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Not saying it with any particular inference, but people may not be aware that different universities can have a very different feel depending on the types of courses.
For example my uni was very northern and had very few public school people. It was also very engineering based and therefore tended to attract a certain subset of personalities. Universities with more arts based courses will tend to attract different cohorts. It is something people should think about what they are likely to feel comfortable when thinking where to apply.
Oxbridge often tend to have better facilities than many universities, but may not always be the best choice for a given subject.
I have the degree which your DS desires. My A levels were Maths, Mechanics/Applied Maths (i.e. Maths & Further Maths), Physics & Chemistry. I took the entrance exams to get my place (coming as I did from a state comprehensive this was seen to be the best way of getting noticed by the tutors). Entrance exams for Engineering were in Maths & Physics back in those days. Physics is def an important one for all sorts of engineering.
Way back in the 20th Century there was a course called Use of English that was widely taken by students intending to go to university. It doesn't seem to exist any more, which is a pity. DH is an engineer and has to spend much of his rather expensively charged out time rewriting reports written by other engineers who are good at maths/computing/practical engineering, but can't express themselves intelligbly in the English language!