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Will universities be interested in GCSE/A Levels if you're an adult?

(27 Posts)
OrangeLavenders Fri 28-Aug-20 08:28:56

I'm starting from scratch. I have a very well paid job but I have no qualifications due to a mixture of bereavement and extreme illness in childhood.

I'm wondering if Universitues will be interested in A Levels etc or if I could perhaps do some sort of Access?

The plan is Medicine... I know, I know. I must be mad, I probably won't make it. If I'm defeated that is fine but I would really regret this if I don't TRY smile

My local college do offer GCSE Maths, English and I think a Science... Then I believe you can pay to do A Levels in addition to that.

For what it's worth, I was very academic in school... Top set. Loved Science and English. I know this isn't a great indicator of how ill cope but I'm just trying to explain that I was never a lay about envy

OP’s posts: |
mdh2020 Fri 28-Aug-20 08:34:17

I think if you want to do medicine you will have to get A levels first and at the same grades as everyone else so probably three A stars. However some universities might have Access schemes and you should contact the ones you are interested in .it might be easier to get accepted for an associated line of study and then switch.

Doccomplaint Fri 28-Aug-20 08:38:31

Access course for medicine likely to narrow your options to one particular uni

Doccomplaint Fri 28-Aug-20 08:41:04

www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2697/guidance-on-access-to-medicine-courses.pdf

PerditaProvokesEnmity Fri 28-Aug-20 08:44:13

You need a proper careers advisor with up to date knowledge to guide you to the best route. They'll probably have a better idea of relevant adult qualifications than university staff. Get an overall picture of the entire journey - don't lurch from one random exam to another or you may find yourself wasting time and energy doing more than is necessary.

Sounds an exciting project!

EdithWeston Fri 28-Aug-20 08:44:45

Universities are one of the very few places that do care about your previous qualifications. They don't have to be A levels done at 18, but you do need to show the admissions office that you have a suitable level that fits the requirements of the course (not just achievement, also ability to study)

Good luck in finding the right course/s that get you where you want to be.

OrangeLavenders Fri 28-Aug-20 08:50:50

Thanks all, it seems a few universities are happy to accept Access to Medicine but they're mostly London unis, which works well since I would really need to be at a London uni preferably...

However, they want GCSE Maths, English and Science. Which is fine. Seems fairly doable. Does anyone know if you can do English language as a single award, instead of English literature alongside it? English literature was my favourite subject at school... But it's also less practical based, if that makes sense? With English language you can't really interpret, you're either wrong or right

OP’s posts: |
Doccomplaint Fri 28-Aug-20 08:53:49

With English language you can't really interpret, you're either wrong or right

Yikes. You still have to do interpretation.

Eg. www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700/specification-at-a-glance

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/254497/GCSE_English_language.pdfThat’s the spec

bluedelphinium Fri 28-Aug-20 09:04:47

I believe Plymouth accept students with the GAMSAT exam on their 5 year MBBS without a degree or A-levels (those who have been out of education a while) so this could be worth looking at. They are also into widening access so if you're not sure where to start your research, they might be a good place to begin.

The GAMSAT is pretty tough, although you can do a prep course for around 3 grand so you may be as well looking at A Levels for next year given that there's only a month to go until this year's exam.

Each uni has its own requirements, often quite different so I would suggest looking for an advisor or reallyinvestingsome time into research. Good luck though!!

bluedelphinium Fri 28-Aug-20 09:09:04

Ah- sorry, missed the bit about GCSEs, not sure if Plymouth would want GCSEs without looking.

Doccomplaint Fri 28-Aug-20 09:10:50

Every uni that I can think of needs maths and English gcse or equivalent. And some may not take equivalencies.

OrangeLavenders Fri 28-Aug-20 09:46:41

Yeah, I think that's the main thing. Medicine doesn't accept any GCSE equivalent qualifications, as far as I can see.

As for the English language, I meant you can't interpret what you 'think' something means. It's more black and white. Of course you still have to interpret in the strictest sense, for example language used in a text

OP’s posts: |
PerditaProvokesEnmity Fri 28-Aug-20 10:08:44

Surely medicine is all about interpretation?

(And I'd imagine the more literature you've read and interrogated, the better you'll be able to understand the vast variety of patients and colleagues you'll come into contact with. Though perhaps you do that in your current job anyway?)

Doccomplaint Fri 28-Aug-20 10:14:29

My link doesn’t work. www.gov.uk/government/publications/gcse-english-language-and-gcse-english-literature-new-content Try this

GCSE English language is designed on the basis that students should read and be assessed on high-quality, challenging texts from the 19 , 20 and 21 centuries

Critical reading and comprehension
 critical reading and comprehension: identifying and interpreting themes, ideas and information in a range of literature and other high-quality writing; reading in different ways for different purposes, and comparing and evaluating the usefulness, relevance and presentation of content for these purposes; drawing inferences and justifying these with evidence; supporting a point of view by referring to evidence within the text; identifying bias and misuse of evidence, including distinguishing between statements that are supported by evidence and those that are not; reflecting critically and evaluatively on text, using the context of the text and drawing on knowledge and skills gained from wider reading; recognising the possibility of different responses to a text
 summary and synthesis: identifying the main theme or themes; summarising ideas and information from a single text; synthesising from more than one text
 evaluation of a writer’s choice of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural features: explaining and illustrating how vocabulary and grammar contribute to effectiveness and impact, using linguistic and literary terminology accurately to do
4

so and paying attention to detail; analysing and evaluating how form and structure contribute to the effectiveness and impact of a text
 comparing texts: comparing two or more texts critically with respect to the above.

DazedandConcerned Fri 28-Aug-20 10:34:21

I'm going back in September to be a nurse. For some GCSEs (math and English) some universities will accept Functional Skills Level 2 courses.

These are £100 to sit. I lost my degree transcripts in a flood and it's impossible to replace them (Canada - no id in maiden name) so needed to do functional maths level 2 to qualify for my course. Amusingly I'd just spent years as an accountant and ACA student grin

thedaywewillremeber Fri 28-Aug-20 11:45:27

I would imagine for medicine you would need to do GCSEs and a levels. Open study college is good if you’re interested in doing distance learning they offer science a levels.

titchy Fri 28-Aug-20 11:52:25

bluedelphinium

I believe Plymouth accept students with the GAMSAT exam on their 5 year MBBS without a degree or A-levels (those who have been out of education a while) so this could be worth looking at. They are also into widening access so if you're not sure where to start your research, they might be a good place to begin.

The GAMSAT is pretty tough, although you can do a prep course for around 3 grand so you may be as well looking at A Levels for next year given that there's only a month to go until this year's exam.

Each uni has its own requirements, often quite different so I would suggest looking for an advisor or reallyinvestingsome time into research. Good luck though!!


GAMSAT is for graduate entry....

mummabear1967 Fri 28-Aug-20 16:03:58

You’ll definitely need a GCSE in maths and English Language for starters.

You don’t necessarily have to do A Levels, there’s other suitable level 3 qualifications that can lead to university, like BTECs.

I don’t know much about access courses, but as a PP has said, speak to a careers adviser because they’ll know more than what myself or anyone else on here knows about it.

I think they’re only available if you’ve been out of education for more than two years, which I’m assuming you have been. But it is an option anyway.

I wish you well and I hope you get were you want to be!

mummabear1967 Fri 28-Aug-20 16:07:29

Also as well as GCSE Maths and English, you’ll probably need a couple of other GCSEs as the bare minimum for A levels / BTEC or access courses

titchy Fri 28-Aug-20 16:07:31

Lol, not sure careers advisers are that helpful. BTEC won't be any good.

Access to medicine or A levels. Access will be free if you then go onto uni. But only that course, access to health for example won't be any good. You'll also need some relevant experience and UKCAT.

mummabear1967 Fri 28-Aug-20 16:18:54

titchy

Lol, not sure careers advisers are that helpful. BTEC won't be any good.

Access to medicine or A levels. Access will be free if you then go onto uni. But only that course, access to health for example won't be any good. You'll also need some relevant experience and UKCAT.

Yeah good point I don’t think there are any BTECs in medicine

PerditaProvokesEnmity Fri 28-Aug-20 16:40:38

Lol, not sure careers advisers are that helpful.

Lol, actually I got my (similar level to medicine, different discipline) post-Oxbridge career back on track after professional careers advice ... Wasn't cheap, but definitely worth it.

(I didn't mention, and have no knowledge of BTEC exams ...)

OrangeLavenders Fri 28-Aug-20 22:12:13

Thanks all for the help!

I am starting GCSE Maths and English in September.... Then onto GCSE Science the next half of the year.

Then, Access to Medicine. I have completed a few UKCAT mocks and surprised myself by doing really well... Which was a nice surprise

I currently work as a PA for a termination of pregnancy clinic... I see a lot of women and handle a lot of confidential documents and speak with a variety of women (my role involves patient interaction). Every other Saturday I work as a HCA for surgicals. It's challenging but really enjoy it.

Hoping to do some HCA at a hospital in addition to this before applying for medicine. I'm excited but very nervous.

I lost my daughter last year, and I have a son with autism. I feel as if rocky life experiences such as an untreated illness that could've killed me helps me empathise in some way. I would love to be the doctor who can make a difference, something that little bit extra. Although I'm sure everyone says that!

Thanks again for the answers on this thread

OP’s posts: |
titchy Fri 28-Aug-20 22:22:53

Good plan OP - good luck!

pink1173 Fri 28-Aug-20 22:36:30

I love this! Just go for it! I teach GCSE English to adults and I love it when the goal is so life changing. It is possible and doable and I see learners do this every year. Good luck!

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