The Student Room Group

Wanting to retake A levels in person as an adult?

Hi,

I took my A levels a few years ago during covid and didn’t try very hard with them and came out with grades that i’m not to happy with now. I want to attend university in the next few years but i don’t have an a level in the correct subject to take the course i want to (english literature).

I do terribly with online learning, or self taught learning, which is one of the reasons i struggled so much during college. I don’t want to go through the distance learning providers I have seen other people talking about, i would much rather redo my a levels in person.

However, i’m finding it very difficult to figure out how to do this. How do I apply to colleges? Will any college take adult students or is it only a few? And what are the fees like to do this? How much are they, and how would I pay them?

If anyone has any advice or experience with this, I would love to hear it.

Thanks :smile:

(further info: I’m 21, and i want to take english literature, mathematics, and either history or classical civilisations as my new a levels)
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by ApolloLycaeus
Hi,

I took my A levels a few years ago during covid and didn’t try very hard with them and came out with grades that i’m not to happy with now. I want to attend university in the next few years but i don’t have an a level in the correct subject to take the course i want to (english literature).

I do terribly with online learning, or self taught learning, which is one of the reasons i struggled so much during college. I don’t want to go through the distance learning providers I have seen other people talking about, i would much rather redo my a levels in person.

However, i’m finding it very difficult to figure out how to do this. How do I apply to colleges? Will any college take adult students or is it only a few? And what are the fees like to do this? How much are they, and how would I pay them?

If anyone has any advice or experience with this, I would love to hear it.

Thanks :smile:

(further info: I’m 21, and i want to take english literature, mathematics, and either history or classical civilisations as my new a levels)


Have you considered doing an Access to HE Diploma instead of A levels? It is a one-year course that can be taken at a local further education college, it is equivalent to three A levels and is readily accepted by unis. You can also apply for funding. You would need to check the entry requirements of the uni courses you would like to apply for to check what Access subjects they would accept.

https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/about-access
Reply 2
Original post by normaw
Have you considered doing an Access to HE Diploma instead of A levels? It is a one-year course that can be taken at a local further education college, it is equivalent to three A levels and is readily accepted by unis. You can also apply for funding. You would need to check the entry requirements of the uni courses you would like to apply for to check what Access subjects they would accept.
https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/about-access
Do you know if access courses are accepted at Oxford? I’m worried about going that route and later finding out that they aren’t accepted
I struggled to find adult colleges that offered the A Level courses I wanted to study, especially in-person classes. I ended up studying from home with my own resources, so the fees I paid were for the exams only. Which can be very expensive. I did Classical Civilisation and Ancient History, and I'm about to take my Latin exams in May/June. Both of my previous A Levels cost me £400 and this Latin A Level will cost £500. There are adult colleges that offer A Levels but I think you might struggle to find one that offers classical civ because none of the colleges local to me offered any of the A Levels I wanted to take. As a previous response suggested you can try a HE Diploma and that will let you apply for university - some universities also offer an extra foundation year before the 3-4 years of the main degree to help 'bridge the gap'. I haven't seen how much HE Diplomas are but they might be more affordable considering the cost of exams and classes if you end up having in-person A Level Classes will likely be over £1000.
Original post by ApolloLycaeus
Do you know if access courses are accepted at Oxford? I’m worried about going that route and later finding out that they aren’t accepted


You would need to check the entry requirements. However, being a retake student might be an issue for Oxford:

"Do you accept retakes? Yes, we do. However, all courses at Oxford are academically demanding; we aim to select students who could benefit the most from the challenges the courses present. Candidates who are re-taking examinations have on average a lower chance of being offered a place."
Reply 5
Original post by DerryDelaney
I struggled to find adult colleges that offered the A Level courses I wanted to study, especially in-person classes. I ended up studying from home with my own resources, so the fees I paid were for the exams only. Which can be very expensive. I did Classical Civilisation and Ancient History, and I'm about to take my Latin exams in May/June. Both of my previous A Levels cost me £400 and this Latin A Level will cost £500. There are adult colleges that offer A Levels but I think you might struggle to find one that offers classical civ because none of the colleges local to me offered any of the A Levels I wanted to take. As a previous response suggested you can try a HE Diploma and that will let you apply for university - some universities also offer an extra foundation year before the 3-4 years of the main degree to help 'bridge the gap'. I haven't seen how much HE Diplomas are but they might be more affordable considering the cost of exams and classes if you end up having in-person A Level Classes will likely be over £1000.

Was it difficult to study at home? I’m considering doing it myself more now, since I can’t seem to find any colleges near me that have the a levels I want, and that I can afford. Also, do you know what happens with a levels that you need coursework for if you study yourself?
Original post by ApolloLycaeus
Was it difficult to study at home? I’m considering doing it myself more now, since I can’t seem to find any colleges near me that have the a levels I want, and that I can afford. Also, do you know what happens with a levels that you need coursework for if you study yourself?

It can be challenging to be in charge of your own studying because you're responsible for sourcing all of the course material, which can become expensive. I've probably spent over £100 on my Latin books alone. I wouldn't know how to deal with coursework, I didn't have any for my A Levels. Some online A Level course providers have extra options where they send you course material, but that comes at a cost. As far as I'm aware, if you want to take an A Level that has a coursework element, you either have to find a college that will accept adult learners in a physical classroom or an online school that has tutors you can send work to. The service where I take my exams (called Tutors & Exams) provides tutors to authenticate coursework: https://www.tutorsandexams.uk/non-examined-assessment/#eng-a-level Hope this helps!

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