Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'm going to return to studying as a mature student and because of the changes being made to A Levels I'm in kind of a confusing position.

    I want to study English Literature, History, and Religious Studies. English Literature and History are both already on the new A Level scheme but Religious Studies is still on the old scheme, which means I could either do the Religious Studies in one year finishing in summer 2017 or wait and do the new scheme in one year from 2017-18. The problem I have is that I want to go to a top university and I think if I take the former option it will look like I was trying to avoid the workload of doing three A Levels at once. I'm reluctant to take the latter option because it would mean effectively studying three A2s and an AS all in one school year. I'm not actually sure that I even can apply to university in 2018 with an A Level that I finished in 2017...? I will be self-studying with a distance learning college so my schedule will be largely up to me - excluding exam dates obviously.

    Also regarding the new A Level scheme - will I have a weaker application because I won't have an AS to complement my other three A Levels? If so, is it possible to study the first year of what is now an A Level and finish with what used to be an AS Level.

    Thanks for any help.
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by Oneoff235)
    I'm going to return to studying as a mature student and because of the changes being made to A Levels I'm in kind of a confusing position.

    I want to study English Literature, History, and Religious Studies. English Literature and History are both already on the new A Level scheme but Religious Studies is still on the old scheme, which means I could either do the Religious Studies in one year finishing in summer 2017 or wait and do the new scheme in one year from 2017-18. The problem I have is that I want to go to a top university and I think if I take the former option it will look like I was trying to avoid the workload of doing three A Levels at once. I'm reluctant to take the latter option because it would mean effectively studying three A2s and an AS all in one school year. I'm not actually sure that I even can apply to university in 2018 with an A Level that I finished in 2017...? I will be self-studying with a distance learning college so my schedule will be largely up to me - excluding exam dates obviously.

    Also regarding the new A Level scheme - will I have a weaker application because I won't have an AS to complement my other three A Levels? If so, is it possible to study the first year of what is now an A Level and finish with what used to be an AS Level.

    Thanks for any help.
    Both the old (modular) and new (linear) A-levels are designed to normally take 2 years. If you fasttrack them and do them in one year you are doubling the normal workload.

    An alternative may be an "Access to HE" course. They take a year, but you would need to check if the course is suitable and acceptable with your intended universities.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jneill)
    Both the old (modular) and new (linear) A-levels are designed to normally take 2 years. If you fasttrack them and do them in one year you are doubling the normal workload.

    An alternative may be an "Access to HE" course. They take a year, but you would need to check if the course is suitable and acceptable with your intended universities.
    Thanks but I've looked at my local college's Access courses and they're not at all suitable for the degree I'm interested in studying
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by Oneoff235)
    Thanks but I've looked at my local college's Access courses and they're not at all suitable for the degree I'm interested in studying
    Ok, but 3 full A-levels in 1 year is a lot of work
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jneill)
    Ok, but 3 full A-levels in 1 year is a lot of work
    Oh, I must have explained it badly. I won't be doing 3 A Levels in one year. The breakdown would potentially be like this:

    2016-17: A Level in Religious Studies and the first half of a A Levels in English Literature and History

    2017-18: Finish the English Literature and History A Levels.

    The problem is that that would mean applying for places in 2018 with an A Level I finished in 2017 (Religious Studies). I think this would look bad to competitive unis because it might look like I was avoiding the workload of finishing three A Levels at once. I'm mostly confused because offers are made based on 3 A Levels aren't they? So having already finished one A Level at the point of application would make it harder for unis to make an offer..?
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by Oneoff235)
    Oh, I must have explained it badly. I won't be doing 3 A Levels in one year. The breakdown would potentially be like this:

    2016-17: A Level in Religious Studies and the first half of a A Levels in English Literature and History

    2017-18: Finish the English Literature and History A Levels.

    The problem is that that would mean applying for places in 2018 with an A Level I finished in 2017 (Religious Studies). I think this would look bad to competitive unis because it might look like I was avoiding the workload of finishing three A Levels at once. I'm mostly confused because offers are made based on 3 A Levels aren't they? So having already finished one A Level at the point of application would make it harder for unis to make an offer..?
    Hmm, best thing is to contact some potential universities and ask them.

    But rereading your plan; in 2016/17 you will do a full A-level (RS AS+A2) plus half of the other 2. That means you are doing much more work in 2016/17 than 2017/18? Or am I still missing something?

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    19
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by Oneoff235)
    Oh, I must have explained it badly. I won't be doing 3 A Levels in one year. The breakdown would potentially be like this:

    2016-17: A Level in Religious Studies and the first half of a A Levels in English Literature and History

    2017-18: Finish the English Literature and History A Levels.

    The problem is that that would mean applying for places in 2018 with an A Level I finished in 2017 (Religious Studies). I think this would look bad to competitive unis because it might look like I was avoiding the workload of finishing three A Levels at once. I'm mostly confused because offers are made based on 3 A Levels aren't they? So having already finished one A Level at the point of application would make it harder for unis to make an offer..?
    I got you are doing 2 A levels new linear syllabus= 2 years.

    Its the 3rd one RS that you seem to have an issue with.

    Are they definitely still teaching the old syllabus, if so you want to fasttrack it and do it in a year? You could always choose not to fastrack and take it in 2018 with the other two? Have you looked into that?

    Theres no harm in doing it in a year of you can cope with the workload. You really need to speak to your teacher, unless ofc you intend to self teach. In that case you shoudl talk to the exam board and take advice on transitioning.

    Unis will only care about grades really and not whether you have one AS or not. Many schools arent doing AS any more, so many applicants wont have any.

    So these are the answers:

    1. Yes if you sit it in 2017 then yes it will be fine to use as an A level in your application.
    2. I would get on with studying whatever syllabus is running now so that you have the A level in time rather than waiting. Talk to the exam noard.
    3. Not having AS or having only one will make no difference because everyone will have the same issue. Theres nothing to prevent you from doing AS for the other two but plenty of schools are no longer bothering.
    4. the last question was a bit confusing, but I think you were saying could you start with the old syllabus and finish after one year by just doing the AS part and not the A2? the answer to that woyld be yes, but ofc you would then only have 2.5 A levels.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jneill)
    Hmm, best thing is to contact some potential universities and ask them.

    But rereading your plan; in 2016/17 you will do a full A-level (RS AS+A2) plus half of the other 2. That means you are doing much more work in 2016/17 than 2017/18? Or am I still missing something?

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Yeah thats right. The problem is i dont want unis to see i only have two A Levels pending and think I made that decision to avoid the workload of finishing 3 A Levels all at the same time.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 999tigger)
    I got you are doing 2 A levels new linear syllabus= 2 years.

    Its the 3rd one RS that you seem to have an issue with.



    Are they definitely still teaching the old syllabus, if so you want to fasttrack it and do it in a year? You could always choose not to fastrack and take it in 2018 with the other two? Have you looked into that?

    Theres no harm in doing it in a year of you can cope with the workload. You really need to speak to your teacher, unless ofc you intend to self teach. In that case you shoudl talk to the exam board and take advice on transitioning.

    Unis will only care about grades really and not whether you have one AS or not. Many schools arent doing AS any more, so many applicants wont have any.

    So these are the answers:

    1. Yes if you sit it in 2017 then yes it will be fine to use as an A level in your application.
    2. I would get on with studying whatever syllabus is running now so that you have the A level in time rather than waiting. Talk to the exam noard.
    3. Not having AS or having only one will make no difference because everyone will have the same issue. Theres nothing to prevent you from doing AS for the other two but plenty of schools are no longer bothering.
    4. the last question was a bit confusing, but I think you were saying could you start with the old syllabus and finish after one year by just doing the AS part and not the A2? the answer to that woyld be yes, but ofc you would then only have 2.5 A levels.
    They are still teaching the old syllabus but the last exams for it are in summer 2017. I'll ask them if I can start the new linear A Level a year early so I can finish all three in summer 2018...
    • Community Assistant
    • CV Helper
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    CV Helper
    (Original post by Oneoff235)
    Yeah thats right. The problem is i dont want unis to see i only have two A Levels pending and think I made that decision to avoid the workload of finishing 3 A Levels all at the same time.
    Have you understood the changeover to the new A level system correctly? The systems will overlap, there is no need to do RS in a single year. So it is still perfectly possible to do 3 A levels continuously over 2 years, even if one is in the new format. Universities want you to do that for exactly the reason you suggest - it shows your capacity to manage the workload (which will be higher for some periods of university).
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    Have you understood the changeover to the new A level system correctly? The systems will overlap, there is no need to do RS in a single year. So it is still perfectly possible to do 3 A levels continuously over 2 years, even if one is in the new format. Universities want you to do that for exactly the reason you suggest - it shows your capacity to manage the workload (which will be higher for some periods of university).
    But I'm a mature student and will be studying from a distance learning college and I'm not sure they have their resources ready yet for the new linear A Level. It doesn't mention anywhere that there is the option to study the new A Level finishing in 2018, it just says the last exams for their course are summer 2017. I'll call them and check, but thanks for the help.
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    19
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by Oneoff235)
    They are still teaching the old syllabus but the last exams for it are in summer 2017. I'll ask them if I can start the new linear A Level a year early so I can finish all three in summer 2018...
    Its more likely you misunderstand.
    The ones for 2017 are probably last chance for resit or people who started the course last year.

    Its possible to do an A level in one year, but in your case what you want and what they probably offer will be the new syllabus now and for you able to take it in 2018 the same as the other two.

    Cant see why you keep mentioning being a mature student as it makes no difference. Just ring them and find out the actual situation or alternatively ring the exam board and find out what the transitional arrangements are.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Its more likely you misunderstand.
    The ones for 2017 are probably last chance for resit or people who started the course last year.

    Its possible to do an A level in one year, but in your case what you want and what they probably offer will be the new syllabus now and for you able to take it in 2018 the same as the other two.

    Cant see why you keep mentioning being a mature student as it makes no difference. Just ring them and find out the actual situation or alternatively ring the exam board and find out what the transitional arrangements are.
    I hope you're right, it would make the situation much easier. Otherwise I'll probably pick another A Level in place of RS which would be a bit dissapointing. Thanks for replying
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    (Original post by Oneoff235)
    I hope you're right, it would make the situation much easier. Otherwise I'll probably pick another A Level in place of RS which would be a bit dissapointing. Thanks for replying
    The new (linear) RS will start being taught in Sept 2016 with first A-level exams to be sat in June 2018.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...form#timetable
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jneill)
    The new (linear) RS will start being taught in Sept 2016 with first A-level exams to be sat in June 2018.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...form#timetable
    Thank you very much, that's made my day!
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Don't do that.

    There's absolutely no way universities will try to do some psycho-analysis on your application. 'Ooh, she did it a year early so she wouldn't have to do the new spec!'

    Absolutely no chance. Just do it the standard way.

    Wait. Actually, hang on. Are you saying that you will be doing your first year on the old spec and the second on the new spec? Because it doesn't work like that. You would carry on with the old spec all the way through, it's only first years who will adopt the new spec from the very beginning of their studies.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Have you ever participated in a Secret Santa?
    Applying to uni

    All the essentials

    The adventure begins mug

    Student life: what to expect

    What it's really like going to uni

    Graduates celebrate

    How to write a good personal statement

    Expert PS advice from the people who will read it

    Uni match

    Uni match

    Can't decide where to apply? Our tool will help you find the perfect course

    Two students working together

    A-Z of universities

    Read our guides to unis and colleges from around the UK

    A student working on a computer

    Personal statement help

    Use our tool to get your ideal PS quickly!

    Hands typing

    Degrees without fees

    Discover more about degree-level apprenticeships.

    A student looking down a microscope

    Planning open days

    Find upcoming open days and get advice on preparing.

    Help out other students

    These questions still need an answer

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.