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    I'm 20 and currently in work. I have always wanted an equine career and although i have one now I would like to retrain in a different field. I am looking to become an equine vet and would like to study at Hartpury to get my qualifications. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what my best route would be.
    I unfortunately was unable to take my GCSE's back in school due to unforeseen circumstances and It has always been a massive regret of mine but now it is causing me more problems than ever! To get into Hartpury university I need 5 GCSE's at C or above and I need A level biology.

    These are my questions:
    - Do I have to take GCSE's or can i just do Maths, English and Biology A levels instead? Fast track a year!
    - Where can I study GCSE's at my age? and can i get them for free?
    - Would my a levels be free too and where can I study those?
    - What other help can i receive financially while doing these courses?

    Also if anyone does the access to higher education course (Equine) at Hartpury, would this allow me to go straight onto my veterinary science course? and what is included in the access to higher education course? What is covered and what practical work is there?

    Any help at all would be appreciated!

    Glad you’ve found what you want to do! Such an awesome feeling.

    1) If a University or employer wants to see GCSE’s, they want to see GCSE’s. Unfortunately, the myth that is ‘GCSE’s get you into A Levels and are then made irrelevant’ is false. I know people (30) in full time employment who have had to go resit a GCSE as a mature student for just a job.

    2) The most common way for a mature student to study GCSE’s is online. Various services can be found from a quick google - go look at ICSLearn. Since you’re over 18, state paid education isn’t available for you. You might be able to apply for a student loan of sort however.

    3) Again, you’re over 18 and this the state isn’t responsible for your education anymore, and so will need to be paid for you. Student loans might be available dependent on your circumstances. Google is your friend - use it!

    4) You’re probably entitled to some forms of student finance in the form of a repayable loan. Have a quick gander at the government website regarding student finance https://www.gov.uk/mature-student-university-funding

    All the best with your studies and the future!
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