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What can I do at college to get me into Midwifery?

Discussion in 'Access to HE / Midwifery' started by SMNET, Jan 14, 2012.

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  1. SMNET

    System Account

    Apr 20, 2013
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    The two main options for college are Access courses and A levels, but there are other options too.

    Access and A levels are both level 3 work and usually equally viewed upon by universities, however it is always best to contact your prospective university to discuss what is the best option for you.

    Other college courses are usually best to supplement qualifications rather than to provide the whole qualification to meet the entry requirement but this can always be discussed with your prospective university and your local colleges.

    Examples of some 'other' courses include:
    Anatomy and physiology
    Biology/human biology
    First Aid
    British Sign Language
    Complimentary therapies​

    Access to Higher Education Course
    • Access is a fully regulated (by the QAA) course to provide entry into university level education.
    • This is a great course for those who have been out of education for a long time and wish to pursue nursing or midwifery at university.
    • Many colleges that offer Access provide it for students that are 19years+ and some say 21years+, although at some colleges you may be able to do it younger.
    • Most colleges put the course on for 1 year full time however some colleges will do it 18 months or 2 years part time or in the evenings - which can work out great for those who have children, those who will be working or both!
    • The workload is usually a mixture of assignments, oral presentations and exams - depending on which college you attend; and a mixture of subjects throughout the course. The most common subjects included are Biology, maths, science, English, ICT, sociology, health, psychology and these are split into modules. The subjects do vary across all colleges.
    • Each module is worth a certain amount of 'credits', so for example biology might be worth 12 credits and english worth 6 credits.
    • There are different levels of credits, 1,2 and 3 with 1 being the lowest level; and these credits can be achieved at either a pass, merit or distinction grade - with distinction being the highest. Only level 3 credits are graded, level 1 and 2 are just a pass or fail.
    • Access courses are usually made up of at least 45 level 3 credits and 15 level 1 or 2 credits from a mixture of modules, though some people do extra credits - this is up to the colleges discretion.
    • Universities will usually state that they require a certain amount of merits and/or distinctions from the access course to be able to get onto their nursing/midwifery programmes. Some unis will also require extra credits. It is always best to check with your chosen university what the entry requirements are for the course you want to apply for.
    • Access courses do cost money. The fees are usually +£1,300 but it really depends on what area the college is in. Most people who undertake access at a college will be eligible for financial help, so it is always best to check with the colleges you will be applying to. Also check if they have any entry requirements to start access - many won't but some do require a minimum of certain GCSEs.
    • Contact prospective universities to find out what they require, and then contact local colleges to find out what they offer. Most universities will accept not just access to midwifery but access to nursing, access to healthcare or a variant of this theme.
    • Check that the course the college is offering is recognised by the QAA, any Access course from a well known college should be.

    A Levels
    • A levels are usually undertaken by those who have left school within the last couple of years and are offered at colleges and 6th forms around the UK; however adults can take them to but at some cost. You will need to contact your local college or community college to enquire about taking them.
    • They are made up of 1 year AS level which is a qualification in it's own right, or you do a year of A2 level to combine 50% from each year to make a full A level.
    • Each A level taken is one subject, and most students take 3 or 4.
    • The most popular subject for nursing and midwifery is biology/human biology however it is not essential at most universities.
    • You need to contact your prospective universities to ask their entry requirements at A level - it will usually be a set about of UCAS points (300 for example) or certain grades at A level (ABB for example). Universities generally don't mind what topics but for nursing and midwifery one or two universities do require biology and it's best if you can show on your personal statement how these subjects are transferable to midwifery.
    • To do A levels you will usually need a certain amount of GCSEs usually about 5, and sometimes certain GCSE subjects will need to be at a minimum grade - for example 5 GCSEs including English at grade C or higher.
    • They are assessed by exams, with some subjects requiring coursework such as portfolios and some with practical assessments (subjects such as art). The grades from any coursework are combined with the exam grade to reach an overall grade of anything between A*- U.
    I mentioned above UCAS points. Well each grade at A level or AS level is equivalent to a certain amount of UCAS points. This does not apply for access courses.
    #1 SMNET, Jan 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2015
  2. SM2012

    SM2012 Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2012
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    BTEC National Diploma

    • A BTEC National Diploma is a level 3 qualification taken over a period of 2 years, similarly to A-Levels it is often taken by school leavers or those who have recently left high school, but can be taken by adults at a price, although most adults prefer access courses. It is generally taken independently, but occasionally students also retake GCSEs or supplement with an AS/A level dependant on the college.
    • The most common subject for nursing and midwifery is 'Health and Social Care' although a slightly smaller portion of universities accept Childcare/Education but higher grades are often required.
    • The BTEC is entirely 'coursework' based, and while there are no exams, various methods of assessment are often employed such as presentations, portfolios and essays.
    • Although many universities do, some choose not to accept BTECs and it is important to contact prospective universities prior to embarking on a BTEC, although the UCAS tariff is also in a similar fashion to A-levels and universities set requirements. Extended national diplomas are capped at 420 points (D*D*D*) and is often remarked as being equivalent to three A-levels.
    • Entry requirements vary between colleges, but are generally similar to A-levels i.e. 5 GCSES at C or higher including key subjects such as English/Maths.
    • BTECS can be undertaken at level 2 in the same subjects. Although these are not suitable independently to meet university requirements, they have lower entry requirements and often allow progression to level 3 in the same subject, providing a bridge for young people interested in nursing and midwifery degrees who achieved lower GCSEs but are not prepared/of age to take an access course.
    • 300 hours minimum of work placement hours are required to pass the course, colleges may choose to use block placements, integrated or a combination.
    • A total of 18 units will be studied, including core units such as developing effective communication, anatomy and physiology, and personal and professional development and a choice of ‘optional’ units determined by the college, varying from sociology and psychology to public health and nutrition. You must 'pass' each unit to achieve an award, but merit and distinction grades are optional and recommended for prospective degree students.
    • BTECS are great alternatives to A-levels for some people (i.e. those unsuited to exams) they offer a lot of choice, hands on experience and control over grades and work.
  3. petolrose

    petolrose New Member

    Apr 2, 2012
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    Not Specified
    Hi everyone! Currently at the moment i am studying Btec national diploma in health and social care level 3 and aiming to go to university to study midwifery. Midwifery is my passion to be and hope to be one day. Do anyone have any ideas what else would university require....

    thank you:D
    Shamilah and HoneyBunny like this.
  4. HoneyBunny

    HoneyBunny Guest

    hey im doing BTEC National Extended Diploma in health and socail care and i was wondering the same thing petolrose as my tutors dont teach my class they give us an assignment and told to go and do it, so i have give up asking them any advice would be great on anything else that i may need to get into uni..

    Thanks :P
    Shamilah likes this.
  5. SM2012

    SM2012 Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2012
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    Hey HoneyBunny & petolrose... Academically speaking in terms of plain requirements an 18 unit (extended) ND in HCS is sufficient for lots of universities assuming you get the grades and have your GCSE's, the best thing you can be doing is focusing on getting distinctions in everything (if not, you'l likely end up revisiting units anyway but during a much less convenient time) and asking whoever organises your placements to try and find you a good relevant placement to reflect on and use in your uni application. Also, assuming your first years... no matter how early it might seem, get familiar with UCAS and start looking into what makes a good personal statement, when your app is sent weeks/months before your peers, you'l be glad you did :)

    Im finishing my course this coming month and im happy to help out where reasonably possible, including working out grades (can be so confusing if not explained properly).
    Shamilah likes this.
  6. HoneyBunny

    HoneyBunny Guest

    yes could you please explain the working out of grades please?
  7. SM2012

    SM2012 Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2012
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    Essentially you figure out the 'value' of each unit, you then times the 'value' by your 'grade' - the value is typically 10, but for half units its 5 and for double units such as unit 6 its 20... your grade is either 7 (Pass) 8 (Merit) or 9 (Distinction)

    Its easiest to do a table, like this...

    Unit 1 10 D 9 10 x 9 = 90
    Unit 2 10 M 8 10 x 8 = 80
    Unit 3 10 M 8 10 x 8 = 80
    Unit 4 10 P 7 10 x 7 = 70
    Unit 5 10 P 7 10 x 7 = 70
    Unit 6 20 M 8 20 x 8 = 160
    Unit 7 5 D 9 5 x 9 = 45
    Unit 8 5 M 8 5 x 8 = 40
    Unit 10 10 M 8 10 x 8 = 80
    Unit12 10 M 8 10 x 8 = 80
    Unit 18 10 D 9 10 x 8 = 80
    Unit 19 10 M 8 10 x 8 = 80
    Unit 20 10 M 8 10 x 8 = 80
    Unit 21 10 P 7 10 x 8 = 80
    Unit 30 10 P 7 10 x 8 = 80
    Unit 43 10 M 8 10 x 8 = 80
    Unit 44 20 D 9 20 x 9 = 180
    Grade totals = 1455

    You would then add up all the values (total is 1455 in this example) and that number equals an overall grade, the 1455 in this example is then a DMM

    1300-1339 MPP
    1340-1379 MMP
    1380-1419 MMM
    1420-1459 DMM
    1460-1499 DDM
    1500-1529 DDD
    1530-1559 DDD*
    1560-1589 DD*D*
    1590 and above D*D*D*
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