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    Hi,

    I am currently a year 13 student with GCSE grades:
    Biology- A
    Chemistry- A*
    Physics- A*
    Geography- A*
    History-A
    Maths- A
    PE- A*
    Spanish- A
    English language- B
    English literature- A

    I have AS grades of;
    Business studies- A
    PE- A

    I am doing A levels with predictions;
    PE- A*
    Psychology- A*
    Biology- A
    EPQ- A

    My extra cirricular activities include;
    Triathlon, World challenge, DofE, CCF, rowing

    This year, I have applied on my UCAS form to do sports science. I have gotten all my offers back, however I have otherwise changed my decision.

    My offers;
    Bath- AAA or AAB with A in EPQ
    Leeds- AAB
    Exeter- A*AA
    Surrey- AAB
    Loughborough- AAB

    These are all top universities in this area. Bath is my firm, and includes a masters and work placement year.

    For many years I have always wanted to become a vet, however having confidence issues I dropped my AS level chemistry 7 weeks in (i was getting perfectly fine grades) and geography to psychology and PE.

    Now, that I have received all my offers and really thought about my career prospects with a sports science degree, i really do not want to pursue a degree in this area.

    I know I do not have any work experience in a vets practice, nor do I longer have an A level in chemistry. I do understand some sports science graduates enter medical school and then, after achieving an A level in chemistry during university, continue to do veterinary medicine course. However I feel I would be wasting my time doing this and also I would not enjoy this.

    I need some advice. I could do a gap year; do a chemistry A level (and possibly maths) and gain work experience however i feel this is of great risk to me if i get rejected the following year. I for one would be devastated after doing all that work but also feel this is a waste.

    I feel I am not of standard compared to other students who would also apply next year for Vet Med, whom may have had a biomedical background/graduate, or for one, have chemistry A level.

    I cannot change my course now, but i can ask for a deferred entry in my courses.

    Im not sure what to do and i would appreciate any advice.
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    Hi, I'm going to reply here rather than in the identical PM you sent in the interest of keeping this publicly readable for anyone in a similar position who might read this in the future.

    To start, your GCSE grades are obviously fine, and you've identified yourself that your A level subjects are what's holding you back right now.

    I feel I am not of standard compared to other students who would also apply next year for Vet Med, whom may have had a biomedical background/graduate, or for one, have chemistry A level.
    Not having chemistry isn't a case of 'being less competitive'; it's a requirement, period. Even if you had stellar work experience you would be rejected as soon as this was noticed.

    If vet med is 100% what you want to do right now then I would advise against doing another degree first. Firstly because some vet schools still look at your A Levels/equivalent qualifications, so after three years of study you still might not be able to apply. Secondly because postgraduate fees are extortionate in many places (up to £27,000/year, for a four/five year course) and funding, including for living costs, is very limited for postgrads. The graduate route is also no less competitive than applying as an undergrad. Plenty of people still end up taking a gap year between their first degree and vet school in order to work on their application.

    For now focus on nailing your A levels. You may well end up taking a gap year but not having to do any retakes of exams you're currently studying (if retakes are still possible? I'm a little out of the loop with the A level reforms) will be a blessing. Try and get some work experience placements booked for summer. Not just in vet practices, although these are obviously essential, but husbandry placements too such as commercial farms (i.e. dairy), stables, kennels/catteries, rescue shelters, pet shops etc etc. This will firstly allow you to know for sure that vet med is what you want to do (and I know that's what you want right now, but what if you get to a farm and hate it!), plus if you decide to do for it you'll be applying in October, so you'll need to get some placements in before then! I'd say keep your offers for now, that way you still have them if you change your mind again and decide you do want to do it, and as you say you can always decide to defer on results day.

    I need some advice. I could do a gap year; do a chemistry A level (and possibly maths) and gain work experience however i feel this is of great risk to me if i get rejected the following year. I for one would be devastated after doing all that work but also feel this is a waste.
    So what if you get rejected? It's only a waste if you make it a waste. If you're truly dedicated to this you can apply the year later, for 2019 entry, with even more work experience under your belt and potentially some knowledge of interviews that you can build upon. If you persevere, you will get there. You wouldn't be the only person to take two gap years, I've heard of people taking up to four before getting in.

    I hope that helped in some way.
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    Thank you for your advice.

    Apologies for the PM.

    I have also spoken to my head of sixth form and I have come to this conclusion;
    - Defer my entry for sports science for 2018 entry.
    - I will take a year out and do A level chemistry and physics (it is a two year course but i can do this online and/or in a part time college in one year)
    - during my gap year, i will book places (I am in the process of producing a CV) and look for work experience.
    - Apply for vet med for October 2018.
    - If i am unsuccessful, take another gap year and get more work experience or go into my deferred sports science degree.

    I will not need to resit any a levels but otherwise take new ones up in my gap year. I know many do not accept resits- would they count taking an extra two a levels in my gap year that i do not currently do as a resit?

    Money is of no issue for me; and i am very lucky in the fact i can apply for three different places in the country for work experience (England and Scotland) as i will have accommodation in all these places. I can drive too which is a bonus.

    My fear, as i have said, is being rejected. I will have 5 A levels and a year of work experience (almost) under my belt. My work ethic is very good; it by far exceeds any expectations my school sets upon or they have ever seen. When i am determined on something; i will pursue it with all my effort.

    What i fear is having a longer gap year than planned and not being as independent as i wish to be. I would have to live with my parents, as this is free accommodation for me, and i fear i would be missing out on the university experience like all my friends will have, and as a result enter university with no undergrad degree and as an older student.

    Yes, I agree many veterinary applicants are generally older, and i certainly will not waste my gap year. I am just worried if i do all this work experience and eventually lack the confidence once again to reapply if rejected... and then get rejected once more. Do they accept people reapplying if i am not successful in 2018? Ive heard that some do not accept your application again if you have been rejected after an interview. I also don't exactly want to live with my parents for the 4 years of being rejected!

    However this is something i am very determined to do, I just don't want to live the two gap years plus living at home with my parents! I would be on minimum wage and i would really love to move out and meet new people in my life, as i would at university.

    What i suggested as a 'waste' of a gap year was if i chose to look for work experience in veterinary yet i got rejected and went into sports science instead in 2018, that is what i feel would be a waste of a year, even if i enjoyed my work experience and still wanted to do veterinary yet i would have to do a sports science degree on the basis of being rejected.

    Do you advise i go with sports science if i get rejected after my gap year (2018) yet still enjoyed my work experience? or do you suggest taking two years out if i get rejected for 2018 and go for 2019?

    I suppose it would put me as a desirable applicant in 2019 with all my work experience and already achieved A levels but as for reasons i have said above, I'm not sure.

    Thank you
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    I've never heard of anyone graduating in Sports Science, going to Med school and then Vet school; seems an awful long route.

    If I understand correctly you're wishing to do Chemistry and Physics A Levels in one year at the same time as gaining a years worth of work experience AND working a minimum wage job?
    Sounds like a pretty busy year to me so there's nothing to stop you booking work experience placements now and spending the whole summer doing so.

    Fear of rejection is something you're going to have to deal with and I think comes with maturity. There will always be more exams, job applications and vet school is tough, you need to learn from it and get back up.

    If your vet med application is unsuccessful and enjoyed your work experience, you don't have to do the sports science degree, it depends how much you want it. If your heart isn't in sports science anymore it would be a waste of 3 years IMO; there are always other options such as Vet Nursing, Vet Biosciences, Animal Science.

    Another option you may not have considered is a preliminary year, such as the Nottingham Preliminary year.
    I would still suggest you spend 4 weeks in two veterinary clinics, the realities of the job are often vastly different to the ideal dream.
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    (Original post by lwescott)
    I've never heard of anyone graduating in Sports Science, going to Med school and then Vet school; seems an awful long route.

    If I understand correctly you're wishing to do Chemistry and Physics A Levels in one year at the same time as gaining a years worth of work experience AND working a minimum wage job?
    Sounds like a pretty busy year to me so there's nothing to stop you booking work experience placements now and spending the whole summer doing so.

    Fear of rejection is something you're going to have to deal with and I think comes with maturity. There will always be more exams, job applications and vet school is tough, you need to learn from it and get back up.

    If your vet med application is unsuccessful and enjoyed your work experience, you don't have to do the sports science degree, it depends how much you want it. If your heart isn't in sports science anymore it would be a waste of 3 years IMO; there are always other options such as Vet Nursing, Vet Biosciences, Animal Science.

    Another option you may not have considered is a preliminary year, such as the Nottingham Preliminary year.
    I would still suggest you spend 4 weeks in two veterinary clinics, the realities of the job are often vastly different to the ideal dream.
    Thank you for the advice!

    yes; i have looked at the preliminary year, however i believe it is for those who do not have the opportunity to do a level chemistry (it only requires one of biology/ chemistry) or schools with Extenuating Circumstances. I have been privately educated all my life. there is limited placed too... I.e 20 in Notts. No harm trying though.

    In honesty, i never wanted to do sports science however it is something i am good at but i lacked confidence during my lower sixth to study chemistry (i dropped it for PE, i dropped geography for psychology too) as i have said.

    Yes it is tough as i have realised and vet nursing is an option- but my parents (and myself) agree i do not want to go down this root due to my potential. If i choose to reapply, i will use my fourth option as vet biosciences or animal science just as you have suggested!
 
 
 
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