Former Access Course Students (Advice Please)

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b_man
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Hi there,

I completed my Access Course in 2008 and have just graduated from University so i'm applying for jobs. Alot of my job applications are being done online (Graduate training schemes etc). One thing is bugging me though and I was wondering if anyone could help:

Basically I had to take a MATHS GCSE Equivalent when I was doing my Access course (as I only got a D when I was at school way back in 2001). However, I guess I need to list this on my application forms but having just looked at my access certificate there is nothing on there to suggest that I have done a GCSE Maths Equivalent. I don't want to get to an interview stage and have them ask for proof that I have this qualification when I myself cant' find any evidence.



Anyone else doing a Maths Equiv got anything on their certificate saying so?
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b_man
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Actually...... Just having a look at my certificate again there is a unit title saying "Number and Algebra" awarding 3 Credits at Level 2.

Would this be the Maths Equiv?
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jami74
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I think Level 2 credits are equivalent to a C grade at GCSE.
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Elle408
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(Original post by b_man)
Actually...... Just having a look at my certificate again there is a unit title saying "Number and Algebra" awarding 3 Credits at Level 2.

Would this be the Maths Equiv?
Yeah, that would be it. I know ours is just 'numeracy at level 2'
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BigV
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(Original post by jami74)
I think Level 2 credits are equivalent to a C grade at GCSE.
^This. My certificate lists some level 2 maths credits (15 in total I think).

Whether employers recognise them or not I wouldn't like to say.

Often times they will only ask to see your two most recent qualifications (access + degree), so not being able to produce GCSEs may not be an issue for many jobs; although I understand the public sector is a little more picky at times.
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wizardtop
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(Original post by jami74)
I think Level 2 credits are equivalent to a C grade at GCSE.
Yes you are correct level 2 credits on a Access diploma are equivalent or on a same par as GCSE however Jami74 i would also point out u would need 12 credits at level 2 or more to be on the same level as a Maths GCSE really.
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creamegg1
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My access certificate has my level2 maths on it.
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wizardtop
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(Original post by BigV)
^This. My certificate lists some level 2 maths credits (15 in total I think).

Whether employers recognise them or not I wouldn't like to say.

Often times they will only ask to see your two most recent qualifications (access + degree), so not being able to produce GCSEs may not be an issue for many jobs; although I understand the public sector is a little more picky at times.
They should do Big V i think u would need more than 9 credits at level 2 to be on the same par as a GCSE Grade C.I seem to remember one of my friends had 18 credits at level 2 a few years back and that was acceptable by the various universities he applied to and he got a few offers and of course went to university,however i would also say there is so many different quals about these days that employers would need to know what they relate to i think
I am only doing 3 credits at level 2 on my Access course this year and also have to take Adult Numeracy level 2 course next year
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Facade123
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I have a similar problem yet different problem.

Here in Northern Ireland doing Maths = 10 credits at level 2, meaning after being coupled with 10 level 2 Study Skills credits, the most I can get is 40 level 3 credits and 20 level 2. I’d like to apply to a University in England, where unfortunately I would need 45 level 3 credits.
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jami74
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(Original post by Facade123)
I have a similar problem yet different problem.

Here in Northern Ireland doing Maths = 10 credits at level 2, meaning after being coupled with 10 level 2 Study Skills credits, the most I can get is 40 level 3 credits and 20 level 2. I’d like to apply to a University in England, where unfortunately I would need 45 level 3 credits.
Are you at college at the moment? Ask if you can take some extra credits. We do far more than 60 credits altogether so your college might too, you'd only need another two units (assuming your units are worth 3 credits each).
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maturestudy
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An Access qualification does not give you a GCSE and any 'equivalence' is only nominal, by agreement with various Higher Education Institutes, and is not even accepted by all universities.

According to Access to Higher Education, "Access to HE providers should ensure that students who are offered a
GCSE-equivalent qualification as part of their programme of study are aware that...such qualifications have no formal status for other purposes, or recognised equivalence outside the context of HE admissions."

Stating that you have a GCSE equivalent qualification, outside of a UCAS form, could therefore be construed as fraud.

http://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/home/pub...b%20040308.pdf
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Facade123
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(Original post by jami74)
Are you at college at the moment? Ask if you can take some extra credits. We do far more than 60 credits altogether so your college might too, you'd only need another two units (assuming your units are worth 3 credits each).
I am, unfortunately we are only allowed 60 credits here, on my course it's:

History
History 2
English Literature
English Literature 2
An Option: Maths
Study Skills

10 credits equalifant max each for a module, no more extra modules allowed . It's run by Queen's University Belfast.

Though we actually get results as %s instead of actual credits unlike the rest of the UK, but a Uni will still see the Maths marked as Lvl2.
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maturestudy
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(Original post by Facade123)
I am, unfortunately we are only allowed 60 credits here, on my course it's:

History
History 2
English Literature
English Literature 2
An Option: Maths
Study Skills

10 credits equalifant max each for a module, no more extra modules allowed . It's run by Queen's University Belfast.

Though we actually get results as %s instead of actual credits unlike the rest of the UK, but a Uni will still see the Maths marked as Lvl2.
That does kind of suck. We're studying 80-90 credits out of which 60 will count towards the diploma. Give you a bit of headroom (but the workload is 50% more ).

Also, maths is the only level 2 subject we do. Everything else is studied at level 3 and I don't understand why more courses aren't run like this. You need to be working at level 3 to be ready for university.
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Sophie1985
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(Original post by Facade123)
I have a similar problem yet different problem.

Here in Northern Ireland doing Maths = 10 credits at level 2, meaning after being coupled with 10 level 2 Study Skills credits, the most I can get is 40 level 3 credits and 20 level 2. I’d like to apply to a University in England, where unfortunately I would need 45 level 3 credits.
im doing a access course in ni atm, how many credits does the access course get you, cos our results come in percentages?
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michelle1976
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I've completed an Access Course in social sciences in Northern Ireland also :
Biology - 15 credits - Level 3
Environmental Science - 15 credits- Level 3
Local History - 15 credits - Level 3
I.T - 15 credits - Level 3
Social Sciences - 15 credits - Level 3
Communications - 20 credits - Level 2
Maths - 15 credits - Level 2
Basic Maths - 10 credits - Level 1

However our grades are calculated by percentage, only level 3 modules can be included. All %'s from these modules are added and an average found. This gives an overall course percentage. 70+ is a distinction.
Universities here include this system in their prospectus' , i applied for Law which required 73%+ ...... I achieved 80% and have just had an unconditional offer for my 1st choice

It seems this way is easier and maybe other UK institutions should give it a go
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Soule
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We have been told that we will receive a separate certificate with GCSE equivalent maths on it.

Someone above mentions it could be fraud if you mention it outside of higher education, I would say that if you placed it as GCSE Grade C, and somewhere on the application advised that it was an equivalence, you are not misleading, and it would be the employers choice if they accepted it, it would however show a level of maths studied.
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evening sunrise
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(Original post by Soule)
We have been told that we will receive a separate certificate with GCSE equivalent maths on it.

Someone above mentions it could be fraud if you mention it outside of higher education, I would say that if you placed it as GCSE Grade C, and somewhere on the application advised that it was an equivalence, you are not misleading, and it would be the employers choice if they accepted it, it would however show a level of maths studied.
The nuance is that the concept of equivalence only exists in the context of higher education admissions. So when applying for a job, one can simply state what modules, at what level, you did and with what results, to obtain the Access to HE diploma. The issue being, if I understand the extreme intensity of the Access course correctly, is that whilst the student covers selected topics to a level of, lets use the term, sophistication, equal to GCSE and A level, the breadth of a 2 year A level or GCSE course cannot be fully covered, and valid equivalence would result from equality of sophistication * breadth. What the Access course does is demonstrate the appitude for a subject and the ability to acquire and deploy skills and to do that at a very challenging pace with a capacity for extremely hard work.

What is clear from the other post and link is that one cannot do an Access to HE course and then claim to have, for example, 5 GCSEs in English, Maths, History, Sociology, Psychology and 2 A levels in maths and Psychology as one has completed the equivalents. The reason the PDF reads the way it does is to ensure students do not go back claiming a refund because they thought they were getting the 5 GCSEs and 2 A levels. (May be its 3 A levels, but that point is moot.)

Access is specialised and tailored to a specific purpose, the preparation for and selection of students for, undergraduate study and not the provision of a general school leaving age education, or the replacement of the same. Starting a 4 year degree programme with a foundation year and then pulling out after one year would likewise not leave the student with any GCSE or A level equivalents either, you could only state that you successfully completed a 1 year foundation course at xxx Uni, and obtained whatever result.

The correct use of equivalence would be tabling a CSE grade 1 as an equivalent of GCE O level grade C.
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SloaneRanger
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Doubt that any employer would accept it though, the Level 2 Credits were just there to get you into University and you have to bare in mind that an Access Course is only valid for 3 years compared to traditional GCSEs and A-Levels.
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BigV
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(Original post by SloaneRanger)
Doubt that any employer would accept it though, the Level 2 Credits were just there to get you into University and you have to bare in mind that an Access Course is only valid for 3 years compared to traditional GCSEs and A-Levels.
Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by only valid for 3 years compared to A-levels?

You can still tell an employer you did Access to HE, the qualification doesn't expire. OK it probably isn't relevant to the workplace but neither is a GCSE or A-level taken years ago.

In terms of university admissions, I suspect if you left school at 18 and then tried to apply to Uni at 22...23...24 you would probably have to go back and do some fresh level 3 study first, as many would consider the gap in education too long.
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SloaneRanger
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If you are applying to university I did my A-Levels 8 years ago at 17 and just applied to UCL, interview and offer etc now coming up 25. They still acknowledge what I have got previously in GCSE and A-Levels, most people have to just show they have some form of learning so they can integrate with academic life. Thats why they suggest going to do an Access course to show you can cope with the demands. As for qualifications, you can show you have done it. But there is really no substitute to doing GCSE English and Maths, at Lambeth College, they insist you already have it before applying to do the course or otherwise take it along side as most universities want it. Even Mc Donalds and KFC show the need for GCSES.
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