No problem, I understand.

It's also worth looking at the OU.

They accept ppl onto their foundation courses without prerequisites. Most
of their foundation courses are 60pts, some are 30pt. Once you get 120pts
that is equivalent to having completed the first year at Uni.

Back when I was working for them, many unis would accept 60pt in lieu of A
levels, and with 120pt you could transfer in directly to their second year
(this is sometimes called credit transfer).

The other advantage of the OU is that they are set up for distance
learning, so they are inevitably better at offering support that way than
anyone else in the UK (tho admittedly I am biased). And any college you go
to, whether for a degree or for A levels is going to be doing much of the
next term by distance.

Turning to Cambridge: yes they are world leaders for some engineering
topics, and some physics topics (eg radio astronomy where they are second
only to Manchester).

I think you will do well academically with their collegiate and tutorial
systems: you get a lot more face to face time in small groups than at other
British Unis (apart from Oxford which is similar). You enjoy arguing, and
the chance to discuss your studies with a small number of fellow students
under the guidance of a tutor will work well for you.

We had that at Manchester to some extent, but tutor groups were larger and
met less often than at Oxbridge.

On the social side you might find the upper class twit Culture nauseating.
Ditto Oxford. Or you might find a pull towards challenging that politically
especially if you find yourself alongside the Camerons, Johnsons, and
Rees-Moggs -- and that could distract from your studies. That was why back
in the seventies I chose not to even apply for Oxford or Cambridge, much to
the dismay of my teachers who set much store by the numbers of pupils they
could get into Oxbridge. It was the sort of school that had boards up
showing all the pupils who had brought honour to the school by getting into
those two unis, lists going back to well before WW2.

The same applied to the interview process. Even with the perfect A levels,
more than any other uni, Oxford and Cambridge reject a lot of applicants at
interview (or at least they had that reputation back in the day).

My suggestion is to  do two more bits of research.

Firstly ring up the Edinburgh OU office and ask to make an appointment for
an informal chat with one of their advisors. When you speak to the advisor
explain that you are looking at the OU as a step towards entry to
engineering at Cambridge.

You can also in normal times visit the library at their office and look at
course units, prospectuses, and so on -- with Covid it would be worth
phoning ahead to check.

If i was that advisor i would encourage you to start with the Technology
foundation course (which includes engineering as well as other applied
sciences). It used to be a 60pt course, which supposedly took 14hrs study
per week for nine months.

If you feel keen, and can do the equivalent of a full time student for nine
months, also do Science or Maths. Ask for the prospectuses for STEM
foundation courses to be posted to you (unless you prefer to look online).

Be clear that you want something at the level of a first year of an honours
degree. You feel you are ready for that, and explain that access courses
and similar would be wasting your time.

Also, ring the Cambridge advisor people (do they have specific advisors for
mature students?)  and ask what their attitude is to taking OU students:
would they interview you for starting their engineering degree  at the
first year with 60 or 90 pts credit in relevant subjects? With 120pts would
they consider going directly into the start of the second year or would it
still be the case that you'd go into the start of the first year?

They are not going to promise anything: they may change their rules in the
meantime, and if they do it could work for you or against you. So if they
seem to be avoiding the question, make it clear that you are asking about
current practice and you realise that it could change.

And you still might fall at the interview stage: whatever qualifications
you get, they will still want an interview

This are my thoughts: ring tonight or tomorrow if you want to discuss this
further, not this afternoon as I'm busy

Love you

On 11:56, Tue, 23 Jun 2020 Robyn Woof < wrote:

> I got both emails one after another just now and I am a bit all over the
> place all options seem worrying
> On Tue, 23 Jun 2020 at 11:55, Robyn Woof <> wrote:
>> I am at a bit of a crossroads and would appreciate your advice. I have
>> applied to an engineering access course in edinburgh,  I have decided I
>> want to study engineering. I wish to apply for cambridge because their
>> engineering course seems like the best one and you do not choose a
>> specialism as quickly as the other universities. The other universities I
>> want to apply to are Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee. I have
>> emailed cambridge but they do not accept access courses at all for
>> engineering degrees so I would have to do A levels.
>> I want to stay in scotland so to do A levels would mean studying the text
>> books and past papers independently and booking the exams directly with a
>> test centre that accepts independent students. I would have to study maths,
>> further maths and physics and get A*A*A. I am confident in my ability
>> academically to do it but I worry about my stability to do it without the
>> support of a college. I also worry I might not be happy at cambridge in
>> terms of it being a good fit for me as a person, it is the course I am
>> attracted to. I also want to stay in scotland long term, and of course the
>> financial situation would be much better as I am ordinarly resident in
>> scotland so I would be treated as a scottish student here for fees etc. Of
>> course there is nothing stopping me returning to scotland later if I study
>> elsewhere and I don't want to prioritise the financial cost over the right
>> course.
>> The edinburgh access course has given me an undonditional offer and sent
>> me an application form for a bursary and fees, but they want a month by
>> month account of my employment for 5 years nd I have had dozens of
>> employers often for 1 week contracts and wouldnt know where to begin.
>> If I figure out how to give a month by month account of my last 5 years
>> employment I could do the access course here but I would not be able to
>> apply to cambridge and in fact any english university i did apply to I
>> would have to check with because the scottish access system is different to
>> the english one.
>> Do you have any thoughts on any or all of this.
>> Incidentally, I am currently renting my friends spare room cheaply while
>> she is doing up her house but when I leave here in september I will be
>> moving into a van as rent is so high in edinburgh. For the price of a years
>> rent I can get a 1 company owner van with full service history that should
>> last me longer than a year. I managed winter at faslane so I think I am
>> able to do it I will just put in a shower and toilet as god knows when
>> public toilets will be open again.
>> Love you lots hope you are well please tell me whats going on with you
>> sorry I am even more robyn focussed today than normal.
>> Robyn
>> On Mon, 22 Jun 2020 at 04:48, River~~ <> wrote:
>>> Thanks!
>>> Have a great time in Ed
>>> Talk sometime
>>> Love you
>>> R~~
>>> On 21:39, Sun, 21 Jun 2020 Robyn Woof < wrote:
>>>> Happy Father’s Day! I have been in Edinburgh for a few weeks I think
>>>> I’m going to stay here for a bit hope everything is good with you love you
>>>> lots

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