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To ask about uni course advice here ? ( for timely response ) I know that this should be posted in education really ...!

(52 Posts)
ginorwine Fri 17-Jun-16 08:15:26

Dd in utter panic re uni application .
Her school requires that she applies early whereas at our ds school we did open days in October .
She does 4 As courses at the mo sociology
Re and ethics
not keen
Re and sociology - passionate arguments and morality etc
She thought about going into the police or nursing at one point but no longer really really does not know what to do at uni but wants to go to uni !
She has often thought that she wants to be an equine physio but realises to get there she has to divert from social sciences and she doesn't know if she will be good enough to do it at uni level
I made a mistake in my course at uni and feel concerned for dd
She keeps veering from equine physio which means another year at a college before uni - specialist course or just to go and do subject she loves .
Any advice much appriciated she is watching friends go to open days and is in spin
Been around horses much of her life .

Lolimax Fri 17-Jun-16 08:22:54

Hi sorry not much help in regards to courses (my DD is doing mental health nursing and loves it!) but surely the school can't force her to apply early? She's only first year 6th! It isn't up to them is it? There's a lot of growing up to do in the next few months plus the AS results (which came as a shock to my DD) and the September/October open days.
As a parent can't you stand your ground?

swooosh Fri 17-Jun-16 08:24:52

My SIL done equine physio. She's quite well known in the horsey world and has been struggling with finding work despite being very good and recommended at what she does. Something to think about maybe.

redexpat Fri 17-Jun-16 08:47:09

I think she would be wise to take a gap year, sign up with temp agencies and get as much experience as she can. She will be able to make an informed decision about what she wants to do, and thus what to study.

Anything in the criminal justice system tickle her fancy? Victim support? Probation officer? Social work?

ginorwine Fri 17-Jun-16 08:58:06

Both Dh and I are social worker s - she says no way ! 😜

ginorwine Fri 17-Jun-16 08:59:30

She seemed to thinks he had to apply now and that school will only give days off now ! You are right ! Am going to ring the school to discuss .

StinkyMcgrinky Fri 17-Jun-16 09:00:40

The actual UCAS application deadline isn't until January 15th 2017, there's no reason why the school should be forcing students to apply earlier than this. They may be starting their applications now or in September but definitely shouldn't expect them to be completed and sent off early. It's a difficult decision decided what course to apply to and the more time the students have the better.

I work in HE but I'm not an expect in the field your DD is looking into (I did a psychology degree but am a bit scared on horses!) are their any local institutes she can visit that do equine physio? Or like a PP said, she might benefit from taking a year out and getting some experience in the field so she has a better idea of what she feels passionate about persuing.

I think there's too much pressure on students to make a decision and start uni straight from school and I speak to students quite regularly who wish they had taken a gap year. There are a lot of benefits to get getting her A-Levels and then applying with some work experience, obviously if that's a route she wishes to go down.

RobinsAreTerritorialFuckers Fri 17-Jun-16 09:18:23

Sorry, let me check: you're saying she's not keen on biology, but she's wondering about doing equine physiology?

That seems to me a very specialised course, and a bit of a risk when she's not sure she enjoys something that may be quite a large aspect of it.

It's very normal not to know what you want to do after university - and loads of people who have firm ideas at 17 change by the time they're 21 anyway. So I would say there's a strong case for doing what she enjoys and is good at. She might have a better idea of the latter after AS results come out - I agree, the school shouldn't make her apply this early, that's ridiculous.

What actual degree courses other than equine physio is she looking at? Psychology? Sociology? Philosophy, even?

She should look at the requirements (eg., does she need GCSE maths for psychology and has she got it?), then at the ways courses are taught (what modules do most universities include, and do the topics look interesting to her).

But mainly she shouldn't panic. She has time!

What grades is she likely to get? What GCSE grades did she get? If she's going to get very good grades then a philosophy degree at a high-status university might be worthwhile, but I'm not so sure that would be a decent investment at a more middle-of-the-road institution.

NeckguardUnbespoke Fri 17-Jun-16 09:35:07

Her school requires that she applies early

That's crazy. The earliest deadline (which by the sounds of it doesn't affect your daughter) is medical school and Oxbridge on October 15th, but the main deadline is January 15th and there is no benefit (courses don't "fill up") to applying in some mad rush. If the school really gets heavy on this, just tell her to apply herself at the right time.

Or are they just asking her to start drafting a personal statement? Leaving aside the usual bunfight about the importance or otherwise of personal statements (for most students, most courses and most universities they are irrelevant, there are exceptions which loom large in MN parents' minds) they are pretty generic, so she can draft one to shut the school up and change it later.

Insisting students commit to decisions in Y12 is not good for them. Has the school explained its rationale?

princesspineapple Fri 17-Jun-16 09:45:40

Has your DD thought about a joint honours? A girl at my uni did equine studies and business management, with a view to starting her own equine related business. It meant she got to do all the horsey stuff that she loved, but had something "mainstream" to fall back on if her business didn't pan out... She's now a business finance manager earning over 50K.
FWIW we "had" to apply early at my college (October of year 13 though, not year 12!), as a lot of the bigger universities have their open days and interviews before Christmas, and while you can apply later, it does often pay to be early.

NeckguardUnbespoke Fri 17-Jun-16 09:50:39

while you can apply later, it does often pay to be early.

That's simply not true. Some of the more selective universities don't do their admissions in volume until after the deadline has expires (Imperial, St Andrews, Edinburgh: you'll often wait until February or March for an offer, and Imperial are interviewing well into the spring) and others basically run at a low level of acceptances of obviously strong candidates and rejections of obviously weak candidates, and then look again later having only made a small fraction of their offers prior to the deadline (there was a particularly fractious thread on Higher Education earlier this year in which a man with a chip on his shoulder spewed abuse at Exeter over this).

No university, particularly with the HEFCE numbers cap off, will treat a student less favourably in January than October (or, for medicine/oxbridge, in October than September). Aside from anything else, for non-Oxbridge places, the only reason candidates have applied before October 15 is because they have also applied to Oxbridge, so their focus is on that anyway, and you're really just competing for insurance offers.

ginorwine Fri 17-Jun-16 10:36:30

Thanks all.
Rang school .
They suggested look at combined degrees .
They gave me deadline 7 th October to apply for 2 places - the latter three can be later .....

bittapitta Fri 17-Jun-16 10:39:07

Re today's reply OP and the school's response, that's not how UCAS works is it? You just do one application. Wtf.

NeckguardUnbespoke Fri 17-Jun-16 10:40:23

They gave me deadline 7 th October to apply for 2 places - the latter three can be later .....

Is this is school most of whose students apply to Oxbridge and/or Medicine? Because otherwise, they are behaving very oddly.

BertrandRussell Fri 17-Jun-16 10:41:56

Either you are misunderstanding or the school is talking bullshit.

Are you sure you talked to the right person?

Kenduskeag Fri 17-Jun-16 10:48:51

It's so cripplingly expensive now it hardly seems worth it to go 'just because' when you've no idea what you want to do or even if you want or need a degree. I was stuffed into Uni to do English as everyone thought I could 'be a writer', and I ended up taking a part-time job in a bank. I far preferred working and ended up in the fraud/compliance department, really enjoying it and loathing Uni for no longer being what I needed. It was a massive waste of time, and if I'd taken a gap year and explored some other roles, I'd have found that out sooner.

Have her take a gap year, go to work, get a little older and actually decide what she wants to do. The horse thing sounds nice, but equine physio doesn't really sound like something to hinge a whole life on.

t4gnut Fri 17-Jun-16 10:53:54

Back in the day the advice was do a degree you enjoyed as what mattered was the degree. Sadly this is no longer the case and kids need one eye on where they want to go.

The police force are always keen to get good quality graduates and a grounding in psychology/criminology sounds interesting . Perhaps a conversation now with a graduate recruiter would be worthwhile - combined with volunteering as a special whilst at uni perhaps.

Would it be such a bad thing for her to take that extra year at college to cover off the equine side of things and then decide?

Floisme Fri 17-Jun-16 11:01:49

I think the school is correct about being able to add other choices later (until you've used up all 5 ). You can check it on the ucas website. But I don't see the logic of your daughter doing that. It sounds suspiciously like an arrangement that suits the school more than it does the students.

NeckguardUnbespoke Fri 17-Jun-16 11:02:07

You just do one application. Wtf.

That isn't the case. You can do a partial application and then add more later. So, I didn't know this either. Apparently, what some schools suggest is to apply to a couple of "aspirational" universities, and use the response to that to steer the other three applications up or down.

It's hard to see why this is seen as being a good idea: by and large universities (contrary to the MN received wisdom) are not making nuanced decisions based on subtle criteria, so if you apply to five universities at about the same sort of tariff you will get either zero or five offers because you either have appropriate predicated grades etc or you don't. Applying for five places isn't like buying five lottery tickets: they will all apply roughly the same process to your application.

It is worth applying to five places even if you are certain of five offers if you aren't sure which you want to go to.

But a lot of students could perfectly reasonably decide to go to place X, apply to place X, be sure of an offer, and then use clearing if it goes wrong, thus saving a fair amount of messing about.

This is roughly what some of the private schools do for students for whom A*AA-ish is a pretty safe bet. They apply to Oxford/Cambridge as 1, UCL/Durham/Bristol/etc as 2, that's it.

They're sure of an offer from 2 (which will often be higher than the Oxbridge offer, particularly in humanities), and will do the interview for 1.

They then either firm Oxford/etc if they get an offer from them, or firm UCL/etc if they don't. They take your A Levels (which they are confident about) pretty much knowing where they're going.

If it all goes horribly wrong, they take a gap year so they can re-apply in September with their almost-but-not-quite-Bristol A Levels and go to QM, Kings, Exeter, etc who will give them an immediate unconditional offer in October.

This means they are always at the head of the queue for accommodation as they only ever go to firm offers, don't mess about going to lots of open days and applicant visitor days, take their A Levels pretty much knowing what's happening, and have a pretty safe plan B (i guess you could add "or clearing" into the mix, except that doesn't have the accommodation advantage and not all courses are in clearing).

purplefox Fri 17-Jun-16 11:08:10

Can she do some work experience with an equine physiotherapist over the summer?

Floisme Fri 17-Jun-16 11:17:44

The drawback of only applying to 2 high end unis is that both your offers will probably be identical so you have no back up offer if an exam paper throws you a curve ball. That may be fine if you're happy to take a gap year but that can take as much planning - and funding - as a university application.

NeckguardUnbespoke Fri 17-Jun-16 12:10:46

The drawback of only applying to 2 high end unis is that both your offers will probably be identical so you have no back up offer if an exam paper throws you a curve ball.

At the moment, a student who has 90%+ UMS at AS can be pretty confident that it will take more than a rogue question to get less than an A at A2: they need a high C or at most borderline B/C to get an overall A. If they have got continuous assessment as part of the A2 section then potentially they may be able to get an overall A by little more than writing their name.

This will obviously change with the new A levels.

ginorwine Fri 17-Jun-16 13:50:19

Thanks all
I'm not sure why the school does this !
My son had AS levels which counted and was a good prediction re where he would get a place .
However , my dd is doing the Linear A level s where everything is on the final exam .No course work etc . She can be a but unpredictable either way - in her gcse she was a predicted a but got c , then got a run if a grade s when predicted b .
Therefore I wonder if she should play it safe - she is an a/b predicted student for her a levels but misread a question in sociology at As - as did many others .
She is a very practical person . I think she wants to go to uni to get a period of time before working and to mature - she is aware that she is young and needs time ......
School have said to me this am a combined degree may be best and that a degree in itself will open doors to graduate opportunities - it was like this in my day but am not sure it holds true now ?

Floisme Fri 17-Jun-16 13:59:55

This will obviously change with the new A levels.
It will indeed and I think all the subjects the op's daughter is taking are the new style A Levels. In which case, even if she takes AS Level first, the results will not count towards her final A Level grade.

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