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A-levels or BTEC level 3 extended diploma: Health&Social Care for children's nurse?

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    • Thread Starter


    I am pondering on whether to choose between A-levels or BTEC level 3 for health and social care?

    I aim to go to university and study the children's nursing course. Having looked at various universities and their requirements, they accept both.

    However, I would like to know what route would give me the best possible to chance to get into uni provided I achieve the required grades!!!

    Thank you for reading xxx

    I would suggest the BTEC route because it seems a lot more practical and hands on than A Levels do. A Levels DO teach you what you need to know, as do BTECS, and then you have an exam at the end to prove you know it all whereas BTECs are constantly giving you work so you get a feel for what it will be like actually having that as a career.
    I'm doing a BTEC and the fact that I haven't done an exam since my GCSEs scares me considering I'm starting university in September but I think I've much prefered getting such a realistic point of view of the career that can follow my course. It's taught me that I'm not interested in this as a career at all! But I also know students that came from A Level to BTEC just because they felt it was more effective by means of teaching them how it really is as well as being taught the essential information.
    • Thread Starter

    Thank you so much for your reply!! it has really helped me!! xxx Yes I agree - I am much more of a "hands on learner" so I think that this would suit me more. I just worry that possibly uni's may prefer A-levels over BTEC?

    I think it depends what you excel at. Would you prefer to do a more practical course with a load of coursework or are you better at exams? As you say, you could get an offer via either means. As you're looking to apply for a very competitive course which will require related work experience, bear in mind that BTEC will allow you to get some of that experience as part of the course but if you take A levels you will have to arrange your own shadowing opportunities. Have a look through the nursing threads here; I maybe wrong but I get the impression some unis give out places to A level students before BTEC students and sometimes the entry criteria (UCAS points) can be higher for BTEC but either way can work for you.
    • Thread Starter

    Thank you! I will definitely have a look at the threads - and thank you for the insight - I think I would suit the BTEC course much better as I enjoy practical work and I often under perform in exams due to nerves.

    BTEC definitely! I'm finishing mine now and a few people in my class have applied to do children's nursing and got in!
    • Thread Starter

    Wow that's great!! Do you know what uni's they have been offered places at? It's just someone wrote to me that universities are beginning to not accept BTEC anymore and a-level students are much more preferred?

    Chester uni and possibly LJMU! There wasn't many places and both of them got places! I'm not sure about how a-levels are being thought of when it comes to applying but a few of my other friends have got in to adult nursing too from the same BTEC. I think the good thing about the BTEC is the different work placements; day centres, nurserys, schools, nursing homes. My college also offer a cadet health and social care BTEC for people who definitely want to do nursing they do the same work but have training ready for placements at a hospital instead so perhaps you could see about doing that as you know you want to do children's nursing? But if not the people I know who got in got in from the ordinary BTEC if your local college don't offer the cadet one.


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