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    I'm nearly 26 and currently working in Treasury Management. Over the last year or so I have decided that I would like to do Physiotherapy... but already feeling a bit nervous! I'm a bit worried on the financial implications of going to university now. I pay about £500 living expenses a month (rent, food, all bills etc) and not sure how I will manager to cover this, and some sort of social life. My younger brother is working part-time whilst doing his A-Levels and only earns about £300 per month.... I know the NHS cover the costs of the course and I think a bursary is available. How have other people managed in this situation? I guess I just want to hear a few success stories to stop myself worrying!

    Also, what is people’s experience of gaining entry to the course? I would probably apply to Oxford Brookes as it is my local university. I don't have any sciences at A-Level so will I have to do a Biology night course? And if so, how have people found these?

    I appreciate I need to research this further but it would be good to hear some real life experiences. Unfortunately I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was in school! But I’ve always had an interest in the nursing profession as my mum is a nurse, and have been intrigued by physiotherapy since suffering a badly broken leg playing football.

    Thanks very much!
    Dan
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    I'm 32 and in 2 hours time start the second year of my physio degree. I was in a pretty much identical position to yourself a couple of years ago - bored of what I was doing and wanting to get into physio. Was, and still am paying £500 pcm on rent and bills etc, and have no sciences at A level.

    First thing is if you have a degree already, and its a 2:1 or 1st, then you don't need to worry about doing an access course or A level science. They will assess you without this on your life experiences and other qualifications. My GCSEs were mostly B's, and my A levels B,C,D so it's not as if I was academic of the month.

    With regards to funding, you get your course fees paid for, and if you have been supporting yourself financially for the past 3 years or more, then you can get an independent student assessed bursary. What this works out to will vary, but it could be in the region of a few hundred pounds a month if you live on your own, no children etc. I work about 15-20 hours a week ontop of the course, and it is very hard work, but it is doable. Not sure if I will be able to keep this up as I head into clinical placements in the second year, but it is achievable in the first year if you are willing to cut down on other areas of your life. If physio is something you really want to pursue, then you will make the sacrifices. If you don't want to do this, you can look at a student loan or career development loan. Student loan is reduced amount due to the bursary - I think the most you can have is £3800 or around there, and the Career Development Loan you can borrow anything from £300 to £10,000 which is only repayable a month after graduation, so you don't have to stress about affording it whilst studying.

    When are you thinking about applying? The application cycle for this year is well under way, and I would suggest that you get your UCAS stuff done asap as people will start being offered interviews and places in the coming months. I was late to apply (about a week before the deadline in January), and by the time I got to interview in April, there were fewer places on offer. If your mum is a nurse, then hopefully she can organise some shadowing in the physio ward for you if you haven't already? The one question you are guaranteed to get at interview, and will also need to answer on your UCAS form, is why do you want to be a physio, and what research have you done to confirm this is the course for you. If you need to take an A level in Biology so are looking for application next cycle, it may be worth looking at doing an access to healthcare course. I would e-mail the admissions tutors and ask what they would prefer you do. I'm glad I did as they told me not to bother doing A level at all in my case!

    Hope all that helps. Studying as a mature student is definitely harder than when you are younger, but it's most certainly doable. I think actually not being involved so much in the social aspect of uni this time around has helped me focus more on studying. I go out every now and again, but I've been there, seen it, done it in terms of getting wasted in the union 5 times a week. Any other questions, just ask.
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    Thanks very much for such a detailed reply.

    I don't have a degree and my A-Levels are pants! Got A's at GSCE in History and English with everything else a B. A-Level's are B in Business Studies, C in Graphic Design and D in Fine Art. So based on that I presume I will have to do a Biology A-Level or an access course (don't really know much about these?), but will email the course tutor to confirm. So I will be looking at the following cycle to apply and will get some shadowing sorted in the mean time.

    My problem was I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was a teenager and that's reflected in my poor selections at A-Level. At GSCE I didn't really push myself to my limits as I was more interested in my social life and football and in A-Level my results suffered when I broke me leg - shattered fib and tib resulting in an external fixator for 5 months. After my A-Levels I fell in to a pretty cushy job and earned the Association of Accounting Technicians qualification which is equivalent to a top level NVQ. I'm now paid pretty well but don't really enjoy my job, although certain areas are interesting.

    I will have been supporting myself for over 3 years by the time I come to apply, living in a shared house with 3 others. I wouldn't be involved in the social aspects of uni life now. I'll go to lectures and then head home to study or work so I will see my time limited in terms of my social life and therefore save a bit of money.

    In terms of why I want to be a physio... well I guess I've always had an interest in human biology and nursing through my mum. And ever since breaking my leg I have found physiotherapy very interesting, although it has taken me a few years to do something about it. The fact that my current role pays well, I work flexi-time, very rarely feel stressed and suits my social life down to the ground has made me reluctant to give it up.

    Thanks again.

    Would also be useful to hear from someone who has had to do an access course or extra Biology A-Level...
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    (Original post by Danny_R)
    Thanks very much for such a detailed reply.

    I don't have a degree and my A-Levels are pants! Got A's at GSCE in History and English with everything else a B. A-Level's are B in Business Studies, C in Graphic Design and D in Fine Art. So based on that I presume I will have to do a Biology A-Level or an access course (don't really know much about these?), but will email the course tutor to confirm. So I will be looking at the following cycle to apply and will get some shadowing sorted in the mean time.

    My problem was I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was a teenager and that's reflected in my poor selections at A-Level. At GSCE I didn't really push myself to my limits as I was more interested in my social life and football and in A-Level my results suffered when I broke me leg - shattered fib and tib resulting in an external fixator for 5 months. After my A-Levels I fell in to a pretty cushy job and earned the Association of Accounting Technicians qualification which is equivalent to a top level NVQ. I'm now paid pretty well but don't really enjoy my job, although certain areas are interesting.

    I will have been supporting myself for over 3 years by the time I come to apply, living in a shared house with 3 others. I wouldn't be involved in the social aspects of uni life now. I'll go to lectures and then head home to study or work so I will see my time limited in terms of my social life and therefore save a bit of money.

    In terms of why I want to be a physio... well I guess I've always had an interest in human biology and nursing through my mum. And ever since breaking my leg I have found physiotherapy very interesting, although it has taken me a few years to do something about it. The fact that my current role pays well, I work flexi-time, very rarely feel stressed and suits my social life down to the ground has made me reluctant to give it up.

    Thanks again.

    Would also be useful to hear from someone who has had to do an access course or extra Biology A-Level...
    Hi Danny_R
    I did a Access Course in Science a few years ago and there are now certain access pathways you can do on a Access Course.I know there are access courses like Access to Health,Physiotherapy and so forth.They are one year full time courses and i know universities who offer the Physio degree do accept a access course as long as it has certain amount of science content and its a certain pathway.Like you said you could always do a extra Biology A level but when i did my access course one of the modules i covered was biology.We were mostly covering the same subject areas as a student who had done As level/A level in Biology.Also most access courses are 3 days a week which roughly works out to be 14 hrs contact time in college,then u have to do so many hrs outside college to allow for the homework ie assignments and such
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    I'd echo what Mike said, but do check the individual uni requirements. Mike's at George's with me and theyr'e pretty open to alternative routes in but some uni's are less flexible so I'd check first. If the uni's ok with it then it sounds like an access course would be a good way to get in and polish up some of your basic skills as well
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    Thanks for the replies fellas, much appreciated.

    I don't think I could afford to do an access course. I need to be working full-time for the year leading up to doing a degree so I can get some more savings to cover me whilst at university. So would be looking to do a night course Biology A-Level. Has anyone else had to do this?

    I emailed Oxford Brookes last night so waiting to hear what they say.
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    I don't think that doing an access course would make it impossible for you to work around it and earn some cash. From what I have heard about them you aren't in 5 days a week, so would leave time, even with study for you to do some paid work. If Oxford Brookes are happy for you to apply with A level Biology, and it suits you better, then that is what you should do I guess. Have you thought about moving away? To just apply to one uni and pin all your hopes on them is quite a gamble given the competitive nature of entry. My advice would be to apply to 3 at least, and if you get accepted then you have a choice to make. Also, depending on how the interviews fall, you could potentially have some interviews at other unis as practice before your shot at Oxford Brookes.
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    I did an evening class in A level bio in a year, was hard work but possible. There were several other people in my group doing the two years in one.

    I'd suggest to apply to as many places as you can, it keeps more options open if Oxford Brookes do turn you down and as Mike says you can use the others as practice
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    I did an evening class in A level bio in a year, was hard work but possible. There were several other people in my group doing the two years in one.

    I'd suggest to apply to as many places as you can, it keeps more options open if Oxford Brookes do turn you down and as Mike says you can use the others as practice
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    I have thought about moving away and will apply to more than just Brookes. Would just prefer not to have the added hassle of moving away on top of the stress of uni!

    Ah I didn't even think about the A-Level Biology being a 2 year course... but it's possible to do 2 years in 1... how many hours does that take?

    Still waiting to hear back from Brookes
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    Hi Danny - can i ask if you ever heard back from Oxford Brooks? I am in a very similar situation to yourself - im 25 i would need to do Biology as i did an AVCE in Travel and Tourism as oppose to A levels and my degree is in a unrelated discipline. I'm considering the Human Biology course at open university. I believe this can be completed in a year and fit around work.
    Thanks
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    (Original post by claireabella1)
    Hi Danny - can i ask if you ever heard back from Oxford Brooks? I am in a very similar situation to yourself - im 25 i would need to do Biology as i did an AVCE in Travel and Tourism as oppose to A levels and my degree is in a unrelated discipline. I'm considering the Human Biology course at open university. I believe this can be completed in a year and fit around work.
    Thanks
    If you have a degree already even if it's in an unrelated subject it may be worth checking with a few universities as mature students don't always require the conventional qualifications. Also most universities require you to have some experieince shadowing, so it's worth contacting local hospitals and physio clinics to try and arrange this, even if it's just a few days.
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    Hi Claireabella

    Brookes got back to me and said I needed to study for 2 A-Levels, one being Biology. I looked in to this and found you can do this over 2 years as an evening course, although it would be hard work doing 2 A-Levels at once and the course at my local college was day-time only. Around the same time I was offered a good opportunity at work and my rent and bills increased by about £120 per month, so the physiotherapy plans have been put on the backburner for now.

    What do you know about the Open University? It's not something I looked in to at the time and Brookes never mentioned it...
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    (Original post by Ironmike)
    I'm 32 and in 2 hours time start the second year of my physio degree. I was in a pretty much identical position to yourself a couple of years ago - bored of what I was doing and wanting to get into physio. Was, and still am paying £500 pcm on rent and bills etc, and have no sciences at A level.

    First thing is if you have a degree already, and its a 2:1 or 1st, then you don't need to worry about doing an access course or A level science. They will assess you without this on your life experiences and other qualifications. My GCSEs were mostly B's, and my A levels B,C,D so it's not as if I was academic of the month.

    With regards to funding, you get your course fees paid for, and if you have been supporting yourself financially for the past 3 years or more, then you can get an independent student assessed bursary. What this works out to will vary, but it could be in the region of a few hundred pounds a month if you live on your own, no children etc. I work about 15-20 hours a week ontop of the course, and it is very hard work, but it is doable. Not sure if I will be able to keep this up as I head into clinical placements in the second year, but it is achievable in the first year if you are willing to cut down on other areas of your life. If physio is something you really want to pursue, then you will make the sacrifices. If you don't want to do this, you can look at a student loan or career development loan. Student loan is reduced amount due to the bursary - I think the most you can have is £3800 or around there, and the Career Development Loan you can borrow anything from £300 to £10,000 which is only repayable a month after graduation, so you don't have to stress about affording it whilst studying.

    When are you thinking about applying? The application cycle for this year is well under way, and I would suggest that you get your UCAS stuff done asap as people will start being offered interviews and places in the coming months. I was late to apply (about a week before the deadline in January), and by the time I got to interview in April, there were fewer places on offer. If your mum is a nurse, then hopefully she can organise some shadowing in the physio ward for you if you haven't already? The one question you are guaranteed to get at interview, and will also need to answer on your UCAS form, is why do you want to be a physio, and what research have you done to confirm this is the course for you. If you need to take an A level in Biology so are looking for application next cycle, it may be worth looking at doing an access to healthcare course. I would e-mail the admissions tutors and ask what they would prefer you do. I'm glad I did as they told me not to bother doing A level at all in my case!

    Hope all that helps. Studying as a mature student is definitely harder than when you are younger, but it's most certainly doable. I think actually not being involved so much in the social aspect of uni this time around has helped me focus more on studying. I go out every now and again, but I've been there, seen it, done it in terms of getting wasted in the union 5 times a week. Any other questions, just ask.
    Hi Mike,

    I am new to this so apologies for stepping into your thread Danny, however I feel as though our situations are similar in what we want to achieve.

    Mike - You mention that if you have a degree at 2:1 or 1st you do not need access courses or a-levels. With no science background therefore, is it not extremely difficult to get into a course like physio. I am very interested in St.Georges which from this thread I have gathered you go to so this info is especially important for me! Plus your GCSEs and Alevels are identical to mine - a tad trippy!
    I will contact the university of course but any further information you or anyone else has regarding the qualifications needed to pursue a physio degree would be incredibly helpful. I imagine, applying for September intake is passed now but I want to be in the best shape for next year if 2013 isn't a possibility.

    brief background - I am in media currently working in digital consultancy for a publicis owned media agency.

    Thanks in advance to all and good luck Danny!
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    (Original post by TK7)
    Hi Mike,

    I am new to this so apologies for stepping into your thread Danny, however I feel as though our situations are similar in what we want to achieve.

    Mike - You mention that if you have a degree at 2:1 or 1st you do not need access courses or a-levels. With no science background therefore, is it not extremely difficult to get into a course like physio. I am very interested in St.Georges which from this thread I have gathered you go to so this info is especially important for me! Plus your GCSEs and Alevels are identical to mine - a tad trippy!
    I will contact the university of course but any further information you or anyone else has regarding the qualifications needed to pursue a physio degree would be incredibly helpful. I imagine, applying for September intake is passed now but I want to be in the best shape for next year if 2013 isn't a possibility.

    brief background - I am in media currently working in digital consultancy for a publicis owned media agency.

    Thanks in advance to all and good luck Danny!
    Hi,

    Didn't even remember this thread. To the best of my knowledge nothing has changed with regards to the 2:1 or 1st not needing a science based background. Check the St George's website to confirm.

    It is hard to get into physio regardless of your background. I don't think that having sciences makes it any easier. If you meet the academic requirements then you are on a level playing field. At interview, the interviewers have no idea of your background, so it really just comes down to who performs best on the day.

    Yes, applying for the September intake went a long time ago. The UCAS cycle tends to open around September time and close mid January. If you are going to be applying for 2014 entry, the best advice I can give you is to get some work experience. Don't leave this for later, get on it straight away. It is notoriously hard to get into hospitals for observation days - even with a friend who was a senior physio it took me 4 months to get a day with him. The other thing you can do is to look at private practices, or volunteering with charities and elderly care institutions. Without having spent some time doing work experience your application most probably won't make it through the initial sift.
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    Hi guys sorry for intruding, I start my access course I'm September I'm absolutely cropping myself. Having been out of education for six years, I just don't know what to expect. After my access course i am wanting to study physiotherapy, I understand that it's really competitive, I have secured work experience in exercise and mental health and also to shadow a physio in the nhs and private practice I'm just wondering if that will be enough to get me in I don't really have any plans for if I don't get in so it's kind of all or nothing tbh any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated I am applying to huddersfield,Leeds met,bradford and manchester met do you have any experience with these uni. ​
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    (Original post by Southdawg)
    Hi guys sorry for intruding, I start my access course I'm September I'm absolutely cropping myself. Having been out of education for six years, I just don't know what to expect. After my access course i am wanting to study physiotherapy, I understand that it's really competitive, I have secured work experience in exercise and mental health and also to shadow a physio in the nhs and private practice I'm just wondering if that will be enough to get me in I don't really have any plans for if I don't get in so it's kind of all or nothing tbh any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated I am applying to huddersfield,Leeds met,bradford and manchester met do you have any experience with these uni. ​
    Your work experience will be fine to get you the interview as long as your PS is up to scratch. I have no experience with the unis you mention.
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    Thanks for your reply have you got any advice on the ps?
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    (Original post by Southdawg)
    Thanks for your reply have you got any advice on the ps?
    Loads. I think if you do a search then lot's of people's opinions from previous years should come up. You need to basically answer why physio, what you have done in order to confirm this, and what skills you have and how they related to physio. You might want to search on amazon for the book "getting into physiotherapy courses" or something to that effect. It covers everything from what you need work experience wise to writing the PS to doing well at interview. I found it helpful when I went through all this.
 
 
 
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