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Want to go to Uni but been working for 4 years and have no UCAS points! Watch

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    Hi, I left school and went into the Plumbing and Heating industry for 4 years, because I never went to college I don't have any UCAS points. Now I want to go to University and become a Quantity Surveyor. I was wondering if anyone could help me as unfortunately I made the wrong career choice and to go back to college would be a long and costly experience! Is there anyway I could go to university without UCAS points or some sort of fast track course I could do at college? which would bypass the UCAS points?

    Thanks for your help.
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    You will probably have to do an Access to HE course. Contact the uni(s) you are interested in and see what their entry requirements are. Good luck!


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    The key is in planning indeed. Check what the uni requirements are for your field. I contacted the admission department for all the universities I wanted to apply to, explaining what studies and work experience I had, and they told me which qualifications I needed to gain in order to be able to apply. In my case it was GCSE Maths and English, as well as a few modules on my "local" university access course. I then dropped my full time job in order to be able to study and it took me a year.
    Access courses / foundation degrees seem to be the best route into university, as they are specifically geared towards bringing people without formal qualifications to university level studies.
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    I was in the same position although I was quite a bit older when I finally decided to go for it. I didn't think it was possible for me to leave a well paid job and go back to college. Eventually I took the plunge opted for redundancy and went back.

    I would definitely recommend contacting the universities you are interested in applying to to see what they would expect from you. Often they will suggest Access courses as they cover a core of
    Skills not only in the subject you want to study but also things like basic maths and communication skills etc.

    Personally I would recommend the Access course as it had really helped me feel much more prepared for Uni than A levels would have done, especially with researching a referencing for essays. After over 20 years away from education that is a massive plus point for me.

    I was in college three days a week and lots of people worked around the course. The most important thing to ask if the Uni wants you to attend an access course is what pass profile they would need you to achieve. That way you could gauge how much work you would need to put into the course and therefore how much time you have available to work around the course. This can vary massively, I only needed to pass the course which needed 45 level 3 pass credits. Some people needed their 45 credits to include 30 distinctions.

    If you explain to the admissions team your situation they are often really helpful at giving you different options based on your own circumstances. I know friends who were told to take a specific A level subject which meant they could fit that in around work. Access courses are also taught part time in some colleges and you can even do some by distance learning, although I know this wouldn't necessarily have worked as well for me.

    Hope you are able to work something out.


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