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Would-be mature student looking for Access advice watch

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    Hello

    This is my first post & is looking a bit long-winded... sorry... but looking to pick brains of experienced mature students who've used Access route.

    I'm approaching 40 & with children now settled in primary school, am looking to start a 2nd career. I'm currently researching opportunities & routes to becoming a Radiographer or Dietician. Is it right that these degrees are sponsored by NHS so there are no tutition fees? I've identified the route for me (... I think) being a 1 year Access to HE course (as I've no sciences) followed by the relevant degree. As I have a family & husband, my uni preferences are Surrey (for BSc Dietetics/Nutrition) or Portsmouth (for BSc Therapeutic Radiography) as they're both drivable from home.

    Can anyone share their experiences of these courses/unis? Has anyone used the Access route to gain entry to these courses?

    Which Access course would be best? The Access course at my nearest college offers Human and Social Biology & Chemistry modules, but not Physics... would this create a problem when applying for Radiography?

    I've still a lot of research to do & will be meeting/talking with a dietician next week to learn more about the role. After Easter, I'm meeting with a local hospital to find out more about getting work-shadow experience with a radiographer. Ultimately I'm trying to ascertain which of these career options would suit me best & offer work opportunities for what will be a mid-40's newly qualified.

    Thank you for reading... Any advice/voices of experience will be most welcome!
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    Hi there,

    I don't have any pracitcal advice for you as i'm new to the site and hopefully going to do an access programme myself this year and in a similar position.

    Just wanted to say Hi!

    I have posted a couple of questions on here but not had much reply yet so not sure how used the mature student forum is really?

    As far as I am aware the courses you are looking at are sponsered by NHS and you would recieve an NHS bursary. Not sure how much this exactly but if its the same as the student nurse one then it is not means tested which means your husbands income wouldn't affect how much you receive.

    Anyway just wanted to say HI and good luck with whatever you decide to do and hopefully someone will come along and answer both of our queries soon.

    Take care
    xx
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    Hi, I don't have an Access course advice but just wanted to say good luck.
    The courses you're interested in are funded by the NHS. Being degree courses, you won't qualify for the non means-tested bursary, but there is a means-tested one, and can apply for a student loan.

    I'm starting at Surrey in september on a healthcare course, the staff so far have been really helpful and friendly.

    The research you're doing into the jobs sounds good too.

    All the best!
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    Hi,

    I am also a mature student on my second year of a 2 year Access course. I have found it fantastic, although it has been hard work, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have found the Access course very useful as I left school with very little qualifications and my children are older. My exit route is Occupational Therapy, and I have an interview for Uni in Essex in May. The fees are fully funded by the NHS and you will be able to access a bursary once offered a place.

    Go for it you have nothing to lose, I havent looked back - Good Luck x
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    Thank you for all your encouragement & good wishes!

    I've just spoken with a dietitian who's mentioned that Surrey offer a foundation year in BSc Nutrition, so I've just emailed Surrey to find out whether they'd consider an application from me for the foundation year in 2009 with a transfer to the BSc Nutrition/Dietetics upon good completion of the foundation year... but it may be better to build my confidence with an Access year.

    Good luck to everyone with their chosen courses & paths!
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    Hey all, I am also a mature student and mum of a ten year old boy. I start Medical Micro in September but its been a long hard road to get here so although I'm no expert I just wanted to share my experience, hope it helps a little.

    I started an access a few years back but had to leave half way through, it was a great experience and I leart alot however I did see some downsides; The college was a technical one and most of the other courses where full of very young students so the only other mature students were the ones on my course and altough we all became great friends we all did feel a little like outsiders being what seemed like the only ten mature students in a college of thousands of 19 year olds!! I think that when you do a Foundation year at a Uni you are in a place where there are alot more mature students and also better facilities, but this may have just been my college!

    Also I had my heart set on a science degree but my access course only offered two science subjects so my other two choices although enjoyable were hard as I wasnt passionate about them, although it looks like the college you are looking at offers a science Access rather than a general one I thought I would add this point for others reading this.

    I think the best thing to do is speak to the two Universitys you plan to go to. I found the addmissions staff to be very helpful and they know excatly how to get you where you need to be.

    As you said there are some Foundation years available and some Universities will still ask you to do these even if you have done an Access to HE. However, Foundation years are also avaialble if you dont have an Access course and are good for Students who have been out of Education for a while and those who are not sure of excatly which degree they want to do as it is a common year zero so it will be a Science Foundation Course for all students wishing to enter a science degree.

    Go along to some open days at both the Unis and the Colleges and get a feel for the place. This may help you decide between the access and the foundation year.

    Gosh, that was longer than planned...sorry folks!
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    (Original post by allertone)
    Hello

    This is my first post & is looking a bit long-winded... sorry... but looking to pick brains of experienced mature students who've used Access route.

    I'm approaching 40 & with children now settled in primary school, am looking to start a 2nd career. I'm currently researching opportunities & routes to becoming a Radiographer or Dietician. Is it right that these degrees are sponsored by NHS so there are no tutition fees? I've identified the route for me (... I think) being a 1 year Access to HE course (as I've no sciences) followed by the relevant degree. As I have a family & husband, my uni preferences are Surrey (for BSc Dietetics/Nutrition) or Portsmouth (for BSc Therapeutic Radiography) as they're both drivable from home.

    Can anyone share their experiences of these courses/unis? Has anyone used the Access route to gain entry to these courses?

    Which Access course would be best? The Access course at my nearest college offers Human and Social Biology & Chemistry modules, but not Physics... would this create a problem when applying for Radiography?

    I've still a lot of research to do & will be meeting/talking with a dietician next week to learn more about the role. After Easter, I'm meeting with a local hospital to find out more about getting work-shadow experience with a radiographer. Ultimately I'm trying to ascertain which of these career options would suit me best & offer work opportunities for what will be a mid-40's newly qualified.

    Thank you for reading... Any advice/voices of experience will be most welcome!
    Hi allertone

    I am a mature student of 38 years who has done a Kitemark Access Human Sciences course where i studied Physics,Biology and Chemistry.Just thought i would tell you my background before i gave u my advice.Right you would be best doing a course ie accesswise that allowed you to study specific science credits/modules.You mentioned that you currently thinking of two Professional degree courses that by their very nature will cover in some depth sciences for the nutrition/dietitics degree u will need some understanding of micro biology/chemistry etc and for the other degree ie therapeutic radiography again u will require some science background
    so if this was me i would opt for the most science based access course u can find in your area which will allow you to cover at some depth sciences that would allow u entry into what ever degree course u chose to do.I am not applying to those universities you mention but saying this i am aware of what both degrees do cover in the modules themselves as i nearly did dietitics myself
    if i can be of further assistance then u know where i am
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    Hi Allertone, I'm a first year nutrition and dietetics student, and last year did an access course in applied science. The degree is a really good course but it was hard to get onto. Obviously you know you need to sort out which direction you are heading in to ensure you start the right access course. Most dietetic degrees require chemistry and I would assume radiotherapy would need physics. You'll want to aim your personal statement towards one or the other too.

    Aswell as the NHS paying the fees, and the means tested bursary, as a parent you could get help with a means tested parent's allowance aswell. Also, this money doesn't affect tax credits and vice versa.

    If you want any advice regarding dietetics just ask away. x
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    Hello Reallynotsure, ZakBrannigan & Roodie

    Thank you for taking the time to advise... (& many thanks to everyone else who responded earlier) it's really useful to have the opinions of those who've experienced some of this... Being a very mature would-be student I want to try & make the right decisions/choices to be trained & back in the workplace quickly.

    Roodie, I would like to pick your brains further on the nutrition & dietetics degree... this is my preferred path, however with Surrey advising that this is a very competitive course, & as I don't have the option to relocate due to family ties, I thought I should have a plan B & hence... therapeutic radiography. I do feel that I'm creating an all eggs in one basket situation... if I get turned down by Surrey Nutrition/Dietetics in 2010... would it be bad form to apply for Therapeutic Radiography in 2010?

    The Access course at Farnborough (which was recommended by Surrey Uni) only includes Chemistry & Biology, with Psychology... so would this be a general Access course rather than an Applied Science course? If I take the course advised by Surrey, would the Farnborough tutors opinion/references carry more weight?

    Kingston/St Georges have already advised me that for them to consider an Access application for Therapeutic Radiography, it would have to include biology, chemistry & physics... yet Portsmouth would accept the Farnborough course... chemistry, biology & pschyology.

    Would I be too late for a 2009 Foundation year @ uni application?

    Sorry... I'm waffling on...
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    Hi,
    Kingston offer a foundation year in Science, which includes Biology, chemistry and Physics as i will be starting this course in September.
    Good luck
    Julia
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    (Original post by allertone)
    Hello Reallynotsure, ZakBrannigan & Roodie

    Thank you for taking the time to advise... (& many thanks to everyone else who responded earlier) it's really useful to have the opinions of those who've experienced some of this... Being a very mature would-be student I want to try & make the right decisions/choices to be trained & back in the workplace quickly.

    Roodie, I would like to pick your brains further on the nutrition & dietetics degree... this is my preferred path, however with Surrey advising that this is a very competitive course, & as I don't have the option to relocate due to family ties, I thought I should have a plan B & hence... therapeutic radiography. I do feel that I'm creating an all eggs in one basket situation... if I get turned down by Surrey Nutrition/Dietetics in 2010... would it be bad form to apply for Therapeutic Radiography in 2010?

    The Access course at Farnborough (which was recommended by Surrey Uni) only includes Chemistry & Biology, with Psychology... so would this be a general Access course rather than an Applied Science course? If I take the course advised by Surrey, would the Farnborough tutors opinion/references carry more weight?

    Kingston/St Georges have already advised me that for them to consider an Access application for Therapeutic Radiography, it would have to include biology, chemistry & physics... yet Portsmouth would accept the Farnborough course... chemistry, biology & pschyology.

    Would I be too late for a 2009 Foundation year @ uni application?

    Sorry... I'm waffling on...
    You are not to late to apply for a foundation year via UCAS, In your shoes I would make the application to UCAS now, as if unsuccessful (which I sure will not happen) you will be able to start a Access to HE is September and you then are still able to start a degree in 2010. A friend of mine did this and it meant she still started working in line with her 'life plan' as she called it!

    Also, after the foundation year you may be able to change Unis if you so wished if location is a problem.

    Good luck with it all.

    x
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    Hi allertone, I was the same in that I could only apply to one uni for dietetics and my back up plan was biomedical science; I know my heart would not have been in it, but you obviously need these contingencies in place. The only thing for you having Theraputic Radiography as a Plan B is where your personal statement is concerned, because that really needs to be specific towards dietetics. I was lucky with the biomedical science back up because that particular uni said they didn’t look at personal statements they just gave conditional offers to all mature students who applied, so I don’t really know how you can get around the PS issue.

    Dietetics is hard to get into, as with most health care courses, but you’ll have a good a chance as any at getting on – being mature, like me, you’ll have ‘life experience’, job experience and being a mum helps too (time management, people skills, stuff like that...). Good work experience at hospitals or with community dietetics is obvisously a big plus when applying. I started ringing round places the August before my access course started and was really lucky to get ongoing placement in a dietetics department two afternoons a week for about six months.

    The foundation course sounds really good, you should look into it asap. Don’t know what help you can get financially for this though.

    It will all seem like an uphill struggle at times, and might even take longer than planned – I took three years from researching the career to getting onto the degree (via AS level, access and baby!) and wish I had started it all a bit younger (I’m 36 this year) but at the moment I am really enjoying the course and fingers crossed in another three years there will be a job out there for me somewhere!!

    Good luck x x x x

    (Just noticed your PM, will reply to that in a couple of hours)
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    I've been advised that the Foundation years are full at my "local" unis for 2009, so I'm focusing on an Access route & strengthening my application with work/volunteer experience with a view to uni in 2010.
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    (Original post by allertone)
    I've been advised that the Foundation years are full at my "local" unis for 2009, so I'm focusing on an Access route & strengthening my application with work/volunteer experience with a view to uni in 2010.
    Sorry to hear that the Foundation Year is already full. Good luck with the Access course, its hard work but you'll have a blast!

    :dancing: :dancing:
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    (Original post by allertone)
    I've been advised that the Foundation years are full at my "local" unis for 2009, so I'm focusing on an Access route & strengthening my application with work/volunteer experience with a view to uni in 2010.
    Hi allertone sorry to hear that the foundation year are full for 2009 and wish u good luck with the Access route:yes: If i can be of any further help/assistance you know where i am
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    Hi All...

    Thanks so much for your advice & good wishes here on the forum... I'll probably contact you guys again once I've got on to an Access course & need more advice about UCAS applications... next scary step into the unknown!!
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    HI Roodie,

    This post is from a long time ago, this is really just me seeing if you are still accessing this forum. If you are, I would love to contact you for advice. I am 31 and looking at getting A Levels or an Access course to get onto a Dietetics and Nutrition degree. What you have said above rings very true, I am three months in to working out that Dietetics and Nutrition is really what I want to do and I can see it taking a while to actually get on my course. I too am putting all my eggs in one basket as there is really only one university I want to go to in London.

    How did you find the degree? Are you now practicing Dietician? My uni ask for the work experience you mention, but I have contacted the National BDA and London BDA but they both refer me to each other. It says on a few websites not to contact clinical departments directly, but maybe I should.

    I am really keen to do some Dietics work experience, or have the chance to speak to registered Dietician as soon as possible, to get a total understanding of the profession and possible career paths.

    If it is possible to arrange a chat I would be so grateful.

    Many thanks,
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    (Original post by Macey100)
    HI Roodie,

    This post is from a long time ago, this is really just me seeing if you are still accessing this forum. If you are, I would love to contact you for advice. I am 31 and looking at getting A Levels or an Access course to get onto a Dietetics and Nutrition degree. What you have said above rings very true, I am three months in to working out that Dietetics and Nutrition is really what I want to do and I can see it taking a while to actually get on my course. I too am putting all my eggs in one basket as there is really only one university I want to go to in London.

    How did you find the degree? Are you now practicing Dietician? My uni ask for the work experience you mention, but I have contacted the National BDA and London BDA but they both refer me to each other. It says on a few websites not to contact clinical departments directly, but maybe I should.

    I am really keen to do some Dietics work experience, or have the chance to speak to registered Dietician as soon as possible, to get a total understanding of the profession and possible career paths.

    If it is possible to arrange a chat I would be so grateful.

    Many thanks,
    Hi there. Just for info, you can see when someone was last logged into this site by looking at their user profile (hover over their user name or right click on it). Roodie hasn't been here since 2012, so it might be worth starting a new thread. Also, funding has changed over the past few years, so you really need more up to date info.
 
 
 

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