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    Hey, sorry I'm sure similar questions have been asked before but after trawling through various College and University pages I'm just not sure how to proceed. Will be going to Open Days and events at colleges in due course.

    Basically I dropped out half way through first year of University when I was 18, and have been working in retail ever since. I'm 25 now. I have A levels in Maths (B), Geology (C) and Chemistry (D)

    I just wanted to know what my options would be for getting back into education? If I wanted to go to Uni I'd need to do an access course, right? I've belatedly matured and realised I need to up-skill myself. Looking to get into some form of Engineering but I'm still in the early stages of getting a clear focus on where I want to be.

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
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    (Original post by scriggy)
    Hey, sorry I'm sure similar questions have been asked before but after trawling through various College and University pages I'm just not sure how to proceed. Will be going to Open Days and events at colleges in due course.

    Basically I dropped out half way through first year of University when I was 18, and have been working in retail ever since. I'm 25 now. I have A levels in Maths (B), Geology (C) and Chemistry (D)

    I just wanted to know what my options would be for getting back into education? If I wanted to go to Uni I'd need to do an access course, right? I've belatedly matured and realised I need to up-skill myself. Looking to get into some form of Engineering but I'm still in the early stages of getting a clear focus on where I want to be.

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
    Pretty straightforward you just apply to o to uni like the first time. They give you offers and you accept a firm and an insurance.

    If you want to try and get better offers then you can consider degrees with a combined foundation year. Some unis may ask you to do this considering the age of your A levels, some may not have an issue. It is a chance to learn the core skills they think you need for the course.

    You dont have to do an Access course.


    Start researching Engineering and see what A levels they require plus what grades. You may then decide that:

    1. New A level
    2. Access course
    3. Foundation year

    Are all ways to move onto your chosen degree. Do the research.
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    I'm 21 years old and all I have is GCSEs. I've worked in retail and telesales over the past few years. Really not going anywhere, have been feeling depressed about how little achieved over the last 5 years.

    Ideally I want to get into Computer Science.

    Although I classify as a mature learner, I dont feel optimistic that they will see my past experience as a good substitute for A-Levels (i.e. doing **** all).

    Taking that to account and that I will be apply late, should I apply or would it be a waste of time?
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    Birkbeck university is definitely worth a look. You don't need traditional qualifications to get in and it seems to be a decent uni. Plus the classes are held in the evening, so if you want to pursue a career during the day you're free to.


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    Why not, go to college and do one those Access to HE schemes (they cost like £2400 BUT i dont think you have to pay if you get into Uni) Unis apparently see that as an A-Level equivalent and I dont think you need anything special in your GCSEs (i think grade C) but even then im fairly sure the college will let you do them again on top of the HE course.

    They are one year i think


    (Although I havent done one of these, this lady at my university told me about what she did and she said they are really good) Plus this method will allow you to apply to almost all universities.

    Check it out if they do it at a college where you live.
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    An Access course is a good bet (I just did one )

    Sure an extra year spent studying might seem daunting, but you'll be older than most of the students anyway and you'll soon find it doesn't make too much of a difference.
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    (Original post by mojos)
    I'm 21 years old and all I have is GCSEs. I've worked in retail and telesales over the past few years. Really not going anywhere, have been feeling depressed about how little achieved over the last 5 years.

    Ideally I want to get into Computer Science.

    Although I classify as a mature learner, I dont feel optimistic that they will see my past experience as a good substitute for A-Levels (i.e. doing **** all).

    Taking that to account and that I will be apply late, should I apply or would it be a waste of time?
    You'll need some kind of level 3 qualification(post-16 so that means A-levels or equivalent).

    The easiest option is to do an Access to HE course as others have said(A-level courses offered for over 19's are quite rare), I'm just finishing the first year of CS having done Access the year before.You'll also likely need a C in GCSE English and a C or B in GCSE Maths, admissions depts can be pretty religious about this even with the Access qualification. The loan for the course is also written off as long as you finish your degree.

    There's specific computing courses at some colleges but uni's will often accept a generic science course as well, I did the former but the latter are more widely available.

    You can search for courses by subject here:

    https://ava.accesstohe.ac.uk/SubSite...ch/search.aspx
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    Any university that is willing to take you with your current qualifications is likely accepting you purely based on financial reasons rather than because they believe you are an ideal candidate.

    There's no reason to imagine you can go from GCSE to degree with nothing in between. Additionally, telesales and retail experience provide you with zero benefit when it comes to studying computer science. You need to familiarise yourself with studying at a higher level than GCSE to prepare yourself for studying at degree level.

    As mentioned, an Access course is likely your best option. That will open up far more doors to you than just applying to anywhere you feel may accept you currently.
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    (Original post by mojos)
    I'm 21 years old and all I have is GCSEs. I've worked in retail and telesales over the past few years. Really not going anywhere, have been feeling depressed about how little achieved over the last 5 years.

    Ideally I want to get into Computer Science.

    Although I classify as a mature learner, I dont feel optimistic that they will see my past experience as a good substitute for A-Levels (i.e. doing **** all).

    Taking that to account and that I will be apply late, should I apply or would it be a waste of time?
    University of Liverpool do a computer science degree with a foundation year along with other science and engineering courses. They are quite flexible on entry requirements for mature students. If you pass the foundation year you get a guaranteed place on the main course. The foundation year is ran at Carmel College which is a brilliant 6th form college but you are still classed as a full university student. As it's a part of your degree you would be funded by student loan company for tuition fees and maintenance loan assuming your eligible.

    It's very late for applying for 2017 entry but there is no harm in calling and giving them a try but to maximize your chances you should be considering for September 2018 entry. That will give you more time to research available courses and make sure you choose the right uni for you rather than the first one that says yes.
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    With no A-Levels or prior preparation, I would leave it for this year. You're only 21, plenty of time!

    There's plenty of options. The quickest way would be an Access course or a one year foundation degree.

    Alternatively if you wanted A-Levels, but would take longer, I know places do do night classes. My friend is studying for Maths A-Level while working full time, he's in his early 30s
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    I dropped out of my A Levels at the start of my second year due to some things happening in my personal life. Recently I've decided I would like to apply for uni, however I'm unsure of whether I'd need to find a way to complete my a levels which I'd have to pay for as I'm turning 19, or if I could apply for foundation courses with my GCSE's. Any guidance would be extremely helpful!!!
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    (Original post by rnd07)
    I dropped out of my A Levels at the start of my second year due to some things happening in my personal life. Recently I've decided I would like to apply for uni, however I'm unsure of whether I'd need to find a way to complete my a levels which I'd have to pay for as I'm turning 19, or if I could apply for foundation courses with my GCSE's. Any guidance would be extremely helpful!!!
    My understanding is foundation courses require A levels or level 3 equivalent. Do some research and check admission. the A levels required will be lower.

    Your options are A levels at college or distance learning or as a private candidate.

    Access course


    Paid for with advanced learner loan They would let you get onto the course direct or if needed the course with a foundation year.
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    You can always apply but since the majority of university courses have entry requirements you may find yourself rejected from them, If you're turning 19 soon however I would say you should try for an Access to HE course. They're the equivalent of a typical level 3 course but condensed into one year with the goal of giving mature students (19+) a 'fast-track' for uni, It's what I did and I found it was better in many ways than A-levels or other level 3 courses.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)



    Alternative Routes into University



    This is a list of the various alternative routes into university for people hwho, for whatever reason, didn't do or couldn't do A levels. If you have any questions which are not covered in the FAQs, post them below! Open the Spoilers to see a list of FAQs.

    Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma

    Access to HE Diplomas (also known as Access courses) are designed to prepare people without traditional qualifications for university. Access courses are the best established and most common route into university for mature students and students without A levels. Each year more than 20,000 people apply to university after doing an Access course. There is a large community of Access students in the Mature Students forum.

    Spoiler:
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    Are there entry requirements?
    Some colleges require students to have GCSEs (grade C or above) in English and Mathematics. It may be possible to do these GCSEs at the same time as your Access course, contact your local college and ask.

    Do universities accept the Access to HE Diploma?
    Yes, they are accepted by most universities, including Oxford and Cambridge! If you know what degree you want to do then it would be a good idea to speak to a university admissions tutor about Access courses and ask what subjects they recommend you take.

    Where can I do an Access to HE Diploma?
    Most FE colleges in England and Wales offer them. Visit your local college's website to see if they do them, or search the QAA Database to find your nearest course. Scottish students can take a similar course known as the Scottish Wider Access Programme.

    How much does it cost and how do I pay for it?
    The cost varies but usually between £1,000 and £3,000. If you are aged between 16 and 18 then you don't pay any fees. If you are 19 or older, you can use take out an Advanced Learning Loan to cover the course fees. You don't have to repay this loan if you graduate from university with a degree. Therefore an Access to HE course is effectively free, and by far the cheapest alternative to A levels.

    Am I too old?
    No, there's no upper-age limit!

    How long do they last?
    Full-time Access courses last one year, part-time Access courses usually last two years.

    Are Access to HE courses available in different subjects?
    Yes, there are many different subjects available. The most common are Law, Teaching, Nursing, Science, Humanities, Social Sciences, Computing and Business. Some courses are career-focused (e.g. Nursing) whilst other courses allow students to progress onto many different degrees (e.g. Science).

    Does my Access to HE course have to be in the same subject area as the one I am going to study at university?
    Generally yes, although the subjects you study within the Access course are more important than the name of the course itself. Tip: Look at the A level requirements for the degree you want to do and choose an Access course which offers those subjects. If in doubt, contact the university and ask them.





    Foundation Year

    A foundation year is an extra year of study at the start of a university course. It enables students who do not meet the course entry requirements to fill the gaps in their knowledge. If you pass the foundation year, you automatically move into the first year of your chosen degree.

    Please note, foundation years are not the same as international foundation years (these are courses for international students who want to study in the UK but either don't have the right qualifications or need to improve their English language skills before starting a degree).

    Spoiler:
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    Who are foundation years for?
    There are several reasons why you might take a foundation year, for example:

    You might not have any formal qualifications.
    You might have taken A levels but in the wrong subjects.
    You might not have got the grades you need for the degree you want to do.

    Are there entry requirements?
    Entry requirements vary considerably. It is possible to do a foundation year without any formal qualifications, however many universities do require GCSEs (grade C or above) in English and Mathematics. Some universities also require A levels (or equivalent qualifications), especially for popular courses like Medicine or Engineering.

    Where can I do a foundation year?
    Foundation years are taken at the university you intend to do your degree at. You apply through UCAS for a course that includes a foundation year, for example: "BSc Physics with Foundation Year". Search the UCAS course database for universities that offer foundation years.

    How do I pay for it?
    If your foundation year is part of a degree then you pay university tuition fees. You will receive a loan to cover the cost of fees and you don't start repaying your loan until you leave university and earn more than £21,000 a year. You will also have access to maintenance loans which cover the cost of food and accommodation. Some universities charge lower fees for foundation years, or offer extra bursaries.

    How long do they last?
    One year.

    Is a foundation year the same as a foundation degree?
    No! Unlike a foundation year, a foundation degree is a qualification in itself, equivalent to two years of university.





    Distance learning A-levels

    If you want to do A levels but can't attend school or college consider studying them at home. You can either use a distance-learning provider or study them independently. This is a good option if you don’t know what degree you want to do. Doing A levels in different subjects is a great way to keep your options open. Remember to download past papers from the relevant exam board websites, and make use of the Study Help forums and A level study help page.

    Spoiler:
    Show




    Are there entry requirements?
    No, although preferably you will have GCSEs in the subjects you want to take at A level.

    Are they the same as school-based A levels?
    Yes, they are exactly the same qualification.

    Where can I do distance-learning A levels?
    There are several providers; the National Extension College is one of the most reputable but you can find others online. You study at home and take your exams at an exam centre (this could be a local school, college or community centre).

    How much does it cost?
    Between £400 and £800 per A level if you use a learning provider. You cannot use the 19+ loan to cover the cost of distance learning A levels. If you study an A level independently then your only costs are the exam fee (around £100) and textbooks.

    How long do they last?
    Each A level will take around 300 hours of study time. You can do the AS and A2 exams in the same year, or spread the A level out over two years.





    OpenPlus

    OpenPlus is a partnership between The Open University (OU) and other leading universities to create a more affordable and flexible route into a science degree. If you decide to do OpenPlus, remember to visit the Open University forum to talk to other OU students and discuss specific modules.

    Spoiler:
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    How does it work?
    For the first two years you study with the Open University, taking science modules at home with the support of an OU tutor, using printed and online learning resources sent to you by the OU. You may also be required to take part in a one week residential school at the OU to learn practical laboratory skills. Once you have completed the OU modules you will transfer to your chosen university and finish your degree there.

    What subjects can I study?
    The OpenPlus programme has three main subject pathways, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Physics. For information about what OU modules you can study, click here. For information on specific degrees available and at which universities, click here.

    Are there entry requirements?
    There are no formal entry requirements for the Open University part of the OpenPlus course. You can only transfer to your partner university and finish the degree if you pass the OU modules. Your partner university may also require GCSEs in English and/or Maths.

    How do I apply?
    You apply directly to your chosen partner university. If your application is successful then your partner university will forward your details to the Open University. Click here for the contact information for all OpenPlus partner universities.

    Who will award my degree?
    Your degree will be awarded by your partner university.

    How do I pay for it?
    You can get a student loan to cover the cost of both the Open University and partner university tuition fees.





    Birkbeck, University of London

    Birkbeck College offers a number of Certificates of Higher Education (CertHE) which can be used to apply for or transfer into degree courses at other universities.

    Spoiler:
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    Are there entry requirements?
    There are no specific entry requirements. Birkbeck asses each applicant individually based on past qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience.

    How much does it cost?
    Around £4,000. You can take out a student loan to pay for the tuition fees. There are financial implications to taking out a student loan to pay for this course, if you intend to do a degree afterwards then you might not receive full-funding. Speak to a student finance adviser for more information.

    Where can I do it?
    Birkbeck College is located in London with campuses in Bloomsbury and Stratford.

    Do universities accept Certificates of Higher Education for admission?
    Most do, but you should contact the university you're interested in beforehand and ask their opinion - they may ask for additional information about the course.

    How long does it last?
    One year.





    Foundation Degree

    Foundation degrees are higher education qualifications which combine work-based learning with academic study. They are developed with employers and usually focus on a particular career (e.g. Primary Teaching). Foundation degrees are a qualification in their own right, but they're also the equivalent of the first two years of an undergraduate degree. After you've finished your foundation degree you can 'top it up' into a bachelor's degree.

    Spoiler:
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    Are there entry requirements?
    Yes, but they aren't as strict as degree requirements. You will at least three GCSEs A* - C (including English and Maths) or equivalent qualifications. You may also need A Levels or a BTEC, or relevant work experience.

    Where can I do a foundation degree?
    Many universities and colleges offer foundation degrees, search the UCAS foundation degree course database to find one near you.

    What type of person takes a foundation degree?
    A foundation degree is usually best suited to students who want to gain a qualification with a particular job in mind. The courses often combine academic learning with hands-on work experience, with many degree programmes being directly linked to a particular employer.

    How much does it cost?
    Depending on where you study, between £3,000 and £9,000. You can get a student loan to cover the cost of your tuition fees. If you study full-time you can also get a means-tested maintenance loan as well.

    How long does it take?
    A full-time foundation degree will usually take two years. 'Topping-up' your foundation degree into an honours degree takes an extra year.

    How do I apply?
    You apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

    Do I need to 'top up' to a degree?
    No, but many people do. You don't have to do the extra year of study immediately; you can return to university at a later date if you're unsure whether it's the right option for you. Some specific jobs require you to 'top up', for example, primary and secondary teachers need to have a Bachelor's degree.



    I am wondering if access to nursing courses have any exams??
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    (Original post by LiamHolt)
    You can always apply but since the majority of university courses have entry requirements you may find yourself rejected from them, If you're turning 19 soon however I would say you should try for an Access to HE course. They're the equivalent of a typical level 3 course but condensed into one year with the goal of giving mature students (19+) a 'fast-track' for uni, It's what I did and I found it was better in many ways than A-levels or other level 3 courses.
    Do access courses have any exams?

    I wondering about the access to nursing course
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    (Original post by Blackstarr)
    Do access courses have any exams?

    I wondering about the access to nursing course
    Generally, yes, but it depends on the college. You should be able to find out by emailing them. Remember that you will have to do exams at university, so don't be put off by having to do them for Access. It's good practice.
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    (Original post by Schadenfreude65)
    Generally, yes, but it depends on the college. You should be able to find out by emailing them. Remember that you will have to do exams at university, so don't be put off by having to do them for Access. It's good practice.
    Okay.

    Do you happen to know if any access to nursing courses have exams within their specifications?
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    (Original post by Blackstarr)
    Okay.

    Do you happen to know if any access to nursing courses have exams within their specifications?
    At the college I went to, there were certainly exams in the nursing pathway (I did Engineering, but there was some overlap with nursing). I don't know how other colleges operate, but I'd be surprised if you can find any that are exam-free. I suggest that you email your local colleges and ask them.
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    (Original post by Schadenfreude65)
    At the college I went to, there were certainly exams in the nursing pathway (I did Engineering, but there was some overlap with nursing). I don't know how other colleges operate, but I'd be surprised if you can find any that are exam-free. I suggest that you email your local colleges and ask them.
    Okay.
 
 
 
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