Completing an access course to get into university Watch

username1401438
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Hello,

I didn't exactly get the A-Levels I needed for the course I wanted to do (Warwick). Unfortunately, in order for me to retake, I would have to pay which is something I am financially unable to do. However, a local college is offering access courses (for free) for my age demographic.

I do understand that access courses are for people who have been out of education for a while, but can they be used in place for re-taking A-Levels? I got ACC and if I get the grades for the access course I could theoretically get into uni with just that access course. I know some courses have an age restriction but I turn 19 in early October, so that wouldn't be an issue, right?

I've heard that some uni's frown upon 18-19 year olds taking access courses so I don't know if that will put me at an even higher disadvantage.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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SarcAndSpark
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This thread has loads of information about access courses and other routes to uni:
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=3401311

Usually Access courses aren't free, they are paid for by an advance learner loan which is written off if you go on to undergraduate study.

You would still have to declare your A-levels on your application, and any unis you applied to would view your application holistically. If might be worth contacting unis before you apply to see how they would view your application.
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
This thread has loads of information about access courses and other routes to uni:
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=3401311

Usually Access courses aren't free, they are paid for by an advance learner loan which is written off if you go on to undergraduate study.

You would still have to declare your A-levels on your application, and any unis you applied to would view your application holistically. If might be worth contacting unis before you apply to see how they would view your application.
Of course. I would have to pay for an access course but I am still in the 16-18 age bracket so it would be free. However, I turn 19 very soon so I would have to pay a fee.

Although my A-Levels aren't exactly the required. I feel my personal statement is very solid but from what I have heard, personal statements are more or less disregarded today. But, if universities were to look at my personal statement more closely, I feel that it could work to my advantage, I guess?
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by 4.4KitKat)
Of course. I would have to pay for an access course but I am still in the 16-18 age bracket so it would be free. However, I turn 19 very soon so I would have to pay a fee.

Although my A-Levels aren't exactly the required. I feel my personal statement is very solid but from what I have heard, personal statements are more or less disregarded today. But, if universities were to look at my personal statement more closely, I feel that it could work to my advantage, I guess?
I do think you need to look into the funding situation carefully- if you can't get funding when you turn 19, you may not be able to take out a loan for a course you have already started.

Sorry, when I say "holistically" I mean that the university will look at your whole academic profile, so your GCSEs, your A-levels and your access course. If you're applying for a competitive course/uni, your A-level grades may count against you even if you are doing an access course now.

They will look at your PS and reference too- but the weighting they place on these aspects will vary from uni to uni.
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
I do think you need to look into the funding situation carefully- if you can't get funding when you turn 19, you may not be able to take out a loan for a course you have already started.

Sorry, when I say "holistically" I mean that the university will look at your whole academic profile, so your GCSEs, your A-levels and your access course. If you're applying for a competitive course/uni, your A-level grades may count against you even if you are doing an access course now.

They will look at your PS and reference too- but the weighting they place on these aspects will vary from uni to uni.
Okay, I'll speak to the college in question regarding funding.

Thanks, for clearing that up. I understand what you are trying to convey now. I'm sure as you know, Warwick is obviously competitive (not sure about the course) and of course, they aren't short of people with good grades. I guess I may have to look elsewhere...
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by 4.4KitKat)
Okay, I'll speak to the college in question regarding funding.

Thanks, for clearing that up. I understand what you are trying to convey now. I'm sure as you know, Warwick is obviously competitive (not sure about the course) and of course, they aren't short of people with good grades. I guess I may have to look elsewhere...
It's ok to have one stretch option, you get 5 choices on your UCAS form, so it's ok to apply to one place you think might reject you as long as you are sensible with your other choices.
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
It's ok to have one stretch option, you get 5 choices on your UCAS form, so it's ok to apply to one place you think might reject you as long as you are sensible with your other choices.
I guess so. I'm really trying to make my personal statement as best as possible so I have some sort of vague (unlikely) chance of getting the uni I want.
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(Original post by 4.4KitKat)
Okay, I'll speak to the college in question regarding funding.

Thanks, for clearing that up. I understand what you are trying to convey now. I'm sure as you know, Warwick is obviously competitive (not sure about the course) and of course, they aren't short of people with good grades. I guess I may have to look elsewhere...
Which course at Warwick specifically. Their competitiveness varies.

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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Which course at Warwick specifically. Their competitiveness varies.

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Cyber Security?

It does seem like a new course and for this year, a lot of universities have placed the course on clearing. Warwick isn't so, I can only assume its highly competitive or its due to the small class size of 39.

Also, I have done a bit more research and it seems I can receive a certificate in higher education after completing a year at uni. Could this help me significantly in my UCAS application? Is this a qualification recognised by UCAS and/or the university in question?
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(Original post by 4.4KitKat)
Cyber Security?

It does seem like a new course and for this year, a lot of universities have placed the course on clearing. Warwick isn't so, I can only assume its highly competitive or its due to the small class size of 39.

Also, I have done a bit more research and it seems I can receive a certificate in higher education after completing a year at uni. Could this help me significantly in my UCAS application? Is this a qualification recognised by UCAS and/or the university in question?
Again, you would need to ask Warwick.

And a "small" course doesn't mean it's "competitive". I suspect you will be fine but just check.
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Again, you would need to ask Warwick.

And a "small" course doesn't mean it's "competitive". I suspect you will be fine but just check.
Right, I get you.

Just briefly, what would I include in an email to them? Obviously I want to join the course, but I don't want it to look like I am waffling. How could I explain my less than stellar grades?
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(Original post by 4.4KitKat)
Right, I get you.

Just briefly, what would I include in an email to them? Obviously I want to join the course, but I don't want it to look like I am waffling. How could I explain my less than stellar grades?
So don't waffle just be brief, and to the point.
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(Original post by 4.4KitKat)
Cyber Security?

It does seem like a new course and for this year, a lot of universities have placed the course on clearing. Warwick isn't so, I can only assume its highly competitive or its due to the small class size of 39.

Also, I have done a bit more research and it seems I can receive a certificate in higher education after completing a year at uni. Could this help me significantly in my UCAS application? Is this a qualification recognised by UCAS and/or the university in question?
Not being in clearing doesn't mean a course is super competitive- it just means they managed to fill the course in the normal application round. Also, on some courses, it's easier to go over numbers than others, so they are more likely to be put in clearing.

You can transfer unis sometimes after first year, but doing a first year at another uni won't necessarily make another uni more keen to take you.

As Doonesbury suggested, why not send them an email in September asking how they would view your application?
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Not being in clearing doesn't mean a course is super competitive- it just means they managed to fill the course in the normal application round. Also, on some courses, it's easier to go over numbers than others, so they are more likely to be put in clearing.

You can transfer unis sometimes after first year, but doing a first year at another uni won't necessarily make another uni more keen to take you.

As Doonesbury suggested, why not send them an email in September asking how they would view your application?

I have sent them an email and I am awaiting a reply. I think it's nearing the end of the clearing period so hopefully its not too slow.
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(Original post by 4.4KitKat)
I have sent them an email and I am awaiting a reply. I think it's nearing the end of the clearing period so hopefully its not too slow.
As it's the bank holiday weekend, you probably won't hear back until Tuesday at least. I imagine you wouldn't have to wait too long to hear back, though!
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
As it's the bank holiday weekend, you probably won't hear back until Tuesday at least. I imagine you wouldn't have to wait too long to hear back, though!
I hope so. I just hope (hope!) that they are lenient :/ But I'm assuming the latter to avoid disappointment really ahah
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(Original post by 4.4KitKat)
I hope so. I just hope (hope!) that they are lenient :/ But I'm assuming the latter to avoid disappointment really ahah
Fingers crossed you hear something positive soon!

Even if they do say they would welcome/consider your application, I do think you should think about your plan B and other uni choices anyway- just because entry is always competitive and there are no guarantees. Maybe have a look for some other unis/courses you'd be excited about too?
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Fingers crossed you hear something positive soon!

Even if they do say they would welcome/consider your application, I do think you should think about your plan B and other uni choices anyway- just because entry is always competitive and there are no guarantees. Maybe have a look for some other unis/courses you'd be excited about too?
I've drawn up a list of other uni's (including Oxford Brookes again!).

I wished I really 'knew' what I wanted to do back when I was applying. I don't think I would have been in this situation as I would have got better grades
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(Original post by 4.4KitKat)
I've drawn up a list of other uni's (including Oxford Brookes again!).

I wished I really 'knew' what I wanted to do back when I was applying. I don't think I would have been in this situation as I would have got better grades
Don't forget there is no wrong path- you will get where you want to be in the end
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Don't forget there is no wrong path- you will get where you want to be in the end
Suppose

Thanks man (and everyone else here) it's been great that you've helped me so much!
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