Regretting my A Level choices - want to do computer science.

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SquirrelPatronus
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#1
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#1
Maths used to be my strong suit, I was well above in primary school. In secondary school, I completely lost my love for it, focused on it less, and ended up with a 7. I think that's still good but I would have done much better had I revised, ofc.

In English I got a 9 and history I got an 8 - I was sure I wanted to do either law or psychology so I chose A-Level English Literature, History and Criminology. My school did not offer computer science or maths as an a level so I obviously didn't choose either. (Side note I for an 87 in GCSE science). Digital media was an option but it was more design focused.

I'm almost done with year 12 now and I feel kind of paralysed. When I look to my future, a career in computer science seems much more appealing to me than either law or psychology. I really don't know what to do at this point, as I don't want to resit a year at all but I also don't want to do a degree and end up unhappy with the time I spent on it.

Would literally any uni take me for computer science with the a levels and gcses I have? If I teach myself as much as I can, and do online courses and stuff, would that be enough or am I just gonna have to resit a year or do a different degree?

I know this is slightly stupid but I'm panicking quite a bit.
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ghostworld
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#2
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(Original post by SquirrelPatronus)
Maths used to be my strong suit, I was well above in primary school. In secondary school, I completely lost my love for it, focused on it less, and ended up with a 7. I think that's still good but I would have done much better had I revised, ofc.

In English I got a 9 and history I got an 8 - I was sure I wanted to do either law or psychology so I chose A-Level English Literature, History and Criminology. My school did not offer computer science or maths as an a level so I obviously didn't choose either. (Side note I for an 87 in GCSE science). Digital media was an option but it was more design focused.

I'm almost done with year 12 now and I feel kind of paralysed. When I look to my future, a career in computer science seems much more appealing to me than either law or psychology. I really don't know what to do at this point, as I don't want to resit a year at all but I also don't want to do a degree and end up unhappy with the time I spent on it.

Would literally any uni take me for computer science with the a levels and gcses I have? If I teach myself as much as I can, and do online courses and stuff, would that be enough or am I just gonna have to resit a year or do a different degree?

I know this is slightly stupid but I'm panicking quite a bit.
hi. most unis don't require a level maths or computer science to do CS at uni. i'm in yr 13 and i'm doing chem, bio and psychology. i was still able to apply to computer science at uni. there's also foundation courses for ppl who didn't take a-level maths but still want to do CS.
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SquirrelPatronus
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(Original post by ghostworld)
hi. most unis don't require a level maths or computer science to do CS at uni. i'm in yr 13 and i'm doing chem, bio and psychology. i was still able to apply to computer science at uni. there's also foundation courses for ppl who didn't take a-level maths but still want to do CS.
Thank you so much for the reply, this really motivated me. Do you think I'll be at more of a disadvantage as my A Levels are mainly essay based? I'm not even trying to get into a great uni so I hope it won't have too much of an impact. I'll look in to a foundation course either way thanks again
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ghostworld
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(Original post by SquirrelPatronus)
Thank you so much for the reply, this really motivated me. Do you think I'll be at more of a disadvantage as my A Levels are mainly essay based? I'm not even trying to get into a great uni so I hope it won't have too much of an impact. I'll look in to a foundation course either way thanks again
no i don't think there's a disadvantage. for most universities that don't require a-level maths, they teach maths in the first year (you can check their modules). also if you decide to do a foundation year, they will catch you up to a-level maths standard during that foundation year. that's why i applied to a foundation year at leicester. also since you're still in yr 12 you can still look for some CS related work experience to include in your personal statement
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Sinnoh
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Your school didn't offer maths A-level? How's that?

A lot of people do go into software development and IT without a computer science background. You also don't need a degree to go into the field to begin with. Build up your skills in your own time and if you want to go to university, study the course you actually want to learn about for 3-4 years.
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SquirrelPatronus
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#6
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(Original post by ghostworld)
no i don't think there's a disadvantage. for most universities that don't require a-level maths, they teach maths in the first year (you can check their modules). also if you decide to do a foundation year, they will catch you up to a-level maths standard during that foundation year. that's why i applied to a foundation year at leicester. also since you're still in yr 12 you can still look for some CS related work experience to include in your personal statement
Thank you so much, you've seriously helped me out. I so could have googled this but hearing it from someone who is in a somewhat similar situation is great. Good luck with uni and everything!!

I didn't consider that actually, the work experience is a great idea.

(Original post by Sinnoh)
Your school didn't offer maths A-level? How's that?

A lot of people do go into software development and IT without a computer science background. You also don't need a degree to go into the field to begin with. Build up your skills in your own time and if you want to go to university, study the course you actually want to learn about for 3-4 years.
Only 2 people, including me, applied to the course so they just cancelled it. Same happened with me and biology. It really stressed me out to say the least.

Thank you for the advice, I'll look into everything more. I really appreciate it
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studentye
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#7
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#7
(Original post by SquirrelPatronus)
Maths used to be my strong suit, I was well above in primary school. In secondary school, I completely lost my love for it, focused on it less, and ended up with a 7. I think that's still good but I would have done much better had I revised, ofc.

In English I got a 9 and history I got an 8 - I was sure I wanted to do either law or psychology so I chose A-Level English Literature, History and Criminology. My school did not offer computer science or maths as an a level so I obviously didn't choose either. (Side note I for an 87 in GCSE science). Digital media was an option but it was more design focused.

I'm almost done with year 12 now and I feel kind of paralysed. When I look to my future, a career in computer science seems much more appealing to me than either law or psychology. I really don't know what to do at this point, as I don't want to resit a year at all but I also don't want to do a degree and end up unhappy with the time I spent on it.

Would literally any uni take me for computer science with the a levels and gcses I have? If I teach myself as much as I can, and do online courses and stuff, would that be enough or am I just gonna have to resit a year or do a different degree?

I know this is slightly stupid but I'm panicking quite a bit.
It depends on the university, but some will not have subject requirements for example City University. And if you generally have an interest about the subject and do lots of research and reading you will probably be fine. I find myself in a similar situation to you, I got the same grade in science and maths at GCSE and chose to do English Lit, Sociolgy and Health and social care at A-level. I’m really debating whether I should retake the year and chose new subjects that will offer broader pathways at degree level. It’s really not stupid and it can be anxious to think about the future, but as long as you have an idea on what to do and stick with it you will get there. Wishing you the all the best
Last edited by studentye; 2 months ago
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user18976
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You could do a different but similar course such as Engineering because you'll learn transferable skills. I think your better off doing a foundation year though. Btw Brighton doesn't have subject-specific entry requirements and I'm sure there'll be other unis that don't have subject-specific requirements so continue to research.
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beatricehalley
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#9
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#9
(Original post by SquirrelPatronus)
Maths used to be my strong suit, I was well above in primary school. In secondary school, I completely lost my love for it, focused on it less, and ended up with a 7. I think that's still good but I would have done much better had I revised, ofc.

In English I got a 9 and history I got an 8 - I was sure I wanted to do either law or psychology so I chose A-Level English Literature, History and Criminology. My school did not offer computer science or maths as an a level so I obviously didn't choose either. (Side note I for an 87 in GCSE science). Digital media was an option but it was more design focused.

I'm almost done with year 12 now and I feel kind of paralysed. When I look to my future, a career in computer science seems much more appealing to me than either law or psychology. I really don't know what to do at this point, as I don't want to resit a year at all but I also don't want to do a degree and end up unhappy with the time I spent on it.

Would literally any uni take me for computer science with the a levels and gcses I have? If I teach myself as much as I can, and do online courses and stuff, would that be enough or am I just gonna have to resit a year or do a different degree?

I know this is slightly stupid but I'm panicking quite a bit.
Lol I was literally thinking about going into law (awful hours for me) but now switching into Computer Science to hopefully become a software engineer, best of luck!
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SquirrelPatronus
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#10
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(Original post by beatricehalley)
Lol I was literally thinking about going into law (awful hours for me) but now switching into Computer Science to hopefully become a software engineer, best of luck!
Sorry, I never checked back on this thread but I appreciate the response still. Thank you! Good luck with your career goals - same here on the hours thing, it's probably one of the main things making me reconsider law!!

If you don't mind me asking, what A-Levels or alternative did you do? I still think I want to do computer science, I've just been trying to work out ways to do so without resitting the year like related work experience and stuff.
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beatricehalley
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#11
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(Original post by SquirrelPatronus)
Sorry, I never checked back on this thread but I appreciate the response still. Thank you! Good luck with your career goals - same here on the hours thing, it's probably one of the main things making me reconsider law!!

If you don't mind me asking, what A-Levels or alternative did you do? I still think I want to do computer science, I've just been trying to work out ways to do so without resitting the year like related work experience and stuff.
I actually was the other way around. I did A-levels in Physics, Maths and Computer Science. I was thinking of taking an essay based a level and sitting it the next year, but realized that it would be a mistake to limit myself into law without taking Computer Science first. So sorry I can't really help you on that. Universities might still let you in, just ask them to make sure.
Last edited by beatricehalley; 1 month ago
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