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    There is probably a thousand different versions of this thread, but I don't mind being a thousand and one. I'm 26, studying a science access course. I eventually want to end up as a doctor. There aren't many universities that accept access students as an alternative to A Levels, however if the access course is used to get onto a different course and THEN medicine, that degree can be used to get onto undergrad medicine.

    I'd like to study something that gives me a general knowledge of anatomy, pharmacology, neurology basic lab skills etc. Something that covers a little bit of everything, rather than a lot of something.

    I have a few courses in mind, one being medical science at Leeds, but are there any courses that you would suggest, or from the brief description above think would suit me?
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    (Original post by SW1988)
    There is probably a thousand different versions of this thread, but I don't mind being a thousand and one. I'm 26, studying a science access course. I eventually want to end up as a doctor. There aren't many universities that accept access students as an alternative to A Levels, however if the access course is used to get onto a different course and THEN medicine, that degree can be used to get onto undergrad medicine.

    I'd like to study something that gives me a general knowledge of anatomy, pharmacology, neurology basic lab skills etc. Something that covers a little bit of everything, rather than a lot of something.

    I have a few courses in mind, one being medical science at Leeds, but are there any courses that you would suggest, or from the brief description above think would suit me?
    There are quite a few medical schools that do in fact accept Access qualifications but they'd have to be Access to Medicine rather than a more general Access to HE course. However, the task of actually finding out which universities accept which Access courses is actually quite a bit more laborious than finding out their A Level requirements although one that is apparently accepted by 20+ medical schools is the Access to Medicine course run by the College of West Anglia.

    If you can do well on an Access course, I'd generally advise against doing graduate entry medicine. There's literally no reason why anybody who can get the grades in a Level 3 qualification should be bashing their head against the wall trying to get into medicine through the graduate route. It's crazily competitive, adds more debt than you need, wastes your time (assuming you're only wanting to pursue a first degree as a means to an end) and is generally something I'd only recommend for people who just can't get AAA at A Level or equivalent.

    Although if you're still determined to do it this way, I'd say all the ones you've listed are acceptable. Popular choices for those doing the graduate route also include biochemistry and biomedical sciences. It's in your interest to do a science degree because, while most graduate entry programmes are happy with any degree, some of them specifically require a science degree and, seeing as the others don't mind, you'd have more choice when applying if you do a science degree.
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    Thank you for your reply. My reasoning behind starting a degree first is, my college was supposed to do UKCAT and UCAS prep over the summer, but forgot to organize it, by the time they offered us any help the UKCAT deadline had passed. I figured I'd rather move myself onto a higher level as soon as possible rather than waiting to apply next year. I know several unis accept access, which I would be in a position to do, for 2017 entry but with a degree, although it is competitive it opens up the amount of universities i can apply to. Do you study medicine?
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    (Original post by SW1988)
    Thank you for your reply. My reasoning behind starting a degree first is, my college was supposed to do UKCAT and UCAS prep over the summer, but forgot to organize it, by the time they offered us any help the UKCAT deadline had passed. I figured I'd rather move myself onto a higher level as soon as possible rather than waiting to apply next year.
    That sounds very unfortunate. :/ However, I would say that it's better to take a gap year than study a first degree with the sole purpose of getting into medicine as a graduate. It may seem like a waste of time (and age might be a concern as it is to many people, not sure about you) but believe me, you'd be wasting a whole lot more time doing graduate entry medicine. And that's in addition to wasting money and the likelihood that you'll have to try a few times before you get onto a graduate entry programme.

    It's also concerning that, while you can till get student finance (and some money from an NHS bursary) whilst on a graduate entry programme, this isn't exactly a guarantee in future years. The government has already axed maintenance grants and the last thing you want is to find yourself on the tail end of a first degree being unable to finance a degree in medicine.

    I know several unis accept access, which I would be in a position to do, for 2017 entry but with a degree, although it is competitive it opens up the amount of universities i can apply to. Do you study medicine?
    At the end of the day, you can only apply to four universities for medicine in any one year so it's really a personal decision. Graduate entry is very, very competitive. I don't study medicine but I've applied to regular five-year and six-year courses for 2016 entry and let me tell you: it's a nightmare. And graduate entry medicine is likely to be worse.

    Also, I should say that most universities will only accept specific Access to Medicine courses. The kind that are specifically geared towards medicine rather than science more generally. Here's the course I was talking about earlier along with a list of medical schools that accept it (although it's best to email them and check if they still do accept it -- alternatively, you could just have a play around on search.ucas.com):

    https://www.cwa.ac.uk/our-courses/su...r-information/
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    Sorry for just replying now. Thank you for your help the other day.
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    As someone who has been there and is currently doing it... DON'T DO IT. If you can apply directly for medicine. Some universities will let you, take a gap year and do a couple of fast track A-levels to boost your academics, work in healthcare, voluteer, shadow, make yourself amazing. Email every single university direct to ask advice (maybe wait until offers have gone out already as they are uber busy)

    I am now 30, facing the prospect of 4 more years at uni, tired of being broke, watching all my peers get jobs and houses and succeed and move on with their lives.

    This is really a last resort option, don't do it!

    (I have a foundation year - like an access but 120 credits, a BMedSc in Medical Neuroscience from Birmingham and a MSc in Pharmacology from Oxford - I signed on to a PhD after uni because more studying without money was literally going to break me then realised nononono I still after everything want to be a doctor so downgraded and am now applying for grad entry.)
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    (Original post by neuronerd)
    As someone who has been there and is currently doing it... DON'T DO IT. If you can apply directly for medicine. Some universities will let you, take a gap year and do a couple of fast track A-levels to boost your academics, work in healthcare, voluteer, shadow, make yourself amazing. Email every single university direct to ask advice (maybe wait until offers have gone out already as they are uber busy)

    I am now 30, facing the prospect of 4 more years at uni, tired of being broke, watching all my peers get jobs and houses and succeed and move on with their lives.

    This is really a last resort option, don't do it!

    (I have a foundation year - like an access but 120 credits, a BMedSc in Medical Neuroscience from Birmingham and a MSc in Pharmacology from Oxford - I signed on to a PhD after uni because more studying without money was literally going to break me then realised nononono I still after everything want to be a doctor so downgraded and am now applying for grad entry.)
    Hi there; what if you're in a situation like I am where your first A-Levels aren't the best and you've already started a degree in another subject? I could do a-level retakes but the chances of me getting accepted are pretty slim already with thousands of applicants applying who got it right first time around not to mention the fact I've already spent £18,000+ on tuition fees
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Hi there; what if you're in a situation like I am where your first A-Levels aren't the best and you've already started a degree in another subject? I could do a-level retakes but the chances of me getting accepted are pretty slim already with thousands of applicants applying who got it right first time around not to mention the fact I've already spent £18,000+ on tuition fees
    I'm sorry never taken A-level so couldn't possibly advise. I know that for medical school they regularly say they will not accept people who have started but not finished a degree in any subject so if you are already studying you are probably best to finish and get a 2:1+

    Many grad unis do not look at A-levels, in fact most seem to base interview purely on performance on entrance exams.

    Also don't worry about your studen loan, once it reaches a certain level it will likely never be paid back. No matter how big you make it, the repayments are the same. Mine is eyewatering (as used them for the foundation degree and the degree and now about to add even more!)
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    (Original post by neuronerd)
    I'm sorry never taken A-level so couldn't possibly advise. I know that for medical school they regularly say they will not accept people who have started but not finished a degree in any subject so if you are already studying you are probably best to finish and get a 2:1+

    Many grad unis do not look at A-levels, in fact most seem to base interview purely on performance on entrance exams.

    Also don't worry about your studen loan, once it reaches a certain level it will likely never be paid back. No matter how big you make it, the repayments are the same. Mine is eyewatering (as used them for the foundation degree and the degree and now about to add even more!)
    Did you fund your own MSc?
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Did you fund your own MSc?
    No I was on a fully funded MRC PhD. I quit at the end of second year and wrote up for a masters instead.
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    (Original post by neuronerd)
    No I was on a fully funded MRC PhD. I quit at the end of second year and wrote up for a masters instead.
    Ah that's pretty cool; you must be pretty smart then, probably got a first in your first degree?
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Ah that's pretty cool; you must be pretty smart then, probably got a first in your first degree?
    Nope, got a 2:1 and literally by the skin of my teeth. I really don't know how I get through life...
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    (Original post by neuronerd)
    As someone who has been there and is currently doing it... DON'T DO IT. If you can apply directly for medicine. Some universities will let you, take a gap year and do a couple of fast track A-levels to boost your academics, work in healthcare, voluteer, shadow, make yourself amazing. Email every single university direct to ask advice (maybe wait until offers have gone out already as they are uber busy)

    I am now 30, facing the prospect of 4 more years at uni, tired of being broke, watching all my peers get jobs and houses and succeed and move on with their lives.

    This is really a last resort option, don't do it!

    (I have a foundation year - like an access but 120 credits, a BMedSc in Medical Neuroscience from Birmingham and a MSc in Pharmacology from Oxford - I signed on to a PhD after uni because more studying without money was literally going to break me then realised nononono I still after everything want to be a doctor so downgraded and am now applying for grad entry.)
    The whole idea of me doing an access course was because it was quicker and more convenient than taking two years, and paying a lot of money to study three A levels. I don't have the best gcse's in the world if i applied now, they would be taken into consideration and laughed at. I've been assured that with a degree, nothing before the degree is looked at, just the fact that I would have a good degree.

    I'm 27 now so will be 30 by the time I've even finished my first degree, I'm well aware that it will take time and effort and like yourself, it will take a lot. I already understand the frustration of watching friends pass you by, and sacrificing your own life for education but that's already happened to me. My friends have good jobs, houses and some are married already.

    I've been advised by friends, and college staff to get myself further on as quick as possible. To not delay another year but to use the college's help while I have it to get onto a science degree for next year, then apply for medicine when I've graduated.

    Can you PM me instead of writing here please?
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    (Original post by neuronerd)
    Nope, got a 2:1 and literally by the skin of my teeth. I really don't know how I get through life...
    A 2:1 in a science subject is not to be sniffed at. You've done pretty good for yourself. Be proud of yourself!
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    Post graduate medic here chiming in. First year at 27 is tough. Lots of debt and uncertainty.

    To put it short I would advise you to get work experience and apply straight to medicine if you can.

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    (Original post by neuronerd)
    This is really a last resort option, don't do it!
    Essentially the advice I always give to people considering GEM. There's literally no reason to do it if you have the option of going through other routes.
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    (Original post by SW1988)
    The whole idea of me doing an access course was because it was quicker and more convenient than taking two years, and paying a lot of money to study three A levels. I don't have the best gcse's in the world if i applied now, they would be taken into consideration and laughed at. I've been assured that with a degree, nothing before the degree is looked at, just the fact that I would have a good degree.

    I'm 27 now so will be 30 by the time I've even finished my first degree, I'm well aware that it will take time and effort and like yourself, it will take a lot. I already understand the frustration of watching friends pass you by, and sacrificing your own life for education but that's already happened to me. My friends have good jobs, houses and some are married already.

    I've been advised by friends, and college staff to get myself further on as quick as possible. To not delay another year but to use the college's help while I have it to get onto a science degree for next year, then apply for medicine when I've graduated.

    Can you PM me instead of writing here please?
    The Access course is alright, but it's the plan of doing a first degree in something else that seems to be unnecessary. Doing a first degree when you can get in with an Access diploma probably won't help the age issue...

    I'm with neuronerd on this when I say that graduate entry should never be anything but a last resort. Whoever is advising you on how your GCSEs will be viewed is clearly not aware of the process. Even this (outdated) page is quite clear that most graduate entry programmes will have some GCSE requirements (Cs in core subjects) and this is unlikely to be different if you just did the Access diploma (a medicine one, not a general science one) and applied for straight medicine.

    It's far easier and cheaper, if you don't meet those requirements, to just do those GCSEs as a private candidate -- I can guarantee that it will cost you less than the minimum £27 000 that you'd need to fork out for tuition for a first degree. I'm not sure what your friends and college staff mean by 'get myself further on' as quick as possible -- anybody who's telling you to spend thousands of pounds 'as quick as possible' with little thought and for unsatisfactory reasons is clearly wasting your time.

    An Access course is fine and, if you don't have those minimum Cs in those subjects, you can just do them privately. Applying at the age of 27, they will not care about grades you got at the age of 16 because they're simply not recent enough to be an accurate picture of your academic ability at the time of application. You can call them and ask if you don't believe me.
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    (Original post by neuronerd)
    As someone who has been there and is currently doing it... DON'T DO IT. If you can apply directly for medicine. Some universities will let you, take a gap year and do a couple of fast track A-levels to boost your academics, work in healthcare, voluteer, shadow, make yourself amazing. Email every single university direct to ask advice (maybe wait until offers have gone out already as they are uber busy)

    I am now 30, facing the prospect of 4 more years at uni, tired of being broke, watching all my peers get jobs and houses and succeed and move on with their lives.

    This is really a last resort option, don't do it!

    (I have a foundation year - like an access but 120 credits, a BMedSc in Medical Neuroscience from Birmingham and a MSc in Pharmacology from Oxford - I signed on to a PhD after uni because more studying without money was literally going to break me then realised nononono I still after everything want to be a doctor so downgraded and am now applying for grad entry.)
    Hi there!

    How is the application for the Msc in pharmacology like..?

    do they take A-level and what uni you attend into consideration?

    Thank you
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    (Original post by Jacksgap)
    Hi there!

    How is the application for the Msc in pharmacology like..?

    do they take A-level and what uni you attend into consideration?

    Thank you
    My experience of applying to my masters was simply paying the fee and being accepted. I didn't apply formally/interview anywhere, I just called up and asked, then supplied my grades. Job done.

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    I was on the DPhil program and downgraded to an MSc after 2 years of hell. So my application and funding is very different to a standard MSc. Sorry i can't help more.

    (Original post by Jacksgap)
    Hi there!

    How is the application for the Msc in pharmacology like..?

    do they take A-level and what uni you attend into consideration?

    Thank you
 
 
 
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