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Not fully related subjects but good IB score?

Hello, I am international students taking full IB diploma applying to UK. I have a not so bad IB predicted, however, the subjects that I took are not fully align with what I want to study, computer science.
The reasoning was because previously I wanted to study business management but this summer I decided that computer science is a better degree for me and my future.

My classes and predicted are below
HL computer science - 7
HL math application - 7
HL economic - 7
HL business management - 7
SL English A lang lit - 5
SL language A lang lit - 7
Bonus point - 3
Total score: 43/45

My college list are UCL, KCL, Southampton, Durham, and either Exeter/bristol/Lancaster (haven't decided so would love help on it too)

Is this a massive disadvantage or do I still have pretty good chance? Assuming I met all the entry requirements to apply
(edited 6 months ago)
Wow! Congratulations on the results! Why would it be a disadvantage?
Reply 2
Original post by iL1L
Wow! Congratulations on the results! Why would it be a disadvantage?

Might be overthinking it but I assume computer science applicants (especially at top universities like my list) usually have double science and math AA. Unfortunately I don't have those and instead have HL math AI and only 1 science. I also have 2 social science, including BM which is the easiest SS, overlapping with economics which I heard university don't like to be taken together
(edited 6 months ago)
I am not an expert on IB but for A levels you need Maths and sometimes FM. Without them it is a rejection from leading universities
Original post by BangPitung
Might be overthinking it but I assume computer science applicants (especially at top universities like my list) usually have double science and math AA. Unfortunately I don't have those and instead have HL math AI and only 1 science. I also have 2 social science, including BM which is the easiest SS, overlapping with economics which I heard university don't like to be taken together

UK unis only require HL Maths for CS, they don't require or expect sciences beyond GCSE level.

In principle the overlap between business and economics can be an issue for A-level students as they only do three subjects normally, however I think it's less pronounced for IB students as they do a much broader programme. You're also doing 4 HL subjects anyway.

The major point which may be a potential issue is by the look of it you're doing HL Maths AI and not HL Maths AA - some unis may specifically require the latter (and the latter is probably more closely aligned with the needs of a CS degree anyway). So you'd need to check that against the unis you want to apply to.

Of the three listed as your "other" option, Bristol is by far and away much stronger for CS. Followed by Lancaster then distantly by Exeter (which I wouldn't really recommend - when I was at Exeter the programming options offered by the CS department were so poor that the engineering department didn't let the EEs take them and had them do the physics department programming modules).

In any event in terms of your predicted grades pretty much any UK uni is a consideration, the only thing you'd need to do is check if they will accept/consider HL Maths AI rather than HL Maths AA. That may rule out some of the stronger CS departments like Imperial/Oxbridge/Warwick, but do check to be sure.

Would also recommend looking at Edinburgh (any of their CS courses including the flagship informatics degree) as they are very strong too (stronger than some of your other choices - KCL is a bit more average compared to the others for example).
Reply 5
Original post by artful_lounger
UK unis only require HL Maths for CS, they don't require or expect sciences beyond GCSE level.

In principle the overlap between business and economics can be an issue for A-level students as they only do three subjects normally, however I think it's less pronounced for IB students as they do a much broader programme. You're also doing 4 HL subjects anyway.

The major point which may be a potential issue is by the look of it you're doing HL Maths AI and not HL Maths AA - some unis may specifically require the latter (and the latter is probably more closely aligned with the needs of a CS degree anyway). So you'd need to check that against the unis you want to apply to.

Of the three listed as your "other" option, Bristol is by far and away much stronger for CS. Followed by Lancaster then distantly by Exeter (which I wouldn't really recommend - when I was at Exeter the programming options offered by the CS department were so poor that the engineering department didn't let the EEs take them and had them do the physics department programming modules).

In any event in terms of your predicted grades pretty much any UK uni is a consideration, the only thing you'd need to do is check if they will accept/consider HL Maths AI rather than HL Maths AA. That may rule out some of the stronger CS departments like Imperial/Oxbridge/Warwick, but do check to be sure.

Would also recommend looking at Edinburgh (any of their CS courses including the flagship informatics degree) as they are very strong too (stronger than some of your other choices - KCL is a bit more average compared to the others for example).

Hey thank you so much for your advice,
That's kinda why I ask the questions, I know that my lists all accept HL math AI but I just wanted to know if my subject lists will be a massive disadvantage for them? Would I still lose to those with the "correct" subject even if they have 38?
Thank you for the help for the fifth choice. I think I will remove Exeter. I realize bristol is a really good university (best out of 3 choice) but I am just a bit scared of the entry requirements, currently it's 38 18HL (7 in math), I am wondering whether to take a bit of risk by having bristol or should I have a "safety" school with Lancaster because their requirements is just 36 16HL (which they say will most likely got reduced if you have HL math or computer science) and thanksfully I have both.
Original post by BangPitung
Hey thank you so much for your advice,
That's kinda why I ask the questions, I know that my lists all accept HL math AI but I just wanted to know if my subject lists will be a massive disadvantage for them? Would I still lose to those with the "correct" subject even if they have 38?
Thank you for the help for the fifth choice. I think I will remove Exeter. I realize bristol is a really good university (best out of 3 choice) but I am just a bit scared of the entry requirements, currently it's 38 18HL (7 in math), I am wondering whether to take a bit of risk by having bristol or should I have a "safety" school with Lancaster because their requirements is just 36 16HL (which they say will most likely got reduced if you have HL math or computer science) and thanksfully I have both.

As long as they accept HL Maths AI then your subjects are fine.

Realistically the thing is, Lancaster and Exeter are probably going to be in clearing for CS (and other courses) so even if you miss your offers, you still have an opportunity to apply there. Note that's not necessarily a reflection of the quality of the course (at least in terms of Lancaster - I've highlighted the potential concerns around the course at Exeter above), just that they're generally somewhat less popular/often used as "safety" universities so many of their offer holders may end up going to their firm choice elsewhere. Hence they use clearing often to fill in those spots.

Although of course, no one can ever really predict what clearing will be like, especially over the last 4-5 years it's been very volatile with all the COVID related issues so some years courses which would be usually in clearing were not and other years courses which were very rarely in clearing were!
(edited 6 months ago)
Uni's list essential subjects and sometimes preferred ones. If you don't see anything beyond those then unis aren't maintaining a secret list which would strengthen your app. it's not in their interest to solicit weaker applications, (especially for COMPSCI at places like UCL, KCL, Durham etc).

It's standard for Maths to be the only subject requirement for undergrad computing.

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