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Are my subjects fine for a psych degree at a top uni?

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(edited 10 months ago)
Original post by spliced
I currently do maths, psychology and geography at uni and want to do a psychology degree. I know I have two (ish) sciences with maths and psychology, but am I at a disadvantage with no biology? I am capable to an extent in the sciences, as I got 9s in triple science (GCSE), but do they hold any weight at all? I’ve looked at unis such as Cambridge, KCL, UCL etc and they often just prefer 2 sciences, (psych and maths included) so will I be fine?? I am just a heavy over thinker

Cambridge, Oxford, Durham, KCL, UCL, LSE, QMUL, RHUL, City, Goldsmiths, Manchester, Newcastle, Warwick and Reading as well some others will prefer Biology rather than Geography.

It is very common to do Maths, Psychology and Biology or even Chemistry. :wink:

If you're doing the OCR Specification for Biology I can help you and and I have all the past papers, mark schemes and reports that I am organising for my cousins who are also doing Psychology, Biology and Geography and Maths. :smile:
As long as you get A*AA in Maths or Psychology and Geography you should be fine. Also get your UCAS Personal Statement referee to mention you've also excelled at Biology 'wider' reading that you could mention in your UCAS Personal Statement and discuss at potential interviews. :wink:
Original post by spliced
I currently do maths, psychology and geography at uni and want to do a psychology degree. I know I have two (ish) sciences with maths and psychology, but am I at a disadvantage with no biology? I am capable to an extent in the sciences, as I got 9s in triple science (GCSE), but do they hold any weight at all? I’ve looked at unis such as Cambridge, KCL, UCL etc and they often just prefer 2 sciences, (psych and maths included) so will I be fine?? I am just a heavy over thinker


If Cambridge, KCL and UCL say they accept those subjects, then no you will not be disadvantaged
Original post by thegeek888
Cambridge, Oxford, Durham, KCL, UCL, LSE, QMUL, RHUL, City, Goldsmiths, Manchester, Newcastle, Warwick and Reading as well some others will prefer Biology rather than Geography.

It is very common to do Maths, Psychology and Biology or even Chemistry. :wink:

If you're doing the OCR Specification for Biology I can help you and and I have all the past papers, mark schemes and reports that I am organising for my cousins who are also doing Psychology, Biology and Geography and Maths. :smile:


You're making the first part of your post up because op is already doing two preferred subjects
Original post by Dnsnnssn
You're making the first part of your post up because op is already doing two preferred subjects

Oxford: One or more science subjects (including Psychology) or Maths

Cambridge: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/files/publications/pbs_subject_requirements_0.pdf

Maths and Biology again

and the list goes on...

So having Biology puts you at a 'distinct' advantage. :smile:
Original post by thegeek888
Oxford: One or more science subjects (including Psychology) or Maths

Cambridge: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/files/publications/pbs_subject_requirements_0.pdf

Maths and Biology again

and the list goes on...

So having Biology puts you at a 'distinct' advantage. :smile:


Again you are inserting your own words, no where does it say puts u at a distinct advantage, it says Maths OR Biology
Original post by Dnsnnssn
Again you are inserting your own words, no where does it say puts u at a distinct advantage, it says Maths OR Biology

You're the one inserting your own words actually!!! :biggrin: lol Because you clearly have not read what the OP said? She said, she was aware of the top universities asking for Maths and Biology. I posted just the list of entry requirements for Psychology degrees at Oxford and Cambridge, and the overwhelming majority of colleges want Maths, Psychology and Biology or Chemistry or Physics. :smile:
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Dnsnnssn
If Cambridge, KCL and UCL say they accept those subjects, then no you will not be disadvantaged

Original post by Dnsnnssn
Again you are inserting your own words, no where does it say puts u at a distinct advantage, it says Maths OR Biology


To a significant extent, Biology is essential. Especially at competitive universities. geek is not wrong. Entry requirements are just that, entry requirements. The landscape changes when applicants come with stronger subject combinations. It has happened a lot this year where straight A* students have been rejected and the reason for rejection is "strong competition".

Entry requirements can ask for 2 of Sciences/Math and yet strong competition can present 3 or 4 Sciences/Math. So quite honestly, you shouldn't be arguing about it. Advantage vs disadvantage is a real thing.

OP should not be discouraged from applying. As they say, a sure way to not get an offer, is to not apply.
Original post by spliced
I currently do maths, psychology and geography at uni and want to do a psychology degree. I know I have two (ish) sciences with maths and psychology, but am I at a disadvantage with no biology? I am capable to an extent in the sciences, as I got 9s in triple science (GCSE), but do they hold any weight at all? I’ve looked at unis such as Cambridge, KCL, UCL etc and they often just prefer 2 sciences, (psych and maths included) so will I be fine?? I am just a heavy over thinker

At the end of the day you can't change your subjects now, so you may as well try and see where you get. Cambridge may be a little bit more of a stretch as their psychology course evolved out of the natural sciences course so is very rooted in basic sciences, but it's just one out of five options anyway.
Original post by spliced
Is the ‘strong competition’ definitively referencing subject combinations though? As in could it be referring to things such as performance in interviews, quality of personal statements etc?

It's impossible to say but many have insisted that their PS were stellar, reference letter glowing and excellent interview experiences. I would encourage you to apply to your dream universities. Don't let anything stop you. But know that subject combination is a considerable factor. Eg Cambridge says that majority of their applicants take Bio and Psych.
Original post by BubblesBB
It's impossible to say but many have insisted that their PS were stellar, reference letter glowing and excellent interview experiences. I would encourage you to apply to your dream universities. Don't let anything stop you. But know that subject combination is a considerable factor. Eg Cambridge says that majority of their applicants take Bio and Psych.

Ok thank you. Are you saying (in terms of subjects taken) it comes down to the number of STEM subjects you take, or is it more the fact that biology specifically is important? Say someone was doing biology psychology and geography would they be at a greater advantage? Or is it the same, as most unis will say biology OR maths, and in that case the combination would only be advantageous if both maths and bio were taken? I’m just bummed because I have a strong track record and I feel like i’ve wasted my potential and slimmed my chances.
Original post by spliced
Thank you for the responses. I still feel a little conflicted. I’m annoyed that I didn’t take bio, but I know that if I did then my grades as a whole would suffer. The thing is, I attended a masterclass at UCL recently and asked (part of Q&A) if I would be disadvantaged for not having done bio, and the response I got was that I would not be at all, and that maths is actually preferred for the course. Does this mean that it just depends on the Uni? My oxbridge chances i get will definitely be slimmer, but I was never too keen on going to Cambridge anyways. Worst case scenario is just restarting year 12 with different subjects, although that’s not something id really want to do.

Here I am thinking what I would do, if I were in your shoes. I would not restart Y12. Psychology is competitive at both Cambridge and UCL all the same, and restarting Y12 will not guarantee you an offer. Instead, I will work on getting the best grades possible for Psych, Math and Geo. E.g. A*A*A will still look better than A*AA.

I have actually heard that in the absence of another Science, Math is preferred over another humanity subject. So what you heard from the UCL Masterclass is very promising.

So, if I were you ... Over this summer break, I will work hard on taking a few online courses in introductory Bio courses on Coursera or FutureLearn. Do additional readings into your interest of Psychology ... anything that your teachers could recommend you for supercurriculars. You will find these valuable in writing your PS over/after your summer break. It takes time to reflect on your learning experiences, to be able to craft a meaningful and authentic PS for Psychology.

Good luck and all the best!
Original post by spliced
Ok thank you. Are you saying (in terms of subjects taken) it comes down to the number of STEM subjects you take, or is it more the fact that biology specifically is important? Say someone was doing biology psychology and geography would they be at a greater advantage? Or is it the same, as most unis will say biology OR maths, and in that case the combination would only be advantageous if both maths and bio were taken? I’m just bummed because I have a strong track record and I feel like i’ve wasted my potential and slimmed my chances.

It's all relative to competition. What are other applicants presenting with? Are they competing with A* and in 3 STEM subjects or more? I don't think it is entirely possible to check subject combination boxes and think an offer is in bag. Simply because these courses are always over-subscribed and the course selectors can afford to be picky. They may value other aspects of one's application over another for example, which makes it impossible to know with certainty what course selectors see in each application. When competition is stiff, it wouldn't be Bio OR Math. It could result in Bio AND Math, if other strong applicants are presenting both.

You'd started your post with a question if you would be disadvantaged without Biology, indicating to me that you already have a suspicion that you could be better off if you have Biology.

As with my reply above, spend your effort in your supercurriculars and write an impressive PS for Psychology. Both UCL and Cambridge will appreciate an academic PS. I feel a solid PS is so important to elevate your chances.
Original post by BubblesBB
Here I am thinking what I would do, if I were in your shoes. I would not restart Y12. Psychology is competitive at both Cambridge and UCL all the same, and restarting Y12 will not guarantee you an offer. Instead, I will work on getting the best grades possible for Psych, Math and Geo. E.g. A*A*A will still look better than A*AA.

I have actually heard that in the absence of another Science, Math is preferred over another humanity subject. So what you heard from the UCL Masterclass is very promising.

So, if I were you ... Over this summer break, I will work hard on taking a few online courses in introductory Bio courses on Coursera or FutureLearn. Do additional readings into your interest of Psychology ... anything that your teachers could recommend you for supercurriculars. You will find these valuable in writing your PS over/after your summer break. It takes time to reflect on your learning experiences, to be able to craft a meaningful and authentic PS for Psychology.

Good luck and all the best!

Thank you! I’ve realised there’s no point in dwelling now, as I can’t change anything. Just going to work on building up my knowledge and experience and aim for A*A*A*. Hopefully it will all work out in the end :smile:
(edited 1 year ago)
Hey there I applied for Cambridge, Bath, ucl, lse and Exeter this year for psych and I got offers for all of them! I applied with maths, further maths, Spanish and Psychology a level (altho now I take further maths AS) so not doing biology is definitely not going to completely reduce your chances of getting into uni! Whilst for some unis it does say that maths and bio are preffered, it is not the end of the world if you don't do them, and besides, you already do maths so that aspect is already covered. As long as you apply with strong predicted grades and a personal statement that shows your genuine interest for psychology, you probably have as much of a chance as everyone else! The only thing to be careful about is that as far as I'm aware there may be a few Cambridge colleges that definitely want people to take bio, but those aren't in the majority. Overall, you definitely should not stress about not doing bio! (just keep in mind that there are lots of other aspects that come into uni decisions as well as subjects)
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Banoot
Hey there I applied for Cambridge, Bath, ucl, lse and Exeter this year for psych and I got offers for all of them! I applied with maths, further maths, Spanish and Psychology a level (altho now I take further maths AS) so not doing biology is definitely not going to completely reduce your chances of getting into uni! Whilst for some unis it does say that maths and bio are preffered, it is not the end of the world if you don't do them, and besides, you already do maths so that aspect is already covered. As long as you apply with strong predicted grades and a personal statement that shows your genuine interest for psychology, you probably have as much of a chance as everyone else! The only thing to be careful about is that as far as I'm aware there may be a few Cambridge colleges that definitely want people to take bio, but those aren't in the majority. Overall, you definitely should not stress about not doing bio! (just keep in mind that there are lots of other aspects that come into uni decisions as well as subjects)

Wow, congrats on your offers!!! Which one are you firming? This is super comforting to me, so thank you :smile:
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by spliced
Wow, congrats on your offers!!! Which one are you firming? This is super comforting to me, so thank you :smile:

I'm defo firming Cambridge lol and my insurance is ucl because I got a contextual offer there (it's based on your postcode and if you go to a state school, you can check in their website if you'd be eligible or not)

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