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Chemistry at Oxford

Will not taking a second science beyond Maths and Chemistry disadvantage me when applying for chemistry at Oxford. I am taking Maths Chemistry Economics and Politics.
Original post by Vortexpython
Will not taking a second science beyond Maths and Chemistry disadvantage me when applying for chemistry at Oxford. I am taking Maths Chemistry Economics and Politics.

You should be fine. Whilst it is recommended that you take a second science or further maths, the only subjects you are absolutely required to have are chemistry and maths.

Provided your personal statement, predicted grades and interview technique are strong, you should stand a decent chance of getting in.
Thank you so if I had 4A* predicted I wouldn’t be too disadvantaged at getting an interview or a shot of getting in etc even with no extra science?
Original post by Vortexpython
Thank you so if I had 4A* predicted I wouldn’t be too disadvantaged at getting an interview or a shot of getting in etc even with no extra science?

Yeah, you’d stand a decent chance. The chemistry department interviews most of their applicants anyway.
Yes, you will be at a disadvantage Oxford and Cambridge strongly recommend taking three STEM A-Levels for STEM degrees, especially with the main sciences (biology, chemistry and physics). I recently spoke to an outreach officer at Cambridge, and I was told it's very unlikely to be accepted with only two science/maths-related A-Levels, so taking three is highly recommended.

However, as stated by the previous poster, it isn't impossible to get in with only chemistry and maths, even though the application will be less competitive.
Original post by hm-notsure098
Yes, you will be at a disadvantage Oxford and Cambridge strongly recommend taking three STEM A-Levels for STEM degrees, especially with the main sciences (biology, chemistry and physics). I recently spoke to an outreach officer at Cambridge, and I was told it's very unlikely to be accepted with only two science/maths-related A-Levels, so taking three is highly recommended.

However, as stated by the previous poster, it isn't impossible to get in with only chemistry and maths, even though the application will be less competitive.


That's Cambridge - and you'd be correct if this poster weren't asking about Oxford. Two people in my year have offers for Chemistry at Oxford with the identical A-Level combo (Chem, Maths, Further Maths), and they had very competitive applications indeed.

Also worth noting that there's currently no admissions test for Chemistry (IIRC) so a lot of onus is placed on the interview.
Original post by hm-notsure098
Yes, you will be at a disadvantage Oxford and Cambridge strongly recommend taking three STEM A-Levels for STEM degrees, especially with the main sciences (biology, chemistry and physics). I recently spoke to an outreach officer at Cambridge, and I was told it's very unlikely to be accepted with only two science/maths-related A-Levels, so taking three is highly recommended.

However, as stated by the previous poster, it isn't impossible to get in with only chemistry and maths, even though the application will be less competitive.


It largely depends really on how the strong OP’s personal statement and UCAS application are. Granted, a third mathematical or science subject is recommended for chemistry, but a surprisingly large proportion of successful chemistry applicants don’t take another science subject. A few I met on the open day took English language and one of my cousins who got into Oxford to study chemistry did RE of all subjects.

If, for example, the OP were to effectively argue that the relevant skills they have picked up from economics and politics include critical thinking, presentation of ideas etc and discuss how those skills would benefit them in their academic studies or in research, then that may actually strengthen their application.

Super-curricular activities related to chemistry that may stand out especially could also help to strengthen the application, independent of A levels.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by BarnabyK
That's Cambridge - and you'd be correct if this poster weren't asking about Oxford. Two people in my year have offers for Chemistry at Oxford with the identical A-Level combo (Chem, Maths, Further Maths), and they had very competitive applications indeed.

Also worth noting that there's currently no admissions test for Chemistry (IIRC) so a lot of onus is placed on the interview.

You do remember correctly.

FM is a preferred subject, but as I mentioned above, it really isn’t necessary in order to get into Oxford for chemistry, as other subjects can help develop desirable skills that may be picked up on by the interviewers and admissions teams (which is especially useful, as you said, because a lot of onus is put on the interviews).

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