Foundation year or Access to HE (September 14) URGENTWatch
I've just finished my A levels and now have an unconditional offer to study on the foundation programme (interdisciplinary science) at the University of Leeds, however, during the summer I was worried I wouldn't make it so I enrolled myself onto an access to HE (combined science) incase I didn't get in.
The dilemma for me is that now I'm considering taking the access course even though my place at Leeds has been confirmed. The way i see it, both the access course and the foundation year lead to the same place (the same degree) except that the foundation year is specific to access a degree at Leeds and isn't a qualification, whereas the access course is classed as a level 3 qualification and could be used to apply for other universities such as Manchester (my first choice).
Also doing the access course would save me money in the long term because I can stay home for an extra year and avoid an extra year of student loans since the foundation year costs nearly as much as a first year (but I will probably have to work at least PT as I won't get any maintenance grant/loan).
On the other hand I'm aware that the foundation year will most likely prepare me better for my degree than the access course because it actually within the university rather than a college...
Taking the access course does seem like a more rational choice to make in the long run even though it feels like I'm wasting an opportunity many would grasp straight away... plus all the effort this year to apply and traveling to interviews etc. (but I don't mind too much about that)
any advice on this issue would be much appreciated
If you are planning on doing a science degree, consider that some universities won't accept Access as a suitable qualification for degrees like engineering or physics. If you have a decent grade in Maths A Level, this shouldn't be a problem.
If you do the foundation year (and pass it) you have a guaranteed place for first year, but this won't be the case if you do Access. You will have to go through the whole UCAS process again, with no guarantees that you will get offers.
It might also be worth talking to Manchester to see what their advice is: would they let you transfer if you get a good grade on your foundation year at leeds, and would they consider you if you do Access?
and do you not have to pay for them anyway? The one at my local college cost around £2000, and it wouldn't be on student loan so I would have to pay for it myself (which I can't do)
Theres a possibility that you might be able to take the foundation year at Leeds and the transfer to Manchester university after that, which is something I'm considering doing.
Happy to answer any questions regarding foundation years.
Apparently Higher Access courses are harder than foundation degrees and I won't lie I struggled but persevered and done amazing I got offers from all my uni choices.
I have only just turned 20 the ages of people on my course were 19-40.
Foundation degrees are good because if you pass you're guaranteed a place at the uni and you have the uni experience.
I decided to take the access course in the end, but deferred my offer at leeds for next september, hopefully I can convince them to let me go onto first year or might withdraw and apply to other Unis.
Best of luck