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Opinion on qualifications for Mature student.

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    Hi All,

    My name is Luke, I am 22 and looking to go to university on a physics foundation year starting in 2013.

    I currently work full time and have recently started visiting a private tutor as none of my local colleges offer evening classes.

    My plan so far is to re-sit my Maths GCSE in June 12, Followed by A level modules in Mathematics (C1 & M1 in January 13 and C2 & M2 in June 13).

    What I want to ask is: If I get good results in the above exams, Do you think that would be enough to get onto a foundation year program at a "decent" university? I was hoping to apply to Nottingham, Manchester, Sussex, Loughborough & Durham... Just abit scared I will get laughed off

    I expect people to say "contact the unis and see what they say", Your probably right but I have been reluctant to do so as I wanted to be as prepared as possible and have the GCSE result "in hand", to add to the integrity of my application.

    Any information/advice would be great, Especially from mature students that have recently been in a similar position

    Thanks,

    Daihats
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    Theres really no reason why not, if you look at there prospectuses, many of them are trying to encourage people from a wider range of backgrounds into there programs. Just make sure you meet there minimum requirement, especially when it comes down to GCSE, so it might require taking a few others. But there so many easier GCSES to do alongside Maths to ensure you have enough.
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    Thanks for the reply

    I hadn't really thought of taking extra GCSE's, but I like the idea and it will only add to my application.

    Can anyone else share some of there TSR wisdom? :P
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    Hi Luke,

    I am in a similar position to you but have only just started looking at going to university. Which universities did you look at that offered a place for a physics foundation?

    Cheers
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    I found out on this site you can search on UCAS for foundation years. Just type in foundation in the search and it will list them all

    From the unis I have looked at; Sussex, Surrey, Nottingham, Durham & Manchester seem like they have excellent physics departments and all offer foundation years.

    I am watching the post you made as like you say we are in similar situations..

    Good luck Aesir
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    http://www.mathsnetalevel.com

    Get a subscription from these dudes, seriously good for maths, worth every penny (no i don't work for them).

    Why don't you do Physics AS/A Level. Most of the mechanics, kinematics, Dynamics, Vectors sections and so on are the same in maths M! M2?
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    (Original post by daihats)
    Hi All,

    My name is Luke, I am 22 and looking to go to university on a physics foundation year starting in 2013.

    I currently work full time and have recently started visiting a private tutor as none of my local colleges offer evening classes.

    My plan so far is to re-sit my Maths GCSE in June 12, Followed by A level modules in Mathematics (C1 & M1 in January 13 and C2 & M2 in June 13).

    What I want to ask is: If I get good results in the above exams, Do you think that would be enough to get onto a foundation year program at a "decent" university? I was hoping to apply to Nottingham, Manchester, Sussex, Loughborough & Durham... Just abit scared I will get laughed off

    I expect people to say "contact the unis and see what they say", Your probably right but I have been reluctant to do so as I wanted to be as prepared as possible and have the GCSE result "in hand", to add to the integrity of my application.

    Any information/advice would be great, Especially from mature students that have recently been in a similar position

    Thanks,

    Daihats
    Sounds good. But as the other poster states speak to the Unis. CHeck out where their foundations are targeted. Nottingham's science foundation seems to be specifically targeted at folks who do not have maths and science A levels, check your application would not be adversely impacted by C1 and C2 etc. Other foundation years are specifically targeted as folks like you following an approach like yours.

    Good luck
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    Are you hoping to get an A Level in maths?

    When I did mine (07/08) to get an A Level you had to do 2 of M1/M2/S1/S2 (we did M1 and S1) and you had to do all 4 of C1/C2/C3/C4.
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    (Original post by mike101)
    Are you hoping to get an A Level in maths?

    When I did mine (07/08) to get an A Level you had to do 2 of M1/M2/S1/S2 (we did M1 and S1) and you had to do all 4 of C1/C2/C3/C4.
    Yep my son had to do C1 to 4 and went M1 and M2. C1 and C2 I believe gives A/S level.
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    I realize by only taking 4 modules I will not achieve a full A level. However, Excluding this summers exam timetable, It only leaves me with 2 opportunities (Jan 13 & Jun 13) to sit A level examinations.

    I am confident with 2 modules in each sitting I can fit in plenty of study around my work/social life and end up with a decent grade. A levels are usually done over a 2 year period and I fear by trying to cram them all into one year (around a 40 hour working week) I may end underachieving and delaying my application further.

    I have contacted a few universities, Just waiting for replies.

    I have also been looking at the open university. Does anyone know how a level 2, 30 credit course "Exploring Mathematics" would compare to an AS level + 1 A2 unit in Maths? From the perspective of a potential university?

    Cheers
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    (Original post by daihats)
    I have also been looking at the open university. Does anyone know how a level 2, 30 credit course "Exploring Mathematics" would compare to an AS level + 1 A2 unit in Maths? From the perspective of a potential university?

    Cheers
    I do not know that specific course. But our applications were based, in part, upon level 1 OU modules in Science (biology, physics, chemistry and Earth Science) and Mathematics, taken in the mid 80s. Certainly having done A level maths in 1981, the L1 course was not as difficult or even close to being so. The science content in the L1 was on a par with the A levels I did, but less mathematical than the A levels. The Unis seemed to be interested in 120 credits as an alternative to A levels. There are folks on here who have offers based upon 90 credits.

    Again I think you will need to check with the Uni's. 30 credit course is around 1200 quid I think, if you take the loan for that it will probably detract from your overall loan entitlement.
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    I am currently studying MS221 and MST121 with the OU. Both are very good courses but I did struggle with MS221 initially. You will need to have a good understanding of most of the A/s level syllabus to get the most out of it.

    My maths experience before the course was only to GCSE level and without taking MST121 which goes just beyond A/s level at the same time I would have struggled with the course big time.

    The material taught in MS221 goes beyond A level and as such I have been able to get offers on Physics courses (without doing Physics since GCSE) because the maths taught on the course is beyond what is taught at A level.

    I would recommend doing both MST121 and MS221 or just MST121 as a lot of the MS221 course builds directly on top of MST121 and they were initially one 60 credit course. Some of the MS221 material directly refers to MST121 material etc.

    If you do both at once you will need to make sure you have the time set aside to work through the material. I work a full week and have not had much of a social life whilst studying both courses simultaneously. It is doable but you will need to make sure you can fit the time in to study. I would say that if you can find the time to study both MST121 and MS221 you wouldn't have any trouble in passing GCSE and A level maths papers, so you wouldn't need to study for those exams on top of both the OU courses. You might also find like I have that universities are willing to give you interviews based on your study with the OU so you might not need to actually take any A level exams.

    I think the cost of OU courses has gone up considerably though and I think you will be looking at £2500 to take both courses (check this though as I am not sure). Which might then steer you back to independent study and paying to sit exams privately which is probably a lot cheaper.
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    Hi there. OK, I was in the same boat as you not long ago. I joined Open Uni and took "S104 - Exploring Science" then "MU123 - Discovering Maths" (which i will not actually finish until sept 2012). I did not take MST121 or MS221 or any A levels. (My math GCSE was a B grade but was in in 1996.)
    I emailed Sussex about possible 2012 entry to the foundation year physics and Astronomy and got this reply in April:

    "I am afraid that there is little chance of 2012 entry at this stage.
    In general we recommend that you try the following two OU courses:
    S104 Exploring science Level 1 60 points
    MST121 Using mathematics Level 1 30 points
    You have done one of the two courses, but I would recommend you try
    the Maths course"

    HOWEVER...I then decided I had nothing to lose and applied (late) through UCAS anyway. As I got such a glowing reference from my OU S104 tutor I was offered an interview, they did a very quick algebra test (4 questions) and I have just been accepted for Sept 2012!
    I can't speak for the other Uni's but Sussex are particularly flexible with mature students. The foundation year is designed to be for people who do not have A level maths and physics but DO have potential. Good Luck! Perhaps I'll see you in Sussex soon!

    Spice
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    Hi there - I have been in a similar boat and have been conditionally accepted onto the Science & Engineering Foundation year at Loughborough to start in 2012 at the ripe age of 24, with a view to progressing to the Chemistry degree thereafter.

    The entry requirements are quite flexible for mature students. One accepted route is 60 credits with the Open University, of which at least 30 must be in maths/science. Mine were all at level 1 and it didn't cause any issue. I believe that the OU charges have changed recently, but it may be more time effective than A-levels. The OU course costs would be around £2,500 for 60 credits. Student loans are now available to cover that, but this may impact on eligibility for student finance on the final degree, but SLC should be able to assist in that regard.

    The only other minimum requirement for Loughborough foundation year is a C grade for GCSE Maths and English. Your post is not clear as to whether or not you have those...

    Hope that helps, best of luck.

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Updated: June 26, 2012
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