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    Looking at various degree options at various universities, and at least three of them in addition to either an Access course or good A-Level results want very good GCSE results.

    I don't know about others but, I'm 29 and although I only sat my GCSEs in 2002, I can't remember much emphasis by teachers on the importance of GCSEs for university entry - it was always drilled into me that A-Levels and UCAS points are what is important when it comes to university applications, but never once can I remember my teachers emphasising that GCSE results are a big consideration for some university degrees. Maybe it has changed since 2002.

    I achieved 'ok' GCSE results (A,A,A,B,B,C,C,C,C,CC) yet the degrees I have looked at for several different universities want "at least 6 A grades at GCSE" including specific subjects.

    I know it was down to me at the time to study hard and achieve the results I did, but in some ways I feel a bit let down by my teachers at the time who didn't emphasise the importance of GCSEs to the university process.

    Anyone else experience the same?

    Are universities more considerate towards mature applicants for competitive places with GCSE requirements?
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    The only GCSEs you need are English and Maths. I would be very, very surprised if any university insisted a mature applicant needed 6 A-grade GCSEs. For what it's worth I got into both UCL and Edinburgh (two pretty hard nuts to crack) with 3 GCSEs and only one of them was an A. I suggest you contact the universities you're interested in and ask them outright if your grades would satisfy their GCSE requirements (if they even have them, most unis don't).
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    (Original post by YouSmartYouLoyal)
    I don't know about others but, I'm 29 and although I only sat my GCSEs in 2002, I can't remember much emphasis by teachers on the importance of GCSEs for university entry - it was always drilled into me that A-Levels and UCAS points are what is important when it comes to university applications, but never once can I remember my teachers emphasising that GCSE results are a big consideration for some university degrees. Maybe it has changed since 2002.

    ....I feel a bit let down by my teachers at the time who didn't emphasise the importance of GCSEs to the university process.
    Things have changed a lot in this area in the past five years - your teachers at school wouldn't have been able to predict it, so don't feel that they've let you down.

    Universities have found problems with the large numbers of students that are now going to uni. Some were arriving without the necessary basic literacy or numeracy skills - they couldn't write essays, couldn't do basic maths and struggled badly. Unis don't have the resources to help/support these students as much as they need to.

    Up until a couple of years ago, Access courses were a routine requirement for mature students and those looking to go to uni who didn't have conventional academic backgrounds qualifications. These were accepted as providing the literacy/numeracy skills needed for uni.

    Unfortunately, standards of some Access courses gradually started to slip. Eventually, even some of these (a significant number but by no means all) produced students who'd managed to pass the Access course but who still struggled with the basics at uni. Standards were so variable, that they became unreliable as an indicator or basic skills. A couple of years ago, it therefore became the norm for the majority of degrees to specify a GCSE English and Maths at grade C or above, on top of the Access course.

    Some unis will also ask for e.g. a science GCSE for science-based courses, but it's unusual for them to specify six A grade GCSEs and be even more specific about subjects. I can only think that you're considering some very competitive courses. It would definitely be worth contacting the Admissions Offices of some of these unis, to ask how a mature student should approach the courses.
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    Contact the uni, and speak to the tutor of the course that you want to study...

    Try and get round the admissions staff if you can.

    Thats what i did, he requested a CV and an extended personal profile going through 5 years worth of modules and how my previous decades work related to each module.....the extent of my knowledge.

    I got placed on a pre-approved list, confirmed by the tutor himself via email, i have average GCSE'S and i do not need to do the access course, the uni course is foundation entry though mind.
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    What sort of courses are you looking at? Six A grades at GCSE seems a lot to ask for in addition to the necessary UCAS points.


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    Sounds like you're looking at something like medicine - if you're a mature applicant then contact the university and ask what their entry requirements are for mature applicants. I'm applying for dentistry and was told for certain universities there are no GCSE or A-Level requirements and that only my personal statement, reference, UKCAT/GAMSAT score (medicine/dentistry exam) and my Access course results would matter be considered.
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    (Original post by YouSmartYouLoyal)
    Looking at various degree options at various universities, and at least three of them in addition to either an Access course or good A-Level results want very good GCSE results.

    I don't know about others but, I'm 29 and although I only sat my GCSEs in 2002, I can't remember much emphasis by teachers on the importance of GCSEs for university entry - it was always drilled into me that A-Levels and UCAS points are what is important when it comes to university applications, but never once can I remember my teachers emphasising that GCSE results are a big consideration for some university degrees. Maybe it has changed since 2002.

    I achieved 'ok' GCSE results (A,A,A,B,B,C,C,C,C,CC) yet the degrees I have looked at for several different universities want "at least 6 A grades at GCSE" including specific subjects.

    I know it was down to me at the time to study hard and achieve the results I did, but in some ways I feel a bit let down by my teachers at the time who didn't emphasise the importance of GCSEs to the university process.

    Anyone else experience the same?

    Are universities more considerate towards mature applicants for competitive places with GCSE requirements?
    One thing to note - and I hope unis are smart enough to know this - is that grade inflation from 2000-2012 is probably worth 1.5-2 grades in GCSEs. Since this it's been quite stable.
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    (Original post by skeptical_john)
    One thing to note - and I hope unis are smart enough to know this - is that grade inflation from 2000-2012 is probably worth 1.5-2 grades in GCSEs. Since this it's been quite stable.
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