dude187
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Ok guys I need some help and advice, please don’t take the piss.

I’ve recently done well on some investments and decided to get back into education at this ripe old age to fulfil a personal dream of mine to graduate with a good degree from a reputable uni, to be a role model for my newborn daughter and have some means to advance my career.

I’m currently enrolled on an Access course in Business and Law. I’m aware of it’s limitations but I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to get into a degree in the Econ or Finance field in as good a uni as possible. (Oxford was my dream)

I know out of my 45 graded credits I can get mostly Distinctions.

I’ve got half decent GCSE’s (all A’s and B’s) and I’ve worked as a trader on the stock market so I know a bit about the markets and basic level econ. I’ve also done a BCS exam for business analyst through an independent company but struggled to land an interview for decent spots without a degree.

I understand that Oxbridge applications are closed now for 2021 and I’m doubtful that UCL or Kings would accept me either. My question is, for 2022, what would I need to do to get myself prepared to a level where I could stand a chance of getting into Oxbridge or the top London unis?

I would be the first member of my family to get a degree and I want to be able to get it from one of the best unis. I know it might sound like somewhat of a pipe dream but I finally have a chance to do this. Please guys, if you have any advice let me know and be as detailed as you can.

Thankyou
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ajj2000
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You'll need maths A level for a start. Further maths also helps competitiveness for the really top courses. KCL seem to accept access courses but do specify a maths requirement within that.
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tipexmaster25
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High hopes? So you should!

I'm not to familiar with the alternate pathways into uni, but I'm pretty sure your options are either undergraduate (you have not done a uni degree before) or postgraduate (you have done a uni degree before). I think you would fall into undergraduate? What level of study is an access course? I'm not familiar with those, so apologies if the next chunk of info is irrelevant:
(For an undergrad degree I'm pretty sure you need either A-Levels or BTECs, maybe research if there are any other options because I'm not 100% if there are, which you can study independently. You'll usually need 3 A-levels for these unis, do you have these? (if you're using the A-level pathway. I'm not sure if they accept BTECs or any other qualifications so could someone help us out on this?). If you don't, most students need 2 years to study an a-level, you can do all 3 at once though. Again, you'd have to read up on how to register yourself for these exams independently cause I'm unsure how you do that- I don't think it's difficult though!)

You should have a pretty good portfolio of work experience which you can write about in your personal statement, and be ready to explain why you are returning to study now and you didn't do it from the start (you need to sound 100% committed and that this is right for you). Probably your reference will need to come from your most-recent employer or education institution. In terms of other stuff you can do, I would be doing online courses (google 'MOOCs') and extra reading in the area that you want to go into. Any extra voluntary or work experience is good too.

Best of luck! And if you need to know If your qualifications will be alright, drop an email to the unis
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CJStevens
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(Original post by dude187)
Ok guys I need some help and advice, please don’t take the piss.

I’ve recently done well on some investments and decided to get back into education at this ripe old age to fulfil a personal dream of mine to graduate with a good degree from a reputable uni, to be a role model for my newborn daughter and have some means to advance my career.

I’m currently enrolled on an Access course in Business and Law. I’m aware of it’s limitations but I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to get into a degree in the Econ or Finance field in as good a uni as possible. (Oxford was my dream)

I know out of my 45 graded credits I can get mostly Distinctions.

I’ve got half decent GCSE’s (all A’s and B’s) and I’ve worked as a trader on the stock market so I know a bit about the markets and basic level econ. I’ve also done a BCS exam for business analyst through an independent company but struggled to land an interview for decent spots without a degree.

I understand that Oxbridge applications are closed now for 2021 and I’m doubtful that UCL or Kings would accept me either. My question is, for 2022, what would I need to do to get myself prepared to a level where I could stand a chance of getting into Oxbridge or the top London unis?

I would be the first member of my family to get a degree and I want to be able to get it from one of the best unis. I know it might sound like somewhat of a pipe dream but I finally have a chance to do this. Please guys, if you have any advice let me know and be as detailed as you can.

Thankyou
It's unlikely that you'll be made an offer from Oxbridge if you're doing A-level equivalents and not actually A-levels.

What I will say though, is that I commend your determination and grit; nothing is off limits so strive as high as you wish.

Good luck with everything!
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by dude187)
Ok guys I need some help and advice, please don’t take the piss.

I’ve recently done well on some investments and decided to get back into education at this ripe old age to fulfil a personal dream of mine to graduate with a good degree from a reputable uni, to be a role model for my newborn daughter and have some means to advance my career.

I’m currently enrolled on an Access course in Business and Law. I’m aware of it’s limitations but I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to get into a degree in the Econ or Finance field in as good a uni as possible. (Oxford was my dream)

I know out of my 45 graded credits I can get mostly Distinctions.

I’ve got half decent GCSE’s (all A’s and B’s) and I’ve worked as a trader on the stock market so I know a bit about the markets and basic level econ. I’ve also done a BCS exam for business analyst through an independent company but struggled to land an interview for decent spots without a degree.

I understand that Oxbridge applications are closed now for 2021 and I’m doubtful that UCL or Kings would accept me either. My question is, for 2022, what would I need to do to get myself prepared to a level where I could stand a chance of getting into Oxbridge or the top London unis?

I would be the first member of my family to get a degree and I want to be able to get it from one of the best unis. I know it might sound like somewhat of a pipe dream but I finally have a chance to do this. Please guys, if you have any advice let me know and be as detailed as you can.

Thankyou
Have you got a particular Oxford course in mind? As it's easier to advise if we know what course you're targeting/thinking of
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lbenson88
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Hi, respect for going to uni as a mature student. Don’t worry you got this!

So first thing is call the uni’s you want to attend and find out ways of getting in.

Don’t ask ‘what do I need’ (they’ll just give you basic answers that you can read off ucas)

Ask -is xxx good enough to get on xxx course. Has someone previously actually got in with xxx? How many people?

Different courses need different things (even at the same uni. For example- me (also a mature student!) I did a foundation year at manchester met instead of an access course (better student finance for foundation years) I then transferred to the uni of manchester for my degree. But for the econ courses at the school of social sciences at uni of manchester they wouldn’t accept a foundation year, however the business school econ courses, totally fine.

I transferred to the university of manchester business school for first year (international business and economics course) then once I was at the university of manchester transferred to the school of social sciences econ and finance course.

I knew what I needed in advance with my foundation year (grades ect) to transfer because I’d called and found out. I called several times. And I called different departments. Different schools/departments with similar degrees at the same uni need different requirements. And it’s often easy to transfer courses once you’re already at the uni.

Also maths is not just a requirement of entry for a lot of the top courses, you’re going to need it for the degree. In work most of your maths is done by a computer, in uni you need to do it alone and maths (matrix’s, regression stats, econometrics, set theory ect are all regular requirements throughout the econ and finance courses)

good luck!
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dude187
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Have you got a particular Oxford course in mind? As it's easier to advise if we know what course you're targeting/thinking of
Hi, thanks for replying

The degree at Oxford ideally I’d like to get into is Economics and Management.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by dude187)
Hi, thanks for replying

The degree at Oxford ideally I’d like to get into is Economics and Management.
Oooh one of the most competitive courses!

If you look at this link https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/unde...qualifications and click on the Access Courses, you'll see that it says:

"Some Access courses allow students to take one or two A-levels as part of the course. This option is strongly recommended for students who wish to apply to Oxford, especially for those courses which have specific subject requirements. (You can check the requirements on our course pages and in this summary table.) Conditional offers are likely to be for completion of the Access to HE diploma with all the level 3 credits at Distinction, and A or A* grades in any A-levels taken.

If you would like to discuss the suitability of your Access course for entry to Oxford University, please contact the subject department that you’d like to apply to for further information. (Contact details are on the course pages.) It would be helpful if you could provide a link to the syllabus for your particular Access course, on your university or college’s website".


Does your course permit you to do A Levels alongside? You should also try and get your hands on some past admissions test papers (TSA, or Thinking Skills Assessment, if I remember right), as that no doubt plays a significant role in deciding who is interviewed :yes:
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dude187
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Oooh one of the most competitive courses!

If you look at this link https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/unde...qualifications and click on the Access Courses, you'll see that it says:

"Some Access courses allow students to take one or two A-levels as part of the course. This option is strongly recommended for students who wish to apply to Oxford, especially for those courses which have specific subject requirements. (You can check the requirements on our course pages and in this summary table.) Conditional offers are likely to be for completion of the Access to HE diploma with all the level 3 credits at Distinction, and A or A* grades in any A-levels taken.

If you would like to discuss the suitability of your Access course for entry to Oxford University, please contact the subject department that you’d like to apply to for further information. (Contact details are on the course pages.) It would be helpful if you could provide a link to the syllabus for your particular Access course, on your university or college’s website".


Does your course permit you to do A Levels alongside? You should also try and get your hands on some past admissions test papers (TSA, or Thinking Skills Assessment, if I remember right), as that no doubt plays a significant role in deciding who is interviewed :yes:
Thankyou very much for that.

So I’m at Bradford College atm I don’t think it’ll be a problem to do A-level maths alongside the only thing is they’ve most likely closed applications for this year so I’ll have to do it next year.

I was doing A-level maths (along with physics and Chem) back when I finished my GCSE’s but things were bad at home and I had to drop out to go work full time. So maths doesn’t worry me, I have an A at GCSE, just the fact that I’m out of practice.

Here’s the link to my course modules, let me know what you think: https://www.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/co...er-2020/#study

Thanks again
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dude187
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(Original post by lbenson88)
Hi, respect for going to uni as a mature student. Don’t worry you got this!

So first thing is call the uni’s you want to attend and find out ways of getting in.

Don’t ask ‘what do I need’ (they’ll just give you basic answers that you can read off ucas)

Ask -is xxx good enough to get on xxx course. Has someone previously actually got in with xxx? How many people?

Different courses need different things (even at the same uni. For example- me (also a mature student!) I did a foundation year at manchester met instead of an access course (better student finance for foundation years) I then transferred to the uni of manchester for my degree. But for the econ courses at the school of social sciences at uni of manchester they wouldn’t accept a foundation year, however the business school econ courses, totally fine.

I transferred to the university of manchester business school for first year (international business and economics course) then once I was at the university of manchester transferred to the school of social sciences econ and finance course.

I knew what I needed in advance with my foundation year (grades ect) to transfer because I’d called and found out. I called several times. And I called different departments. Different schools/departments with similar degrees at the same uni need different requirements. And it’s often easy to transfer courses once you’re already at the uni.

Also maths is not just a requirement of entry for a lot of the top courses, you’re going to need it for the degree. In work most of your maths is done by a computer, in uni you need to do it alone and maths (matrix’s, regression stats, econometrics, set theory ect are all regular requirements throughout the econ and finance courses)

good luck!
Thankyou I’ll do that straight away. Appreciate you sharing your own journey too, I’ll try to follow suit where I can.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by dude187)
Thankyou very much for that.

So I’m at Bradford College atm I don’t think it’ll be a problem to do A-level maths alongside the only thing is they’ve most likely closed applications for this year so I’ll have to do it next year.

I was doing A-level maths (along with physics and Chem) back when I finished my GCSE’s but things were bad at home and I had to drop out to go work full time. So maths doesn’t worry me, I have an A at GCSE, just the fact that I’m out of practice.

Here’s the link to my course modules, let me know what you think: https://www.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/co...er-2020/#study

Thanks again
I'm afraid I dunno much about how Oxford looks at Access Courses (since I'm not sure they did when I applied/was there) but I'd say it's def worth making an enquiry from Oxford (perhaps not right at the moment, as they're drowning in interview-related stuff for the 2021-entry applicants!) to see whether they would consider it. If you do apply, it could be worth considering applying to Harris Manchester College (HMC), as they have the most experience in what might be considered "less conventional" applications/qualifications :yes:

Wishing you the very best of luck!
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Scotney
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
I'm afraid I dunno much about how Oxford looks at Access Courses (since I'm not sure they did when I applied/was there) but I'd say it's def worth making an enquiry from Oxford (perhaps not right at the moment, as they're drowning in interview-related stuff for the 2021-entry applicants!) to see whether they would consider it. If you do apply, it could be worth considering applying to Harris Manchester College (HMC), as they have the most experience in what might be considered "less conventional" applications/qualifications :yes:

Wishing you the very best of luck!
Really good advice there TLG!
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dude187
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Oooh one of the most competitive courses!

If you look at this link https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/unde...qualifications and click on the Access Courses, you'll see that it says:

"Some Access courses allow students to take one or two A-levels as part of the course. This option is strongly recommended for students who wish to apply to Oxford, especially for those courses which have specific subject requirements. (You can check the requirements on our course pages and in this summary table.) Conditional offers are likely to be for completion of the Access to HE diploma with all the level 3 credits at Distinction, and A or A* grades in any A-levels taken.

If you would like to discuss the suitability of your Access course for entry to Oxford University, please contact the subject department that you’d like to apply to for further information. (Contact details are on the course pages.) It would be helpful if you could provide a link to the syllabus for your particular Access course, on your university or college’s website".


Does your course permit you to do A Levels alongside? You should also try and get your hands on some past admissions test papers (TSA, or Thinking Skills Assessment, if I remember right), as that no doubt plays a significant role in deciding who is interviewed :yes:
Just out of interest, what kind of courses would be not as competitive? Obviously it’s pointless for me doing Oriental Studies, but something within this field of finance and econ. Thankyou
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by dude187)
Just out of interest, what kind of courses would be not as competitive? Obviously it’s pointless for me doing Oriental Studies, but something within this field of finance and econ. Thankyou
I don't think there are really any significantly less competitive courses relating to your areas of interest, am afraid! :nope:
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gjd800
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
I'm afraid I dunno much about how Oxford looks at Access Courses (since I'm not sure they did when I applied/was there) but I'd say it's def worth making an enquiry from Oxford (perhaps not right at the moment, as they're drowning in interview-related stuff for the 2021-entry applicants!) to see whether they would consider it. If you do apply, it could be worth considering applying to Harris Manchester College (HMC), as they have the most experience in what might be considered "less conventional" applications/qualifications :yes:

Wishing you the very best of luck!
Just to add to this, Pembroke College have an academic there who specialises in outreach and non-traditional entry (Peter Claus, I think), so they are also worth a look.
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ROTL94
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Oxford and Cambridge may be a bit of a pipe dream. My Access teacher (who has been teaching Access to HE since its inception and is the area manager for access to HE at that particular college) told me years ago that Oxbridge don't accept Access qualifications in practice, they only say they do on paper, she could be wrong but with her extensive experience of preparing mature students for university I doubt she was.
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Scotney
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(Original post by ROTL94)
Oxford and Cambridge may be a bit of a pipe dream. My Access teacher (who has been teaching Access to HE since its inception and is the area manager for access to HE at that particular college) told me years ago that Oxbridge don't accept Access qualifications in practice, they only say they do on paper, she could be wrong but with her extensive experience of preparing mature students for university I doubt she was.
How many years ago? There has been a big push to extend this area even in last 2 years. I suspect you are right in this case but also no harm in OP asking Oxford as would settle matter one way or another
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