Choosing my A - levels wanting to study medicine

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bibi_123
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#1
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#1
The time has come to pick my a-levels and I know I have to pick chemistry (and biology) for medicine. However I'm not sure if I have to pick maths as a third (it's not my favourite subject entirely) since I really want to apply to Oxbridge - mainly oxford - so I've had teachers and family suggest that I take psychology but I'm worried as it's not a facilitating subject and I don't want to diminish my chances of getting into Oxbridge
*they also suggested History or English lit but I'm really not sure if those are any help *
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hungrysalamander
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You don't have to do maths for Oxford but you would need maths for Cambridge, which is the only medical school that requires 3 science subjects. What are your GCSE's like if you don't mind sharing as Oxford is very GCSE heavy.
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ecolier
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(Original post by bibi_123)
The time has come to pick my a-levels and I know I have to pick chemistry (and biology) for medicine. However I'm not sure if I have to pick maths as a third (it's not my favourite subject entirely) since I really want to apply to Oxbridge - mainly oxford - so I've had teachers and family suggest that I take psychology but I'm worried as it's not a facilitating subject and I don't want to diminish my chances of getting into Oxbridge
*they also suggested History or English lit but I'm really not sure if those are any help *
Specific thread here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=5611422

It also contains a list of all UK med schools A-Level subject requirements.

P.S. Rankings, prestige and Russell Group means nothing for UK clinical medicine, so make sure you are picking Oxbridge for the right reasons and not because of reputation.
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by bibi_123)
The time has come to pick my a-levels and I know I have to pick chemistry (and biology) for medicine. However I'm not sure if I have to pick maths as a third (it's not my favourite subject entirely) since I really want to apply to Oxbridge - mainly oxford - so I've had teachers and family suggest that I take psychology but I'm worried as it's not a facilitating subject and I don't want to diminish my chances of getting into Oxbridge
*they also suggested History or English lit but I'm really not sure if those are any help *
There is a whole massive thread on this on the medicine forum. Have a look at that. You dont need facilitating subjects. Ignore that as that advice has been withdrawn by the Russell Group whose daft idea it was as it wasnt followed by their universities.
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bibi_123
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(Original post by hungrysalamander)
You don't have to do maths for Oxford but you would need maths for Cambridge, which is the only medical school that requires 3 science subjects. What are your GCSE's like if you don't mind sharing as Oxford is very GCSE heavy
Oh okay. So does maths count as a science subject ( I heard somewhere it does..)?

For my GCSEs I chose: Maths, English literature, English language, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, French and History
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hungrysalamander
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(Original post by bibi_123)
Oh okay. So does maths count as a science subject ( I heard somewhere it does..)?

For my GCSEs I chose: Maths, English literature, English language, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, French and History
Yeah, Cambridge requires biology. chemistry + maths or physics. I meant GCSE grades as the average A*'s for interview at Oxford is 10.7.
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bibi_123
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
There is a whole massive thread on this on the medicine forum. Have a look at that. You dont need facilitating subjects. Ignore that as that advice has been withdrawn by the Russell Group whose daft idea it was as it wasnt followed by their universities.
Wait, so facilitating subjects don't hold any importance? Aside from biology and chemistry?
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bibi_123
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(Original post by hungrysalamander)
Yeah, Cambridge requires biology. chemistry + maths or physics. I meant GCSE grades as the average A*'s for interview at Oxford is 10.7.
Well, we haven't done our GCSEs yet but I'm predicted all A* at them and I've gotten As ,A*s and A**s so far in my mocks
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bibi_123
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(Original post by ecolier)
Specific thread here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=5611422

It also contains a list of all UK med schools A-Level subject requirements.

P.S. Rankings, prestige and Russell Group means nothing for UK clinical medicine, so make sure you are picking Oxbridge for the right reasons and not because of reputation.
Thank you for the thread - It was a massive help !!
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kk15405
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(Original post by bibi_123)
Thank you for the thread - It was a massive help !!
Hi, I'm also applying for medicine 2023 entry.
I took Biology, chemistry maths and psychology (my school makes us take 4 for as lol)
The third subject doesnt matter at all as long as you get at least an A in it
I know Year 13s in my school who are applying to medicine with combos like bio/chem/art, bio/chem/psychology and bio/chem/pe

You dont need maths, i am considering dropping maths at AS level as it is my weakest subject
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bibi_123
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(Original post by kk15405)
Hi, I'm also applying for medicine 2023 entry.
I took Biology, chemistry maths and psychology (my school makes us take 4 for as lol)
The third subject doesnt matter at all as long as you get at least an A in it
I know Year 13s in my school who are applying to medicine with combos like bio/chem/art, bio/chem/psychology and bio/chem/pe

You dont need maths, i am considering dropping maths at AS level as it is my weakest subject
ok thank you that is a relief - did you find it difficult to manage 4 levels?
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kk15405
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(Original post by bibi_123)
ok thank you that is a relief - did you find it difficult to manage 4 levels?
im finding maths hard but then again i didnt get an amazing grade at gcse (i got a 7). other than that it's not that bad, the jump in difficulty is greater between year 12 and year 13 (AS and A Level) than it is from year 11 to year 12
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Sodium229
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(Original post by kk15405)
im finding maths hard but then again i didnt get an amazing grade at gcse (i got a 7). other than that it's not that bad, the jump in difficulty is greater between year 12 and year 13 (AS and A Level) than it is from year 11 to year 12
A 7 in GCSE Maths is a great grade, you should be more confident
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thegeek888
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Psychology is a classified as a "SCIENCE" subject by Cambridge University and London University: Imperial, UCL, KCL, QMUL, St. George's.
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bibi_123
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(Original post by thegeek888)
Psychology is a classified as a "SCIENCE" subject by Cambridge University and London University: Imperial, UCL, KCL, QMUL, St. George's.
oh, I didn't know that. thanks
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kk15405
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(Original post by thegeek888)
Psychology is a classified as a "SCIENCE" subject by Cambridge University and London University: Imperial, UCL, KCL, QMUL, St. George's.
yes. however you have to take bio/chem/maths/physics for cambridge it's the only uni that does this
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Reality Check
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(Original post by bibi_123)
oh, I didn't know that. thanks
(Original post by thegeek888)
Psychology is a classified as a "SCIENCE" subject by Cambridge University
This is completely incorrect: specifically for medicine, psychology is not considered as a science. Please research your answers before posting them, so you don't inadvertently mislead people.

Name:  Screen Shot 2022-01-15 at 11.22.13.png
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Source: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....urses/medicine
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skylark2
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(Original post by bibi_123)
Wait, so facilitating subjects don't hold any importance? Aside from biology and chemistry?
Nope. They haven't been a thing for several years. You should be wary of any and all advice you get from people who talk about them - if they are that out of date on one thing, chances are that the rest of their advice isn't any better.

Universities will list their required and recommended subjects for each course, clearly and up front. That's it. There aren't secret requirements which you only know about if you ask the right people. Go to the websites of the universities you are interested in, find the courses you are interested in, see what the required and recommended subjects are. That's it.

(The closest thing to facilitating subjects these days is that there are some A level subjects which are required for a lot of university courses, some which are required for a few university courses, and some which aren't required for any university courses. Psychology is in the third category - you don't even need it to study psychology at university. Maths is in the first category. This is mostly an issue if after year 12 you change your mind about medicine and decide you actually want to study, for instance, economics. Someone who did maths as their third A level has that option. Someone who did psychology doesn't.)
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popangel
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(Original post by skylark2)
Nope. They haven't been a thing for several years. You should be wary of any and all advice you get from people who talk about them - if they are that out of date on one thing, chances are that the rest of their advice isn't any better.

Universities will list their required and recommended subjects for each course, clearly and up front. That's it. There aren't secret requirements which you only know about if you ask the right people. Go to the websites of the universities you are interested in, find the courses you are interested in, see what the required and recommended subjects are. That's it.

(The closest thing to facilitating subjects these days is that there are some A level subjects which are required for a lot of Duniversity courses, some which are required for a few university courses, and some which aren't required for any university courses. Psychology is in the third category - you don't even need it to study psychology at university. Maths is in the first category. This is mostly an issue if after year 12 you change your mind about medicine and decide you actually want to study, for instance, economics. Someone who did maths as their third A level has that option. Someone who did psychology doesn't.)
Do you think that doing Spanish (my native language) as the third A-level would be ok? I am afraid that because I would like to go to universities like ulc or imperial for A100 medicine because my third subject is my native language it would not be considered as hard and valid
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bibi_123
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#20
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(Original post by skylark2)
Nope. They haven't been a thing for several years. You should be wary of any and all advice you get from people who talk about them - if they are that out of date on one thing, chances are that the rest of their advice isn't any better.

Universities will list their required and recommended subjects for each course, clearly and up front. That's it. There aren't secret requirements which you only know about if you ask the right people. Go to the websites of the universities you are interested in, find the courses you are interested in, see what the required and recommended subjects are. That's it.

(The closest thing to facilitating subjects these days is that there are some A level subjects which are required for a lot of university courses, some which are required for a few university courses, and some which aren't required for any university courses. Psychology is in the third category - you don't even need it to study psychology at university. Maths is in the first category. This is mostly an issue if after year 12 you change your mind about medicine and decide you actually want to study, for instance, economics. Someone who did maths as their third A level has that option. Someone who did psychology doesn't.)
Alright, thank you so much! This has made my decision a lot easier
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