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Is MFL vital for UNI?

(14 Posts)
Confuddled101 Mon 13-Jun-16 21:33:35

My daughter is taking the following GCSE's starting in September...
English Lang
English Lit
Triple Science
Computing (Computer science)
1/2 RS

Her tutor thinks that the amount of prep needed for those subjects will equate to between 13-14 hours per week.

The only subject she doesn't enjoy is French.
The school thinks that she can drop French.

When it comes to University applications, will she be penalised for not having a MFL?

She doesn't know what she wants to do yet. Possibly law, science or business.

dreamingofsun Tue 14-Jun-16 10:59:32

I'm no educational expert, but my son didn't take any languages at gcse. the school weren't happy, but my argument was why drop a subject he could get a good grade in to take one he is unlikely to pass.

anyway, he had offers from all the russell group type uni's he applied to (and went to interviews for). so for him its not made any difference at all. no-one has ever questioned about languages, including the new sixth he's attending.

aginghippy Tue 14-Jun-16 11:48:03

The school is right, it's not vital. She wouldn't be penalised. Most unis/courses don't require it at all. Let her drop French.

UCL, for example, require students who don't have a MFL GCSE to do a language once they are there. It's not a requirement for admission.

GoudyStout Tue 14-Jun-16 12:04:58

It was required when I went to uni back in the 1980s, but not any more. We asked the same question for DS, as he isn't into MFLs either.

japanesegarden Tue 14-Jun-16 13:19:40

back in the day when you needed a language it was usually possible to substitute Latin or Ancient Greek anyway. She'd have that plus a humanity with the history, so I am sure it would be fine for anywhere (UCL proviso as above).

Confuddled101 Tue 14-Jun-16 15:24:41

Thank you very much for your comments dreamingofsun, aginghippy, GoutyStout and japanesegarden.

We will back her in dropping French.

Isthiscorrect Tue 14-Jun-16 17:25:55

Ds received 5 RG offers with no MFL. I was extremely concerned when he made his GCSE choices as at the time there was a lot of 'chatter' about unis making MFL compulsory. However it isn't in the majority of places and it hasn't held him back although I will say if there is any chance of a good grade it will help in the future as another way to distinguish between applicants with the same grades.

esornep Tue 14-Jun-16 19:57:00

if there is any chance of a good grade it will help in the future as another way to distinguish between applicants with the same grades.

Why would universities use MFL GCSEs to distinguish between applicants for non-MFL courses? This wouldn't make any sense.

goingmadinthecountry Tue 14-Jun-16 21:45:00

When did the EBacc come in? I thought it was part of that and therefore expected these days?

titchy Tue 14-Jun-16 22:35:12

EBacc been and gone! It's now Progress 8 which is the measure of school performance.

QOD Wed 15-Jun-16 02:52:13

My dd says GCSEs are irrelevant at application time. Yr 12 and just dong AS
I'm just entering this hellish period 😅

goingmadinthecountry Wed 15-Jun-16 07:30:25

So my poor dyslexic son had to suffer German which he was rubbish at for no good reason. Brilliant! Major respect for his lovely teacher though for getting him up to a C.

bojorojo Wed 15-Jun-16 18:39:19

Oh no! GCSEs are not irrelevant to universities. The top ones are now listing GCSE grades as second only to A level grades - Durham do this. Bristol weights them at 25%. Your DD is very mistaken if she thinks that they do not matter, QOD. May depend if the university is recruiting or selecting but GCSE grades are an indication of the quality of student the selecting universities are looking for.

whatwouldrondo Thu 16-Jun-16 01:54:47

GCSE grades used to be vital with many of the best universities looking for 7+ A*s across the board as a minimum in almost all circumstances and MFL being particularly valued (even in Science). There has been a shift in competition for places, in student's favour, as well as a devaluation in the value put on GCSE grades as a result of inconsistent politically motivated results so yes from experience GCSEs appear to matter less and it appears they are more likely to take a lenient view if GCSEs are out of step with other indications of ability especially if contextual factors like SpLDs apply. However GCSEs will still be a way of discerning ability for very competitive courses and with linear exams and without AS results to go on that will become more likely. So if my DCs were doing GCSEs now I would certainly discourage any idea they don't matter.

Universities are also becoming more aware of the need to prepare students for employment in global markets and UCL isn't the only one to encourage, if not require, students to develop MFL skills at university. Whether GCSE does that is another matter but if a student wants to make a competitive application then studying an MFL does at least show an openness to learning about other cultures that will be appreciated. That is why most private schools make at least one of them compulsory. I have two dyslexic DDs and one would probably have done better in a non MFL subject but the other got the top grade with a lot of very hard work (and that would have been particularly appreciated as well I am sure) Neither regrets studying them at all but then both hope to work abroad and one though a Scientist has already done so as a result of having German at GCSE. It certainly would not hurt to encourage DCs to appreciate MFLs open doors and minds rather than as a chore........

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