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    Hi Everyone,

    Newbie here to TSR (Hi!:hi:) who would like to go into HE, but i admit i am struggling with the correct path to choose and financial options.

    I'm 34, and went to the typical "Grange Hill" style abysmal local comp and left with mostly D/E/F grades at GCSE's and dropped out of a BTEC course after a year at college as i came from a poor background and was bored of not having any money and it was the singular biggest mistake of my life, something i am reminded of constantly as i have had about 30 dead end jobs in about 15 years, but have recently started work as a temp Caretaker at a local Uni and whilst my other co-workers treat it as a way to get beer tokens, i enjoy soaking in the atmos of the place, and i would SO love to get back into education, it's totally inspired me, i will be honest. I am a cynic and the funny thing is, the few weeks i've been here has started to melt the bad "dont get above your station" ethos that i learned after years of working with curmudgeons.

    So i'd like to get back into education, HE hopefully this time, this would mean obviously an Access course but my GCSE's are so bad i think they would preclude me (D at Science and English, F at Maths) from going straight onto one, i understand from the research i've done so far that some colleges do a full time "Introduction to Access" style course, which includes doing Maths/Science/English GCSE's as well, but i've also seen this at the College of West Anglia in Kings Lynn, which seemingly allows entry onto the course via completion of an essay for assessment if you do not meet the GSCE level requirement for the course: http://www.cwa.ac.uk/cms_view.php?pa...5&template=yes

    So i'm guess i'm asking two questions: how do you get into HE, ideally on an Access course with shocking GCSE's, if at all, and how do you guys manage financially to do the course as i'm not sure if Access, or Introduction to Access is coverable by a student loan, plus there is the obvious costs of living as i dont think i could get a Saturday job at my age (i couldnt even get one in the 90's) but could do an evening cleaning job but i am just worried it wont be enough to live on, i was kinda counting on maybe the student loan helping me, but i know that i might not be eligible for it.

    I apologise if it sounds as if i havent done my homework, but it all seems SO complex nowadays, the last time i applied for a course, i think John Major was still the PM, and you were freely given prospectuses by the local FE college and the courses were free and you got a £600 a year grant, it just all looks so AAAAAARGGH! complicated! If anyone has any advice, this noob would be very grateful, even in the end if it will just be a pipe dream.

    Thanks in advance
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    (Original post by comfysofa)
    Hi Everyone,

    Newbie here to TSR (Hi!:hi:) who would like to go into HE, but i admit i am struggling with the correct path to choose and financial options.

    I'm 34, and went to the typical "Grange Hill" style abysmal local comp and left with mostly D/E/F grades at GCSE's and dropped out of a BTEC course after a year at college as i came from a poor background and was bored of not having any money and it was the singular biggest mistake of my life, something i am reminded of constantly as i have had about 30 dead end jobs in about 15 years, but have recently started work as a temp Caretaker at a local Uni and whilst my other co-workers treat it as a way to get beer tokens, i enjoy soaking in the atmos of the place, and i would SO love to get back into education, it's totally inspired me, i will be honest. I am a cynic and the funny thing is, the few weeks i've been here has started to melt the bad "dont get above your station" ethos that i learned after years of working with curmudgeons.

    So i'd like to get back into education, HE hopefully this time, this would mean obviously an Access course but my GCSE's are so bad i think they would preclude me (D at Science and English, F at Maths) from going straight onto one, i understand from the research i've done so far that some colleges do a full time "Introduction to Access" style course, which includes doing Maths/Science/English GCSE's as well, but i've also seen this at the College of West Anglia in Kings Lynn, which seemingly allows entry onto the course via completion of an essay for assessment if you do not meet the GSCE level requirement for the course: http://www.cwa.ac.uk/cms_view.php?pa...5&template=yes

    So i'm guess i'm asking two questions: how do you get into HE, ideally on an Access course with shocking GCSE's, if at all, and how do you guys manage financially to do the course as i'm not sure if Access, or Introduction to Access is coverable by a student loan, plus there is the obvious costs of living as i dont think i could get a Saturday job at my age (i couldnt even get one in the 90's) but could do an evening cleaning job but i am just worried it wont be enough to live on, i was kinda counting on maybe the student loan helping me, but i know that i might not be eligible for it.

    I apologise if it sounds as if i havent done my homework, but it all seems SO complex nowadays, the last time i applied for a course, i think John Major was still the PM, and you were freely given prospectuses by the local FE college and the courses were free and you got a £600 a year grant, it just all looks so AAAAAARGGH! complicated! If anyone has any advice, this noob would be very grateful, even in the end if it will just be a pipe dream.

    Thanks in advance
    I can't really help you, but I shall welcome you to TSR!

    Welcome to :tsr:

    Thanks for joining! I know it can be confusing at first but soon you'll become addicted to it . . . :awesome:

    Here are a few links to get you started:

    Chat: Blabber about random stuff!
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    Hobbies and Interests: Find out who shares your interests and do some bonding!
    Debate and Current Affairs: Be warned. TSR loves a good debate.
    Study Help: Struggling with exams? Homework? Revision? Head here!
    University and University Courses
    : Do you want to go to university? Everything you'll ever need to know is here!
    University and HE Colleges
    : The home of UCAS and all that jazz.

    If you have any questions, you can ask a member or post in the TSR News, Help and Feedback Section.
    There's so much more on TSR, so feel free to ask any questions you like, and have a great time! :ahee:

    Edminzodo
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    I'd definitely recommend retaking GCSE English and maths, and getting at least a C in both first, before starting an access course. Many in my access course have struggled with their re sits along side the Access course.
    What career are you interested in?

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    Most further education places have schemes for GCSE equivalent in English and maths, but the best place to look is somewhere local to you. Contact the providers you could get to and they'll give you the options.

    Access is covered by a loan (it's a 24+ Learning Loan) which is paid directly to the college. If you go on to pass a degree, you won't need to pay it back.

    What do you want to study?


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    (Original post by Edminzodo)
    I can't really help you, but I shall welcome you to TSR!

    Welcome to :tsr:

    Thanks for joining! I know it can be confusing at first but soon you'll become addicted to it . . . :awesome:

    Here are a few links to get you started:

    Chat: Blabber about random stuff!
    Life and Style: Get advice and discuss everyday issues, from fashion to health.
    Hobbies and Interests: Find out who shares your interests and do some bonding!
    Debate and Current Affairs: Be warned. TSR loves a good debate.
    Study Help: Struggling with exams? Homework? Revision? Head here!
    University and University Courses
    : Do you want to go to university? Everything you'll ever need to know is here!
    University and HE Colleges
    : The home of UCAS and all that jazz.

    If you have any questions, you can ask a member or post in the TSR News, Help and Feedback Section.
    There's so much more on TSR, so feel free to ask any questions you like, and have a great time! :ahee:

    Edminzodo
    Resident Stormtrooper and Welcome Squadder :holmes:

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Thanks Edminzodo, i am still trying to get to grips with the forum, i'm not really a member of many forums because i'm not a huge fan of the backstabbing and *****iness i've encountered on other forum's i've been a member of over the years, so thanks for the freindly welcome
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    (Original post by Farmerjojo)
    Most further education places have schemes for GCSE equivalent in English and maths, but the best place to look is somewhere local to you. Contact the providers you could get to and they'll give you the options.

    Access is covered by a loan (it's a 24+ Learning Loan) which is paid directly to the college. If you go on to pass a degree, you won't need to pay it back.

    What do you want to study?


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    After my original post i did a bit more research (which i should have done before i guess!) and realise now that A-C grade GCSE's in the key subjects are required. I'd looked into the basics of doing an Access course many years ago when, (from memory) you could get on one through relavant and/or life exeprience, obviously it's changed. Some local FE colleges seem to offer a "Pre Access to HE Programme" which i realise i will now have to take as a first step, it's no biggie to re-do my GCSE's as i am very keen to re-do them, having failed them so badly when i was 16. Not all FE colleges do the Pre-Access course, so it seems i may have to move away which is not necessarily a problem as i live in social housing and may be able to get a swap to an area with a FE college that does it. I know i need the GCSE's really as i am hoping to eventually (if all goes well) a healthcare or Social Work related degree. Thanks for the advice
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    Can you do GCSEs online via distance learning from anywhere? Might be easier, but I'm not sure if that's available in all subjects and what you'd need.

    It's worth doing though, I know I'm putting far more effort into my Access course now that I'm older. Working rubbish jobs definitely helps with motivation!


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    (Original post by comfysofa)
    Hi Everyone,

    Newbie here to TSR (Hi!:hi:) who would like to go into HE, but i admit i am struggling with the correct path to choose and financial options.

    I'm 34, and went to the typical "Grange Hill" style abysmal local comp and left with mostly D/E/F grades at GCSE's and dropped out of a BTEC course after a year at college as i came from a poor background and was bored of not having any money and it was the singular biggest mistake of my life, something i am reminded of constantly as i have had about 30 dead end jobs in about 15 years, but have recently started work as a temp Caretaker at a local Uni and whilst my other co-workers treat it as a way to get beer tokens, i enjoy soaking in the atmos of the place, and i would SO love to get back into education, it's totally inspired me, i will be honest. I am a cynic and the funny thing is, the few weeks i've been here has started to melt the bad "dont get above your station" ethos that i learned after years of working with curmudgeons.

    So i'd like to get back into education, HE hopefully this time, this would mean obviously an Access course but my GCSE's are so bad i think they would preclude me (D at Science and English, F at Maths) from going straight onto one, i understand from the research i've done so far that some colleges do a full time "Introduction to Access" style course, which includes doing Maths/Science/English GCSE's as well, but i've also seen this at the College of West Anglia in Kings Lynn, which seemingly allows entry onto the course via completion of an essay for assessment if you do not meet the GSCE level requirement for the course: http://www.cwa.ac.uk/cms_view.php?pa...5&template=yes

    So i'm guess i'm asking two questions: how do you get into HE, ideally on an Access course with shocking GCSE's, if at all, and how do you guys manage financially to do the course as i'm not sure if Access, or Introduction to Access is coverable by a student loan, plus there is the obvious costs of living as i dont think i could get a Saturday job at my age (i couldnt even get one in the 90's) but could do an evening cleaning job but i am just worried it wont be enough to live on, i was kinda counting on maybe the student loan helping me, but i know that i might not be eligible for it.

    I apologise if it sounds as if i havent done my homework, but it all seems SO complex nowadays, the last time i applied for a course, i think John Major was still the PM, and you were freely given prospectuses by the local FE college and the courses were free and you got a £600 a year grant, it just all looks so AAAAAARGGH! complicated! If anyone has any advice, this noob would be very grateful, even in the end if it will just be a pipe dream.

    Thanks in advance
    Have you thought about OU? It's a good place to start, and 120 credits is enough to transfer to 1st year of most Uni's and 2nd year of others.
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    (Original post by Farmerjojo)
    Can you do GCSEs online via distance learning from anywhere? Might be easier, but I'm not sure if that's available in all subjects and what you'd need.

    It's worth doing though, I know I'm putting far more effort into my Access course now that I'm older. Working rubbish jobs definitely helps with motivation!


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Hiya Farmerjojo! I would do, and common sense would say approach GCSE's from that avenue from a financial point of view, but i have a problem in that i have quite bad depression caused partly by personal issues, and also from most of the jobs i've had, i find nothing as dehumanizing from a "first world" perspective as doing a crappy, dirty, dead end job, with a terrible boss, lack of training, and lack of support, i've had that SO many times, coupled with workplace bullying that i literally struggle to function very well. I can sort of make it through the day at work ok, but otherwise i cant seem to function. I need out of full time menial work and i need it badly, for the sake of my dignity and sanity, i've already had a mini-breakdown through stress and i am tired of being dosed "psychiatric smarties" (anti-depressants) because they just slow you down and take away your spark. I know i would be a lot better if i was out of the dead end job environment and learning how to do a new career, PROPERLY rather than the "yeah, this wants to go over there mate, see you in a bit...what do you mean WHERE? it's bloody obvious innit?" training that i always seem to get. :cry2:

    Plus i have experience of learning out of work hours, it didn't go too well as i was permanantly rushing around everywhere trying to fit everything in! I quit not long before i finished the course, even though i put loads of effort in, as the tutor started doing a disappearing act every other week and describing exactly what he meant wasn't exactly his strong point lol! :eek:

    I have thought about Open University but again, i just dont think i'm in the right frame of mind to work full time and learn too, i know that sounds a bit odd for someone thinking of committing to full time education but i was one of those kids who loved school and college despite my screw ups!

    PS.) I know what you mean with motivation!
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    It doesn't sound odd at all. I've suffered with depression pretty severely my whole life. The state of my life and career was a result of, and now the cause


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    Oops posted too early, there!


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    I agree with other posters, you should first do GCSEs in English and Maths (and Science if you want to do a science degree). Most jobs these days will also require GCSEs in English and Maths so it is well worth your time to do them. I would not recommend doing GCSE equivalents because they are no longer accepted by the majority of universities.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    I agree with other posters, you should first do GCSEs in English and Maths (and Science if you want to do a science degree). Most jobs these days will also require GCSEs in English and Maths so it is well worth your time to do them. I would not recommend doing GCSE equivalents because they are no longer accepted by the majority of universities.
    Hi Snufkin,

    Thanks for the advice, it's looking obvious that GCSE's are needed, which i'm hoping i can do with a pre-access course, although as you quite rightly point out, i dont want to be doing "equivalents" as i've noticed one of the pre-access courses offering them, and it would be nice to have "the real deal" under my belt to show for the effort. Also when i was 16 and applying for FE the first time, i swallowed all that "equivalent" stuff when doing a BTEC 1st, and when i tried to explain the equivalents to prospective employers when i dropped out a year later (i passed the 1st, didnt go on to do the National Diploma) they understandably looked puzzled...
 
 
 
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