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    Hi ladies/gents.

    I'm 26 years old and from Darlington in the North East, I'm looking to get back in to education and was looking for a bit of advice on courses and what career direction to take.

    Firstly a bit of background, I messed around in school and suffered from strings of supply teachers, and high-functioning autism with visual learning which wasn't catered for. So despite being above average intelligence I left school with below average GCSE grades, which I can list if need be.

    I then went to college, and studied an AVCE in ICT, while I passed the first year, I failed the second, I was still immature and just wasn't focused at all on the course. in 2010 I did a CISCO IT Essentials short course, and gained a 90% average and passed that with flying colours because it was a mostly practical course.

    The problem is these qualifications aren't enough to get me jobs in IT, and aren't enough to get me in to university.

    So I was wondering, what would be the quickest way to get in to university, I want to switch careers to something like science or alternatively something compatible with hands on or visual learning styles. But most importantly, it has to be viable in terms of finding work at the end of it.

    Sorry if this is a bit tldr, but thanks for your time!
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    There's a few options...

    Have you looked into doing an access course? I don't know too much about them, but I believe they're one-year courses at the start of a full degree designed for people who don't have traditional grades.

    Local colleges might offer evening or weekend A Level courses you can look into. Obviously I don't know anything about your area, but there's a few colleges that do that round where I am, maybe there's some where you are as well?

    You could also homeschool A Levels and apply to university with those. I'm doing that right now - I left school when I was about 14 due to health issues and still haven't gone back (I'm 20 now). A Levels acquired through self-study are just as valid as those acquired through a school or college, but they can be a bit of a pain to get as most of the administrative framework is structured on the assumption that candidates are at school. 100% exam subjects like maths aren't too difficult, but any course that involves a practical or coursework element becomes an instant headache. It is possible if you're motivated though. It's taken me 2 years to do my A Levels at home, studying most of the time and working part time. I guess if you're really dedicated you could in theory hold down a full time job and do a full 3 A Levels in one year, but 2 or 3 years is more realistic.

    You can skip A Levels entirely if you apply for an undergraduate degree at the Open University, which doesn't require traditional grades and will get you a proper degree.

    Most of those options don't really fulfill the "hands on/visual learning" qualification, but I'm not aware of anything that caters to mature students who've been out of school for a while that does so.
 
 
 
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