essexgirlgilbert
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Hello,
My dream course is to apply for human sciences at oxford, however they say biology and maths a level is helpful but not required, though I have neither of these subjects. I emailed the admission team a few months ago and similarly a few weeks ago but still no reply. I want to know if I have a realistic chance getting an interview despite my lack of the ‘helpful’ subjects (my a levels: geography, history, politics). Does anyone know someone that got onto Human sciences without biology or maths, or does someone know the data of how many people are accepted onto the course each year with neither of those a levels? I just want to know so I can assess my chances of even getting called for an interview, so if not I go with my 2nd preferred course. Thank you so much.
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wjblessing
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(Original post by essexgirlgilbert)
Hello,
My dream course is to apply for human sciences at oxford, however they say biology and maths a level is helpful but not required, though I have neither of these subjects. I emailed the admission team a few months ago and similarly a few weeks ago but still no reply. I want to know if I have a realistic chance getting an interview despite my lack of the ‘helpful’ subjects (my a levels: geography, history, politics). Does anyone know someone that got onto Human sciences without biology or maths, or does someone know the data of how many people are accepted onto the course each year with neither of those a levels? I just want to know so I can assess my chances of even getting called for an interview, so if not I go with my 2nd preferred course. Thank you so much.
As you say, Maths and Biology are helpful for the degree, but not even 'recommended'. They fall on the bottom tier of 'usefulness', so I would say that your chances of being accepted won't be especially lowered by not having those A-levels. However, this is providing that you have demonstrated an interest in the subject outside of the classroom (personal statement, or start an EPQ). This is especially important as it is this independent study that will equip you with the scientific thinking skills necessary to perform well at interview.
Basically, so long as you have good GCSE grades, good predicted grades, and have shown you know what the subject is about, you have a good chance of being called to interview.
On an unrelated note, if human sciences is your dream course, why did you choose those A-levels?
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by wjblessing)
As you say, Maths and Biology are helpful for the degree, but not even 'recommended'. They fall on the bottom tier of 'usefulness', so I would say that your chances of being accepted won't be especially lowered by not having those A-levels. However, this is providing that you have demonstrated an interest in the subject outside of the classroom (personal statement, or start an EPQ). This is especially important as it is this independent study that will equip you with the scientific thinking skills necessary to perform well at interview.
Basically, so long as you have good GCSE grades, good predicted grades, and have shown you know what the subject is about, you have a good chance of being called to interview.
On an unrelated note, if human sciences is your dream course, why did you choose those A-levels?
Not OP but HumSci at Oxford has a significant humanities component as well that deals with the social and cultural side of human life. While there is a significant biology and stats component as well, one of the strength of the course is its interdisciplinary outlook and cohort from various backgrounds that aren't necessarily science based.
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wjblessing
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(Original post by wolfmoon88)
Not OP but HumSci at Oxford has a significant humanities component as well that deals with the social and cultural side of human life. While there is a significant biology and stats component as well, one of the strength of the course is its interdisciplinary outlook and cohort from various backgrounds that aren't necessarily science based.
That's what I was thinking. Perhaps studying biology instead of geography would supply OP with a basic grounding in both social and biological anthropology.
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FriedFish
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As what everyone else said above, but it’s also good to show a bit of interest in either subjects in your personal statement. Correct me if I’m wrong though!
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by essexgirlgilbert)
Hello,
My dream course is to apply for human sciences at oxford, however they say biology and maths a level is helpful but not required, though I have neither of these subjects. I emailed the admission team a few months ago and similarly a few weeks ago but still no reply. I want to know if I have a realistic chance getting an interview despite my lack of the ‘helpful’ subjects (my a levels: geography, history, politics). Does anyone know someone that got onto Human sciences without biology or maths, or does someone know the data of how many people are accepted onto the course each year with neither of those a levels? I just want to know so I can assess my chances of even getting called for an interview, so if not I go with my 2nd preferred course. Thank you so much.
Geography, History, and Politics are all relevant to the Human Sciences as a course... there may be an FOI submitted regarding that information but my guess is that there isn't. I would not choose your second choice course regardless. I would just focus on getting the best score on the TSA etc... If you have good grades, demonstrate academic aptitude through PS and score well on TSA, your chances won't be lower than others.
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wjblessing
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(Original post by FriedFish)
As what everyone else said above, but it’s also good to show a bit of interest in either subjects in your personal statement. Correct me if I’m wrong though!
As far as I am aware, Oxford aren't particularly interested in pursuits outside the confines of studies and pursuits that are somewhat related to the degree you are applying for. I may also be incorrect, but this is what I have been told by teachers and at open days.
However, other universities might be, so it could be worth including in the PS
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by wjblessing)
That's what I was thinking. Perhaps studying biology instead of geography would supply OP with a basic grounding in both social and biological anthropology.
That last sentence can be controversial to many social anthropologists for various reasons :lol: anthropology is a social science with methodology rooted within social scientific theory, geography in many cases would provide a better base to study anthropology than biology. Biological anthropology has more biological theory incorporated but a lot of methodology is still rooted in social science applications. But regardless, HumSci at Oxford has a genetics and evolution component so that would be what basic grounding in biology would be useful for.
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FriedFish
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(Original post by wjblessing)
As far as I am aware, Oxford aren't particularly interested in pursuits outside the confines of studies and pursuits that are somewhat related to the degree you are applying for. I may also be incorrect, but this is what I have been told by teachers and at open days.
However, other universities might be, so it could be worth including in the PS
I agree, but if it is a “support subject” then I suggest mentioning it a little. I am applying for oxbridge psychology and we are strongly encouraged to show interest for statistics in the personal statement even though I took Maths and FM

Edit: a few words
Last edited by FriedFish; 4 weeks ago
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by wjblessing)
As far as I am aware, Oxford aren't particularly interested in pursuits outside the confines of studies and pursuits that are somewhat related to the degree you are applying for. I may also be incorrect, but this is what I have been told by teachers and at open days.
However, other universities might be, so it could be worth including in the PS
They aren't wrong... PS around 80% academic and 20% non academic for Oxford.
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by FriedFish)
I agree, but if it is a “support subject” then I suggest mentioning it a little. I am apply for oxbridge psychology and we are strongly encouraged to show interest in statistics in the personal statement even though I took Maths and FM
or aptitude for the subjects :yep: rather than interest
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wjblessing
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(Original post by wolfmoon88)
That last sentence can be controversial to many social anthropologists for various reasons :lol: anthropology is a social science with methodology rooted within social scientific theory, geography in many cases would provide a better base to study anthropology than biology. Biological anthropology has more biological theory incorporated but a lot of methodology is still rooted in social science applications. But regardless, HumSci at Oxford has a genetics and evolution component so that would be what basic grounding in biology would be useful for.
I see, thank you for clarifying. I did see the G&E component on the course outline, which sparked my interest. I'm applying for Biochem myself, so that falls a bit more into my familiar territory
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wolfmoon88
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no problem, that's fair, good luck with your application!
Last edited by wolfmoon88; 4 weeks ago
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essexgirlgilbert
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(Original post by wjblessing)
As you say, Maths and Biology are helpful for the degree, but not even 'recommended'. They fall on the bottom tier of 'usefulness', so I would say that your chances of being accepted won't be especially lowered by not having those A-levels. However, this is providing that you have demonstrated an interest in the subject outside of the classroom (personal statement, or start an EPQ). This is especially important as it is this independent study that will equip you with the scientific thinking skills necessary to perform well at interview.
Basically, so long as you have good GCSE grades, good predicted grades, and have shown you know what the subject is about, you have a good chance of being called to interview.
On an unrelated note, if human sciences is your dream course, why did you choose those A-levels?
Thank you so much for your help. I picked the wrong subjects before I even knew what human sciences was and once I found out about the course I was hooked but my sixth form didn’t allow me to change my subjects
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essexgirlgilbert
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(Original post by wolfmoon88)
Geography, History, and Politics are all relevant to the Human Sciences as a course... there may be an FOI submitted regarding that information but my guess is that there isn't. I would not choose your second choice course regardless. I would just focus on getting the best score on the TSA etc... If you have good grades, demonstrate academic aptitude through PS and score well on TSA, your chances won't be lower than others.
Thank you for your help, was quite worried beforehand. Also, do you have any knowledge of the tsa or done it by any chance, so you could share any tips you have with me
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essexgirlgilbert
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(Original post by FriedFish)
I agree, but if it is a “support subject” then I suggest mentioning it a little. I am applying for oxbridge psychology and we are strongly encouraged to show interest for statistics in the personal statement even though I took Maths and FM

Edit: a few words
I have done a genetics course/MOOC despite me not doing biology a level to give me some background knowledge. Will this be sufficient enough for me to put into my personal statement? Also I am contemplating on maybe doing a statistics MOOC as maths was also a ‘helpful’ subject. Do you think this is necessary?
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FriedFish
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(Original post by essexgirlgilbert)
I have done a genetics course/MOOC despite me not doing biology a level to give me some background knowledge. Will this be sufficient enough for me to put into my personal statement? Also I am contemplating on maybe doing a statistics MOOC as maths was also a ‘helpful’ subject. Do you think this is necessary?
I’m not familiar with MOOC sorry! Maybe wolfmoon88 can help?

(Original post by wolfmoon88)
or aptitude for the subjects :yep: rather than interest
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by essexgirlgilbert)
Thank you for your help, was quite worried beforehand. Also, do you have any knowledge of the tsa or done it by any chance, so you could share any tips you have with me
FriedFish Thank you for the mention. I will attempt to answer both queries in this reply.

In terms of the TSA, I did it three years ago... so my knowledge may be outdated. Best advice is to familiarise yourself with the test questions beforehand by doing/looking at the available practice tests. From what I can recall, the test itself was quite straightforward but intense in terms of time; especially in the questions with calculations.

Genetics MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) would definitely be something that could be helpful to include in your PS. Be prepared for them to ask genetics related questions in the interview though. A statistics MOOC would potentially be helpful to include as well... though my suggestion is to make sure you really understand how stats work because it is almost a sure bet that stats related interpretation may come up in the interview. Both MOOCs would qualify as academic extracurriculars and are highly favoured of uni apps.

I hope this helps, I'm sure someone else less removed from the application process can help more in regards to TSA related queries :yep:
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