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Have I completely messed up my chances of getting into university? (long read) Watch

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    I'm 18, and I'm currently in an apprenticeship. This apprenticeship completely clashes with my lifestyle and £120 a week simply isn't enough, considering the fact that I live with my unemployed mother, who looks after both me and my 13 year old sister. I'm also paid monthly, which is a complete ballache in my situation, forcing me to budget my money like crazy and still end up skint after a couple of weeks, leaving me dry for the rest of the month. I came out of high school with decent GCSE results, I easily got A-C's in everything except PSHE or something, but that was a useless subject anyway. I also gained an ICT qualification at a distinction level (I think it was an OCR), and a distinction in Business Studies. I then went into college, originally wanting to study Music Technology. The entirety of the (renowned) music courses were scrapped at my chosen college because of the cuts, and by then it was too late to apply anywhere else, so I opted for a Level 3 Extended Diploma in ICT Games Design, considering my previous quals and my interest in gaming. Bad decision. After about 6 months of the course, the entire class realized that we were being fobbed off by the curriculum itself, and that we weren't actually learning any real skills at all, we never learned how to actually make games to any sort of standard. We had countless "focus groups" come in and apologize to us, promising that the curriculum would be changed "for next year's students". It was after that, we started to mess around and not really focus on the work. I'm not blaming the course for my bad grades though, I will hold my hand up and admit that it was completely my fault that I only came out with a PPP. (120 Ucas points)
    I'm now sure that my dream/ambition is definitely to take a music production/sound engineering course, ideally at SSR in Manchester. I don't really have any music experience with instruments, but I am dabbling in electronic production and I'm about to start work on a couple of projects with friends. The thing is, I need 240 Ucas points to get in, and I only have 120. I have sent an email to SSR, asking whether I should still apply for the course anyway. I am pretty nervous about the whole thing, I feel like I won't be taken seriously at all. What should I do? Is there anything I can do to boost my Ucas points while juggling this dead-end, desk-***** job, and my apprenticeship work? I'm in such a **** situation at the moment, and it's really depressing. My wage goes up in about 15 months, but it's still not great, and I'm the only 18 year old in an office full of 30-60 something year olds, I cannot relate to anybody here. Sorry for the long winded post by the way. As I was writing this, I got an email back from SSR that said "I just wanted to confirm that although you have the relevant GCSE qualifications for entry onto the BA (HONS) Electronic Music and DJ Practice, you are required to have the 240 UCAS points for acceptance onto the course. " It then explained how if I was over 21, and I had some experience, I would be considered because I would be classed as a Mature Student. I'm 18, is this it, then? Am I completely screwed, doomed to be a desk jockey instead of a disc jockey? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated, as I just don't know what to do. Thanks.
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    (Original post by Benyon95)
    I'm 18, and I'm currently in an apprenticeship. This apprenticeship completely clashes with my lifestyle and £120 a week simply isn't enough, considering the fact that I live with my unemployed mother, who looks after both me and my 13 year old sister. I'm also paid monthly, which is a complete ballache in my situation, forcing me to budget my money like crazy and still end up skint after a couple of weeks, leaving me dry for the rest of the month. I came out of high school with decent GCSE results, I easily got A-C's in everything except PSHE or something, but that was a useless subject anyway. I also gained an ICT qualification at a distinction level (I think it was an OCR), and a distinction in Business Studies. I then went into college, originally wanting to study Music Technology. The entirety of the (renowned) music courses were scrapped at my chosen college because of the cuts, and by then it was too late to apply anywhere else, so I opted for a Level 3 Extended Diploma in ICT Games Design, considering my previous quals and my interest in gaming. Bad decision. After about 6 months of the course, the entire class realized that we were being fobbed off by the curriculum itself, and that we weren't actually learning any real skills at all, we never learned how to actually make games to any sort of standard. We had countless "focus groups" come in and apologize to us, promising that the curriculum would be changed "for next year's students". It was after that, we started to mess around and not really focus on the work. I'm not blaming the course for my bad grades though, I will hold my hand up and admit that it was completely my fault that I only came out with a PPP. (120 Ucas points)
    I'm now sure that my dream/ambition is definitely to take a music production/sound engineering course, ideally at SSR in Manchester. I don't really have any music experience with instruments, but I am dabbling in electronic production and I'm about to start work on a couple of projects with friends. The thing is, I need 240 Ucas points to get in, and I only have 120. I have sent an email to SSR, asking whether I should still apply for the course anyway. I am pretty nervous about the whole thing, I feel like I won't be taken seriously at all. What should I do? Is there anything I can do to boost my Ucas points while juggling this dead-end, desk-***** job, and my apprenticeship work? I'm in such a **** situation at the moment, and it's really depressing. My wage goes up in about 15 months, but it's still not great, and I'm the only 18 year old in an office full of 30-60 something year olds, I cannot relate to anybody here. Sorry for the long winded post by the way. As I was writing this, I got an email back from SSR that said "I just wanted to confirm that although you have the relevant GCSE qualifications for entry onto the BA (HONS) Electronic Music and DJ Practice, you are required to have the 240 UCAS points for acceptance onto the course. " It then explained how if I was over 21, and I had some experience, I would be considered because I would be classed as a Mature Student. I'm 18, is this it, then? Am I completely screwed, doomed to be a desk jockey instead of a disc jockey? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated, as I just don't know what to do. Thanks.
    Without A levels or their BTEC or Access equivalent, you can't enter university, so your starting point is to find out about taking those at your local college. (Access is for students older than you, so it's the other two you need.) You will have to suffer short term pain for long term gain, because you won't be able to have a job at the same time, so you need to decide what you want to do about money. All this can be overcome, but there's no quick fix.
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    (Original post by carnationlilyrose)
    Without A levels or their BTEC or Access equivalent, you can't enter university, so your starting point is to find out about taking those at your local college. (Access is for students older than you, so it's the other two you need.) You will have to suffer short term pain for long term gain, because you won't be able to have a job at the same time, so you need to decide what you want to do about money. All this can be overcome, but there's no quick fix.
    Thanks for the reply. I already have a Level 3 Extended Diploma in ICT Games Design, but it's only at a triple pass level, which is only worth 120 Ucas points. Are you saying I should go back to college, take another course and earn enough to go to uni? I know it's probably the only option, but I'll probably get kicked out of my house if I leave my job, and an audition or two is required to get into a music course, but I don't play any instruments.
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    (Original post by Benyon95)
    Thanks for the reply. I already have a Level 3 Extended Diploma in ICT Games Design, but it's only at a triple pass level, which is only worth 120 Ucas points. Are you saying I should go back to college, take another course and earn enough to go to uni? I know it's probably the only option, but I'll probably get kicked out of my house if I leave my job, and an audition or two is required to get into a music course, but I don't play any instruments.
    Sorry, I overlooked your 120 points already. I'm afraid you will have to get some more points from somewhere. The only other option I can think of right now is to look for foundation degrees, which may take you with fewer points and can be topped up to a full degree if you do well on it. This isn't my area of specialism, tbh, and you might be better off posting in the mature students forum. I know you don't qualify as one yet, but they often discuss non-standard ways into HE and there might be something useful for you.
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    (Original post by carnationlilyrose)
    Sorry, I overlooked your 120 points already. I'm afraid you will have to get some more points from somewhere. The only other option I can think of right now is to look for foundation degrees, which may take you with fewer points and can be topped up to a full degree if you do well on it. This isn't my area of specialism, tbh, and you might be better off posting in the mature students forum. I know you don't qualify as one yet, but they often discuss non-standard ways into HE and there might be something useful for you.
    Thanks for the advice, I'll have a look at the Mature Students forum soon. I just looked for a foundation degree and the only one I could find required either 160 ucas points or merits across the board for a BTEC in a "related" subject, of which I have neither. I'm still talking to a guy from SSR, and he's explained how I have no chance of getting into the course I want, but they offer a 6 month "Industry" course in Electronic Music Production, which could then lead onto the full course. However, I can't apply for student finance if I do this, and I would have to take a "careers development loan", which sounds a bit dodgy. Also, the full course is 3 years long, and I'm sure this "loan" will not last 3 and a half years, and I know I'll have to pay much more back than I would with a student loan, plus I wouldn't get a grant. I think I'm going to have to find a way back into college, but I don't know how to get in without a successful audition/the points required. I want to learn so badly, but it seems as though everything is working against me, what a lovely situation I'm in!
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    How many hours is the apprenticeship? Could you take A-levels part time and keep your income? With your 120 points you may not need three.
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    (Original post by Benyon95)
    Thanks for the advice, I'll have a look at the Mature Students forum soon. I just looked for a foundation degree and the only one I could find required either 160 ucas points or merits across the board for a BTEC in a "related" subject, of which I have neither. I'm still talking to a guy from SSR, and he's explained how I have no chance of getting into the course I want, but they offer a 6 month "Industry" course in Electronic Music Production, which could then lead onto the full course. However, I can't apply for student finance if I do this, and I would have to take a "careers development loan", which sounds a bit dodgy. Also, the full course is 3 years long, and I'm sure this "loan" will not last 3 and a half years, and I know I'll have to pay much more back than I would with a student loan, plus I wouldn't get a grant. I think I'm going to have to find a way back into college, but I don't know how to get in without a successful audition/the points required. I want to learn so badly, but it seems as though everything is working against me, what a lovely situation I'm in!
    I am sorry for your frustration. The Career Development Loan is not going to be the answer. It's pretty much intended for postgrads and you HAVE to start making repayments the first month after you finish your course, regardless of whether or not you have a job, which is such a high risk I couldn't ever recommend it to you. Plus, I think it unlikely you would be given one.
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    (Original post by Octohedral)
    How many hours is the apprenticeship? Could you take A-levels part time and keep your income?
    Monday to Friday, 8:30 - 5:00, 42 and a half hours a week. I don't think that's possible
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    (Original post by carnationlilyrose)
    I am sorry for your frustration. The Career Development Loan is not going to be the answer. It's pretty much intended for postgrads and you HAVE to start making repayments the first month after you finish your course, regardless of whether or not you have a job, which is such a high risk I couldn't ever recommend it to you. Plus, I think it unlikely you would be given one.
    Well, thanks for telling me that, I'm definitely not going for that now.
    I guess I'll have to just go back to college and be even poorer than I already am! That's if my mum even lets me. She probably won't as she no longer receives benefits for me, and I wouldn't be making anything at all.
    Well, I guess my future is going to have to be put on hold, I guess...
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    (Original post by Benyon95)
    Well, thanks for telling me that, I'm definitely not going for that now.
    I guess I'll have to just go back to college and be even poorer than I already am! That's if my mum even lets me. She probably won't as she no longer receives benefits for me, and I wouldn't be making anything at all.
    Well, I guess my future is going to have to be put on hold, I guess...
    I'm terribly sorry I can't help you more than that. I do sympathise with your predicament. I'm sure someone on here will have better answers than I have, but at least I can warn you about the loan. Take a read of this for why:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1538232
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    (Original post by carnationlilyrose)
    I'm terribly sorry I can't help you more than that. I do sympathise with your predicament. I'm sure someone on here will have better answers than I have, but at least I can warn you about the loan. Take a read of this for why:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1538232
    It's alright, you've already helped quite a lot, thank you.
    I do have a feeling that I brought this whole situation on myself tbh, by not putting the effort into college. That loan is absolutely ridiculous, not even considering it.
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    (Original post by Benyon95)
    It's alright, you've already helped quite a lot, thank you.
    I do have a feeling that I brought this whole situation on myself tbh, by not putting the effort into college. That loan is absolutely ridiculous, not even considering it.
    But you were younger then, and people mature at different rates. It saddens me to see how hard we make it for people who weren't ready for the decisions they had to make at school. Not everybody knew they wanted to go to university when they had to take the qualifications that would make it possible. ('m a teacher. I get like this about education...)
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    (Original post by Benyon95)
    I'm 18, and I'm currently in an apprenticeship. This apprenticeship completely clashes with my lifestyle and £120 a week simply isn't enough, considering the fact that I live with my unemployed mother, who looks after both me and my 13 year old sister. I'm also paid monthly, which is a complete ballache in my situation, forcing me to budget my money like crazy and still end up skint after a couple of weeks, leaving me dry for the rest of the month. I came out of high school with decent GCSE results, I easily got A-C's in everything except PSHE or something, but that was a useless subject anyway. I also gained an ICT qualification at a distinction level (I think it was an OCR), and a distinction in Business Studies. I then went into college, originally wanting to study Music Technology. The entirety of the (renowned) music courses were scrapped at my chosen college because of the cuts, and by then it was too late to apply anywhere else, so I opted for a Level 3 Extended Diploma in ICT Games Design, considering my previous quals and my interest in gaming. Bad decision. After about 6 months of the course, the entire class realized that we were being fobbed off by the curriculum itself, and that we weren't actually learning any real skills at all, we never learned how to actually make games to any sort of standard. We had countless "focus groups" come in and apologize to us, promising that the curriculum would be changed "for next year's students". It was after that, we started to mess around and not really focus on the work. I'm not blaming the course for my bad grades though, I will hold my hand up and admit that it was completely my fault that I only came out with a PPP. (120 Ucas points)
    I'm now sure that my dream/ambition is definitely to take a music production/sound engineering course, ideally at SSR in Manchester. I don't really have any music experience with instruments, but I am dabbling in electronic production and I'm about to start work on a couple of projects with friends. The thing is, I need 240 Ucas points to get in, and I only have 120. I have sent an email to SSR, asking whether I should still apply for the course anyway. I am pretty nervous about the whole thing, I feel like I won't be taken seriously at all. What should I do? Is there anything I can do to boost my Ucas points while juggling this dead-end, desk-***** job, and my apprenticeship work? I'm in such a **** situation at the moment, and it's really depressing. My wage goes up in about 15 months, but it's still not great, and I'm the only 18 year old in an office full of 30-60 something year olds, I cannot relate to anybody here. Sorry for the long winded post by the way. As I was writing this, I got an email back from SSR that said "I just wanted to confirm that although you have the relevant GCSE qualifications for entry onto the BA (HONS) Electronic Music and DJ Practice, you are required to have the 240 UCAS points for acceptance onto the course. " It then explained how if I was over 21, and I had some experience, I would be considered because I would be classed as a Mature Student. I'm 18, is this it, then? Am I completely screwed, doomed to be a desk jockey instead of a disc jockey? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated, as I just don't know what to do. Thanks.
    I'm sorry you're in such an awful situation. Have you considered self-teaching AS/A Levels? If you self-taught two full A Levels, whether it be over one year or two, and managed to achieve two Cs, you'd have 160 extra UCAS points (you'd only need two Ds to top your total UCAS points up to 240, but I'd advise aiming for at least Cs in order to improve your chances of getting in).

    Having said that, studying for AS/A Levels is difficult by itself, let alone whilst working. Furthermore, if you were to achieve poor grades, this might impact negatively on any university applications your make in the future. If you think you're dedicated and capable enough to do it then go for it, but you'd need to be realistic about the likelihood of achieving good grades and also about the timeframe in which you'd do the AS/A Levels when making a decision.
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    Dunno about your qualifications system but for money surely you get income support and housing benefit? Sounds like you may be living beyond your means because you obviously survived living with your mum before you got the apprenticeship and hence that £120 a week salary. Perhaps cut the internet?
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    (Original post by carnationlilyrose)
    But you were younger then, and people mature at different rates. It saddens me to see how hard we make it for people who weren't ready for the decisions they had to make at school. Not everybody knew they wanted to go to university when they had to take the qualifications that would make it possible. ('m a teacher. I get like this about education...)
    I completely understand what you're saying. When I was 14, I chose ICT and Business, because they were my strongest skills, when I left school, I didn't even want a career in ICT or Business anymore. I also made the wrong decision when applying for college, and now I'm really paying the price. How can you be expected to know what you want to do with the rest of your life at 14-16? It's ridiculous.
    I'm 18, and the only thing I find interesting enough/i'm passionate about enough to want to pursue as a career, I'm pretty much locked out of, all because I made the wrong decisions when I was younger. Well, that and the fact that you need to audition to get into music tech courses, and I never properly learned an instrument. (And now I can't even afford one) It's a bit silly really.
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    (Original post by Benyon95)
    I completely understand what you're saying. When I was 14, I chose ICT and Business, because they were my strongest skills, when I left school, I didn't even want a career in ICT or Business anymore. I also made the wrong decision when applying for college, and now I'm really paying the price. How can you be expected to know what you want to do with the rest of your life at 14-16? It's ridiculous.
    I'm 18, and the only thing I find interesting enough/i'm passionate about enough to want to pursue as a career, I'm pretty much locked out of, all because I made the wrong decisions when I was younger. Well, that and the fact that you need to audition to get into music tech courses, and I never properly learned an instrument. (And now I can't even afford one) It's a bit silly really.
    I am so sorry. I've had another thought, although it's not one I know much about. Have you looked at doing a couple of Open University units? There's a forum for it and I've seen others suggest it as a possible way to boost your entry profile. I have no idea if it would work for you, but a bit of research might reveal something. Worth a try, anyway.
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    (Original post by Benyon95)
    Well, thanks for telling me that, I'm definitely not going for that now.
    I guess I'll have to just go back to college and be even poorer than I already am! That's if my mum even lets me. She probably won't as she no longer receives benefits for me, and I wouldn't be making anything at all.
    Well, I guess my future is going to have to be put on hold, I guess...
    http://www.lcm.ac.uk/courses/Undergr...sic-Production

    Foundation courses? This one only needs 160 UCAS points, and you could try to ransfer to Manchester after the foundation year?
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    https://www.dur.ac.uk/courses/2013/i...013#essentials

    Says 'formal qualifications not required' (whatever that means), and a-level students aren't eligible. Durham is a very good university.
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    (Original post by Octohedral)
    http://www.lcm.ac.uk/courses/Undergr...sic-Production

    Foundation courses? This one only needs 160 UCAS points, and you could try to ransfer to Manchester after the foundation year?
    That's a good suggestion. He still needs 40 more points, but it's a goal to work towards.
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    http://manchester.s-s-r.com/course/fdamusicproduction

    160 UCAS points, at SSR Manchester. It's two years though, and I don't know how funding works if you want to go on to a BA. Also, you do have the problem of those 40 UCAS points as carnationlillyrose says, but you could check with them and see what they suggest.
 
 
 
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