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Access Course Question - How does it work? (Humanities)

Hi,

I am interested in starting an access course in September, but I'm slightly confused about how it works. I hope someone will be able to answer the below!

How many credits does 1 assignment work out to be?

What are the turnover rates of assignments - i.e. how long do you get for one, and how quickly do you find out the results?

Do you have multiple assignments on the go? I.e. been set more than one at any one time.

How hard is it to achieve distinctions, and are there any percentage ratings like 40%, 50%, etc., that denote the grade Dist, Merit, or Pass?


Many Thanks!!
Original post by telepathy
Hi,

I am interested in starting an access course in September, but I'm slightly confused about how it works. I hope someone will be able to answer the below!

How many credits does 1 assignment work out to be?

What are the turnover rates of assignments - i.e. how long do you get for one, and how quickly do you find out the results?

Do you have multiple assignments on the go? I.e. been set more than one at any one time.

How hard is it to achieve distinctions, and are there any percentage ratings like 40%, 50%, etc., that denote the grade Dist, Merit, or Pass?


Many Thanks!!


How many credits does 1 assignment work out to be?
It depends on the specific module and assignment, as well as what it's testing. It's usually at least 1 credit but it can be 2 or 3. Until I see the number of grade descriptors for the specific assignment, I can't specifically say.

What are the turnover rates of assignments - i.e. how long do you get for one, and how quickly do you find out the results?
It depends on when your tutor can get the marking done. It's often within the week if it's a small class. If it's a larger class, it can take about 2 weeks.
I'ts not as simple as marking whether one answer is right or wrong, then hand it back. The work needs to be invigilated and there needs to be consensus between multiple tutors.

Do you have multiple assignments on the go? I.e. been set more than one at any one time.
When I did my Access course, it's usually 1 unit at a time, but you can have deadlines that extend beyond the the end of the unit, so you can possible end up with 2-3 assignments, but I have never needed to juggle more than 3 at a time.

How hard is it to achieve distinctions, and are there any percentage ratings like 40%, 50%, etc., that denote the grade Dist, Merit, or Pass?
The grading process of Access courses isn't the same as that for regular courses e.g. A Levels, degrees, GCSEs, etc. The grading depends on whether there is sufficient evidence of you meeting specific grading criteria set out in your unit outline. As with a lot of courses, you need to provide sufficient evidence that you met the lower grade requirements before your work will be compared with that of the higher grade criteria.
Unless you're specifically doing a mathematical paper, you don't really have percentage ratings. Even then, the questions on the paper would tend to closely reflect the grade descriptors anyway (e.g. each question reflects each of the levels in the grade descriptors).
To get an overall distinction for a specific module, you will often need to have at least half of the credits to be distinction level and the remaining to be at merit. If you get all distinctions for a unit, then it's obviously a straight distinction. If you have a 6 credit unit and you get DDDMMM, then it's a judgement call by the tutors. If it's DDDDMM, then it's a distinction. If it's DDMMMM, then it's a merit. Do note, you can have 3, 6, and 9 credit units.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 2
Original post by MindMax2000
How many credits does 1 assignment work out to be?
It depends on the specific module and assignment, as well as what it's testing. It's usually at least 1 credit but it can be 2 or 3. Until I see the number of grade descriptors for the specific assignment, I can't specifically say.

What are the turnover rates of assignments - i.e. how long do you get for one, and how quickly do you find out the results?
It depends on when your tutor can get the marking done. It's often within the week if it's a small class. If it's a larger class, it can take about 2 weeks.
I'ts not as simple as marking whether one answer is right or wrong, then hand it back. The work needs to be invigilated and there needs to be consensus between multiple tutors.

Do you have multiple assignments on the go? I.e. been set more than one at any one time.
When I did my Access course, it's usually 1 unit at a time, but you can have deadlines that extend beyond the the end of the unit, so you can possible end up with 2-3 assignments, but I have never needed to juggle more than 3 at a time.

How hard is it to achieve distinctions, and are there any percentage ratings like 40%, 50%, etc., that denote the grade Dist, Merit, or Pass?
The grading process of Access courses isn't the same as that for regular courses e.g. A Levels, degrees, GCSEs, etc. The grading depends on whether there is sufficient evidence of you meeting specific grading criteria set out in your unit outline. As with a lot of courses, you need to provide sufficient evidence that you met the lower grade requirements before your work will be compared with that of the higher grade criteria.
Unless you're specifically doing a mathematical paper, you don't really have percentage ratings. Even then, the questions on the paper would tend to closely reflect the grade descriptors anyway (e.g. each question reflects each of the levels in the grade descriptors).
To get an overall distinction for a specific module, you will often need to have at least half of the credits to be distinction level and the remaining to be at merit. If you get all distinctions for a unit, then it's obviously a straight distinction. If you have a 6 credit unit and you get DDDMMM, then it's a judgement call by the tutors. If it's DDDDMM, then it's a distinction. If it's DDMMMM, then it's a merit. Do note, you can have 3, 6, and 9 credit units.


Many thanks! Out of curiosity, what are you doing currently and where; post access course?
Original post by telepathy
Many thanks! Out of curiosity, what are you doing currently and where; post access course?


After finishing my Access course, I decided to specialise in physics and chemistry joint degree to go into research into these areas.

Unfortunately, my Access course focuses on biology and chemistry more than physics. And the degrees that I want to do require an even divide between physics, chemistry, and maths. So I am going back to do A Levels to meet such a requirement. There are Access courses that do meet such requirement, but the number of universities that offer courses in chemistry and physics together are only limited to 19 in the country (there are even fewer suitable courses taught in English outside of the UK), and a large number of them don't accept Access courses for these specific subjects.

Lesson: know what you want to do first and then look at the entry requirements of the specific degrees that you want to do.

I'm still grateful for doing the Access course though, as it has helped clarify what I wanted to do because it has given me a broad enough exposure to all 3 sciences, which was primarily why I did the course in the first place.

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