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A levels

DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,852
edited September 2017 in The cake stop
Many years ago I took a 1 year A level course at a local college, it was cheap, one full day a week and did the job.

My daughter would like to do similar but browsing the local college websites none of them seem to offer a single a level part time in one year - the only options are online courses or extremely expensive private colleges.

Does anyone work in FE - am I right in thinking the option of doing an A level part time over 1 year whilst working part time doesn't exist through the mainstream FE colleges and 6th forms now? Seems a shame if not as I found a year was ample without the workload of other A levels.

Thanks
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  • Most colleges around me do HNC or HND.

    HNC I think sits somewhere between A-level and the 1st year of a degree.
    HND is the equivalent of the second year of a degree.

    At my college HNC was 2 years part time, one day a week. You could convert the HNC to a HND by doing another year, but I don't know it would be worth it though if you can go straight from HNC to degree.

    You can apply for to attend a University degree with HNC / HND but some courses still require you to also have an A-level in maths.
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  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    AS levels complicate things now. The first year, is spent doing AS Levels, after which the student decides which subjects to take up to A level in the second year.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,852
    AS levels complicate things now. The first year, is spent doing AS Levels, after which the student decides which subjects to take up to A level in the second year.

    Yes that may be why colleges have stopped offering 1 year courses. Aren't A levels going back to the old 2 years and final exam on everything model though so who knows?

    HNC isn't really something that would suit her situation but thanks. Looks like the 1 year A level option is something that has disappeared then.
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  • pottsstevepottssteve Posts: 4,043
    Yes, I believe AS won't be offered for much longer (it may have already gone). When I taught Biology A levels in England a few years ago we had the occasional student who would do a 2 year course in one year by attending both the first and second year classes. I would suggest she contacts a few local colleges to see if they can accommodate her.

    Steve
    Head Hands Heart Lungs Legs
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,852
    pottssteve wrote:
    Yes, I believe AS won't be offered for much longer (it may have already gone). When I taught Biology A levels in England a few years ago we had the occasional student who would do a 2 year course in one year by attending both the first and second year classes. I would suggest she contacts a few local colleges to see if they can accommodate her.

    Steve


    Thanks, good idea. Her aituation is she is taking her A levels now, she thinks she's done well at Geography (A or B) but not so well at Biology and bombed out in Chemistry.

    She isn't really of a scientific bent but had this idea sciences were more important so took 2 despite getting Bs at GCSE and discarding subjects she got A stars in. She's really struggled with the chemistry despite working hard I think it's just not her thing and it doesn't help she's convinced herself of that.

    As she is planning to take a year working part time as she didn't have a clear idea what she wanted to do next she thought a 1 year humanities or social science A level would make sense.
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  • andcpandcp Posts: 645
    Has you talked to the school/college she is currently attending? At my local comp, quite a few re-sit the last year of A levels if they haven't obtained the grades they are after - they also give loads of good advice regarding options and alternatives, even for those who are intending to leave the school. Worth a call I'd say.
    "It must be true, it's on the internet" - Winston Churchill
  • pottsstevepottssteve Posts: 4,043
    pottssteve wrote:
    Yes, I believe AS won't be offered for much longer (it may have already gone). When I taught Biology A levels in England a few years ago we had the occasional student who would do a 2 year course in one year by attending both the first and second year classes. I would suggest she contacts a few local colleges to see if they can accommodate her.

    Steve


    Thanks, good idea. Her aituation is she is taking her A levels now, she thinks she's done well at Geography (A or B) but not so well at Biology and bombed out in Chemistry.

    She isn't really of a scientific bent but had this idea sciences were more important so took 2 despite getting Bs at GCSE and discarding subjects she got A stars in. She's really struggled with the chemistry despite working hard I think it's just not her thing and it doesn't help she's convinced herself of that.

    As she is planning to take a year working part time as she didn't have a clear idea what she wanted to do next she thought a 1 year humanities or social science A level would make sense.


    No worries. I guess it's a bit late now as I assume she's just done the exams, but the trick to Biology is memorising all the vocabulary. I would also recommend that she considers retaking the Biology if she's not done so well, in order to raise her overall points score. This would give her more choices for uni applications.

    It sounds like she made unwise choices when picking the A levels in the first place and she will end up with a real mixture of subjects if she does Art as well. One final suggestion would be to think beyond school to what she would like to do at university and work, and to really research what's on offer. Many students have little idea of the choices available, especially in areas of less traditional careers/new technologies etc. If she has a goal, and a clear idea of what's required, she can hopefully make best use of her time now.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Head Hands Heart Lungs Legs
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 12,671
    I would have thought the online courses would be quite a good option. It requires a bit of self-discipline, but these days I imagine it works well.
  • Thick MikeThick Mike Posts: 337
    She sounds like 25% of my A level Chemistry students. It's a very tough subject.
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    Thick Mike wrote:
    She sounds like 25% of my A level Chemistry students. It's a very tough subject.

    It requires a very abstract way of thinking. My decision to go up a Chemistry based route ( A-level, First Degree, and Masters), was partially due to the way my mind works, suiting it quite well, but I've rarely found a subject with such a degree of 'polarity'. People seem to get it completely, or really don't get it at all.
  • Thick MikeThick Mike Posts: 337
    Thick Mike wrote:
    She sounds like 25% of my A level Chemistry students. It's a very tough subject.

    It requires a very abstract way of thinking. My decision to go up a Chemistry based route ( A-level, First Degree, and Masters), was partially due to the way my mind works, suiting it quite well, but I've rarely found a subject with such a degree of 'polarity'. People seem to get it completely, or really don't get it at all.

    Yes, it's about being able to clearly visualise very abstract ideas. I love it because there are relatively few rules to memorise, you just need to be able to apply those rules in millions of different situations. Electrons move towards more effective positive charges covers about 80% of it.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,852
    Well she got a D in Chemistry, D in Biology, A in Geography. Top end of what she was expecting but she's a bit frustrated she made the decision to take sciences and then not to drop them half way through and restart when it was apparent it wasn't her forte. She's thinking of applying to do Geography somewhere with the grades she has. Very hard to know what's for the best these days with student loans and degrees being far more common - I'd rather she did something vocational but you need to want to.
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  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 12,671
    Is she still taking the year out?

    Student loans would definitely put me off university.
  • ProssPross Posts: 27,145
    Most of the people I work alongside have geography degrees. It has surprisingly widespread uses depending on what type of geography you focus on.

    I think people worry too much about the student loan issue. I heard Martin Lewis talking recently and saying he felt it was bad terminology that makes people worry unduly about it and that it should be called a graduate tax.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 12,671
    Pross wrote:

    I think people worry too much about the student loan issue. I heard Martin Lewis talking recently and saying he felt it was bad terminology that makes people worry unduly about it and that it should be called a graduate tax.

    A graduate tax would definitely put me off university.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,852
    TheBigBean wrote:
    Is she still taking the year out?

    Student loans would definitely put me off university.


    Yes she's not applied anywhere and says she doesnt want to go right now.
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  • ProssPross Posts: 27,145
    TheBigBean wrote:
    Pross wrote:

    I think people worry too much about the student loan issue. I heard Martin Lewis talking recently and saying he felt it was bad terminology that makes people worry unduly about it and that it should be called a graduate tax.

    A graduate tax would definitely put me off university.

    It would put me off doing a degree for the sake of it but wouldn't put me off doing a degree that would be likely to give me a career with a salary that more than covers the 'tax' element.
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,226
    Pross wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    Pross wrote:

    I think people worry too much about the student loan issue. I heard Martin Lewis talking recently and saying he felt it was bad terminology that makes people worry unduly about it and that it should be called a graduate tax.

    A graduate tax would definitely put me off university.

    It would put me off doing a degree for the sake of it but wouldn't put me off doing a degree that would be likely to give me a career with a salary that more than covers the 'tax' element.

    But as you say imply Pross, degree need not be directly related to career. Solid degree in something that interests you, and has plenty of transferable skill, is better than a highly vocational degree that you discover wasn't your vocation by the time you finish. Only a small percentage of graduates stick longtime with the subject they study (outside medicine, vets, dentistry). Most scientists & engineers end up in IT/ commerce.
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,226
    Pross wrote:
    Most of the people I work alongside have geography degrees. It has surprisingly widespread uses depending on what type of geography you focus on.

    I think people worry too much about the student loan issue. I heard Martin Lewis talking recently and saying he felt it was bad terminology that makes people worry unduly about it and that it should be called a graduate tax.

    Agree about geog - most courses include maths/statistics, politics, economics, data analysis, database interogation, and the ability to write in English and construct an argument. Not my subject, but too many science students think that science is about learning the 'facts' rather than making & testing hypotheses. And don't get me started on their average literacy skills - many forget how to write sentences during A levels.
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,226
    TheBigBean wrote:
    Pross wrote:

    I think people worry too much about the student loan issue. I heard Martin Lewis talking recently and saying he felt it was bad terminology that makes people worry unduly about it and that it should be called a graduate tax.

    A graduate tax would definitely put me off university.

    Worst hit are those that follow a 'middling' career path:
    Low earners (including many in charity sector or public service) - limited pay-off and debt eventually written off.
    Mid earners - maximum duration of 9% tax on earnings over 20k (or whatever the number is)
    Traders etc- debt insignificant and paid off quickly.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 12,671
    TheBigBean wrote:
    Is she still taking the year out?

    Student loans would definitely put me off university.


    Yes she's not applied anywhere and says she doesnt want to go right now.

    My only advice would be to make the most out of any gap year.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    Pross wrote:
    Most of the people I work alongside have geography degrees. It has surprisingly widespread uses depending on what type of geography you focus on.

    I think people worry too much about the student loan issue. I heard Martin Lewis talking recently and saying he felt it was bad terminology that makes people worry unduly about it and that it should be called a graduate tax.

    The niece got a 1st in Geography... ending up working in a nursing home, wiping peoples bums, will never pay any loan back as she married into money lol!

    My daughters BF did an IT qualification at tech, got an apprenticeship with a power company, projected earnings are in the region of 50k after yr 4.
    Regardless of what you call it, the money still needs to be paid back and is part of outgoings considered by any mortgage company.
    Need more emphasis on technical and vocational qualifications also Adult learning needs a come back too, why on earth does a Policeman or Nurse need a degree?
  • Are there exam centres where you can pay the examination fee and sit the exam, without having to sign up for the course? Always wanted to resit one of my A-levels, but I would self-study (obviously not an A-level with a coursework element in the final grade).
    I have a policy of only posting comment on the internet under my real name. This is to moderate my natural instinct to flame your fatuous, ill-informed, irrational, credulous, bigoted, semi-literate opinions to carbon, you knuckle-dragging f***wits.
  • Are there exam centres where you can pay the examination fee and sit the exam, without having to sign up for the course? Always wanted to resit one of my A-levels, but I would self-study (obviously not an A-level with a coursework element in the final grade).

    Yes you can do that.
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  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,689
    Are there exam centres where you can pay the examination fee and sit the exam, without having to sign up for the course? Always wanted to resit one of my A-levels, but I would self-study (obviously not an A-level with a coursework element in the final grade).

    Contact local secondary schools, FE colleges, etc. You should be able to do it fairly easily.
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