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I need guidance for my future, please help.

  1. Sep 28, 2013 #1
    My story:

    Hello, My name is Ahmed:

    Please excuse my grammatical mistakes, I am a 20 year old Kuwaiti, currently living in Kuwait and have a love for Science since my early childhood, When I was in High school, I have made many mistakes, one of them was that I did not complete High School, In Kuwait we have a 12 year system and I have dropped out of high school on the 11th year, It was because of many personal factors, I deeply regret my decision.(I have always had a love for Physics and Mathematics). ever since then I found a job and worked, I usually read and study science books that are made for university courses and A-levels. My intentions of studying is not for money, My intentions are for the learning and the understanding of the Universe.


    Now, I am thinking about studying and getting an A-levels degree to get into university. I have contacted some universities and had told them my story and some of them said;"We just need an A-levels degree in 3 subject with A's" and some said;"You must have a high school degree and an A-levels degree". The one that told me it didn't need a high school degree was The University of Nottingham which has an undergraduate physics and astronomy degree. I would very much like to start on getting my A-levels and enrolling in the university.

    My Question:
    Given that I am 20 years old and that I don't have a high school degree and that I can not get a high school degree in my country, what other options do I have? Please note that after my undergraduate degree I wish to pursue a Masters and PhD most likely in astrophysics or particle physics. Other questions are:
    1. Am I too old to start studying physics?
    2. Will I be able to find work after graduating?(I am going to live where my university is located, even after graduating)
    3. Two of my subjects in A-levels are Mathematics and Physics. What should my third subject be?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2013 #2

    lisab

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    Welcome to PF, Ahmed!

    Answers to your questions:

    1. No. You are still very young. There is no such thing as "too old". For some people, learning math takes more time when they're older, but most people don't notice that until their 40s. And even then, you aren't too old to learn, it just may take longer.
    2. There is no way for us to know that -- no one does. You take your chances with any path you take in life.
    3. What options do you have? (I'm in the US, I don't know the British education system very well.) My first thought is, take something interesting that is not connected to Math or Physics -- like Art History or Music.
     
  4. Sep 28, 2013 #3
    Thank you for the reply!

    For my options, I guess they can be anything but I was thinking more in line with chemistry just for a better understanding of the processes that happen with atoms, that it maybe better to know if I pursue particle physics, because my knowledge of chemistry is very low.
     
  5. Sep 28, 2013 #4

    lisab

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    Chemistry is not a bad idea. Do the physics and chemistry classes both have labs? Labs can take a *lot* of time, so keep that in mind if you decide to go that route.
     
  6. Sep 28, 2013 #5

    AlephZero

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    You seem to be talking about the UK system. I live in the UK and I have never heard of a "high school degree" (we don't even call them "high schools" in the UK). The "3 subjects at A level" is the usual requirement for a UK university course, and will you also need a grade A to C in GCSE English, or an equivalent qualification.

    Maybe that is what your "high school degree" meant? GCSE exams are usually taken 2 years before A levels (at the minimum school-leaving age in the UK), so you might have taken an exam equivalent to GCSE, or O level, before you left school.

    "Take something interesting" is good advice, but not those two suggestions. Some UK universities have published lists of A level subjects they regard as "soft options", which they don't consider to be a good preparation for university level education.

    If you are going for just 3 A levels (not 4 or 5) it would be best to choose from these:

    Mathematics and Further Mathematics
    English (Literature)
    Physics
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Geography
    History
    Languages (Classical and Modern)

    http://www.studentladder.co.uk/Soft-Subjects/soft-subjects.html
     
  7. Sep 28, 2013 #6
    Thats what I meant by high school degree, GCSE equivalent, the Nottingham University said they didn't need it, only 3 subjects in A-levels are needed.

    Sadly, the subjects like physics and chemistry are without labs.
    My subjects are Mathematics(Core 1,2,3,4 and Further Mathematics 1&2) and Physics, I am still deciding on whether or not to go with chemistry or biology. the A-levels are edexcel.
     
  8. Sep 28, 2013 #7

    AlephZero

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    That seems strange. I think any UK university will want some english language qualification from a foreign student.

    Note, there are two universities in Nottingham. The "University of Nottingham" http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ is ranked in the top 10 in the UK, but "Nottingham Trent University" http://www.ntu.ac.uk/ is [cough] in the bottom half of the UK rankings.
     
  9. Sep 28, 2013 #8
    they said they need a TOEFL or IELTS qualification, I know if IGCSE english is accepted, they did not mention it. here is a link to the website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ugstudy/courses/physicsandastronomy/bsc-physics-astronomy.aspx
     
  10. Sep 28, 2013 #9

    AlephZero

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    That makes sense. Good luck with your application!
     
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