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Low grades but want to study a degree in Engineering

Hey there,

I achieved low grades at GCSE and AS level however I want to study Engineering at degree level, register as an incorporated engineer and then onto chartered engineer status eventually.

My problem is that I'm having difficulty in deciding which path to take. As I have a young family I want to take the fastest route possible and get into work ASAP. My options appear to be as follows:

1. Redo maths, physics, and chemistry at A-level and then apply at university.
2. Get on a foundation degree and then onto a full degree
3. Apprenticeships.

How long will it take to study A-levels and get good grades (A and higher) despite not having good GCSE's? If it is possible at all?

What are the requirements to get onto a foundation degree in engineering? What are the names of some good engineering foundation degree universities in Surrey/London area? Or even the south east of England?

Thanks for reading!

David
Reply 1
Hi, if your as is not that bad then you should work hard for your a levels then apply for a foundation course at a uni (like Kingston university which is in the Surrey/London area, they need 160 UCAS points (roughly DDE in your a levels) in order to get into the foundation year for engineering), however if you think that you cant get that then its your choice on whether you want retake your a levels or not. If you choose to do an apprenticeship a benefit is that you get paid whilst you study but a degree has more job prospects.
What are you A Level grades? Are you after Civil Engineering?

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Reply 3
Hey,

I am after doing a mechanical engineering degree. I only went as far as AS levels and I did very badly, ungradable, mostly! Could other non-engineering qualifications UCAS points count towards doing a foundation degree in engineering? So you really need A levels in order to apply for a foundation degree?
(edited 9 years ago)
Reply 4
Hey,

I am after doing a mechanical engineering degree. I only went as far as AS levels and I did very badly, ungradable, mostly! Could other non-engineering qualifications UCAS points count towards doing a foundation degree in engineering? So you really need A levels in order to apply for a foundation degree? I thought foundation degrees were supposed to be for people who have not done higher education.
You need to get into a decent Uni.

Redo A Levels - and this time try and get atleast ABB and then into a decent university to start your degree.
Reply 6
Original post by Da Di Doo
You need to get into a decent Uni.

Redo A Levels - and this time try and get atleast ABB and then into a decent university to start your degree.


Hey, so you reckon decent universities won't accept/do foundation degrees? I know Cambridge doesn't for engineering!
Original post by the4gs
Hey, so you reckon decent universities won't accept/do foundation degrees? I know Cambridge doesn't for engineering!


Manchester does a foundation year and that's a good Uni. They ask for BBC in Science subjects or ABB in non Science subjects (and B in Maths/Science GCSE).
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/2014/00428/engineering-with-an-integrated-foundation-year-4-or-5-years/entry-requirements/

Do your own research. Find out what Unis you'd be happy to go to and see what their entry requirements are and if they have a foundation year or not.

I just did another Google search since you did say you would prefer to be in London. QMUL does a foundation year:
http://www.sefp.qmul.ac.uk/entry/

If I were you I would just redo my A Levels whilst working part time (to support your family). Don't work more than 10 hours though because it will affect your studies.
Then I would apply to a fairly decent university because you will be spending £27k+ so you might as well go to the best university that you can, making the nost of your education.
Reply 8
Thanks Da Di Doo. I have been looking through the forums/search engines and I have seen people talking about doing access courses etc and finding their university doesn't accept them. The A-level seems better in that regard as all universities accept them so I don't need to worry about that.

I looked into A levels and found a local college who did them but however I don't have the GCSE's to enrole! However I found Oxford Learning College and I can do my A-levels on a distance learning course. The course is 1 year and I would be studying Maths, Physics and Chemistry. Upon passing with (hopefully) AAA or higher I would apply to university (thinking University of Surrey) Does this plan sound feasable?
Reply 9
you will be spending £27k+


Not the case, its not like hand over 27 grand in 20 pound notes.
You get a loan and 'spend' 9% of your income over around 21 grand.
Reply 10
I'd consider an apprenticeship instead. You've struggled academically, so maybe that just wasn't the right environment for you to learn. An apprenticeship might motivate you more and I believe you'll get paid too.
Reply 11
Hi there, what you're asking for can be done, however, you will really have to put the work in, and it's certainly another step up from A-levels. I myself did do my A-Leves, but a couple of guys on my course didn't. Plymouth university have a few partnership colleges here in the south west. They allow you to do the first two years with them, assuming you can prove you can do it, and you get a foundation degree at the end of it, then you can join the uni for the 3rd year to get your full degree. Hope that helps.
Original post by the4gs
Hey there,

I achieved low grades at GCSE and AS level however I want to study Engineering at degree level, register as an incorporated engineer and then onto chartered engineer status eventually.

My problem is that I'm having difficulty in deciding which path to take. As I have a young family I want to take the fastest route possible and get into work ASAP. My options appear to be as follows:

1. Redo maths, physics, and chemistry at A-level and then apply at university.
2. Get on a foundation degree and then onto a full degree
3. Apprenticeships.

How long will it take to study A-levels and get good grades (A and higher) despite not having good GCSE's? If it is possible at all?

What are the requirements to get onto a foundation degree in engineering? What are the names of some good engineering foundation degree universities in Surrey/London area? Or even the south east of England?

Thanks for reading!

David

Hey! it’s been so long and so many years later now, what did your career path look like? did you become an engineer like you wanted?

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