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Need Advice on UCAS course switch (pharmacy to Computer Sci)

Long post (i'll try summarise):
context:
I applied for pharmacy as I believed it was the best choice at the time however after talking to current mPharm students and seeing the career as a whole i decided after long research ( into what i believe is the best for me ) i want to switch to Computer Science. (Im resitting BIO and CHEM predicted A* A)
•Main advice needed here:
after looking at UCAS extra there are many uni available that dont require maths or CS alevel
My main question are, 1) should i apply ucas extra to a top 40 uni like uni of leic,newcastle, aston 2) should i do foundation year and apply to more prestige universities like uni of manchester, loughborough (all uni listed in extra as of now). This would also help me get to speed with maths etc but 9k tutition fee wasted ?
Im not sure how UCAS extra works but im assuming i will need a whole new personal statement and be interviewed?
Please help i am very unsure on what to do as a whole.
(edited 12 months ago)
Do any of your current 5 choices offer CS degrees and have you called them to ask if you can get your application/offer switched to CS?

This would normally give you more flexibility and options than using extra plus presumably you like your original 5 choices of university even though you have changed your mind about the subject to study
Reply 2
Going through the exact same situation for different courses. This is what I have done:

- Researched universities that offered the course I want. This gave me a rough idea of the modules, areas and overall grade requirements.
- Got in contact with various admissions/course specific admissions teams at the unis (over the phone and by email) to see if I would even be considered and/or whether they have spaces left. IF I wasn't to be accepted, I'd cross them off my list.
- Write a whole new personal statement (still in the process of that, to be honest), as a new one may be required to be sent to the admissions teams after they give you the green light to apply. It may not be needed, but it's better to have. Some Unis may also not require an interview as you are looking to apply through extra.
- Narrowed down my choices to go from most to least preferred. You can only apply to one through extra so work your way through it if you get rejected from your top choice.

And if all else fails, you can apply through clearing in July. They may lower grade boundaries and be a bit more lax (speaking from family's experience as they all went through clearing), as they are looking to fill courses by then.

To answer your other questions, applying to whichever school you want is entirely your choice. Whether that's a top 40 school, or a bottom of the barrel school it is your decision entirely. Yes, some might look better than others, but you may narrow down your choices once you have researched your options a bit. Additionally, a foundation year may not be worth it unless its required if you don't hold the right grades. Best thing you can do is send emails asking questions. You can never ask too many!

TLDR: Research, ask, personal statement, apply!
Original post by PQ
Do any of your current 5 choices offer CS degrees and have you called them to ask if you can get your application/offer switched to CS?

This would normally give you more flexibility and options than using extra plus presumably you like your original 5 choices of university even though you have changed your mind about the subject to study

2 which I applied for pharmacy have entry requirements for CS I could switch to (ASTON, Newcastle) but from extra there are “better” unis available and also uni such as Durham Loughborough and Manchester available via foundation(as I don’t have right subjects) . I’m just debating what is the best option.
(edited 12 months ago)
Original post by wrenney
Going through the exact same situation for different courses. This is what I have done:

- Researched universities that offered the course I want. This gave me a rough idea of the modules, areas and overall grade requirements.
- Got in contact with various admissions/course specific admissions teams at the unis (over the phone and by email) to see if I would even be considered and/or whether they have spaces left. IF I wasn't to be accepted, I'd cross them off my list.
- Write a whole new personal statement (still in the process of that, to be honest), as a new one may be required to be sent to the admissions teams after they give you the green light to apply. It may not be needed, but it's better to have. Some Unis may also not require an interview as you are looking to apply through extra.
- Narrowed down my choices to go from most to least preferred. You can only apply to one through extra so work your way through it if you get rejected from your top choice.

And if all else fails, you can apply through clearing in July. They may lower grade boundaries and be a bit more lax (speaking from family's experience as they all went through clearing), as they are looking to fill courses by then.

To answer your other questions, applying to whichever school you want is entirely your choice. Whether that's a top 40 school, or a bottom of the barrel school it is your decision entirely. Yes, some might look better than others, but you may narrow down your choices once you have researched your options a bit. Additionally, a foundation year may not be worth it unless its required if you don't hold the right grades. Best thing you can do is send emails asking questions. You can never ask too many!

TLDR: Research, ask, personal statement, apply!

This is great advice thank you! Foundation year vs starting from year 1 is my next big question.
There is top 15 universities open in foundation vs top 40 unis starting from year 1 . I’m really unsure which ones better for me
Original post by MirioTogata
2 which I applied for pharmacy have entry requirements for CS I could switch to (ASTON, Newcastle) but from extra there are “better” unis available and also uni such as Durham Loughborough and Manchester available via foundation(as I don’t have right subjects) . I’m just debating what is the best option.


Aston with a placement year would be better than those others without a placement and with a year wasted on a foundation year that you don’t need
Reply 6
Original post by MirioTogata
This is great advice thank you! Foundation year vs starting from year 1 is my next big question.
There is top 15 universities open in foundation vs top 40 unis starting from year 1 . I’m really unsure which ones better for me

Honestly, in my opinion a foundation year is not needed unless you do not get the grades/the university offers it for you instead. There isn’t much point in applying for a foundation year when you are predicted high grades to begin with, so unless a university thinks it’s better for you to do so (usually not the case), I don’t think you should apply for it.
Original post by PQ
Aston with a placement year would be better than those others without a placement and with a year wasted on a foundation year that you don’t need

Wouldn’t Newcastle or Leicester be better than Aston? Especially in most rankings and other students I’ve seen the former be better ?
Original post by wrenney
Honestly, in my opinion a foundation year is not needed unless you do not get the grades/the university offers it for you instead. There isn’t much point in applying for a foundation year when you are predicted high grades to begin with, so unless a university thinks it’s better for you to do so (usually not the case), I don’t think you should apply for it.


, the only university that might tempt me with foundation is Manchester, maybe others too but I need to research further. Like I said the only reason I consider foundation is 1) I don’t have the right subjects 2) the uni are higher ranking = usually means more connections for placement etc. (unless I’m wrong )
(edited 12 months ago)
Original post by MirioTogata
Wouldn’t Newcastle or Leicester be better than Aston? Especially in most rankings and other students I’ve seen the former be better ?


Forget snobbery and league tables. I doubt there will be a huge difference in these universities. Placement gives you a big advantage as you have work experience which employers like. Look into the differences to see which you prefer.
Reply 10
Original post by MirioTogata
, the only university that might tempt me with foundation is Manchester, maybe others too but I need to research further. Like I said the only reason I consider foundation is 1) I don’t have the right subjects 2) the uni are higher ranking = usually means more connections for placement etc. (unless I’m wrong )


I would definitely contact Manchester with that as I did not have the right subjects for one of their courses and was not even offered a foundation option, just flat-out rejected unfortunately. They are extremely picky when it comes to entry requirements compared to other unis, so I'm not sure they would offer a foundation year.

In regards to having more connections for placement, that isn't entirely true. The best connections usually come from specialist universities (E.g. Futureworks in Manchester is a games design university, has so many more connections to the industry compared to normal universities), so the best thing you can do is research their industry connections for the field you want to go into, because ranking does not always equal employability if that makes sense. Yes, it might look great on your CV, but it could cost you getting a placement right out of uni rather than going for one that lists its connections.
Reply 11
I think in this case there may be a reason to do a foundation degree if it covers the maths content to get onto a course which would normally require a minimum of grade A or A* maths A level - but only if you want to take the type of CS degree which has that maths requirement.
Original post by ajj2000
I think in this case there may be a reason to do a foundation degree if it covers the maths content to get onto a course which would normally require a minimum of grade A or A* maths A level - but only if you want to take the type of CS degree which has that maths requirement.

Most top 20 unis are maths heavy, but there are also russel groups like newcastle that cover the basic maths needed. I think learning more about maths would be useful if i was to go into AI or analyst, but can do software engineering with less maths i believe. Ive not decided yet still but im convinced just having more math skill under my belt would make it better for me

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