Do people with Access to HE courses have any chance?

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Alexhorsfall95
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Hey all, I'm looking at starting a Access to He course for Paramedic science/practice however I can see that paramedic course are super competitive so do people coming in with Access courses even stand a chance against all the people with A levels etc?

I'm 26 will be 27 by the time uni comes around in 2022, Ex-Army so have experience basic combat first aid that all soldiers get trained with (such thing as loss of limb, major bleeds, sucking chest wounds etc) I have worked 2 years in a higher complaints team for a major electrical manufacturer (basically the last line of defense before legal action so used to dealing with very irate and stressed people trying to convince them to accept our support offers). Hoping by the time I apply to uni I will be at the very least on a course to get my C1 starting in Sept 22 (hopefully) I'll definitely have my C1 by that time.

However I'm still concerned all that won't be enough to stand out against A grade A level students. I can get the Advanced adult learner grant from the government to get onto the Access course which is about £4000 but is written off if you go to and pass university but as said I'm just worried I will do this course and not have any hope of reaching Uni and being lumped with a £4K fee for a piece of paper i can't use.

This is something I've wanted for years and have worked hard to even tocgst to this point where I can apply for Uni and not need to worry about finances and other adult things in life that have held me back until now.

Any insight and advice will be appreciated.

To sum up I'm sure I have the passion and desire to more than impress in the interview stages but it's a huge worry that my academic past won't be enough to even get that far.
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University of Salford Student Rep
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(Original post by Alexhorsfall95)
Hey all, I'm looking at starting a Access to He course for Paramedic science/practice however I can see that paramedic course are super competitive so do people coming in with Access courses even stand a chance against all the people with A levels etc?

I'm 26 will be 27 by the time uni comes around in 2022, Ex-Army so have experience basic combat first aid that all soldiers get trained with (such thing as loss of limb, major bleeds, sucking chest wounds etc) I have worked 2 years in a higher complaints team for a major electrical manufacturer (basically the last line of defense before legal action so used to dealing with very irate and stressed people trying to convince them to accept our support offers). Hoping by the time I apply to uni I will be at the very least on a course to get my C1 starting in Sept 22 (hopefully) I'll definitely have my C1 by that time.

However I'm still concerned all that won't be enough to stand out against A grade A level students. I can get the Advanced adult learner grant from the government to get onto the Access course which is about £4000 but is written off if you go to and pass university but as said I'm just worried I will do this course and not have any hope of reaching Uni and being lumped with a £4K fee for a piece of paper i can't use.

This is something I've wanted for years and have worked hard to even tocgst to this point where I can apply for Uni and not need to worry about finances and other adult things in life that have held me back until now.

Any insight and advice will be appreciated.

To sum up I'm sure I have the passion and desire to more than impress in the interview stages but it's a huge worry that my academic past won't be enough to even get that far.
Hi Alexhorsfall95,

The best option is to email the HE institution and/or the universities you are considering to understand the process more and explain your concerns. I am in my 2nd year studying Physiotherapy at the University of Salford, and a lot of my peers have arrived on the course via an HE access course. Most of them being classed as mature students.

There is lots of different routes to enter university and the universities understand that and try to accommodate everyone! In addition, sometimes the difference in qualifications makes you stand out and have different qualities than the typical A-Level students.

Especially in healthcare courses I don't think you will have a problem once you have got your HE qualification. But definitely contact the institutions to get confirmation if you are worried. I know its a big decision!

Good luck!!
Holly - Student Ambassador
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Alexhorsfall95
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(Original post by University of Salford Student Rep)
Hi Alexhorsfall95,

The best option is to email the HE institution and/or the universities you are considering to understand the process more and explain your concerns. I am in my 2nd year studying Physiotherapy at the University of Salford, and a lot of my peers have arrived on the course via an HE access course. Most of them being classed as mature students.

There is lots of different routes to enter university and the universities understand that and try to accommodate everyone! In addition, sometimes the difference in qualifications makes you stand out and have different qualities than the typical A-Level students.

Especially in healthcare courses I don't think you will have a problem once you have got your HE qualification. But definitely contact the institutions to get confirmation if you are worried. I know its a big decision!

Good luck!!
Holly - Student Ambassador
Hi Holly,

Thanks so much for your reply its greatly appreciated.

Yeah it is a massive decision but I've worked so hard to get myself into this position going to night school to get my GCSE equivalents and having to work hard to get myself into a financially stable position that I can leave work to go onto uni full time, I know they have bursaries available for those courses but obviously adult life gets expensive!! I've sent a couple of emails off today to Uni's I've been looking at.

Seen as your a rep for Salford do you know if they still do Paramedic science/practice I've seen posts about applying to them in the past but cannot see the course on Salfords website so I don't know if they've stopped it or if it's just not appearing because we are in the time just before courses for 2022 go up.
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Kabzzzy
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Hey Alexhorsfall95!

I'm a current Access to HE: Medicine student and I am a huge fan of the course. I'm currently holding 2 offers for University this year, 1 of my classmates also does, and then 2 who are non-medicine students have also got them. I could talk about this forever, so I'm just going to list some pros/cons.

Cons
- Limited application opportunities. Not all Universities will accept Access courses, and those that do are sometimes affiliated with specific colleges which further reduces options.
- Every module ends with an assessment, there isn't an end of year large assessment. This means you don't have much time to prepare going back into education. If your Unis require lots of distinctions, you'll have to be on the ball from the very beginning.
- You might not get to learn just what you want. Our course has Biology and Chemistry, which is a requirement for Uni anyway, but we don't get a choice for our third subject. We have to take Physics, which a lot of people are not a fan of.
- You may still need to meet certain grade requirements for GCSEs. Usually maths and english.

Pros
- Only takes one academic year to complete.
- Some prefer having assessments throughout rather than having to cram a lot of info for one big exam.
- You can get away with doing part-time work at the same time. Some people are working full-time but it's not recommended.
- Previous study isn't taken into consideration, but your life skills will be when you get to interview stages.

What amazes me is that in less than a year I'm going from an office job to studying Medicine, which was always my dream. So in my eyes, the Access course is 100% worth it. You very much will get out of it what you put in. It's been a lot of hard work, and it gets very intense when you're juggling this alongside Uni applications and interviews, as they will likely clash with assessment deadlines. But if you are determined and can persevere, there's no reason that you can't make a success of it, and Unis will appreciate that over just looking at academics.
I've met so many students from various different educational backgrounds, so you don't need to worry about your past academics. The whole point in the course is to give adults an opportunity to change that. Just be aware that you will need to be quite studious to get through the course with high grades. Be prepared!!

If you have any questions, post here or PM me! All the best!
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Alexhorsfall95
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(Original post by Kabzzzy)
Hey Alexhorsfall95!

I'm a current Access to HE: Medicine student and I am a huge fan of the course. I'm currently holding 2 offers for University this year, 1 of my classmates also does, and then 2 who are non-medicine students have also got them. I could talk about this forever, so I'm just going to list some pros/cons.

Cons
- Limited application opportunities. Not all Universities will accept Access courses, and those that do are sometimes affiliated with specific colleges which further reduces options.
- Every module ends with an assessment, there isn't an end of year large assessment. This means you don't have much time to prepare going back into education. If your Unis require lots of distinctions, you'll have to be on the ball from the very beginning.
- You might not get to learn just what you want. Our course has Biology and Chemistry, which is a requirement for Uni anyway, but we don't get a choice for our third subject. We have to take Physics, which a lot of people are not a fan of.
- You may still need to meet certain grade requirements for GCSEs. Usually maths and english.

Pros
- Only takes one academic year to complete.
- Some prefer having assessments throughout rather than having to cram a lot of info for one big exam.
- You can get away with doing part-time work at the same time. Some people are working full-time but it's not recommended.
- Previous study isn't taken into consideration, but your life skills will be when you get to interview stages.

What amazes me is that in less than a year I'm going from an office job to studying Medicine, which was always my dream. So in my eyes, the Access course is 100% worth it. You very much will get out of it what you put in. It's been a lot of hard work, and it gets very intense when you're juggling this alongside Uni applications and interviews, as they will likely clash with assessment deadlines. But if you are determined and can persevere, there's no reason that you can't make a success of it, and Unis will appreciate that over just looking at academics.
I've met so many students from various different educational backgrounds, so you don't need to worry about your past academics. The whole point in the course is to give adults an opportunity to change that. Just be aware that you will need to be quite studious to get through the course with high grades. Be prepared!!

If you have any questions, post here or PM me! All the best!
Thanks so much for the reply, yeah I've already discussed with my work about dropping to part time hours when I start this course.

I've found since doing night classes to get my GCSE equivalents I'm actually learning so much better than did at school, really that's down to wanting to learn I think. I've been fortunate in my current job that I have to learn all new products in and out before release onto the market but to stop leaks they give this information sometimes only a week before release so we have huge folders of information to get through and know off the top our head when released so I'm getting confidence in the ability to get this done.

Re grades alot need a minimum amount of distinctions but I like this idea of assessments after modules the information is fresh in the mind then!

I have so much determination to do this I know it won't be easy and there will probably a fee sleepless nights and tears but hey I'm willing to work harder than ever before to get this!
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Alexhorsfall95
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Have you found the assessments hard or is it a little easier having the information fresh in the mind?
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TMedi
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Have you thought of applying for an Apprentice Emergency Medical Technician role, could be a route of getting into the service without going to university?
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Kabzzzy
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(Original post by Alexhorsfall95)
Have you found the assessments hard or is it a little easier having the information fresh in the mind?
It's great to hear that you're determined. I'd say at this stage that is all you will need. The great thing about Access courses are that they are specifically tailored to the career you want, so you'll mostly be learning things you'll find interesting. Even though I dislike Physics, one of our modules is specifically dealing with scanning so it's not irrelevant by any means.

Assessments have been going great. I definitely think it's a lot easier to learn the contents of a module and get assessed on it straight away, rather than having to retain that information all year long. They're also quite varied. We have closed/open book exams, presentations, vivas, demonstrations, practicals etc. One thing that is great is that they do give you many opportunities to get a good grade. If, for example, you struggle with exams, you can still build up your grade with the other assessments as there are typically 3 or 4 per module. It's also not as clear as A-levels or IB where grades are percentage based. It's more about hitting the criterias and the level of detail you can go into. Grade descriptors are provided and all the information is on there for you to adhere to.
Colleges may be different about this, but there are governing bodies so it shouldn't be too dissimilar.

With a part-time job, hopefully you won't have sleepless nights or tears. It's very manageable and I find that the more you want to learn, the less likely you are to leave things last minute. It does make a huge difference going back into education when you actually want to learn!
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Alexhorsfall95
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(Original post by TMedi)
Have you thought of applying for an Apprentice Emergency Medical Technician role, could be a route of getting into the service without going to university?
Unfortunately they are very few and far between here in my area. It was something I looked at in the past but they come up so rarely, don't actually recall seeing any in the past year probably due to covid though.
Plus my ultimate goal would of always been to be a paramedic after that so I've decided while I have this opportunity to go ahead and try to do it via the Uni route while I can.
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Antler
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This is also something that has been playing on my mind, I have a place at college to study the Access to Paramedic course but I am worried there is no chance of actually getting on the course at Uni( I am giving up a well paid job to follow my dream)

Which uni’s have you looked at?
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TMedi
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(Original post by Antler)
This is also something that has been playing on my mind, I have a place at college to study the Access to Paramedic course but I am worried there is no chance of actually getting on the course at Uni( I am giving up a well paid job to follow my dream)

Which uni’s have you looked at?
I know many people that have got into Physiotherapy, Paramedic Science and Natural Science at university, only having done an access course. It is 100% achievable.
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Alexhorsfall95
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Yeah I'm in the same boat as you leaving a good job to pursue this.

In terms of Unis I've looked at Teeside, Sheffield Hallam, Bradford and York.

Teesside is very confusing with its entry requirement via Access courses looks like they require another level 3 study in a relevant science along side your Access course. I have emailed them for clarity on that situation.

The others all look like the accept Access courses as a stand alone entry requirement - Given you have the relevant GCSE and experience.

It is big decision obviously with the grant as getting into Uni writes it off but failing too means you havebto pay back the £4K course fees.

With open days coming up definitely worth getting registered for them so we can ask the questions regarding acceptance of Access courses and such.

Also if you don't already it'll be worth going off and getting your C1 licence ready for Starting uni that way you have something most won't.

(Original post by Antler)
This is also something that has been playing on my mind, I have a place at college to study the Access to Paramedic course but I am worried there is no chance of actually getting on the course at Uni( I am giving up a well paid job to follow my dream)

Which uni’s have you looked at?
Yeah I'm in the same boat as you leaving a good job to pursue this.


In terms of Unis I've looked at Teeside, Sheffield Hallam, Bradford and York.


Teesside is very confusing with its entry requirement via Access courses looks like they require another level 3 study in a relevant science along side your Access course. I have emailed them for clarity on that situation.


The others all look like the accept Access courses as a stand alone entry requirement - Given you have the relevant GCSE and experience.


It is big decision obviously with the grant as getting into Uni writes it off but failing too means you havebto pay back the £4K course fees.


With open days coming up definitely worth getting registered for them so we can ask the questions regarding acceptance of Access courses and such.


Also if you don't already it'll be worth going off and getting your C1 licence ready for Starting uni that way you have something most won't.
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TMedi
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(Original post by Alexhorsfall95)
Yeah I'm in the same boat as you leaving a good job to pursue this.

In terms of Unis I've looked at Teeside, Sheffield Hallam, Bradford and York.

Teesside is very confusing with its entry requirement via Access courses looks like they require another level 3 study in a relevant science along side your Access course. I have emailed them for clarity on that situation.

The others all look like the accept Access courses as a stand alone entry requirement - Given you have the relevant GCSE and experience.

It is big decision obviously with the grant as getting into Uni writes it off but failing too means you havebto pay back the £4K course fees.

With open days coming up definitely worth getting registered for them so we can ask the questions regarding acceptance of Access courses and such.

Also if you don't already it'll be worth going off and getting your C1 licence ready for Starting uni that way you have something most won't.


Yeah I'm in the same boat as you leaving a good job to pursue this.


In terms of Unis I've looked at Teeside, Sheffield Hallam, Bradford and York.


Teesside is very confusing with its entry requirement via Access courses looks like they require another level 3 study in a relevant science along side your Access course. I have emailed them for clarity on that situation.


The others all look like the accept Access courses as a stand alone entry requirement - Given you have the relevant GCSE and experience.


It is big decision obviously with the grant as getting into Uni writes it off but failing too means you havebto pay back the £4K course fees.


With open days coming up definitely worth getting registered for them so we can ask the questions regarding acceptance of Access courses and such.


Also if you don't already it'll be worth going off and getting your C1 licence ready for Starting uni that way you have something most won't.
What experience are they requiring? I am currently a Healthcare Assistant and I am unsure whether I want to pursue nursing or try go down the paramedic route. I would assume having any NHS/patient experience would be sufficient.
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Kabzzzy
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(Original post by TMedi)
What experience are they requiring? I am currently a Healthcare Assistant and I am unsure whether I want to pursue nursing or try go down the paramedic route. I would assume having any NHS/patient experience would be sufficient.
That will be more than sufficient. You can find all the entry requirements on their course info. pages online, but as I mentioned, Access students have less emphasis on past academics and a lot more on experience. I didn't have a medical background, I just volunteered in a hospital for around 4 months and that was considered sufficient for Medicine. If you're working as a healthcare professional, that will be extremely advantageous when you apply to your courses and gives you a lot to relate all of your interview questions to.
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Alexhorsfall95
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(Original post by TMedi)
What experience are they requiring? I am currently a Healthcare Assistant and I am unsure whether I want to pursue nursing or try go down the paramedic route. I would assume having any NHS/patient experience would be sufficient.
For sure you'll be absolutely fine with Nursing that's why my partner did she went from a HCA to a Nurse off experience alone. For Paramedic I can't say for sure but I'm 99.9% sure it would be more than enough too, from why I've gathered from past applicants they look for any health care experience be it volunteering to professional experience I think they just want to see that you've got some form of health experience. Again probably worth getting registered to some open days and asking the individual Unis you want to apply for.
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Alexhorsfall95
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Where you all thinking of going btw guys? Be interesting if we have of the same Unis , small world after all!
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University of Salford Student Rep
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(Original post by Alexhorsfall95)
Hi Holly,

Thanks so much for your reply its greatly appreciated.

Yeah it is a massive decision but I've worked so hard to get myself into this position going to night school to get my GCSE equivalents and having to work hard to get myself into a financially stable position that I can leave work to go onto uni full time, I know they have bursaries available for those courses but obviously adult life gets expensive!! I've sent a couple of emails off today to Uni's I've been looking at.

Seen as your a rep for Salford do you know if they still do Paramedic science/practice I've seen posts about applying to them in the past but cannot see the course on Salfords website so I don't know if they've stopped it or if it's just not appearing because we are in the time just before courses for 2022 go up.
Hi Alexhorsfall95,

As far as I am concerned and looking at the responses above, accessing university with a HE access course is 100% achievable and I can see you will have a lot of experiences to draw on for the interview. It is just another route and universities make sure its just as accessible. It is especially common in healthcare course. Getting confirmation from universities might just make you feel more confident!

Unfortunately we do not offer a paramedic sciences course or anything too similar! But good luck with the other universities you have emailed.

All the best but I am sure you will do great! You are definitely determined and that is a great characteristic to have!

Holly - Student Ambassador
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Lola_D
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(Original post by Alexhorsfall95)
Hey all, I'm looking at starting a Access to He course for Paramedic science/practice however I can see that paramedic course are super competitive so do people coming in with Access courses even stand a chance against all the people with A levels etc?

I'm 26 will be 27 by the time uni comes around in 2022, Ex-Army so have experience basic combat first aid that all soldiers get trained with (such thing as loss of limb, major bleeds, sucking chest wounds etc) I have worked 2 years in a higher complaints team for a major electrical manufacturer (basically the last line of defense before legal action so used to dealing with very irate and stressed people trying to convince them to accept our support offers). Hoping by the time I apply to uni I will be at the very least on a course to get my C1 starting in Sept 22 (hopefully) I'll definitely have my C1 by that time.

However I'm still concerned all that won't be enough to stand out against A grade A level students. I can get the Advanced adult learner grant from the government to get onto the Access course which is about £4000 but is written off if you go to and pass university but as said I'm just worried I will do this course and not have any hope of reaching Uni and being lumped with a £4K fee for a piece of paper i can't use.

This is something I've wanted for years and have worked hard to even tocgst to this point where I can apply for Uni and not need to worry about finances and other adult things in life that have held me back until now.

Any insight and advice will be appreciated.

To sum up I'm sure I have the passion and desire to more than impress in the interview stages but it's a huge worry that my academic past won't be enough to even get that far.
Hello, I am a mature student who is just finishing an Access to Science. I had the same concerns as you are having now. Don't be put off. My course lead told me to email the universities I was interested in to find out if they would accept my existing qualifications and the Access. She also advised me to keep a record of the chain of emails (which I did and later proved handy). The majority of universities replied to say they would accept the Access course. Seven months down the line, I have four conditional offers to study Physiotherapy.

You have a lot going for you. Believe in yourself and give the Access course your all. It is overwhelmingly hard work (good training for uni) but if you persevere you will get what you want. One of my cohort has been accepted to do Paramedic Science at another university, several are going to KCL to study various subjects from Physio to Forensic Science. Everyone has been accepted at a university to study the course they want.

Best of luck.

L
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TMedi
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(Original post by Lola_D)
Hello, I am a mature student who is just finishing an Access to Science. I had the same concerns as you are having now. Don't be put off. My course lead told me to email the universities I was interested in to find out if they would accept my existing qualifications and the Access. She also advised me to keep a record of the chain of emails (which I did and later proved handy). The majority of universities replied to say they would accept the Access course. Seven months down the line, I have four conditional offers to study Physiotherapy.

You have a lot going for you. Believe in yourself and give the Access course your all. It is overwhelmingly hard work (good training for uni) but if you persevere you will get what you want. One of my cohort has been accepted to do Paramedic Science at another university, several are going to KCL to study various subjects from Physio to Forensic Science. Everyone has been accepted at a university to study the course they want.

Best of luck.

L
Hi Lola,

This post is really encouraging. Congratulations on recieving offers for Physiotherapy!
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MaisieLake1999
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(Original post by Alexhorsfall95)
Hey all, I'm looking at starting a Access to He course for Paramedic science/practice however I can see that paramedic course are super competitive so do people coming in with Access courses even stand a chance against all the people with A levels etc?

I'm 26 will be 27 by the time uni comes around in 2022, Ex-Army so have experience basic combat first aid that all soldiers get trained with (such thing as loss of limb, major bleeds, sucking chest wounds etc) I have worked 2 years in a higher complaints team for a major electrical manufacturer (basically the last line of defense before legal action so used to dealing with very irate and stressed people trying to convince them to accept our support offers). Hoping by the time I apply to uni I will be at the very least on a course to get my C1 starting in Sept 22 (hopefully) I'll definitely have my C1 by that time.

However I'm still concerned all that won't be enough to stand out against A grade A level students. I can get the Advanced adult learner grant from the government to get onto the Access course which is about £4000 but is written off if you go to and pass university but as said I'm just worried I will do this course and not have any hope of reaching Uni and being lumped with a £4K fee for a piece of paper i can't use.

This is something I've wanted for years and have worked hard to even tocgst to this point where I can apply for Uni and not need to worry about finances and other adult things in life that have held me back until now.

Any insight and advice will be appreciated.

To sum up I'm sure I have the passion and desire to more than impress in the interview stages but it's a huge worry that my academic past won't be enough to even get that far.
Hiya! I am currently 22 and am just finishing an Access to HE course in Allied Health so that I can do Paramedic Science at uni! I have accepted an offer to study Paramedic Science this September after having offers from everywhere that I applied, so I can vouch and say that is definitely achievable!
If anything, you are way more experienced than I am as I was previously an actor and got relevant experience by working in a care home for only 8 months.
I think as long as you can relate your previous experience to the role of a paramedic they don't really mind - they just want to see that you know what the role entails.
The access course has been great and if they ask you about it you have loads of reasons to justify that pathway. It is also a really goo refresher to education with content that I know will be useful at university (anatomy etc.)
You seem to have a good balance of practical experience and the desire to learn through the Access course which is all they can ask for really!
As far as your benefits to applying, Paramedic Science courses generally prefer people with a bit of life experience (my mum is an ex-lecturer so she told me that!!) so going in as a mature student could also weigh in your favour. A lot of the application is about personality and passion for the role. Know your stuff (NHS 6 C's etc.) and show how the Access Course has aided your knowledge base.

The Access Course is also specifically designed to help you progress, so you'll have support with your uni applications and personal statement so you can craft it to the best way to sell your attributes!

Hope this helps and feel free to ask me anything because I've been in a very similar position
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