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I have a few questions about my chances of getting into uni... watch

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    I am a lower sixth student and I really want to do a chemistry degree at either Manchester, Leeds or Sheffield Uni. However, entry requirements are not low and I don't think ill be able to meet them. I am still going to work at getting an A in Biology but at this rate it's not happening. So my question is, what can I do to still get onto this course even if i don't get the necessary grades (if this is even possible).

    Also, I heard someone saying something about doing a dissertation early to rack up some more UCAS points to enhance their application. Just wondered if this is an option that is available to me?
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    It will help your UCAS application but it won't increase your points, unless you mean EPQ which is the equivalent of an AS. You could do a foundation year but they're still not cheap.
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    (Original post by Matthew121998)
    I am a lower sixth student and I really want to do a chemistry degree at either Manchester, Leeds or Sheffield Uni. However, entry requirements are not low and I don't think ill be able to meet them. I am still going to work at getting an A in Biology but at this rate it's not happening. So my question is, what can I do to still get onto this course even if i don't get the necessary grades (if this is even possible).

    Also, I heard someone saying something about doing a dissertation early to rack up some more UCAS points to enhance their application. Just wondered if this is an option that is available to me?
    Depends on how big the gap is between your predicted grades and the entry requirements. There will sometimes be some leeway but some departments will literally just throw out applications that don't meet the entry requirements. It depends on how choosy they can afford to be. Generally speaking, it's fine to apply to a few ambitious choices (and by ambitious I mean the entry requirement is at or just above your predicted grades, not A*AA if you're predicted ABC) but you definitely do not want to apply to lots of universities with entry requirements above your predicted grades if you don't want to risk getting zero offers. And even if you do apply to universities with unrealistic entry requirements and they give you an offer... that's not particularly helpful if you can't actually get that offer. I'm not going to lie, I do know of cases where people have been accepted onto AAA courses with ABC, but that is not the norm and you absolutely should not risk your application on the remote hope that this happens.

    By "doing a dissertation early", do you mean the EPQ? The EPQ is a good thing to do if you have the time and you don't think it's going to negatively impact your other grades since it's a massive time commitment but it's not a "replacement" for grades and your offer will never include your EPQ grade (a small number of universities give alternative offers if you get a certain grade in your EPQ, e.g. AAA or AAB if you get an A in your EPQ, but this isn't common). Also, if you're applying to universities like Manchester, Leeds or Sheffield, UCAS points are irrelevant - universities like these do not care about UCAS points, your grades are what matters.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    Depends on how big the gap is between your predicted grades and the entry requirements. There will sometimes be some leeway but some departments will literally just throw out applications that don't meet the entry requirements. It depends on how choosy they can afford to be. Generally speaking, it's fine to apply to a few ambitious choices (and by ambitious I mean the entry requirement is at or just above your predicted grades, not A*AA if you're predicted ABC) but you definitely do not want to apply to lots of universities with entry requirements above your predicted grades if you don't want to risk getting zero offers. And even if you do apply to universities with unrealistic entry requirements and they give you an offer... that's not particularly helpful if you can't actually get that offer. I'm not going to lie, I do know of cases where people have been accepted onto AAA courses with ABC, but that is not the norm and you absolutely should not risk your application on the remote hope that this happens.

    By "doing a dissertation early", do you mean the EPQ? The EPQ is a good thing to do if you have the time and you don't think it's going to negatively impact your other grades since it's a massive time commitment but it's not a "replacement" for grades and your offer will never include your EPQ grade (a small number of universities give alternative offers if you get a certain grade in your EPQ, e.g. AAA or AAB if you get an A in your EPQ, but this isn't common). Also, if you're applying to universities like Manchester, Leeds or Sheffield, UCAS points are irrelevant - universities like these do not care about UCAS points, your grades are what matters.
    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    Depends on how big the gap is between your predicted grades and the entry requirements. There will sometimes be some leeway but some departments will literally just throw out applications that don't meet the entry requirements. It depends on how choosy they can afford to be. Generally speaking, it's fine to apply to a few ambitious choices (and by ambitious I mean the entry requirement is at or just above your predicted grades, not A*AA if you're predicted ABC) but you definitely do not want to apply to lots of universities with entry requirements above your predicted grades if you don't want to risk getting zero offers. And even if you do apply to universities with unrealistic entry requirements and they give you an offer... that's not particularly helpful if you can't actually get that offer. I'm not going to lie, I do know of cases where people have been accepted onto AAA courses with ABC, but that is not the norm and you absolutely should not risk your application on the remote hope that this happens.

    By "doing a dissertation early", do you mean the EPQ? The EPQ is a good thing to do if you have the time and you don't think it's going to negatively impact your other grades since it's a massive time commitment but it's not a "replacement" for grades and your offer will never include your EPQ grade (a small number of universities give alternative offers if you get a certain grade in your EPQ, e.g. AAA or AAB if you get an A in your EPQ, but this isn't common). Also, if you're applying to universities like Manchester, Leeds or Sheffield, UCAS points are irrelevant - universities like these do not care about UCAS points, your grades are what matters.
    So basically, without getting the entry requirements i need-or at least very close to them- I have no hope at doing the course i want?
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    (Original post by Matthew121998)
    So basically, without getting the entry requirements i need-or at least very close to them- I have no hope at doing the course i want?
    Well they're called entry requirements for a reason. It's partially for your own benefit - you're not helping yourself if you're enrolling yourself on a course that you're not going to be able to keep up with. You can go to the greatest university in the world but it's not going to be of use to you if you're not taught in a learning style or environment that allows you to reach your potential. Could you give us an indication of what your predicted grades might be and what entry requirements we're looking at?
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    Well they're called entry requirements for a reason. It's partially for your own benefit - you're not helping yourself if you're enrolling yourself on a course that you're not going to be able to keep up with. You can go to the greatest university in the world but it's not going to be of use to you if you're not taught in a learning style or environment that allows you to reach your potential. Could you give us an indication of what your predicted grades might be and what entry requirements we're looking at?
    Entry requirements are AAB at a minimum. I have a predicted grade of A's but I am currently only achieving D's in Biology. I tend to do very well in Chemistry as I get A's and A*'s.
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    (Original post by Matthew121998)
    Entry requirements are AAB at a minimum. I have a predicted grade of A's but I am currently only achieving D's in Biology. I tend to do very well in Chemistry as I get A's and A*'s.
    Well you've still got time to bring that grade up. The most important thing is how you're doing in Chemistry (it's excellent if you're already getting A/A*s) but you are going to need to push Biology up. I wouldn't panic yet though.
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    In addition to what plagioclase says, have a look at
    - foundation years eg http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/un...-4-or-5-years/
    - Access to Leeds, if you're eligible

    However, outside of specific schemes like those mentioned above, those unis are unlikely to be lenient - they are not generally the sort of universities that are short of applicants.

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