Is It Possible To Get Onto A University Course Without The Required Grades?

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DarkenedSoul | 00:21 Wed 19th Jun 2013 | Jobs & Education
7 Answers
I want to apply to a Digital Film Production course at the university of Sunderland next year, after taking a gap year, and the entry requirements for the course are 260 UCAS points and 3 GCSE's at C or above including maths and english.

I have my GCSE Maths and English at grade C as well as Science at grade C.
But for my recent Level 3 Media course in college I got MMM which is the equivalent of 240 UCAS points.

Would there be any possible way for me to still get on the course even though I am 20 UCAS points short of the requirements? Please help, thank you.


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Phone the admissions dept and ask. If you have a lot else to offer, they might give you a place.
I don't know how much difference 20 ucas points is. If it's just one grade it might be ok, depending on how popular the course is. It's worth asking them anyway.
260 points is only the 'typical accepting offer'; it's not an inflexible rule:

If you contact the Programme Leader, Nicholas Glean, he might well be able to tell you if there's any point applying:
[email protected]
Remember that your email is a chance to sell yourself. Don't write too much but do try to express your enthusiasm and dedication for the subject. You could find that you effectively gain the extra 20 points on account of your initiative in contacting the University. If you're feeling really confident you could phone Mr Glean on 0191 515 3669 but that risks annoying him when he's really busy (and in a foul mood because he's just found out that his budget has been cut!). An email might be better ;-)

>>>I don't know how much difference 20 ucas points is. If it's just one grade it might be ok

Yes, it's just one grade. 260 points is equivalent to (say) BCC at A-level, whereas CCC gets you 240 points:
I went to the U of Sunderland 20 odd years ago. They didn't even check that I had passed any exams, just took my word for it. Those were simpler, more innocent days.
Apologies to any Mackems out there but Sunderland is a bit sh*t. Not the most interesting place to attend University unless you just want to drink for 3 years. (...ahem)
Things may have improved in the last 20 years, though......
The Admissions team at the University is definitely the best place to go - they will advise you, or let you know if there is any further study they recommend to make up your shortfall before they can consider you.
It will also depend on how many students are wanting to do the same course. If it is over subscribed, I doubt you would get in.
Universities can be flexible. If you have an interest in the subject and have actual experience this can be worth more than UCAS points. I would suggest contacting the university direct and asking as many questions as possible. If you apply it is your personal statement which will help or hinder your application. Big yourself up (without lying), sound confident and interested and go for it. If not depending on how old you are there are always access courses at local colleges aimed at getting "mature students" into higher education. You have to be 19 to get on to one of these so if all else fails give it a go.
Good luck and believe you can do it.

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