mature student looking at options to go back to uni Watch

zentico
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I'm not really sure if this is the right place. hopefully, someone can help me out. For some context, I got 6 GCSEs grade C, although 2 are short courses. I left college around 18 - 19 with essentially failed AS levels and went into IT. The sob story behind the failures I guess don't matter much now, they shouldn't have been a reason for the mistakes.

Either way, it's been around 11 years since my GCSEs and 2 years ago I quit my IT Sec job paying fairly well to go and go a level 3 software development apprenticeship. I passed with a distinction.

So, I've been looking around some universities because I think I would like to go back into full time education and do Computer Science. I've contacted a few universities like loughborough, Cambridge just to see what universities want etc I know those 2 are definitely out of my league, but Nottingham said the same as them and so far half have come back saying, although I did a level 3, I should look to do a HE course and whilst doing that, sit a Maths GCSE and achieve B.

The only problem there is, I would need to leave my job, and then I wouldn't be able to afford to live. I was kind of hoping I would be able to get in through a foundation course if anything, but even they want the B. So, I'm not sure what to do? I feel like I would be competent, because, I already work as a software developer full time now that I passed.

Does anyone know what other options there are?
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10yearslate
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My flatmate got on a computer science BA at Cardiff Met with a foundation year and all she had was average AS levels so it's definitely possible.

I'm not sure there's an alternative to the maths GCSE, as I gather that is a fairly standard requirement for computer science degrees. If you choose to do the GCSE part time you'd be looking at 2-4 hours a week with about the same amount of study at home (depending on how rusty you are of course).

The other option to give you more choice in terms of universities would be to complete a Access to HE course. This is quite intense and you wouldn't be able to work full time (i've heard of people who've managed to juggle such a course with full time employment but I really wouldn't recommend it) however the perk is that an access course would probably negate the need to sit a foundation year and you'd be able to do your maths GCSE at the same time, this would take one year to complete.
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mkw171
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I gained the qualifications I needed to apply for my nursing degree through the Open University whilst still working. It would be worth asking universities which OU courses they accept for entry. They also do maths modules and will give you the academic reference for your UCAS application.
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zentico
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I appreciate the input, I found some courses that would take me as I am depending just based on experience. But now I'm wondering if I should go back and do some maths just to be better prepared. Hard choice to make.
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adam271
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You're a full-time software developer.
Do you need to go to university?
Maybe you're in a entry level role but I'm sure a lot of graduates end up in entry level roles.
Maybe the best choice would be to progress career rise now that your on the ladder. I mean the entire point of apprenticeships is as an alternative to university.

That being said if your dead set on it.
A lot of people part time work during access courses so maybe just try and find a job more suitable even if it means eating pasta for a year.
As for the Maths at B grade requirement. It just depends on what university you ask. Most of the Russell group will probably want a B or better but the majority of universities are happy with a C grade.
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quirky editor
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The University of Salford has a scheme for matute students who can take a test to prove basic maths competence etc.
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zentico
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I don't technically need to go back to Uni, I'm already in the field that I would be doing the degree to get into.
And my company will even pay to put me through a Ditial and Technology Solutions degree apprenticeship, which is a degree in computer science with business modules.

It's mainly that, I really want to be an expert in my field, and I feel like I really want the modules that all relate to computer science and not business. And the fact I would gain that whole uninterrupted time period to focus on study. It's confusing and I know it probably sounds stupid to most, as most will be looking at the income aspect or the fact a degree gets you into the hard to enter field, but there's just something about doing a uni defree the traditional way that I never got to experience due to my youth that's appealing, if that makes sense?

I appreciate all the input though, any other thoughts on it? What do you think of my thought process or what I want to do etc?
(Original post by adam271)
You're a full-time software developer.
Do you need to go to university?
Maybe you're in a entry level role but I'm sure a lot of graduates end up in entry level roles.
Maybe the best choice would be to progress career rise now that your on the ladder. I mean the entire point of apprenticeships is as an alternative to university.

That being said if your dead set on it.
A lot of people part time work during access courses so maybe just try and find a job more suitable even if it means eating pasta for a year.
As for the Maths at B grade requirement. It just depends on what university you ask. Most of the Russell group will probably want a B or better but the majority of universities are happy with a C grade.
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zentico
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Oh, I didn't realise, thatnks for the info, I'll check them out.
(Original post by quirky editor)
The University of Salford has a scheme for matute students who can take a test to prove basic maths competence etc.
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adam271
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Go for it.
You know what pathways are available to you and they seem achievable.
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MidgetFever
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Just so i understand, you'd have to leave your job to do an Access Course?

Im not so sure you would.. I did one last year, the class ran 1 night a week so I could still work 30 odd hours.
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zentico
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I would, the course near me that is engineering is 3 days a week daytime. And there isn't any computing classes in 20 miles. And some of the universities I went to said it has to be qaa recognised which limited me to the engineering one.
(Original post by MidgetFever)
Just so i understand, you'd have to leave your job to do an Access Course?

Im not so sure you would.. I did one last year, the class ran 1 night a week so I could still work 30 odd hours.
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zentico
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Well, that settles it. Appreciate your advice. Guess I'll try and put this is motion.
(Original post by adam271)
Go for it.
You know what pathways are available to you and they seem achievable.
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adam277
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make sure your prepared for the level of mathematics.

the engineering access to he will no doubt have loads of advanced topics like matrices, complex numbers, logarithms, calculus, vectors and probably a lot more.

This is the biggest hurdle I have is getting my maths up to scratch as I have not needed it for nearly 10 years I suspect you will be the same.
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