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    Hi everyone,
    I recently turned 29 and have worked since leaving school. I have a government job and get a salary of 19k so its not all bad for me, but I just feel like I've missed out and really want to go to university. I think I've left it way to late to want to do something about this though as at 29 I literally have 1 GCSE, 1 GNVQ thing that I don't even know what it is or what its worth, didn't get math or english GCSE passes either.

    It wasn't that I didn't have the brains to pass exams it was just that I was a silly 16 year old and didn't study for exams whatsoever or realise the importance back then. I have always regretted but put this to the back of my mind but these days I just feel like I would like to fix my life up and get some qualifications for a university.

    Money is no object as I have made savings throughout my working life but its the not knowing where to start, my age, the time it'll take until I finished study etc that really scare me and leave me feeling lost.

    Anyone experienced something similar to me or know anyone who has? Or anyone have any advice for something like me?

    Thanks
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    TSR Support Team
    See this thread for a list of ways to get into university: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=3401311

    Lots of people go to university in their 20s and 30s, it certainly isn't too late. There is a fairly large community of people in similar positions to you in the Mature Students forum.

    Edit: Someone moved this thread into the Mature Students forum for you.
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    I went to uni aged 44, so there is hope!

    In your situation, I would first try to narrow it down to maybe half a dozen uni courses which I like the look of. Then I'd contact each of the unis, explain your situation and ask what you would need to do in order to be a credible applicant for your chosen course. You may find that you have a couple of years of preparatory study, but if you're etermined then it's perfectly possible.

    These days you will most likely be expected to have GCSE English and Maths at grade C or above, to demonsrate basic levels of literacy and numeracy. You would then most likely be asked to do a one year Access to Higher Education qualification at a local college. This is taught in quite a uni-like way. Not only will it show the uni that you have uni-level potential, but it will give you an idea of uni-type learning so that you can see whether it really is for you. There are different Access subjects, so if the unis mention them, ask which Access subject they would need you to take.

    An alternative to Access may be a Foundation Year, which is taken at uni and prepares you for your chosen degree. Not every degree has one, but it may be an option. One advntage is that this makes you eligible for Student Finance fundig. However sometimes they do need you to have a relevant Access qualification first.

    To get a taste of uni-type learning, try a free online course from providers such as Coursera and FutureLearn. Short online courses are run by universities and are made available for free. I've recently done courses from Southampton and Leicester universities and they were fascinating. You can go at your own pace, join in discussion with other participants if you want to, do extra reading or none at all and there are no tests/exams. You're studying just for he interest, although you can buy a certificate which shows that you comleted it (it generally doesn't carry any academic credits as on most courses you don't do any formal assessment).
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    The best bet is to do an Access to Higher Education course. It's a year-long course and you're able to get a loan for it if needs be.

    My only advice would be to do it and do it NOW. Don't let age be a factor. In 4 years time (1 year of Access and 3 years of uni) you're going to be 33 no matter what -- would you rather be 33 with or without a degree?
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    Some people do GCSE maths or English alongside their Access course, but this is quite a lot of work. Most colleges offer a pre-Access course which will include GCSEs and will ease you back into studying. If you go on to do the full Access course, you can get a loan to cover the tuition fees, which get written off if you subsequently graduate from university. Otherwise, it is repayable on the same terms as a standard student loan. You cannot usually get help with living costs, but you have savings, so hopefully this won't be an impediment for you.
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    Thanks for the advice
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    I hate exams lol. I went back to education when I was 27 and done a BTEC course. I then when to uni when I was 28. Neither of these course had exams, but instead has practical work and course work for assessment. I'm now 32 and about to start a masters. It's never too late.
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    I started at 27, finished Open Uni physics degree 3.5 years later... I'm now on a Masters at 30. Theres quite a few mature students around.

    I had GCSEs and AS levels. Not that they are a requirement for OU Degrees, but it assisted me in completing it quicker.

    Edit - You can complete a year 1 with Open Uni (as it has no requirements) and then take that year 1 and apply to go straight into the second year of a brick university (as long as you have the correct modules - Seek advice for this, I can offer advice on Physics), thus getting the 'uni experience' ... which in my opinion is not worth 9000 when compared to Open Uni.
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    (Original post by Davidswift9)
    Edit - You can complete a year 1 with Open Uni (as it has no requirements) and then take that year 1 and apply to go straight into the second year of a brick university (as long as you have the correct modules - Seek advice for this, I can offer advice on Physics), thus getting the 'uni experience' ... which in my opinion is not worth 9000 when compared to Open Uni.
    Very few universities accept OU transfers into the second year unless they've completed at least one level 2 module. The first year of an OU degree is not equivalent to the first year of a brick university degree.
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    Uni fees, 9,000 grand a year. How on earth is money no object to you when you're only on 19,000? No offense. Genuinely curious.
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    (Original post by aPolarBear)
    ...
    A foundation year is also an option.

    It's full-time, and you get a student loan, so you can dedicate yourself to your studies. Most have very negotiable entry requirements.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by Chezdon)
    Uni fees, 9,000 grand a year. How on earth is money no object to you when you're only on 19,000? No offense. Genuinely curious.
    He's a drug lord.
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    Hey! See if you can do an Access Course, they're bloody brilliant. Some of them require maths and english GCSE, but a lot offer the choice to actually do those gcse's alongside your access course. They're full of mature students as well so you have loads of people in the same boat
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    London Met's always taking on students, don't worry.
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    I needed qualifications to get into University and all I had was grade 2 classical guitar and some City & Guilds in computing. I did a bit of research and found that I needed to complete an access course in the form of a Higher Education Foundation
    Course.

    As I was unemployed I was able to do this for free and I went to various adult education centres over a number of years. The subjects that were part of the course were English, Quantitative Methods which is maths, Computing, and Toolbox was was basically self reflection on my learning experience. The qualification was level 3.

    I have just left University after four years, and its going to be worth it once I get QTS and an MA so that I can teach in Saudi
    and Thailand.
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    Pick what you want to do and work backwards.

    I want to work in software development, so a computer science degree would be my choice, I don't have any level 3 qualifications of relevant work experience so I chose an Access to HE course route, that will require English and Match GCSE at grade C.

    It's never too late I started my course at 33, including doing a year in industry I'm going to be 38 when I graduate so I've only really 2 years of life left at that point... but seriously it's never too late to do the right thing, it's better to do it late than never.

    An access course seems the logical suggestion, but you will need English and Maths GCSE at grade C, and I know my college is reluctant to let students take 2 GCSE at the same time as the Access. One GCSE they're fine with but you would have to argue your case strongly for two.

    If I were you I'd plan for beginning an Access course in September 2017, and aim to have your English and Maths GCSE sorted by then so that you aren't having to split your efforts between those and the Access course at the same time.
 
 
 
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