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Admissions tutors - would you even look at an application outside of UCAS sent to you in March/April or later?

(33 Posts)
lazymumofteenagesons Fri 19-Nov-10 11:54:04

The reason I am asking is that DS1 changed his mind after A levels in 2010 about what he wanted to do. He thought he wanted to now do medicine so has enrolled on a one year chemistry A level course. However, he has now decided he is more suited to/prefers the idea of Biomedical Sciences or Pharmacology. He can only apply in the next UCAS run and this means a further year out. We knew this when deciding on medicine, but because of the extra curiculum stuff needed he had no choice.

Would you look at an application for starting 2011 outside of a UCAS run?

littleducks Fri 19-Nov-10 11:59:01

I'm not an admissions tutor, but i got in late last yr as a mature student

There is UCAS extra which lists courses with places, i found one there

Or worth trying clearing

I would give it a go to try and avoid the university fee rises

lazymumofteenagesons Fri 19-Nov-10 12:19:17

Littleducks - did you just check who had places through UCAS and then send them your details independent of UCAS. Possibly telephoning around first might help I suppose. It would be nice to avoid the fee increase as I've got the next one due to go in 2013.

thekidsmom Fri 19-Nov-10 12:28:48

Just a quick question - are you SURE he's missed the UCAS deadline this year?

You say he wanted to do medicine so I'm assuming he sent off a UCAS form for medicine before October 15th this year: but if he didn't, he still has til Jan 15th to submit an application form through the usual route.

Just wanted to check in case you had the Oct 15th date in your mind as the deadline for all courses.....

Otherwise, if he has applied for medicine he will continue through that process and if he gets no offers will be eligible to enter UCAS extra. If he does get an offer for medicine he can talk to them post interview, perhaps, about changing to a different course in that dept?

Either way, he's probably not totally missed the chance of going in 2011....

littleducks Fri 19-Nov-10 12:44:59

I phoned the admissions tutor at the univ direct after seeing there were spaces in 'ucas extra'

I then emailed my personal statement across, was interviewed and offered a place

After that it had to be officially done through ucas which did have a few hiccupss, my application went through as a 'clearing' application but it didnt make any difference to me really (uni had to open course for clearing applications for one day for me to put mine in which was a bit of a faff but they seemed used to it just slow)

The only thing i would warn of is that it affects funding. This was all paid late, so if finances are tight set some aside to cover until loan comes through.

lazymumofteenagesons Fri 19-Nov-10 13:13:05

Its a long story thekidsmom! He is holding a deferred place for Durham to study Anthropology and Sociology starting 2011. He has not applied for medicine because he would have been handicapped by not having any work experience etc and did not want to give up Durham place in case it all went pear shaped. Ideally he wants to apply after the Chemistry A level result so any place would be unconditional. But I was thinking that once the AS result has come in it would be worth putting some feelers out and seeing if there is a chance of getting a place this year (some biomed courses do not ask for chemistry A2 only AS) I realise it has not missed deadline of Jan 15th for this year.

Also complicated by the fact that this year he was supposed to be getting himself better in a non stressful environment after having a terrible couple of years with some mental health issues and addiction problems.

palomadove Fri 19-Nov-10 13:13:37

Agree with the kidsmom - I believe the general deadline is January, it's October 15 for Oxbridge and medicine. So he may still have time.

PonderStibbonsandHex Sun 21-Nov-10 14:31:29

Does he want to do pharmacology or pharmacy? I just wondered because pharmacy would seem like a good alternative for someone previously considering medicine (but wants something more chemistry-based). However, there are vital differences between pharmacology and pharmacy in that a pharmacology degree will not allow him to enter the pharmacy profession, but a pharmacy degree would.

lazymumofteenagesons Sun 21-Nov-10 16:30:49

It was pharmacology he wanted to do. He does not want to become a pharmacist as such. he is interested in how medicines/drugs work on the body/brain. I suppose I should let him make his own mind up, but I think a pharmacology degree is too specialised and he should go for biomedical sciences which is broader. On the other hand you need to specialise at some point.

PonderStibbonsandHex Sun 21-Nov-10 22:24:53

Pharmacology would be good if he's planning on going into pharmaceutical industry, though ideally if he's planning on a pharmaceutical industry career as a scientist, he may well find it necessary to continue on for a PhD as there does tend to be something of a glass-ceiling for graduate level scientists.

Otoh, if he does a 4-year biomedical science degree with the third year in an NHS lab, he would be able to get HCP registration as a biomedical scientist, which would give a defined career path should he want it (whilst not blocking off other science careers). There can also be NHS funding for UK students doing the 4-year BMS degree, which might be worth looking into, especially in this day and age of expensive university places.

If he is interested in how drugs work on the brain/body, I'd recommend he look into a pharmacy degree too. The career path is not only the community pharmacy that most people are familiar with, but can also include hospital pharmacy (where the pharmacists can be working quite closely with medics to recommend certain drugs/treatment regimes), industrial pharmacy (i.e. going into the pharmaceutical industry) and research. The course also covers subjects such as biochemistry and microbiology, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, so does have some similarities to a pharmacology degree, but with the added benefit of potentially allowing registration as a pharmacist.

lazymumofteenagesons Sun 21-Nov-10 22:42:39

Thanks Ponder - it is a field I know nothing about and that has given me something to go on. He needs to look closer into what he wants to do. But from what you say in order to keep options open in broader science careers biomed seems better. I will tell him to look into pharmacy degrees too.

muddleduck Mon 22-Nov-10 22:02:56

His options will be VERY limited if he waits until after deadline. That said the courses you mention are not massively popular.
I still don't fully understand why he doesn't withdraw his previous applications a reapply for what he wants to do now. Or he may be able to transfer his offer to another course within that uni. This can be done. We quite often gain or lose students with the uni between now and results day.

betelguese Mon 22-Nov-10 23:22:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

betelguese Mon 22-Nov-10 23:25:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lazymumofteenagesons Tue 23-Nov-10 10:38:11

He was originally keeping the Durham place because he was prepared to do ANthropolgy and then apply at post graduate for something else. But since he has changed his mind about this I think he should give up this place. Other courses there are not the ones he wants.

He will have very little to say in a Personal Statement for the new courses at the moment since he has not done much reading around the subject or any work experience.

It is looking more like 'we' should contact UCAS before June and see whats what or apply on the next run.

BTW he already has AAB in maths, biology and RS and is doing the Chemistry this year.

betelguese Tue 23-Nov-10 11:10:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lazymumofteenagesons Tue 23-Nov-10 18:48:30

Betelguese that is very useful. He will have nothing to lose doing it then. If unsuccessful he will apply again in october.
He will go back to his school for references etc. They must have been pretty good cos he got 5 offers all from top universities.

muddleduck Wed 24-Nov-10 10:55:53

I'd stronge encourage him to try and sort this out ASAP. I think there is an element of 'head in the sand' here. If he wants to get a place at the 'best' possible uni then time is REALLY important. Courses have fixed targets in terms of number of places and in the current climate it is more important than ever that each course dosen't exceed their target. Admissions Tutors are under a lot of pressure to keep numbers under contrl. The longer he waits (beyond the January deadline) the higher the chance that others will get ahead of him in the queue for any places that might be left over after this deadline. Clearing is complete potluck and I genuinely can't understand why he would risk this given that he sounds like he is in an excellent position to sort this out in the next month. I also think that planning an additional year before uni is a mistake given that he has already taken a year. This will inevitably make him look less 'enthusiastic' when he applies the following year.

<I'm an ex-admissions tutor who has had to turn away far too many excellent candidates who apply after the January deadline>

lazymumofteenagesons Wed 24-Nov-10 11:29:28

Thanks muddleduck. The problem with looking less enthusiastic if he takes another year out had not occurred to me. Unfortunately he never meant to take a year out. He deferred his original place in June on medical grounds. He must have missed about 50% of school during his A2 year from january onwards. It is a miracle (and purely down to his perserverence) that he got the grades he did. It was a terrible time and he is still not ok, which is why I am dithering about him going away to university. There are some threads on Mumsnet where some quite vulnerable kids have fallen apart at uni.

However he has contacted the head of science at his old school and will see what he can do. If he ends up taking a further year maybe the reason for the deferral should be mentioned in his reference and hopefully he can get a job in a related field (not easy I know). confused

muddleduck Wed 24-Nov-10 11:36:40

Deinfitely mention the medical reasons for deferring. Ideally in the reference. I didn't mean to put added pressure on - just didn't want him to look back and regret taking the 'easier' option. If you think that an extra year would be good from a medical pov then that is fair enough. Although bear in mind that admissions tutor may start to query whether this is a longer term issue that is likely to cause issues through the degree.

Is a uni close to home an option? Not necessarily to live at home.

From a differen perspective - he is in a really strong position. Excellent grades and applying for science courses that are not overly popular at the moment.

titchy Wed 24-Nov-10 11:39:06

You realise that by deferring for another year, and starting in 2012, he will end up paying £6k+ in fees, rather than £3,200 if he goes in 2011?

Which is why 2011 will probably be a bumper year fro applications, with bugger all available through Clearing.

PonderStibbonsandHex Wed 24-Nov-10 12:55:27

Lazymum, I notice you said that other courses at Durham (other than Anthropology and Sociology, which he is holding a place for) are not ones he wants. I just wondered whether you were aware that Durham does offer a Biomedical Science degree, which is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (which would be more valuable than a non-accredited BMS degree)? It might be worth looking into.

lazymumofteenagesons Wed 24-Nov-10 13:39:12

Close to home is an option. we are in London. Kings, UCl and St georges all do pharmacology! It would make me feel better if I could keep an eye on him, but be better for both of us if he was in halls. This should be manageable. reference could be worded in such a way as to suggest that the first year deferral was on medical grounds, but the second year is due to changing subject. Those London universities are all very good for sciences and attached to medical schools/hospitals and probably have very competitive entry.

PonderSandH, you are of course absolutely right about biomed at durham - but DS1 is being very fussy and this course is in the Stockton campus not in Durham city which unfortunately quite a few look down on.

muddleduck Wed 24-Nov-10 16:52:06

sounds like you have some excellent options close to home smile

btw I just noticed a post above about the June deadline. IME this deadline is becoming increasingly irrelevant for the competitive courses/unis. Many are now automatically rejecting and Home/EU applications that arrive after the January deadline. When I was an ad tutor I would not even have seen these applications they would have been rejected automatically.

betelguese Thu 25-Nov-10 01:10:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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