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    Rather late in the day I've decided I want to study for a Politics degree starting in 2013.

    I am mature student without the normal entry requirements (only 'O' Levels), and I'm wondering which courses and Uni's are most likely to have a good chance at?

    For various reasons I've limited the choice to these Universities, listed roughly in order of preference - based on purely geographical factors, and being listed in UCAS Extra.


    • Cardiff University
    • Newcastle University
    • University of Sunderland
    • Nottingham Trent University
    • University of Chester
    • University of East Anglia
    • University of Portsmouth
    • University of Southampton
    • The University of Liverpool
    • University of Reading
    • University of Leicester
    • Loughborough University


    I am flexible about a combined degree - e.g. 'Politics & History' or 'Politics & Economics' or others.

    So, which Politics course and which Uni?

    All suggestions gratefully received
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    (Original post by PMRK)
    Rather late in the day I've decided I want to study for a Politics degree starting in 2013.

    I am mature student without the normal entry requirements (only 'O' Levels), and I'm wondering which courses and Uni's are most likely to have a good chance at?

    For various reasons I've limited the choice to these Universities, listed roughly in order of preference - based on purely geographical factors, and being listed in UCAS Extra.


    • Cardiff University
    • Newcastle University
    • University of Sunderland
    • Nottingham Trent University
    • University of Chester
    • University of East Anglia
    • University of Portsmouth
    • University of Southampton
    • The University of Liverpool
    • University of Reading
    • University of Leicester
    • Loughborough University


    I am flexible about a combined degree - e.g. 'Politics & History' or 'Politics & Economics' or others.

    So, which Politics course and which Uni?

    All suggestions gratefully received
    As you only have O Levels it is going to be impossible for us to tell which universities would accept you. You need to email all the ones you are interested in and see but I suspect many would want you to take a Level 3 qualification such as an Access Course before you start a degree.
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    I would strongly suggest you contact the admissions department of all of your target universities and ask them what they require.

    I am a third year politics and history student and I went through an Access to Higher Education course to get here. If I had not done so I would have struggled with both parts of my course. Politics is a broad subject, but I have been exposed to both political philosophy as well as political science, and without the access course I would have disappeared without a trace. Study at degree level requires a set of skills that normal work does not provide. You may get lucky and get accepted by a university based on your work experience alone, but the technical skills and academic exposure that an Access course provides, while not fully preparing you for university study, is better than attempting it straight in from the street.

    I fully agree with jelly1000 above, but would also suggest that you visit all the universities you are thinking of attending, but also study what is involved in the individual modules that make up you three years. I would suggest that time spent preparing for university is better spent than attending and struggling. I wish my uni had a foundation course, the extra year would have added at least a grade to my eventual degree, and would have been time well spent.

    I wish you well with your degree.
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    Two points :

    1) You will need evidence of recent study to prove you have the potential to succeed at University level study. O levels clearly taken many years ago are not enough.

    2) Not all Politics courses are the same. Read the individual course descriptions (including Units/options etc) for all three years.
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    First, thanks for all the suggestions and information - they have already helped to clarify some points.

    I think it's clear from the above that I need to contact the admissions dept. of each university; some I have already contacted - Cardiff for example said "In principle access is possible dependent on the outcome of an interview or a written evaluation."

    I had hoped to target my efforts on those Uni's and courses where I had the best hope of success. For example, Sunderland maybe does not have as strong a reputation as Newcastle, and may therefore be easier to gain admission too, while nearby Durham has a high reputation, with little left on UCAS Extra. But I am sure there are more factors at play then just reputation. I was trying to clarify what those factors might be.

    I am not keen to take an access course; As a mature student, each year is perhaps more precious to me then it would be to younger students.

    I am confident in my ability to study at the required level, but in any event I'll spend the period until September getting up to speed as required.

    I will as suggested study the courses in more detail - this can only be beneficial in making the right choice!

    Thanks to All
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    (Original post by PMRK)
    First, thanks for all the suggestions and information - they have already helped to clarify some points.

    I think it's clear from the above that I need to contact the admissions dept. of each university; some I have already contacted - Cardiff for example said "In principle access is possible dependent on the outcome of an interview or a written evaluation."

    I had hoped to target my efforts on those Uni's and courses where I had the best hope of success. For example, Sunderland maybe does not have as strong a reputation as Newcastle, and may therefore be easier to gain admission too, while nearby Durham has a high reputation, with little left on UCAS Extra. But I am sure there are more factors at play then just reputation. I was trying to clarify what those factors might be.

    I am not keen to take an access course; As a mature student, each year is perhaps more precious to me then it would be to younger students.

    I am confident in my ability to study at the required level, but in any event I'll spend the period until September getting up to speed as required.

    I will as suggested study the courses in more detail - this can only be beneficial in making the right choice!

    Thanks to All
    To add to what I've put, don't forget to look at the university itself- the campus and accomodation- consider what kind of accomodation you'd want as a mature student, as well as the location
    .
    If you can get accepted without an Access course or equivalent then great, I just suggested it as I believed your options would be limited without one, I fully understand you want to go to uni as soon as possible.
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    Regardless of whether or not you *want* to take an Access course or similar, it is likely that some Universities will set this (or similar) as an entry requirement. Just wanting to go to Uni does not show a Uni that you have the academic potential or the sense of application to succeed. Your 'sense of confidence' is actually irrelevant if you cannot produce a University level essay.
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    (Posted by returnmigrant)

    Regardless of whether or not you *want* to take an Access course or similar, it is likely that some Universities will set this (or similar) as an entry requirement. Just wanting to go to Uni does not show a Uni that you have the academic potential or the sense of application to succeed. Your 'sense of confidence' is actually irrelevant if you cannot produce a University level essay.
    Why so Negative?

    If it is set as a requirement to take an access course, then of course I would have to. But If I'm assessed by the Uni as capable of starting the course without it, then that's what I'd like to do.

    It's true that "just wanting to go to Uni" does not indicate academic potential, anymore then "just wanting to be rich" makes you rich! It's also true that 'sense of confidence' is actually irrelevant if it's misplaced. Both are rather obvious points.

    I'm unsure what I've said in these few brief exchanges to spark your ire, but I'd be interested to know.
 
 
 
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