Asked to do an Access Course before Degree?

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ayeeel
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I have just had an email back from an Admissions office at a large university following a query I made about entry to a course. S/he didn't answer my specific questions about the course at all but told me I should do an Access course before applying. This is different advice than was given to me an an open day at the uni and speaking to the Admissions Tutor in the department and s/he (Admissions office) didn't have all the info, i.e. that this is not my first time into HE (i already have a degree in another subject) and that I have done part-time study quite recently.

The advice was that for all mature students who haven't been studying *full-time* in the last 3 years, they should take an Access course before applying for a degree course.

I am just wondering if this is standard advice - have you been told the same? I am rather disheartened by this, as I feel that a 3-year course is all I can manage at this point in my life for personal reasons (financial and family commitments being at the front of my mind, as well as the fact that I am not getting any younger). Ideally I would have like to do a 4 year course leading to a masters, but realistically the masters will have to be done part-time once I have completed my degree and am in work.

Any advice on whether I should apply anyway for the degree, but do so early so that hopefully I would get either an offer or be declined with enough time for me to apply for an Access course )if I change my mind and feel that this is possible)? Any other advice appreciated, especially if you are or have been in the same position.
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username1308327
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They might have suggested that because you don't meet the requirements for the course.
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RachaelBee
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Do you meet the course requirements? This could be why they have suggested it, although a lot of universities would suggest a foundation year (if available) in a similar situation. Can you contact the head of admissions for your course to get a clearer response? I had some places forward my emails on or I skipped the admissions department completely because they didn't seem to have a clue. The people in admissions are just regular people who don't know everything and who only handle straight forward queries. The rest are forwarded on.
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GangBang
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I was always under the assumption that unis preferred to have people studying within the last three years (except if you have lots of work experience within the subject) I finished my access course in 2011. I emailed a few unis re: would this be ok for enrolling for 2015 and two said this would be fine and another response was very wishwashey (suggesting i look at entry requirements! Doh ...i hadn't thought of that smh!) . I would ring them up and ask to speak to someone from the subject area you are interested in then you can explain your situation.
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ayeeel
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Thanks, all. It seemed an odd response to me as I was asking a specific question about references and asking for clarification about the course and didn't go into my qualifications or whether I met the entry requirements. I should have contact details for the department from the Open Day I went to and will get in touch with them for clarification. I asked the same question of more than one uni's admissions dept and this one got straight back to me, so guessing they didn't contact the department. Will be interested to hear others' responses.
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Ftmshk
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No way! What would be the point in doing an access course if you already have a degree? It's a Lower qualification! I had been out of education for years when I applied and nobody suggested that to me (I went to open days at 4 Unis and applied to 2). I did come across some extremely assertive 'gatekeepers' in some admissions offices though, although most people I dealt with were lovely! Try a different uni and see what they say, or apply anyway detailing all your qualifications and relevant experience. Good luck!


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Klix88
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It's decided on a case-by-case basis, although it tends to be less flexible these days. Most unis will want proof of recent study, even if you've already gone through uni before. If your first degree was unrelated to your new subject, the uni might see an Access course as a way of getting you a standard grounding in it. That way you'll be at the same level as other students on your course.

I was one of two mature students on my degree course - I didn't have to do an Access course before applying but the the other one did.
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ayeeel
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At one of the Open Days I went to, they suggested I took an OU module to cover the "recent study" aspect. The OU module start date was too soon but this has reminded me to see if I can take it after Christmas.
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