I am doing my GCSE's soon, and I'm starting to think about what A- levels I should do. I like both biology and chemistry, but I don't like either physics or maths. I really want to get into Cambridge to study biology, but will I be able to get in if I don't study physics or maths?

(edited 1 month ago)

Original post by KittyCat_22

I am doing my GCSE's soon, and I'm starting to think about what A- levels I should do. I like both biology and chemistry, but I don't like either physics or maths. I really want to get into Cambridge to study biology, but will I be able to get in if I don't study physics or maths?

What does the University website say?

Original post by KittyCat_22

I am doing my GCSE's soon, and I'm starting to think about what A- levels I should do. I like both biology and chemistry, but I don't like either physics or maths. I really want to get into Cambridge to study biology, but will I be able to get in if I don't study physics or maths?

Bioscience degrees are only offered through natural sciences at Cambridge and you are unlikely to be competitive with only two STEM subjects. It'd also mandatory to do maths in the first year of the natural sciences course and the mathematical biology option still assumes roughly A-level Maths background. I think you are extraordinarily unlikely to get in without A-level Maths.

Also bear in mind that the artificial divide between Maths and the sciences in school is not maintained at degree level, and the sciences are mathematical, period. If you dislike maths you may want to examine if you realistically would succeed in a science degree where maths will be used throughout.

While bioscience degrees use somewhat less sophisticated maths than physical science degrees there still is a lot of basic maths and less basic stats work involved. So the two go hand in hand.

Original post by McGinger

Look at the Cambridge website - if thats too much for you to work out as a way to start, then Cambridge probably isnt for you. And you will need 4 other choices - so look at a range of other Uni websites as well.

I did have a look, and saw that I would most likely have to study maths and/ or physics, but I wanted to check just in case before I had to re- think everything again.

Original post by threeportdrift

What does the University website say?

I think I am most likely going to have to do either physics or maths, or just change my mind in general 😪

Original post by artful_lounger

Bioscience degrees are only offered through natural sciences at Cambridge and you are unlikely to be competitive with only two STEM subjects. It'd also mandatory to do maths in the first year of the natural sciences course and the mathematical biology option still assumes roughly A-level Maths background. I think you are extraordinarily unlikely to get in without A-level Maths.

Also bear in mind that the artificial divide between Maths and the sciences in school is not maintained at degree level, and the sciences are mathematical, period. If you dislike maths you may want to examine if you realistically would succeed in a science degree where maths will be used throughout.

While bioscience degrees use somewhat less sophisticated maths than physical science degrees there still is a lot of basic maths and less basic stats work involved. So the two go hand in hand.

Also bear in mind that the artificial divide between Maths and the sciences in school is not maintained at degree level, and the sciences are mathematical, period. If you dislike maths you may want to examine if you realistically would succeed in a science degree where maths will be used throughout.

While bioscience degrees use somewhat less sophisticated maths than physical science degrees there still is a lot of basic maths and less basic stats work involved. So the two go hand in hand.

Ah okay, thank you so much for this. I am most likely going to have to start looking into other courses.

Original post by KittyCat_22

I did have a look, and saw that I would most likely have to study maths and/ or physics, but I wanted to check just in case before I had to re- think everything again.

Maths looks to be compulsory...

"To apply to any of our Colleges for Natural Sciences, you will need A levels/IB Higher Levels (or the equivalent) in:

Mathematics

2 other science or mathematics subjects"

https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/natural-sciences-ba-hons-msci

Original post by ageshallnot

Maths looks to be compulsory...

"To apply to any of our Colleges for Natural Sciences, you will need A levels/IB Higher Levels (or the equivalent) in:

Mathematics

2 other science or mathematics subjects"

https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/natural-sciences-ba-hons-msci

"To apply to any of our Colleges for Natural Sciences, you will need A levels/IB Higher Levels (or the equivalent) in:

Mathematics

2 other science or mathematics subjects"

https://www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/natural-sciences-ba-hons-msci

Ah okay. Thank you.

If you look at other leading Unis course pages you will find that often they only want Biology and 'another Science or maths subject'. You need to be looking at those as well and working out whether or not Cambridge is a realistic ambition or not.

Just remember that Cambridge is not for everyone, and is not an indicator of intellectual ability, and that is doesnt guarantee you any better a career than a First class honours degree in Biology from Southampton, Cardiff, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle etc,

Just remember that Cambridge is not for everyone, and is not an indicator of intellectual ability, and that is doesnt guarantee you any better a career than a First class honours degree in Biology from Southampton, Cardiff, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle etc,

Original post by McGinger

If you look at other leading Unis course pages you will find that often they only want Biology and 'another Science or maths subject'. You need to be looking at those as well and working out whether or not Cambridge is a realistic ambition or not.

Just remember that Cambridge is not for everyone, and is not an indicator of intellectual ability, and that is doesnt guarantee you any better a career than a First class honours degree in Biology from Southampton, Cardiff, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle etc,

Just remember that Cambridge is not for everyone, and is not an indicator of intellectual ability, and that is doesnt guarantee you any better a career than a First class honours degree in Biology from Southampton, Cardiff, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle etc,

Thank you, I guess I just put pressure on myself about it, as many of my previous teachers have said they expected me to go to the top like Cambridge and Oxford, but I think I'm going to be better off looking into others like you said.

Original post by KittyCat_22

Thank you, I guess I just put pressure on myself about it, as many of my previous teachers have said they expected me to go to the top like Cambridge and Oxford, but I think I'm going to be better off looking into others like you said.

Imperial would probably get your teachers excited, if that's important to you.

Although its not making my teachers impressed and just more standards I've set for myself from teachers having high expectations, I think I'll look into that. Thanks so much.

Original post by KittyCat_22

Thank you, I guess I just put pressure on myself about it, as many of my previous teachers have said they expected me to go to the top like Cambridge and Oxford, but I think I'm going to be better off looking into others like you said.

Look at Cambridge - but be realistic. Its high pressure, its shorter terms and some people thrive in that atmosphere whilst for others its totally intimidating. Teachers/schools see 'the number of Oxford / Cambridge offers etc as some sort of 'test' and a statistic that shows parents what a fabby school they are. All quite nuts really. And if you dont fancy all the extra hassle of even applying for Oxbridge - then just ignore those teachers. Its you applying to Uni, not them.

(edited 1 month ago)

Original post by KittyCat_22

Although its not making my teachers impressed and just more standards I've set for myself from teachers having high expectations, I think I'll look into that. Thanks so much.

Oxford only need biology and chemistry.

Original post by McGinger

Look at Cambridge - but be realistic. Its high pressure, its shorter terms and some people thrive in that atmosphere whilst for others its totally intimidating. Teachers/schools see 'the number of Oxford / Cambridge offers etc as some sort of 'test' and a statistic that shows parents what a fabby school they are. All quite nuts really. And if you dont fancy all the extra hassle of even applying for Oxbridge - then just ignore those teachers. Its you applying to Uni, not them.

You are completely right. I spoke to my mum about it and we are going to go have a look around different Uni's when we can, and I'll look more into different courses as well.

Original post by ageshallnot

Oxford only need biology and chemistry.

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