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Part time A levels for mature students. Advise please! watch

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    Hi,

    Any help with my situation would be really appreciated! I am 23 and am looking to finally get my A levels. I left school with good enough gcse results but didnt bother with college as money was more appealing at the time but now (after bouncing from job to job) I would really like to get back into education but don't know where to start.

    I need to get 3 A levels with a view of going on to uni and I also have the ability to change my working hours to part time in September if needs be, depending on the amount of studying. However I am stuck between long distance learning or attending college as I have found one close to me that offers part time A levels over 2 years.

    Has anyone completed any home study A level courses and overall how did you find it? (I have heard horror stories about people not receiving course material or the work not being up to date.)

    Or has anyone studied part time at college? If so how many hours a week did you attend and were the classes mainly made up of mature students?

    Sorry this is a bit long but I have been looking into this for a long time now but havn't found much help.

    Thank you for reading!
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    Alongside my Access course at the moment I'm taking two A Levels (well completing an A2 in History as I already completed the AS and doing the entire A Level in Gov&Pol all in a year).

    I'm doing it by myself without college/long distance support, just going though the textbook and paying for the exams through an exam centre which is fine if you are motivated. I did the AS of the Gov&Pol in January and received the results in March (an A).

    Unless you find/think that you'll need the support, I believe that anyone can do it by themselves with the right textbook and revision/study guides. I do appreciate that this is my personal opinion though.
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    Thats pretty impressive! How are you finding your access course?

    Actually i wouldnt mind looking into doing that. I have been able to teach myself in other areas (nothing as full on as an A level though). Have you found anyway to test yourself? Like mock exams, to make sure you're covering the right areas?

    Thank you for you reply!
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    I love my Access course! I find that it's much easier than A Levels. I'm not too humble to say that I'm doing extremely well, please don't take me wrong though (so far I have 28/28 distinctions...).

    Well as you A Levels with an exam board, you can use the specification to know exactly the topics you need as well as the textbooks which always have a summary on them. You can also access past papers online and test yourself with them as they also include mark schemes. They have plenty of material online ( particularly with the main boards AQA, OCR, Edexcel etc). Often the revision/study guides include activities and tests that help to cement your knowledge and also how to answer and structure the exam answers.
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    I think it depends upon the A-levels you want to do. Science ones are very hardcore and have a coursework element which can only be completed in a college. I think they are tough if you've never studied at that level before, but if you're really keen then they're not as hard as some people make out.
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    Ignore A levels and do the access course. It's the most simple way to get into uni, and then your degree will trump the previous qualification.
    I done my access course in social sciences (biology, sociology, psychology and English) and it was evenings (twice a week) surrounded by similar people wanting to pursue a university degree!
    I did that last year and worked my but of this year to save loads of money to cover my mortgage and bills while I'm at university for the next four years! And I've been accepted by my first choice uni on an unconditional offer!

    What are you wanting to study at university!? And what commitment do you have to studying!?


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    See if you can decide which courses you'd like to do, then approach each uni and ask about entry requirements. Some will prefer A Levels, some an Access course, some will require both. In some circumstances e.g. you have relevant professional or practical experience, you may not need either.

    Entry requirements for mature students are very flexible and can be decided on a case-by-case basis. There were two mature students on my undergrad degree. I wasn't required to do an Access course, but the other mature student had been. It depends on the uni, the course and your personal circumstances.

    Making an assumption about what's needed without asking, might be a bit risky. It would be a shame to spend a year or two doing an Access course or A Levels, only to find that's not what you target unis want.
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    (Original post by calicali)
    Hi,

    Any help with my situation would be really appreciated! I am 23 and am looking to finally get my A levels. I left school with good enough gcse results but didnt bother with college as money was more appealing at the time but now (after bouncing from job to job) I would really like to get back into education but don't know where to start.

    I need to get 3 A levels with a view of going on to uni and I also have the ability to change my working hours to part time in September if needs be, depending on the amount of studying. However I am stuck between long distance learning or attending college as I have found one close to me that offers part time A levels over 2 years.

    Has anyone completed any home study A level courses and overall how did you find it? (I have heard horror stories about people not receiving course material or the work not being up to date.)

    Or has anyone studied part time at college? If so how many hours a week did you attend and were the classes mainly made up of mature students?

    Sorry this is a bit long but I have been looking into this for a long time now but havn't found much help.

    Thank you for reading!
    I'm self-teaching a-levels alongside a full-time, manual labour job at the moment. It can be tough.

    BUT, it's definitely do-able. You just need to get in to a good routine and be motivated. One thing i've learnt about a-levels is the greater the number of past papers you do, the greater your grade will be. Get all of the theory and note-taking done as early as possible, and spend at least a month or 2 going through past papers and you will be grand. Expect your social life to take a bit of a battering, but there is always time to go for a couple of drinks in the evening, and have a big night out on a Friday or Saturday.

    In terms of resources, i've bought several books from amazon, and then I get my past papers and other notes from the exam-board website. AQA in my case. Also, this forum is fantastic for studying help. I do maths and physics and can generally get a question answered within an hour, tops.

    Hope this helps.
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    Thank you for the replies everyone, nice to know other people are going through the same...

    (Original post by EMassey)
    I love my Access course! I find that it's much easier than A Levels. I'm not too humble to say that I'm doing extremely well, please don't take me wrong though (so far I have 28/28 distinction)
    Well done! Hopefully I'll be able to say the same

    (Original post by Dannyhemms)
    Ignore A levels and do the access course. It's the most simple way to get into uni, and then your degree will trump the previous qualification.
    I done my access course in social sciences (biology, sociology, psychology and English) and it was evenings (twice a week) surrounded by similar people wanting to pursue a university degree!
    I did that last year and worked my but of this year to save loads of money to cover my mortgage and bills while I'm at university for the next four years! And I've been accepted by my first choice uni on an unconditional offer!

    What are you wanting to study at university!? And what commitment do you have to studying!?
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    At the moment I want to study health/nutrition. I would be very comitted. I have done the same as you with regards to saving so I would have the luxury of dropping down to working part time if I felt the workload too much. And I have found I actually really enjoy studying, it's a shame I didn't have this outlook at 16!

    (Original post by kingm)
    I'm self-teaching a-levels alongside a full-time, manual labour job at the moment. It can be tough.

    BUT, it's definitely do-able. You just need to get in to a good routine and be motivated. One thing i've learnt about a-levels is the greater the number of past papers you do, the greater your grade will be. Get all of the theory and note-taking done as early as possible, and spend at least a month or 2 going through past papers and you will be grand. Expect your social life to take a bit of a battering, but there is always time to go for a couple of drinks in the evening, and have a big night out on a Friday or Saturday.

    In terms of resources, i've bought several books from amazon, and then I get my past papers and other notes from the exam-board website. AQA in my case. Also, this forum is fantastic for studying help. I do maths and physics and can generally get a question answered within an hour, tops.

    Hope this helps.
    Nice to see that it is doable along side a full time job, and it must be nice not having to work your schedule around classes. As you are doing physics, is there any practicle work you have to do as part of the A level?
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    (Original post by SuperCat007)
    I think it depends upon the A-levels you want to do. Science ones are very hardcore and have a coursework element which can only be completed in a college. I think they are tough if you've never studied at that level before, but if you're really keen then they're not as hard as some people make out.
    This is the only thing that worries me about home study. I need to do biology or chemistry so might run into problems there
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    (Original post by calicali)
    This is the only thing that worries me about home study. I need to do biology or chemistry so might run into problems there
    You will run into problems with those because you cannot purely do those at home. You will need to find a school/college who will let you do the coursework with them. It isn't as simple as it used to be, all course work has to be invigilated like an exam now and you cannot just enter it yourself anymore.
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    (Original post by calicali)
    Nice to see that it is doable along side a full time job, and it must be nice not having to work your schedule around classes. As you are doing physics, is there any practicle work you have to do as part of the A level?
    Yes, there is an As practical and an A2 practical. As you are an external candidate, you need to ring up the examination board you wish to take your exams with, for example AQA, and find out where their centres are for external candidates to take practicals. I'm from London and there were only 2 colleges that did it here. Expect to pay upwards of £500 for you first year exams (including practical) and another £500 for the A2. You can also ring up your old college (if you attended one?) and see if they can accommodate you.

    At first everything was really complicated for me to sort out - it was a little stressful finding these centres too - because I had no-one to tell me what to do. But it doesn't need to be complicated. Ring your exam board and find out where they accommodate external candidates for practical exams and you're away.

    Good luck.
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    Hi All! I have a question as well! I'm an Italian girl of 26, with an Italian BA in Languages and I would like to switch my future into physiotherapy. I'm in Italy now...but I would love to get the chance to study in UK. After having read a bit here in the forum, I think that I would need to do an access course in science in order to enter a BS in physio, isn't it? One of my problema is that I haven't decided where I would like to study for the access course...Then, am I eligible for a loan?
    I have another question: is it different to do an access course in Scotland and then uni there? I know that in Scotland the Bachelor are 4 years long..but I know also that scottish end european students have lower fees...is this the same for mature students with previous degrees abroad?
    Hope to receive an answer!
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    I'm doing an online A Level I just started this week. I hope to get it finished in a year and go on to Uni next year.
    I've already studied Architecture at university and hope to do postgrad studies in architecture history.
    Have you considered doing a foundation course at university?
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    Were you referring to my post? For what I know..there aren't foundation course to go to physiotherapy..I think that the best route would be the access course..But I'm looking for the cheap route as well...and I'm interested in bursary/loan as well (this is why I was asking for scotland as well..)...I come from Italy so I don't know exactly how it works..
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    (Original post by Elenac86)
    Hi All! I have a question as well! I'm an Italian girl of 26, with an Italian BA in Languages and I would like to switch my future into physiotherapy. I'm in Italy now...but I would love to get the chance to study in UK. After having read a bit here in the forum, I think that I would need to do an access course in science in order to enter a BS in physio, isn't it? One of my problema is that I haven't decided where I would like to study for the access course...Then, am I eligible for a loan?
    I have another question: is it different to do an access course in Scotland and then uni there? I know that in Scotland the Bachelor are 4 years long..but I know also that scottish end european students have lower fees...is this the same for mature students with previous degrees abroad?
    Hope to receive an answer!
    As you already have a degree, you would not be eligible for student loan to fund an Access course. So you would have to pay for it yourself.

    To be sure of being eligible for an NHS busary funded course, you need to have been resident in the UK or channel island for 3 years prior to the start of your course for non academic purposes. If you have been in the UK for academic purposes for the last 3 years, you or your partner must have been resident in the EEA for the 3 years prior to your UK based studies. If you don't meet this requirement you would probably have to fund the course yourself.

    Note you have to apply for a place on a course and be offered a place prior to applying for a busary. The course you are interested in is popular and places are limited.

    In Scotland you need to meet similiar rescidence rules, but if you have been resident in the UK but not within Scotland, you would not eligible for Scottish student level fees. You may be eligible for up to 2 years funding under SAAS for a course classified as an Allied Health Professional. See http://www.saas.gov.uk/_forms/sas4.pdf page 16.
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    Yes..regarding the NHS bursary it refers also to europeans...so since I've lived in Italy I can be eligible..
 
 
 
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