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    Hello there,

    I have received my offer from King's College London and it states the following:

    "Congratulations! King's College London (University of London) is offering you a place for Computer Science, G404; starting on September 0016, at point of entry 1.This offer is subject to your obtaining this offer is subject to you obtaining By 18th August 2016 obtain grades AAB in three A-level subjects including grade B in one of the following subjects: Mathematics, Computer Science/ICT, Computing, Electronics, Physics or Statistics, and excluding General Studies/Critical Thinking."

    Now I'm expecting my results for maths and further maths to both be A*'s (Especially since how well the M3 exam went) however I'm not 100 % sure I'll get a B in Computer Science - due to the absence of a teacher (Long story short, we haven't had ANY teacher since AS). In the unlikely event where I don't reach a B in Computer Science, I am also retaking AS physics. With mocks etc, I am achieving A-B's, however this is only a retake for AS and not A2's.

    If I missed the B in Computer Science, does the B/A I might get in Physics, count as an A level? When submitting my UCAS application, I did state that I was resitting AS physics.

    Thankyou in advance,

    M3WIZARD
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    I do believe all universities expect you to get the grade in A2 subjects (or full A Levels). An AS grade looks nice but isn't really worth anything besides a few extra UCAS points. Since they ask for AAB in A Levels they want it in A2 subjects. AS Physics would be a bonus but wouldn't count towards the AAB.

    However they also tend to be a little lenient. If you got A*A*C for example where your A* is in Maths, a desired subject they may make an exception to let you in with a C in Comp Science (explain the situation that you haven't had a teacher). Having double A* helps because it looks more like a blip than you being a C grade student (you appear more of an A* student from A*A*C).

    Personally I would contact them now to voice your concerns. Make them aware of the lack of teacher situation and ask what would happen. That way it sounds less like you're making excuses if you don't get the grade.

    If you were really worried you could do some sort of extra project that demonstrates your IT ability. Prove that you are committed to Computer Science, even if you get a poor grade at A Level.

    Congratulations on your offer. If you do get double A* I'm sure you'll be fine. I also took Computing and a BTEC in Software Dev at A Level, came out with an A and D*D*D* with terrible teachers. So feel free to ask me anything and I'll try to help.
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    (Original post by M3WIZARD)
    Hello there,

    I have received my offer from King's College London and it states the following:

    "Congratulations! King's College London (University of London) is offering you a place for Computer Science, G404; starting on September 0016, at point of entry 1.This offer is subject to your obtaining this offer is subject to you obtaining By 18th August 2016 obtain grades AAB in three A-level subjects including grade B in one of the following subjects: Mathematics, Computer Science/ICT, Computing, Electronics, Physics or Statistics, and excluding General Studies/Critical Thinking."

    Now I'm expecting my results for maths and further maths to both be A*'s (Especially since how well the M3 exam went) however I'm not 100 % sure I'll get a B in Computer Science - due to the absence of a teacher (Long story short, we haven't had ANY teacher since AS). In the unlikely event where I don't reach a B in Computer Science, I am also retaking AS physics. With mocks etc, I am achieving A-B's, however this is only a retake for AS and not A2's.

    If I missed the B in Computer Science, does the B/A I might get in Physics, count as an A level? When submitting my UCAS application, I did state that I was resitting AS physics.

    Thankyou in advance,

    M3WIZARD
    I'm afraid the AS wouldn't count instead and it would be up to the university to decide if they were going to be lenient if you miss you offer.
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    Hello! Wow thanks for the fast response. Yeah I kind of assumed they wanted the A2 - that's unfortunate. As for contacting them goes - I actually did this in an email directly to Andrew Coles (lecturer in Computer Science) after meeting him on an open day. Also, I have untaken many programming projects, such as creating apps and software for arduinos (I have a very long list of achievements in IT) - all of which I made him aware of in the email.

    His reply to me was that, although couldn't change my grade requirements - had put me at a top priority for 'near misses'. However, I was a little skeptical of this, as I wonder how many people of the 'near misses' they allow into a russel group UNI.

    So for the background in IT, I definitely expressed that in my UCAS application and in an email to one of the lecturers of the department - He's also the person who gave me the offer.

    If you have any "Go and do this, so it acts like a backup plan" I would be most grateful.

    All the best,
    M3WIZARD
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    (Original post by jelly1000)
    I'm afraid the AS wouldn't count instead and it would be up to the university to decide if they were going to be lenient if you miss you offer.
    Yes, that's what I thought. Hopefully I will get the B!

    All the best,
    M3WIZARD
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    (Original post by M3WIZARD)
    Hello! Wow thanks for the fast response. Yeah I kind of assumed they wanted the A2 - that's unfortunate. As for contacting them goes - I actually did this in an email directly to Andrew Coles (Head of Computer Science Dept at Kings) after meeting him on an open day. Also, I have untaken many programming projects, such as creating apps and software for arduinos (I have a very long list of achievements in IT) - all of which I made him aware of in the email.

    His reply to me was that, although couldn't change my grade requirements - had put me at a top priority for 'near misses'. However, I was a little skeptical of this, as I wonder how many people of the 'near misses' they allow into a russel group UNI.

    So for the background in IT, I definitely expressed that in my UCAS application and in an email to the Head of Department - He's also the person who gave me the offer.

    If you have any "Go and do this, so it acts like a backup plan" I would be most grateful.

    All the best,
    M3WIZARD
    When you wrote to KCL did you mention your teaching problems? If not it's worth contacting them again - especially if you could get your UCAS referee (or similar senior teacher) to send them a follow-up email.

    And given the extenuating circumstances I wouldn't be surprised if they agree that A*A*C was acceptable. But no, your AS won't help much.

    Good luck.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    When you wrote to KCL did you mention your teaching problems? If not it's worth contacting them again - especially if you could get your UCAS referee (or similar senior teacher) to send them a follow-up email.

    And given the extenuating circumstances I wouldn't be surprised if they agree that A*A*C was acceptable. But no, your AS won't help much.

    Good luck.
    Yes, I did tell them that we hadn't had a teacher for the entirety of the A2. Also, my reference email from my form tutor to the UNI's also stated that we hadn't had a teacher - however they sugar coated it, to make it seem less of a problem by the school. Thats why I seeked out a contact in the first place.

    In an ideal world, I will reach that B anyway (My AS grade is only a few ucas off a B, and my controlled assessment was 72/80) - some tests go either way, and I'm retaking all three tests - so hopefully I won't have to rely on A*A*C to get me in.

    On a side note, late january I asked for my tests back (F451 and F452) to see where I royally messed up (Grade boundaries were really low, and I still only got a C (50% of the marks), even though in mocks I was hitting 90/100 marks). I believe they incorrectly marked my tests, and missed about 12 marks at least - and 60% was roughly an A!!! But that's only my opinion, If anyones willing to remark my June 2015 papers, and let me know if you think im right, I would appreciate it. I believe it's too late to get a remark, but I'd still like to know. If you need the MS, I have a copy.

    All the best,
    M3WIZARD
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    I do believe all universities expect you to get the grade in A2 subjects (or full A Levels). An AS grade looks nice but isn't really worth anything besides a few extra UCAS points. Since they ask for AAB in A Levels they want it in A2 subjects. AS Physics would be a bonus but wouldn't count towards the AAB.

    However they also tend to be a little lenient. If you got A*A*C for example where your A* is in Maths, a desired subject they may make an exception to let you in with a C in Comp Science (explain the situation that you haven't had a teacher). Having double A* helps because it looks more like a blip than you being a C grade student (you appear more of an A* student from A*A*C).

    Personally I would contact them now to voice your concerns. Make them aware of the lack of teacher situation and ask what would happen. That way it sounds less like you're making excuses if you don't get the grade.

    If you were really worried you could do some sort of extra project that demonstrates your IT ability. Prove that you are committed to Computer Science, even if you get a poor grade at A Level.

    Congratulations on your offer. If you do get double A* I'm sure you'll be fine. I also took Computing and a BTEC in Software Dev at A Level, came out with an A and D*D*D* with terrible teachers. So feel free to ask me anything and I'll try to help.
    If you don't mind me asking, what UNI did you end up going to? I'm curious. With results like that, I suppose one of the russell group ones?

    Also, was it OCR computing that you took? F45(1/2/3/4)

    All the best,
    M3WIZARD
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    (Original post by M3WIZARD)
    If you don't mind me asking, what UNI did you end up going to? I'm curious. With results like that, I suppose one of the russell group ones?

    Also, was it OCR computing that you took? F45(1/2/3/4)

    All the best,
    M3WIZARD
    I haven't actually started yet but will be attending Portsmouth in September for Computer Forensics. Also applied for Computer Networking and was accepted, had to pick between the two.

    My grades from A Level were AABB (Graphic Communication, Computing, Psychology and Maths) as well as the D*D*D* in the BTEC. Even with those grades I wouldn't have fit the requirements for many Russell Group Unis. I looked into Cambridge and Oxford just for interests sake and would be borderline applicable. But the issue I had was that the courses looked terribly uninteresting. Plus the pressure to do well isn't fun.

    Prior to this I had applied to Southampton to study Electronic Engineering. Didn't have the required grades to get in and would have been doing a foundation year. Applied pretty quick (early October iirc) but didn't hear back. Early February I decided actually I wanted to stick with IT since that's my passion. Portsmouth ended up looking like the best choice so I emailed asking if I could apply despite being late. They replied super quick and even let me change my personal statement. So I applied one Saturday in February. Got an offer on the Monday and my second offer later than week. Also went for an open. I was super impressed with the staff overall. They were all super helpful and really quick at getting back to me. Might not offer the same facilities as Southampton (which had brilliant IT stuff) but the people seemed nicer. So I elected to stick with them rather than trying to pursue a higher level Uni.

    Also of note was that many of the Russel group Unis offer generic Computer Science degrees. They don't offer anything specialist straight off. Portsmouth did and that's what I wanted to do. So I don't regret that at all. It's not all about how prestigious the Uni is. Portsmouth offered more help and support in one email than I ever got from Southampton and the courses looked much more interesting. Apologies for this turning into my life story hahaha

    It was indeed OCR Computing, F451, 2, 3 and 4 (project). It was a shambles. Year 1 teacher didn't teach brilliant and nobody revised properly. So everybody failed the exam, bar me (got an A, A* equivalent) and one other person getting a C or D I believe. Year 2 I was on my own in the class and hated the teacher. But I covered all the material for F453 in about 2 weeks and ignored her teaching since a lot of it wasn't even accurate.
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    (Original post by M3WIZARD)
    Hello! Wow thanks for the fast response. Yeah I kind of assumed they wanted the A2 - that's unfortunate. As for contacting them goes - I actually did this in an email directly to Andrew Coles (lecturer in Computer Science) after meeting him on an open day. Also, I have untaken many programming projects, such as creating apps and software for arduinos (I have a very long list of achievements in IT) - all of which I made him aware of in the email.

    His reply to me was that, although couldn't change my grade requirements - had put me at a top priority for 'near misses'. However, I was a little skeptical of this, as I wonder how many people of the 'near misses' they allow into a russel group UNI.

    So for the background in IT, I definitely expressed that in my UCAS application and in an email to one of the lecturers of the department - He's also the person who gave me the offer.

    If you have any "Go and do this, so it acts like a backup plan" I would be most grateful.

    All the best,
    M3WIZARD
    Honestly the biggest thing I can say to give you a backup plan is make sure you have a few Universities in mind. By the sounds of it they're super focused on grades and unless you have something really exceptional it won't outweigh you not getting the grades. This naturally isn't super useful advice since it sounds like you've already applied and so on. At this point whatever happens will happen and there isn't much you can do.

    Naturally just do everything you can to ensure the grades you need (again super useless advice if you've taken all the exams). Something odd that's popped up though, initially you said you have a conditional offer and are waiting on grades. Yet the email reply saying they've put you at the top of near misses suggests they've already written you off and aren't even interested in waiting for the grades. Am I misunderstanding this? I don't see how they can put you on a list of near misses when you don't have results yet, nor that they'd remember to put you there specifically when results day comes (they have a lot to deal with).

    Honestly if you don't get in don't worry about it. I spent 4 years at college and took a gap year. I'm basically 3 years late applying to Uni and it hasn't affected me in the slightest. If anything I've got the benefit of having more money and experience behind me.

    If you don't get in and don't have a backup plan for this year you have a few options. Apply for a place through clearing. Retake exams, or take additional subjects over the next 2 years to meet your requirements. Look for other unis that will accept you as you are and apply next year. Get experience in a relevant role if possible. You also mention having lots of projects under your belt, try do something bigger and ambitious. Something that really shows off what you can do. Even better if it's something you can demonstrate, such as a website of piece of open source software. You're in the right position and may only just miss out because of the grades. If so just keep doing what you're doing and get the grade next year.

    This ended up being longer than I intended...
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    (Original post by M3WIZARD)
    Hello! Wow thanks for the fast response. Yeah I kind of assumed they wanted the A2 - that's unfortunate. As for contacting them goes - I actually did this in an email directly to Andrew Coles (lecturer in Computer Science) after meeting him on an open day. Also, I have untaken many programming projects, such as creating apps and software for arduinos (I have a very long list of achievements in IT) - all of which I made him aware of in the email.

    His reply to me was that, although couldn't change my grade requirements - had put me at a top priority for 'near misses'. However, I was a little skeptical of this, as I wonder how many people of the 'near misses' they allow into a russel group UNI.

    So for the background in IT, I definitely expressed that in my UCAS application and in an email to one of the lecturers of the department - He's also the person who gave me the offer.

    If you have any "Go and do this, so it acts like a backup plan" I would be most grateful.

    All the best,
    M3WIZARD
    Lots of people get into russel group unis with near misses, I know friends at southampton, bristol, leeds, kings, sheffield and nottingham that missed their offer by 1-2 grades and got in (mostly science and engineering subjects), it really isnt that hard to get into a 'russel group' university
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    I haven't actually started yet but will be attending Portsmouth in September for Computer Forensics. Also applied for Computer Networking and was accepted, had to pick between the two.

    My grades from A Level were AABB (Graphic Communication, Computing, Psychology and Maths) as well as the D*D*D* in the BTEC. Even with those grades I wouldn't have fit the requirements for many Russell Group Unis. I looked into Cambridge and Oxford just for interests sake and would be borderline applicable. But the issue I had was that the courses looked terribly uninteresting. Plus the pressure to do well isn't fun.

    Prior to this I had applied to Southampton to study Electronic Engineering. Didn't have the required grades to get in and would have been doing a foundation year. Applied pretty quick (early October iirc) but didn't hear back. Early February I decided actually I wanted to stick with IT since that's my passion. Portsmouth ended up looking like the best choice so I emailed asking if I could apply despite being late. They replied super quick and even let me change my personal statement. So I applied one Saturday in February. Got an offer on the Monday and my second offer later than week. Also went for an open. I was super impressed with the staff overall. They were all super helpful and really quick at getting back to me. Might not offer the same facilities as Southampton (which had brilliant IT stuff) but the people seemed nicer. So I elected to stick with them rather than trying to pursue a higher level Uni.

    Also of note was that many of the Russel group Unis offer generic Computer Science degrees. They don't offer anything specialist straight off. Portsmouth did and that's what I wanted to do. So I don't regret that at all. It's not all about how prestigious the Uni is. Portsmouth offered more help and support in one email than I ever got from Southampton and the courses looked much more interesting. Apologies for this turning into my life story hahaha

    It was indeed OCR Computing, F451, 2, 3 and 4 (project). It was a shambles. Year 1 teacher didn't teach brilliant and nobody revised properly. So everybody failed the exam, bar me (got an A, A* equivalent) and one other person getting a C or D I believe. Year 2 I was on my own in the class and hated the teacher. But I covered all the material for F453 in about 2 weeks and ignored her teaching since a lot of it wasn't even accurate.
    Bold:

    Sometimes a general degree can be a lot better than a specialist, I would say this is very much the case for IT/Computing/CS courses, a lot of these specialist courses can be very weak, a solid foundation is usually a lot better

    I recently had an interview (and got the job) for a job in Cyber Security Engineering and they told me in the 1 to 1 interview that they prefer Computer Science to Computer Security/Forensics for undergrad degrees also most of the other people at the group interview did Computer Forensics at uni so I asked if I was at a disadvantage with general Computer Science and they said they (and other companies) sort of look down on specialist security undergraduate degrees and look at general Computer Science as the best degree in industry.

    Maybe just something to note if you haven't yet started uni

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBW1een0Ehc - i know its american but still applicable
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    (Original post by yt7777)
    Bold:

    Sometimes a general degree can be a lot better than a specialist, I would say this is very much the case for IT/Computing/CS courses, a lot of these specialist courses can be very weak, a solid foundation is usually a lot better

    I recently had an interview (and got the job) for a job in Cyber Security Engineering and they told me in the 1 to 1 interview that they prefer Computer Science to Computer Security/Forensics for undergrad degrees also most of the other people at the group interview did Computer Forensics at uni so I asked if I was at a disadvantage with general Computer Science and they said they (and other companies) sort of look down on specialist security undergraduate degrees and look at general Computer Science as the best degree in industry.

    Maybe just something to note if you haven't yet started uni

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBW1een0Ehc - i know its american but still applicable
    Oh I'm in no way advocating that anyone take a specialist course over a generic course. I've seen loads of people all say the same thing. That companies prefer Computer Science to Computer Forensics.

    The entire reason I chose Computer Forensics though is because it's interesting. Computer Science degrees in comparison often look super boring to me. I'd rather spend 3 or 4 years of my life doing something that I enjoy, even if it doesn't give me the best possible chance at a job, over doing something that real bores me (not to mention won't give me any real experience in the field I eventually want to enter into).

    And I don't feel like I'm at a disadvantage at all. I wouldn't want to work for someone who judges me based purely on my degree. Not to mention at the other end of the spectrum a lot of the jobs I've seen advertised prefer experience and external qualifications (CISSP, etc.) to a degree.

    I'm not at all saying this is the best approach. But I've spent far too long doing stuff for the sake of it. If I'm going to Uni I'll be doing something I enjoy, not something that bores me to death.
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    Oh I'm in no way advocating that anyone take a specialist course over a generic course. I've seen loads of people all say the same thing. That companies prefer Computer Science to Computer Forensics.

    The entire reason I chose Computer Forensics though is because it's interesting. Computer Science degrees in comparison often look super boring to me. I'd rather spend 3 or 4 years of my life doing something that I enjoy, even if it doesn't give me the best possible chance at a job, over doing something that real bores me (not to mention won't give me any real experience in the field I eventually want to enter into).

    And I don't feel like I'm at a disadvantage at all. I wouldn't want to work for someone who judges me based purely on my degree. Not to mention at the other end of the spectrum a lot of the jobs I've seen advertised prefer experience and external qualifications (CISSP, etc.) to a degree.

    I'm not at all saying this is the best approach. But I've spent far too long doing stuff for the sake of it. If I'm going to Uni I'll be doing something I enjoy, not something that bores me to death.
    Well thats good then, I actually agree, no point spending 3 years doing something you wont enjoy, that takes a lot of dedication

    Did you not look at Cardiff though? They do a joint CompSci/Security/Forensics degree, think they're the only Russell Group who specifically do Computer Forensics as a degree
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    (Original post by yt7777)
    Well thats good then, I actually agree, no point spending 3 years doing something you wont enjoy, that takes a lot of dedication

    Did you not look at Cardiff though? They do a joint CompSci/Security/Forensics degree, think they're the only Russell Group who specifically do Computer Forensics as a degree
    Agreed. I could've done it, I wouldn't hate it since I'm still an IT person. But I couldn't commit to a course that would focus on lots of programming for example, when it's not that important to me.

    I looked at a bunch of places, although as I mentioned earlier I applied late (after the January deadline). I don't think I looked at Cardiff though. In the end I went for Portsmouth on a recommendation from someone who went there. Son of one of the colleagues where my mum works or something. He did the course, no placement so only 3 years and went straight into a job and has been all over the globe since. This was a year or two ago at most. Obviously not the norm but sets a good precedent. And it's fairly close by as well.

    I feel like there are probably many good (even better) Universities I could have chosen. But I've accepted my place with Portsmouth and would not want to dwell on what could have been. There's all sorts of places I could have gone. But I'm committed and focusing on other places won't get me anywhere now. Not to say it;s not useful information of course, I'm sure Cardiff would be an excellent University.

    And on a personal note my gut said go with Portsmouth (over Southampton at the time). And every time I've gone against my gut it's never worked as well as it could. So above all else I'll listen to my instinct hahaha
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    Hello All,

    After reading all your messages - I think that I should just keep my head down and keep studying until the exams are over, instead of scaring myself of not getting into kings. As for the email thing - I emailed the UNI to express that I might not reach a B in computer science, to which there response was, if I became a near miss, I would have some level of advantage over other near misses due to my circumstance. As said before, In an ideal world, I will reach my targets and get in regardless - I just wanted to open the question up in here to hear some other responses and advice.

    Thanks all,
    M3WIZARD
 
 
 
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