Mature Student looking for some advice

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dawaetouk
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#1
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#1
Hi all,

I'm a mature student who has recently moved to the UK.

I studied 2 years in university in my country before having to drop out due to employment.
Right now I'm thinking about going back to university to get a degree in the UK.
The problem is, for some reason I'm having trouble to get a certification from the university in my country.
So basically I'm a blank paper without any sort of qualification in the UK.

The advice my local college gave me last year was to study for Access to HE first, then I can use the qualification to apply for universities.
They told me I don't need any qualification to study for Access to HE, as long as I get GCSE Math and English done by the time the Access to HE course is completed.

Because I was too late for their Access to HE course last year, so I decided to start with GCSE Math first then study GCSE English alongside Access to HE course.

However, when I apply for their Access to HE course this year, they told me they have changed the rules and now I have to have GCSE Math and English before I can start Access to HE course. In other words, that means I have to spend another year just to study for GCSE English before I can start Access to HE course.

So now I'm not quite sure what to do.
As I have studied in university before, so I believe I have the academic skill required to study in university.
So my goal is simply to get the qualification required for university as quickly as possible.
If I go with the advise my local college gave me, that means I will have to spend 3 years before I can get the qualifications (1yr GCSE Math, 1yr GCSE English, 1yr Access to HE).

I have thought about studying online Access to HE course like Learn Direct. But they don't accept student finance, so that means I have to pay full amount for the course myself.

The fee is just a minor problem, I'm willing to pay for it as long as it worth it. However, I also want to know if top universities will care about you applying with Access to HE qualification, instead of other regular routes like A levels? And will they care about you obtained the qualification through online course, instead of real colleges?

I'm not familiar with the education system in the UK, so any advice will be much appreciated. If there's any other routes which would help me get the qualification faster than Access to HE course, please also let me know.
Sorry for the lengthy post, and thanks in advance for the helps!
Last edited by dawaetouk; 1 month ago
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tinyperson
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Tell us more
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Inpal
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#3
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#3
Looking for help on a similar situation too
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University of Portsmouth Student Rep
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#4
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Hi dawaetouk,

I decided to go to university at 31 when I found a subject I was passionate about and a career that I wanted to work towards. When I was younger, I didn’t see myself as going to uni and so went straight to work after school and did not attend college or get any A-level qualifications.

I completed an Access to Higher education course, in order to gain the credits and the UCAS tariff points needed to attend university and there were no issues with this being different to A-level qualifications. One thing I also liked about the access course is that it helped with the application to uni and also they had a UCAS advisor who was able to help us complete applications.

When applying for uni I would look at the uni and the course that I would like to study and look at the entry requirements, usually there is a link to the full entry requirements and not only will this tell you the UCAS tariff points that are needed but It will also confirm if the university will accept an Access to HE Diploma, which I believe most do.

I don’t think there will be an issue whether this is something that you go to college to complete or if you choose to complete this online. I would check the accreditation or awarding body of the online course to check that this is recognised, to double check you could always call Learndirect and speak to them about this. I imagine it will be through a recognised awarding body, if so then when applying through UCAS they will look more at your grades and the equivalent tariff points to see if you fit the course rather than if you studied in college or online.

If you recognise or know the uni you may wish to attend or the course that you would like to study, they have an admissions team that you could make contact with and discuss options with them and any course-specific requirements.

I hope this helps and wish you all the best

Luke – Portsmouth Student Rep
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