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I've been scared into not doing Physics

  1. Aug 7, 2009 #1
    I have applied to do a course at a top UK university for physics. The first year being a foundation year (maths physics and chemistry). Because I never did these subjects at the end of school.

    I topped my class in two subjects and was not far behind in another at the end of school.

    I'm in doubt now on whether I should do this physics foundation year as everyone (not one of them do or have done well at school) is saying it is really hard. Like it is impossible.

    They seem to believe that no matter how much effort I put in I will fail.

    How hard is it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2009 #2
    First year physics isn't really to hard, just as long as you devout the proper time to your studies. I'd be more concerned with the fact that a couple of people have seemed to cause you to doubt yourself.
  4. Aug 7, 2009 #3


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    You'll be essentially taking the equivalent of the last two years of school maths and physics courses in one year, in a less hands on environment than school. Of course, it won't be impossible to pass such a course, but you will really need to know (and not just pass tests) all of the foundation course to have a chance of obtaining a degree in physics. It'll likely be hard, since there is quite a difference between GCSE and A level maths/physics, and on this course it will be taught by lecturers and not teachers.

    It begs the question: why do you want to go to university to study physics if you haven't done any sciences at A level?
  5. Aug 7, 2009 #4


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    It's a foundation year, not the first year of a degree. Foundation years are meant for people who either have not got the appropriate prerequisite knowledge, or have not got high enough grades in A level exams.
  6. Aug 7, 2009 #5
    Ah, my mistake. I just thought foundation year was the UK saying for learning the basics in first year.
  7. Aug 7, 2009 #6

    I got grade C's in my GCSE's when you need B's to do a science subject . This was because I messed around and never did my work. So I wanted to do psychology at university but at the back of my mind physics was allways there. I was allways intrested by it (used to watch online lectures, read about it etc). I started to work hard and got really good grades in y12. I went to some workshops about uni courses and they all told me if you like physics that much and you seem to be good at revising and doing your work do a foundation year.

    I've been on holiday waiting for my results (should get AAB) I did 18 units of exams and coursework and got around 80% A grades (not braging)

    My cousins, close family and other friends since I started have said don't do it, don't do it. Its hard. Its impossible. Overtime for the first time I've started to think if I've done the right thing.

    Sorry for the life story lol.

    I watched UCL Berkely lectures and looked at second/third year stuff like general relativity and quantum mechanics. M-theory, string theory. And the search for the the theory of everything. I know I'm jumping the hoop but but ultimately i want to study these things.

    I just watched this today -

    Faraday bit was good. Over the top acting though.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  8. Aug 7, 2009 #7


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    That's good, but then if you aren't taking any sciences, it's a little difficult to judge. For example, I know a lot of people who are fantastic at arts subjects, but terrible at sciences (and vice versa). Still, if you're interested and dedicated, then that should be good enough.

    I'm in two minds about foundation courses. On the one hand, if you put enough effort in, then they should do what they advertise, and increase your prerequisite knowledge to a sufficient level. But, on the other hand, I can't help thinking that these courses are just money spinners for the universities. That said, since it's only a year, it may be a good way to gauge whether physics is right for you.
  9. Aug 7, 2009 #8
    Good point, yeah I enjoy science more then softer subjects, I'm fed up of doing essay after essay affter essay.

    The course has allways been fine. It is at a top uk university number 6 for physics. They have made it relevant for entry into the physics. They have to protect their reputation and I spoke to people who had done it and they were doing PHD's/Masters courses. They said it was hard but as long as you keep up with the work it is passable.

    They made the foundation year because theres no one wanting to do physics , they need more applicants.
  10. Aug 8, 2009 #9
    Blimey. And we wonder why the UK is desperate for scientists. Your school need a good shake up for not letting you do science A levels. Yo should write to your MP and complain. My school let people do science A levels even if they got an F in their GCSEs!

    Ignore friends & family, with marks like yours why not do physics? If the University let you onto the physics foundation course they must think you will succeed in getting a physics degree. It sounds like you are more interested in physics than anything else, so why do anything else?
  11. Aug 8, 2009 #10
    Yeah true. They should have a proficiency attitude test. Cause in the subjects they let me do I topped the class in. Allways was in the top 3 students in the class.

    They made me waste a year but the philosophy course was worth it. I did bad for the first few weeks just slowly absorbing things. Then after that every essay, exam I blitz!
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