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How important is a foreign language at GCSE level for Uni admission if you're going to do science and maths at A level?

(15 Posts)
HeadPotato Sun 19-Apr-20 21:04:24

My son (ye 9) doesn't want to do a foreign language at GCSE level as he doesn't like languages.
He has a much greater aptitude for maths and science and will probably do those at A level.
My wife thinks some Russell group universities may not offer him a place if he doesn't have a foreign language at GCSE.
I think that's ridiculous but I'm not from this country so I'm not that familiar with the process.
Any advice?

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Sun 19-Apr-20 21:06:20

Not required at all.

One uni prefers you to have it (UCL I think) but if you don’t you can just take a class when you get there.

Comefromaway Sun 19-Apr-20 21:11:05

It's no more important than any other GCSE.

HeadPotato Sun 19-Apr-20 21:23:04

Thanks. That's reassuring.
I suspect the school will try and force encourage him to do it as they like to blow their trumpet about their Ebacc results.

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clary Sun 19-Apr-20 21:24:22

It's not important at all. And I taught MFL for seven years, and it's still a passion. But while I would happily teach a weaker student who was keen, it's no fun teaching any kind of student who would rather be doing tech, or geography, of computer science.

Op he should do what he enjoys (within reason). It won't be an issue if he has no MFL GCSE, even for Oxford.

MontysOarlock Mon 20-Apr-20 08:55:25

At my son's secondary they allow you to drop language if you have no aptitude for it or dislike it but they do encourage humanities for the essay writing skills.

You don't need it for uni. Have a look at a RG uni website, choose a likely course your child might be interested in and see the full admissions requirements link and language GCSE won't be there.

Honeyroar Mon 20-Apr-20 08:59:50

He’d be much better doing more science if that’s what he enjoys and wants to pursue. I was the opposite and got pushed into doing more sciences when I was good at arty subjects and languages. All it got me was poorer GCSE grades.

HeadPotato Mon 20-Apr-20 17:01:16

Yes, I don't see the point in forcing kids to do subjects that they're not interested in

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Furrydog7 Mon 20-Apr-20 18:11:46

I don't see the point in forcing kids to do subjects that they don't want to do. I was pushed in to taking French at gcse and i hated it with a passion. I don 't think it helped that my french teacher gave us loads more homework than any other subject teacher. Also my subjects at a level and my chosen path at university required a lot of essay writing and problem solving. I did law at university. I hardly remember much french now as i haven't spoken it for 14 years. I would have been better off studying Harry Potter at gcse lol.

HeadPotato Fri 24-Apr-20 13:07:46

From what I have discovered, it's only UCL that require an NFL at GCSE and even then it wont prevent you doing any course, they will just ask you to do a foreign language module in your first year.

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HeadPotato Fri 24-Apr-20 13:08:15


OP’s posts: |
GaraMedouar Fri 24-Apr-20 13:21:29

Not required. My DS did no language at GCSE (I was annoyed, was not his choice, it was due to a clash in the timetable with triple science). He did 4 A-levels - maths, further maths and 2 sciences. And got offers at Russell Group univ.

seltaeb Sat 25-Apr-20 22:01:25

Ask the unis/ check their websites rather than rely on MN, but I suspect the advice here is correct.

MamaGee09 Sat 25-Apr-20 22:16:00

Not important, encourage him to pick the subjects he’s good at and that he enjoys. Don’t let your wife influence his subjects.

I have two teenagers and found they have both done well in exams with the subjects they have chosen and loved,

Howaboutanewname Sun 26-Apr-20 00:34:33

I agree, unnecessary. There is, however, much anecdotal evidence that university admissions tutors like to see it. If intending to do a competitive course (medicine? Psychology? English?) at a Russell Group, we would advise capable students to seriously consider it. But as PP said, better teaching those who want to rather than those forced to.

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