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Respond if you've gone to a good, Russell Group university through an Access course? watch

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    It's rather slow around here on these forums so if I were you I would just call around the unis you want to go to. Press them. Most of them will just want to end the call and be like, "yeah sure, why not blah blah blah," and be as unhelpful as possible but if you persist in wanting to know exactly what is needed they should cave.
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    (Original post by Wisefire)
    I have contacted the degree departments at the universities I want to go to, UCL, Durham, Nottingham or Manchester, numerous times. I've done that a lot. They've all claimed they will consider Access course applicants equally to A-Level applicants and have in the past accepted Access course students into their universities onto degrees in those Business/Management Schools.

    Frankly, I am creating these posts on TSR in an attempt to get someone who is critical of Access courses to give me their argument and what they feel on it so I have an understanding of the origins and bases of their own doubts about it. This is such that I can have a means to see if those feelings from others, or maybe if the experiences of others of Access courses, match up to my current anxious feelings on what my Access course is going to get me.
    One criticism of Access was that because it didn't carry UCAS tariff points it left graduates unable to clear the UCAS point autofilter on highly competitive gradschems. However from 2017 Access will carry UCAS points so unless the basis of autofilters is changed you should be viewed as the equivalent of a candidate with A levels.

    TBH you sound excessively anxious and studying at uni is a fairly stressful process. You might struggle unless you learn to stop catastrophising, Maybe try getting some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy over the next year.
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    (Original post by Wisefire)
    I have contacted the degree departments at the universities I want to go to, UCL, Durham, Nottingham or Manchester, numerous times. I've done that a lot. They've all claimed they will consider Access course applicants equally to A-Level applicants and have in the past accepted Access course students into their universities onto degrees in those Business/Management Schools.

    Frankly, I am creating these posts on TSR in an attempt to get someone who is critical of Access courses to give me their argument and what they feel on it so I have an understanding of the origins and bases of their own doubts about it. This is such that I can have a means to see if those feelings from others, or maybe if the experiences of others of Access courses, match up to my current anxious feelings on what my Access course is going to get me.
    Why not just take the university's word for it and be done?

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    I done an Access course in science (chem and biology) and applied for pharmacy in john moores and pharmacology at uni of Liverpool. I was terrible at the interview for pharmacy so took up the pharmacology offer which if I remember correctly was 30 distinctions. I recently completed my degree and got an easy 2:1. I think you getting offers at these universities honestly depends on the competition for the courses themselves and not the actual university. You should still learn as much as you can from the Access course as you will be at a disadvantage from those with A-levels when you get to uni, which I'm sure you will. good luck.
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    I am at the Uni of Sheffield at the min, studying Speech Science. (Speech Therapy) Like most NHS courses its very competitive, but i got an offer. (30 distinctions 15 merits.) and exceeded it. Access can really get you anywhere - even Cambridge accept them.
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    (Original post by Wisefire)
    "You will be at a disadvantage from those with A-levels"? What? You mean to say you think I would not have done as much learning in the past through an Access course as I would through A-levels? That's obvious. Or are you referring to being at a disadvantage compared to A-level applicants for Business degrees at universities like Durham, UCL, Nottingham or Manchester?

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    Depends how competitive the applications are for the specific degrees at these universities, no matter if they are Russell group or not. They will choose a-level over access students, that's when you will be at a disadvantage.
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    When I started my access course, I was concerned if I would receive offers or not and if it was viewed as a lesser qualification to A levels. However I got an offer from every university I applied to (Durham, Newcastle, Nottingham and York if I remember correctly, all asked for 30 distinctions for molecular biology). The admissions tutor at Durham went as far as inviting me along for an informal look around the labs. So I certainly didn't find the access course any impedement to getting on to a degree. The majority of competent students on my access course who applied for courses at competitive universities recieved places.

    I can offer the advice of do well at the start of the access course and make yourself look like a good student as tutors only have a short time to assess your ability before writing your reference.
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    (Original post by Wisefire)
    Hm. Exactly, what you've said is my prime concern because Business degrees at these universities would most probably get way too many applicants compared to the places available.

    I think it'd help for me to contact via email these universities I want to go to multiple times in order to possibly make my name better known to those within admissions.

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    If you contact them multiple times asking the same question repeatedly you'll become known for the wrong reasons.
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    A mature student a my Cambridge interview had completed an access course. Not sure if he got an offer but they were willing to consider him.
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    (Original post by Wisefire)
    What was the undergraduate degree you and that Access student were being interviewed for?

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    Biological Natural Sciences
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    Anyone know what LSE thinks of Access as they have high GCSE standards
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    Hi there,

    I did an access course at Gateshead college and applied to Durham University to do Education with Psychology. I didn't apply anywhere else because my kids were still at home and I wasn't prepared to relocate. Luckily I got a place and I am now doing a masters in Education. My grades were good but I was told after I was accepted that it's unusual to be offered a place from an access course, partly because Durham has it's own - the Foundation Centre - which is more expensive than an access course. What you say on your personal statement is important if you don't have standard qualifications, but I'm sure you're aware of that. You need to stand out somehow.

    My departments were really helpful and arranged special visits for me to look around and chat about the course. I was a bit lost when I first started - Durham doesn't have loads of mature students and I was the only one on my course. It took me a year to settle, during which time I was instrumental in starting up a Mature Students' Association. This is still small but still going and is beginning to gain momentum. Socially it can be tricky to adjust to uni life so I would ask specifically about that side of things too.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by Wisefire)
    Right I see, thanks, I guess that's encouraging. You ultimately firmed and went to Durham?

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    I think you're talking to me. If so, yes I went to and am still at Durham, though the Education department is less competitive than business. I have met quite a few mature business students though. My understanding is that lots of departments like mature students here and will consider them over other students because of their life experience and contribution in class. Business seems to be like that, as is education. I've heard the English department doesn't take mature students but that's just anecdotal. Hope that helps.
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    You are worrying far too much about this. The universities have told you they accept Access. As long as your UCAS application is adequate they will make you an offer based on your Access course. If you meet the grades, then you're in. How it compares to A levels is irrelevant. If anything, Access will give you better preparation for a business-related degree than you could get by doing A levels.
    Don't keep hassling the universities about it - you will only irritate them. It's far better to expend that energy on writing a really strong personal statement, and making sure that you get those distinctions.
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    (Original post by Wisefire)
    Right, that is a rather good degree and I would imagine it has an above average level of competitiveness in terms of admission compared to other Cambridge degrees, which is encouraging. Of course, it's tough to get into any of Cambridge's undergraduate degrees.

    And of course, I am not going after A*AA or AAA Oxbridge degrees with my Access to Higher Education Diploma in Business Studies.
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    People on TSR are consistently telling you that Access courses are accepted. Universities you have contacted are consistently telling you Access courses are accepted.

    At what stage will you believe them?

    Or are you waiting for that one person to turn-up and say they had a bad experience applying? What will that prove?

    Just apply
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    (Original post by jneill)
    People on TSR are consistently telling you that Access courses are accepted. Universities you have contacted are consistently telling you Access courses are accepted.

    At what stage will you believe them?

    Or are you waiting for that one person to turn-up and say they had a bad experience applying? What will that prove?

    Just apply
    I think OP has the point, that some universities may say they like the Access, but not actually regard it as much as the "A" levels.

    I have a degree in my home country (Poland) but that was a few years ago. I am thinking of doing Access for my 2nd degree in the UK, as I can afford it. However, I have definitely read some threads on here where people have said that universities seem to look down on the Access even if not said. Such as LSE, which also has many GCSE requirements that the "mature" students might not have.
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    (Original post by Magdax)
    I think OP has the point, that some universities may say they like the Access, but not actually regard it as much as the "A" levels.

    I have a degree in my home country (Poland) but that was a few years ago. I am thinking of doing Access for my 2nd degree in the UK, as I can afford it. However, I have definitely read some threads on here where people have said that universities seem to look down on the Access even if not said. Such as LSE, which also has many GCSE requirements that the "mature" students might not have.
    LSE also has UGAA - why would they bother if they didn't want to encourage "non-traditional" applicants?

    http://www.lse.ac.uk/study/undergrad...pply/UGAA.aspx
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    (Original post by jneill)
    LSE also has UGAA - why would they bother if they didn't want to encourage "non-traditional" applicants?

    http://www.lse.ac.uk/study/undergrad...pply/UGAA.aspx
    IMO having an additional exam shows they think "non traditional" applicants need more assessment though again this is only for one university. Of course I agree OP should apply but some unis can be fussy anyway. LSE is known for it tho.

    Good luck OP Wisefire
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    (Original post by Magdax)
    IMO having an additional exam shows they think "non traditional" applicants need more assessment though again this is only for one university. Of course I agree OP should apply but some unis can be fussy anyway. LSE is known for it tho.

    Good luck OP Wisefire
    Yes, LSE is fussy about any applicant...

    And to OP - Cambridge made 12 Offers in 2015 to applicants with an Access to HE diploma. This represented a 15% offer rate, slightly below the University average of 25% but still shows that a diploma is acceptable.
 
 
 
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