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    • Thread Starter

    Hello, I am new to the forum and am desperately looking advice. Sorry there's a lot to read.

    So I have been having a very poor run of unfortunate events stopping me from getting into University. I just turned 20, and I am currently repeating my 1st year for a Foundation Degree in Computer Science. I aim to study Law, or Criminology at Ulster University or Queens university (both are local Universities in Northern Ireland as I don't want to go mainland England)

    So rewind 2 years and I am doing my A levels at Portadown College. Lower sixth is going well until upper sixth during my A2 subjects. I did Biology, English Lit and ICT - all of which I have no difficulty, with Biology being an exception but I have the interest to pull through. Although approaching 2nd term I end up having family problems with my step dad, borderline abusive and I end up being kicked out of the house to stay with a friend approaching, and during my exams. My college was aware, and set up extra study classes for me but it didn't help. I end up with 3 E's and it's not enough to get into the Universities. At this point it had not crossed my mind that I should appeal or do something because I was so down in the dumps, until the end of summer when I applied to retake the A levels at another technical college, although I was advised to do a Foundation Degree instead. I also moved back home at this point, and my step dad received counselling.

    So moving onto the Foundation Degree (last year) I ended up having a few modules to resit in order to improve my mark. These were crucial as they decided whether I got onto the second year. I was advised the wrong dates over phone, the revision material online was moved to a new website without my knowledge and a family member passed away before the exams. I appealed with another person who was affected however we were turned down, reassured the protocol for advising dates, and other areas of miscommunication would be changed for next year. I'm now currently repeating 1st year on a part time basis only to be set back a year and to lose a year of finance.

    I've emailed the universities enquiring what would be necessary from my FdSc in Computing to get into Criminology/Law and they say I need an overall pass mark of 55%/60% respectively to get onto the course for 2017. Queens requested I submitted my qualifications to date, including my current modules which I will include:

    (Following Grades achieved in Portadown College)()
    My GCSE results obtained in Summer 2012 -
    11 Subjects:
    Additional Mathmatics - Grade E
    Biology - Grade B
    Chemistry - Grade C
    English Language - Grade B
    English Literature - Grade A
    German - Grade D
    ICT - Grade A
    Learning for Life and Work - Grade B
    Mathematics - Grade B
    Physics - Grade B
    Religious Studies Short Course - Grade C

    My Advanced Subsidiary results obtained in Summer 2013 -
    3 Subjects:
    Biology - Grade D
    English Literature - Grade B
    ICT - Grade C

    My Advanced Level results obtained in Summer 2014 -
    3 Subjects:
    Biology - Grade E
    English Literature - Grade E
    ICT - Grade E

    (Following marks achieved in Southern Regional College Portadown Campus)()
    My Foundation Degree in Computer Science results obtained in Summer 2015 -
    5 Modules to date:
    Web Application Development1 - Overall Mark 75
    Web Application Development2 - Overall Mark 40
    Systems Analysis - Overall Mark 52
    Introduction to programming - Overall Mark 50
    Creative Entrepreneurship - Overall Mark 49

    I am currently on my repeat year for 1st year of the Foundation Degree to improve my modules:
    - Mathmatics *Coursework - Overall Mark 33 - Semester 1
    - Computer Technologies - Overall Mark 36 - Semester 1
    - Database Development - Overall Mark 38 - Semester 2
    - Object Orientated Programming - Overall Mark 39 - Semester 2

    I also have countless qualifications from St John Ambulance as I have been an avid member from when I was a child.

    I am currently trying to (very late) apply to do my A levels along side this part time repeat year although I am not very hopeful at this stage as it is late and I'm 20. Also, if I did this it would mean I might be able to get into Uni next year rather than 2017 with the foundation degree.

    Is there anything I can do? I feel like there has been many things preventing me from committing to my education and I know if I was on the course I would apply myself and live on campus, away from the negative influences at home. And also, with free time on my hands I am eager to use it towards getting into Uni, hence applying for A levels. Thanks for reading.

    Some universities will make slightly lower "contextual" offers, if they think an individual's extenuating circumstances warrant it. However, these usually won't be lots lower, e.g. a course asking for AAA might have a contextual offer of ABB. Emailing universities is a good first step to find out if they would make you an achievable offer.

    Most universities will expect your extenuating circumstances to be explained by your referee. Do you have a referee who can cover both the circumstances involved in your A-levels and the circumstances involved in your first year of your foundation degree.

    I don't think retaking A-levels and your foundation degree at the same times is sensible, even if both are only part time. Could you instead find some part time work that might be able to fund you leaving home? Alternatively, what about dropping out of the foundation degree completely to redo A-levels or start an access course?

    Ultimately, each university will view your circumstances differently, so it may just be a case of contacting unis until you find one/a few who can help you, or will make you an achievable offer.
    • Thread Starter

    Thanks for getting back to me there.

    Yeah I've emailed Queens and I'll email Ulster as well but getting a response can be lengthy. I'll try phoning up. In terms of a referee I suppose someone from my college would be able to help? As a number of staff was aware of my circumstances as they were happening.

    With regards to possibly dropping out completely and just doing my A levels - my college won't take me because I'm 20 (at least the receptionist said this, but I would rather speak to the principle) and I am unsure about access courses? And the enrolment for A levels that I know of was in September. More information on that would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, should I apply for Ucas now? Advice on what I should go from here would be great
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