Even at top tier unis, Access acceptance can differ by department/subject. We've had at least two TSR contributors who had conditional offers from Cambridge based on their Access results. And in fairness, LSE (and probably others) lists "non-preferred A Levels", meaning that some results at A Level would be disregarded, even for school leavers.(Original post by SloaneRanger)
I re did my A-Level his at 27, also I've done Access. They both have positives and negatives, certain universities on the surface obviously say they accept it. But they take preference to A-Levels, with that I mean like Cambridge, UCL, LSE. This is just in my experience of apply and going to interview, the conversations I've had with decision makers. Theres more value in A-Levels, for those who have the opportunity to do so. But I wouldn't put someone off doing an Access course, its a really great experience that definitely does give you the tools to attend a Russell Group university.
When it comes to mature student entry, all bets are off until you've checked direct with the uni. And Access doesn't automatically restrict you to RG or lower.
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Getting into a Russell Group university as a mature student! watch
- 24-10-2015 10:31
- 24-10-2015 14:24
it's not unheard of to get into a top uni w/o recent quals. perhaps drop lucy cav admissions a pm and ask for advice about which colleges might be worth contacting at Cambridge. alternatively look at a foundation degree; Durham ain't Cambridge but it still has that whiff of priv/class that counts for so much in law
(Original post by james3254)
- 25-10-2015 19:11
I am currently studying on an Access to HE Course, specifically Humanities & Social Sciences. I also wish to pursue a legal career in the future, and being 25, I am considered a mature student as you would be too. I started my course in September, with the intention of applying to university this year for entry in 2016. This is something which I have now done, having completed the UCAS process and submitted last week. Concerning Russell Group institutions, I have applied for Sheffield, UCL, KCL, Oxford and Nottingham, having already received an offer from Sheffield. It certainly seems to be possible so far To give some context, I left school at 16, having achieved a poor set of GCSE results through a complete disregard (at the time) for educational importance. In summary, I spent the near 9 years from then until this September working in various roles and capacities as a chef, finally realising that I wanted something more and thus the decision to return to education and pursue my newfound career ambitions to practise law.
So, most certainly do not see being out of education for some time as a barrier to realising your goals. Contact the universities relevant that you wish to study with and ask, first off, if your A Levels are still recent enough or whether they require more recent education. If they do, an Access Course is a great way of getting this relatively quickly and despite what others may tell you, September - May is hardly a big commitment in the grand scheme of things. Especially if it opens the door to a future you otherwise wouldn't be able to consider.
One last point to note, as others have mentioned, even the most highly regarded universities consistently accept mature students, and as such appreciate that UCAS points are not needed in the same way as they are for school leavers doing A Levels, for example. This is therefore another thing not to worry about.
Hope this helps a little, feel free to message me if you have any further questions.
- 25-10-2015 23:23
- Thread Starter
- 27-10-2015 14:25
John here. I got in touch with the relevant department in one of the universities that I am interested in, Durham. By the way, I should mention at this juncture that whilst I have my eyes set on a career in law, I do intend to do a law degree. I plan to do English Lit and History, or, failing that, either English Lit or History. Anyway, I have received a reply from said relevant department. This was their response to my query:
"Thank you for your email and your interest in studying at Durham! We would certainly encourage you to apply. There are no specific entry requirements for mature students, and all aspects of the application are taken into account. You would also not need to do an access course. More information can be found here: https://www.dur.ac.uk/undergraduate/...ture_students/ Hopefully this has been helpful, but if you have any further queries please do not hesitate to get in touch."Your opinions on this would e very welcome.P.S. I'd like to thank those of you that suggested I contact the relevant departments of the universities I have an interest in. Many thanks.John.
- 29-10-2015 20:40
I'd be very surprised if you couldn't secure an offer at a RG with your academic record. Go for it
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(Original post by John 316)
- 06-11-2015 16:07
I'm new to this forum, and I hope someone can offer me some insight. I left full-time education in 2009 (before the introduction of the A* into A-levels) with 3 As and 1 B in English Lit, History, Media Studies and Art & Design respectively. Since then, I have worked full- and part-time in different areas, mostly retail, but some administrative. I have always wanted to be a lawyer and I always had my sights set on one of the Russell Group universities outside of London. I've set my sights lower than Oxford and Cambridge, because I don't think I have enough UCAS points for either.
I am currently employed at the BBC full-time as a legal apprentice. As part of my job, I undertake the CILEx course part-time. But truth be told, I'm not totally confident in it and I still believe the traditional route, i.e. university is the safest route into a solid legal career.
My question, simply put, is whether I have a shot of getting into a Russell Group university, given that there is such a gap between when I finished full-time education and October 2016, which is when I intend to begin university.
I look forward to reading your replies. Thank you.
I've had a quick discussion with staff in the School of Law and their advice is that you are a very strong applicant. Your A-level profile is excellent and matches our entry criteria (we'd base any offer we made on your A-level grades) and you've got some great relevant work experience. For more information on the Law School, please visit their website at:
Have a good weekend
UK/EU Student Recruitment Officer
- 07-11-2015 08:19
To sound a note of caution about the above advice, every uni/department/course can set its own mature student entry criteria. These days, it's actually quite unusual for offers to be based on six year old A Level results and work experience, with no proof of recent successful study.
It's good to know that there are flexible options out there with reputable unis, and it certainly demonstrates that you lose nothing by emailing Admissions Offices of any uni to ask. However, be aware that not all unis will be as flexible as Sheffield.Last edited by Klix88; 07-11-2015 at 09:43.
- 15-01-2018 11:44
Hi James, what grades did you get in the access course if I may ask?