Just finished an Access to HE Humanities AMA Watch

Shalleos
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Any questions regarding Access courses and applying to uni as a mature student welcome. Fire away.
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Gunners89
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(Original post by Shalleos)
Any questions regarding Access courses and applying to uni as a mature student welcome. Fire away.
How good were your tutors when it came to giving you your results? Did you already know them all by the time you finished the course? Finish my access course next week and still haven’t had a lot of results back
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gjd800
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Congratulations!
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Shalleos
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(Original post by Gunners89)
How good were your tutors when it came to giving you your results? Did you already know them all by the time you finished the course? Finish my access course next week and still haven’t had a lot of results back
One of our tutors was very good, promptly providing our grades and feedback, and the other not so much. Due to the unreasonable workload of our teacher and disorganisation of the college, we are yet to receive the results of our unit 3 History and Politics assignments. Also, I obviously do not expect the results of the unit 4 exams until July.
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Shalleos
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(Original post by gjd800)
Congratulations!
Thanken you, kind sir ^-^
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adam271
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How long have you been out of education?
Did it start off easy and get harder gradually?
What was the drop out rate on your course?
Got any tips?
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Shalleos
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(Original post by adam271)
How long have you been out of education?
Did it start off easy and get harder gradually?
What was the drop out rate on your course?
Got any tips?
- I had been out of education for 5 years. Others had been out of education for less, and many for more. The record in our class was 52 years.

- I wouldn't say it started of easy. There was certainly less pressure in the first term as our first assignments were undgraded (only worth a pass at best). I would say that the second term is the hardest because the assignments are more difficult, you have more works to do, and you're only half way through so it can be quite daunting. The 'final push' is difficult, but made easy by the support network you've amassed by that stage.

The course content itself, however, doesn't necessarily increase in difficulty to a great extent as it's humanities-based. Some topics will be harder than others, but it's dependant upon where your strengths lie. The same couldn't be said for Maths or Science-based courses, as one would imagine they do get harder.

- In the Humanities group, we strated with 12 and lost 2 along the way. Other groups lost more. Our extended Politics class comprised three Access groups: Humanites; Law; and Social Work, and started with ≈45 students, but ended up with ≈32. Definitely a lower dropout rate than anticipated.

- Tips:
Attend every lesson unless you physically can't. The course will be emotionally taxing, especially towards the middle of your course, but just go through the motions and you'll be okay.

Don't get lazy with you reading/studying. Study as much as you can and NEVER last minute. If you have an essay to write,ensure you do extended reading. If you have an exam or are doing a science-based course, start your revision early on.

Don't pay attention to what other people are doing, as long as you're doing what you need then that's all that matters. Some people like to show off: don't let it get you down. Others will tell you how little they've done: don't follow suit.

Make sure your work commitments don't get in the way of your studies. It's good to be working, but when you have three research essays due that are each required to be 2,500 words including preamble and bibliography, it can be very time consuming. So allow time to complete assignments.

Try to build a support network with the people on your course - make friends. It's so much easier to get through the hard times when you have others who can empathise.

Have any more questions, feel free to ask😊

It's not going to be as difficult as you fear, so don't be put off^-^ Good luck 🍀
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mrsrachelleigh
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Hey, I start my access to HE course Humanities with Law in September... the course comprises of English Lit & Lang, History and Law...
What did you use for revision guides? As I'm trying to find some and/or some reading to give myself a head start over the summer but i'm struggling to find anything as they don't seem to offer specific revision guides for access to HE courses?! Any advice?! TIA x
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10yearslate
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(Original post by mrsrachelleigh)
Hey, I start my access to HE course Humanities with Law in September... the course comprises of English Lit & Lang, History and Law...
What did you use for revision guides? As I'm trying to find some and/or some reading to give myself a head start over the summer but i'm struggling to find anything as they don't seem to offer specific revision guides for access to HE courses?! Any advice?! TIA x
I'll go ahead and chime in here seeing as I've just finished a similar course. The content covered for each of your modules is going to be very similar to A level content (although covered at a much faster pace) so you'll be looking our for A level textbooks. So far as a i know there aren't any textbooks catered specifically to access programmes as the course structure can vary so much from college to college.

While i did pick up a few textbooks for certain subjects (specifically history and sociology) I actually ended up doing the majority of my research online. I'm guessing you won't know exactly what units you'll be doing until the course starts so there's probably not a lot you can do in terms of pre reading. It might help to familiarise yourself with a few reference websites. History and Biography.com are great starting points for gaining an overview of key individuals and movements, as is Encyclopaedia Britannica. As far as English lit is concerned, i can't say what books are going to be on the list, but if your course is verified by Ascentis then you can expect to see 19th century prose as well as some Shakespeare. Poetry is likely to make an appearance as well.

I've just woken up so I'm struggling to rattle this all off the top of my head If you have any more specific questions then hit me up.
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mrsrachelleigh
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Thanks so much for this, 10yearslate. Much appreciated! If you think of any other websites you found useful please let me know . I’ll get myself familiarised with them over the summer. It’s weird that they don’t have set course topics etc so that they can make the revision guides - lots of people find them helpful 🙄. Hopefully once I start I’ll be more informed and can try to gather some books on the topics my course leaders choose! Thanks again x
(Original post by 10yearslate)
I'll go ahead and chime in here seeing as I've just finished a similar course. The content covered for each of your modules is going to be very similar to A level content (although covered at a much faster pace) so you'll be looking our for A level textbooks. So far as a i know there aren't any textbooks catered specifically to access programmes as the course structure can vary so much from college to college.

While i did pick up a few textbooks for certain subjects (specifically history and sociology) I actually ended up doing the majority of my research online. I'm guessing you won't know exactly what units you'll be doing until the course starts so there's probably not a lot you can do in terms of pre reading. It might help to familiarise yourself with a few reference websites. History and Biography.com are great starting points for gaining an overview of key individuals and movements, as is Encyclopaedia Britannica. As far as English lit is concerned, i can't say what books are going to be on the list, but if your course is verified by Ascentis then you can expect to see 19th century prose as well as some Shakespeare. Poetry is likely to make an appearance as well.

I've just woken up so I'm struggling to rattle this all off the top of my head If you have any more specific questions then hit me up.
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10yearslate
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Sure. I'm stuck at work for the rest of the day but when I get home I'll have a look through my old reference lists and pick out the sites that seem relevant.

Until then
Peace
(Original post by mrsrachelleigh)
Thanks so much for this, 10yearslate. Much appreciated! If you think of any other websites you found useful please let me know . I’ll get myself familiarised with them over the summer. It’s weird that they don’t have set course topics etc so that they can make the revision guides - lots of people find them helpful 🙄. Hopefully once I start I’ll be more informed and can try to gather some books on the topics my course leaders choose! Thanks again x
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10yearslate
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Apologies for being a couple of days late on this (shift work, it's the pits). These are some of the sources a found myself using the most as a starting point:

First, for literary studies...

Literary devices (it never hurts to brush up on the basics) - https://www.literarydevices.com/epistolary/

Digital library (need to make an account but i found some good critical journals here) - https://www.jstor.org/?refreqid=exce...e15fff935101ac

York notes advanced (all of them, if you're studying a book, chances are there's a york notes available for it, cheap second hand copies can be found on amazon and ebay. There's a really good one on 19th century gothic literature, a subject which is bound to come up at some point)

Spark notes (great starting point for many book studies) - https://www.sparknotes.com/

Shmoop (hit and miss, decent starting point for when you're fishing for ideas but I'd avoid referencing them) - https://www.shmoop.com/

Thug notes (Goofy analysis of a number of classic books and plays, I always pop it in my bibliography for ****s and giggles) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Juu-7H0Z2RU

And for history...

History.com (name a historic individual or movement, and they'll have a summary of it)

Biography.com (clues in the title, same owners as above site)

Encyclopaedia Britannica (like Wikipedia but reliable enough to reference, some articles are pay-walled but most are free) - https://www.britannica.com/

ThoughtCo (has some really good articles covering social science and historic topics) - https://www.thoughtco.com/

Access to history (series of textbooks covering all kinds of topics, I used a couple of them for my essays and found them to be helpful and clearly written. Cheap used copies can be found on amazon and ebay)

British Library website (a great resource on, strangely enough, British history! Invaluable when I was writing my women's suffrage essay) - https://www.bl.uk/

Spartacus educational (great resource for students and teachers alike covering a wide variety of historical topics) - https://spartacus-educational.com/

Hope this helps


(Original post by mrsrachelleigh)
Thanks so much for this, 10yearslate. Much appreciated! If you think of any other websites you found useful please let me know . I’ll get myself familiarised with them over the summer. It’s weird that they don’t have set course topics etc so that they can make the revision guides - lots of people find them helpful 🙄. Hopefully once I start I’ll be more informed and can try to gather some books on the topics my course leaders choose! Thanks again x
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mrsrachelleigh
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You, my friend, are an absolute superstar!!!! Thank you so much for this - no doubt they'll be invaluable to me throughout the next 12 months. I really appreciate this, and I'm sure a lot more members will too when they're searching for help, so thank you once again .
I wish you all the luck in the world with whatever you choose to go on to do - you deserve it for being so helpful! x
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ozzyoscy
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1) Did you have exams or only assignments? What did the assignments involve? Time-constrained exams were my downfall at A Level so I'm curious.

2) How the heck do you know which uni to apply for? Where did you start once you get 'Oxford/Cambridge and whatever ranks top in my Google search of 'best unis for humanities' out of the way? And which course, given there can be so many variations of courses from one uni alone?
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10yearslate
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1)There was one exam for each subject (sociology,history,and English lit in my case). Two of the exams were timed essays which we were allowed to research and prepare notes for before hand, the other (sociology) was made up of four questions and a mini essay with no notes. The majority of my other graded units were 2-3000 word essays. All said and done out of 20 units only 3 contained an exam element.

2) for most of the year I was sure I'd go to soas. In the end I firmed UWE because I wanted to stay in Bristol and the history programme at the University of Bristol didn't appeal to me. The next round of open days should be starting around the end of summer which should give you plenty of time to visit a few unis before ucas applications are due. As for how I chose my subject. Well, I was never sure what I wanted to do and I figured history would be the best way to dip my toes into lots of different areas of interest. Of course that's just me and many people would prefer to have a clear career destination in mind, which is also fine.

Hope this helps
(Original post by ozzyoscy)
1) Did you have exams or only assignments? What did the assignments involve? Time-constrained exams were my downfall at A Level so I'm curious.

2) How the heck do you know which uni to apply for? Where did you start once you get 'Oxford/Cambridge and whatever ranks top in my Google search of 'best unis for humanities' out of the way? And which course, given there can be so many variations of courses from one uni alone?
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ozzyoscy
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(Original post by 10yearslate)
1)There was one exam for each subject (sociology,history,and English lit in my case). Two of the exams were timed essays which we were allowed to research and prepare notes for before hand, the other (sociology) was made up of four questions and a mini essay with no notes. The majority of my other graded units were 2-3000 word essays. All said and done out of 20 units only 3 contained an exam element.

2) for most of the year I was sure I'd go to soas. In the end I firmed UWE because I wanted to stay in Bristol and the history programme at the University of Bristol didn't appeal to me. The next round of open days should be starting around the end of summer which should give you plenty of time to visit a few unis before ucas applications are due. As for how I chose my subject. Well, I was never sure what I wanted to do and I figured history would be the best way to dip my toes into lots of different areas of interest. Of course that's just me and many people would prefer to have a clear career destination in mind, which is also fine.

Hope this helps
Thanks.

Well the timed essays don't sound so bad if you have notes, sounds pretty routine even, depending how much time you had.

I've not even started thinking about whatever UCAS is and open days!
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10yearslate
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It's worth thinking about if you're starting an access course in September. UCAS is the system/website you use to complete your University applications. You have to fill out a fair bit of personal information along with 5 universities you wish to apply to. Colleges usually want this done by Christmas so it's worth starting on early if you can.
(Original post by ozzyoscy)
Thanks.

Well the timed essays don't sound so bad if you have notes, sounds pretty routine even, depending how much time you had.

I've not even started thinking about whatever UCAS is and open days!
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plainjayne1
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I was with ascentis for my access course and we only had 2 exams out of 3 subjects. The psychology and sociology exams were just a memory test- 2 questions on each.
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