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Any Chance with a 3rd Class degree

Discussion in 'Mature Students' started by Death Note, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. Death Note

    Death Note New Member

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    Hi guys, I just found out that i got a 3rd class degree in a Biomedical Sciences degree. Partly my own fault and partly due to family problems. I know excuses won't help now. Gutted, disappointed and feeling utterly shattered. Is my dream of medicine over? What are my options now?

    I've heard about Open University and using my degree to get a another Bsc and boosting it to at least a 2.1 but I'm not too informed about this, if someone could enlighten me? Will this take another 3 years? And will universities accept this?

    Also some GAMSAT universities would accept a 3rd with a Masters(SGUL?), Again I'm not too sure.

    I've saved up some money through my bursaries and grants as well as work. So I think I could afford both an MSc as well as a Open university course.

    Again, Am I being stupid in still hoping to do a medical degree? Is there anyone else in my position that has done this? Sorry for the long post.

    Any advice will be welcome.
     
  2. Zedd

    Zedd Member

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    I don't think any of the graduate or normal MBChB programmes allow students with a third. Even the GAMSAT ones seem to require a 2.2 or 2.1 now (someone can correct that if I'm wrong).

    Out of interest, what MSc. would you be able to get into?
     
  3. ceih

    ceih New Member

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    No course will accept a 3rd by itself, but some places will accept a Masters level qualification as a replacement. However, this isn't usually listed on their websites, so you're going to have to do some donkey work and call the schools you are interested in.

    Replacing with an OU degree might also be possible, but again, you'd need to check with schools directly as to this.

    I would also recommend taking a hard, serious, look at yourself. You got a 3rd in your degree, for whatever the reason, are you able to turn that around and get a 2:i or an MSc Merit for sure? There would be no point spending all the money to come out of it with another 3rd or a MSc Pass.
     
  4. Martigan

    Martigan Super Moderator

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    Also getting a second bachelors degree with a better grade may not help you with several uni's as they will only count the grade of the first degree.
     
  5. Sinatrafan1989

    Sinatrafan1989 New Member

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    Sorry to hear about your bad luck Death Note. It's probably worth a mention that Msc courses may be difficult to get on to, from my experience (did an Msc previously) a 2:2 is required, especially for most biorelated courses.

    Any additional degrees you do, or top ups, may also cause a problem. Some unis will only accept/consider your first degree attempt, and will ignore subsequent undergraduate and post graduate degrees, so it really will be a case of contacting each university and finding their exact policy on the matter.

    As ceih mentioned you need to think realistically about this as well. Medicine is very demanding and even those with 1st class degrees, phds and masters struggle on my course. I've no doubt the events in your life that led to your 3rd are far more important than any degree (family comes first), but as harsh as it sounds you need to be able to immunize yourself from personal and family problems to succeed. If anything distracts you or takes up your time you will have a hard time passing medicine. Medical degrees move at such as fast pace that you need to alter yourself to fit its demands, as the course itself sadly can't be changed to deal with whatever goes on in our own lives. I myself lost two grandparents this academic year. It is hard, but it is essential to be able to deal with these things in order to pass. Hopefully no crisis will arise, but you need to be sure you can handle both if a problem does come along.

    Even before thinking of how you cope on a medical degree it's important to remember graduate medicine is immensely competitive and you may be disadvantaged in your position. You need to stand out, and just scrapping to meet the entry requirements of a few universities means it is very unlikely you'll have a strong enough application to stand a realistic chance of getting an interview. You need four good choices where you clearly meet the entry criteria with a strong application to really have a shot at a place. With so many capable applicants, universities tend not to like people who's qualifications are a bit awkward in regards to meeting their criteria; they simply don't need to consider those kinds of candidates as they are swamped with fantastic applicants.

    I know having a degree can make applying to 5 year medicine awkward at some universities, but perhaps a non-graduate entry route would be a better bet? You're clearly very motivated, so I think every avenue is worth exploring.
     
  6. Death Note

    Death Note New Member

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    I'm in the process of contacting unis to see where I stand. SGUL said could apply with a Msc and GAMSAT and Peninsula said I could still apply. Although its very slim. I'm going to contact unis whether they accept a 2nd degree. I remember reading a thread here about someone who did 2 UG degrees and is now at Warwick. Going to email as many universities as I can.

    I know I'm in a bad situation. I know it may take a couple of years to repair the damage and be in a position to apply. My grades previous were good, nothing lower than a B at GCSE and As and Bs at A level. I got a 2.1 in my 1st year but 1st year marks only count for very little. My personal life started to fall apart in my 2nd year and I ended up scrapping exams. I thought I could pull it back in my 3rd year but couldn't.
    After a long hard think, I decided want nothing else than do medicine but I gotta be realistic. I'll wait until what the unis I've emailed says and take it from there.
    Thanks for you advice :)
     
  7. Martigan

    Martigan Super Moderator

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    Good Luck.

    Sorry that my rushed reply looked a brusque.

    The path that you are seeking will be very tough, but by no means is hopeless, if you have the commitment.

    There are a few school who keep a few places for people who come from challenging circumstances, which held them back at the time. But the competition for them is fierce.

    I was a "late bloomer" who was written off be my first school and was told to accept a job offer that I was given from the bank that I did my work experience for at 15. I only did A-levels because that would allow me to earn more and do management training at the bank...

    My GCSEs are fairly crap and I failed GCSE English language. At 6th form, they spotted I was dyslexic, told me I was actually very bright and put me in the Oxbridge stream!?! That's when things started to change for me. I still didn't believe in my self enough, so I didn't do an Oxbridge application, but I got a first from my first choice uni.

    So yes I made it eventually, and I still got my break early enough. But at the time I was told that I could not apply for medicine due to my GCSE's it wasn't til the advent of the Grad courses that a path opened for me.

    I hope you get the support and trips to forge your own path. But as you are probably aware, even for a classical "good" candidate it's, challenging process.
     
    #7 Martigan, Jun 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  8. ceih

    ceih New Member

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    SGUL and Peninsula are known for being accommodating for people like yourself - and suprisingly, Kings might be a possibility as well. Back when I was applying they definitely took MSc qualifications as a replacement for degrees (essentially I was trying to decide whether to top up my PgC to an MSc or not) - of course things may have changed.

    Best of luck.
     
  9. Iceman10

    Iceman10 Member

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    Hi Death Note, I was in exactly the same position as you a few years go. Once you get your responses you can work out what to do. I'll link you to my old thread, it might help /give you some ideas. As others have pointed out a lot of places will turn their noses up at you and only accept your first degree. Decide whether you want to do another BSc, BA or Masters because the third alone won't get you where you want to go. Decide whether you can afford the 4 or 5 year courses and be aware of the funding arrangements:

    4 year: £36k fees, you're entitled to a student loan and you have to pay ~£3.5k up front in the first year.

    5 year: £45k fees, final year paid for by NHS but you have to come up with the fees up front for years 1-4 (£36k), no tuition loan.

    The responses I got when I asked and this is only about doing a second degree, Warwick & the 4 year GAMSAT schools are the most forgiving. They'll all accept your most recent degree and the GAMSAT schools will assess your scientific ability through the exam. Doing a masters, will open some doors but not many, you will be limited anyway because of your original third. Doing a second degree will take longer depending on whether you're able to top up at the OU. Do remember you will be subject to ELQ fees as I am now which basically means you pay international student fees. I'm currently going through that in my second degree, although I got in before the fee increase but I'm paying more than £9k. You might be able to pay the same as UK students minus financial help. If not then that's 3 years vs 1 for the masters, however it will open a few more doors. Whatever you do, don't do an access course it won't help you in the slightest, they aren't meant for people like you and I, they are for people with lower level qualifications.
     
  10. M150

    M150 New Member

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    Hi Death Note,

    I'm not really going to be able to add anything here to the information Iceman has given you,

    What I did want to point out is that you only need one offer of a place. Yes there are lots of places who won't accept you but you just need one who will and you can only apply to 4 places anyway.

    In terms of getting an MSc or doing a second degree you would need to look at your own finances to determine that is best for you. Work out if you can afford to study a 5 year course or if 4 year courses are your only option. Work out what options you would be able to afford in the future based on what you do now and look at how likely your options are.

    Bear in mind that the government may completly screw us over and change the funding system so that medicine isn't an option. Have a back up plan.

    Also make sure that this is what you want to do. Get some work experience in and make sure that you really understand what the work is about. There is a reason that work experience plays such a key role in your application. Be sure before you make a huge financial commitment, or be sure it will help you in another way if you don't get a place to study medicine.

    In terms of MSc's, I would look at your old university first to see if they have anything you would want to study. They know your past problems and are better placed to know if you would cope. Either that or get a supporting statement from a previous tutor and contact MSc courses to see if they will accept you anyway. I've known people on MSc's with ordinary degrees and thirds. If you are self funding then I think most courses tend to consider will you cope with the course rather than can they get someone better.


    Good luck :)
     
  11. dilettante

    dilettante New Member

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    There is hope but like others have said it will be long and trying and hard work. I hopefully can help you a little bit. I got a 3rd thanks to pretty severe depression and afterwards contacted most of if not all the medical schools. That was two years ago now, so I'm sure things have changed, but St Georges, Nottingham and Aberdeen all said they would consider my application pending further qualifications, a masters, a second bachelors and a PhD. In that order, I think.

    I have started work on my second bachelors now, and while I may not go into medicine within even the next decade now, it's nice to know the option exists. If you study through the Open University they can, depending on the course you pick award credit towards your degree, up to 240 credits, even from a degree you already completed elsewhere, which is what I did. As a result it will take me a year and 7 months to complete my second bachelors degree by part time (though intense) study along side work.

    Hope that I've been helpful
     
  12. robert1986

    robert1986 New Member

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    Im in a similar position, however I have an offer of a place at Glasgow School of Art/ Univeristy of Glasgow (joinT MSc) in Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy. I am assured that as long as I do well in the GAMSAT and pass the MSc that Nottingham, St Georges, Plymouth and Exceter will all consider my application.

    All is not lost- get urself onto an MSc and make sure you do well in the GAMSAT. Also, from year 1 of my BSc (Hons) I have worked as a ward volunteer, mental heath advocate and currently health care assistant at a dementia uni volunteer learning disabilities advocate and also volunteer at a local lunch club for vulnerable adults. Make sure your personal statement stands out, your MSc is relevent and that you ace the GAMSAT.
     
  13. kg0605

    kg0605 New Member

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    Is anyone still on this thread? I am now in exactly the same situation. I'm waiting for confirmation of my grade but I think I ended up with 49 over all which is a third. I had a hard year in my final year so had to intermit and then I didn't do as well as I had hoped due to depression etc. (Long story short!)

    How have you got on? Has anyone made it into med school with a third?

    Any info would be great!! Thank you!
     
  14. Robbo91

    Robbo91 New Member

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    Hello! This my first time writing on any forum ever so bear with me!

    I did medicine having a third class degree and a masters which Nottingham accepted in lieu. I have just finished my training as a GP.

    It's hard work to get there, you're starting at a low point mainly due to your confidence taking a knock but it is doable, and the degree is hard but I kept up and managed it.

    I did my research and worked out which courses would accept me and just went for it. I would recommend a masters course as that was how I got my place and it built up my confidence again (getting a third was devastating for me).

    Lots of luck! Let us know how you do!
     
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