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Access to HE (Science) or BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science? watch

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    Hi everyone,
    I'm 20 years old and graduated high school back in 2012, but due to faffing around and choosing courses that weren't right for me and that I wasn't even entirely sure I wanted to do (I was enrolled on a BTEC Level 3 in Forensic Science straight out of school, but dropped out after a few months), it is only now that I've finally decided what I actually want to do with my life. I want to be a radiographer. I initially applied for a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Medical Science a few weeks ago and had my interview today.

    The interview itself was successful and I was offered a place. However, after discussing my career aspirations with the interviewer, she mentioned that there was another option: an access to HE course in Science. Not only would this be cheaper than a Level 3 (considerably so), it would also take less time, and the access course is specifically designed to prepare you for university, which, of course, I would need to go to if I wanted to become a radiographer. Plus, I would be in a class with people more my own age, rather than surrounded by 16 year olds.

    Of course, she did warn me that access courses are pretty intense in terms of the sheer volume of content. However, I think I am relatively intelligent and hard working, and would be able to hack it. I did very well at school (12 A*- C GCSEs), just made poor decisions afterward. I do not want to make that mistake again. I have been weighing up the pros and cons of both courses, and it seems like the access WOULD be the better option, but I was wondering if any of you lovely people had any advice/input.

    Those of you who have done access courses: Did they benefit you? Did you get into your uni of choice with it?

    Many thanks!

    Hannah
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    I agree that an Access course would be better. There's nothing wrong with the BTEC option, but if you are highly motivated and able to cope with the intensive workload (and it sounds like you could), then it makes sense to do the cheaper and shorter course. Plus more universities accept Access courses than BTECs.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    I agree that an Access course would be better. There's nothing wrong with the BTEC option, but if you are highly motivated and able to cope with the intensive workload (and it sounds like you could), then it makes sense to do the cheaper and shorter course. Plus more universities accept Access courses than BTECs.
    Thanks, Snufkin. I am a little worried about how intense the workload will be, but I know that if I keep on top of it and don't let it pile up, I'll be fine.
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    (Original post by CobaltRose96)
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    I'll be finishing my access to science course in about two weeks; I have offers from all five of my choices which include the university of Bristol, KCL and Exeter.
    It's been pretty intense over the past couple of months but it sounds like you have the correct attitude to succeed.

    If you have any specific questions, let me know and I can try and give you answers.
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    Access is probably a better choice, but if you know which universities you want to apply to, check out their entry requirements on their websites or on UCAS, to check if they accept either or both of these qualifications, before you make a decision.
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    (Original post by Schadenfreude65)
    Access is probably a better choice, but if you know which universities you want to apply to, check out their entry requirements on their websites or on UCAS, to check if they accept either or both of these qualifications, before you make a decision.
    Thanks. Yep, checked their website, and my first choice uni does accept Access courses. 😊
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    (Original post by TheThiefOfBagdad)
    I'll be finishing my access to science course in about two weeks; I have offers from all five of my choices which include the university of Bristol, KCL and Exeter.
    It's been pretty intense over the past couple of months but it sounds like you have the correct attitude to succeed.

    If you have any specific questions, let me know and I can try and give you answers.
    Thanks! Congrats on your offers! 😀

    Did you have to do any exams? And how difficult was the workload? Was it a struggle balancing it all? Thanks in advance. 😊
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    I'm currently on an access to health course and have a conditional offer from Sunderland and Northumbria University.

    I think access courses are great, they are intense if you don't keep on top of the work though. I think we've had to do 19 assignments and 3 exams altogether. We also got to host our own charity stall within the college to raise awareness for a health topic of our choice for one of our Health Promotion assignments.

    I think that nearly everyone in my class applied for nursing, quite a few have gotten offers but even those that didn't, have received an offer for a different course.

    I also really liked that the people on the course ranged from 19 - 39 in age. There was about 20 students on my course at the start but we are down to 12 now.

    It's a great course, some really interesting topics and you learn a lot too, if you have the opportunity, you should diffinetly do the access course.

    I have about a week left on my course and 1 assignment to hand in on Friday and a science exam on Tuesday and then the course is complete.

    I will admit I am gonna miss the course and all the people I've met.

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    (Original post by CobaltRose96)
    Thanks! Congrats on your offers! 😀

    Did you have to do any exams? And how difficult was the workload? Was it a struggle balancing it all? Thanks in advance. 😊
    We had 'open book' exams for maths and chemistry, but nothing for biology. It will depend on your course provider though as no two colleges teach in the same way.

    The workload started off fairly light, they were easing people back into formal education as many of my cohort hadn't been in school for 15+ years. However, it gets pretty intense after a while as you have two or sometimes three assignments running concurrently. Some people with very few responsibilities struggled but others with children and jobs managed to keep on top of everything; it really comes down to the individual.
    Everything should be manageable otherwise it would be an ineffective way of getting people to university.

    On the whole it's been a really interesting experience and I'd certainly recommend it to anyone with the right work ethic and ambition to better themselves.
 
 
 
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