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Getting into Uni with an Access to HE Diploma at 19/20 watch

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    Hello.

    In September I will be starting an Access To Higher Education Diploma in Humanities following a break from education.As the title says; I am only 19 years old which is the youngest you can be for this course - which is usually done by people aged 20/21+ to get into university as 'Mature' students.

    Here are my questions:
    1)Will my age damage my chances at getting into a Russell Group uni, preferable Essex, Exeter or Nottingham?

    2)I have a short course GCSE grade D in Statistics from when I was in year 9, do I have to disclose this considering I don't have the certificate?

    3)I did a trial week of sorts in college on a course I didn't want to do - a BTEC Extended Diploma in Computing - do I have to disclose this also?

    4)Lastly, any advice on studying/preparing for the course? I plan on picking Psychology, Sociology, and Literature.

    I know this is long but I need all the help I can get, so thank you in advance

    -- Benis
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    (Original post by Benis)
    1)Will my age damage my chances at getting into a Russell Group uni, preferable Essex, Exeter or Nottingham?

    While - from what I've seen - those applying with Access who won't be twenty one upon entry can find it more difficult to secure places (specifically with RGs and high ranking universities), it's not impossible.

    There are a couple of people in my class who are in that position who have all got offers from the University of Liverpool and I know of a particular TSRian who got into one of the universities you listed who was also in that position. :mmm:

    So, while stigma does exist, don't lose hope of getting into an RG altogether. Also, I think a lot of the stigma stems from those who have turned to Access after having dropped out of their A Levels - even then, though, the people who got offers from UoL had done exactly that, so it's not completely hopeless on that front, either.

    2)I have a short course GCSE grade D in Statistics from when I was in year 9, do I have to disclose this considering I don't have the certificate?

    On UCAS, you'll have to declare it. I don't think there'd be too severe concequences if you didn't declare it to the college, but you might as well to cover all your bases (also, colleges are different and yours may be stricter on that front).

    3)I did a trial week of sorts in college on a course I didn't want to do - a BTEC Extended Diploma in Computing - do I have to disclose this also?

    If you didn't achieve an official qualification, I don't think you have to declare it. I'm not certain on that one, though.

    4)Lastly, any advice on studying/preparing for the course? I plan on picking Psychology, Sociology, and Literature.

    Honestly, in terms of the course itself, there isn't much preparing you can do other than get A Level revision guides for all subjects. It depends on what you're applying to university for, but I'd strongly advise starting to read around your subject if you haven't already to have things to mention in your PS - you dive straight into UCAS when you start, so be prepared.

    Also related to that, try and have a good idea of the course you want to do, your university preferences and a rough draft of your PS done before you start - I say this as someone who didn't do this and ended up very stressed for it. :lol:

    I can tell you I do two of those subjects now and absolutely love them, so you should have a good time!
    Answers in the quote. :awesome: Good luck on your Access course! What is it you're hoping to apply for, out of curiosity?
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    (Original post by acupofgreenteaa)
    Answers in the quote. :awesome: Good luck on your Access course! What is it you're hoping to apply for, out of curiosity?
    thank you for the advice, I'm feeling optimistic!
    I've not made my final decisions yet but I've always wanted to study Philosophy. I was going to at A Level but my Sixth Form dropped it and I couldn't get into college to do it because my school dropped RE after the first year, so I only have 4 and a half GCSEs.

    I have considered Philosophy with Psychology or something similar to make sure I don't get bored of reading one subject, this is why Liberal Arts is so appealing to me.

    if I had to choose now I'd pick Liberal Arts with a year abroad or Philosophy with a year abroad
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    Essex is not a Russell Group university. Don't get hung up on the RG thing - it won't make any difference for what you're wanting to do. Other than that, good luck!
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    (Original post by Duncan2012)
    Essex is not a Russell Group university. Don't get hung up on the RG thing - it won't make any difference for what you're wanting to do. Other than that, good luck!
    Just checked the website and you're right! I assumed it was because of how good it's supposed to be.

    I'm not too fussed about getting into a RG uni because I've heard that you get a lot less help, and apparently the lecturers only really care about their research and not actually teaching
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    I got into Exeter with Access when I was 19. I don't think age will be a huge issue for most unis.
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    (Original post by like_marmite)
    I got into Exeter with Access when I was 19. I don't think age will be a huge issue for most unis.
    What course did you do?
    Should I apply for a foundation year or just a normal BA?

    What grades did you get on the course?

    I apologise for asking all these questions, I'm trying to be prepared
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    (Original post by Benis)
    What course did you do?
    Should I apply for a foundation year or just a normal BA?

    What grades did you get on the course?

    I apologise for asking all these questions, I'm trying to be prepared
    I did Access to Humanities and I applied for law. I would simply apply for BA. If they won't accept you for the BA for whatever reason, they'll offer you the foundation if that'd be suitable. You might as well aim high, therefore.

    I got 45 at distinction but I would have got in with 12 at distinction.
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    (Original post by like_marmite)
    I did Access to Humanities and I applied for law. I would simply apply for BA. If they won't accept you for the BA for whatever reason, they'll offer you the foundation if that'd be suitable. You might as well aim high, therefore.

    I got 45 at distinction but I would have got in with 12 at distinction.
    Are the units difficult to achieve Distinctions in? I've heard mixed things about them. Some say they're easy if you put the work in and others say they're really difficult
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    (Original post by Benis)
    Are the units difficult to achieve Distinctions in? I've heard mixed things about them. Some say they're easy if you put the work in and others say they're really difficult
    acupofgreentea is currently doing Access, so she probably has a lot to say on this point as well.

    They're easy to get, I thought. I made it harder and more stressful for myself by leaving everything to the last minute; but if you start your essays early and read around the subject, basically do more than everyone else, you are guaranteed a decent grade. The way I did it was by reading journal articles (which I knew no one else had read), referencing them perfectly, and making sure there was a clear, logical argument in my essay. Plan your essay, a bulletpoint for what every paragraph should say before you you ever start writing. Know Para 1 ----> Para 2 ----> Para 3.
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    Firstly, congratulations on making the choice to continue your education!

    Try not to go into Access thinking that you are less likely to get into a good uni on the basis of your age. Regardless of how old you are, Access comes under 'widening participation', so please don't think that you'll be discriminated against because you're 19. With regards to declaring your qualifications to UCAS, it is something you have to do, whether the grade is remarkable or not. I believe you have to declare your week at college if you formally enrolled but your college will guide you.

    One thing you need to ready yourself for is the amount of time you need to spend doing your assignments; Access isn't 'A Level Lite'. You have also picked three subjects that are only assessed by essay. (Same as me; currently studying History, Literature and Sociology.) Over the course of nine months you will have to write 15 of them, plus all the other things like Maths, English and Study Skills. The latter aren't difficult however, just time consuming. To help you with Literature get some good reading done, and by 'good reading' I mean literary fiction, not popular fiction. (If you don't already that is) You don't have to dive into Hard Times or Hamlet, but perhaps have a look at current A Level texts, such as Life of Pi or Frankenstein. Lists can be found on AQA, Edexcel websites etc. Getting into the literary mindset will help, trust me! For Sociology stay on top of the news, particularly anything related to health, education, poverty and crime rates. As interesting as the referendum is and as much as it makes a topical class debate, you are unlikely to cover it.

    Lastly, and I know this sounds simple, be sure of what you want to do at university. Access is not a destination, its part of the journey. There are a few on my course, including a good friend, who enrolled too soon and aren't making the best of it. They've been chopping and changing their classes, have applied to the wrong universities because of it and are now stressing over Extra. Have a clear goal in mind, get to as many open days over the summer as possible and be ambitious. With regards to your personal statement, which some have also been advising you on, a little tip: try not to tell the admin tutor what you've done/read etc, but explain to them how it has affected your learning and understanding of the world. I did this and have so far been accepted into UCL, Liverpool, Durham and Exeter, and have an interview at Bristol in two weeks.

    I'm sorry for the length! But I hope this helps you. Good luck :yy:
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    (Original post by Benis)
    Hello.

    In September I will be starting an Access To Higher Education Diploma in Humanities following a break from education.As the title says; I am only 19 years old which is the youngest you can be for this course - which is usually done by people aged 20/21+ to get into university as 'Mature' students.

    Here are my questions:
    1)Will my age damage my chances at getting into a Russell Group uni, preferable Essex, Exeter or Nottingham?

    2)I have a short course GCSE grade D in Statistics from when I was in year 9, do I have to disclose this considering I don't have the certificate?

    3)I did a trial week of sorts in college on a course I didn't want to do - a BTEC Extended Diploma in Computing - do I have to disclose this also?

    4)Lastly, any advice on studying/preparing for the course? I plan on picking Psychology, Sociology, and Literature.

    I know this is long but I need all the help I can get, so thank you in advance

    -- Benis
    Hi, I am a 23 year old Access to HE student in the last term.

    1) Yes, unfortunately most Russell group universities either don't know what the course is, or don't accept it. The exception to that is the University of Birmingham however nobody on my course has been accepted by them (despite reaching the grades they ask for: 30 distinctions, 15 Merits).

    2) Don't worry, as long as you have Maths and English at Grade C.

    3)Same as above....

    4)If you want to do a humanities degree (BA) choose literature. If your degree is a Bsc then you will definitely need Human Biology or a similar unit.

    In terms of preparation, a glance at some AQA 'AS level' textbooks would be a good start.
    .Psychology- Nature/ Nurture Debate
    .Sociology- Marxism, Functionalism and Interpretivism.

    Hope this helps.
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    (Original post by kylejs)
    Hi, I am a 23 year old Access to HE student in the last term.

    1) Yes, unfortunately most Russell group universities either don't know what the course is, or don't accept it. The exception to that is the University of Birmingham however nobody on my course has been accepted by them (despite reaching the grades they ask for: 30 distinctions, 15 Merits).

    Hope this helps.
    Um.....I don't think that will help. Most Russell Group universities do accept Access students for most degree courses; in fact they actively encourage them.

    I'm a mature student studying an Access Humanities Diploma and have applied to five Russell Group universities: Bristol, Durham, Exeter, Liverpool and UCL. I have been accepted into all apart from Bristol but have an interview in two weeks; standard practice for them when it comes to mature applicants. In the past three years my college has sent Access students to 13/24 different RG universities, so to suggest that the RG 'don't know what the course is' is quite wide of the mark.

    The entry requirements you quoted though are pretty standard, but that's completely understandable when the university making the offer is one of the best and most competitive in the country if not the world.
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    (Original post by Benis)
    Hello.

    In September I will be starting an Access To Higher Education Diploma in Humanities following a break from education.As the title says; I am only 19 years old which is the youngest you can be for this course - which is usually done by people aged 20/21+ to get into university as 'Mature' students.

    Here are my questions:
    1)Will my age damage my chances at getting into a Russell Group uni, preferable Essex, Exeter or Nottingham?

    2)I have a short course GCSE grade D in Statistics from when I was in year 9, do I have to disclose this considering I don't have the certificate?

    3)I did a trial week of sorts in college on a course I didn't want to do - a BTEC Extended Diploma in Computing - do I have to disclose this also?

    4)Lastly, any advice on studying/preparing for the course? I plan on picking Psychology, Sociology, and Literature.

    I know this is long but I need all the help I can get, so thank you in advance

    -- Benis
    I applied to three Russell Groups as a 20 year old doing an Access Diploma and I have offers from all, including Exeter and Warwick. Dunno what kylejs is on about tbh.

    And you don't need to disclose irrelevant-non qualifications like the BTEC Trial on UCAS.

    Good luck.
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    Just check out the entry requirements and you'll find that pretty much everywhere accepts Access to HE, minus Oxbridge few others for certain STEM subjects.

    I've got offers from Lancaster and Leicester(former 1994 group unis) and an interview at Newcastle for Computer Science, other people on the course have offers from Leeds and Sheffield, also Manchester but a foundation year would be required.
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    Hi, I am a current student at the University of Essex and I have loved my experience there so far! I began studying there at 18 and I am now 21. As long as you meet the requirements for the course then I shouldn't see your age as being a problem. Maybe check with the uni to make sure.

    To prepare for the course you could find out the text books that you will need and go through the course outline. This way you will know what is involved and can read over anything before your lectures/classes begin, so you are ahead of the game and understand more of what the lecturer or teacher is talking about.

    I am happy to answer any other questions you have about the University of Essex if you have any ^Sam
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    Hello

    Firstly I'd like to thank you all for your advice and input, it has helped a lot in my decision making and given me a confidence booster.

    You all seem to be/are clued up and give good advice, so I have one more (possibly stupid) question:
    I haven't had to write any sort of essay since school (Romeo & Juliet, some other random ones we did as a class) and I am worried I won't get the hang of writing 2000+ word ones for my subjects. I've never been that good at essay writing but I chose Humanities because the subjects have always interested me and I'd like to improve.

    My friends who have done A Levels and are in uni said that you don't really learn, you just get the hang of it.
    Is this the case? Am I worrying for no reason

    Thanks again

    --Benis
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    The whole point of an Access course is for adults not teenagers, who have been out of education for a while and need something to get back into the swing of things.

    That aside, access courses teach you how to do all the fundamentals. If they do not it's a terrible Access course. This includes essay and report writing, research methods, referencing and a few other things that will be expected of you once you're in University. Furthermore, Access courses are all different, you mention you're doing Humanities so you will receive English and Maths which is good as those can be taken in lieu of GCSE's if your course requires GCSE's in them. (I'm evidence of that, i applied with just my Access Humanities and nothing else. They were taken in lieu of GCSE's). However you need to make sure the course you want to do at Uni accepts those courses, as it's all department dependant. Doing Social sciences might be a requirement as an Access course for some Degree courses. As an example I'lll be doing a Language course and I specifically had to do a Humanities Access course.

    And lastly, if your friend hasn't been touch the basics she has probably misunderstood you. I assume she went from A levels which means she should already know the generic basics and would have been given the generic intro course for Uni students in referencing and such. Access courses however will give you guidance on these as I previously stated, the course is specifically aimed at adults who have been out of education for some years.
 
 
 
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