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Some advise regarding Access to science course Watch

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    Hi,

    I'm 33 years old and plan to start an access to science course in September, however I'm unsure if this is the best option going forward so have come on here looking for some advise.

    i will start by telling you my goals, if everything goes to plan I would like to start a degree in either biomedical science or forensic science in September 2015 so the access will be fine for this.

    However I suffer with a condition called cystic fibrosis which at present is well managed, however I can require 2-4 weeks of treatment each year which could cause issues with uni as I would miss time etc, think I would be fine with the access as I'm already quite up to speed on A'level content (through lots of self study) so a couple of weeks would be ok for this. So I am worried I would start a degree and not be able to complete either because of this or heaven forbid my condition did get worse.

    so I have the following questions

    1- If I complete the access course and feel uni would be too much would the access count for anything as a stand alone qualification if I was looking for work in this field?

    2- If that is the case or even if it's not would I be better doing a BTEC extended diploma in applied science as would this be better as a stand alone qualification if I look for work?

    3- can I actually do a BTEC diploma at the age of 33, as I've ben told A'levels is a no no.

    Thank you for reading

    adam
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    As far as I'm aware (and have been told) an Access qualification is not going to count for anything in the world of employment. It is, essentially, purely a means of getting into further education.

    I don't think there's an age limit for a BTEC diploma. Obviously it doesn't hold as much prestige as a degree would but if you don't think you can manage university then it may be your best option.
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    My thoughts:

    (Original post by Dafaceman7)
    1- If I complete the access course and feel uni would be too much would the access count for anything as a stand alone qualification if I was looking for work in this field?
    The Access courses are designed specifically as university entrance pathways. I don't think many employers are aware of them and I don't believe they have much currency outside university entry. They don't carry UCAS points, which many employers use as a filter system even for graduates.

    2- If that is the case or even if it's not would I be better doing a BTEC extended diploma in applied science as would this be better as a stand alone qualification if I look for work?
    I believe that a BTEC would be more flexible. It can be used for university entrance, is widely recognised by employers and carries equivalent UCAS points.

    3- can I actually do a BTEC diploma at the age of 33, as I've ben told A'levels is a no no.
    You can do A Levels or a BTEC at any age. Did the person who told you otherwise, explain why they considered A Levels beyond you? I did most of an AS Level course by distance learning aged 42, but the nearest exam centre which accepted independent candidates was too far away so I didn't sit the exams. It definitely wasn't an age restriction.

    Your age may restrict where you can study ( e.g. not schools or sixth form colleges), but if you can find an examination centre which accepts independent students, you should be able to sit A Level exams if you've studied the syllabus yourself and there's no assessed coursework element. Alternatively you should also be able to study them at any college of Further Education which offers them. As far as I'm aware, they're not permitted to exclude potential students on the basis of age.


    ETA: Sorry, the above reads as very negative about Access courses when I have the utmost respect for them. They're rigorous, a good preparation for further study and a well-accepted route into uni for people who come to education later in life or who missed out on A Levels. However, they are a single-function qualification. If you need something more flexible and you're unsure whether you're actually going to university, I just think alternatives would give more options on completion.
 
 
 
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