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Places in London to do A-Level Chemistry / Biology

Discussion in 'Mature Students' started by adriantoll, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. adriantoll

    adriantoll New Member

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    Hi

    I'm 37, and I'm going to apply to study a 4-year medical degree at a few places like UCL, King's, St. George's and Bristol (I haven't made a definite decision yet), some of which require A-Level Chemistry and Biology. I don't have either of those - I studied Maths, Physics & French in 1989 - 1991, with B-B-C results, have a 2.1 MA (Hons) in Psychology from Edinburgh (1996), and a 2.1 BA (Hons) in Sculpture (2006). So I'm looking around for places in London to do Chemistry and perhaps Biology in one year, as I'd like to apply this autumn for 2011 entry. I work freelance, and only two days a week, so have a reasonable amount of flexibility when it comes to work patterns.

    So my question is this: does anyone know of any good places in London where I can study A-Level Chemistry and Biology in one year? I'd rather not study using distance learning as I don't learn best like that - but would be willing to do it if people are able to give solid recommendations and it's in fact the best option given what's available.

    Also, I'm aware that this forum is for people who aren't already medical students, and I wonder whether I might be able to post these questions in another part of the forums so I also get responses from people who've already been through this process? But I'm new here and don't want to post inappropriately - I've had a look through the different areas, and can't see anywhere obvious. Do people who've been through the process occasionally dip into this area and answer questions out of the goodness of their heart? ;)

    Thanks
    Adrian

    P.S. I spent a while searching through the forums, but couldn't find anything that answered my specific question - if there's another post that does answer it that I've missed, please point me towards it!
     
    #1 adriantoll, Mar 8, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
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  2. millietwigg

    millietwigg New Member

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    Southwark college did bio and chem evening classes last year (2008-2009). Not sure if they still do it but they did allow you to do the full A-level in 1 year. There were a few people who were doing it at the same time as me who did very well and most got into Medicine. I think that there is also a college in Hammersmith that also did it but that was further for me to travel to.

    As for Southwark being a 'good' college....I wouldn't go that far. They had teaching issues and there was little continuity but to be honest, when you are a mature student, you will manage. You understand the importance of good grades and will make it work. Almost all of the students were mature students looking to get into medicine or dentistry so you would be in good company. Plus, it's about 1 minute from Waterloo so is very good for transport links.

    If you want help with textbooks or anything, I can help you with the chemistry side. I did a biology degree so wouldn't be any help for you there.

    Emily
     
  3. adriantoll

    adriantoll New Member

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    Hey Emily - thanks for that. I'd looked at Southwark College, but couldn't find anything about 1-year A-Level courses on their website, except in their News section - I'll have a harder look now. I'll give you a shout about the textbooks if I go there, as which ones I'll need will obviously depend on the syllabus of the college I go to. Congrats on the Barts offer!
     
  4. millietwigg

    millietwigg New Member

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    Thanks.
    I'm not sure if the website will say that you can do the full a-level in a year but when I went to enrole on the course, I asked to do both AS and A-level in a year and they said that was fine. You may do as well to give them a call and check. I guess if you are paying for the course, they don't mind what you put yourself up for! :)
     
  5. Bubblez.MD

    Bubblez.MD New Member

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    Hammersmith college do the accelerated A2 Chemistry in a year (evening classes) and they also run just an AS evening class if you wanted to do that. Hope that helps, msg me if u need more info x
     
  6. adriantoll

    adriantoll New Member

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    The courses at Hammersmith College look perfect, and it's easy for me to get to, so i've applied there. Thanks!
     
  7. goldhawkgonk

    goldhawkgonk New Member

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    I did Access to Medicine at Birkbeck and would really recommend it as preparation for the GAMSAT (for St Georges only). But the course itself isn't particularly recognized on its own - eg, none of the Universities will see it as a sufficient substitute for AS/A Levels. Good luck - there's a lot of material to cover in a year!!
     
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  8. adriantoll

    adriantoll New Member

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    Yep, it's going to be a busy year - but then that's probably good preparation for a medical degree! Thanks for the GAMSAT tip - I'll take a look.
     
  9. dotvicky

    dotvicky New Member

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    For what it's worth, I just did A2 Chemistry completely home study (and got the A) in 6 months. I used Campbell Harris for my exams (including the practical). Not sure if this would work for the new syllabus but it might be worth checking it out. :)

    Cheers
    Vicky
     
  10. adriantoll

    adriantoll New Member

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    Hi Vicky - Thanks for the encouragement, and congratulations on the A! I'll definitely have a look at Campbell Harris. Good luck with Barts and Bristol...
     
  11. Martigan

    Martigan Super Moderator

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    I've done the same but sitting the exam/practicles with bright futures. So it is possible with the new sylabus under Edexcel.
     
  12. adriantoll

    adriantoll New Member

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    Martigan & Vicky - so this means that you both did home study, using Bright Futures / Campbell Harris for the practical components and taking the actual exam? Having had a look around, Campbell Harris charge £1333 per subject per term, Bright Futures charge £2495 per subject per year, whereas Hammersmith College only charges £510 per subject per year. Is there a reason for the large disparity, such as regular tuition above and beyond what Hammersmith offers? The Hammersmith course information is here: EHWLC Courses
     
  13. Martigan

    Martigan Super Moderator

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    The price you quote for bright futures is the fully tutored price.

    I would have gone the hammersmith course, except I would of had to give up running dance workshops, costing £1k plus social life. Then explain to my boss, who doesn't know my plans, why I'm leaving work 3 hours early every Monday...
     
  14. dotvicky

    dotvicky New Member

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    I just used them for the exams both written and practicals. I also did a 1 week practical revision course with them over the Easter holidays - of course it was more 'vision' than 're-vision' for me but it gave me everything I needed to cruise the practical part of the exam.

    <strike>If the £510 is for the AS and the A2 and includes the exams it might work out cheaper than paying for the exams through somewhere like Campbell Harris! It's probably for only the AS *or* the A2 in which case, you can probably do it for less yourself.</strike> Oops - didn't see the link!

    I think Campbell Harris charge slightly more for their exams but you don't pay the £510 tuition. But then again, their week of intensive practical revision was a couple of hundred pounds I think so...

    Personally, I enjoyed the freedom of being able to work at my own pace and not having to worry about a set time each week which wouldn't have been ideal as I had just given birth (!). I did use a tutor for a couple of hours at one point but I think he was more used to tutoring people with a lot more basic difficulties because I didn't find him that helpful.

    Cheers
    Vicky
     
    #14 dotvicky, Mar 11, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  15. dotvicky

    dotvicky New Member

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    And completely OT - you teach dance, Martigan? Very cool. I'm a dancer myself although it's gone a bit by the wayside in recent years. :)

    Cheers
    Vicky
     
  16. adriantoll

    adriantoll New Member

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    Ah, fair enough. I'm self-employed, so I'd have to perform some very complicated psychological gymnastics to hide anything from my boss ;)

    I can see how that would be tricky :) As this is the first time I'll have studied anything scientific in a while, I quite like the idea of having some kind of structure for the year. Having said that, being self-employed I'm pretty disciplined when it comes to working to a self-imposed schedule.

    I guess being single does have its plus sides! ;)
     
  17. Martigan

    Martigan Super Moderator

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    Yep. I'm a jive bunny!
     
  18. dotvicky

    dotvicky New Member

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    Nice. :) Did 20*cough* years of classical dance (Modern, Ballet and Tap) and more recently got into Ballroom but want to do competitions/medals and can't find someone to do that with me. Have dabbled in Ceroc and Salsa too.
     
  19. Martigan

    Martigan Super Moderator

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    One of my Taxi Dancers does ballroom competitively. Pm me where your located and I will see if she knows any one up for a partner.
     
  20. aotdowson

    aotdowson New Member

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    Hey guys, good thread. Adrian, sign-up at Hammersmith and I will most likely see you there! Does anyone know/have experience of the feasibility of working full-time and doing intensive A-level evening classes for say the full Chemistry A-level and Biology AS?! Any advice would be hugely appreciated! Adam
     

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