Who has got into uni with an Access to HE?

Watch
mrarmstrong21
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#21
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#21
(Original post by DCDCo)
Just to reiterate what has been mentioned above. An Access Course can be a great way to get into Uni. There are some courses it's likely unsuitable for (there's a lot of Science/Maths degrees that it doesn't provide the necessary rigour for), but, I'm sure there were even Uni's you could take Medicine with an Access course.

I was able to get into LSE Law, which has a 9% offer rate. This is lower than Oxford/Cambridge Law. The point being - You really can target the University of your dreams if you apply yourself and get the grades!
Do you think it would be a good idea to resit my GCSE maths? I got a C and I’m thinking it will prevent me from getting into a top uni but I’ve heard they also don’t approve on resitting exams...


Do you have any tips on essay structure to achieve distinctions? And possibly any websites that are good for research?

Did you do your Access to HE Law online? If so, which distance learning did you go with and would you recommend?
0
reply
mrarmstrong21
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#22
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#22
(Original post by Docxx)
Thank you, honestly when I started I didn't expect to get even 30 Distinctions but found I really enjoyed the assignments.

My advice is to go beyond what the criteria asks. In the assignments you will get exactly what the criteria are for each part. For example in one of my Chemistry assignments one of the Criteria was:

1, use a model of atomic structure to explain different types of bonding

Which isn't actually too difficult to achieve but then to get Merit/distinction you have to explain in more detail and show you have very good understanding. I'm pretty good with Photoshop and graphics so a lot of my diagrams were really good which helped to not only show I had good understanding but also kept my word count down. You learn really quickly what sort of level you need to achieve distinctions, it also helps if your Tutors show you previous distinction work which all of ours did.

The teachers also love it when you use references and research from sources like published studies and journals. Most essays would require at least 8+ references, some of my essays I ended up with 20+ references. I read a lot of studies and journals and used them well in my essays. My last couple of essays were at an undergraduate standard, I spent a lot of time reading and researching.

I plan on going into research when I graduate. I want to gain my Masters in Entomology and then hopefully go on to do a PhD eventually.
Thank you!!! So so helpful!


This is probably a super dumb question but what websites did you use for reliable sources/research/journals? I’ve only heard of Google scholar...

I wish you all the best in your studies & career.
0
reply
mrarmstrong21
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#23
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#23
(Original post by nc127)
I did an Access to HE course in Humanities, so it was split between three different subjects. I found it incredibly enjoyable. It had been five years since I last went to college, but I had barely attended and didn't really gain any A-levels. On Access I was on a fairly tight schedule, as the assignments were back to back and I often had two or three assignments due on the same day or week.

It was essentially a fast track crash course, but it does prepare you for university work more than the standard A-Level, especially with the importance of referencing your work and researching by yourself. Universities don't look down on that. Stay organised and on track, and use the college library. The students who didn't take it seriously from the start and missed deadlines struggled the most, or just dropped out.

I was aiming for certain universities so I didn't apply for five. Ended the course with 39 Distinctions, 3 Merits, and 3 Passes out of the 45 credits required (15 of those were Distinctions given before we got predicted grades) and had conditional offers from Manchester, Sheffield, and Oxford Brookes. I was, however, rejected by Edinburgh for not already having a Modern Language qualification. It had nothing to do with being an Access course student, so I would also highly suggest double-checking with universities for other requirements specifically for your degree if you are unsure. Don't waste a choice as I did!

Before covid, most Russell Group universities originally asked for 30 credits at Distinction, and 15 credits at Merit, or just for 45 overall Distinctions (Oxbridge, maybe Leeds, etc.). My tutors had past students who went off to Oxbridge, so that is possible, just much harder to achieve.
Ah thank you for this!


Did you find it hard to achieve those distinctions? Did you notice the difference in quality of your work compared to the times you got merits or passes?

I know it will vary depending on what my tutor is like but did your tutor go over essay structure, researching and referencing etc? Or do you kind of just have to figure that out yourself?

Thanks again! I really appreciate the help.
0
reply
Docxx
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#24
Report 2 months ago
#24
we had access to a large amount of studies and journals through the College library. I also used google scholar, doaj.org, PubMed, PubChem and core.ac.uk. Sci-hub.tw is extremely useful if the study you're after is behind a paywall.
0
reply
Jenks98
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#25
Report 2 months ago
#25
(Original post by mrarmstrong21)
Thank you for your reply and congratulations on getting into the uni of your choice!


Do you have any tips on getting distinctions? I really don’t want to slack at all, I’m aiming for 45D.
Thank you!!

I think one of the main tips I can give you is to be particular, concise, and consistent. If you have exams, revise in plenty of time. Essays need to be top quality - correct referencing, grammar, spelling etc. Structurally, they need to look good too - 1.5 line spacing and clear font. Use a variety of sources when writing essays and ensure they are accurate. Attend every lesson! Don't be afraid to ask your lecturer for help if you don't understand something. Using examples in your work will show that you understand the criteria. I know everyone says 'keep on top of your workload' but honestly this is the best bit of advice out there! Other than that just enjoy it
0
reply
bimbibap
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#26
Report 2 months ago
#26
(Original post by mrarmstrong21)
Ah thank you for this!


Did you find it hard to achieve those distinctions? Did you notice the difference in quality of your work compared to the times you got merits or passes?

I know it will vary depending on what my tutor is like but did your tutor go over essay structure, researching and referencing etc? Or do you kind of just have to figure that out yourself?

Thanks again! I really appreciate the help.
I got 42 D and 3 M, those 3 M were in an assignment where I didn’t reference correctly (didn’t provide a bibliography at the end) and got a merit on quality (which brought my overall grade down ouch) Safe to say I didn’t make that mistake again, it was my first essay but my teacher was pretty harsh. My friend also got a merit because she didn’t use punctuation correctly and some of her sentences didn’t make sense. Highlighting the importance of proof reading your work.

In terms of advice, I’d say that you can pretty much split any assignment into three parts.

1. Understanding of knowledge (aka theory)- did you explain your work properly showing clear understanding of the topic, was it detailed and included all relavant jargon used correctly.

2. Application of knowledge - application of knowledge is what separates a merit student from a distinction student. Your teacher doesn’t want you to hand in an assignment that feels he/she is reading a textbook. This is where your work should start to feel original, you should provide information from a range of secondary sources and bonus points if you provide primary sources too (if you have any e.g. a practical in class) and did you use your understanding of the topic (theory) to actually apply it contextually i.e. giving actual examples.

3. Quality - this is the easiest part of your work to get a distinction so don’t waste it. Quality includes grammar, punctuation, spelling, use of paragraphs, headings etc. Sticking to word count with 10% leeway. Referencing - do you need to Harvard reference and do you need in text citations and a bibliography (ask your teacher). Is you work well structured, easy to follow, concise. (Avoid repetition of points as this can be seen as a lack of understanding as well as bad quality).
Last edited by bimbibap; 2 months ago
0
reply
UniofGreenwich
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#27
Report 2 months ago
#27
(Original post by Tabbs.x)
Just finished an access to health science course which included chemistry, biology, physics and maths(some statistics). I got all 45D and received offers from StGeorge's(firm), Greenwich(insurance) and Hertfordshire (I only applied to those 3) to study Paramedicine/Paramedic sciences. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and was definitely one of the best decisions of my life. I found the maths quite easy seeing as I had done Maths at AS level. I'm 20 and I didn't really have a gap in my education. I was initially going to go to Essex uni to study politics but realised 2 weeks before the start date, I that it just wasn't my calling. The a level subjects I studied couldn't get me onto the paramedicine course through clearing, hence the access course.

I was told the same thing as well about how unis look down on access courses and I was worried because StGeorges apparently had a reputation for turning down access students but thats really not the case. If you; have an excellent personal statement, ace the interview, and ace the course, there is absolutely no reason why a uni wouldn't accept you.
Hello Tabbs.x

Glad to see you are considering Greenwich, if you have any questions about Greenwich let me know
0
reply
Xellah
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#28
Report 2 months ago
#28
Before starting an access course you should look at the A level subject requirements for the Uni course/s that you want to study. I've known people who have been unable to apply for certain courses due to their access not having the right subject mixture.

As far as my experience, I took one in science, where our tutors were able to change the make up based on what we required e.g. Biology/Chemistry/Applied Science or Biology/Physics/Maths etc. I achieved 45D, and I completely agree with the above advice to just keep on top of your work. You can easily get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work involved. Learn to reference early!! Read the criteria and make sure you apply it within your essay, or use it to help you revise for exams.

I received conditional offers from Uni of Nottingham, Uni of Sheffield, Worcester, Aberystwyth and Canterbury Christ Church, all with varying requirements, from 45D to 15D 30M. I believe that admissions tutors do consider more when it comes to access students, but without the confirmed grades of AS year exams, it can be difficult for them to gauge suitable students, so the offers could be harsher than A level equivalent, which was the case for a few of my offers.
0
reply
Mordekaiser
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#29
Report 2 months ago
#29
I was doing one before, but unfortunately my first choice uni and subject don't accept access courses as it would be inadequate preparation. I can see the appeal that helps with people being out of education for a long time. I'm self-teaching A-levels instead.
0
reply
Docxx
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#30
Report 2 months ago
#30
(Original post by Mordekaiser)
I was doing one before, but unfortunately my first choice uni and subject don't accept access courses as it would be inadequate preparation. I can see the appeal that helps with people being out of education for a long time. I'm self-teaching A-levels instead.
Out of interest what Uni was it and subject? Do you think their reasoning is justified?
0
reply
Mordekaiser
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#31
Report 2 months ago
#31
(Original post by Docxx)
Out of interest what Uni was it and subject? Do you think their reasoning is justified?
Cambridge University STEM courses in general, especially maths, where A-level Further Maths is compulsory. Yes, because STEM access courses doesn't cover enough maths, especially a lot of common topics in FM like hyperbolic functions, mechanic topics like things moving in a vertical and a horizontal circle, elastic strings/springs etc...
0
reply
mrarmstrong21
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#32
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#32
(Original post by Mordekaiser)
I was doing one before, but unfortunately my first choice uni and subject don't accept access courses as it would be inadequate preparation. I can see the appeal that helps with people being out of education for a long time. I'm self-teaching A-levels instead.
How are you finding self teaching A levels? I’ve considered this but don’t know how to go about it... what books I’d need and what distance learning provider to go with.

What A levels are you studying?
0
reply
nc127
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#33
Report 2 months ago
#33
(Original post by mrarmstrong21)
Ah thank you for this!


Did you find it hard to achieve those distinctions? Did you notice the difference in quality of your work compared to the times you got merits or passes?

I know it will vary depending on what my tutor is like but did your tutor go over essay structure, researching and referencing etc? Or do you kind of just have to figure that out yourself?

Thanks again! I really appreciate the help.
Personally I did not find it too hard to gain distinctions, it just required putting in the work needed. The tutors would give us the assessment criteria for each assignment, and the requirements for each grade were varying degrees of "do this and that with breadth and depth". It wasn't really obvious what we needed to do but as the tutors said, you figure it out pretty quickly over time. I would go over the slides before each lesson like you would at uni before lectures. Between the library (again, highly recommend spending a lot of time there, talk to the librarians, even search subject areas that might not necessarily be your own subject) and the ebooks and journals we were given free access to, there was no need for me to purchase any books.

My pass grade was because I had confused the assignment's deadline. The tutor said it was distinction grade work, but had to cap it at a pass for missing the deadline. The merit grade was the most stressful assignment because I had prepared for the essay well, but was (truthfully speaking) lazy and wrote the whole essay hours before it was due. I did not have time to proofread, make it more concise for the given word count, and complete my reference list. The tutor could tell right away what went wrong. A "high merit piece of work" I was told, but of course not enough for a distinction for reasons I had listed. Lesson learned, don't be lazy and don't do assignments last minute!

At the start of the course, there were workshops on essay structure, how to reference, how to quickly read through books for relevant information, how to research and use resources given, and how to use Word and PowerPoint for our assignments. We also had I think five 'skills assignments' (very simple ones, near impossible to fail them) that would go over basics like reading comprehension. My tutor also went through how to digest and take notes from articles efficiently. Whenever the personal tutor saw that a number of people weren't doing one of these right (usually it was referencing), he would go over it again with the whole class. I might have been lucky to have had wonderful tutors who genuinely cared, but I would argue all Access to HE tutors should at least try to teach those things once.

At the very least, it definitely doesn't hurt to look at some youtube videos on essay structure, referencing, and taking notes from journals and articles before starting the course. You might be bored going over it again during the course, but it'll help with those first few grades the tutors will have to mention when predicting your overall grades on your UCAS application.
0
reply
mrarmstrong21
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#34
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#34
(Original post by Xellah)
Before starting an access course you should look at the A level subject requirements for the Uni course/s that you want to study. I've known people who have been unable to apply for certain courses due to their access not having the right subject mixture.

As far as my experience, I took one in science, where our tutors were able to change the make up based on what we required e.g. Biology/Chemistry/Applied Science or Biology/Physics/Maths etc. I achieved 45D, and I completely agree with the above advice to just keep on top of your work. You can easily get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work involved. Learn to reference early!! Read the criteria and make sure you apply it within your essay, or use it to help you revise for exams.

I received conditional offers from Uni of Nottingham, Uni of Sheffield, Worcester, Aberystwyth and Canterbury Christ Church, all with varying requirements, from 45D to 15D 30M. I believe that admissions tutors do consider more when it comes to access students, but without the confirmed grades of AS year exams, it can be difficult for them to gauge suitable students, so the offers could be harsher than A level equivalent, which was the case for a few of my offers.
Yes will definitely contact the universities to see if they accept an access course for what I want to study.

Thank you for the advice!
0
reply
antfan85
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#35
Report 2 months ago
#35
(Original post by mrarmstrong21)
I would love to hear what access course you did, how you found it, what grades you managed to get and what universities gave you an offer.

I want to go to uni as a mature student and will need to take an Access course because I didn’t do A levels, but it seems a lot of good universities look down on Access courses...
I am currently doing an access course hoping to get into uni. If you already know which uni course you want to do get in touch directly to ask them which access courses they recommend or are likely to accept. I started my access course before I got my answer and have had to slightly change which degree I plan to apply for. Hope that helps and good luck with your future studies!
0
reply
Mordekaiser
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#36
Report 2 months ago
#36
(Original post by mrarmstrong21)
How are you finding self teaching A levels? I’ve considered this but don’t know how to go about it... what books I’d need and what distance learning provider to go with.

What A levels are you studying?
I haven't started yet, but I will do after iGCSEs. The books you need will depend on which exam board you're going to be choosing and your topic/module choices within that subject. Maths, FM, Physics and maybe a fourth subject.
0
reply
c3silKane14
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#37
Report 2 months ago
#37
I didn't take an official access course, I failed my first year of.college and after a.year, started again online. Did animal care level 2 and animal behaviour level 3, both only had 6 assignments.
I only applied for Plymouth and got accepted.
0
reply
ECannon0104
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#38
Report 2 months ago
#38
(Original post by DCDCo)
Yes - Let me know if you have any questions.
Hi I've just started my access to HE and I'm doing distance learning. Which course did you do?
0
reply
DCDCo
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#39
Report 2 months ago
#39
I did Access to HE - Law, through the Distance Learning Centre. How are you finding it? Let me know if I can assist in any way.
0
reply
Emmashilters
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#40
Report 2 months ago
#40
I did access to social sciences and am starting my law degree next month 😍
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Current uni students - are you thinking of dropping out of university?

Yes, I'm seriously considering dropping out (136)
14.41%
I'm not sure (41)
4.34%
No, I'm going to stick it out for now (285)
30.19%
I have already dropped out (24)
2.54%
I'm not a current university student (458)
48.52%

Watched Threads

View All