Oll1925
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I take double maths, chemistry and German. Will I be at a disadvantaged applying for either geophysics or earth sciences at university. I’m taking a gap year, so I don’t mind doing an a level in that gap year if another subject would be needed or useful.

Thanks 😊
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flaurie
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What is double maths? Maths + further maths? I’d have a look at entry requirements for the universities you’re interested in - sometimes they’ll specify specific subjects and sometimes they won’t!

(Original post by Oll1925)
I take double maths, chemistry and German. Will I be at a disadvantaged applying for either geophysics or earth sciences at university. I’m taking a gap year, so I don’t mind doing an a level in that gap year if another subject would be needed or useful.

Thanks 😊
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artful_lounger
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For earth sciences generally and geology courses specifically you will be fine I imagine. However most courses specifically in "geophysics" also require A-level Physics. So you may want or need to take a gap year for those courses, although several are available with foundation years (I believe Manchester, Leeds, and Southampton all have one for those courses and they are fairly notable departments for that subject I believe).

Since you're planning on taking a gap year anyway taking A-level Physics may be necessary if you want to apply to geophysics in particular, rather than earth sciences/geology courses more generally. It would probably be good background for the latter courses as well though so certainly not a wasted effort if you decided against geophysics specifically of course!

Plagioclase might be able to advise more on what background might be useful for earth sciences courses more specifically in terms of the course itself once you get onto it; the above is mostly with respect to specific entry requirements for particular courses
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Chisjsgeusiaibdv
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(Original post by Oll1925)
I take double maths, chemistry and German. Will I be at a disadvantaged applying for either geophysics or earth sciences at university. I’m taking a gap year, so I don’t mind doing an a level in that gap year if another subject would be needed or useful.

Thanks 😊
Does double maths mean a level maths and further maths?

For geophysics, you will be at a disadvantage as many unis require minimum grade B for physics.
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Oll1925
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Thanks you very much for your replies. I was just wondering, what is the difference between a degree in earth sciences and a degree in geophysics. Is it that geophysics is an area of earth sciences, so is a bit more specialised, while the earth sciences course is more broad? Thanks
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Oll1925
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(Original post by Chisjsgeusiaibdv)
Does double maths mean a level maths and further maths?

For geophysics, you will be at a disadvantage as many unis require minimum grade B for physics.
Thanks for the reply. I think I’m going to have to take physics in my gap year
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McGinger
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You need to actually do some research into the requirements for Geophys at a variety of different University - if you look at the relevant course pages of the Uni website they will tell you the subjects and grades required.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Oll1925)
Thanks you very much for your replies. I was just wondering, what is the difference between a degree in earth sciences and a degree in geophysics. Is it that geophysics is an area of earth sciences, so is a bit more specialised, while the earth sciences course is more broad? Thanks
Generally earth sciences is more broad. Geophysics is a bit harder to pin down because it is both a) a subdiscipline of earth sciences generally and b) in terms of specific degree programmes called "geophysics" often a sort of joint honours between physics and geology/earth sciences (although it tends to skew to the latter side). I'd suggest you look at the course structures of different degrees under the names geophysics/geology/earth sciences to get a sense of what is covered in each that might not be in the others. You'll probably see that all have modules/papers called "geophysics" or in topics in that subdiscipline offered by the department of geology/earth sciences/etc, but degrees called "geophysics" themselves will usually also have "pure" physics modules/papers taken from the department of physics alongside the others.

If you are exclusively interested in physics as applied in the earth sciences you'll probably find a degree in geology/earth sciences sufficient to fulfill that interest in itself. If you want to study physics by itself alongside the more applied things (with the ostensible aim of giving you enough background in physics theory that you can then begin to apply that yourself to novel things in the earth sciences) then a geophysics course might be more suitable. Geophysics degrees will probably also have more maths methods modules required as part of the course (or even sometimes available as options) which may or may not be appealing.

Note that there are also some degrees which are in e.g. "geology and geophysics"; these usually tend to be heavy on the earth sciences side of things but include a bit more maths (and sometimes a little more physics) than average. So that might also be a mix that suits you (or not)!
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by Oll1925)
I take double maths, chemistry and German. Will I be at a disadvantaged applying for either geophysics or earth sciences at university. I’m taking a gap year, so I don’t mind doing an a level in that gap year if another subject would be needed or useful.

Thanks 😊
It sounds like you need to do a bit more research into your options because your question about the difference between Earth Sciences and Geophysics would be quite easily answered by just looking at university course pages. To answer your question, you would not be able to apply to most geophysics courses but you would be able to apply to pretty much all Earth Sciences courses. Whether it's worth taking Physics A Level is up to you, but if an Earth Sciences degree sounds appealing then I'd honestly recommend just applying for Earth Sciences since a number of universities (such as Oxford and Imperial) offer Earth Sciences degrees that are pretty quantitative and contain quite a lot of geophysics content. Personally I think it's a little unfair that Geophysics courses demand A Level Physics since I think A Level Further Maths is much more useful, but there's nothing we can do about that.
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Uni of Southampton Students
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(Original post by Oll1925)
I take double maths, chemistry and German. Will I be at a disadvantaged applying for either geophysics or earth sciences at university. I’m taking a gap year, so I don’t mind doing an a level in that gap year if another subject would be needed or useful.

Thanks 😊
Hi there,

I think your a-levels will be appropriate for Earth science but not geophysics down at Southampton, but something worth considering is earth science as a degree title is much more broad and will likely keep more doors open for you in terms of employability! Another thing to consider is the Earth and Ocean Science degrees at Southampton, and probably other unis have a lot of overlap between degree titles and modules. For example, I study marine biology but chose to do a geophysics module in my second year. Studying a degree like Earth Science or maybe even Geology or Oceanography will present even more opportunity to select core geophysics modules, and modules relating to the field.

Have you had any more thoughts on this since posting?

Lottie,
Third year ambassador
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