Is This Possible?

    • Thread Starter

    Before I get to the main point of this thread, I need to give you a bit of background first.

    I finished A-Levels a few years ago with CCC in English Language, History, and Business Studies. I then went on to study Media at University but eventually dropped out because I didn't like the course.

    Now I've come across a number of places that offer distance learning A-Level courses. I've found that I could take three new A-Levels in a relatively short period, essentially replacing the ones I already have. I'm thinking of taking Physics, Maths and maybe Biology with the hope of applying to study Physics or something similar at University.

    This all seems a bit too good to be true and I'm wondering if there's something I'm missing that will hamper my plan. If I got fairly good grades in these new A-Levels, would I be able to get a place at a decent university? or would the fact that I've already got A-Levels and I dropped out of my previous course count against me? Do I even need to declare those things on my application?

    Also, can anyone tell me what I should expect to pay in the way of exam fees for these A-Levels? The AQA and Edexcel mention about £75 and £17 respectively but they don't say whether this is just for one exam or for the entire course or what.

    Sorry for all the text.

    I'm not too sure about the cost of the A-level exams but you may face an issue with funding the new degree. How many years did you do of the media degree? You are allowed four years effectively, so as long as you dropped out in your first year you should be fine from funding.

    I can't really see any issues with retaking A-levels to get on a better course in terms of it affecting your chances of getting onto a course, but I could be wrong.
    • Thread Starter

    I dropped out in my second year so I guess I'd have to fund one of the years myself. That's not a big problem at the moment though, I've got options.

    From what I've read, it seems I'd have to declare all my old A-Levels plus the fact I've already been to uni and dropped out. Now I'm worried that this could seriously damage my chances of getting into somewhere decent, even if I did get good grades in the new A-Levels.

    Does anyone have any insight as to universities' opinions on this sort of thing?

    With the old A levels and the fact you've been at uni and dropped out, you may encounter an issue with Oxbridge and maybe a couple of other top unis. They're pretty picky about their applicants obviously, so even the slightest thing going against you can be the deciding factor for them to say no.

    You should be able to get into a decent uni though, despite the fact that you've got those Cs and dropped out of uni, there is a certain degree of good in it, showing that you're determined etc...You could also attempt to explain the situation in your personal statement, saying things like "I discovered my passion for science/physics while studying for A levels/at university and decided that it was worth taking a few steps back in education to reassess my course and follow my passion" or something .

    While you might be turned down by the likes of Oxbridge/Imperial/Durham and a couple of the top dogs, you should still be able to get into a very decent uni. Physics at least isn't the most competitive course so you don't get quite so much of the turning applicants down because their previous life isn't perfect, even bad GCSEs are often ignored entirely. It's hard to say obviously, as I haven't asked them myself. It would be worth sending an email out to the unis you'd be interested in applying to and asking, although I'd be tempted to say that they'd just send typical "we consider each applicant on an individual basis etc...etc..." that doesn't really provide much help.

    If you think you'd get the grades, I'd still consider applying to those top places if you wanted too, obviously just make sure you have the more safe options as well. Looking at the likes of York, Liverpool, Southampton maybe, Royal Holloway, and maybe even the likes of Lancaster and places like that; all decent unis and I'd say that you'd comfortably get offers from most of them. They were all in clearing when I applied a couple of years ago, and for example Warwick give out offers without even interviewing candidates, they may well give you an offer too.

    EDIT: It would also be worth looking into foundation/access courses. They're aimed at students who have different A levels and a lot of unis offer them. You may run into issues with the 'decent' unis because they might be more keen on taking on people with strong A levels, just in the wrong subjects, and yours aren't necessarily the strongest, but I'd look into that before distance learning A levels. (Also check on funding, I don't know how that works for them)

    I agree with heyimbored but my issue is how you are going to cope with learning the 3 subjects you mentioned in that short time...Don't you think it will be difficult?.
    And also,i will strongly suggest that you go on with your plan; besides the most important thing is passing the exam and passing it well. If that is done entering into uni will not be a headache.
    • Thread Starter

    (Original post by McRoj)
    I agree with heyimbored but my issue is how you are going to cope with learning the 3 subjects you mentioned in that short time...Don't you think it will be difficult?.
    And also,i will strongly suggest that you go on with your plan; besides the most important thing is passing the exam and passing it well. If that is done entering into uni will not be a headache.
    Well I'd be able to study them full-time more or less so I was hoping doing it all in a year wouldn't be impossible. I've also done Maths AS before so hopefully that will speed up that part of the course a little bit, if I can remember any of it that is.
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