Vicky55
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Hello! Hope everyone is well!
So I am in a bit of a dilemma at the moment, I have a difficult, complicated situation. I hope someone can help me
I'll try to keep it short.

It all started last year, when I received my A level grades. I was unhappy, like a lot of students, and I was rejected from my preferred Uni course; Gateway to Vet Med. So I decided to retake them.
My college decided they weren't going to teach A levels anymore, but they'd still let me retake the exams there for free (in the summer), I just had to study on my own, which I had no problem with.
Fast forward to January, A level exams get cancelled, again. Grades will be awarded using teachers. Now, remember? I don't have any teachers. Panic. Anxiety. Dread. So I can't do summer retakes and so I won't be eligible for my preferred Uni course, again. Or maybe any Uni course I also applied to; Conservation and Ecology, Biosciences(Wild animal health). (These two I get offers for plus I get offered an alternative course in place of Vet Med, which I still have to reach the requirements for, obviously)

So here I am now, turning to the trusted TSR, and laying out my options before you, so you could maybe offer me some well needed advice:
*Retake my A levels this Autumn.
+Pros: I can redeem myself. Could get into Vet Med next year. Probably the cheapest and less time consuming option.
-Cons: Miss another year of Uni, or any education for that matter, feeling of deep uselessness. Could get cancelled again? And no safety net.
*Do an Access to HE course.
+Pros: Safety net in case exams are cancelled and I am given predicted grades Unis can rely on. An extra qualification. Could be quite easy as it is similar to my A level content? I am in education, I feel better.
-Cons: Expensive. Intensive. Do I need it? Waste of money and time, maybe? Could be so different that I do awfully.
*Go to Uni, do one of my backup courses.
+Pros: Stepping stone, I learn more about myself and what I want to do, maybe I hate it maybe I love it, plus I could transfer to another course if I change my mind.
-Cons: If I don't like it, waste of money and precious time. Not my preferred course. Regret is my biggest fear.

So, what do you think?
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Vicky55
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Side notes:
As you probably have guessed, I'm not 100% sure about Vet med. It's what I've always wanted to do, but being rejected twice has really done a number on me in terms of motivation and I am really questioning what I want to do as I don't feel like the traditional vet life fits me, I'm not sure it's the life for me. However there are many non-traditional vet careers I can take (government, conservation, wild animal veterinary) which I'm sure I'd enjoy a lot.


I'd love to study conservation, but alone it doesn't pay much and I do want to live a comfortable life.
My greatest interests are animals, science(biology, chemistry, computer science), conservation, technology, psychology and medicine (I enjoy all of it, but I find extra interest in the diseases and treatments side).
I want to make a difference in the world and I'd like to dedicate my life to animals and our planet, whilst earning quite well.

So this was a little backstory, to get an idea of where my interests and goals lie. Maybe it helps?
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Euapp
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As far as I know access courses only allow you to apply to vet med if you were out of education for a minimum of 3 years before starting it. They are not supposed to replace A level retakes. At least that's what I have read elsewhere on TSR. So best to check that out before deciding what to do.
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Vicky55
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(Original post by Euapp)
As far as I know access courses only allow you to apply to vet med if you were out of education for a minimum of 3 years before starting it. They are not supposed to replace A level retakes. At least that's what I have read elsewhere on TSR. So best to check that out before deciding what to do.
I don't think that's the case, when I told the Access to HE staff I want to study Vet med, they didn't mention anything wrong with that. So maybe that info is outdated? I will double check though
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Vicky55
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(Original post by Euapp)
As far as I know access courses only allow you to apply to vet med if you were out of education for a minimum of 3 years before starting it. They are not supposed to replace A level retakes. At least that's what I have read elsewhere on TSR. So best to check that out before deciding what to do.
Is there any other advice you could provide me with?
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Euapp
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(Original post by Vicky55)
I don't think that's the case, when I told the Access to HE staff I want to study Vet med, they didn't mention anything wrong with that. So maybe that info is outdated? I will double check though
I may well be wrong, but it was someone on TSR who said it not long ago. It's the Uni's not the HE staff that have stipulated. I applied to do vet med this year and have spent quite a lot of time on the 2021 veterinary medicine applicant thread. I know a few candidates have done the access courses and have been accepted, so you could always post there to see what they say. However I'm pretty sure that most have been out of education for a while.
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Euapp
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As for other advice, I don't really know. I applied to vet med this year and am going to Bristol in September. I've been lucky to get in first time round. All I can say is that you need to show your passion for the course, but also show that you have a realistic view about the profession and what the job entails. You don't have to have done years of work experience, or have been involved in ground breaking research or surgery. However, everything you have done should have been a learning experience,even if it's just learning how to control a panicked cat with all its claws out!! Any other job can also be used to show valuable transferable skills like client management.
However, if you're not sure about wanting to be a vet, then don't do it. It's hard physically and mentally and is far from having the same financial rewards as human medicine. I can't imagine doing anything else, but it's not for everyone,so think carefully.
Good luck!🤞
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Euapp
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https://www.ed.ac.uk/medicine-vet-me...rements/access

Here they say 3 or five years out of education. Each Uni has its own rules, so check before applying.
Hope this helps
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Vicky55
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(Original post by Euapp)
As for other advice, I don't really know. I applied to vet med this year and am going to Bristol in September. I've been lucky to get in first time round. All I can say is that you need to show your passion for the course, but also show that you have a realistic view about the profession and what the job entails. You don't have to have done years of work experience, or have been involved in ground breaking research or surgery. However, everything you have done should have been a learning experience,even if it's just learning how to control a panicked car with all its claws out!! Any other job can also be used to show valuable transferable skills like client management.
However, if you're not sure about wanting to be a vet, then don't do it. It's hard physically and mentally and is far from having the same financial rewards as human medicine. I can't imagine doing anything else, but it's not for everyone,so think carefully.
Good luck!🤞
Well done!! I know, I don't know where I'm going wrong to be honest! I know first time, my interviews went awfully, and I realised that, I wasn't prepared. But this time, I prepared for months and I was actually proud of my interviews, I was sure I was going to get at least one offer. And I didn't, so I'm kinda devastated and hence why I am questioning my goals and aspirations. Thing is, all my life this was the one thing I've always wanted to do, it was always meant to be and every choice I made, all the energy has been towards this. Truth is, if I'm not a vet, I don't know what I am. This is why I'm panicking, because if I don't do vet med, I don't know what the hell I should be doing instead. Despite all the doubts, despite all the coming-and-going ideas and goals, this one thing has always stayed. But if i was rejected twice, it gets me thinking and losing motivation. 'I want this, but they dont want me' kind of situation. If they don't think I'm good enough, am I really not good enough? It's very complicated
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Vicky55
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(Original post by Euapp)
https://www.ed.ac.uk/medicine-vet-medicine/edinburgh-medical-school/medicine/applying/how-to-apply/rHmmequirements/access

Here they say 3 or five years out of education. Each Uni has its own rules, so check before applying.
Hope this helps
Hmm yeah but that's Edinburgh, I haven't seen something similar for Bristol or RVC?
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Euapp
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O.K if you want Vet med, then don't give up!! You are far from being the only person that hasn't got in first or second time round, and apparently this year has been particularly difficult. Jimjamjess is going to Bristol in September after 6 years and 3 application rounds,and she's not the only one. I know it must be demoralising, but if you got to interview you're halfway there. I don't know what went wrong at this point, but maybe you could do some practice interviews with a vet. They're not expecting you to know much, but want to see how you approach problems. I didn't even really mention in detail the operations etc that I'd seen, because it wasn't me operating. I just kept to things that I'd done and learnt like coping with blood and owners in a variety of emotional states.
The schools do of course require minimum grades, but after that it's human qualities that they are looking for. Being a vet involves people contact, so work on your communication skills. Even if you don't feel confident, put on an act. Get a job that involves talking to customers, in a coffee shop, supermarket, bar or something. You'll be surprised how it brings you out of your shell. And if at interview they do ask you questions that you don't know the answer to, think about the animals welfare first and you won't go far wrong.
The selection process is very competitive, so not getting accepted doesn't make you a bad candidate and if you have the possibility to try again, then go for it. Saying "NO" to your dream career now because you think it's too late when some start their studies in their 30's or later would be sad.
Hope everything works out for you.
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Euapp
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(Original post by Vicky55)
Hmm yeah but that's Edinburgh, I haven't seen something similar for Bristol or RVC?
Contact them all the same just to make sure.If it was me I'd write an email. That way you have a written copy of their reply.
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Vicky55
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Thank you for your advice!
Yeah haha that's what I did, I acted very confident, I was very friendly and I described what I learnt from my work experiences in great detail. I missed out on a few points I wanted to add that I prepared beforehand, maybe that was my downfall, I'm not sure. I've done loads of research about interviews and what I did genuinely seemed like a top-notch interview. Guess I'll try again And yes I do work at a bakery by the way, for a few years now, I'm actually great with people now, despite being introverted
I'm also afraid of finding out it isn't the career for me, later on when I'm in the job, have you not worried about that? Because it's such a long degree. On my part, it may just be me overthinking, like I do, but like I said before; I'm really afraid of regret. Whatever it is. But I think everyone is, it's only normal to wonder 'what if i'm making a mistake?' even when it feels utterly baseless.
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Euapp
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I really hope it works out for you!!
And no,I've always known that it's what I want to do, but maybe because I've spent a lot of time with all kind of vets, sometimes in the middle of the night,and often very early in the morning. I won't say that I've seen the worst side of the job,but I think I have a realistic idea of the downsides, and I still can't imagine doing anything else. Just got to get through vet school now🤣
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Vicky55
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Rinkas here it is
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Rinkas
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Have you looked into these Gateway/Foundation courses?

https://www.rvc.ac.uk/study/undergra...rinary-gateway

https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ugstudy...+with+BVMedSci

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/under...inary-science/

https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/study/un...ar-0/overview/

In my opinion, I feel like one of these options is the ideal option for you! If you can qualify for them
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Vicky55
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(Original post by Rinkas)
Have you looked into these Gateway/Foundation courses?

https://www.rvc.ac.uk/study/undergra...rinary-gateway

https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ugstudy...+with+BVMedSci

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/under...inary-science/

https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/study/un...ar-0/overview/

In my opinion, I feel like one of these options is the ideal option for you! If you can qualify for them
Yeah, these are the ones I applied to twice now
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Rinkas
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(Original post by Vicky55)
Yeah, these are the ones I applied to twice now
In that case, keep on trying! And i'd advise while you're doing that, studying an Access to Higher Education in Science, if you do well then you can apply directly to the degree! It's only an extra year and it'll give you more options for the degree you want to do! And choices for other degrees if in the future you decide to study something else
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Vicky55
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(Original post by Rinkas)
In that case, keep on trying! And i'd advise while you're doing that, studying an Access to Higher Education in Science, if you do well then you can apply directly to the degree! It's only an extra year and it'll give you more options for the degree you want to do! And choices for other degrees if in the future you decide to study something else
Do you think I should do that instead of retake my a levels?
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Rinkas
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(Original post by Vicky55)
Do you think I should do that instead of retake my a levels?
In your instance, I think so!!

I had to really do round two of A Levels as the dream course I was aiming for required A levels, but my sister in the same situation did Access instead as the course she was aiming for didn't require A levels, and it worked out well for her!

I just chatted to her so we could compare notes on your situation haha and she came to the same conclusion as me - Access definitely best - my sister thoroughly recommends it!

Some reasons why I think Access to Higher Education course would be better;

* Compared to A levels it will feel much easier, higher chance of getting good grades!
* One year is less of a commitment than two years of A levels (Less stressful too!)
* Most Unis from what I can tell accepts an Access course for vet med
* Much easier to work along Access courses than A levels (My sister adds most people on her course were working to some extent!)
* Access attracts older students than A levels, where as you can expect to be with 17-18 year olds for A levels, which may or may not be a consideration! (I didn't mind being stuck with younger students but my sister much preferred the company of students her age or order)
* Since it's just pass, merit or distinction and you are graded throughout the year - you will pretty much know your grade when you start applying to places! Unlike A levels where it is a lot more uncertain up until results day.
* As Science is less specific, you have more freedom than A levels in terms of courses to apply to, if you decide you want to do something other than vet med. (Although of course, am hoping you will get into vet met! It is good to have options!)
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