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University Entry requirements
53

Fairyliz · 07/06/2014 20:25

My daughter has just finished her AS levels and is starting to arrange uni visits with a view to starting a degree in Autumn 15. We have looked on the UCAS site and got a list of degrees she is interested in, the problem is most of them seem to suggest the entry requirements are AAB.
Even the ex polys seem to say you need BBB, the problems is I think my daughter is probably a CCC girl!
So what do we do? do uni's ever lower their requirements or is she out of luck?

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titchy · 07/06/2014 21:18

Try the push guide - it has a facility that let's you key in your expected grades then pops out a list of universities that make offers with those grades.

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Fairyliz · 07/06/2014 21:46

Thanks for that titchy, but when I go on the push site and put in 3 C's 240 ucas points it comes up with a list of unis. But then when you go on the UCAS site it says you need 300 points to get on the course.

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creamteas · 08/06/2014 16:13

Always check the entry criteria on each university website. On any other site (including UCAS) it is just an indication.

As a general rule, have a look for universities just above her predictions, at and just below.

If there is somewhere she really wants to go, but doesn't have the grades, look to see if they have a foundation course that she could get on.

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titchy · 08/06/2014 17:42

Try ukcoursefinder.com for specific subjects then.

And what cream teas said!

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UptheChimney · 09/06/2014 09:11

Without wanting to be rude (but it might sound it, sorry) why does your daughter want to go to university if she is likely to struggle to get CCC at A level?

Wouldn't some less "academic" sort of education & training be better suited to her abilities and interests? A level entry requirements are not just a way of controlling entry in oversubscribed courses -- they are also an indication of the standard we are likely to require in the course itself. If she's aiming for an ABB course, or even a BBB course, then with CCC, she is likely to struggle.

And to help us, what subject does your daughter want to read?

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MillyMollyMama · 09/06/2014 18:46

Some MFL courses might take CCC or a fairly lowly university. Depends on subject really but CCC is hardly academic though.

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UptheChimney · 10/06/2014 07:45

but CCC is hardly academic though

That's sort of my point.

I'm not one to call "dumbing down." I think my students today are as capable as they ever were. And they know a lot of stuff I never knew. They've done a lot of stuff that I've never done.

However, students today are far less independent, they read less, and they expect to achieve more from less work. This is a result of the changes to A Level approaches to curriculum, exams, and effing league tables. I also find that my undergrads are far less resilient than I was. When I taught back at my alma mater, one of the leading research/teaching universities in the country, I found my students less able to manage with what I was offering as a tutor, which was far more than I'd been offered by my tutors a decade before.

So I'd be worried about how A level results of CCC might prepare a pupil for managing independently at university. Not necessarily because of lack of ability, but lack of preparedness and knowledge of how to work & learn effectively.

People develop at different rates. She just may not yet be ready for intensive study yet.

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TheAwfulDaughter · 10/06/2014 07:51

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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TheAwfulDaughter · 10/06/2014 07:59

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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creamteas · 10/06/2014 10:32

universities asking for ABB/BBB will not drop their requirements down to CCC

Not on initial offers, but things can go down quite a way in clearing. AAA can go to BBB, and BBB can go to CCC depending on A level results overall. Not that many institutions would ever go public on this.

One of the most interesting things as an admissions tutor is seeing how far institutions will drop to get bums on seats (and we are, of course, no different).

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AllMimsyWereTheBorogoves · 10/06/2014 13:35

Now that students have to take on so much debt to go to university I think it may concentrate minds a bit more as to whether it's actually worth it. I will put my head above the parapet and say that a student coming out with a 2.2 or lower in most subjects from most universities may have had a lovely time but has not really improved their job prospects much from having reasonably good A levels, and is in a much worse financial position.

A student coming out with a 2.1 from some of the least regarded universities in a non-vocational subject is in a pretty similar position.

If you think CCC is a fair reflection of your daughter's abilities and she is working to full stretch to get that, frankly she should be looking at other options. University is not the place for her at the moment.

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creamteas · 10/06/2014 14:22

University is not the place for her at the moment

Not necessarily, it depends on the person.

The style of learning is very different at university and it does suit some people who did not perform well at A level. I recently had a former student get a PhD scholarship at Oxford and he only had BCC at A level. He went on to get a 1st and Masters distinction.

Also, lots of employers want graduates, even for non-graduate jobs. Whist a graduates with 2:2s, or even a 3rds, will not get onto a blue-chip graduate training scheme, they still get offered jobs over people with just A levels.

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MillyMollyMama · 10/06/2014 17:48

I would guess, Creamteas, that your student is unusual but I acknowledge it can happen because blossoming in your academic niche is perfectly possible.

If the OPs DD knows that her choice of course is requiring much higher grades than she is predicted, it could be these courses will not appear at clearing at all because the universities will fill these courses with appropriately qualified young people. It will depend on the university and the course. I know some MFL courses will recruit from those with lower A levels but if, for example, a student wants English, this will not be available with CCC. It may be the old colleges of higher education (not Polys) will have courses for people with CCC grades and maybe the OPs DD will have to be flexible regarding her choice of subject and university.

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Hakluyt · 10/06/2014 17:51

I would think very carefully about whether university is the right way forward for her. Does she really want to be saddled with a ton of debt? What does she want to study?

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elfycat · 10/06/2014 18:00

What subjest is she interest in?

I'm going to throw the OU into the mix. I'm just finishing my degree (tomorrow's exam eek) and DH took his engineering degree with them even though he didn't even have a 'c' at GCSE English, and no A levels at all. I didn't have great passes at A level but it didn't matter as the OU introduction courses really only have a good level of literacy (or numeracy depending on subject) as an entry criteria.

Because of funding changes there are less older hobby-students and more younger ones than when I started. There's a student on my course in her early 20s taking her English degree full time with them and who plans to use her degree to get into teaching.

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MillyMollyMama · 12/06/2014 16:59

The OU has no a University life though. I think it would be really sad for an 18 year old to study like this. Where are the parties, the coffee shops, the music, the celebrations, sharing a flat, the laughter, deadlines looming and the 24 hour library opening and not to mention the student experience away from home? Yes, you get a degree but there are other student elements that are clearly missing. Fine if you have a job but otherwise, it's lonely!

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creamteas · 12/06/2014 19:34

I think it would be really sad for an 18 year old to study like this

Lots of students stay at home to study now, and not just at 'new' universities. A significant proportion of students just can't afford the university experience that previous generations enjoyed.

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AllMimsyWereTheBorogoves · 12/06/2014 19:49

I know of a young woman who dropped out of a maths degree at a RG university having failed her second year exams twice. She eventually returned to study with the OU while working as a teaching assistant. Her aim was to become a primary school teacher. I've lost touch with the family but I hope she made it. Rather different, though, from studying with the OU from the start.

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sunsout · 13/06/2014 13:24

Will she spend one extra year to re take the exams?

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sayerville · 13/06/2014 23:28

fairyliz interesting one this, my DD was initially predicted BBC, however it was then discovered she had 'processing problems' (but not dyslexia) so had additional time in exams. However her first AS Biology was an E, after much studying she brought it back up to a A, her predicted grades are now more like CCD, and whilst it's great to have an academic kid, mine really wants to study Psychology and my God has she revised these last few months, you should see the dining room, however she had had 3 offers (not Russell Group - of course but who cares in her situation). She may not even make these grades and whilst people may say these kids shouldn't even be going to Uni, she desperately wants to go, I hope she makes it if she doesn't she'll probably re take next year though I know she will be devastated as we have accommodation and everything sorted now, time will tell

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BackforGood · 13/06/2014 23:34

Yet I know of someone who went with CCCC and now has a 1st (in Economics, so not exactly a tin pot subject).

For those saying that it's not worth going to Univ with CCC, do you realise how hard it is to find a job that you actually might want to do, without a degree nowadays? Jobs you used to be able to get, coming out of school after A-levels, now want degrees.

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sayerville · 13/06/2014 23:53

BackforGood you're right about the jobs market, so even more reason to pursue this, even if it takes her longer.

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EthelredOnAGoodDay · 14/06/2014 00:01

Funnily enough my DH and I were talking to our friends' daughter who is due to go to university this year. She was incredulous that when we both went to university (in the mid to late 90s) you could get into a red brick Uni with anything less than As and Bs. My DH got into Newcastle for MEng with CCCU. Now his course is AAA I think and my law degree there is also AAAs now, where I got in easily with ABB. Slightly to a tangent, but interesting I think (well is to me after three glasses of wine!Smile)

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YellowStripe · 14/06/2014 00:02

We went to Oxford Brookes open day last Saturday and they gave the impression there was room for manoeuvre on grades. Employers are looking for "the full package" - someone who has social/team skills as well as academic. I would recommend your DD puts as much as poss in her personal statement about her personal qualities and achievements, and how they would relate to her chosen degree.

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AllMimsyWereTheBorogoves · 14/06/2014 07:33

At the risk of getting flamed, it was much harder to get As and Bs 30 years ago.

  1. Only the top x% got an A and the next y% got a B, regardless of what marks the candidates actually got. Nowadays if you get above a certain mark you get an A, and if that meant (unilikely) the entire cohort got an A, that would be fine.

  2. Candidates work harder and are better at exam technique, and teachers are more effective at preparing them for exams. [Whole other discussion about whether that's actually what education is all about, of course.]

  3. The modular system for A levels made it far, far easier to get high grades because you could re-take each bit of your A level several times separately. In my day A level was a 2-year course with no coursework of any kind and unseen exams at the end covering the whole syllabus. If you wanted to retake to improve the grade, you had to do all the exams again which meant going back over the whole syllabus.

  4. Also in my view there is no doubt that grades crept up steadily for years and years because exam boards gradually got more generous.

    No wonder we didn't all come out with the top grades.
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