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Transitioning from A levels to Btec

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    Hi everyone, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this but anyway, I'm a student currently doing my second year of A levels. My favourite subject has always been Media, but throughout the whole A level process, I feel like I have learnt literally nothing that I didn't already know from GCSE other than theories, which I have never really given a damn about (Postmodernism? ¬_¬). I have found out however that my college offers a Media Level 3 Btec course, and I am interested in taking up that after this year to gain more practical skills in programs such as photoshop and skills in photography (which both interest me greatly).

    The only thing that bugs me is that my parents have never been supportive of me leaving A levels and taking up a Btec for a further 2 years at the college, and insist I'll never get into any good uni's with a Btec.

    Just wanted to see if anyone here has any further information on Btec's (especially Media) and if they're actually worthwhile!
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    I did animal care and it was awesome, mainly down to the people on the course but the course was good too.
    I'll admit it was easier than A Levels, no exams so less stress! I did AS Levels then dropped out to do BTEC, don't regret that decision one bit.

    Now I'm at uni doing more animal stuff :p: You might want to look at which uni you'd be interested in applying to (if any) to make sure they accept BTEC's
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    Really? That's great

    I must admit that I am terrible at exams, always been great at coursework though. There's so much stress with exams, and I personally believe that a written exam is a terrible way of judging how good someone is at a particular subject.

    The only reason why I don't know if it's the right decision is that I would have to pay for my 2nd year of a Level 3 btec as I'd be 20 years old, having already spent 2 years doing A levels. I want to go to uni, and I believe I'll be able to gain a greater knowledge of the subject by doing a Btec, but the whole process is very costly -.-
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    You wouldn't have to pay for any costs, so long as you are 19 or under in September on your first year.
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    Why not do one of the courses with less units in that you can do in one year?
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    Good universities will not want someone who has spent the last two years doing a BTEC. If you feel you are learning nothing doing A-Levels then the chances are that you will come out of a BTEC course with less knowledge of the subject than you started with.

    The transition from A-level to BTEC will be a downward transition. You don't need to adjust to it.
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    (Original post by Willz)
    Hi everyone, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this but anyway, I'm a student currently doing my second year of A levels. My favourite subject has always been Media, but throughout the whole A level process, I feel like I have learnt literally nothing that I didn't already know from GCSE other than theories, which I have never really given a damn about (Postmodernism? ¬_¬). I have found out however that my college offers a Media Level 3 Btec course, and I am interested in taking up that after this year to gain more practical skills in programs such as photoshop and skills in photography (which both interest me greatly).

    The only thing that bugs me is that my parents have never been supportive of me leaving A levels and taking up a Btec for a further 2 years at the college, and insist I'll never get into any good uni's with a Btec.

    Just wanted to see if anyone here has any further information on Btec's (especially Media) and if they're actually worthwhile!
    I would argue the case that when applying for courses centered around photography and photoshop (Photography, Visual Arts etc) as you say above that these are skills you are interested in developing, that the strength of your application would be based on your portfolio, rather than which form of entry qualification you are using.

    Also there are many excellent universities that provide the kinds of degrees that you may consider when applying. Off the top of the head, Goldsmiths and Ravensbourne are both pretty well known and have excellent links with the media and business.

    If you were to choose to transfer on to the Btec then it would be a decision that you would have to be totally sure of, with an end goal in sight, with reasonable expectations of what you can gain. However, if you were to choose to continue A-level study, take a gap year in which to pursue the expansion of your skill-set and portfolio and apply in the next cycle, it may offer you a greater flexibility as speaking from experience of doing this my perspectives of what I wanted had changed quite dramatically.

    This is all just my opinion, ultimately, sometimes, you just have to take the leap and deal with how it turns out. Good Luck.
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    (Original post by oh_1993)
    Good universities will not want someone who has spent the last two years doing a BTEC. If you feel you are learning nothing doing A-Levels then the chances are that you will come out of a BTEC course with less knowledge of the subject than you started with..
    Good universities do accept those with BTEC qualifications, and I can hardly believe that doing a BTEC will drain you of knowledge that you previously had in a subject...
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    Let me put it this way, I left A-levels because I felt I wasn't learning anything. The subjects were Media Studies, ICT and Geography.
    I didn't have a clue what Media studies was all about but I was told that part of it was related to computers (meaning I only enjoyed the computer side of it).
    I wanted to take the Geography route because I had an interest in Physical geography but my main weakness was settling into a group in a field trip gathering data.
    And ICT wasn't even what I was looking for, I really disliked the business side of it and so it gave me a bad grade but the only grade I achieved (the other subjects were both unclassified).

    You see, I only got out of A-levels because: 1. The above reasons. 2. The school I was at limits me to the subjects I can study according to my GCSE grades. 3. It takes me an odd year to get all the information to sink in which I need for examinations.

    I'm not against BTEC and it has taught me alot over the years that I wouldn't have done in my chosen A-level subjects - if I was at another school I would have taken more academic than vocational. It's important you choose what you really enjoy, and if things don't work out follow your interests/hobbies like for me it was computers so I chose BTEC in IT.
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    (Original post by Leo*)
    Good universities do accept those with BTEC qualifications, and I can hardly believe that doing a BTEC will drain you of knowledge that you previously had in a subject...
    I learnt literally nothing in BTEC IT and PE (Level 2, I had to do it). I got a distinction by doing what I was told, not remembering or developing any skills other than making sure I do not lose my folder. Some of the dumbest people I know have passed them, and struggle to learn anything. Well, of course you won't unlearn things I was exaggerating but I honestly do not even know how to set up a powerpoint properly so I hope you can understand how I disagree with the qualification. Even my teachers rant about them occasionally.

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Updated: April 22, 2012
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