Physio BSc as a mature student, career changer & never been to Uni Watch

decadent
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Hi Guys,
I am interested in taking a Physiotherapy BSc and would be changing from a career in Accountancy where I am a professional member of the association of accounting technicians (Diploma Level) and a part qualified member from CIMA (currently Diploma level too) and currently working as a Senior Management Accountant but have worked in a variety of roles through my 20s.

I am 31 years old and having now read around I think my age is OK to do this change after initially thinking I was too old! I have never been to university before having flunked my A/AS levels (Business Studies E, and two AS in Chemistry E & Science for Public Understanding C).

I am based in Hertfordshire and have initially emailed a local university doing a part time course in Physiotherapy (Essex), however I am bit confused in general on entry requirements and what the "done thing" is with regards to applying and getting myself ready for applying as a mature student...

..Would I be right in assuming entry to university is fairly rigid, so as a mature student I would need to do an A-Level in Biology or some other direct access course (I guess the A Level is the best thing to do as it's more portable?).

Would my existing career experience & qualifications taken to date count for anything; it would be great to start the BSc sooner rather than later but if I have to spend a year doing an A-Level that's fine.

My wife is a specialist Nurse with contacts where I can get work or shadowing experience of a physio so I am pursuing this too. I've already had a chat with one regarding the day to day tasks etc.

Anything else I should be doing?

Cheers for any help.

Matt
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decadent
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I've had a couple of replies from Uni's saying they'd recommend me doing an Access course, but check with them first to ensure the content covers their entry requirements.

However, these courses are £3.8k+ for me. Where as a fast track A Level via distance learning is £350. Why would they be suggesting this route?

Edit to add - found a couple of distance learning providers doing the courses for circa £900 which is more do-able. How do you know you're doing the right Access course, especially if I want to apply for 5 universities?
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LP89
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Hi Matt, I am a mature student studying Physiotherapy BSc at the moment. Trust me you never to old to change your career. I went down the access course route and studied access to science. As for financing the course student finance will loan money to you and if you complete a HE course this will be wiped and you wont have to pay the loan back which you have taken for the access course. As for distance learning I am not aware of any universities which accept distance learning as a qualification, I maybe wrong, just I have never heard of it.
Universities are rigid with entry requirement for competitive courses and this is due to the amount of applications well exciding the places they have available. Most universities accept access courses of mature students, for physio it would need to be access to science or health but best confirming before you apply to the university. The universities may also require GCSE in Maths, English & Science. One of the main things along with your qualifications you require is work experience within physiotherapy. As you mentioned your wife has contacts to get you experience shadowing a physio which is brilliant. I cant stress this enough to anyone who wants to gain a place at university. Most unis now days will reject applications if no experience has been gained. You also need to reflect on what you gained from the work experience on your personal statement and at interview. You mentioned part time physio courses, the only uni I am aware of which offers this is Salford and I think its over a 5 year period. A source you may find useful charted society of physiotherapy website, brilliant to keep updated on the goings on within physio. As for applying for university this can be done through UCAS website, where also you can find entry requirement for each uni. If I can help you in any other way please contact me either on this page or through private message. Good luck with your change of career, Hope this info is Helpful regards Peter
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Ali0_o
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(Original post by LP89)
Hi Matt, I am a mature student studying Physiotherapy BSc at the moment. Trust me you never to old to change your career. I went down the access course route and studied access to science. As for financing the course student finance will loan money to you and if you complete a HE course this will be wiped and you wont have to pay the loan back which you have taken for the access course. As for distance learning I am not aware of any universities which accept distance learning as a qualification, I maybe wrong, just I have never heard of it.
Universities are rigid with entry requirement for competitive courses and this is due to the amount of applications well exciding the places they have available. Most universities accept access courses of mature students, for physio it would need to be access to science or health but best confirming before you apply to the university. The universities may also require GCSE in Maths, English & Science. One of the main things along with your qualifications you require is work experience within physiotherapy. As you mentioned your wife has contacts to get you experience shadowing a physio which is brilliant. I cant stress this enough to anyone who wants to gain a place at university. Most unis now days will reject applications if no experience has been gained. You also need to reflect on what you gained from the work experience on your personal statement and at interview. You mentioned part time physio courses, the only uni I am aware of which offers this is Salford and I think its over a 5 year period. A source you may find useful charted society of physiotherapy website, brilliant to keep updated on the goings on within physio. As for applying for university this can be done through UCAS website, where also you can find entry requirement for each uni. If I can help you in any other way please contact me either on this page or through private message. Good luck with your change of career, Hope this info is Helpful regards Peter
How much studying would you say you've done a week when doing the access course? You seem to have successfully got into physiotherapy at university so I guess you're the best person to ask.
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Ak84
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hi i am also a mature student on an access to health course and ive jsut been offered a place on an OT course at uni starting next september. I think you would def need an access course, and to be honest, i have found that unis like the 'older student' i got offered interviews at all my chosen unis. You apply for an advance learned learn and if u do a degree afterwards, this also will be wiped.
good luck and go for it!
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Ironmike
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I went back to uni at 31 to study physio after boring myself silly in the city for 7 years. Best thing I ever did. Best advice is to mail the unis directly and ask them, which is what you seem to have done. Generally an access to health or sciences course is what you need, but you might be able to get in with an A level or two. I applied back in the day and got in on the merit of a 2:1 in my prior degree. The silliness of all this must have sciences to get into physiotherapy malarky is that my only science was a D grade at GCSE physics in 1994 (showing my age), yet I got a 1st for my physio degree. You just simply don't need any of the sciences for the degree. Go figure.

Anyway, your qualifications unfortunately won't count for anything, which is silly as per the above, but it is what it is. You will likely be doing an access course and then the Bsc. At your age you won't be anywhere near the oldest on the course - we had a few well into their 40's. It was a hard 3 years, but I got it done, and I'm sure you would do too. Currently doing it all again studying for my master - every day is a school day!
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BlindPenguin
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Congratulations on your life change! That sounds incredibly exciting. I'm 28 and applying for Degree courses for the first time too. I had no idea the fee for an access course could be wiped...wow I will bear that in mind.
I applied through through UCAS to higher end Universities with my poor grades and a personal statement acknowledging employment successes. Then wrote to each college, to get bespoke advice from each department. In terms of offers I was immediately rejected by all colleges. But from diplomatic emailing, I'm now up to three overturned conditional offers. I am certain your diplomas will prove you are committed to learning. In my personal case, one course is calculus heavy, so require a single A in Maths alongside work (I am booked to take exams at a local secondary school £50 per Paper). Two other courses require a Physics A Level. I never studied physics beyond AS, so I am taking that too. If you take a science you have to notify the college you won't get a 'Practical Endorsement.' This has been accepted though! Online resources are so rich and I have the books and past papers on my iPad.

Really wish you the best!
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globalchris
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Hi Ironmike, I was wondering re the tuition fees. I'have a 2:1 degree same as you myself and thinking to go down the access course route for physio. I've written a couple unis last week, still waiting for a reply. Did you have to cover the fees for the access course as well as the degree course in full yourself due to the prior degree and student loan ?I'm 35 now but would be willing to put in another few years to do sth I'm really passionate about even if it's gonna be hard.
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Ramona P
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Any of you people graduated? How are the jobs prospects for freshly mature graduates? I am going right this lane and wandering a lot around. If luck I will be starting Sep 2019 and be quite some 38 years old. Sounds so scary.
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dangallimore
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Found this thread as I too am looking into becoming a physiotherapist, following my current role within the NHS and working with physio's on a few campaigns within the Trust.
My background is digital, so need to look into the access courses. I will drop a couple of emails to local Uni's and see what they suggest. My biggest issue is having a family and mortgage to pay, so looking like a PT course or if its possible distant learning/evenings.

Has anyone done a PT course?

I turn 37 this year too for reference
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Ramona P
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Hello,
Good Luck to you and let me know how you move forward.
I am still very confused about what is next for me. Why to you want to change careers ?

Best Wishes,
Ramona



(Original post by dangallimore)Found this thread as I too am looking into becoming a physiotherapist, following my current role within the NHS and working with physio's on a few campaigns within the Trust.
My background is digital, so need to look into the access courses. I will drop a couple of emails to local Uni's and see what they suggest. My biggest issue is having a family and mortgage to pay, so looking like a PT course or if its possible distant learning/evenings.

Has anyone done a PT course?

I turn 37 this year too for reference
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Ironmike
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(Original post by Ramona P)
Any of you people graduated? How are the jobs prospects for freshly mature graduates? I am going right this lane and wandering a lot around. If luck I will be starting Sep 2019 and be quite some 38 years old. Sounds so scary.
I graduated a while back, and there were issues with getting band 5 jobs when I came out - we were still dealing with the shortage of jobs from the freeze in recruiting back in 2008/09 sort of time. Now things are much better. My last trust pretty much had constant band 5 jobs out to advert alongside 6's, and I'm interviewing for band 5 and 6 posts in my new trust over the next few weeks. I would say if anything there is likely to be a shortage of physios in the near future as the bursary cuts hit. The size of cohorts is also shrinking which will mean fewer physios out there. It's the same for all the allied health professions really. Who knows where we'll be in 2022 when you come out the other side, but I reckon physio is going to be an in demand profession, and you certainly won't be short of choices.
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Ramona P
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(Original post by Ironmike)
I graduated a while back, and there were issues with getting band 5 jobs when I came out - we were still dealing with the shortage of jobs from the freeze in recruiting back in 2008/09 sort of time. Now things are much better. My last trust pretty much had constant band 5 jobs out to advert alongside 6's, and I'm interviewing for band 5 and 6 posts in my new trust over the next few weeks. I would say if anything there is likely to be a shortage of physios in the near future as the bursary cuts hit. The size of cohorts is also shrinking which will mean fewer physios out there. It's the same for all the allied health professions really. Who knows where we'll be in 2022 when you come out the other side, but I reckon physio is going to be an in demand profession, and you certainly won't be short of choices.
Thank you for your answer Ironmike,
Best Wishes
Ramona
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