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Help son still dithering with 4th option for Engineering degree- Further Maths Alevel or Extended Project

(12 Posts)
Indec1s1on Wed 19-Aug-20 07:38:40

Has put down for maths, physics and chemistry. Naturally pretty good at all 3. GCSEs results should be good.8s maybe 9s.

He can be a bit scatty and has worked over the summer at Alevel prep( nudged by us) however I think it’s safe to say an Alevel in XBox gaming would be ideal for him.🙄

At the last hour is thinking from changing from extended project to further maths Alevel as 4 th option. 😩Has been in set 1 and 2 at a grammar for maths. Hoping for 8 or 9.

We’re going round the houses. Imperial and Oxbridge would want further maths but they may not be his kind of place and he may not have the work ethic to get the grades needed 3 A*s. Other unis with more realistic but high requirements are less fussed re further maths.

The essay and research time V further maths being potentially hard is the conundrum.

Is good at maths but doesn’t adore it and is more a natural engineer and lover of physics and chemistry.

Not impressed with the last minute dithering.😩

OP’s posts: |
blametheparents Wed 19-Aug-20 07:45:14

My friend's DD is doing MEng Aeronautical Engineering at Southampton with Maths, Physics and Economics A levels - she was given a lower A level offer if she got an A in her EPQ. So it was definitely worth doing the EPQ.

Similarly - I know a boy at Birmingham doing Civil Engineering - again no Further Maths.

So - both Russell Group unis (if that matters to you) and both without Further Maths.

hellsbells99 Wed 19-Aug-20 08:07:12

DD has just finished her engineering degree. She did FM at AS level and said it helped a lot with her 1st year but wasn’t essential. She is glad she did it. Only 3 A levels are needed. So perhaps start FM and if it is too much then drop it. EPQ is not needed.

Indec1s1on Wed 19-Aug-20 08:07:51

Does the extended project topic need to be very degree subject focused?

OP’s posts: |
YinuCeatleAyru Wed 19-Aug-20 08:15:35

Assuming he would choose an EPQ topic with an engineering focus, I think that would be more useful than further maths. There will probably be some elements of the further maths syllabus that he will need to cover as part of the engineering degree if he chooses a course with a high maths and theory content, but that needn't affect A-Level choice as the uni will cover it when needed, and there will be plenty of other bits of the Further Maths syllabus that he doesn't like much or need to understand for the purposes of engineering.

franden99 Wed 19-Aug-20 08:23:21

Check to see if the university gives a lower offer for EPQ. They don't all do this.

You can do an EPQ on anything.

Personally I'd focus on getting 3 really good A levels. Maybe he could start doing Further Maths as someone else said and drop it at end of Year 12 if it's too much.

Southampton has a really good rep for engineering.

Honeywort Wed 19-Aug-20 08:35:05

My dd got an offer for imperial chem eng without doing further maths but firmed Birmingham instead. Really glad she did an epq though as it meant she made the offer this year with the algorithm grades (her grades went up with the cag results but that might have been too late).

I’m a big fan of EPqs - think they teach loads of really useful independent study skills.

Decorhate Wed 19-Aug-20 08:45:50

Does he know what type of engineering or is he planning on one of the general engineering courses? Unless he is planning on Chemical Engineering, I’d go for Maths, Further Maths & Physics. Though many schools will allow FM as a 4th subject if he really wants to keep on Chemistry.

There are pros and cons to EPQs. Some unis will give a lower offer if the have an EPQ as well (and obviously they are useful experience for research & report writing). But lots of pupils start them & then give up as they are time consuming.

Indec1s1on Wed 19-Aug-20 08:48:04

Mechanical engineering but he loves chemistry.

OP’s posts: |
Decorhate Wed 19-Aug-20 09:14:20

I think Mech Eng is one of the more competitive engineering courses to get into (because it’s popular). I think you would have to look at individual uni’s admission criteria. They can’t insist on FM as not every school offers it, but they may question why he hadn’t done FM if it was an option. So I would recommend doing FM if he can (and in preference to an EPQ). But it would depend on his ability in maths also.

ChateauMargaux Wed 19-Aug-20 10:52:03

It is useful to arrive at Universith having done further Maths as it will be part of many subjects. Engineering courses are intense so it is good to hit the ground running.

Mustbetimeforachange Wed 19-Aug-20 16:57:56

DS2 is one of a handful on his engineering course (at least amongst his friends) to have done FM and it has helped him. (Saying that he didn't get a great grade in his A level so might have been better off with chemistry). Did an EPQ which helped lower his offers even though it wasn't related to engineering.

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