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University of Sussex
University of Sussex
Brighton

BSc (Hons) Medical Neuroscience at Sussex but a I have bad GCSEs

For my GCSEs I got a 54333, this is due to bad mental health and autism causing revision to be extremely difficult. I wish to go and study neuroscience and I’ve been looking at all of my options. The university of Sussex’s BSc (Hons) Medical Neuroscience is one of those.

The entry requirements say:” You will normally need GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade 5 in each (or grade B).”. What is the leniency on this and how can my A levels change their look on my GCSEs? What A level grades would I need? Thanks
Original post by Anonymous
For my GCSEs I got a 54333, this is due to bad mental health and autism causing revision to be extremely difficult. I wish to go and study neuroscience and I’ve been looking at all of my options. The university of Sussex’s BSc (Hons) Medical Neuroscience is one of those.

The entry requirements say:” You will normally need GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade 5 in each (or grade B).”. What is the leniency on this and how can my A levels change their look on my GCSEs? What A level grades would I need? Thanks


Usually GCSE requirements are "hard" requirements for universities as they represent the minimum level of knowledge in those areas to succeed in the course.

I would recommend aiming to retake as needed - at the very least aiming to have English language and maths at 5 or above. As that is a very widespread requirement for unis (it's much less common for unis to require minimum grades in other GCSE subjects although it does happen sometimes as in your example).
University of Sussex
University of Sussex
Brighton
Original post by Anonymous
For my GCSEs I got a 54333, this is due to bad mental health and autism causing revision to be extremely difficult. I wish to go and study neuroscience and I’ve been looking at all of my options. The university of Sussex’s BSc (Hons) Medical Neuroscience is one of those.

The entry requirements say:” You will normally need GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade 5 in each (or grade B).”. What is the leniency on this and how can my A levels change their look on my GCSEs? What A level grades would I need? Thanks

You list your GCSE grades, but don't mention the subjects. Setting aside the grade requirement for a moment, do you have "GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics and two Science subjects" at any grade?

As @artful_lounger says, GCSE subjects/grades tend to be non-negotiable. However, the fact that their web site says, "You will normally need..." suggests that there might be some flexibility. Quite what that flexibility might be, and it what circumstances it might be deployed, are impossible to know.

I do note that their Medical Neuroscience BSc (Hons) page says, f you don't meet our entry requirements, we recommend our in-house Foundation Year course to prepare you for Year 1 of your chosen degree: Life Sciences (with a foundation year) BSc (Hons)". However, if you check the Life Sciences (with a foundation year) BSc (Hons) page it also says, "You will normally need GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade 5 in each (or grade B)." They've significantly lowered the A level requirement (from ABB/BBB to CCC) for the Life Sciences (with a foundation year) route, but have left the GCSE requirement the same. That suggests it might be as low as they're happy to go.
Reply 3
Original post by DataVenia
You list your GCSE grades, but don't mention the subjects. Setting aside the grade requirement for a moment, do you have "GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics and two Science subjects" at any grade?

As @artful_lounger says, GCSE subjects/grades tend to be non-negotiable. However, the fact that their web site says, "You will normally need..." suggests that there might be some flexibility. Quite what that flexibility might be, and it what circumstances it might be deployed, are impossible to know.

I do note that their Medical Neuroscience BSc (Hons) page says, f you don't meet our entry requirements, we recommend our in-house Foundation Year course to prepare you for Year 1 of your chosen degree: Life Sciences (with a foundation year) BSc (Hons)". However, if you check the Life Sciences (with a foundation year) BSc (Hons) page it also says, "You will normally need GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade 5 in each (or grade B)." They've significantly lowered the A level requirement (from ABB/BBB to CCC) for the Life Sciences (with a foundation year) route, but have left the GCSE requirement the same. That suggests it might be as low as they're happy to go.


I have Eng Lang (5), Maths (4), Astronomy (3), Chemistry (3) and Physics (3). I understand it may not seem it due to my grades, but I do know these subjects, I just can’t do exams, I’m a home schooled student and when I was doing practice exams at home I was getting 7s and 8s for my sciences. I really don’t know what to do.
Original post by Anonymous
I have Eng Lang (5), Maths (4), Astronomy (3), Chemistry (3) and Physics (3). I understand it may not seem it due to my grades, but I do know these subjects, I just can’t do exams, I’m a home schooled student and when I was doing practice exams at home I was getting 7s and 8s for my sciences. I really don’t know what to do.

Take a look at the Modules section for Medical Neuroscience BSc (Hons) on their web site, here. If you click on each module, for each year, you'll get a little summary. It shows how each is assessed. For example, Physiology and Disease is 40% coursework and 60% exams. If you "just can’t do exams", are you happy with the content of exam-based assessment on this course? How are you planning to cope with exams during A levels?

Were you planning on doing Maths, Chemistry and Phyiscs for A level? If so, if might be that a good grade in those A levels would offset a weaker (below requirement) grade at GCSE. This is a question you would need to ask the admission team at Sussex.
Reply 5
Original post by DataVenia
Take a look at the Modules section for Medical Neuroscience BSc (Hons) on their web site, here. If you click on each module, for each year, you'll get a little summary. It shows how each is assessed. For example, Physiology and Disease is 40% coursework and 60% exams. If you "just can’t do exams", are you happy with the content of exam-based assessment on this course? How are you planning to cope with exams during A levels?

Were you planning on doing Maths, Chemistry and Phyiscs for A level? If so, if might be that a good grade in those A levels would offset a weaker (below requirement) grade at GCSE. This is a question you would need to ask the admission team at Sussex.

Thank you :smile:
Original post by Anonymous
Thank you :smile:

One thing which might be worth considering, which would help on the exam front but wouldn't align with home schooling, is that for this course they will accept Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Applied science (with specific optional modules) in lieu of A levels. BTECs do have exams, but they're primarily assessed via coursework. Just a thought. :smile:

(If you go down this route be very careful to take the correct BTEC. A lot have very similar names but Sussex are very specific on which they'll accept.)
Reply 7
Original post by DataVenia
One thing which might be worth considering, which would help on the exam front but wouldn't align with home schooling, is that for this course they will accept Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Applied science (with specific optional modules) in lieu of A levels. BTECs do have exams, but they're primarily assessed via coursework. Just a thought. :smile:

(If you go down this route be very careful to take the correct BTEC. A lot have very similar names but Sussex are very specific on which they'll accept.)

The reason I didn't do well in exams was that I didn't get my autism diagnosis until after my exams so they weren't able to accommodate ASC (I'm not blaming them for my failure), my EHCP only went so far. Unfortunately, the only place I can go and do sixth form is a college and that college is no better than the school I had to leave due to mental health issues brought on by my Autism (auditory and visual sensory overload occurred each day). Home schooling is my only option and while it is expensive, it is better for my mental health, now I have an ASC diagnosis, the accommodation to support me is available.
Original post by Anonymous
The reason I didn't do well in exams was that I didn't get my autism diagnosis until after my exams so they weren't able to accommodate ASC (I'm not blaming them for my failure), my EHCP only went so far. Unfortunately, the only place I can go and do sixth form is a college and that college is no better than the school I had to leave due to mental health issues brought on by my Autism (auditory and visual sensory overload occurred each day). Home schooling is my only option and while it is expensive, it is better for my mental health, now I have an ASC diagnosis, the accommodation to support me is available.

Understood. It was just a thought.

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