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    Basically I'm starting college in September studying a access to higher education diploma in engineering with the intention of going to uni next September to study (Aerospace engineering). I'm a mature student aged 23 and I'll be close to 24 by the time I start. Will I have a better chance getting into uni If I choose a lower ranked uni or a higher one?

    I didn't know if younger students with A-levels take priority over mature students? Just I don't want to miss out on a uni place and I don't know whether to make all my five choices really low or have a few high ranked ones as well? My choices at the moment are Brunel, Kingston and west Bristol. I know I'm limited by some uni's as they don't accept the access to higher education. I've got all my gcse's sorted ( 8 at A-C)
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    I just did an Access to HE engineering course and I had offers from University of Manchester and University of Sheffield, both of which are highly-ranked. I would have had an offer from Southampton too were it not for my tutor who gave me bad predicted grades which I proceeded to smash, but that's a different story. I'm just super bitter about it because that was my favourite choice.

    More relative to your post, there was another person in my class who received an offer from Brunel. So don't worry about it, you won't be rejected because you're not doing A-levels. An Access course will get you into nearly most universities (except the top, top ones like Imperial College, UCL, Cambridge, Oxford, etc).

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by Frankston)
    An Access course will get you into nearly most universities (except the top, top ones like Imperial College, UCL, Cambridge, Oxford, etc).

    Good luck!
    Actually we have a TSR contributor who holds an offer from Cambridge based on Access results. It's always worth checking with leading unis - some are receptive to Access applicants and they won't necessarily publicise this on their websites.
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    As a general rule, it's good to have a mixture of high and lower ranked universities on your application to cover all eventualities. Always check with the universities first though, to see if they will accept Access, and also, consider whether you would be willing to do a foundation year after your Access course. I know guys from my course got places at UWE and at Coventry for Aerospace, but I'm not sure where else they applied.

    Actually we have a TSR contributor who holds an offer from Cambridge based on Access results. It's always worth checking with leading unis - some are receptive to Access applicants and they won't necessarily publicise this on their websites.
    I think Frankston was talking specifically about engineering. Cambridge are happy to take Access students for humanities degrees, but sadly, not for science and engineering.
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    (Original post by Schadenfreude65)
    I think Frankston was talking specifically about engineering. Cambridge are happy to take Access students for humanities degrees, but sadly, not for science and engineering.
    Yep. The universities I mentioned don't consider Access diplomas for subjects like Engineering but are more receptive to them for other degree programs.
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    (Original post by Frankston)
    I just did an Access to HE engineering course and I had offers from University of Manchester and University of Sheffield, both of which are highly-ranked. I would have had an offer from Southampton too were it not for my tutor who gave me bad predicted grades which I proceeded to smash, but that's a different story. I'm just super bitter about it because that was my favourite choice.

    More relative to your post, there was another person in my class who received an offer from Brunel. So don't worry about it, you won't be rejected because you're not doing A-levels. An Access course will get you into nearly most universities (except the top, top ones like Imperial College, UCL, Cambridge, Oxford, etc).

    Good luck!

    Thanks Frankston for your reply! Finally I found someone who has done the course I'm going to do. I have so many questions about it haha. If you could help that would be much appreciated :-)

    The Access to HE engineering course itself is it basically AS maths and AS Physics but only the engineering sections are taught?

    Also the uni's I have been looking at for the Access course they seem to want 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. All Maths and Physics units must be Distinctions at level 3. To me this seems like they want Distinction in every unit, is this right?

    Which University did you chose in the end?

    I'm guessing you're either super smart :P or you worked your ass off for the Access course? Overall would you say you would have to work your butt of for the Distinction mark cause I plan on giving everything I've got this year and more. I want to get into uni so badly

    Thanks!
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    I'll help as best I can, sure.

    Different colleges teach different modules I expect, but they would largely be the same and engineering-related. Mine was focused on maths, mechanical science and electrical science. Maths is what you would expect - algebra, trig, basic calculus, statistics, exponents, logs, probability, fractions etc. Mechanical science was more focused on physics and report writing. Linear motion (think gravity, velocity, acceleration etc), statics (loads on a truss, stress/strain). We had to write a few reports on things such as power transmission (gears, clutches, linkages and so on) and material properties (do experiments on the heat capacity/strengths of copper/aluminium/steel, compare and analyse the results, that kind of stuff). Electrical was all about circuit analysis, voltage/current/resistance/capacitance/magnetism and so on.

    There were a few other things too like English (which I had to do because my GCSE had expired) and study skills. Study skills was basic stuff like making timetables, CV's, with some more report writing to introduce us to proper referencing systems and that kinda thing. There was also a presentation that I was worrying about all year but ended up being super-easy and not nerve-wracking in the slightest. Ok, maybe just a little bit.

    45 credits at level 3 with 30 at distinction seems to be the normal requirement, but different universities want different marks. It's also important to consider that some universities will require you to complete a foundation year if you've done an Access course, whereas others will accept you straight into year 1 of the degree program. The foundation year is considered a 'year 0' and for most universities it's integrated into the degree program. Basically, you will be doing what you did in the Access course again but in much more detail. I purposefully went for the universities that offered the foundation year because I think that going over what I've learned again will really give me a solid base for year 1 of the degree, and judging by the modules I'll be doing there is a helluva lot of stuff that the Access course skipped over. Other people don't want to spend another year redoing the same material so they go for universities that will accept them into year 1. That's a choice you will have to make.

    In the end I had to make a decision between two universities - Swansea University and University of Sheffield. Both foundation years. Sheffield wanted 30 distinctions and 15 merits, Swansea only wanted me to pass the Access course (literally just pass, no distinctions or merits). Even though at the time Sheffield was (still is) ranked higher for engineering (it was 3rd whereas Swansea was 20-something) I went for Swansea due to a couple of reasons - I visited both on open days and simply got a better feeling from Swansea. Also, they offered me a £3000 scholarship which Sheffield didn't. I needed to get 33 distinctions and 15 merits for the scholarship and I ended up getting 48 distinctions so I more than achieved that, and now I can look forward to a nice extra £3000 to spend how I see fit. The other reason is because they're building a brand new £450m campus for engineering which opens next year, so it seemed like a good time to get in because I can only see the university improving. The course I'm starting in September is called BEng mechanical engineering with a foundation year. I do have the option to change to a MEng given I do well enough by the 2nd year (3rd including the foundation year) and I have the option to do the year in industry too which I fully intend to, again only if I achieve a respectable mark (60% I believe) by year 2.

    I am in no way super smart. I'm a completely average guy and before the course started I was absolutely terrible at maths. I hadn't used it for 9 years and I had forgotten everything. I couldn't divide.

    So I worked my ass off, and made sure I did every assignment as well as I could. I also made a couple of friends which was incredibly helpful because we'd help each other out (not by giving each other the answers, you're just cheating yourself. We'd all complete the assignments by ourselves and afterwards we would compare. 90% of the time we would have the same answers but on occasion one of us would have a different answer so we'd all work through the problem together to see what happened). Of course, that was only helpful for maths and the like. For the reports we were totally on our own. YouTube was an enormous help too, there's so much out there that can help you.

    Work hard, make sure your answers are correct, get your assignments in on time and you will get distinctions. It's extremely doable.
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    On my Engineering course, the maths covered almost everything in C1 - C4 of the A level, plus some extras - complex numbers, matrices, vector calculus. The physics was a mixture of AS and A2, but didn't cover the full range of topics. There was nothing on atomic physics or Cosmology, for instance. We covered electricity, waves and oscillations, mechanics, physical forces and quantities, and practical work in physics. I also did chemistry, which was mostly AS level stuff. We also had English and Study Skills.

    You need to work pretty hard to get mostly distinctions, even if you are very bright. It helps to prepare before the start of your course, by reading and practising GCSE level physics and maths.
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    (Original post by SmithyA)
    Basically I'm starting college in September studying a access to higher education diploma in engineering with the intention of going to uni next September to study (Aerospace engineering). I'm a mature student aged 23 and I'll be close to 24 by the time I start. Will I have a better chance getting into uni If I choose a lower ranked uni or a higher one?

    I didn't know if younger students with A-levels take priority over mature students? Just I don't want to miss out on a uni place and I don't know whether to make all my five choices really low or have a few high ranked ones as well? My choices at the moment are Brunel, Kingston and west Bristol. I know I'm limited by some uni's as they don't accept the access to higher education. I've got all my gcse's sorted ( 8 at A-C)
    You should aim high but you need to work hard so that your tutor gives you a good reference and predicted grades.

    This is Southampton's statement on mature students: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/undergr...ly/mature.html
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    (Original post by SmithyA)
    Basically I'm starting college in September studying a access to higher education diploma in engineering with the intention of going to uni next September to study (Aerospace engineering). I'm a mature student aged 23 and I'll be close to 24 by the time I start. Will I have a better chance getting into uni If I choose a lower ranked uni or a higher one?

    I didn't know if younger students with A-levels take priority over mature students? Just I don't want to miss out on a uni place and I don't know whether to make all my five choices really low or have a few high ranked ones as well? My choices at the moment are Brunel, Kingston and west Bristol. I know I'm limited by some uni's as they don't accept the access to higher education. I've got all my gcse's sorted ( 8 at A-C)
    Hi SmithyA,

    It's great that you're looking at Kingston Uni. We have an incredibly strong Aerospace Engineering programme here, which is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society.The most important thing is where you will happiest and most comfortable, think of that when applying. One of our ambassadors Jack James has written a blog about his time studying Aerospace engineering, keeping track over the course of his degree. He is now studying a PhD after writing a dissertation on ' Design, Build and Fire of a Propane/Oxyge Liquid Bi-propellant Rocket Engine'.

    Have you registered for any open days this year? Make sure you come along and ask any questions you have. Kingston takes a large number of mature students each year. I'm friends with a fair few mature students actually and they have a great time!

    Let me know if you have any more questions

    Chloe
    StudentAmbassador. Visit my ASK US profile to read more about me and ask questions.
    For places at Kingston call our Clearing Hotline on 08448429599
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    (Original post by Kingston University)
    Hi SmithyA,

    It's great that you're looking at Kingston Uni. We have an incredibly strong Aerospace Engineering programme here, which is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society.The most important thing is where you will happiest and most comfortable, think of that when applying. One of our ambassadors Jack James has written a blog about his time studying Aerospace engineering, keeping track over the course of his degree. He is now studying a PhD after writing a dissertation on ' Design, Build and Fire of a Propane/Oxyge Liquid Bi-propellant Rocket Engine'.

    Have you registered for any open days this year? Make sure you come along and ask any questions you have. Kingston takes a large number of mature students each year. I'm friends with a fair few mature students actually and they have a great time!

    Let me know if you have any more questions

    Chloe
    StudentAmbassador. Visit my ASK US profile to read more about me and ask questions.
    For places at Kingston call our Clearing Hotline on 08448429599

    Hi Chole I have registered for an open day, I registered over a month ago. I want to go on the 11th October but I haven't anything back regarding booking that date? Just on your website it says that you will be able to book a place in August?

    Thanks Allan
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    (Original post by SmithyA)
    Hi Chole I have registered for an open day, I registered over a month ago. I want to go on the 11th October but I haven't anything back regarding booking that date? Just on your website it says that you will be able to book a place in August?

    Thanks Allan
    Hi Allan,

    My advice would be to register again with the above link, you should then get a confirmation email. If this doesn't work please get back to me and I'll contact the team.

    Chloe
    Student Ambassador
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    Check on the uni website for the course you're interested - they will say if they accept Access as an entry or not. If they do then your application will be considered just as much as that of an A level student, and in fact some universities prefer mature students as they generally have a better work ethic. I will be attending University of Bath, and I believe they accept Access for their Engineering courses. The distinctions are certainly possible - you just have to work hard. I got 60 level 3 credits at distinction.
 
 
 
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