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Am I too over-qualified to do an Access course? Watch

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    Hi, I'm not really a "mature" student as such (I'm 19), but I was reading on here about Access courses and thought you guys could help answer my question.

    Basically, I messed my A levels up. I know I could have done SO much better than I did. But my 6th form wont let me re-sit them. So I'm currently stuck with an A in A2 Politics, a C in A2 Photography and a B in AS English Lit. I only got the A in Politics because I got an E in the mock exam, freaked out and made myself work super hard the rest of the year. I was thinking of applying for Politics in 2012, I'm at art school atm but don't really enjoy it. I was told I could finish my A2 English Lit, but unfortunately my old school chose to do it on an obscure exam board and I'm yet to find a college near me that will let me continue A2 english because of this. It looks like an Access course is meant more for much older people, but I feel like this might be my best option? If I did get, say a B in English lit, I'd have ABC and I know I can do better and aim higher (this demonstrated when I worked and worked and got an A in Politics at A2). I know I could get into a third-rate uni with my grades currently, but I want to go to the best possible place (Not oxbridge or anything, but somewhere better than Nottingham Trent - who said they would accept me with my current grades).

    Any advice? Would an access course be right for me?
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    Hey Moose,

    I'm in a similar position at the moment, though I'm actually already in university. As the young and inexperienced tend to do, we finally unhook the rose-tinted glasses off of our nose, and realise we dropped a monumental ******* or two where it mattered. In my case and yours; A-levels.

    I did a National Diploma, though as I said, I got average to better than average grades, which I was ultimately left unsatisfied with. I'm planning an access course next year to rectify the situation, and land myself a seat in the greater and more prestigious university.

    I'd say go ahead, as I know my choice has made me infinitely more happy. I wasn't content settling where I am at the moment for the next three years, so I decided to do something about it. I imagine you've thought about many of the same things as I have!

    Just my two pennies (ignore the ramblings :P).
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    why don't you do another subject if they won't let you resit? alternatively contact the exam board and ask if they can help you out
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    (Original post by philistine)
    Hey Moose,

    I'm in a similar position at the moment, though I'm actually already in university. As the young and inexperienced tend to do, we finally unhook the rose-tinted glasses off of our nose, and realise we dropped a monumental ******* or two where it mattered. In my case and yours; A-levels.

    I did a National Diploma, though as I said, I got average to better than average grades, which I was ultimately left unsatisfied with. I'm planning an access course next year to rectify the situation, and land myself a seat in the greater and more prestigious university.

    I'd say go ahead, as I know my choice has made me infinitely more happy. I wasn't content settling where I am at the moment for the next three years, so I decided to do something about it. I imagine you've thought about many of the same things as I have!

    Just my two pennies (ignore the ramblings :P).
    Thanks for the advice I've applied for Photography this year (as you can see from my sig) just because my tutor's encouraged me to. But my heart's not in this whole "art" thing, you have to be so talented and dedicated to make it to the top. I'm going to try and get in somewhere, but I need a back-up because I don't think I will. I'm a bit worried about being 20 in my first year of uni though if I do do an Access course

    What Access course are you going to study?
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    (Original post by inksplodge)
    why don't you do another subject if they won't let you resit? alternatively contact the exam board and ask if they can help you out
    I considered doing another subject, but I can't bear doing another 2 years of A levels.
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    (Original post by Moooooooose)
    Thanks for the advice I've applied for Photography this year (as you can see from my sig) just because my tutor's encouraged me to. But my heart's not in this whole "art" thing, you have to be so talented and dedicated to make it to the top. I'm going to try and get in somewhere, but I need a back-up because I don't think I will. I'm a bit worried about being 20 in my first year of uni though if I do do an Access course

    What Access course are you going to study?
    I'm twenty-one next month, and the age thing doesn't bother me at all. How could it!

    My current university course is in the arts too, though it's simply not intellectually challenging enough. I get horribly bored in lectures, the studio, and every other assignment. It's quite saddening, though I'm pursuing my other interests in my spare time.

    I'll probably be doing History and Archaeology, as it sounds the most interesting. Though, who knows? Other ones might strike my fancy nearer the time!
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    I'm 19 and doing an Access to HE science diploma. The majority of students on my course range from about 19-26, with just a small handful in their mid 30's and 40's. And most of the more mature students are very easy going, so I wouldn't worry about feeling lonely or segregated.
    Obviously this is based on experience of the course I am doing in particular, and perhaps you should talk to your local colleges about what their student demographic is like.

    It may be worth exploring the possibility of doing a 3 year BA/Bsc w/ foundation year. If you have a certain degree in mind which you don't qualify for, there may be a university that offers it with a combined foundational year to bring you up to scratch. The good thing about doing a foundation year is that generally speaking if you do well in the foundation year, you have a guaranteed place on the course you applied for at that university. You should also bare in mind that although most universities do accept Access courses, there are a few that don't - especially if it's not QAA recognised.

    If you need more info feel free to PM or quote me.
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    (Original post by philistine)
    I'm twenty-one next month, and the age thing doesn't bother me at all. How could it!

    My current university course is in the arts too, though it's simply not intellectually challenging enough. I get horribly bored in lectures, the studio, and every other assignment. It's quite saddening, though I'm pursuing my other interests in my spare time.

    I'll probably be doing History and Archaeology, as it sounds the most interesting. Though, who knows? Other ones might strike my fancy nearer the time!
    I see! I'm not sure whether to continue with my art foundation, or quit and take a gap year and do the access course in 2011:confused: My parents will be so annoyed if I quit though, this is the one thing that's holding me back from doing this. But then I could get a job and make some money..hmm..it's really hard to know what to do.

    If I did do an access course I think I'd do the Humanities and Social Sciences one, as that looks best in relation to Politics.
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    (Original post by Moooooooose)
    I see! I'm not sure whether to continue with my art foundation, or quit and take a gap year and do the access course in 2011:confused: My parents will be so annoyed if I quit though, this is the one thing that's holding me back from doing this. But then I could get a job and make some money..hmm..it's really hard to know what to do.

    If I did do an access course I think I'd do the Humanities and Social Sciences one, as that looks best in relation to Politics.
    Always step on the side of happiness, than that of the expected.
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    I read your original post and your situation is so similar to mine (found here http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1477724 )

    I got a couple of a replies like you can see, but nothing solid, and it made me realise that I have to take the decision on my own and think about myself for once. Up until now I've been doing like you Moose - trying to please everyone else, thinking about what they will think of me etc. all whilst actually being academically clever, but messing the chances up and choosing something else that will no doubt please other people and keep them quiet.

    I mean I did A Levels and messed up that first year, re-did and got my AS grades in the second year (A in Business, C in Eng Lang and two E's in ICT and Eng Lit). Then I dropped out in the A2 year due to personal problems, got an apprenticeship with BT for this September, which they then messed up and was left with nothing for this year seemingly.

    If you read my post you will see that I'm actually currently in the first year of a BTEC Design course (which I just scraped on to), and we're about to start a new project which I'll be doing fully, so I'm going to see how that goes, but I'm definitely going to apply over the next few weeks to do an Access course next year so that if I'm not 100% with this course, I can go and do the Access course and end up at Uni at the same time anyway (2012).

    I know that if I try now (with either the BTEC or Access), I will get my grades, and I will get where I want to be. I have to be fully committed and know where I want to go. From a lot of reading, I get the strong sense that the Access course is highly regarded, so don't worry about that. You just have to be 100% within yourself and your chosen path and then you will eventually do well, be happy and content and no doubt prove people wrong.

    I hope you can take something from my experience because it does seem very similar to yours. Let me know what you decide to do, message me if you'd like and good luck with whatever you choose
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    (Original post by pandabearrr)
    I read your original post and your situation is so similar to mine (found here http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1477724 )

    I got a couple of a replies like you can see, but nothing solid, and it made me realise that I have to take the decision on my own and think about myself for once. Up until now I've been doing like you Moose - trying to please everyone else, thinking about what they will think of me etc. all whilst actually being academically clever, but messing the chances up and choosing something else that will no doubt please other people and keep them quiet.

    I mean I did A Levels and messed up that first year, re-did and got my AS grades in the second year (A in Business, C in Eng Lang and two E's in ICT and Eng Lit). Then I dropped out in the A2 year due to personal problems, got an apprenticeship with BT for this September, which they then messed up and was left with nothing for this year seemingly.

    If you read my post you will see that I'm actually currently in the first year of a BTEC Design course (which I just scraped on to), and we're about to start a new project which I'll be doing fully, so I'm going to see how that goes, but I'm definitely going to apply over the next few weeks to do an Access course next year so that if I'm not 100% with this course, I can go and do the Access course and end up at Uni at the same time anyway (2012).

    I know that if I try now (with either the BTEC or Access), I will get my grades, and I will get where I want to be. I have to be fully committed and know where I want to go. From a lot of reading, I get the strong sense that the Access course is highly regarded, so don't worry about that. You just have to be 100% within yourself and your chosen path and then you will eventually do well, be happy and content and no doubt prove people wrong.

    I hope you can take something from my experience because it does seem very similar to yours. Let me know what you decide to do, message me if you'd like and good luck with whatever you choose
    Thanks for the advice! It is hard because ever since GCSE I've been set on studying photography at uni, it wasn't until the summer when I got my A2 results that I realised perhaps my strengths are in other areas. My parents have always supported me in doing photography, so I'd feel like I was letting them down if I didn't do it. But I like to be intellectually stimulated, and this just isn't happening on the course I'm doing at the moment.

    I'm still going to apply for an Access course as a back-up, to keep my options open. They sound dificult but I think that's what I like, I like grappling with difficult topics because I feel like I've achieved something when I do understand them. And I know if I put in 100% I'll get good results Good luck with everything, I hope you get onto the Access course if that's what you decide to do too
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    (Original post by Moooooooose)
    Hi, I'm not really a "mature" student as such (I'm 19), but I was reading on here about Access courses and thought you guys could help answer my question.

    Basically, I messed my A levels up. I know I could have done SO much better than I did. But my 6th form wont let me re-sit them. So I'm currently stuck with an A in A2 Politics, a C in A2 Photography and a B in AS English Lit. I only got the A in Politics because I got an E in the mock exam, freaked out and made myself work super hard the rest of the year. I was thinking of applying for Politics in 2012, I'm at art school atm but don't really enjoy it. I was told I could finish my A2 English Lit, but unfortunately my old school chose to do it on an obscure exam board and I'm yet to find a college near me that will let me continue A2 english because of this. It looks like an Access course is meant more for much older people, but I feel like this might be my best option? If I did get, say a B in English lit, I'd have ABC and I know I can do better and aim higher (this demonstrated when I worked and worked and got an A in Politics at A2). I know I could get into a third-rate uni with my grades currently, but I want to go to the best possible place (Not oxbridge or anything, but somewhere better than Nottingham Trent - who said they would accept me with my current grades).

    Any advice? Would an access course be right for me?
    Have you checked the exam boards website?
    For AQA they have a list of centres which allow private candidates. I'm wondering whether if you poked around your exam board website whether you would find the same. It was hard to find though.
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    (Original post by Moooooooose)
    Hi, I'm not really a "mature" student as such (I'm 19), but I was reading on here about Access courses and thought you guys could help answer my question.

    Basically, I messed my A levels up. I know I could have done SO much better than I did. But my 6th form wont let me re-sit them. So I'm currently stuck with an A in A2 Politics, a C in A2 Photography and a B in AS English Lit. I only got the A in Politics because I got an E in the mock exam, freaked out and made myself work super hard the rest of the year. I was thinking of applying for Politics in 2012, I'm at art school atm but don't really enjoy it. I was told I could finish my A2 English Lit, but unfortunately my old school chose to do it on an obscure exam board and I'm yet to find a college near me that will let me continue A2 english because of this. It looks like an Access course is meant more for much older people, but I feel like this might be my best option? If I did get, say a B in English lit, I'd have ABC and I know I can do better and aim higher (this demonstrated when I worked and worked and got an A in Politics at A2). I know I could get into a third-rate uni with my grades currently, but I want to go to the best possible place (Not oxbridge or anything, but somewhere better than Nottingham Trent - who said they would accept me with my current grades).

    Any advice? Would an access course be right for me?
    If I was you, go back to college and redo or do some different A levels. The Russell Group and other top uni's are funny about non A-level qualifications (especially access courses) even though they say they say they accept them. You're only 19, time is on your side.
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    (Original post by King-Panther)
    If I was you, go back to college and redo or do some different A levels. The Russell Group and other top uni's are funny about non A-level qualifications (especially access courses) even though they say they say they accept them. You're only 19, time is on your side.
    Really? I find that quite contradicting to what a lot of other members on this forum are saying, coupled with the fact that over in TomU's Access Diary (http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...401765&page=13) a few people there, including himself, have applied and had / are having interviews at top uni's, including Cambridge...
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    (Original post by pandabearrr)
    Really? I find that quite contradicting to what a lot of other members on this forum are saying, coupled with the fact that over in TomU's Access Diary (http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...401765&page=13) a few people there, including himself, have applied and had / are having interviews at top uni's, including Cambridge...
    On Cambridge's website, it states that it accepts the access course to read architecture. I went to the open day and spoke to the admissions tutor and they said that they had never heard of anyone getting accepted to read architecture at Cambridge on the basis of an access course. Therefore, I contacted most of the colleges and they asked me to do 2-3 A-levels on top of my access course. I do think it depends on what university and what course you're applying for.
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    (Original post by King-Panther)
    On Cambridge's website, it states that it accepts the access course to read architecture. I went to the open day and spoke to the admissions tutor and they said that they had never heard of anyone getting accepted to read architecture at Cambridge on the basis of an access course. Therefore, I contacted most of the colleges and they asked me to do 2-3 A-levels on top of my access corse. I do think it depends on what university and what course you're applying for.
    Well I have 2 A levels and 1 AS level already, so I imagine if I did an Access course I'd be able to apply to some pretty decent universities.
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    (Original post by Moooooooose)
    Well I have 2 A levels and 1 AS level already, so I imagine if I did an Access course I'd be able to apply to some pretty decent universities.
    Yeah, as long as the grades are good.
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    (Original post by King-Panther)
    Yeah, as long as the grades are good.
    Well I got ACb in my AS/A levels, the A was in Politics so I guess that reflects ok on me. The C was in Photography, a subject most unis don't really care about.
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    (Original post by Moooooooose)
    Well I got ACb in my AS/A levels, the A was in Politics so I guess that reflects ok on me. The C was in Photography, a subject most unis don't really care about.
    Yeah, its up to you, its your life.
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    I had the same problem in thinking that if you had A-levels you wouldn't be able to do Access to HE courses as you already have a full level 3 qualification. I completed my A-levels in English Language, Sociology and Psychology in 2009 and since have been working as I felt studying English at university wasn't my thing anymore.

    Since then I have been researching Access to Medicine/Dentistry courses available in FE institutions in London, my interest in such a course comes from having the oppourtunity to work in the NHS in a clerical position whilst being able to observe the clinical staff throughout my post, I have therefore applied and gained a 12 month placement as a trainee dental nurse at UCLH in feb 2011 .

    I hope to apply for the Access to Medicine course after this at either City and Islington College or Lambeth College both based in London, the admissions lady did emphasise that mature applicants with A-levels stand a better chance of gaining entry as their application stands out as the course is fairly demanding and only the best suited applicants will be allowed to even apply for dentistry or medicine.

    Oh well, see what the future holds
 
 
 
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