Where can a 31 year old turn around past academic failures?

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Ryan__90
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I am 31 and want to do medicine but I am behind the curve as I have 5 c grade GCSEs but no science GCSEs most colleges do not support adult learners do sciences and even then you need 6 GCSEs with grade b so that puts me out of the running. The second problem is the A level requirements. I do not meet the criteria for A levels as my GCSEs are poor, my only choice is access to science course but looking at universities this is completely pointless as most universities do not accept these.
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Fuzzi
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Have you tried looking for Access to Medicine courses? Multiply colleges do them and are accepted by several universities. As is Access to Science.

If you'd rather do the A Level route - you can do these at home via distance learning with an online college. They usually have 0 entry requirements. NEC for example: https://www.nec.ac.uk but if you google 'online A levels' or something you will find many other online colleges

There is a lovely woman on YouTube who didn't even have any GCSEs and at 37 is now a medical student at Bristol Uni.

She left school with zero GCSEs and has a video explaining her very traumatic childhood. She retook Maths and English GCSE, travelled 2+ hours to college 3 days a week to study Access to Medicine, worked a job on the other 5 days, and managed to get into Uni. It's actually super inspirational.

The 1 thing she had/has is motivation. If you are motivated enough to be a doctor - then it is possible. The fact you have 5 GCSEs is amazing and a huge head start.

Top tip: email/call lots of universities. Sometimes their admission tutors can give you more information for mature students than is on their website They can guide you into the right qualifications, and tell you what they require from a mature student which may be missing from their website

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tomatowielder
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Hi! I'm doing my A Levels alongside working. If you can afford it (the exams can be cheap, but the practical endorsement can run you a couple of grand if you take two science A Levels), I'd recommend it - although for what it's worth I wouldn't recommend National Extension College. From when I last researched this (over a year ago), Access to Medicine courses are risky, because different universities have different opinions on them, whereas all unis will accept A Levels.

You might have to retake some GCSEs, depending on which universities you apply for. Then again, some universities, like Newcastle, don't mind about your GCSEs. Make sure before you apply to do a tonne of research on how the universities you're applying to select applicants. To be clear, your GCSEs matter for the application process to medical school, they don't matter for taking your A Levels - you don't need GCSEs to take A levels.

It is totally possible to self study A Levels, if you take the more common ones (like Chemistry, Biology, Physics, or Maths) there are a tonne of great resources out there. If you end up taking Maths/Chemistry/Biology I can point you in the way of some resources. The limiting factor is money.
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Ryan__90
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(Original post by tomatowielder)
Hi! I'm doing my A Levels alongside working. If you can afford it (the exams can be cheap, but the practical endorsement can run you a couple of grand if you take two science A Levels), I'd recommend it - although for what it's worth I wouldn't recommend National Extension College. From when I last researched this (over a year ago), Access to Medicine courses are risky, because different universities have different opinions on them, whereas all unis will accept A Levels.

You might have to retake some GCSEs, depending on which universities you apply for. Then again, some universities, like Newcastle, don't mind about your GCSEs. Make sure before you apply to do a tonne of research on how the universities you're applying to select applicants. To be clear, your GCSEs matter for the application process to medical school, they don't matter for taking your A Levels - you don't need GCSEs to take A levels.

It is totally possible to self study A Levels, if you take the more common ones (like Chemistry, Biology, Physics, or Maths) there are a tonne of great resources out there. If you end up taking Maths/Chemistry/Biology I can point you in the way of some resources. The limiting factor is money.
Who are you doing yours with? I have found that no where seems to offer adult GCSEs in sciences which is frustrating. Do you have to use a lab for biology A level?
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tomatowielder
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(Original post by Ryan__90)
Who are you doing yours with? I have found that no where seems to offer adult GCSEs in sciences which is frustrating. Do you have to use a lab for biology A level?
I'm doing mine with National Extension College but wouldn't recommend them - they're overpriced for what they are imo. For your GCSEs, you can just book with a private exam centre and do the preparations yourself, although if you want some support and can afford it, there seem to be a tonne of distance learning providers doing GCSEs.

Yes, you have to get the practical endorsement, a pass/fail add-on to the science A Levels (medical schools require you get it, though, so whilst it's not technically required to get a grade in the A Level, it's still compulsory) - a week of doing lab practicals under the supervision of a tutor. They're incredibly expensive.
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Lluvia Morado
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(Original post by Ryan__90)
, my only choice is access to science course but looking at universities this is completely pointless as most universities do not accept these.
Not true at all. I did an Access to HE Science Diploma last year at a local College and got offered a place at 2 Manchester Unis, & Leeds, Lincolnshire, and Bangor. I went to Bangor. (Narrowly missed the conditions for Leeds but was enough for the rest with 30 credits at distinction).
I'm doing BSc Marine Zoology.

Speak with colleges and find one that will let you do an access course in Biology and Chemistry. Oh and ignore what they say about requirements, my college said you had to have at least one B in Science GCSE but I only had Cs in GCSE science. Then when I got on the course there was at least one student who got Ds in GCSEs and another that said she didn't even have any GCSEs because of issues in her GCSE year, but she'd gone to an agricultural college and done some equine related qualifications so I guess that was good enough for them to give her a place on the course.
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