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    I am going to study an access course this year to study actuarial science degree next year. I need an access course with advanced maths units. I am thinking of studying the access to HE science in Nottingham central college. Will I be able to choose advanced math units? Of course I tried to phone them and ask but everyone is on holiday.

    Usually, the most choice you have is selecting the type of access to HE. If you select law, you will do subjects that are good for law. If you select science, you'll do subjects needed for science courses and so on. At most, you may be able to select one or two extras but usually it's all set modules

    There are a few exam boards that do Access courses. How much choice of subjects you get will depend on which board the college uses.

    I've just finished Access to Humanities & Social Sciences at College of West Anglia. Exam board was CAVA. Study skills was compulsory worth 6 credits at level 3 grade pass or fail. There was the dissertation of 3000 words & 10 minute presentation to my tutor, that's 9 credits at level 3. Then there was subject choices of 3 out of English Literature, History, Psychology & Sociology. Each subject split into 3 or 4 units, first unit in each was 3 credits and pass or fail grade, remaining units varied on number of credits. Some were 3, some 6 & some 9.

    My advice would be to look on the websites of the uni's you're thinking about applying to and find out how many distinctions & merits they want and also if they say what subjects they're looking for. For example the uni's may say distinctions in 36 credits & merits in 9, subjects to include 'xxxxx'.

    Most uni's will want GCSE grade C in English Language & Maths. If you haven't, then the college you do your access course at should let you do them as well.

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