Without Further Maths and Chemistry, what chances do I have for Physics at top-unis? Watch

mvphoebe
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I don't have FM or Chemistry that normal canditates for Physics have:
A levels: Maths, Physics, History (and AS Further Maths independently). I don't know whether I should apply to Imperial, UCL, St Andrews (definitely love St Andrews).
Just looking for some clarity if anyone can help me????
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artful_lounger
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Chemistry doesn't matter, and you have AS FM at least. I don't think you'll be much disadvantaged, if at all, for most. You just wouldn't be able to apply for Cambridge, in all likelihood (as you don't have 3 STEM subjects to full A-level for natural sciences route physics, and you don't have full A-level FM for maths with physics route physics). Otherwise, while perhaps not ideal to not have the full A-level FM, you have AS level at least, which does include some of the more important things it's worth having covered before (infinite series, complex numbers, matrices, further vectors, algebra, and calculus work).

History is of course somewhat irrelevant for most physics courses, but might be considered a benefit for some joint honours courses, such as physics and philosophy at Oxford, natural philosophy at Aberdeen, etc. It would also likely be a good background for courses in the history and philosophy of science specifically (this is mainly UCL I think). You'll also probably be better able to write extended prose work (such as for the dissertation or similar research/independent project work) which is a minor bonus.

You could have a look at freedom of information act requests on statistics for applicants to physics at those universities with/without A-level FM, or if there isn't one already you can make one of your own. I imagine Imperial and UCL probably have some published requests in that vein on whatdotheyknow, but I'm not so sure about St Andrews.
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mvphoebe
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Chemistry doesn't matter, and you have AS FM at least. I don't think you'll be much disadvantaged, if at all, for most. You just wouldn't be able to apply for Cambridge, in all likelihood (as you don't have 3 STEM subjects to full A-level for natural sciences route physics, and you don't have full A-level FM for maths with physics route physics). Otherwise, while perhaps not ideal to not have the full A-level FM, you have AS level at least, which does include some of the more important things it's worth having covered before (infinite series, complex numbers, matrices, further vectors, algebra, and calculus work).

History is of course somewhat irrelevant for most physics courses, but might be considered a benefit for some joint honours courses, such as physics and philosophy at Oxford, natural philosophy at Aberdeen, etc. It would also likely be a good background for courses in the history and philosophy of science specifically (this is mainly UCL I think). You'll also probably be better able to write extended prose work (such as for the dissertation or similar research/independent project work) which is a minor bonus.

You could have a look at freedom of information act requests on statistics for applicants to physics at those universities with/without A-level FM, or if there isn't one already you can make one of your own. I imagine Imperial and UCL probably have some published requests in that vein on whatdotheyknow, but I'm not so sure about St Andrews.
Thanks for the reply, I was planning on applying for Oxford for a Physics degree rather than Natural Science. So do you think I don't have a chance for Oxford with a straight Physics degree? I do just want to do a straight Physics degree...
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by mvphoebe)
Thanks for the reply, I was planning on applying for Oxford for a Physics degree rather than Natural Science. So do you think I don't have a chance for Oxford with a straight Physics degree? I do just want to do a straight Physics degree...
For single honours, FM isn't required apparently, but I imagine many if not most applicants have it. You do at least have AS FM though, which I think would keep you in the running. Have a look at FOI requests to see how successful those with FM vs those without tend to be (or make your own, although I imagine that there are several already made for Oxford). Bear in mind Oxford weight GCSEs fairly heavily, so if you have weaker GCSEs you would need to do extremely well on the PAT to counterbalance that. I get the impression the PAT is the main consideration for shortlisting for interview, and after that the interview will make more of a difference than subject choices.

BrasenoseAdm may be able to advise on how prospective physicists are assessed for admission, and how critical A-level FM is compared to "just" AS FM, at their college. I believe most colleges consider PhysPhil applicants for both PhysPhil and the straight physics course (and they may make an offer for the straight physics course if they aren't satisfied the applicant can cope with the philosophy side).
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by mvphoebe)
I don't have FM or Chemistry that normal canditates for Physics have:
A levels: Maths, Physics, History (and AS Further Maths independently). I don't know whether I should apply to Imperial, UCL, St Andrews (definitely love St Andrews).
Just looking for some clarity if anyone can help me????
St Andrews is a wonderful experience, and it is fine but as long as you don't do Direct 2nd year entry. in your first year you will do 3 subjects (so maths, physics and one other of your choice), and a lot of physicists do the direct 2nd year option but i wouldn't recommend that in your case
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mvphoebe
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Oh so if you apply to direct entry to second year, does that mean it is more difficult to get into?
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by mvphoebe)
Oh so if you apply to direct entry to second year, does that mean it is more difficult to get into?
i just think direct 2nd year entry is very hardcore and is only for those desperate to avoid a year if tuition fees. st andrews students are smart enough to do it, but i would take the normal 4 year route without further maths
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mvphoebe
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
i just think direct 2nd year entry is very hardcore and is only for those desperate to avoid a year if tuition fees. st andrews students are smart enough to do it, but i would take the normal 4 year route without further maths
Honestly thanks so much for your help!
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