cuelessguy
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Hello everyone

I've been trying to figure out where an what access course would actually allow me to study a foreign language at university.
I've approached several colleges and can't get a straight answer, it's almost as if they don't know either.

Background:

My school and college years were disastrous due to... well to put it bluntly very bad luck.

Since then I started my own business which dealt with antiques and I also have a large variety of experiences.
I'm 25 now and I've closed my business and I'd like to get into university to study Arabic and Chinese.
My business already gave me a simple understanding of Chinese and I've managed to teach myself an equal measure of Arabic.

Thanks for reading
I look forward to hearing from more knowledgeable people than I about this educational maze.
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jelly1000
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(Original post by cuelessguy)
Hello everyone

I've been trying to figure out where an what access course would actually allow me to study a foreign language at university.
I've approached several colleges and can't get a straight answer, it's almost as if they don't know either.

Background:

My school and college years were disastrous due to... well to put it bluntly very bad luck.

Since then I started my own business which dealt with antiques and I also have a large variety of experiences.
I'm 25 now and I've closed my business and I'd like to get into university to study Arabic and Chinese.
My business already gave me a simple understanding of Chinese and I've managed to teach myself an equal measure of Arabic.

Thanks for reading
I look forward to hearing from more knowledgeable people than I about this educational maze.
Try the mature students thread or the Applications thread, this is for people applying to study a PGCE so you won't get many answers on here!
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Shelly_x
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(Original post by cuelessguy)
Hello everyone

I've been trying to figure out where an what access course would actually allow me to study a foreign language at university.
I've approached several colleges and can't get a straight answer, it's almost as if they don't know either.

Background:

My school and college years were disastrous due to... well to put it bluntly very bad luck.

Since then I started my own business which dealt with antiques and I also have a large variety of experiences.
I'm 25 now and I've closed my business and I'd like to get into university to study Arabic and Chinese.
My business already gave me a simple understanding of Chinese and I've managed to teach myself an equal measure of Arabic.

Thanks for reading
I look forward to hearing from more knowledgeable people than I about this educational maze.
Moved to Applications and UCAS
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Schadenfreude65
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There's a guy at my college doing a humanities pathway in Access to HE, who has applied to university to do Japanese, so it is theoretically possible, but it may not be the ideal preparation. I've never heard of an Access course offering languages. You would need to talk to any universities that you are interested in to get their advice on how you should proceed.
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cuelessguy
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(Original post by jelly1000)
Try the mature students thread or the Applications thread, this is for people applying to study a PGCE so you won't get many answers on here!
Sorry about that.
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cuelessguy
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(Original post by Schadenfreude65)
There's a guy at my college doing a humanities pathway in Access to HE, who has applied to university to do Japanese, so it is theoretically possible, but it may not be the ideal preparation. I've never heard of an Access course offering languages. You would need to talk to any universities that you are interested in to get their advice on how you should proceed.
I did actually approach Leeds uni and they said that I should look into an access course but they didn't specify which one.

And I asked at some of the local colleges and they couldn't tell me either.

Maybe that particular course doesn't actually exist and perhaps universities won't be specific as to the type of access course.

But I'd rather be sure than to spend a year and then have to go back to the drawing board.

Arggh I wish there was a clear answer for this.
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Snufkin
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You won't be able to study Chinese and Arabic unless you are at A level standard in one of them already. Generally universities only let you take one language from scratch because it would be almost impossible to begin learning two language ab initio at the same time. You could combine either Arabic or Chinese with another subject if you didn't just want to do a language.

I've never heard of an access course which offers language modules, but that shouldn't be a problem as long as you can show an interest in the language you're applying for. It might be worth doing a GCSE/AS level in a European language to show you can learn languages.
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Schadenfreude65
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(Original post by cuelessguy)
I did actually approach Leeds uni and they said that I should look into an access course but they didn't specify which one.
In that case I guess any essay-based subjects would be ok for Access. Humanities pathways would probably be most appropriate, but I agree with Samual that some language qualification would be helpful. Did you speak to the general admissions department at Leeds, or to the department you are interested in? You may get a different answer from the admissions tutor responsible for your area of interest.
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cuelessguy
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(Original post by Schadenfreude65)
In that case I guess any essay-based subjects would be ok for Access. Humanities pathways would probably be most appropriate, but I agree with Samual that some language qualification would be helpful. Did you speak to the general admissions department at Leeds, or to the department you are interested in? You may get a different answer from the admissions tutor responsible for your area of interest.
Yes I did. I even got an email from the head of student recruitment saying that I should do an access course.
He stated that he was impressed by my experience and encouraged me to apply once that had been done.
I also looked up the requirements to do Arabic & Chinese which is set at ABB and doesn't seem to have any other prerequisite.
Apparently Leeds is the only place where you can do both.

To be honest I was a bit disheartened when I read the email from the admissions officer so I didn't ask any follow up questions. I know I should have but I'm only human.

I did do some research on access courses and humanities did seem to be appropriate and someone from Leeds college whom I spoke to recently vaguely suggested that one but she wasn't sure.
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Schadenfreude65
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I just had a look at the course on their website - it looks ideal for you, as they teach both ab initio. If you click the link about other qualifications, it says they look for 30 distinctions and 15 merits from an Access course, which is achievable (as far as I can tell from the quality of your writing). Even though it's the only university that offers that combination, it would be a good idea to look for other courses that you would be happy to do if Leeds doesn't work out, and check what their requirements are too.
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Snufkin
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(Original post by Schadenfreude65)
I just had a look at the course on their website - it looks ideal for you, as they teach both ab initio.
This is not a good thing. I think it would be a big mistake doing Arabic and Chinese if you’re a beginner in both. I'm amazed that Leeds is even allowing it, most other universities would't. It’s a 5 year degree, OP... are you up for that?
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cuelessguy
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(Original post by Schadenfreude65)
I just had a look at the course on their website - it looks ideal for you, as they teach both ab initio. If you click the link about other qualifications, it says they look for 30 distinctions and 15 merits from an Access course, which is achievable (as far as I can tell from the quality of your writing). Even though it's the only university that offers that combination, it would be a good idea to look for other courses that you would be happy to do if Leeds doesn't work out, and check what their requirements are too.
Thanks for that and I feel somewhat reassured and of course thank you for taking the time.
And yes I agree it would be best have a plan B.
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cuelessguy
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(Original post by Samual)
This is not a good thing. I think it would be a big mistake doing Arabic and Chinese if you’re a beginner in both. I'm amazed that Leeds is even allowing it, most other universities would't. It’s a 5 year degree, OP... are you up for that?
Well I'm not strictly speaking a beginner as my profession did involve using both languages although Chinese was the more useful of the two.
But obviously I'm not an expert but I can have short conversations in both and can read Arabic albeit slowly.

I confidently believe that I'm capable of completing such an endeavor.
And to be frank I can't actually see myself doing anything else. I mean I've always had an interest in history and actually helped a former schoolmate through his degree but I find myself tiring of it.
So really of all my interests, I feel the most inclined to follow languages and I also have a very good memory which I've found to be kind of useful.
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JamesDavidKnight
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Hi, I am just setting out as a student, my younger education was interrupted. I have all of the foundation qualifications sorted through IGCSE , and Certificate of adult learning, English Math and ICT, I'm also completing a CompTIA A+ certification this year, i would like to go to Anglia Ruskin university in cambridge and study BCS Hons Computer Science, now I have heard mixed things about the access course, and A level, Im put off by A Level because of the 2 years of studying, it'll mean I'm 22 by the time I'm able to apply to Ruskin, Do you think if i were to do the 1 year access course It would be enough for the university, they say it meets their minimum entry requirements but I would hate to do all that study and then be rejected over someone that has A level, do you think the course is that prestige that they might turn me away? Thanks James
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Snufkin
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(Original post by cuelessguy)
Well I'm not strictly speaking a beginner as my profession did involve using both languages although Chinese was the more useful of the two.
But obviously I'm not an expert but I can have short conversations in both and can read Arabic albeit slowly.

I confidently believe that I'm capable of completing such an endeavor.
And to be frank I can't actually see myself doing anything else. I mean I've always had an interest in history and actually helped a former schoolmate through his degree but I find myself tiring of it.
So really of all my interests, I feel the most inclined to follow languages and I also have a very good memory which I've found to be kind of useful.
Fair enough. From what you said I thought you only knew a few basic phrases, but if you can hold basic conversations and read Arabic then you should be okay. I still think Leeds is silly to let students without any experience of either language to do a degree in Arabic and Chinese, its asking for trouble!
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Schadenfreude65
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(Original post by JamesDavidKnight)
Hi, I am just setting out as a student, my younger education was interrupted. I have all of the foundation qualifications sorted through IGCSE , and Certificate of adult learning, English Math and ICT, I'm also completing a CompTIA A+ certification this year, i would like to go to Anglia Ruskin university in cambridge and study BCS Hons Computer Science, now I have heard mixed things about the access course, and A level, Im put off by A Level because of the 2 years of studying, it'll mean I'm 22 by the time I'm able to apply to Ruskin, Do you think if i were to do the 1 year access course It would be enough for the university, they say it meets their minimum entry requirements but I would hate to do all that study and then be rejected over someone that has A level, do you think the course is that prestige that they might turn me away? Thanks James
Anglia Ruskin explicitly state that Access is acceptable for BSc Computer Science. Their requirements are quite low, both for A Level and Access (30 merits minimum for the latter) so I don't think you'll have any problems getting an offer.
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theateam121
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There is no easy response to this maze, hence why even the colleges are wary. As far as I've read Leeds are the only people to do your chosen course so everything is dependent on them.

In your case I'd arrange an actual meeting with an admissions tutor and get an answer out of them but they might not have had someone apply to that course with an access yet hence why they might not know the answer.

All I can advise is to look for an access course in Humanities, a college friend who participated in this course got an offer for studying German at university. I think you have to show a knowledge of the languages or at least the capabilities to learn. Open University has some language modules on there which you might find of interest whilst the Coursera website sometimes offers courses in those languages, that will depend on how fluent you are as to whether you understand the courses enough to participate. Either way, it's all ideas to bulk up your application.

I applied to Warwick and I needed to add a few certificates from the Coursera website alongside one OU module. As I said at the start though, keep on at Leeds and arrange a meeting with one of the admissions tutors in that department because they will know what they want out of a candidate.
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cuelessguy
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(Original post by Samual)
Fair enough. From what you said I thought you only knew a few basic phrases, but if you can hold basic conversations and read Arabic then you should be okay. I still think Leeds is silly to let students without any experience of either language to do a degree in Arabic and Chinese, its asking for trouble!
That's understandable and I did think that being able to hold short conversations was a simple level of proficiency.

Apparently that course has a high pass rate as indicated by this website.

http://university.which.co.uk/univer...ears-9000-tt61
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cuelessguy
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(Original post by theateam121)
There is no easy response to this maze, hence why even the colleges are wary. As far as I've read Leeds are the only people to do your chosen course so everything is dependent on them.

In your case I'd arrange an actual meeting with an admissions tutor and get an answer out of them but they might not have had someone apply to that course with an access yet hence why they might not know the answer.

All I can advise is to look for an access course in Humanities, a college friend who participated in this course got an offer for studying German at university. I think you have to show a knowledge of the languages or at least the capabilities to learn. Open University has some language modules on there which you might find of interest whilst the Coursera website sometimes offers courses in those languages, that will depend on how fluent you are as to whether you understand the courses enough to participate. Either way, it's all ideas to bulk up your application.

I applied to Warwick and I needed to add a few certificates from the Coursera website alongside one OU module. As I said at the start though, keep on at Leeds and arrange a meeting with one of the admissions tutors in that department because they will know what they want out of a candidate.
Well they have said that they were receptive but ultimately they needed an A level or two from me which I never had the opportunity to do at college.

It does seem that I'll need to clear this up with Leeds.
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theateam121
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(Original post by cuelessguy)
Well they have said that they were receptive but ultimately they needed an A level or two from me which I never had the opportunity to do at college.

It does seem that I'll need to clear this up with Leeds.
If they're determined for A levels and it's what you need to do then you can still go to a college, but you might be with a lot of young ones as I found out or try an online provider. Oxford open college are very good, I did a History A Level with them a year or two ago.
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