[ubuntu-uk] Advice for the future

Dave Walker DaveWalker at ubuntu.com
Wed Oct 17 01:34:46 BST 2007

On Tue, 2007-10-16 at 23:04 +0100, Jai Harrison wrote:
> Hey,
> I'm eighteen years old and I am on the second year of a BTEC National
> Diploma for IT Practitioners. I'm looking at achieving either a DDM
> (320 UCAS points) or DMM (280 UCAS points) at the end of the course. I
> want to do Computer Science at University but I all of the good ones
> want A level maths (which is something I don't have).
> I'm wondering if I should take a university that doesn't need A level
> maths, take A level maths and then University afterwards or just
> generally give up and take another direction in life... I'm feeling
> pretty lost and I figured that some of you must have gone through a
> similar education path in the past.
> - Jai

Hi Jai,

When I was your age, I had no idea what I wanted to do - infact I wasn't
sure i even wanted to attend a university.  At least you know what you
want to do, just not how to achieve it.

I would be inclined to contact the admissions department of a university
that interests you.  When I was at University I had a friend who
practically failed all his A-levels and was still accepted for Computer
Science BSc.  I'm sure things haven't changed that much, so you may be
in luck.

It makes me quite angry that BTEC's etc are 'sold' to school leavers as
equivalent; but the university's don't make it particularly easy.  I
think the Diploma being in a related field will certainly help your

One option most universities offer is an additional first year for
people that don't get grades they wanted.  Another option might be
'clearing'; but you will have to be fast.   One slightly risky solution
you could follow, is to pick a similar course that has fewer entry
requirements (such as "Computing"), then convert to CS mid-course (I
know of somebody that did this).

As I said, the best people to talk to are the admission departments -
they will offer the best advice.

Whatever you chose, don't get despondent - if you want to go to
university there is normally a way in.  Keep us posted on what happens,
and good luck.

Hope this helps.

Kind Regards,
Dave Walker 
(BSc Computer Science) 
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