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Returning to education. A Levels vs Access Course watch

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    Long story short I want to go to university and study Medicine. I will be 19 if I start both the access course (1 year) and A levels (2 years). After working for a year I am ready to return to education and get the qualifications I need to go to university. I'm slightly apprehensive about doing A Levels at my local college due to my age and the fast that I'll be 3 years older than most students. Whereas if I was to do the access course I won't worry as much. Which would the better for me to do: A levels of access course? And why? I'm really unsure. Help me please!
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    I believe A levels will open more doors in terms of higher opportunities for big universities since they are the traditional route from going from GCSE to higher education.
    And dont worry about your age, im sure they will barely notice a major difference! At one college of my friends, they had like 10+ students aged over 25 in their politics class. As long as you behave sensibly i.e Not trying to be a know it all, you'll be fine!
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    Access courses are only meant for those 21+. No Medical school takes students under this age from an access course. Definitely do Alevels, they are more widely accepted. Other subjects/courses may take access students younger than this but medicine is definitely 21+ (I am just finishing an Access to Medicine course myself).
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    Hi i was wondering if anyone can help me. I want to do Medicine so badly however didnt achieve the grades first time round so i entered an Anatomical degree only achieving though at HND level (extenuating circumstances which were documented).

    So after working and travelling for 3 years i wish to do Medicine. So im wondering should i do my highers again resitting them at college or just do an access course. Im 25 years old and really want to do this.

    Any ideas anyone?
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    (Original post by quillfeather)
    Hi i was wondering if anyone can help me. I want to do Medicine so badly however didnt achieve the grades first time round so i entered an Anatomical degree only achieving though at HND level (extenuating circumstances which were documented).

    So after working and travelling for 3 years i wish to do Medicine. So im wondering should i do my highers again resitting them at college or just do an access course. Im 25 years old and really want to do this.

    Any ideas anyone?
    The access route would probably be more suited to you, contact the courses and ask
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    (Original post by SarahGummer)
    Access courses are only meant for those 21+. No Medical school takes students under this age from an access course. Definitely do Alevels, they are more widely accepted. Other subjects/courses may take access students younger than this but medicine is definitely 21+ (I am just finishing an Access to Medicine course myself).
    This isn't actually true, you can do an access course from age 19. You generally have to have had at least a one year break from education but you can start one age 19. I don't know if the medical schools say they won't accept you if you're under 21 but you can complete the course younger than this. My friend started one at 19 and all the colleges where I live allow you to do them from 19.
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    (Original post by infairverona)
    This isn't actually true, you can do an access course from age 19. You generally have to have had at least a one year break from education but you can start one age 19. I don't know if the medical schools say they won't accept you if you're under 21 but you can complete the course younger than this. My friend started one at 19 and all the colleges where I live allow you to do them from 19.

    You can do an access course younger than 21, but no medical school accepts someone aged under 21 who is applying on an access course. This is 100% true. This is to prevent students who do badly on alevels using access courses as a "second attempt" to get the grades. Access courses for medicine are designed for mature students. You are only a mature student at age 21+.

    I did clearly state that access courses can be used for those under 21 for some other degrees, but medicine is not one of them.
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    (Original post by SarahGummer)
    You can do an access course younger than 21, but no medical school accepts someone aged under 21 who is applying on an access course. This is 100% true. This is to prevent students who do badly on alevels using access courses as a "second attempt" to get the grades. Access courses for medicine are designed for mature students. You are only a mature student at age 21+.
    If you'd read what I said you would see I was not disputing the bit about medical schools not accepting it as I don't know. Although even then, if you completed A levels and did badly and left school at 18, by the time you'd had at least a year break from education you would be at least 20 when starting the course anyway. What I'm saying is telling anyone that they can't do an access course under 21 is wrong, that's the part I was correcting in case you were telling other people this information. They're not 'only meant for those over 21' at all, otherwise you wouldn't be able to do one until you are 21..
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    (Original post by infairverona)
    If you'd read what I said you would see I was not disputing the bit about medical schools not accepting it as I don't know. Although even then, if you completed A levels and did badly and left school at 18, by the time you'd had at least a year break from education you would be at least 20 when starting the course anyway. What I'm saying is telling anyone that they can't do an access course under 21 is wrong, that's the part I was correcting in case you were telling other people this information. They're not 'only meant for those over 21' at all, otherwise you wouldn't be able to do one until you are 21..

    I didn't say access courses aren't an option for everyone under 21... that's why I said they are an option for those progressing to other degrees. The original poster wanted to do a degree in medicine.. I was advising them on what option to do for medicine.

    Many Medicine degree programs actually want a 3-5 year gap between any level 3 course and an access course. I know someone who was accepted onto an access to medicine course, paid the £1500 fee and then found out after she wasn't eligible to apply anywhere. This was devastating for her. I am only trying to help out. I don't have any experience applying for any degree other than medicine, which is why I only comment on posts relating to medicine.

    Access courses are an excellent option for lots of students of all ages, unfortunately there are lots of other restrictions in place for medical applicants.

    When I said access courses are for 21+ I was referring to access courses to medicine applicants, I probably wasn't clear enough sorry.
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    (Original post by SarahGummer)
    I didn't say access courses aren't an option for everyone under 21... that's why I said they are an option for those progressing to other degrees. The original poster wanted to do a degree in medicine.. I was advising them on what option to do for medicine.

    Many Medicine degree programs actually want a 3-5 year gap between any level 3 course and an access course. I know someone who was accepted onto an access to medicine course, paid the £1500 fee and then found out after she wasn't eligible to apply anywhere. This was devastating for her. I am only trying to help out. I don't have any experience applying for any degree other than medicine, which is why I only comment on posts relating to medicine.

    Access courses are an excellent option for lots of students of all ages, unfortunately there are lots of other restrictions in place for medical applicants.

    When I said access courses are for 21+ I was referring to access courses to medicine applicants, I didn't realise I needed to make this any clearer seeing as the original poster wants to apply for medicine.
    Do they have to stipulate on their entry requirements page about this? I just checked the medical school requirements at my uni and it says nothing of the sort. That sounds a bit dodgy, I just asked my friend who studies medicine at Sheffield and she had no idea about those requirements either. Is it different if you're under 21 but haven't got bad A levels/any A levels? Otherwise I can't see the point in them offering an Access to Med course to anyone aged 19 as it'd be useless? :/
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    (Original post by infairverona)
    Do they have to stipulate on their entry requirements page about this? I just checked the medical school requirements at my uni and it says nothing of the sort. That sounds a bit dodgy, I just asked my friend who studies medicine at Sheffield and she had no idea about those requirements either. Is it different if you're under 21 but haven't got bad A levels/any A levels? Otherwise I can't see the point in them offering an Access to Med course to anyone aged 19 as it'd be useless? :/

    I'm starting Southampton Medical school in September, and no they don't take any access students under 21. Most access courses won't take students who wish to progress to medicine who are under 21 but it seems some have done before and it's wrong. Access to Medicine is designed for mature students who have achieved in other disciplines who wish to retrain as a doctor. I'm not sure if it would be different if you haven't done any alevels but i'd have thought they would just suggest you take the alevel route.

    I checked with every medical school as I wanted to apply to St Georges and couldn't as they want a 5 year gap (mental!) between any level 3 or above course and your access program. After being told that by them I panicked and made sure to ring around before selecting my UCAS choices.
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    (Original post by infairverona)
    Do they have to stipulate on their entry requirements page about this? I just checked the medical school requirements at my uni and it says nothing of the sort. That sounds a bit dodgy, I just asked my friend who studies medicine at Sheffield and she had no idea about those requirements either. Is it different if you're under 21 but haven't got bad A levels/any A levels? Otherwise I can't see the point in them offering an Access to Med course to anyone aged 19 as it'd be useless? :/

    When I say it's wrong I mean they shouldn't take students knowing they can't apply to medicine because of their age
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    (Original post by SarahGummer)
    I'm starting Southampton Medical school in September, and no they don't take any access students under 21. Most access courses won't take students who wish to progress to medicine who are under 21 but it seems some have done before and it's wrong. Access to Medicine is designed for mature students who have achieved in other disciplines who wish to retrain as a doctor. I'm not sure if it would be different if you haven't done any alevels but i'd have thought they would just suggest you take the alevel route.

    I checked with every medical school as I wanted to apply to St Georges and couldn't as they want a 5 year gap (mental!) between any level 3 or above course and your access program. After being told that by them I panicked and made sure to ring around before selecting my UCAS choices.
    Wow that's really bad if it's not on their requirements page! I'm in my second year of Southampton law and thought about going back to do an Access course to do medicine and the college didn't say anything about being too young (this was in my first year so I was 19). I was going to apply for St Georges too...lucky I didn't then! That's so misleading :/
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    (Original post by infairverona)
    Wow that's really bad if it's not on their requirements page! I'm in my second year of Southampton law and thought about going back to do an Access course to do medicine and the college didn't say anything about being too young (this was in my first year so I was 19). I was going to apply for St Georges too...lucky I didn't then! That's so misleading :/

    Yea it's mental I know! I think it's because they have had issues before with students not meeting their alevel requirements then doing an access to gain entry, as many medical schools don't accept alevel resits.

    I think lots of them don't have it on their requirements page as doing an access course you are classed as a "mature student" which means you will automatically be 21+. I actually put st georges on my UCAS form and then found out just before I was going to submit, so was lucky, I think 5 years is a bit mental in all honesty!
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    (Original post by infairverona)
    Wow that's really bad if it's not on their requirements page! I'm in my second year of Southampton law and thought about going back to do an Access course to do medicine and the college didn't say anything about being too young (this was in my first year so I was 19). I was going to apply for St Georges too...lucky I didn't then! That's so misleading :/
    I take it you decided against medicine in the end? How comes?
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    (Original post by SarahGummer)
    I take it you decided against medicine in the end? How comes?
    I thought it would muck up my finance and I didn't want to risk it. My family also wanted me to stay and do law and I wasn't too keen on moving back home full time to go to college again
 
 
 
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