Are all Access Courses considered equal?

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SherJav
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Hi,

I am 26 years old and have been out of formal education for 9 years due to the sudden rapid decline of my fathers health which made me unable to complete my A-levels.

Now I have decided to do Accounting and Finance related course at a University.

I have been looking into several colleges that offer Access to Higher education courses but I have seen that the course study outline range
dramatically
from college to college for example:


Access to Higher Education Business Studies Croyden College

Students will study:

  • Level 3 Maths
  • Business Studies
  • International Economics
  • People Management
  • Academic Practice
  • Word Processing


Access to Higher Education Business Studies City of Guildford College

Content / Overview


  • Business communication
  • Business environment: external
  • Business environment: internal
  • Business environment: international
  • Business law
  • Financial and management accounting
  • Implementing the marketing mix
  • Independent project
  • Introduction to finance
  • Introduction to marketing
  • Management accounting
  • People in the organisation
  • Working practices for business




Access to Higher Education Business Studies
City of Westminster College

Course content


  • Economics
  • Accounting Foundation
  • Maths for Business
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Information Technology
  • Communications and Study Skills
  • Tutorial





That would mean that some Access Courses are harder than others and if all of them are considered equal after passing them, would that seem to be unfair as one has more subjects than the other?

Do Universities look at where you obtained your Access Course?

Thanks!
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kathykathykathy
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You have to remember that what's "harder" also depends on the individual. I know lots of people who are good at maths and quite poor at writing and vice versa.

You're definitely best off asking the specific universities you're interested in about what their subject preferences are. I'm currently doing a social science Access course and have applied for psychology at uni. I went to open days, asked lots of questions and emailed each university I was even vaguely interested in. What I discovered is that about 1/3 of them outright stated that they'd only offer places to people doing science courses or they strongly preferred science/maths. As I don't have a great background knowledge in science (I dropped out of school and therefore didn't take the GCSEs) and my college wouldn't let me replace one of my subjects with maths, I opted to stick with social science and have only applied to universities that care about applicants studying one science (psychology) on their Access course. I know that if I had gone for a science Access course that I probably wouldn't have found it nearly as easy to achieve distinctions.

You need to consider both what the unis you like are after and also which of those subjects you're more likely to excel in. I would assume that the colleges including maths on the course are going to be preferable for a finance degree.
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SherJav
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(Original post by kathykathykathy)
You have to remember that what's "harder" also depends on the individual. I know lots of people who are good at maths and quite poor at writing an...

Thanks for he information!


I think it would be a good idea for universities to inform on their course information what subjects should be included in the Access Course for the entry requirements.


Do you think it's a good idea if I contact universities I'm intrested in to ask them which Access Course they recommend or which college successful applicant took the Access Course?
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Klix88
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(Original post by SherJav)
I think it would be a good idea for universities to inform on their course information what subjects should be included in the Access Course for the entry requirements.
If it's relevant to the degree for which you're applying, then they will.

Do you think it's a good idea if I contact universities I'm intrested in to ask them which Access Course they recommend or which college successful applicant took the Access Course?
Always. Never try to guess what unis want from mature students.

A uni will usually specify what type of Access course they expect and can sometimes dictate what the module content needs to be in order to give you a valid application.

If you contact the unis you are considering, they should give you this level of detail of they if require particular basic skills for your planned degree.
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kathykathykathy
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(Original post by SherJav)
Thanks for he information!


I think it would be a good idea for universities to inform on their course information what subjects should be included in the Access Course for the entry requirements.


Do you think it's a good idea if I contact universities I'm intrested in to ask them which Access Course they recommend or which college successful applicant took the Access Course?
You should definitely call and/or email each uni! You can also do a Ucas course search and see if they list the Access requirements.

I even found that unis stating one thing on their website told me a fairly different thing via email. Despite not meeting the entry requirements stated on the website (I've not studied a foreign language at GCSE/A Level and there's also no English lang on my Access course), I've applied to a joint honours course for one of my five options after the uni told me that they didn't care!

I'd advise you to go to open days as well! I ended up changing my opinion of a few of the unis I was interested in once I saw them in person.
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Cambop
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I agree with what everyone has said, and definitely agree with Kathy about going to as many open days as you can. I was really surprised how different a uni feels when you are actually there and you can talk to the tutors and students. You'll also get a chance then to talk to the actual course tutor which is what I did after the official talk and queried whether the Access course I was considering would be acceptable to them.
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