Engineering and access course at oxford/cambridge

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allofthestars
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Hi guys,

Just wondering if anyone knows of someone who has got into oxbridge engineering with an access course? Is it feasible?

Best,

Allofthestars
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999tigger
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(Original post by allofthestars)
Hi guys,

Just wondering if anyone knows of someone who has got into oxbridge engineering with an access course? Is it feasible?

Best,

Allofthestars
Have you looked on their website?

Do you have your results? If so what are they?

The elite unis are demanding when it comes to access courses, they will want 45 credits at distinction plus it looks like they would prefer a couple of A levels as well. They will most likely want Maths and Physics, but you need to get on the phone and ask.

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If I were choosing then I would do A levels.
Last edited by 999tigger; 2 years ago
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mnot
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(Original post by allofthestars)
Hi guys,

Just wondering if anyone knows of someone who has got into oxbridge engineering with an access course? Is it feasible?

Best,

Allofthestars
Honestly i have no idea, but i would be surprised if its common, there may be 1 or 2 people who have done it but they are more likely to be the exception to the rule...

I think the main concern the admissions tutors will have is the level of mathematics included in the course. Maybe email the admissions tutor asking specifically about your course, bear in mind the admissions tutor may not be very informed on your specific access course so you may want to provide a brief description of your course and provide them with the syllabus.

I would also make sure your other academics are top notch to have a chance, ie excellent score in the PAT (theyll also probably wan top GCSE's and if u did A-levels they'll expect A*'s)

You may also want to consider Imperial for engineering, if u have a specific area in mind, as the 'Oxbridge' engineering courses generally are quite different to the normal subject areas in traditional engineering degrees.
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999tigger
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(Original post by mnot)
Honestly i have no idea, but i would be surprised if its common, there may be 1 or 2 people who have done it but they are more likely to be the exception to the rule...

I think the main concern the admissions tutors will have is the level of mathematics included in the course. Maybe email the admissions tutor asking specifically about your course, bear in mind the admissions tutor may not be very informed on your specific access course so you may want to provide a brief description of your course and provide them with the syllabus.

I would also make sure your other academics are top notch to have a chance, ie excellent score in the PAT (theyll also probably wan top GCSE's and if u did A-levels they'll expect A*'s)

You may also want to consider Imperial for engineering, if u have a specific area in mind, as the 'Oxbridge' engineering courses generally are quite different to the normal subject areas in traditional engineering degrees.
Although they say they are interested, there are doubts about access, which is why its always at their discretion. He is better off actually asking Oxford to find out what they want. I bet the numbers are very low, but then again the number who apply will also be low. It seems they would prefer additional A levels.
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mnot
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Although they say they are interested, there are doubts about access, which is why its always at their discretion. He is better off actually asking Oxford to find out what they want. I bet the numbers are very low, but then again the number who apply will also be low. It seems they would prefer additional A levels.
Yea i agree, the other thing is i doubt the admissions tutors know much about these programs especially at Oxford, I think it would require stellar credentials on the PAT & GCSE so the admissions tutor doesn't feel it's a gamble, but at least if u email them now you show a level of enthusiasm.

But i would be worried about the maths ability of these students, and whether its up to par, they really want top students who have done further math A-level (it's not a requirement, but its strongly encouraged) and i just cant imagine these courses are at the same level hence students coming in could really struggle with this element even if their intellectually sound.
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999tigger
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(Original post by mnot)
Yea i agree, the other thing is i doubt the admissions tutors know much about these programs especially at Oxford, I think it would require stellar credentials on the PAT & GCSE so the admissions tutor doesn't feel it's a gamble, but at least if u email them now you show a level of enthusiasm.

But i would be worried about the maths ability of these students, and whether its up to par, they really want top students who have done further math A-level (it's not a requirement, but its strongly encouraged) and i just cant imagine these courses are at the same level hence students coming in could really struggle with this element even if their intellectually sound.
From what ive seen the very elite unis didnt even know they existed until recently. They have been cautious, so some of them say we will consider it and ask us for special treatment i,.e case by case basis.

In some cases they might be more open to look at a candidate who had substantial experience.
In others they ask for perfect Access and A levels on top, which seems to be more effort than just doing A levels or 2x A levels and a btec.
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artful_lounger
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I would suggest you contact the universities you are considering applying to with the details of the exact access course you are studying, to be sure - or if you are considering an access course, contact universities with the details of that before you apply/start the course to ensure it is suitable.

Cambridge has it's Access to HE course criteria stated here: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....e-requirements

As you can see, the access course alone is not sufficient for entry, and they also require A-level Mathematics for you to be considered. Your application would probably be more competitive if you also took A-level Further Mathematics.

No idea what data there is on applicants previously, I suspect there would be relatively few so any freedom of information act requests would be rejected on the basis they could reveal personally identifying information. You can always make one yourself, however.

I imagine Oxford would be similar (requiring at least A-level Maths to be taken alongside the access course, and FM would probably be preferable as well).
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999tigger
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
I would suggest you contact the universities you are considering applying to with the details of the exact access course you are studying, to be sure - or if you are considering an access course, contact universities with the details of that before you apply/start the course to ensure it is suitable.

Cambridge has it's Access to HE course criteria stated here: https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....e-requirements

As you can see, the access course alone is not sufficient for entry, and they also require A-level Mathematics for you to be considered. Your application would probably be more competitive if you also took A-level Further Mathematics.

No idea what data there is on applicants previously, I suspect there would be relatively few so any freedom of information act requests would be rejected on the basis they could reveal personally identifying information. You can always make one yourself, however.

I imagine Oxford would be similar (requiring at least A-level Maths to be taken alongside the access course, and FM would probably be preferable as well).
It says what you imagined on the Oxford site. there isnt a definitive answer for Access because the courses vary so much and only they can say what they want to see besides 45 distinctions and probably Maths and Physics.
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allofthestars
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(Original post by 999tigger)
From what ive seen the very elite unis didnt even know they existed until recently. They have been cautious, so some of them say we will consider it and ask us for special treatment i,.e case by case basis.

In some cases they might be more open to look at a candidate who had substantial experience.
In others they ask for perfect Access and A levels on top, which seems to be more effort than just doing A levels or 2x A levels and a btec.
I took Maths, Art and Design and Physics in 2016. Got A* A B, resat my physics privately in 2017 to an A and just didnt go to uni. Its been three years now and want to do an access and do further maths in my own time and apply. I also got 9A* 4As at GCSE.
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mnot
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(Original post by allofthestars)
I took Maths, Art and Design and Physics in 2016. Got A* A B, resat my physics privately in 2017 to an A and just didnt go to uni. Its been three years now and want to do an access and do further maths in my own time and apply. I also got 9A* 4As at GCSE.
Ok so if u apply with A*AA, I think the time gap and resit, wont look great but this is actually a much better chance.

-If u can get A* further math, & pass get very strong score on the PAT that could lead to a strong application.
I would still email Oxbridge, it might improve your chances just doing something like further math & chemistry A-levels in 1 year, rather than the access course. Its such a unique case its hard to know whats the best path to take...
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999tigger
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(Original post by allofthestars)
I took Maths, Art and Design and Physics in 2016. Got A* A B, resat my physics privately in 2017 to an A and just didnt go to uni. Its been three years now and want to do an access and do further maths in my own time and apply. I also got 9A* 4As at GCSE.
So?
Talk to them , confirm what they want and then get it. the question you ask is very much how long is a piece of string and if you want a definitive answer only they can tell you. Your A levels arent as strong because you resat. I expect 45 credits at distinction.
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allofthestars
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(Original post by mnot)
Ok so if u apply with A*AA, I think the time gap and resit, wont look great but this is actually a much better chance.

-If u can get A* further math, & pass get very strong score on the PAT that could lead to a strong application.
I would still email Oxbridge, it might improve your chances just doing something like further math & chemistry A-levels in 1 year, rather than the access course. Its such a unique case its hard to know whats the best path to take...
I appreciate your help here! Very generous of you to take the time to respond. I took a gap to resit due to a moderation error in my results which really messed up my a level physics - im sure i could get a quote about this from my school where it was sat.

Sounds positive though ! I was checking the uni stats data and literally no one got in with any form of accesss course
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mnot
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(Original post by allofthestars)
I appreciate your help here! Very generous of you to take the time to respond. I took a gap to resit due to a moderation error in my results which really messed up my a level physics - im sure i could get a quote about this from my school where it was sat.

Sounds positive though ! I was checking the uni stats data and literally no one got in with any form of accesss course
i think such a weird personal circumstances will only hinder your application unfortunately, i think normal acceptance rates are roughly 15-20%, and whilst your a-levels are very good compared to the average, the Oxbridge standard is around A*A*A+ (normally 1st attempt), so i think its still unlikely but you don't know unless you try and sending a few emails is easy to do, Good luck!
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allofthestars
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(Original post by 999tigger)
So?
Talk to them , confirm what they want and then get it. the question you ask is very much how long is a piece of string and if you want a definitive answer only they can tell you. Your A levels arent as strong because you resat. I expect 45 credits at distinction.
So? Because someone on this thread asked to know what I achieved so I was responding to them.
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999tigger
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(Original post by allofthestars)
So? Because someone on this thread asked to know what I achieved so I was responding to them.
And I agree with the other person that you are a non standard situation and you need to speak to them to get their guidance on the best way forward.
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