Getting into university with 2 a levels and 2 BTECs

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Lauren 28119
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#1
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Hello, I'm aware this may be a worn out question. I was forced to leave school at 14 due to mental health issues, however I returned two months before 2020 mocks. Having barely studied year 11 subjects, I achieved 4s and 5s. Obviously, this left me with few options at sixth form, and so I'm studying Film studies, BTEC psychology and criminology alongside an English Literature A level with ICS.

Assuming I achieve A grade equivalents, would my BTECs and poor GCSE results greatly impact my chances at a top university?
I'm not delusional and understand Durham is highly unlikely, but maybe Manchester or York would accept me?
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PQ
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What subject degree are you planning to apply for?
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mike23mike
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Manchester and York will have minimum GCSE requirements per subject so ensure you meet the minimum GCSE requirements before looking at your BTEC and A level qualifications. Most unis will accept BTEC qualifications - dependant on the degree subject. Manchester and York are top unis so their popular courses will be hard to get into. If you are more flexible then you may find courses that are more willing to accept BTECs and weaker GCSE grades e.g. Environmental Management. There is hope
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McGinger
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Check with each Uni that they will accept the A leve;/BTEC/WJEC Diploma qualifications you have for the course you want to apply for - if it isnt clear on the course page, email the Uni and ask.

If there are specific GCSE requirements - typically Maths and English - you will still be expected to meet these as these are essential skills, not 'nice to have'. However, if your referee expalins why you dont have the full GCSE subject profile the Unis will still assess your application.

If you still have mental health issues that have an impact on your studies, then think carefully about going to Uni stright from A levels - aplly for deferred entry and spend a gap year making sure you really are well enough to go to Uni.
Last edited by McGinger; 1 month ago
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swanseajack1
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Lauren 28119)
Hello, I'm aware this may be a worn out question. I was forced to leave school at 14 due to mental health issues, however I returned two months before 2020 mocks. Having barely studied year 11 subjects, I achieved 4s and 5s. Obviously, this left me with few options at sixth form, and so I'm studying Film studies, BTEC psychology and criminology alongside an English Literature A level with ICS.

Assuming I achieve A grade equivalents, would my BTECs and poor GCSE results greatly impact my chances at a top university?
I'm not delusional and understand Durham is highly unlikely, but maybe Manchester or York would accept me?
As a general rule most universities require 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above including English Language and Maths. Sometimes dependent on the subject a higher grade in English or Maths is required. As far as BTECs are concerned nearly all universities accept them as long as they are in a relevant subject and not for things like Medicine.

As far as your level 3 qualifications are concerned English Lit is a preferred subject everywhere. Film studies is accepted in some cases but not everywhere athough I suspect will be accepted nearly everywhere as a 3rd subject. Psychology which is a BTEC I assume should be fine. I am concerned about Criminology. Sometimes people study WJEC level 3 and this is sold as equivalent to an A level but some universities wont accept that as it isnt considered academic enough.

Your best option will be to speak to the admissions office at the university and outline your exact qualifications. They will confirm what they will accept.
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Lauren 28119
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#6
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
As a general rule most universities require 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above including English Language and Maths. Sometimes dependent on the subject a higher grade in English or Maths is required. As far as BTECs are concerned nearly all universities accept them as long as they are in a relevant subject and not for things like Medicine.

As far as your level 3 qualifications are concerned English Lit is a preferred subject everywhere. Film studies is accepted in some cases but not everywhere athough I suspect will be accepted nearly everywhere as a 3rd subject. Psychology which is a BTEC I assume should be fine. I am concerned about Criminology. Sometimes people study WJEC level 3 and this is sold as equivalent to an A level but some universities wont accept that as it isnt considered academic enough.

Your best option will be to speak to the admissions office at the university and outline your exact qualifications. They will confirm what they will accept.
Thanks, you've been of more help than my sixth form. I should also mention that the area I live in, and my education at a college below the national average allows me two grade reductions (ABB).
I'm aiming to achieve AAA which I hope improves my chances as I'll technically be above the minimum required grades. However, they might not take this into account.
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jonathanemptage
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Lauren 28119)
Hello, I'm aware this may be a worn out question. I was forced to leave school at 14 due to mental health issues, however I returned two months before 2020 mocks. Having barely studied year 11 subjects, I achieved 4s and 5s. Obviously, this left me with few options at sixth form, and so I'm studying Film studies, BTEC psychology and criminology alongside an English Literature A level with ICS.

Assuming I achieve A grade equivalents, would my BTECs and poor GCSE results greatly impact my chances at a top university?
I'm not delusional and understand Durham is highly unlikely, but maybe Manchester or York would accept me?
you got 4-5's so you could probably still get into top universitys totally still apply to Durham they still might accept you with a strong personal statement Oxbridge might be out of reach but top universitys sure you'll get some offers..
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swanseajack1
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#8
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(Original post by Lauren 28119)
Thanks, you've been of more help than my sixth form. I should also mention that the area I live in, and my education at a college below the national average allows me two grade reductions (ABB).
I'm aiming to achieve AAA which I hope improves my chances as I'll technically be above the minimum required grades. However, they might not take this into account.
You dont say what subject you are looking at. Universities look at contextual flags and if you meet them you get the lower offer if they intend making you an offer. Contextual offers are picked up automatically off your ucas form.

The biggest concern I have is your criminology might not be accepted if it is the WJEC level 3. At least Bristol, UCL and Birmingham dont accept this and others might not. English Lit is a very strong subject for humanities and I havent heard of any problems with BTEC Psychology being accepted but you best just give Manchester and York a ring to make sure. It used to be only Cambridge and a couple of London universities didnt accept BTEC. Pearson claim 95% of universities accept them. The bigger problem with BTECs tend to be in science courses where they want a specific A level in addition.
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Lauren 28119
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#9
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#9
(Original post by swanseajack1)
You dont say what subject you are looking at. Universities look at contextual flags and if you meet them you get the lower offer if they intend making you an offer. Contextual offers are picked up automatically off your ucas form.

The biggest concern I have is your criminology might not be accepted if it is the WJEC level 3. At least Bristol, UCL and Birmingham dont accept this and others might not. English Lit is a very strong subject for humanities and I havent heard of any problems with BTEC Psychology being accepted but you best just give Manchester and York a ring to make sure. It used to be only Cambridge and a couple of London universities didnt accept BTEC. Pearson claim 95% of universities accept them. The bigger problem with BTECs tend to be in science courses where they want a specific A level in addition.
I intend to study an english literature degree. So providing I get an A grade at A level, I think I should have a decent chance at a good university. If not, I'll settle for Sheffield (it's still in the Russell Trust, afterall). The BTEC Applied psychology I'm currently studying is pathetically easy. I thought that would be the one I'd have a problem with. I'll give York and Manchester a call
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Lauren 28119
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#10
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#10
(Original post by McGinger)
Check with each Uni that they will accept the A leve;/BTEC/WJEC Diploma qualifications you have for the course you want to apply for - if it isnt clear on the course page, email the Uni and ask.

If there are specific GCSE requirements - typically Maths and English - you will still be expected to meet these as these are essential skills, not 'nice to have'. However, if your referee expalins why you dont have the full GCSE subject profile the Unis will still assess your application.

If you still have mental health issues that have an impact on your studies, then think carefully about going to Uni stright from A levels - aplly for deferred entry and spend a gap year making sure you really are well enough to go to Uni.
I'm resitting my english language GCSE next year. Thanks for the advice, my mental health is stable at the moment. I'll have to see what I'm like in 2 years
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swanseajack1
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#11
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#11
(Original post by Lauren 28119)
I intend to study an english literature degree. So providing I get an A grade at A level, I think I should have a decent chance at a good university. If not, I'll settle for Sheffield (it's still in the Russell Trust, afterall). The BTEC Applied psychology I'm currently studying is pathetically easy. I thought that would be the one I'd have a problem with. I'll give York and Manchester a call
Dont get hooked on the RG. It is a meaningless body set up to promote a group of universities who feared losing their research funding to newer universities. I see you are looking uP North. Have you considered Lancaster. It is an excellent university every bit as good as RG.
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