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ColdCase
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#1
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Hey all!

I graduated in September 2011 (18 months ago) with a 2:1 in Psychology. When I finished Uni I applied to several Graduate jobs/schemes but not having much luck.

I did an Access to Higher Education course to get me into Uni (I'm now 28) but most job applications are wanting UCAS Points to let you progress further. I've searched everywhere and it seems that Access Courses don't give UCAS Points. I'm finding it really frustrating that I can't get anywhere

Does anyone have any advice? Should I go back to college and do A-Levels? Eugh, I feel like i'm never going to get my 'foot in the door'.
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jimheru
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I've never heard of an application wanting ucas points for what was studied before the degree :confused: wouldn't your 2:1 be more important than ucas points...
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ColdCase
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(Original post by jimheru)
I've never heard of an application wanting ucas points for what was studied before the degree :confused: wouldn't your 2:1 be more important than ucas points...
That's what I would have thought but for instance, I starting an online appication for a Graduate Scheme and under the qualifications it asks for 'GCSEs' at Grade C and A-Levels/UCAS Points.

I have mostly been applying for Graduate Training Schemes. Maybe I should just apply for Graduate Jobs?
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HopefulMidwife
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Have you tried contacting the college you studied your access at? I'm doing an access course and I'm sure it gives UCAS points.
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ColdCase
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(Original post by HopefulMidwife)
Have you tried contacting the college you studied your access at? I'm doing an access course and I'm sure it gives UCAS points.

According to the Official Access Course website, it states that they do not give UCAS Points for this qualification. I believe Access courses are only relevent to 'getting into University' for 'mature' students.
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wetin dey?
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Unfortunately this is the situation, unless you graduated from Oxbridge where filters override such, expect to be penalised for doing access instead of alevels.
Best bet is to try contacting firms before hand to see if they're prepared to accept a manual application from you.
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HopefulMidwife
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(Original post by ColdCase)
According to the Official Access Course website, it states that they do not give UCAS Points for this qualification. I believe Access courses are only relevent to 'getting into University' for 'mature' students.
Ah, I see. Thanks for the clarification.
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Alice88
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I'm currently doing an access course and have been told we achieve 60 UCAS points upon completion, I'd contact the place you did the access course to clarify.


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edjunkie
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(Original post by Alice88)
I'm currently doing an access course and have been told we achieve 60 UCAS points upon completion, I'd contact the place you did the access course to clarify.


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For companies who recruit graduates based on UCAS points, 60 UCAS points will not meet their filtering criteria. 60 UCAS points is equivalent to A level passes 2 A level passes at EE or a single A level at D grade.

I have seen graduate programs which ask for a minimum of 240 UCAS points.

Whilst your Access course may qualify for UCAS points now, it usually only applies to qualifications gained from a particular date. Previously Access courses were PASS or Fail, some universities were reluctant to accept them. With the introduction of Disctintion, Merit and Pass, there is better acceptance. On the plus side at least there is a recognised equivalence to ABB A level pass for the purposes of university places exempt from the government student caps, you need to pass an Access to HE, include 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. Whilst this isn't currently any help with job applications that require UCAS points it is step in the right direction. Also UCAS are currently deciding whether or not to abolish UCAS points.

Employers can use whatever filters they like to select candidates on their academic ability and it is up to them what qualifications they accept.
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edjunkie
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(Original post by ColdCase)
That's what I would have thought but for instance, I starting an online appication for a Graduate Scheme and under the qualifications it asks for 'GCSEs' at Grade C and A-Levels/UCAS Points.

I have mostly been applying for Graduate Training Schemes. Maybe I should just apply for Graduate Jobs?
Yes apply for graduate jobs or employers who focus on post 18 educational performance. Employers say things like we can't differentiate between candidates as more people have a 2:1 or better. Asking for A level and GCSE grades allow an employer to identify who has been consistently been performing at a high level. Which disadvantages those who started slowly and improved with each academic challenge.
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ColdCase
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Thanks for the replies.

I'm sure i'll succeed eventually if I keep on trying but I just find it 'one thing after another' at the minute. I researched Access Courses for ages before deciding to do one and now I wish i'd done A-Levels instead.

There must be thousands of graduates out there who went to University via Access Courses. Surely some of them must have gone on and got jobs?
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edjunkie
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(Original post by ColdCase)
Thanks for the replies.

I'm sure i'll succeed eventually if I keep on trying but I just find it 'one thing after another' at the minute. I researched Access Courses for ages before deciding to do one and now I wish i'd done A-Levels instead.

There must be thousands of graduates out there who went to University via Access Courses. Surely some of them must have gone on and got jobs?
Yes people have done Access courses, gone to university and secured graduate jobs on completion. However the recruitment process has changed substantially and the number of applicants per job has grown significantly. Hence companies have put in place computer based filters with very narrow criteria. The employment agencies try to select the person who meets the current needs of the job and the clients wish list, so they also filter out many candidates who could easily do the job. Employers also tend to expect that a graduate will be able to do the job on day one, in the old model there would be a significant period of training before you were expected to become productive.

Many jobs are recruited by word of mouth, so see if you can attend networking meetings relevant to industry you want to work in. Make sure you have a business card with your contact details and be proactive about exchanging contact details. There are often groups who for no charge or relatively low cost have events which give you the opportunity to meet potential employers or hear about jobs before they are advertised. Avoid expensive events, these are more about the event than giving you an opportunity to build a professional network. Network amongst your former fellow students, they too might hear about graduate level vaccancies. If your CV is assessed by a potential hiring manager before HR and you meet the job criteria that may improve your chances of being selected for interview.

Try and make sure that any application you do addresses the points raised in the job specification. Computer based filtering tools often look for key words, if you don't use the key word or copy the description from the job spec, this can cause your application to be filtered out early.

Good Luck.
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FaraDai
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(Original post by Alice88)
I'm currently doing an access course and have been told we achieve 60 UCAS points upon completion, I'd contact the place you did the access course to clarify.


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I think you may have confused UCAS points with Credits. Access Courses are usually made up of 60 credits, either 60 at level 3, or 45 at level 3 and 15 at level 2.

Credits are not points.
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gemm45
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60 credits on a merit are equivalent to 144ucas points 45 are the total graded you can get which are graded as a pass/merit or distinction. the P gives a lower number of ucas points. IF you are looking at 240 needed points you are most likely going to need post graduate study. Do a doctorate its NHS Funded and you will get a salary.
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