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Maths / Physics Entry Requirements

(93 Posts)
1234Littleham Sat 16-Jan-16 11:39:56

My daughter is doing four AS Levels at the moment at her sixth form comprehensive (Maths, Further Maths, Physics and one other).

Do universities count Further Maths as an A Level in their entry requirements?
So if she dropped the fourth subject would she be fine applying for Maths & Physics related degrees with FM, Maths and Physics A levels?

Bertieboo1 Sat 16-Jan-16 11:41:52

I'm pretty sure they do -worth checking uni websites though. I would have thought further maths would be very attractive for a maths/physics degree application.

GloriaHotcakes Sat 16-Jan-16 11:43:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hellsbells99 Sat 16-Jan-16 11:49:47

My friends DS is in his first year of university studying physics. He has said how useful his further maths has been. Others on his course are having to do extra maths modules if they haven't done further maths.
Most universities don't insist on it as not all schools offer it but as your DD is already studying it, she would be wise to continue with it. My DD has picked up FM at AS level in year 13 as she really felt it would help with both her Ucas application and her first year at uni. Check the entry requirements at the universities she may be interested in as it may be required.

noblegiraffe Sat 16-Jan-16 11:53:45

I think the only issue with further maths for entry requirements to university is for some very competitive medicine courses where they don't count it towards the 3 grade requirement as they want a variety of subjects.

For a Maths or Physics degree, further maths would be seen as an excellent A-level to have.

1234Littleham Sat 16-Jan-16 11:57:19

She has looked at the websites and they seem to indicate that she would be ok with FM, Maths and Physics. She enjoys the homework for these three subjects and is doing well. As she is less keen on the fourth subject it might be best to replace it with self studying STEP.

I just wanted to check ahead in case she is making a big mistake by dropping the fourth subject. It would be awful to get to the application stage only to find out that FM and Maths only count as one subject.

I guess she can double check at the Open days.

disquisitiones Sat 16-Jan-16 12:01:29

*Do universities count Further Maths as an A Level in their entry requirements?
So if she dropped the fourth subject would she be fine applying for Maths & Physics related degrees with FM, Maths and Physics A levels?*

Yes, universities count FM as an A level for maths/physics course - it is Mumsnet myth that FM somehow doesn't count as a full A level.

But it is true that the very top universities (Oxbridge, Imperial) expect most students to have four A2 subjects to give an offer for maths/physics. Offers from Imperial often specify grades in all four A2 subjects. A fraction of students will get offers from Oxbridge/Imperial maths/physics even though they only have three A2 (including FM) but it is harder to get an offer from them with only three A2.

However, only the top 4-5 universities are selecting in maths/physics - the others give offers to all candidates with the required predicted grades. (The offers are not necessarily easy - think of Warwick maths!) There are plenty of very, very good maths and physics courses which automatically give offers based on three A2 predicted grades (including FM).

noblegiraffe Sat 16-Jan-16 12:07:52

I think that may have to change for current Y12 (top unis requiring 4 subjects), disquisitones as some schools are only allowing students to take 3 subjects and no AS with the switch to linear a-levels.

1234Littleham Sat 16-Jan-16 12:08:31

Thanks disquisitions. That might complicate things then.

She quite likes the look of Bath University.

noblegiraffe Sat 16-Jan-16 12:15:07

Bath entry requirements for maths&physics:

Typical Offer: A*AA

Essential:

Mathematics at grade A or above
Physics at grade A or above
A* in either Mathematics or Physics
GCSE or equivalent: grade C in English language.
Desirable:

any subject may be offered for the third A level choice.
Excluded Subjects:

all A-level offers exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.
language qualifications which are intended for non-native speakers are not normally acceptable when offered by native speakers of that language.

It doesn't mention further maths but it would definitely be an advantage rather than a disadvantage.

1234Littleham Sat 16-Jan-16 12:35:16

It doesn't mention further maths but it would definitely be an advantage rather than a disadvantage.

Thanks noblegiraffe - very helpful. I'll tell her to check with Bath admissions.

disquisitiones Sat 16-Jan-16 12:47:34

Needing 4 subjects to be competitive for maths/physics at the top few places may change. But it may not - even when I went to Oxbridge (pre AS) 20 years ago, virtually no maths student had less than 4 A levels (including FM). Certainly schools which are starting year 12 with only 3 A levels (as in the old days) are making an exception for students doing FM, but I guess the overall picture won't become clear until all courses switch from AS.

Bath certainly doesn't require more than 3 and neither does Warwick; both give offers to those who have the required predicted grade profile. UCL doesn't require more than 3 but doesn't (I believe) offer completely automatically. So doing only 3 would only have the effect of potentially making getting offers from Oxbridge/Imperial harder: since there are 5 slots on the UCAS form and most other very good RG courses automatically give offers for maths I'm not sure I would worry too much about not getting Oxbridge/Imperial.

Bath maths with physics does not insist on FM but for Bath maths not having FM would be a disadvantage as most incoming students have FM. (I don't think Bath is terrific for maths with physics but that is another thread.)

BTW STEP is not actually needed for any course apart from Cambridge. Imperial usually requires MAT or STEP. All other places which give offers involving STEP give alternative offers without STEP but with higher A2 grades. Most Warwick, UCL etc applicants will do STEP to avoid the pressure to get A*s in multiple subjects. STEP is also a very good preparation for undergraduate maths.

eatyourveg Sat 16-Jan-16 13:02:46

This from Pg 30 of the the RG Informed Choices leaflet

WARNING!
Some Maths courses may require both Maths and Further Maths.
But for some other degree courses,^ such as Medicine,^^ some universities
will only consider one of Maths and Further Maths.^ Check entry requirements carefully.

See here

1234Littleham Sat 16-Jan-16 13:03:44

Thanks. This is interesting as I don't really know about these unwritten issues, only what is in the prospectus.

The school do want her to make an application to Oxford / Cambridge (their idea not hers) but she doesn't seem set on it. So from what you say it sounds like it wouldn't be worth it if she dropped the fourth AS.

I thought that Bath had a good reputation for Maths / Physics She is still deciding what to do and is not set on combination degrees. Her teacher suggested applying for a taster course in one of the subjects.

The STEP information is useful thanks.

NiceCardigan Sat 16-Jan-16 13:16:22

DD2 did straight Maths at Bath with three A2s (maths,further maths and chemistry) she took a STEP paper as well. She enjoyed her experience there and did a work placement year along with a large proportion of her cohort. I think the work placement is Bath's big selling point and I'm sure was a big plus when applying for jobs.

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Sat 16-Jan-16 13:18:47

DD1 finished an MMath at Bath last summer, her bf did Maths & Physics finishing the year before. DD was very happy with her course, although do check ahead as to which modules you might want to take in 3rd/4th year as she ended up not having the right prerequisites.

Her bf hated his course (mostly down to him not having picked the right course to be fair) but his biggest issue was applying for graduate jobs afterwards as "maths & physics" never seemed to be an option on the drop down lists on online applications, which meant he was automatically rejected. All sorted now though, though there were a few difficult interview questions about why both, and not one or the other.

Everyone they know who did the year in industry now works for the firms they did their placement with, which takes the pressure off a bit in the final year.

However, they both say, that if they were to start again, they'd do engineering rather than maths/physics, as there are a lot more jobs asking for engineering grads than maths grads (if you don't want to go into traditional banking/accountancy/teaching)..

NiceCardigan Sat 16-Jan-16 13:26:12

DD2 isn't working for her placement firm. The year she did gave her a clear idea of what area she wanted to move into and is part way through a medical statistics masters now. She has already been offered a job for October when she finishes.

Grannypucket Sat 16-Jan-16 14:00:15

Don't know if this is useful or not for your DD. But my DD applied to Bath physics the bog standard variety but with placement not joint with anything else for entry this year. She didn't do further maths and it is available at her school but she never did it as she wasn't sure what degree she wanted to do. Her subjects were the 3 sciences plus maths but still got a offer despite getting a B in physics at AS but got A's in the other subjects. We was very surprised as we thought he would get rejected. As most do FM and have stronger maths score than my DD. She also got
offers from Warwick, Bristol and Surrey. Only waited 5 days for the offer at Bath. Her friend also applied to Bath but for maths and physics and he does do FM received a offer within 24hrs! I'm guessing physics isn't a very competitive degree in general. But i guess it would be different matter if she applied to say Durham or Manchester that requires 2A*A for physics.

1234Littleham Sat 16-Jan-16 14:13:41

Thank you. This is so useful. Hello again Nicecardigan. smile

Her teachers are happy for her to apply for any of these subjects. I think we will have to visit various departments to see whether one 'clicks'. It sounds as though Bath is a possibility.

I guess we will have to make up a list of one aspirational, two with high grades and two with lower ones, although we are struggling to find any that don't require all A grades!

Grannypucket Sat 16-Jan-16 14:22:51

I would look at Surrey if its just physics she was looking at not sure what grade requirements for joint with maths though. DD offer was AAB with placement year. DD is going to the bath physics offer open day on 27th this month. She has to get the A* from either maths or physics that was the condition of her offer.

NiceCardigan Sat 16-Jan-16 14:34:04

Hello to Littleham didn't twig it was you smile

1234Littleham Sat 16-Jan-16 14:41:05

The good thing is that she will know her A Level maths grade before she puts in an application as her sixth form do the maths A level in the first year and the Further Maths in the second year.

I'll tell her about Surrey as it would be good to have something with AAB on the list just in case.

noblegiraffe Sat 16-Jan-16 14:51:05

Will she definitely cash in her A-level maths modules before starting further maths? confused

It's usual for exam boards to get the results for all modules then assign them to maths and further maths in a way that maximises the A-level grade. This could be important if she wants an A* in maths for Bath and does a lot better in the applied modules that she does for further maths than for maths.

1234Littleham Sat 16-Jan-16 14:59:40

I'll check but I think they do the whole reassigning maximising business if necessary. It is all most confusing.

1234Littleham Sat 16-Jan-16 15:28:56

I've found this and I know she does various units this year and some the following year so I don't think they get cashed in straight away.

www.ocr.org.uk/images/68352-faqs-unit-combinations-and-grading-rules.pdf

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