Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Could I skip sixth form and attend a university instead? Watch

    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    I don't think you'd cope with the work-load of university going straight from GCSE to degree.

    A lot of people find the work-load of A-Level, particularly A2 to be a huge step up from GCSE, even people with good GCSEs.

    A-Levels are not just a test of intelligence. They test a variety of qualities universities look for, your ability to learn, youir ability to motivate yourself, to revise effectively. In essence, A-Levels are nothing more than a HE entry exam that implicitily measure several qualities.

    GCSEs on the other hand don't do this. A lot of people find GCSEs very easy and pass them with minimal revision. Hardly anyone gets higher than a D in an A2 exam without revision. You'd be best off doing A-Levels.

    Some universities may be unwilling to take students under the age of 16. Do your A-Levels. Regardless of how brilliant you may be in your field, universities tend to want well rounded students. A full complement of A-Levels would give you this.

    From a more social point of view, being a 16 year old fresher would be a horrendous experience.

    If you're set on it though, best of luck
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Pitt the Younger up in here
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    absolutely not.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Horrid_GUI)
    If I am to continue into sixth form, I will only be studying IT, three A-Levels in computing sciences to be specific.

    I know it is possible, I would just like advice and options, so thank you all for your opinions
    You have said that you want to study computer science, yet you have no background in maths at all beyond GCSE. For computer science, any university worth attending asks for maths A level and further maths would be a useful adjunct. IT is not really a useful A level for someone wanting to take a degree in computer science (which is an academic subject rather than a practical one. You'd be much better off with maths, FM and, say, physics and chemistry.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    If i went from GCSE to a degree I wouldnt be able to handle it I don't think.. Doing my A2's at the moment and I think it's very very hard but a worthwhile thing to do don't understand why you would want to go on a degree being 2 years younger at least than everyone else, and not as mature as them.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Horrid_GUI)
    It may seem I am arrogant however I work on various popular projects such as a build of ChromiumOS which as of now we have over 300,000 devices around the world running the revision of the operating system along with our custom modifications, bugfixes and support for many, many popular notebook and netbook computers.

    I just seek advice and I intend to cause no offence, I heard of Open University whilst searching, thanks for the reminder!
    Computer Science is not just programming at university. If your really good at programming you dont need a degree to show it.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Horrid_GUI)
    Hi,

    I'm sixteen and currently finishing my GCSEs.

    I wish to attend Queens University in Belfast to study computing science in which I would prefer to complete a masters degree in the field also.

    I would like to specialize in network security or digital forensics, cyber crime is what interests me the most as I have experience with ethical hacking.

    A topic of conversation was brought up to me whilst with friends yesterday regarding their university applications, and I was told I should try to skip sixth form and go straight to university.

    I was sceptical however with further research I am now brought to believe with an exceptional circumstance the university may allow me to study there, I believe it was a foundation degree, which I assume carries onto the normal degree after a specified period of time.

    This has made me question whether sixth form is going to benefit me in any way except with A-Level qualifications, I have seen the standard of work in a lot of schools for A-Level students and if any IT literates are here, you would agree with me that it is quite mediocre, appalling and frustrating to sit through classes with such standard of work.

    ICT is going to be my career, it has been my life and choice of career for as long as I can remember, I am a very intelligent person and I believe having alternative qualifications is a necessity especially in this day and age - However with my GCSEs which I plan to do well in during 2011, I would complete some equivalent qualifications throughout the years incase of a super society meltdown.

    I would like to ask for your opinion and whether this is possible or not? I have emailed the university application staff and the department of computing science for further advice - I really believe I would benefit from the premature beginning to further education, especially with much more complex work which I would kill to have on a daily basis. I need to be challenged.

    Thanks a lot,
    Horrid
    You will find when you come to university that IT skills are not the most important component of a computer science degree. From what I've seen, the first year of CS is very heavily maths-based. You would need to have a pretty solid grounding in maths (i.e. A level further maths) to be able to cope. A levels are there to give you the foundation you need to start university, partly because the jump between GCSEs and university in terms of difficulty and workload would be MASSIVE. To put things into perspective, I covered my entire IB maths course (A level equivalent) in the first three weeks of uni. A GCSE maths course would probably be covered in about 1 lecture.

    Lastly, you might learn upon taking A levels that you have different interests and wish to pursue a different career path. A lot can change in two years.
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    I don't think most universities will take you without post-GCSE qualifications, even onto a foundation degree.

    Do the A levels in one year? I took mine a year early that way, it was fine and allowed me to get onto university more quickly. Particularly if they're very similar subjects (although the recommendations above of maths being mandatory are very sensible), it wouldn't be impossible.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by lozz2601)
    Think a lot of yourself, dontcha!?
    To think that you could skip the stage which the majority of people require to actually cope with uni.
    Besides, why would you want to go two years early? Surely it'd just ruin the experience.
    When you say cope with uni, in what aspect do you mean? I'm hoping just the academic/work related stuff....
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    You don't just go and do a foundation degree, you still need qualifications to enter that course (yes, foundation degrees do have entry requirements!). Foundation courses are designed for people who have the wrong A-levels for their chosen subject (for example, want to do a science course, but have studied only humanities), or got bad grades due to extenuating circumstances, or for people who have non-conventional qualifications (for example, experience and skills from working in the desired field). In any way, you need some sort of post-GCSE qualification. In fact, take a look at some foundation degree entry requirements: they still ask like 180 points or equivalent. You don't have any further level qualifications or skills so I can't see how you could be accepted.
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    You sound like you know what you want to do, and get on and do it. But you're 16! You're young! Enjoy being young and doing all the things that come with it rather than pushing yourself into a career straight away. There's SO much time ahead of you to sort your career out. It's not the be all and end all.

    I used to think that career was everything (and I know a lot of people on here do!) but as time has gone on, there are so many more aspects of my life that are MORE important than what job I do. Yes, I want to do well for myself and 'succeed' but I also want to enjoy all other areas of my life to.

    Stay on at 6th form, do A Levels in a range of subjects. Hang out with your friends, watch movies, listen to music, go to gigs, play games. Enjoy getting drunk for the first time, clubbing, meeting girls. Have a BALL at all the 18th birthday parties!

    Then go to University and enjoy that too.

    I know there's an element of pride in being able to say "Oh yeah, I was so clever I skipped 6th form and went straight to Uni. I win." But do you really want to be the only 16 year old at Uni with people a lot older than you doing things you aren't even legal to do? University is about getting a degree but it's also about BEING a student.

    Employees want well rounded people to work for them. Not some jumped up IT-geek who wanted to get ahead of the game. PLEASE reconsider this.
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    I think you could do BTEC if you really want a different path
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Yep
    5 GCSE's will get you into London Met
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    All I can say is thank you very, very much for all the replies and after various hours of communicating with doctorates at the university I am deciding to attend sixth forum and complete three A-Levels in one year and I shall complete some Microsoft and Cisco certifications to keep myself content on the IT side of my qualifications.

    Once again, thank you very much!
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    You'd be surprised how much you can change OP, I held a specific dream throughout my school life which I lost when I grew up/learnt to like something else (through A-levels). Take a-levels, makes it a lot simpler and if you don't then the unis/jobs that you apply for will always ask why you don't have a-levels.

    As for what you do in a-levels, as someone else said - do maths, further maths and a computing subject if you want to do IT. Another subject which is different to computing may also help at AS (would broaden your horizons and you may change your mind about IT).

    EDIT: just read your latest post and good on you
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Sir Jonathan)
    I think A levels given the times nowadays with uni entrance. if it means a lot to you why not try an open university course in Computer Science and whatnot. order the prospectus and read Gavin's story.

    dont worry there is no minimum age for university. you can do it and get all sorts.
    Cambridge have a minimum age.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Horrid_GUI)
    All I can say is thank you very, very much for all the replies and after various hours of communicating with doctorates at the university I am deciding to attend sixth forum and complete three A-Levels in one year and I shall complete some Microsoft and Cisco certifications to keep myself content on the IT side of my qualifications.

    Once again, thank you very much!
    You haven't mentioned whether you will do Maths and Further Maths.

    They will make vastly more difference to a programming career than any amount of dodgy ICT a-levels.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by HistoryRepeating)
    You haven't mentioned whether you will do Maths and Further Maths.

    They will make vastly more difference to a programming career than any amount of dodgy ICT a-levels.
    I am not the greatest at maths, so I will not be continuing maths.

    You can program fine without an extensive knowledge of maths as long as you can think logically. It would also depend on what field of development you would be situated in of course, as long as you can apply the formula it shouldn't matter.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Horrid_GUI)
    I am not the greatest at maths, so I will not be continuing maths.

    You can program fine without an extensive knowledge of maths as long as you can think logically. It would also depend on what field of development you would be situated in of course, as long as you can apply the formula it shouldn't matter.
    a CS degree isn't just about programming - as others have stated.

    You might find you struggle with the content of a CS degree if you're struggling at GCSE maths.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Dizmo)
    This is rubbish, I was a year younger and it was no problem at all with any of my applications.

    People as young as 10 (or 13? I forget) have gone to university.
    Remember that spy who was killed in London under rather weird circumstances recently? Gareth something I think. Anyway, he went to Bangor University at 10
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What newspaper do you read/prefer?
    Applying to uni

    All the essentials

    The adventure begins mug

    Student life: what to expect

    What it's really like going to uni

    Graduates celebrate

    How to write a good personal statement

    Expert PS advice from the people who will read it

    Uni match

    Uni match

    Can't decide where to apply? Our tool will help you find the perfect course

    Two students working together

    A-Z of universities

    Read our guides to unis and colleges from around the UK

    A student working on a computer

    Personal statement help

    Use our tool to get your ideal PS quickly!

    Hands typing

    Degrees without fees

    Discover more about degree-level apprenticeships.

    A student looking down a microscope

    Planning open days

    Find upcoming open days and get advice on preparing.

    Help out other students

    These questions still need an answer

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.