What happens to the students with BCD at A level?

(17 Posts)
middleagedspread Wed 06-Feb-13 17:30:29

DS is choosing A levels. He's set on doing French & Law at Uni. He has high aspirations, which I think is a good thing, however looking at the courses the offers all seem to be AAB. I'm not sure he'll do that well.
There must be loads of students that get OK grades but not enough to do the course they want. Do they end up doing something unrelated or are there courses for the less high achievers?
Sorry if this in obvious question, I'm trying to understand the system.

almapudden Wed 06-Feb-13 17:41:52

He needs to apply for less prestigious universities. Russell Group etc will probably be looking for AAB as minimum.Try looking at the ex-polytechnics' entry grades: these will probably be much lower.

AuntFini Wed 06-Feb-13 17:46:28

I think it's a shame that he should feel that he needs to apply for 'less prestigious' universities. Five years ago I got into a Russell Group university with BCD for German and French, and graduated with a first 4 years later. Now for the same course they expect AAB.

mumblechum1 Wed 06-Feb-13 17:49:02

There's a brilliant website which tellsl you where you can do which subjects with certain results called www.whichuni.co.uk

What makes you think he's going to get BCD?

mumblechum1 Wed 06-Feb-13 17:51:32
dixiechick1975 Wed 06-Feb-13 17:53:22

Do look carefully if he is set on law for a career.

He may be better doing a degree eg French at a decent uni which may not need as high grades and then doing the 1 year graduate diploma in law after.

middleagedspread Wed 06-Feb-13 17:58:13

Thanks so much for the response.
He thinks he'll get AAB, but since he hasn't even sat half of his GCSEs I'm not sure how he can predict that.
I certainly don't want to damp his enthusiasm but I do think a bit of realism wouldn't go amiss.
He's choosing Eng Lit, History, French & Geography, which seem very sensible.
Great website mumble, thanks.

TotallyBS Fri 08-Feb-13 10:15:29

AuntFini - AAA offers have been standard for a long time now. Your uni obviously saw your potential and made you a lower than normal offer (by their standards).

TotallyBS Fri 08-Feb-13 10:25:56

A relation of mine is a corporate lawyer. She was saying that the top recruiters only recruit from the top unis. Going by the French/Law combo, I'm guessing that.this is what your DC is aiming for as opposed to joining some high street firm.

If that is the case, then a first degree from a non RG uni isn't going to get the job offers rolling in.

As Dixie said, t's easier to get into a RG uni to do French then Law. Life would be easier if DC had a first degree from a RG uni and then a post grad law qualificaton

OneMoreMum Fri 08-Feb-13 13:31:21

Lots of Russell group Unis take on students without all A's, looking at some HEFCE data regarding student number controls 99% of Oxford and Cambridge new entrants had AAB or above in 2009/10, but this quickly reduces as you go down the list, Bristol & Durham 85%, Nottingham 57%, Leeds 46%.

Don't give up on Russell Group unis just yet, plus it is actually possible to have a prefessional job without doing your graduate training at a 'top firm' you know. Many lawyers have managed it I'm sure....

OneMoreMum Fri 08-Feb-13 13:32:56

Professional even....

JaneLane Fri 08-Feb-13 13:53:11

Because law is so competitive the top recruiters will only look for students from the top unis (Oxbridge and RG basically).

Most law courses at these universities will be AAB to A*AA. Some universities will also require prospective students to sit the LNAT.

It's worth looking at doing French and then a graduate diploma in Law as French is likely to have slightly lower grade offers than Law - probably ABB - AAA. However most French degrees will be a four year course so if he's then got to do a graduate year as well he will be looking at 5 years at university.

There will be French and Law courses at less well known universities with lower grade boundaries and many students do very well. It is worth checking out each university's employability for that course however (there's a good website called unistats for doing that) to see of most of their students are managing to get graduate employment.

Btw a quick rule I use (it is in no way scientific or foolproof btw!) is:

If you are willing to work much harder at A levels than GCSEs then you will get the same grades as you did at GCSE (ie if you
get A*s at GCSE then you'll get A*/As at A Level)
If you are willing to work the same amount as you did at GCSEs at A Level then you can expect to get 1 grade lower
If you aren't willing to work as much at A level as at GCSE you can expect to get 2 or more grades lower.

JaneLane Fri 08-Feb-13 13:54:30

Also he needs to get as much relevant work experience as possible - this is very important for Law.

racingheart Fri 08-Feb-13 15:36:19

OP, encourage him! Don't say you don't think he can make it. Support him aiming high and get him working hard to achieve his aims. They are great ones.

middleagedspread Fri 08-Feb-13 17:37:50

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply.
I do encourage him, I promise.
He's had his heart set on Law for some years but has been really successful in French which has been very encouraging.
One of the appeals of the French Degree is the year out.
We have several Lawyer friends who have been realistic about the job market.
I think we'll have to see what the GSCE results are then look at the options. I really hope I'm doing him a disservice & he'll get AAA!

creamteas Fri 08-Feb-13 18:14:21

TO be honest it depends on the cohort. Last year in clearing plenty of RG unis were recruiting at BCD in clearing even for prestigious subjects!

The RG Group was formed to lobby around research interests, and it says very little about the quality of teaching or the outcomes of graduates. There are a fair number of RG unis that have a really poor record of getting students into top jobs.

middleagedspread Fri 08-Feb-13 18:36:27

That's really interesting. RG as seen as the target to achieve. Just shows, the students & parents don't know the full story.

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