MightyMidget
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Hello, I'm a student that will be applying to university in a year. I hope to study in the UK, but I've noticed that some of my top choices(Imperial and UCL) don't accept my country's(Lithuania's) secondary school diploma. I am aware of options like foundation programmes, but what is the fastest way to get proper qualification for one of these Universities?
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DearLife
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(Original post by MightyMidget)
Hello, I'm a student that will be applying to university in a year. I hope to study in the UK, but I've noticed that some of my top choices(Imperial and UCL) don't accept my country's(Lithuania's) secondary school diploma. I am aware of options like foundation programmes, but what is the fastest way to get proper qualification for one of these Universities?
Hey MightyMidget,

I don't know what course you want to pursue, it would be nice if you could provide what you want to study because each course has its own set of routes to getting there and requirments, but besides that, Imperial and UCL to best of my knowledge have tough requirements. My suggestion would be to directly contact them and let them know about your enquiry because the best way to find out ways to be qualified for whichever course you wish to do at their university will be best advised by staff there.

For international students it's a tough process and very few get through depending on the course so your best chance will be to make sure you got what they desire rather than taking a fast route. Make sure you have obtained their advise directly because rules change each academic year, so what maybe are today's optional routes might be obsolete next year.

This is to the best of my knowledge so hopefully someone else on here has a better answer

Best of luck!
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MightyMidget
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(Original post by DearLife)
Hey MightyMidget,

I don't know what course you want to pursue, it would be nice if you could provide what you want to study because each course has its own set of routes to getting there and requirments, but besides that, Imperial and UCL to best of my knowledge have tough requirements. My suggestion would be to directly contact them and let them know about your enquiry because the best way to find out ways to be qualified for whichever course you wish to do at their university will be best advised by staff there.

For international students it's a tough process and very few get through depending on the course so your best chance will be to make sure you got what they desire rather than taking a fast route. Make sure you have obtained their advise directly because rules change each academic year, so what maybe are today's optional routes might be obsolete next year.

This is to the best of my knowledge so hopefully someone else on here has a better answer

Best of luck!
The course is Computer Science(or Computing,depending on the uni). I have contacted Imperial on whether there was any way to be accepted with my secondary school diplomma, and they said there wasn't. I don't really want to do a foundation programme because of the cost of living.
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AnonymousPenguin
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How about taking the IB back home, or doing A-levels in one year as an external candidate?
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DearLife
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(Original post by MightyMidget)
The course is Computer Science(or Computing,depending on the uni). I have contacted Imperial on whether there was any way to be accepted with my secondary school diplomma, and they said there wasn't. I don't really want to do a foundation programme because of the cost of living.

I am sorry you're having a hard time, you sound like you really want this and I understand how that feels.

The likeliness for a university in UK to take you with just secondary qualification is highly unlikely in my knowledge. I have seen people being accepted to do degrees without previous qualifications but they needed at least English & Maths GCSE's at grade 'C' or get tested by the university (even in other areas if Science and/or Humanities are involved) or had to do a year worth of prerequisites to get accepted, and most significantly they had been working for 2/3/5 years as a professional, meaning a mature student with life experience in order to be considered for a place at the university without typical prior qualifications.


You will be wasting time trying to get in to a unievrsity the short way because there isn't one. If you finished secondary school then it means you're so young. Why rush? If I was you, I would look into colleges to get qualifications required to study the course you want at university.

What you can look into:

A) Online/Distance Learning Courses - many UK universities & colleges do online/DLC courses that are open to international students. Find out which colleges/universities do the prerequisites e.g. A-Levels or other qualifications that are relevant and required for the course you want to do at a degree level and look if they do online/DL courses. Contact those colleges/universities and enquire about the course fees, what it can lead to, if they have service for online/DLC at your country etc. and apply. Do the required courses for the degree you want at your country so you don't have to worry about moving costs etc. all you will need is the cost for the course and possibly registration etc. OU (Open University) is well-known in many countries to provide DLC.

B) Government Funding - find out what your country can do to help support you financially. What some services do is help finance the cost of living abroad, including other support services so you might be able to even come to UK and study via funding/loan. You can also look at financial support from UK towards international students. Since you're young, the opportunity for financial support and other is high!

C) Look for apprenticeships/internships at your country, in UK many teens instead of going to college use the Gov Apprenticeships UK Scheme (funded by the Gov for those aged between 16-24) to do on-the-job training most of which are paid jobs too whilst getting a qualification e.g. NVQ or other. From this they either keep moving up the leader working or after 2 years enter university. So find out if your country has apprenticeship/internship schemes and start training in the field you desire to work in someday. Being aged between 16-24, you're likely to be desirable for apprenticeships/internships with future prospects e.g. being transferred abroad after 2/3 years or some organisations, if impressed by you, may even consider financially supporting you to do a degree costs e.g. bursaries, cost for travelling etc. Some even have their own scheme to get into a programme for a degree course that could be financially rewarding.

I am afraid you will have to work up the ladder for this one, esp for degrees like Computer Science, Finance, Medical etc. these are some serious fields and require lots of training, learning and experience. Do the A-Levels or whatever other qualifications you require. There are other ways like doing NVQ/Access courses that can be accepted by universities, find out if this is possible.

Look at it this way, you got acceptable grades in your secondary qualifications, right? If so, you're nearly there. All you need is 2 years of college qualification, it will go fast and plus why miss out on the fun of being a college student? My brother had the time of his life during his college years and met his future friends there. College, if taking the full opportunity it gives, can be very rewarding not only academically but socially. You will have to accept that it's impossible to be accepted for a degree course at UK with just secondary qualifications, it unacceptable to the best of my knowledge dear, but you're so young! Don't rush and waste those youthful years, trust me, it seems like a long road and I understand the stress whether it's financial or just feeling like it will take so long to get where you want, but once you get there through tough times, you will feel like you earned it and that's the best feeling in the world! Computer Science is a really good choice, you have a bright future ahead of you!

Best of Luck!
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MightyMidget
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(Original post by AnonymousPenguin)
How about taking the IB back home, or doing A-levels in one year as an external candidate?
Too late for IB. I'd have to repeat this year. I'd rather study one year at a Lithuanian university and then go to Britain instead of repeating a year in school for no real reason. Also, could you elaborate about doing A-levels as an external candidate? I've never heard of that.

(Original post by DearLife)
I think you might have something mixed up in regards to my age and the Lithuanian secondary school diplomma. Most of my classmates are eighteen, with some former classmates studying in IB for the first year. Lithuanian secondary school has 12 grades, with most students starting at 7 years old, some(like me) at 6. Unless you're taking a gap year, there isn't really anything else to do in Lithuania after finishing secondary school besides going to university. Pretty much everyone i know went to university after finishing school. Some students I know a grade above have even got interviews from Cambridge, so I don't particularly feel like I'm rushing something.

Also, from what I've read, there are a lot of good universities for comp sci in the UK that accept the Lithuanian secondary school diplomma, such as Bristol, Southampton, Warwick, Edinburgh and so on. UCL and Imperial seem to be exceptions. Unfortunately, my sister, who studied in Glasgow, told me that I should really try to get to London, and I've got a fixation of going there now . I don't really mind studying somewhere for an extra year, but I'd rather go around it because I feel that I'll be ready by the time i finish school.

Thanks for the long post and suggestions though.
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DearLife
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(Original post by MightyMidget)
Too late for IB. I'd have to repeat this year. I'd rather study one year at a Lithuanian university and then go to Britain instead of repeating a year in school for no real reason. Also, could you elaborate about doing A-levels as an external candidate? I've never heard of that.



I think you might have something mixed up in regards to my age and the Lithuanian secondary school diplomma. Most of my classmates are eighteen, with some former classmates studying in IB for the first year. Lithuanian secondary school has 12 grades, with most students starting at 7 years old, some(like me) at 6. Unless you're taking a gap year, there isn't really anything else to do in Lithuania after finishing secondary school besides going to university. Pretty much everyone i know went to university after finishing school. Some students I know a grade above have even got interviews from Cambridge, so I don't particularly feel like I'm rushing something.

Also, from what I've read, there are a lot of good universities for comp sci in the UK that accept the Lithuanian secondary school diplomma, such as Bristol, Southampton, Warwick, Edinburgh and so on. UCL and Imperial seem to be exceptions. Unfortunately, my sister, who studied in Glasgow, told me that I should really try to get to London, and I've got a fixation of going there now . I don't really mind studying somewhere for an extra year, but I'd rather go around it because I feel that I'll be ready by the time i finish school.

Thanks for the long post and suggestions though.

LMAO - my bad then soz! I tend to think way too much and then type waaaay too much.

Ok, I understand now, I thought you were sixteen fresh outta HS because I didn't read inhale 'diploma' part just focused 'secondary school' and therefore thought you were 16!...lack of sleep...my apologies! ^^ Then that def' qualifies you for university. Have you contacted the universities that do accept?! Contact them and let them know that you're interested in doing CS at their university and the qualifications you have, then ask them if by any chance they would consider you to do the degree and if not what routes you can take to meet the requirements e.g. my ex-university has college connections so some went there for a year to get whatever pre-qualification they required then went straight to the university and did their course. So may be able to offer you a course (perhaps even a short course) to do to their associate college that can prepare you for the course at their university. Plus, while doing so, you can start mingling at the university by going to openings and events that welcome prospective students to get yourself noticed.

Here's a lil' tip!: I have had come across people with diplomas who have filled in an application and submitted them regardless if the universities would accept or not, they just apply to all universities they can that do the course they want. With the application they add a written a letter which consist of:

- Expressing their interest to study at that particular university
- What they want to study and why
- How passionate they are - hobbies/interests such as fixing computers after disassembling it at home, independently studying computer languages and interest in learning about human to computer interaction etc...anything related to Computer Science that you do on your spare time to show personal interest.
- Whatever job experience relevant to it or voluntary e.g. if you even spent a day helping someone with IT issues e.g. my brother when he was a teen aroun dyour age, he would go and fix computers for his friend's fathers or whatever.
- Obviously the qualifications you have highlighting the relative subjects (for you IT grades from your school) etc.
- Explain how important it is for you to study this course to get where you want and if the university could just consider you, give you a chance to prove yourself.

There have been exceptions for people. You just to got to keep knocking and not give up! Don't wait for them to say that you can be considered, just apply and see what happens, you can never really know until you knock! IMPORTANTLY ASK them what sorta financial support you can get from the university for fees and accommodation.

best of luck!

P.S. soz for a long answer again...
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DearLife
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BTW could you un'quote' me (remove the quote of mine from your comment) because parts of the comment is personal I just realised...not all of it but the part about my brother lol. thanks!
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MightyMidget
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(Original post by DearLife)
BTW could you un'quote' me (remove the quote of mine from your comment) because parts of the comment is personal I just realised...not all of it but the part about my brother lol. thanks!
Done.

I guess I'll apply to 1-2 unis whose requirements I don't fit and 3-4 that I do. If I'm not satisfied with the results, I'll spend a year getting further qualification and apply again. Thanks for the responses .
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DearLife
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(Original post by MightyMidget)
Done.

I guess I'll apply to 1-2 unis whose requirements I don't fit and 3-4 that I do. If I'm not satisfied with the results, I'll spend a year getting further qualification and apply again. Thanks for the responses .
Thanks

Apply to as many as you can, you can never know! In addition to further qualifications, I will look it up and if I can find any let you know on here but search for internships/apprenticeships possible international ones. With your qualifications, you def' can get internships, if you can find an international internship/apprenticeships offered which involves UK then take it! Just make sure all expenses are paid by them, not you! They are supposed to pay. You can come here get experience hands on, although I would go for apprenticeships specifically because they pay you and also you will be gaining qualification for it. A year of apprenticeship can get you well on the way to being considered for a degree and many instead of going to college do apprenticeships and then go to university.

Best of luck!
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