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A levels or access course
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Avacadobaby · 09/03/2019 19:49

Does anyone have any experience of applying to a Russell group university as a mature student with an access to higher education course instead of A levels? I'm hoping to retrain in a different field but as I did a Cache diploma (similar to btech) at college in my younger years I never did A levels. I achieved a nursing degree at uni but now want to train as a dental hygienist and none of my other qualifications count. I'm a bit stuck for options in terms of applying for a place as I can only apply to one due to having a young family and husbands job etc, and it is a Russell group uni. Ideally I would prefer to do the access to higher education course as it would only mean a year of that until I could apply and get cracking on the degree, however I'm worried I would get overlooked by doing this and wonder if taking 2-3 years to do distance learning A levels might look better on application. Im also worried that if i take too long to apply i might be seen as too old. Im 34 now by the time i have done 2 years of A levels, then applying then starting I could be 37 then a three year degree course means I'd be 40! Sorry long message but any advice or experience would be really appreciated.

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titchy · 09/03/2019 20:36

If you've got a nursing degree why do you need to do an Access course? You'll need to demonstrate your ability to study, nursing professional development courses might be enough, or do a short OU module. Ask them!

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Avacadobaby · 10/03/2019 04:46

I already know nursing degree isn't enough they need A's at A levels or equivalent (
Access course) the uni says that officially they accept the access course but my concern is that at a top competitive uni if there are lots of outstanding applicants should I push myself more so I'm not overlooked. I feel that the access course might come across as me taking an easier route

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ColeHawlins · 10/03/2019 05:22

Have you spoken to admissions? Why can't they use your nursing degree as you entry qualification?

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ColeHawlins · 10/03/2019 05:23

What grade(s) did you get in your degree?

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Avacadobaby · 10/03/2019 07:59

I don't know why but I emailed admissions a while ago explaining my qualifications and asking what extra would be needed. I've just seen an email this morning telling me about an open day coming up so I'll book myself on that and find someone who may have more answers.

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ColeHawlins · 10/03/2019 08:05

Fingers crossed you get it sorted. "A degree isn't enough" just doesn't make sense. Hopefully it's a misunderstanding.

Another thought:- is there not an FE route to being a dental hygienist any more? Or apprenticeship? (Just wondering.)

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ThatFalseEquivalenceTho · 10/03/2019 08:08

I did Access Science last year. Was offered places at 3 RG Unis and 1 Non-RG that’s top 20.

I’m now at one of the RG Unis.

Have you emailed the department head of the Uni you’re looking at?

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ThatFalseEquivalenceTho · 10/03/2019 08:09

Depends how long ago the degree was done to whether they count it or not.

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Firefretted · 04/04/2019 14:09

My access course was brilliant - far more rigorous than the A Level I'd done 5 years before and I was way ahead of most of my peers when I got to a Russell group uni. Another advantage: coming via a non-traditional route meant I was entitled to a generous bursary each year!

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RedHelenB · 09/04/2019 17:32

My dd is doing dentistry and a lot of the dental hygienists have been dental.nurses first OR they gave A/B grade A levels. This is obviously at a Russell group uni.

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