University of Edinburgh won't accept an Access diploma??

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purplehedgehog11
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So I'm thinking of doing an undergrad in Arabic and there aren't many unis where I can do this. Edinburgh is one uni that offers an Arabic degree and the university appeals to me so I emailed them asking whether they accept applicants with Level 3 Access to HE diplomas.

They said to me that they only accept Access to HE courses if the applicant is an 'adult returner' ('a student who has had a continuous gap of at least three years at some point in his/her formal education' - I haven't had this because I've stopped and started various courses since secondary school) and on the page of Accepted Qualifications for Entry for adult returners there's no mention of the Access to HE diploma that you can get in England. Has anyone here got into Edinburgh with an English or Welsh Access to HE diploma? It seems really unfair for them to not accept it. :'(

I'm thinking of doing A Levels now so I have a chance of getting into Edinburgh but IDK. Edinburgh strikes me as an intimidating and good university, too good for me, but Edinburgh's A Level entry requirements for Arabic (ABB) are actually lower than SOAS' (AAB), and I definitely want to apply for SOAS.

I feel like doing an Access course would be easier for me than all of the juggling involved with studying three separate A2s but I don't know if that's a silly assumption? Could anyone with experience or good knowledge of both A Levels and the Access to HE diploma tell me which one they think is easier?
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Klix88
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Edinburgh have some of the nost stringent entry requirements I've come across. For the courses I looked at, they insisted that all qualifications must have been taken no more than five years ago. And I seem to remember that Access wasn't accepted as well. For most mature students, that meant retaking A Levels, even if they already had excellent grades.

Unis can each set their own rules and Edinburgh really sets the bar high.
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purplehedgehog11
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(Original post by Klix88)
Edinburgh have some of the nost stringent entry requirements I've come across. For the courses I looked at, they insisted that all qualifications must have been taken no more than five years ago. And I seem to remember that Access wasn't accepted as well. For most mature students, that meant retaking A Levels, even if they already had excellent grades.

Unis can each set their own rules and Edinburgh really sets the bar high.
Do you reckon it would be worth me doing A Levels instead of Access in case I get in to Edinburgh? Since the degree is Arabic I don't imagine it's *that* hard to get in but I'm worried that I'll do poorly in my A Levels. Edinburgh wants ABB.
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SuperCat007
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(Original post by purplehedgehog11)
Do you reckon it would be worth me doing A Levels instead of Access in case I get in to Edinburgh? Since the degree is Arabic I don't imagine it's *that* hard to get in but I'm worried that I'll do poorly in my A Levels. Edinburgh wants ABB.
Edinburgh gave me an offer of AAB for an AAA /A*AA course and I'm a mature student. Still a high offer, but lower than some given to younger students.

You have to consider with A-levels that it's a 2 year commitment, can you afford to live and study for that long? Not only that, but you have to remember at a college you'll be with 16 y/o's whereas with Access they'll be at least 19. Access would seem a simpler route. Also are there any other uni's which don't do Arabic per se, but would let you specialise in Arabic later in the course?
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Snufkin
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Edinburgh admissions are not great; the phone operators were very hostile and seemed intent on putting me off from applying (they said they'd definitely not accept my CertHE for admission). I applied anyway and I got in. If you really want to go then I suggest you do the same, apply and see what happens.

I don't think it worth doing A levels just to appease Edinburgh, not unless that is the only university you want to go to. Perhaps if you were applying for a very competitive degree like English it would be worth doing A levels, but not for Arabic.
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purplehedgehog11
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(Original post by SuperCat007)
Edinburgh gave me an offer of AAB for an AAA /A*AA course and I'm a mature student. Still a high offer, but lower than some given to younger students.

You have to consider with A-levels that it's a 2 year commitment, can you afford to live and study for that long? Not only that, but you have to remember at a college you'll be with 16 y/o's whereas with Access they'll be at least 19. Access would seem a simpler route. Also are there any other uni's which don't do Arabic per se, but would let you specialise in Arabic later in the course?
Well I can live with my mum so money isn't an issue really, although I would rather live independently. With regard to being at college with 16 year olds, I look young and when I was at college I didn't have any friends. I doubt I'll have any friends this time around. It doesn't matter if I don't fit in because I never did.

'Are there any other uni's which don't do Arabic per se, but would let you specialise in Arabic later in the course?' I'll look into that.
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purplehedgehog11
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(Original post by Snufkin)
Edinburgh admissions are not great; the phone operators were very hostile and seemed intent on putting me off from applying (they said they'd definitely not accept my CertHE for admission). I applied anyway and I got in. If you really want to go then I suggest you do the same, apply and see what happens.

I don't think it worth doing A levels just to appease Edinburgh, not unless that is the only university you want to go to. Perhaps if you were applying for a very competitive degree like English it would be worth doing A levels, but not for Arabic.
Hmm, well I'm not SURE that I want to do a degree in Arabic. I'm considering studying English although I think I'd like to do that at SOAS more than anywhere else.

The thing about A Levels is that it seems to me based on what I've read that universities make higher offers for Access than A Levels, but I don't know if that's fair due to Access being easier (Is it easier? Different people say different things). Honestly spending extra time in education isn't that much of a big deal, I just want to go to a uni that I consider to be good (SOAS, Leeds, Edinburgh would be nice but I won't be too sad if I don't get in)!
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Snufkin
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(Original post by purplehedgehog11)
Hmm, well I'm not SURE that I want to do a degree in Arabic. I'm considering studying English although I think I'd like to do that at SOAS more than anywhere else.

The thing about A Levels is that it seems to me based on what I've read that universities make higher offers for Access than A Levels, but I don't know if that's fair due to Access being easier (Is it easier? Different people say different things). Honestly spending extra time in education isn't that much of a big deal, I just want to go to a uni that I consider to be good (SOAS, Leeds, Edinburgh would be nice but I won't be too sad if I don't get in)!
I doubt that universities make higher offers to applicants who are doing Access courses. And I don't think they are easier, just different. For example A levels are nearly completely exam based whereas Access courses involve a lot of coursework.

If you do not mind staying in college for two years and being around younger students, then do A levels, but I don't think it will improve your chances of getting into university. I know that SOAS is quite good at accepting Access students, why don't you phone the admissions tutor and have a conversation with them about it?
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purplehedgehog11
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(Original post by Snufkin)
I doubt that universities make higher offers to applicants who are doing Access courses. And I don't think they are easier, just different. For example A levels are nearly completely exam based whereas Access courses involve a lot of coursework.

If you do not mind staying in college for two years and being around younger students, then do A levels, but I don't think it will improve your chances of getting into university. I know that SOAS is quite good at accepting Access students, why don't you phone the admissions tutor and have a conversation with them about it?
Hmmmmm I'm not good with exams so I'm guessing Access is the better option for me.

I've already emailed with SOAS so don't know if it would be OTT to call them too...
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purplehedgehog11
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If I did A Levels I'd only need BBC for Leeds but if I do an Access diploma I need to get 30 Distinction and 15 Merit or higher credits...
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mightymonarch
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May I suggest you get in touch with Lindsay Jack at Edinburgh University? You can get her email or phone address from a google search of the Edinburgh University directory. She's Director of Widening The Student Experience (or somesuch title). She's in charge of helping students from non-conventional backgrounds get into Edinburgh. If she can't give you advice personally, she can point you at the department or person who can. Good luck.
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username1221160
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(Original post by purplehedgehog11)
So I'm thinking of doing an undergrad in Arabic and there aren't many unis where I can do this. Edinburgh is one uni that offers an Arabic degree and the university appeals to me so I emailed them asking whether they accept applicants with Level 3 Access to HE diplomas.

They said to me that they only accept Access to HE courses if the applicant is an 'adult returner' ('a student who has had a continuous gap of at least three years at some point in his/her formal education' - I haven't had this because I've stopped and started various courses since secondary school) and on the page of Accepted Qualifications for Entry for adult returners there's no mention of the Access to HE diploma that you can get in England. Has anyone here got into Edinburgh with an English or Welsh Access to HE diploma? It seems really unfair for them to not accept it. :'(

I'm thinking of doing A Levels now so I have a chance of getting into Edinburgh but IDK. Edinburgh strikes me as an intimidating and good university, too good for me, but Edinburgh's A Level entry requirements for Arabic (ABB) are actually lower than SOAS' (AAB), and I definitely want to apply for SOAS.

I feel like doing an Access course would be easier for me than all of the juggling involved with studying three separate A2s but I don't know if that's a silly assumption? Could anyone with experience or good knowledge of both A Levels and the Access to HE diploma tell me which one they think is easier?
Edinburgh certainly do take English Access courses as someone on my access course is half way through a physics degree (no other qualifications other than a couple of GCSEs). Have you been specifically told they don't accept English access courses for this particular degree? Looking at the website, all I can find is:



Which does not specifically exclude any access courses, merely emphasis the Scottish ones.The UCAS website entry for Arabic entry requirements state a wide range of access qualifications are accepted.

So I suspect the three year gap is more of an issue. Of these courses that you stopped/started, did you complete qualifications for them? If not, I doubt you need to tell them.
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purplehedgehog11
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(Original post by Quantex)
Edinburgh certainly do take English Access courses as someone on my access course is half way through a physics degree (no other qualifications other than a couple of GCSEs). Have you been specifically told they don't accept English access courses for this particular degree? Looking at the website, all I can find is:



Which does not specifically exclude any access courses, merely emphasis the Scottish ones.The UCAS website entry for Arabic entry requirements state a wide range of access qualifications are accepted.

So I suspect the three year gap is more of an issue. Of these courses that you stopped/started, did you complete qualifications for them? If not, I doubt you need to tell them.
I started and stopped a degree at the Open Uni, won't Edinburgh be able to see it on my loan if they accept me?
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Snufkin
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(Original post by purplehedgehog11)
I started and stopped a degree at the Open Uni, won't Edinburgh be able to see it on my loan if they accept me?
You've studied with the OU? For how long, how many modules did you do?
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Good bloke
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(Original post by purplehedgehog11)
Edinburgh's A Level entry requirements for Arabic (ABB) are actually lower than SOAS' (AAB), and I definitely want to apply for SOAS.
Don't be misled by that. Just because Edinburgh advertises that as its requirement does not mean someone with that prediction would be given an offer, nor that any offer would be for ABB. It is a mechanism to allow the university to decide that it wishes to accept a candidate it likes but who wouldn't attain what they normally expect, and Edinburgh is famous for having higher real requirements than it advertises.
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purplehedgehog11
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Don't be misled by that. Just because Edinburgh advertises that as its requirement does not mean someone with that prediction would be given an offer, nor that any offer would be for ABB. It is a mechanism to allow the university to decide that it wishes to accept a candidate it likes but who wouldn't attain what they normally expect, and Edinburgh is famous for having higher real requirements than it advertises.
Aha okay.
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purplehedgehog11
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(Original post by Snufkin)
You've studied with the OU? For how long, how many modules did you do?
I didn't complete anything lol, it was a few months
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Klix88
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(Original post by purplehedgehog11)
I didn't complete anything lol, it was a few months
You need to keep one eye on that. If it was uni-level study, it will count as a year off your Student Finance entitlement even if you didn't use SF to fund it (partial years count as whole years for the purposes of their calculation). You'll still have enough SF for a full degree, but if your OU study was degree-level then you've used your 'grace' year which would fund a resit year if you needed it.
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purplehedgehog11
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(Original post by Klix88)
You need to keep one eye on that. If it was uni-level study, it will count as a year off your Student Finance entitlement even if you didn't use SF to fund it (partial years count as whole years for the purposes of their calculation). You'll still have enough SF for a full degree, but if your OU study was degree-level then you've used your 'grace' year which would fund a resit year if you needed it.
Mmm that's unfortunate.
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username1221160
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(Original post by purplehedgehog11)
I started and stopped a degree at the Open Uni, won't Edinburgh be able to see it on my loan if they accept me?
No, they only look at your UCAS form. They don't contact student finance to see if you've claimed previously.

(Original post by Klix88)
You need to keep one eye on that. If it was uni-level study, it will count as a year off your Student Finance entitlement even if you didn't use SF to fund it (partial years count as whole years for the purposes of their calculation). You'll still have enough SF for a full degree, but if your OU study was degree-level then you've used your 'grace' year which would fund a resit year if you needed it.
I'm not sure that is the case. Or, if it is the case, I should not be receiving student finance now. I claimed the equivalent to two years funding from the OU but did not complete a qualification as I gave up on the degree but never got around to cashing in the modules for a lesser qualification. I thought it would be a deal breaker but student finance said because they consider it part time (even though I had taken on 120 credits in a year) and no qualification was awarded, it would not be taken into account.

Looking at the student finance guide for part time study, it lists the maximum number of years that you can claim as 16:

http://www.sfengland.slc.co.uk/media...e_1415_d_a.pdf

I'm not sure how SF integrate the 16 years with the standard length of degree plus one year, but I don't think the OP has to worry about it.
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