picked wrong a levels? I don't know what I want a career in! help?

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A Verde
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way too young to choose what I want to do with my life.
I've made a post on this but need more opinions as it's stressing me out.
currently studying a level English Language, criminology and business.
Ive wanted to get a business degree for a while now but recently had second thoughts on what I want to do.

I've been thinking about dropping out of sixth form and going to college to study biology, chemistry and either maths or psychology.
biology was a very interesting subject at GCSE and I got a 6-6 in combined Science.
I got a 7 in food tech and am very passionate about food so a degree in biology could help me get into a career in food science.
I find chemistry hard but I think I could manage if organised.
maths GCSE I got a 6, I find maths ok.

making the switch is a big risk as it means 1, leaving my friends 2, retaking year 12 and 3, switching to subjects that are a lot harder and potentially I may not like them.

I am coming to the end of year 12 at the moment and don't know whether it's worth getting the three AS levels if I do decide to leave.

the thought of being a scientist, getting a doctorate, and researching as a career really appeals to me.

opinions please?
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artful_lounger
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You can do a STEM degree without having taken STEM A-levels via a foundation year - there are many "biology with foundation year" type degrees available. In such a course you will do a preliminary "year 0" where you cover any necessary science content from A-level before, subject to attaining specified progression criteria, moving into the first year of the main degree programme and hence as any other student on the course. A foundation year also gives you a year to adjust to your new university environment, so in first year you will already have a good idea of where stuff is, which is also helpful.

That said I'm not sure a biology degree is the best background to go into the food science industry, unless you're doing microbiology and looking at the brewing sector. Something like chemical engineering or manufacturing engineering would probably be more relevant, as it's largely about how the foods are processed and manufactured, rather than any e.g. molecular gastronomy type stuff. I would note both those areas of engineering are likewise possible to go into via foundation year.
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A Verde
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
You can do a STEM degree without having taken STEM A-levels via a foundation year - there are many "biology with foundation year" type degrees available. In such a course you will do a preliminary "year 0" where you cover any necessary science content from A-level before, subject to attaining specified progression criteria, moving into the first year of the main degree programme and hence as any other student on the course. A foundation year also gives you a year to adjust to your new university environment, so in first year you will already have a good idea of where stuff is, which is also helpful.

That said I'm not sure a biology degree is the best background to go into the food science industry, unless you're doing microbiology and looking at the brewing sector. Something like chemical engineering or manufacturing engineering would probably be more relevant, as it's largely about how the foods are processed and manufactured, rather than any e.g. molecular gastronomy type stuff. I would note both those areas of engineering are likewise possible to go into via foundation year.
ok thanks for the info on the degree. the food science path was just an example, I find overall biology really interesting anyway so there are loads of oaths I could go down. it's just deciding whether I want a career in biology or business management. a foundation year is definitely an option, but I'd be spending an extra £9250 that I'd pay back in the future, when I could change a levels for free and get a degree with no foundation year.

so idk. thanks tho
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by A Verde)
ok thanks for the info on the degree. the food science path was just an example, I find overall biology really interesting anyway so there are loads of oaths I could go down. it's just deciding whether I want a career in biology or business management. a foundation year is definitely an option, but I'd be spending an extra £9250 that I'd pay back in the future, when I could change a levels for free and get a degree with no foundation year.

so idk. thanks tho
That's true, however it's worth bearing in mind debt from student finance is essentially "Invisible" debt - it doesn't affect your credit rating, and unless you move country without informing SFE they won't be sending bailiffs to beat down your door for repayments. All that happens is you tick a box on a form when you start a new job, and then they align that with your student finance and if you earn over the threshold in any given month, you will have a certain percentage of your paycheque taken straight out to go to your SFE loans (as with your NI contributions or income tax).

For months where I just barely go over the threshold, I pay back about £20 or so. If I earn more than I will pay back proportionally more, but you won't be having significant amounts go out if you aren't earning so much that it won't make much of a difference to you anyway. If you earn under the threshold in a given month you will make no repayment. If you are earning under the threshold for a certain number of years (I think like 15-20) it gets written off, and any that you haven't repaid will get written off when you retire anyway.

Alternatively if you meet the criteria (usually that you are a mature student, or at least over the age of 19 at the start of the course) you could do an Access to HE course. These can be funded by an Advanced Learner Loan, and the ALL has a specific clause where if you take it out to do an Access to HE course then go on to complete an undergraduate degree, the ALL gets written off. However not all Access courses are accepted by all universities or degree programmes, so you will need to contact any programmes you wish to apply to well in advance in order to confirm if they will accept the specific Access course(s) you are considering.
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A Verde
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
That's true, however it's worth bearing in mind debt from student finance is essentially "Invisible" debt - it doesn't affect your credit rating, and unless you move country without informing SFE they won't be sending bailiffs to beat down your door for repayments. All that happens is you tick a box on a form when you start a new job, and then they align that with your student finance and if you earn over the threshold in any given month, you will have a certain percentage of your paycheque taken straight out to go to your SFE loans (as with your NI contributions or income tax).

For months where I just barely go over the threshold, I pay back about £20 or so. If I earn more than I will pay back proportionally more, but you won't be having significant amounts go out if you aren't earning so much that it won't make much of a difference to you anyway. If you earn under the threshold in a given month you will make no repayment. If you are earning under the threshold for a certain number of years (I think like 15-20) it gets written off, and any that you haven't repaid will get written off when you retire anyway.

Alternatively if you meet the criteria (usually that you are a mature student, or at least over the age of 19 at the start of the course) you could do an Access to HE course. These can be funded by an Advanced Learner Loan, and the ALL has a specific clause where if you take it out to do an Access to HE course then go on to complete an undergraduate degree, the ALL gets written off. However not all Access courses are accepted by all universities or degree programmes, so you will need to contact any programmes you wish to apply to well in advance in order to confirm if they will accept the specific Access course(s) you are considering.
wow you really know your stuff😂
thanks for the info
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A Verde
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