Chimmychango
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Hi all.
I am currently thinking about a career change. I am 30 years
old, so would obviously be classed as a mature student. I have always been
interested in Dentistry, and would like to get into this particular field. I Have only contacted a couple of University's at this point. One stated that they recommended me doing an Access HE Diploma in Science. The other recommended me doing A Levels. I have A level Psychology grade A, A level Biology grade B and A/S level English Literature grade B, which I achieved when I was 19, so quite a while ago.
I was looking into an Access HE Diploma in Science, but would ideally like to do this part time or via distance learning, in order to achieve acceptance to a University prior to leaving my current job.
So basically....
Is anyone else in a similar situation to myself?
Can Access HE Diploma in Science be studied Distance Learning?

Any responses / advice welcome
Many Thanks
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Incisive
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Have you thought about doing Chemistry A-level and maybe retaking Biology A-level to bring it up to an A? I'm not sure how uni's would look at the gap since you originally took your A-levels, but you should email the uni's you are considering and see what they say.
All the best
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username0
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Be careful with access courses, quite a few universities don't accept them and those that do are quite specific about which ones they accept. Enquire about access courses by emailing each dental school to find out which access courses they accept.
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Prada:)
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(Original post by Chimmychango)
Hi all.
I am currently thinking about a career change. I am 30 years
old, so would obviously be classed as a mature student. I have always been
interested in Dentistry, and would like to get into this particular field. I Have only contacted a couple of University's at this point. One stated that they recommended me doing an Access HE Diploma in Science. The other recommended me doing A Levels. I have A level Psychology grade A, A level Biology grade B and A/S level English Literature grade B, which I achieved when I was 19, so quite a while ago.
I was looking into an Access HE Diploma in Science, but would ideally like to do this part time or via distance learning, in order to achieve acceptance to a University prior to leaving my current job.
So basically....
Is anyone else in a similar situation to myself?
Can Access HE Diploma in Science be studied Distance Learning?

Any responses / advice welcome
Many Thanks
Hi there,
I am 26 and I am going to apply for dentistry next year May I ask you which uni advised you to do the Access HE Diploma in Science?

Thanks
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Skippy007
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Hey,

If you don't mind me asking, what career changes are you guys making to get into Dentistry? Guess you have thought long and hard about it...is one big commitment with these new tuition fees :rolleyes:
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Jimky
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(Original post by Chimmychango)
Hi all.
I am currently thinking about a career change. I am 30 years
old, so would obviously be classed as a mature student. I have always been
interested in Dentistry, and would like to get into this particular field. I Have only contacted a couple of University's at this point. One stated that they recommended me doing an Access HE Diploma in Science. The other recommended me doing A Levels. I have A level Psychology grade A, A level Biology grade B and A/S level English Literature grade B, which I achieved when I was 19, so quite a while ago.
I was looking into an Access HE Diploma in Science, but would ideally like to do this part time or via distance learning, in order to achieve acceptance to a University prior to leaving my current job.
So basically....
Is anyone else in a similar situation to myself?
Can Access HE Diploma in Science be studied Distance Learning?

Any responses / advice welcome
Many Thanks
Hi,

I'm 26 years old and I've just completed an Access to HE Diploma in Dentistry at The Manchester College. I personally applied to do Dental Hygiene/Therapy at Manchester Uni and successfully acheived a place beginning this Sept. There were several others on my course that achieved Dentistry places also; Liverpool & Manchester Uni. Where are you based? I throughly recommend doing an access course; most uni's favor them as it shows you've actively decided to change your career and shows motivation. Although returning to study and reducing work hours is daunting at first, it was the best decision I have made. The course I did was full-time (14hrs p/w: Mon 9-6, Tues 9-1 & Wed 9-1), I worked the rest of the week to pay rent and live etc. Money was a big worry with me as my missus is a student aswell but it worked out fine. I've heard that some uni's prefer the access taken full-time over a year rather than part-time over two. My advice is to get stuck in to a full-time one year access; remember, dentistry is a 5 year degree so why distance learn for the access? You might as well hit the ground runnin! A lot of unis require a 60 credit access course with 45 credits at level 3 (a-level eqiv) and to do dentistry you need to be achieving distinctions in everything (as oppose to merits or passes). I acheived 2 x a-levels in 2004 (grade e) & was not paticulary academic at school, however as Ive got older, ive become more motivated to learn and managed to acheive distinctions all round in my access course. If your motivated and open to learn you willl fly through it. My opinion is it is much better to go an institution to learn rather than distance; in that its alot harder to be motivated when learning alone at home rather than with similar people at college!

Any questions let me know - hope this helps
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Prada:)
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(Original post by Skippy007)
Hey,

If you don't mind me asking, what career changes are you guys making to get into Dentistry? Guess you have thought long and hard about it...is one big commitment with these new tuition fees :rolleyes:
Not at all,

I work as sales manager for multinational dental manufacturer so for me it is just moving from commercial to clinical side of the dentistry. I am just not sure if unis will accept my first degree ( I am qualified outside of UK)
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Prada:)
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(Original post by Jimky)
Hi,

I'm 26 years old and I've just completed an Access to HE Diploma in Dentistry at The Manchester College. I personally applied to do Dental Hygiene/Therapy at Manchester Uni and successfully acheived a place beginning this Sept. There were several others on my course that achieved Dentistry places also; Liverpool & Manchester Uni. Where are you based? I throughly recommend doing an access course; most uni's favor them as it shows you've actively decided to change your career and shows motivation. Although returning to study and reducing work hours is daunting at first, it was the best decision I have made. The course I did was full-time (14hrs p/w: Mon 9-6, Tues 9-1 & Wed 9-1), I worked the rest of the week to pay rent and live etc. Money was a big worry with me as my missus is a student aswell but it worked out fine. I've heard that some uni's prefer the access taken full-time over a year rather than part-time over two. My advice is to get stuck in to a full-time one year access; remember, dentistry is a 5 year degree so why distance learn for the access? You might as well hit the ground runnin! A lot of unis require a 60 credit access course with 45 credits at level 3 (a-level eqiv) and to do dentistry you need to be achieving distinctions in everything (as oppose to merits or passes). I acheived 2 x a-levels in 2004 (grade e) & was not paticulary academic at school, however as Ive got older, ive become more motivated to learn and managed to acheive distinctions all round in my access course. If your motivated and open to learn you willl fly through it. My opinion is it is much better to go an institution to learn rather than distance; in that its alot harder to be motivated when learning alone at home rather than with similar people at college!

Any questions let me know - hope this helps
I really want to apply to Barts Shame they don't accept any access courses
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Jimky
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(Original post by Prada:))
I really want to apply to Barts Shame they don't accept any access courses
Kings College London does though - thought about that?
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Prada:)
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Thanks I didn't know that !!! I sent them an email few weeks ago- still no answer. I was thinking about Barts and kings (both GEP and 5 years) as I am based in London and relocating is not really an option for me. Congrats on getting the place in manchester )
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Chimmychango
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Hi Prada

Yeah it was Manchester University that recommended an Access HE Diploma in Science

Thanks
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Chimmychango
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(Original post by Skippy007)
Hey,

If you don't mind me asking, what career changes are you guys making to get into Dentistry? Guess you have thought long and hard about it...is one big commitment with these new tuition fees :rolleyes:
Hi Skippy

Yeah im actually a qualified tradesman, so do a bit of everything really. Plumbing, Gas, Electric ect. Just been thinking about a complete change. Quite daunting though if im going to take the plunge, even despite the fact i feel like i need a change.
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Chimmychango
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(Original post by Jimky)
Hi,

I'm 26 years old and I've just completed an Access to HE Diploma in Dentistry at The Manchester College. I personally applied to do Dental Hygiene/Therapy at Manchester Uni and successfully acheived a place beginning this Sept. There were several others on my course that achieved Dentistry places also; Liverpool & Manchester Uni. Where are you based? I throughly recommend doing an access course; most uni's favor them as it shows you've actively decided to change your career and shows motivation. Although returning to study and reducing work hours is daunting at first, it was the best decision I have made. The course I did was full-time (14hrs p/w: Mon 9-6, Tues 9-1 & Wed 9-1), I worked the rest of the week to pay rent and live etc. Money was a big worry with me as my missus is a student aswell but it worked out fine. I've heard that some uni's prefer the access taken full-time over a year rather than part-time over two. My advice is to get stuck in to a full-time one year access; remember, dentistry is a 5 year degree so why distance learn for the access? You might as well hit the ground runnin! A lot of unis require a 60 credit access course with 45 credits at level 3 (a-level eqiv) and to do dentistry you need to be achieving distinctions in everything (as oppose to merits or passes). I acheived 2 x a-levels in 2004 (grade e) & was not paticulary academic at school, however as Ive got older, ive become more motivated to learn and managed to acheive distinctions all round in my access course. If your motivated and open to learn you willl fly through it. My opinion is it is much better to go an institution to learn rather than distance; in that its alot harder to be motivated when learning alone at home rather than with similar people at college!

Any questions let me know - hope this helps
Hi Jimky

How difficult/intense was the access course. You say you were at college Mon/Tues Wed; did you have to study a lot on your days off. Im used to studying; A Levels at college, city and guilds and nvq's ect for my current job. So capable of putting the hours in.

Have received a couple more responses from other uni's last couple of days and most just seem to highlight that you need AAA for A levels with Biology and Chemistry and brilliant GCSE grades. They dont seem to take into consideration past A-Levels, current qualifications and experience. All quite black and white / clear cut it seems, although at this stage i havnt actually had a conversation with someone from a University.

Might seem like a silly question but do you know if they welcome mature students on their university courses? In your experience, are there many mature students on your course for example?

Thanks
Thanks
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LL1
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(Original post by Chimmychango)
Hi Skippy

Yeah im actually a qualified tradesman, so do a bit of everything really. Plumbing, Gas, Electric ect. Just been thinking about a complete change. Quite daunting though if im going to take the plunge, even despite the fact i feel like i need a change.
I think they like mature students and supposedly mature students make very good students as they are prepared for hard work! Not that first time undergrads aren't mature! But you should have confidence in applying as a mature student. I know most year groups have a good handful of mature students, at bristol anyway from what ive been told! I think I count as a mature student ill be 23 when i start this october and I got interviews for kings grad and undergrad dentistry courses (I didn't go to them as already had my place a Bristol by then) but if you want any advice I'd be happy to help as much as I can Also, you will have awesome manual dexterity and you offer something unique - I haven't heard of many people in your line of work changing to dentistry so I think if
You get the grades and do the work experience you'd have a really interesting application and stand a good chance!


This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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denture1
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I was 30 when I decided to make the choice, now about to start my 4th year of dentistry. I would recommend the A levels in one year route if thats possible full time.
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muchomungo
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(Original post by Chimmychango)
Hi Skippy

Yeah im actually a qualified tradesman, so do a bit of everything really. Plumbing, Gas, Electric ect. Just been thinking about a complete change. Quite daunting though if im going to take the plunge, even despite the fact i feel like i need a change.
Make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. It'll be an enormous amount of debt and you won't make nearly as much money as you imagine (if you can find a job). Make sure you know what's going on with current affairs. Next year (probably) there'll be direct access so you'll have competition from lesser qualified people and the proposed new NHS contract will probably pay you less than a plumber would earn.
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Skippy007
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Thanks for the replies people!

Wow, great to hear and why not...if you feel you need a change..good to follow through.

However, the reason I asked I am also currently looking to go into Dentistry as come from a healthcare background but currently working in management.

However, the recent changes in tuition fees, the debt, risky job outlook (lack of VT schemes) and the reductions in pay have got me thinking...I'm 25 but probably will look like 70 when I make my mind up! lol difficult decisions!

The post above muchomungo sums this up and I follow dentistry.co.uk which is a very useful portal to keep up to date.

How are you guys funding it? I guess you're not too worried about the job outlook after as it may improve?
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Jimky
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(Original post by Chimmychango)
Hi Jimky

How difficult/intense was the access course. You say you were at college Mon/Tues Wed; did you have to study a lot on your days off. Im used to studying; A Levels at college, city and guilds and nvq's ect for my current job. So capable of putting the hours in.

Have received a couple more responses from other uni's last couple of days and most just seem to highlight that you need AAA for A levels with Biology and Chemistry and brilliant GCSE grades. They dont seem to take into consideration past A-Levels, current qualifications and experience. All quite black and white / clear cut it seems, although at this stage i havnt actually had a conversation with someone from a University.

Might seem like a silly question but do you know if they welcome mature students on their university courses? In your experience, are there many mature students on your course for example?

Thanks
Thanks
It wasnt difficult at all to be honest. The tutors really help you to maximise your potential. We finished at 1pm (Tues & Weds); i used this time to do most of my work. I worked p/t (Thurs & Fri 9-5 and Sat 9-1) so any other spare hours were used for work, however it wasn't just work,work,work, I had plenty of time for my social life as well. The access course was graded via exams and assignments; some exams were multiple choice and a lot of time was given on assignments. There was one 40 year old on my course that got a place at Uni this year so dont be worrying about age. As someone said, uni's like mature students for obvious reasons. Quote from Manchester Uni website:

"Mature students are some of our most well-equipped learners, bringing with them a number of skills and attributes gained from work, family and other life experiences."

They wont care about past a-levels etc if they are more than 5 years old, however to get onto dentistry at Manchester you need B's (GCSE) in Maths & English (check).

Check this handy guide from Manchester Uni:

http://www.manchester.ac.uk/undergra...tudents/guide/

Good luck whatever you do!
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Chimmychango
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(Original post by Jimky)
It wasnt difficult at all to be honest. The tutors really help you to maximise your potential. We finished at 1pm (Tues & Weds); i used this time to do most of my work. I worked p/t (Thurs & Fri 9-5 and Sat 9-1) so any other spare hours were used for work, however it wasn't just work,work,work, I had plenty of time for my social life as well. The access course was graded via exams and assignments; some exams were multiple choice and a lot of time was given on assignments. There was one 40 year old on my course that got a place at Uni this year so dont be worrying about age. As someone said, uni's like mature students for obvious reasons. Quote from Manchester Uni website:

"Mature students are some of our most well-equipped learners, bringing with them a number of skills and attributes gained from work, family and other life experiences."

They wont care about past a-levels etc if they are more than 5 years old, however to get onto dentistry at Manchester you need B's (GCSE) in Maths & English (check).

Check this handy guide from Manchester Uni:

http://www.manchester.ac.uk/undergra...tudents/guide/

Good luck whatever you do!

Thanks for the advice

It does seem like Access is definately the way forward for myself. I will look into it.

Cheers
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FUNKmilitia
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There is some good advice in here, I wish I was able to see it before I start to pursue dentistry as a mature student! I managed to get a place to study dentistry at Newcastle via access in the end and have spoken about the journey to get there in my blog here.

In it I talk about things like the pros and cons of A levels versus the Access course, tips for the UKCAT and personal statement and general fears like do I live in halls, can I get involved fully with freshers week and all those silly things!

Good luck to anybody thinking of retraining, go for it, you will not regret it!
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