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    There's a reason why I decided to post this thread here and not in the general career advice sub forum, and that's because the members on this sub forum know me better the other ones on TSR and would therefore be able to give me advise that's more personal.

    Anyway, my worry is that I may not meet my entry requirements (300) to study the software development course I want. The reason I'm struggling with some of my A-Levels is because I chose the wrong A-Levels at AS and because I had a lot of family related and health related issues going on during AS which caused to not perform as well as I could.

    Following A2, I had to drop an A-Level because I totally failed it and this meant that I had to pick up an A-Level to complete in one year. I didn't have any particular interest in the subject I picked u but i did it just to pass and to try get into university. Because of that, I've had 50% more lessons than anyone else in A2 and I currently have 12 exams to do.(Including couple AS resits).

    Now that it's exam seasons I've lost all motivation to study for my exams.. Apart from Computing obviously. I'd rather do something that I actually enjoy which is Computing/Coding than studying for subjects that are not even remotely relevant to my university course of interest.

    Basically, I'm wondering if I should just push and try to get into uni, or should I just do an apprenticeship in software development? Bare in mind if I went to uni, I'd have like £44k debt.

    What would be best for me?
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    I'd choose uni everyday.

    You'd have to be very careful with an apprenticeship. Even though you'd be getting real world experience, you need to make sure it's valuable for you and can help you move into bigger and better things - some companies take apprentices and train them up (on a very low wage) just do do exactly what they want and it's not that useful for them moving on.

    Uni will give you the foundations to do pretty much anything you'd like in any company you come across and you can do a placement year to get solid real-world experience (usually on a fairly decent wage - minimum at least).

    You shouldn't really think as repaying your loans as a debt in the usual sense, as the repayments are very generous and they're repaid on your payslip each month like your other taxes so you never really see that money - I like to call it a 'graduate tax' as I think it gives it a better description.


    Out of interest, why are you applying to do Software Engineering over Computer Science?
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    If I was you, go for uni.

    As much as you may end up in debt, theres loads of financial help out there. You don't have to pay your student loan back until you're earning £21k +, and it gets written off after 30 years.

    as for apprenticeships, i know a bunch of people who went for one because it was the easier way out, to earn and to do something that they enjoy. I know one person who absolutely loves her apprenticeship (because as she sits an exam, she goes up the pay scale and at 18 she's now earning £20k when she started on £10k) on the other hand i know 3 people at various car companies who absolutely hate it because they aren't treated fairly, doing more of an admin person or a secretary kind of job. they aren't taken seriously and they are stuck doing that for another three years. they do their job and come home bored asf. all of them wish they had stuck to a levels and gone to uni!

    even if you don't get 300 points, theres always clearing! the majority of people last year that went to uni did so through the process of clearing, not by meeting their entry requirements! so theres hope for all!
    even after all that, you could retake a year of a levels, or take a gap year and sort things out for yourself. ensure software development is definitely something you want to do (I did computing and HATED it!!) you could always get a part time job and figure out what you want to do. plus if you decided for an apprenticeship, you may already be too late to apply for starting in September this year?

    hope this kinda helps!
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    (Original post by Push_More_Button)
    I'd choose uni everyday.

    You'd have to be very careful with an apprenticeship. Even though you'd be getting real world experience, you need to make sure it's valuable for you and can help you move into bigger and better things - some companies take apprentices and train them up (on a very low wage) just do do exactly what they want and it's not that useful for them moving on.

    Uni will give you the foundations to do pretty much anything you'd like in any company you come across and you can do a placement year to get solid real-world experience (usually on a fairly decent wage - minimum at least).

    You shouldn't really think as repaying your loans as a debt in the usual sense, as the repayments are very generous and they're repaid on your payslip each month like your other taxes so you never really see that money - I like to call it a 'graduate tax' as I think it gives it a better description.


    Out of interest, why are you applying to do Software Engineering over Computer Science?
    I assume there will be more programming in SE than CS. Would UNIs even accept me if I don't meet their requirements but still have lots of interest in their subject and have extensive knowledge(more than most in my year, not being big headed or anything) about coding?
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    (Original post by Async)
    I assume there will be more programming in SE than CS. Would UNIs even accept me if I don't meet their requirements but still have lots of interest in their subject and have extensive knowledge(more than most in my year, not being big headed or anything) about coding?
    I can't speak for every uni, but at mine the first year was identical between both and in the second year the compulsory programming modules were taken by both Computer Science and Software Engineering. In Computer Science you had to study computer architecture and then had the choice of systems admin/unix programming or artificial intelligence, in Software Engineering they had to do information systems (which was something about OOP design we'd already covered in other modules but with no programming) and electronic business (which was something like why a business might want to use software). One of my friends did Software Engineering and he complained that most of his modules were boring and the choices Computer Science got was better.

    I'd really recommend you take a really good look at the module catalogues of the uni's you're applying to and compare CS vs SE.


    Re: Clearing - If they have open places and you ring up in the morning you can usually ask to speak to a admissions tutor and explain things to them and they might take you on.
    If you think you may need to go through clearing prepare for it beforehand - write down all the phone numbers of the uni's you're interested in, check the UCAS website ASAP in the morning and get yourself on the phone (a landline is better because I found the mobile networks tend to get overwhelmed).
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    (Original post by Push_More_Button)
    I can't speak for every uni, but at mine the first year was identical between both and in the second year the compulsory programming modules were taken by both Computer Science and Software Engineering. In Computer Science you had to study computer architecture and then had the choice of systems admin/unix programming or artificial intelligence, in Software Engineering they had to do information systems (which was something about OOP design we'd already covered in other modules but with no programming) and electronic business (which was something like why a business might want to use software). One of my friends did Software Engineering and he complained that most of his modules were boring and the choices Computer Science got was better.



    I'd really recommend you take a really good look at the module catalogues of the uni's you're applying to and compare CS vs SE.
    May I add, I'm not great a maths neither.
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    (Original post by Async)
    May I add, I'm not great a maths neither.
    What A level did you pick up in one year?
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    (Original post by Tinkerbell1997)
    If I was you, go for uni.

    even if you don't get 300 points, theres always clearing! the majority of people last year that went to uni did so through the process of clearing, not by meeting their entry requirements! so theres hope for all!
    even after all that, you could retake a year of a levels, or take a gap year and sort things out for yourself. ensure software development is definitely something you want to do (I did computing and HATED it!!) you could always get a part time job and figure out what you want to do. plus if you decided for an apprenticeship, you may already be too late to apply for starting in September this year?

    hope this kinda helps!
    I'm 100% sure about what I want to do. Infact, that's probably why I'm having doubts of passing my A-Levels, because I like what I do soo much to be bothered to do my non related A-Levels. Check any of my threads, or posts. You'll see where the majority of them are. I've done a lot of work to do with programming, I even freelance. But UNIs don't care about all of that. That want to know how well I can pass a subject that's not relevant.
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    Sorry, I edited whilst you were replying to answer your clearing question.


    (Original post by Async)
    May I add, I'm not great a maths neither.
    I'm not particularly either, I found A level maths quite challenging back when I did it at sixth form but I didn't have too many issues whilst at uni.
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    (Original post by Push_More_Button)
    Re: Clearing - If they have open places and you ring up in the morning you can usually ask to speak to a admissions tutor and explain things to them and they might take you on.
    If you think you may need to go through clearing prepare for it beforehand - write down all the phone numbers of the uni's you're interested in, check the UCAS website ASAP in the morning and get yourself on the phone (a landline is better because I found the mobile networks tend to get overwhelmed).
    Thanks, that does give me some sort of hope that I could actually still get in. I will do that thanks .

    As for your SE vs CompSci. I will see when I get to the course on what I like most. My main focus for now is making it there and not about what Course I do for now. Afterall, in the universities I've chosen or looked at, EVERY Computing type degree all had a common first year, meaning at the end of first year, I could switch to do Computer Science with no issues at all.
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    (Original post by Async)
    May I add, I'm not great a maths neither.
    I'm not good at maths but I'm going to do the computer science with a science foundation year this year as I never took maths at A level or Computing, but some CS student I have talked to said the maths involved is manageable, this is coming from students who hadn't done maths since GCSE, I think your better off doing the degree than an apprenticeship and I'm show if you drop 1 grade or so then you still got a good chance being accepted from your firm or insurance at least
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    (Original post by Audiology-Med)
    I'm not good at maths but I'm going to do the computer science with a science foundation year this year as I never took maths at A level or Computing, but some CS student I have talked to said the maths involved is manageable, this is coming from students who hadn't done maths since GCSE, I think your better off doing the degree than an apprenticeship and I'm show if you drop 1 grade or so then you still got a good chance being accepted from your firm or insurance at least
    Dropping one grade, I'm worried about dropping 2 or 3.
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    That's exactly what I'd recommend as you'd know for certain what modules were on offer for your second year, because they can change each year.
    At the start of my final year I had to choose 4 modules, but around a week before term started I had an email to say that the 2 modules I picked for semester 1 were no longer on offer so I had to change them and then around a week after I started I had another email telling me 1 of my choices for semester 2 had also been removed so I had to rechoose.


    Which uni's have you applied to?
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    Mate, I recommend the Capgemini Higher Apprenticeship Sponsored degree programme. Search it up and I'm sure you will love it.
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    (Original post by Async)
    Dropping one grade, I'm worried about dropping 2 or 3.
    I think at this point of time, just get off the internet and start working considering exam season has already started, you never know what might happen until you actually done the exams, you might surprise yourself and block out the doubts of failing as that might effect your studying habits. Like me your main motivation should be starting your university course, I'm doing unrelated A levels right now and your actual UCAS points will actually affect you on getting onto a good graduate scheme, so aim for at least 300 UCAS points e.g. BBB-A*CC to make life easier in the future
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    (Original post by Push_More_Button)
    That's exactly what I'd recommend as you'd know for certain what modules were on offer for your second year, because they can change each year.
    At the start of my final year I had to choose 4 modules, but around a week before term started I had an email to say that the 2 modules I picked for semester 1 were no longer on offer so I had to change them and then around a week after I started I had another email telling me 1 of my choices for semester 2 had also been removed so I had to rechoose.


    Which uni's have you applied to?
    I want to make these decisions on my own in regards to picking the right course. I don't want to listen to what other people say just because they said I should do so. Infact, me listening to peoples recommendations for me is what got me into the position I am in now. Someone recommended for me to do maths and despite me not being good at it. I then failed it and now I'm here. if I had never listened to them, I would probably not have made this thread.

    I don;t think people understand when I say I really STRUGGLE with maths. I'm certain I have some sort of underlying neurological issue that causes it, I just haven't had time to get it properly diagnosed.
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    (Original post by Audiology-Med)
    I think at this point of time, just get off the internet and start working considering exam season has already started, you never know what might happen until you actually done the exams, you might surprise yourself and block out the doubts of failing as that might effect your studying habits. Like me your main motivation should be starting your university course, I'm doing unrelated A levels right now and your actual UCAS points will actually affect you on getting onto a good graduate scheme, so aim for at least 300 UCAS points e.g. BBB-A*CC to make life easier in the future
    I think that will be the best. No more internet and laptop for me. Thanks though. I will try my best even though I messed up already. Too much to revise.
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    (Original post by Async)
    I don;t think people understand when I say I really STRUGGLE with maths. I'm certain I have some sort of underlying neurological issue that causes it, I just haven't had time to get it properly diagnosed.
    That may be true, but it's not like the maths you've done at A level. I'd say the Decision maths bit is probably the closest but the sorts of things you'll be doing at uni is discrete mathematics, which is primarily concerning logic (like you use when programming) and the maths behind the data structures you use. It can be challenging because it's new concepts...
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    (Original post by xXxSharkxXx)
    Mate, I recommend the Capgemini Higher Apprenticeship Sponsored degree programme. Search it up and I'm sure you will love it.
    Looks like the best thing for OP.
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    (Original post by xXxSharkxXx)
    Mate, I recommend the Capgemini Higher Apprenticeship Sponsored degree programme. Search it up and I'm sure you will love it.
    Wow, seems great. Seems better than regular apprenticeships and looks like something for me. Plus I'm getting a degree at the end of the day at a decent university. Thank you.

    (Original post by SheLikeTheMango)
    Looks like the best thing for OP.
    It does seem nice I must say.

    (Original post by Push_More_Button)
    That may be true, but it's not like the maths you've done at A level. I'd say the Decision maths bit is probably the closest but the sorts of things you'll be doing at uni is discrete mathematics, which is primarily concerning logic (like you use when programming) and the maths behind the data structures you use. It can be challenging because it's new concepts...
    I will see, afterall I got my highest grade in decision maths in my whole maths unit.
 
 
 
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