The-judge-16
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Is this a good combination of a levels?

I am looking to do degrees in biology, biomedical science and geology.

Many thanks
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The-judge-16
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Anyone?
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SAARH.A5
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For a degree in biology or biomedical science, you may need another science A level, however it is best to check course entry requirements. Other than that, they are a good combination of A levels!
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The-judge-16
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(Original post by SAARAH.A5)
For a degree in biology or biomedical science, you may need another science A level, however it is best to check course entry requirements. Other than that, they are a good combination of A levels!
Thank you for your advice. I was going to take chemistry a level but decided that it would be too heavy with biology as well.
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Becca216
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I have just replied to your geography thread
But I have just had a quick google and this is the uni of Manchester's entry requirements for biomedical sciences:
"We require grades AAA-ABB, including two of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths (the Hard Sciences)." Many other unis will either ask for similar or will atleast prefer that you have Biology and Chemistry.

For Geology the Uni of Edinburgh states this AAB with A Levels: two of Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, or Physics.

Now these are just the first 2 unis that come up when I searched for these courses so obviously there will be others that ask for similar/different. Hope think kind of helps
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artful_lounger
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Most biomedical science degrees require both A-level Biology and Chemistry, although the only ones which actually enable you to work as a biomedical scientist in the NHS directly after graduating (the Healthcare Sciences (Life Sciences) degrees) do not necessarily require both.

For biology/biological sciences courses otherwise only having one science/maths subject would limit the range of courses you could apply to. Geology courses sometimes consider A-level Geography along with another science for entry, however it would be weaker preparation and A-level Biology is generally the least relevant science to those courses. Not having A-level Maths in particular is not ideal. Generally, only taking a single science without maths or another science really gives you a much weaker foundation for studying any STEM degree course.

However your subjects would be a very relevant background for social sciences courses where biological perspectives are prevalent, such as (biological/evolutionary) anthropology and/or archaeology (or human sciences at Oxford/Exeter), or most psychology courses (although bear in mind psychology degrees typically have a lot of statistics content in them as well, and some such as UCL require two science/maths subjects or one plus psychology).
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The-judge-16
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Most biomedical science degrees require both A-level Biology and Chemistry, although the only ones which actually enable you to work as a biomedical scientist in the NHS directly after graduating (the Healthcare Sciences (Life Sciences) degrees) do not necessarily require both.

For biology/biological sciences courses otherwise only having one science/maths subject would limit the range of courses you could apply to. Geology courses sometimes consider A-level Geography along with another science for entry, however it would be weaker preparation and A-level Biology is generally the least relevant science to those courses. Not having A-level Maths in particular is not ideal. Generally, only taking a single science without maths or another science really gives you a much weaker foundation for studying any STEM degree course.

However your subjects would be a very relevant background for social sciences courses where biological perspectives are prevalent, such as (biological/evolutionary) anthropology and/or archaeology (or human sciences at Oxford/Exeter), or most psychology courses (although bear in mind psychology degrees typically have a lot of statistics content in them as well, and some such as UCL require two science/maths subjects or one plus psychology).
Thank you for your advice, I’m not looking to do any of the social sciences at university but thank you for mentioning them. I’ve checked some biology degrees on UCAS and saw that would I need ABB-BBB including biology and another science (geography is acceptable).
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by The-judge-16)
Thank you for your advice, I’m not looking to do any of the social sciences at university but thank you for mentioning them. I’ve checked some biology degrees on UCAS and saw that would need ABB-BBB including biology and another science (geography is acceptable).
Yes but the fundamental matter is you are applying to a degree where you will be studying STEM material 100% of the time, having only spent 33% of your A-levels studying it. You will have a weaker foundation than those who did more, and will be less prepared for the workload that entails. If you are already deciding taking two sciences at A-level is going to be too much work, what makes you think doing a degree where you are doing only science all of the time is going to be more easy to manage?

Taking just a single science subject is essentially never advisable, unless you know you don't want to apply to a STEM degree and it is just out of personal interest or you want to apply to some other subject where a scientific background isn't essential, but might form useful background knowledge (e.g. biology for anthropology/archaeology, physics or maths for architecture) or for non-STEM subjects where they just require the one science A-level (e.g. any science/maths subject for psychology or maths for economics).

I would also note that many bioscience degrees that accept students without A-level Chemistry have them take a module in first year which covers most of the core material from A-level Chemistry anyway - the difference being you get taught it in 2-3 lectures a week with 100+ other students, and limited scope for individual attention from the lecturer who only teaches undergrads because they must in order to do their actual job (that is, academic research). This, compared with doing it at A-level in a class of 20-30 at most typically, with 4-5 lessons a week and a teacher who is specifically trained to teach people and will probably be happy to help you if you are struggling individually...

It seems unrealistic to think "avoiding" doing more science at A-level is the "easy" route into sciences at degree level. You are at best making your life harder once you are in the degree, and at worst just setting yourself up to fail said degree. There really isn't any other way around it - you should commit to STEM A-levels if you want to do a STEM degree, or at least realise that you are going to have make that commitment to doing that level and intensity of work at some point if you want to do a STEM degree, either in the first year of the degree or via a foundation year.

If you want to do a STEM degree, and want to go into a STEM field, the first step to achieving that goal is to give yourself every advantage for when you are actually on the degree by giving yourself as strong a background in the relevant subjects as possible. That means for bioscience courses, realistically A-level Biology and Chemistry at minimum (and A-level Maths should really be considered for any STEM course, not just physical sciences, engineering, CS and maths). Getting into the degree is just a means to an end - it is meaningless if you then fail the degree, or get a 3rd or something, which may well happen if try to aim for the bare minimum background to meet the requirements. Just because you can get into a STEM course with that combination, doesn't make it a good combination for going into a STEM course...
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AM.TSR
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I'd suggest Chemistry rather than Sociology for the courses which you are interested in but there will still be universities which will accept those subjects.
If you aren't interested in Chemistry then don't worry about it, your subjects are fine
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The-judge-16
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Yes but the fundamental matter is you are applying to a degree where you will be studying STEM material 100% of the time, having only spent 33% of your A-levels studying it. You will have a weaker foundation than those who did more, and will be less prepared for the workload that entails. If you are already deciding taking two sciences at A-level is going to be too much work, what makes you think doing a degree where you are doing only science all of the time is going to be more easy to manage?

Taking just a single science subject is essentially never advisable, unless you know you don't want to apply to a STEM degree and it is just out of personal interest or you want to apply to some other subject where a scientific background isn't essential, but might form useful background knowledge (e.g. biology for anthropology/archaeology, physics or maths for architecture) or for non-STEM subjects where they just require the one science A-level (e.g. any science/maths subject for psychology or maths for economics).

I would also note that many bioscience degrees that accept students without A-level Chemistry have them take a module in first year which covers most of the core material from A-level Chemistry anyway - the difference being you get taught it in 2-3 lectures a week with 100+ other students, and limited scope for individual attention from the lecturer who only teaches undergrads because they must in order to do their actual job (that is, academic research). This, compared with doing it at A-level in a class of 20-30 at most typically, with 4-5 lessons a week and a teacher who is specifically trained to teach people and will probably be happy to help you if you are struggling individually...

It seems unrealistic to think "avoiding" doing more science at A-level is the "easy" route into sciences at degree level. You are at best making your life harder once you are in the degree, and at worst just setting yourself up to fail said degree. There really isn't any other way around it - you should commit to STEM A-levels if you want to do a STEM degree, or at least realise that you are going to have make that commitment to doing that level and intensity of work at some point if you want to do a STEM degree, either in the first year of the degree or via a foundation year.

If you want to do a STEM degree, and want to go into a STEM field, the first step to achieving that goal is to give yourself every advantage for when you are actually on the degree by giving yourself as strong a background in the relevant subjects as possible. That means for bioscience courses, realistically A-level Biology and Chemistry at minimum (and A-level Maths should really be considered for any STEM course, not just physical sciences, engineering, CS and maths). Getting into the degree is just a means to an end - it is meaningless if you then fail the degree, or get a 3rd or something, which may well happen if try to aim for the bare minimum background to meet the requirements. Just because you can get into a STEM course with that combination, doesn't make it a good combination for going into a STEM course...
It is true what you are saying, however for a degree in biology surely a level biology will set the majority of the foundation for what the degree entails?
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mistyflora
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For just a degree in biology, you often need another science and most of the time geography is acceptable (however not always). But for biomedical science, you often need chemistry and it has lots of links with biology A-Level anyway. Many people who take a science tend to take a second science, but it depends how much you enjoy that science. But if you like chemistry, I would strongly recommend taking it as it will give you more chance of getting into your course (and sometimes the entry requirements are lower for those who took chem/bio/physics as a second science). The workload won't be more than it would have been for sociology if you enjoy it.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by The-judge-16)
It is true what you are saying, however for a degree in biology surely a level biology will set the majority of the foundation for what the degree entails?
Chemistry underpins all of modern bioscience, and maths is the language of all sciences...so while it might minimally prepare you for a biology degree to take just A-level Biology, it's certainly not going to be the best preparation.

You will probably do (unless the degree is entirely ecology/conservation oriented) at least some work on genetics, physiology, and biochemistry in a biology degree, all of which will to varying extents draw on at least some chemistry knowledge (and certainly to get a deeper understanding of those areas you'll need more chemistry than just GCSE). Likewise most parts of the degree are going to be somehow framed quantitatively and while you might not be solving differential equations (or you might e.g. the Lotka-Volterra equations...) having studied calculus and functions in A-level Maths will help you think about, understand, and model rates of change in biological systems far better than without.
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