistry. I really don’t know what degree/career I’d like to pursue but obviously want to keep my options fairly open. Predicted a 9 in both at gcse and find both of them very interesting. From what I can gather physics is more complimentary to maths and FM but on the other hand bio would keep the medicine route more open.
In need of any advice to help me decide as it seems like everyone else has decided their a level options by now!
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Fatcookies
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i did bio and chem, they work together really good. i would say bio because maths/fm/chem is already alot of maths so bio is a big change n give u something different to study instead of just equations all the time.
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somebrick
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Honestly depends on what you're leaning more towards I guess, I was in your same situation a year ago and chose bio over physics perhaps that lead me to be more inclined to doing medicine now.
Last edited by somebrick; 3 months ago
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GreenCub
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Maths, further maths and chemistry are very good choices that open up a lot of possibilities. Physics is only required for Physics or Engineering at university, and a few of the top universities like it if you have Physics but are applying for Maths or Computer Science. If you think there's a strong possibility that you might want to do medicine, you should take Biology (but remember many medical schools don't require biology so the medicine route isn't completely closed to you even if you don't take it).

If you aren't considering a degree in physics or engineering (or maths/CS at the very top universities) there's no need to take Physics unless you want to take it because you enjoy it.

It really depends on which of the subjects you think you'd enjoy more. The physics A level isn't very mathematical (there's only so much maths they can put in without making the subject inaccessible to those not taking A level maths) as most of the 'maths' is just plug-and-chug calculations. However it goes very well with Maths and FM and can really help with the mechanics topics in maths.

I dropped biology at the end of the first term of year 12 so I can't speak for the rest of the course, but biology is heavily memorisation based and can be a bit of a content overload at times (think back to all the GCSE biology long model-answer sentences you had to remember - it's a bit like that but with far more content). The topics are quite interesting though, and if you're strongly considering medicine you should choose it. Do remember that many medical schools won't make offers that include both Maths and Further Maths.
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Bella.tigerlily
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(Original post by Fatcookies)
i did bio and chem, they work together really good. i would say bio because maths/fm/chem is already alot of maths so bio is a big change n give u something different to study instead of just equations all the time.
Good point - that’s one of the main reasons I’m strongly considering bio! Thanks.
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Bella.tigerlily
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(Original post by somebrick)
Honestly depends on what you're leaning more towards I guess, I was in your same situation a year ago and chose bio over physics perhaps because I'm more inclined to doing medicine now.
Hmm yeah seem to be swinging between them as I’m very indecisive but maybe gcse results will give me a better idea...
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somebrick
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Though kinda do regret not doing physics. Find it really interesting esp whilst doing FM.
(Original post by Bella.tigerlily)
Hmm yeah seem to be swinging between them as I’m very indecisive but maybe gcse results will give me a better idea...
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Bella.tigerlily
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(Original post by GreenCub)
Maths, further maths and chemistry are very good choices that open up a lot of possibilities. Physics is only required for Physics or Engineering at university, and a few of the top universities like it if you have Physics but are applying for Maths or Computer Science. If you think there's a strong possibility that you might want to do medicine, you should take Biology (but remember many medical schools don't require biology so the medicine route isn't completely closed to you even if you don't take it).

If you aren't considering a degree in physics or engineering (or maths/CS at the very top universities) there's no need to take Physics unless you want to take it because you enjoy it.

It really depends on which of the subjects you think you'd enjoy more. The physics A level isn't very mathematical (there's only so much maths they can put in without making the subject inaccessible to those not taking A level maths) as most of the 'maths' is just plug-and-chug calculations. However it goes very well with Maths and FM and can really help with the mechanics topics in maths.

I dropped biology at the end of the first term of year 12 so I can't speak for the rest of the course, but biology is heavily memorisation based and can be a bit of a content overload at times (think back to all the GCSE biology long model-answer sentences you had to remember - it's a bit like that but with far more content). The topics are quite interesting though, and if you're strongly considering medicine you should choose it. Do remember that many medical schools won't make offers that include both Maths and Further Maths.
Thanks for such a detailed response! Medicine is definitely something I’m still thinking about, so maybe I should do more research into it...
Although I do find biology very interesting, one of my main apprehensions is the amount of content to learn/memorise. I do quite like learning by understanding and applying rather than memorisation, which makes physics look appealing (obviously there is still understanding formulae etc in biology and memorising in physics but speaking more generally here). Think I’ll need to give this some more thought!
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Vetrix42
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Biology is much more versatile than Physics. As you should only consider Physics if you are considering Engineering. If you want to keep Medicine an option Biology is a must.
(Original post by Bella.tigerlily)
Looking for some input from anyone who’s done either or both at a level.
The other subjects I want to do are maths, further maths, and chemistry. I really don’t know what degree/career I’d like to pursue but obviously want to keep my options fairly open. Predicted a 9 in both at gcse and find both of them very interesting. From what I can gather physics is more complimentary to maths and FM but on the other hand bio would keep the medicine route more open.
In need of any advice to help me decide as it seems like everyone else has decided their a level options by now!
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GreenCub
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(Original post by Bella.tigerlily)
Thanks for such a detailed response! Medicine is definitely something I’m still thinking about, so maybe I should do more research into it...
Although I do find biology very interesting, one of my main apprehensions is the amount of content to learn/memorise. I do quite like learning by understanding and applying rather than memorisation, which makes physics look appealing (obviously there is still understanding formulae etc in biology and memorising in physics but speaking more generally here). Think I’ll need to give this some more thought!
Yeah biology is very heavy on content and memorisation, but if you're interested in it I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

I know quite a lot of people who do each of the maths/FM/chem/bio and maths/FM/chem/physics combinations (I'm in year 12 and I do the second combination). A lot of people who did the first combination are medicine people - incidentally many of them recently dropped FM as they didn't need it. The second combination is very standard for applicants to maths, CS, physics, chemistry and engineering courses.

I see you're going to do further maths. Would you say you are a very mathematically oriented person?

Are you considering a degree in physics or engineering at all?
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Bella.tigerlily
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(Original post by Vetrix42)
Biology is much more versatile than Physics. As you should only consider Physics if you are considering Engineering. If you want to keep Medicine an option Biology is a must.
Surely I should also consider physics if I want to do a physics degree or maths at oxbridge as it is so complimentary?
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Vetrix42
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That is also true. tbh if I was you I'd contact your schools Career Adviser and make a decision ASAP on what you want to do in order to come to a satisfying conclusion.
(Original post by Bella.tigerlily)
Surely I should also consider physics if I want to do a physics degree or maths at oxbridge as it is so complimentary?
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Bella.tigerlily
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(Original post by Vetrix42)
That is also true. tbh if I was you I'd contact your schools Career Adviser and make a decision ASAP on what you want to do in order to come to a satisfying conclusion.
Haha been there done that (multiple times). Idk if it’s just the careers advisors at my school but all I ever hear is ‘do what you enjoy’ or ‘think about what degree/job you want’ etc etc. Which doesn’t really help when I enjoy both and don’t know what I want to do. I mean they’ll suggest various career paths and there’s quite a few things that make me think ‘yeah sounds alright but how do I know I’ll like this more than that or maybe I’d enjoy both of these things equally in which case how am I meant to decide!’. Ah well.
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GreenCub
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(Original post by Bella.tigerlily)
Surely I should also consider physics if I want to do a physics degree or maths at oxbridge as it is so complimentary?
Absolutely. It bothers me when people automatically make the association that A level biology=medicine and A level physics=engineering. Pure science degrees are often overlooked.
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harrysbar
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(Original post by Bella.tigerlily)
Looking for some input from anyone who’s done either or both at a level.
The other subjects I want to do are maths, further maths, and chemistry. I really don’t know what degree/career I’d like to pursue but obviously want to keep my options fairly open. Predicted a 9 in both at gcse and find both of them very interesting. From what I can gather physics is more complimentary to maths and FM but on the other hand bio would keep the medicine route more open.
In need of any advice to help me decide as it seems like everyone else has decided their a level options by now!
Careers Advisers can't tell anyone what they should do, that is a decision that only you can make at the end of the day and it is up to you to carry on researching both careers and trying to get relevant work experience or attending uni insight days etc in Year 12 in both Engineering and Medicine. You can't be a perfect candidate for both subjects with 4 A levels but you could keep both options open (and many more) with Maths, Physics, Biology and Chemistry.

Not all Engineering degrees require Further Maths by any means, although it is useful
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Bella.tigerlily
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(Original post by harrysbar)
Careers Advisers can't tell anyone what they should do, that is a decision that only you can make at the end of the day and it is up to you to carry on researching both careers and trying to get relevant work experience or attending uni insight days etc in Year 12 in both Engineering and Medicine. You can't be a perfect candidate for both subjects with 4 A levels but you could keep both options open (and many more) with Maths, Physics, Biology and Chemistry.

Not all Engineering degrees require Further Maths by any means, although it is useful
Yep think I’ll have to have to just keep researching and thinking. Interested that so many people assume that I want to do further maths and physics in order to do engineering, that’s one thing I’m fairly sure I don’t want to do a degree in! Thanks for the advice
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GreenCub
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(Original post by Bella.tigerlily)
Yep think I’ll have to have to just keep researching and thinking. Interested that so many people assume that I want to do further maths and physics in order to do engineering, that’s one thing I’m fairly sure I don’t want to do a degree in! Thanks for the advice
Are you considering a degree in any of the following subjects and if so, which ones?
  • Physics
  • Maths
  • Computer Science
  • Chemistry
  • Materials Science
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returnmigrant
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I think you need to go to some University Open Days and look at some of the degrees you might take - Physics, Medicine, Biochem, Engineering (in all its forms). That might sound a bit 'irrelevant' at the moment, but looking at what these subjects are about and what career pathways they could lead to could be useful.

Anyone can go to an Open Day - you don't have to be Year 12 or 13 - just book yourself a place on the Uni website and book some of the 'subject talks'. Lots happening in July and Sept/Oct. Always useful to see what 'being at Uni' might be like, and often its great motivation for A levels.

UCAS Open Day Search tool : https://www.ucas.com/ucas/events/find/type/open-day
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harrysbar
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(Original post by Bella.tigerlily)
Yep think I’ll have to have to just keep researching and thinking. Interested that so many people assume that I want to do further maths and physics in order to do engineering, that’s one thing I’m fairly sure I don’t want to do a degree in! Thanks for the advice
It's just the obvious thing. You can even combine engineering with working in a hospital (medical engineering) but ok, I'll stop banging on about engineering now
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