Steve_01_
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I am currently in first year of A levels. My predicted grades are likely to be lower than the minimum requirements for the courses I wish to apply for (Mechanical/Civil engineering at Bristol, Bath, Southampton or UCL) due to being ill for 9 months last year and admittedly I have been quite lazy this year. However I've recently got my act together and at this rate am extremely likely to achieve the grades I need at A level next year. Rather than settling for a course at a university I am not too excited about, I am considering taking a gap year and reapplying for uni during the gap year. During the gap year I plan to do an engineering internship, and if that is not possible then get a job or volunteering. Also general self improvement as my life has fallen behind in other areas as well. Anyway, I have a couple of questions and your general thoughts will be appreciated.

tl;dr: Want to do mechanical/civil engineering at Bristol,Bath, Southhampton or UCL. I have some questions and would appreciate your opinions.

Will universities such as Bristol and UCL look unfavourably at applicants who have taken a gap year, especially for a competitive course such as Engineering?

Are there any financial incentives I will miss out on by taking a gap year e.g. government subsidies?

Thanks in advance.
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PQ
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(Original post by Steve_01_)
I am currently in first year of A levels. My predicted grades are likely to be lower than the minimum requirements for the courses I wish to apply for (Mechanical/Civil engineering at Bristol, Bath, Southampton or UCL) due to being ill for 9 months last year and admittedly I have been quite lazy this year. However I've recently got my act together and at this rate am extremely likely to achieve the grades I need at A level next year. Rather than settling for a course at a university I am not too excited about, I am considering taking a gap year and reapplying for uni during the gap year. During the gap year I plan to do an engineering internship, and if that is not possible then get a job or volunteering. Also general self improvement as my life has fallen behind in other areas as well. Anyway, I have a couple of questions and your general thoughts will be appreciated.

tl;dr: Want to do mechanical/civil engineering at Bristol,Bath, Southhampton or UCL. I have some questions and would appreciate your opinions.

Will universities such as Bristol and UCL look unfavourably at applicants who have taken a gap year, especially for a competitive course such as Engineering?

Are there any financial incentives I will miss out on by taking a gap year e.g. government subsidies?

Thanks in advance.
Universities like gap years. There’s no financial penalties (just a chance to save some money).

I would recommend that you still apply while you’re in sixth form. It just gives you a trial application while you have support from your school/college. You can apply during that year for deferred places so it’s clear that you’re planning a gap year. That means that when you withdraw and reapply during your gap year things should be familiar and more straightforward.

http://www.etrust.org.uk/year-industry/vacancies Should help you find a job for the year that pays well and is relevant (or gives you a chance to try out a different area).
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nicetwo
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(Original post by Steve_01_)
I am currently in first year of A levels. My predicted grades are likely to be lower than the minimum requirements for the courses I wish to apply for (Mechanical/Civil engineering at Bristol, Bath, Southampton or UCL) due to being ill for 9 months last year and admittedly I have been quite lazy this year. However I've recently got my act together and at this rate am extremely likely to achieve the grades I need at A level next year. Rather than settling for a course at a university I am not too excited about, I am considering taking a gap year and reapplying for uni during the gap year. During the gap year I plan to do an engineering internship, and if that is not possible then get a job or volunteering. Also general self improvement as my life has fallen behind in other areas as well. Anyway, I have a couple of questions and your general thoughts will be appreciated.

tl;dr: Want to do mechanical/civil engineering at Bristol,Bath, Southhampton or UCL. I have some questions and would appreciate your opinions.

Will universities such as Bristol and UCL look unfavourably at applicants who have taken a gap year, especially for a competitive course such as Engineering?

Are there any financial incentives I will miss out on by taking a gap year e.g. government subsidies?

Thanks in advance.
I took a last minute gap year (I had a place at uni but backed out just before I would have had to commit). It was definitely the right decision for me.

I think gap years can actually really increase your chances (depending on what you do) I applied to two uni's that were above my grades (one only slightly and the other a bit more) but I also did a relevant internship which probably lifted me up to their expectations. If you don't get the internship you want, doing normal work / volunteering won't effect you negatively (more likely positively) as it shows you were still productive and taking a year out shows you feel ready and will be serious about uni which is what they want. Just make sure you do something during the year.

From my experience there is no financial incentives that are lost. The only way I could see a gap year effecting you financially would be if you had been offered a scholarship this year and turned it down or if you were super unlucky and the Government raise tuition fees (almost no chance of that).

Good luck with A-levels and whatever choice you make!
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