The Student Room Group

4th alevel? further maths or chem?

hi, my 3 alevels that i've chosen are physics, maths, and french. after looking online i've found that for physics or engineering degrees, most universities are looking for someone with another science to go with physics
my first question is, would they count further maths as another 'science' under the sort of vague sciencey/stem umbrella? i couldnt find any info on this!

secondly, i am interested in chemistry and good at it now at gcse, ive been getting 8s and 9s in mocks. but i don't know if i like it enough to do well in it at a-level as obviously it requires more independent study etc etc

sooo what do you think?
Original post by beaaa171
hi, my 3 alevels that i've chosen are physics, maths, and french. after looking online i've found that for physics or engineering degrees, most universities are looking for someone with another science to go with physics
my first question is, would they count further maths as another 'science' under the sort of vague sciencey/stem umbrella? i couldnt find any info on this!
secondly, i am interested in chemistry and good at it now at gcse, ive been getting 8s and 9s in mocks. but i don't know if i like it enough to do well in it at a-level as obviously it requires more independent study etc etc
sooo what do you think?


Hii, I might not be much help, but I have a friend who is looking into engineering. He does Physics, Maths, Further Maths and DT (but he's thinking of dropping it, as he wants to focus on 3 subjects). I just want to point out, it is a lot of work and effort, so be sure you want to do 4 A-Levels, especially if you choose subjects like Chemistry, Physics, Maths etc.

But in regards to what to pick, I think you should see what type of engineering you want to do (Of course, just have an idea). Because for degrees like Chemical Engineering, you'll be expected to do Chemistry but for others like Mechanical Engineering, you only need physics and maths as A-Level requirements.

If you are thinking of aiming to Oxbridge, it is probably suggested to do Further Maths as 95% of applicants will have this as their fourth subject, but other than that I think it depends on what type of course you're aiming for. ☺️
Reply 2
Original post by peachymuffin
Hii, I might not be much help, but I have a friend who is looking into engineering. He does Physics, Maths, Further Maths and DT (but he's thinking of dropping it, as he wants to focus on 3 subjects). I just want to point out, it is a lot of work and effort, so be sure you want to do 4 A-Levels, especially if you choose subjects like Chemistry, Physics, Maths etc.
But in regards to what to pick, I think you should see what type of engineering you want to do (Of course, just have an idea). Because for degrees like Chemical Engineering, you'll be expected to do Chemistry but for others like Mechanical Engineering, you only need physics and maths as A-Level requirements.
If you are thinking of aiming to Oxbridge, it is probably suggested to do Further Maths as 95% of applicants will have this as their fourth subject, but other than that I think it depends on what type of course you're aiming for. ☺️
thank you so much this is really helpful 🙂
i’m leaning slightly towards further maths right now but fortunately i don’t have to make my final decisions till results day, i found out!
Original post by beaaa171
thank you so much this is really helpful 🙂
i’m leaning slightly towards further maths right now but fortunately i don’t have to make my final decisions till results day, i found out!


Yes of course! Spend time thinking it over, you have plenty of time to decide ☺️
Reply 4
Why are you taking French?
Original post by beaaa171
hi, my 3 alevels that i've chosen are physics, maths, and french. after looking online i've found that for physics or engineering degrees, most universities are looking for someone with another science to go with physics
my first question is, would they count further maths as another 'science' under the sort of vague sciencey/stem umbrella? i couldnt find any info on this!

secondly, i am interested in chemistry and good at it now at gcse, ive been getting 8s and 9s in mocks. but i don't know if i like it enough to do well in it at a-level as obviously it requires more independent study etc etc

sooo what do you think?


It might be worth double checking with the unis whether they will consider maths as a science. If they will, then you are fine with maths.
What about biology? Thats another science. It might be worth looking into.
hey if u want to do anything stem-related (i.e., physics or engineering), especially at a top university like oxbridge/imperial etc.., definitely do further maths. Though further maths may not be compulsory when looking at the entry requirements, this is because these universities understand that your school may not offer further maths as a subject and it would be unfair to penalise you based on the school you go to. However, if your school offers further maths (and I assume it does) they expect you to take it.
Reply 7
Original post by McGinger
Why are you taking French?
because i want to! it’s my favourite subject along with physics and i’d like to work in france in the future, besides as far as i know it’s good to have an essay type subject alongside the stem ones to show breadth of skill
Reply 8
Original post by iTsJames123
hey if u want to do anything stem-related (i.e., physics or engineering), especially at a top university like oxbridge/imperial etc.., definitely do further maths. Though further maths may not be compulsory when looking at the entry requirements, this is because these universities understand that your school may not offer further maths as a subject and it would be unfair to penalise you based on the school you go to. However, if your school offers further maths (and I assume it does) they expect you to take it.
ahhh okay yes that makes sense, it seems it would definitely make my uni applications better which is the biggest factor for me in what i choose
Reply 9
Original post by Emma:-)
It might be worth double checking with the unis whether they will consider maths as a science. If they will, then you are fine with maths.
What about biology? Thats another science. It might be worth looking into.
yes i will definitely have to look more into it! and i’m gonna be honest with you, i hate biology haha. but yes that would’ve been a good idea otherwise, thank you!
Reply 10
Original post by beaaa171
because i want to! it’s my favourite subject along with physics and i’d like to work in france in the future, besides as far as i know it’s good to have an essay type subject alongside the stem ones to show breadth of skill

For STEM degrees, 'breadth' is irrelevant and an extra A level in French wont make any difference to your application.

Engineering needs Physics, Maths - and frequently FM.
Not extra bits on the side that might make you look vaguely 'interesting'.

Always stick to the essential subjects and the grades that matter - what a University states it wants as 'entry requirements', and not what you have 'heard' it wants

If you want to continue language study, then every Uni will have a Language Centre and classes you can take alongside your degree - example Foreign languages courses for University of Bath students
Original post by beaaa171
hi, my 3 alevels that i've chosen are physics, maths, and french. after looking online i've found that for physics or engineering degrees, most universities are looking for someone with another science to go with physics
my first question is, would they count further maths as another 'science' under the sort of vague sciencey/stem umbrella? i couldnt find any info on this!
secondly, i am interested in chemistry and good at it now at gcse, ive been getting 8s and 9s in mocks. but i don't know if i like it enough to do well in it at a-level as obviously it requires more independent study etc etc
sooo what do you think?
Maths, Further Maths and Physics is like doing 2.5 A-Levels, especially since 35% of A-Level Physics is Mechanics and A-Level Maths also has Mechanics and if you do FM1 and FM2 for your optional papers in A-Level Further Maths, then there is even more Mechanics i.e. Physics. :smile: lol So you should get 3 A star grades comfortably with practice papers and you only need to worry about French speaking and novel and film papers. :wink:
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 12
I would highly recommend further maths as it is highly regarded by unis
Reply 13
Original post by beaaa171
hi, my 3 alevels that i've chosen are physics, maths, and french. after looking online i've found that for physics or engineering degrees, most universities are looking for someone with another science to go with physics
my first question is, would they count further maths as another 'science' under the sort of vague sciencey/stem umbrella? i couldnt find any info on this!
secondly, i am interested in chemistry and good at it now at gcse, ive been getting 8s and 9s in mocks. but i don't know if i like it enough to do well in it at a-level as obviously it requires more independent study etc etc
sooo what do you think?


I did those but im doing chem engineering so i kept chem dropped fm after AS, but as long as ur not doing cheme, then i would take FM, its real boost to have provided u can get a good grade, an A in Chem is better than a C in FM. Gl

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