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  • FIRST POST
    • jimmy*c
    • By jimmy*c 14th Sep 17, 1:44 PM
    • 181Posts
    • 369Thanks
    jimmy*c
    Taking A levels at 24
    • #1
    • 14th Sep 17, 1:44 PM
    Taking A levels at 24 14th Sep 17 at 1:44 PM
    Hi everyone,

    A huge heaping lot has changed for me recently, for the better in every way. I have such a positive new outlook on life, a wonderful partner and let's say I've ironed the creases out when it comes to 'family members'. Anyway, I'm waffling.

    I find myself in a position where I'm going to have a lot of time on my hands - Realistically I'm going to be out of work for a good 18 months. Couple this extra time with my new outlook, I've come to the decision that I want to start again pursuing my dream career. No longer is a mundane, shift-work, overtime, call out, 24/7 machine fixing job for me. I crave the mental stimulation - solving problems, analysing data, putting 1 and 1 together - I like to keep my mind busy.

    I'm 24 years old with lots of time on my hands, on independent means (in a way). Short of visiting some sort of local careers advice centre, I thought I'd probe the depths of MSE for some careers advice. My dream is to be a Meteorologist - A forecaster to be more specific. Having read about this sort of post, I realise that I will need to acquire some A levels in maths and physics. Further to these, I'd need to gain a Degree/PhD in the specific field.

    My question is, how do I go about enrolling into a course to gain Maths and Physics A levels? I'd like to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, and am more than happy to take a course-from-home, if there is such a thing. I want to use this time to finally get my life back on track, the way I envisioned it to be whilst I was in school.

    Thanks for reading,
    J.
Page 1
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 14th Sep 17, 4:39 PM
    • 2,149 Posts
    • 3,048 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 17, 4:39 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 17, 4:39 PM
    Why do you think you need A levels? If you're thinking of then going on to university for undergraduate/postgraduate degree(s), which not head straight to the university's webpage and see what their entrance requirements are for mature students - I think these involve access courses, rather than a levels, which are generally only expected from those coming straight from school.

    Once you know what you need, find your nearest 6th form college/adult education centre/local university, and see if they offer the sorts of courses you want.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 14th Sep 17, 4:44 PM
    • 28,523 Posts
    • 72,656 Thanks
    Mojisola
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 17, 4:44 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 17, 4:44 PM
    I'm 24 years old with lots of time on my hands, on independent means (in a way).

    My dream is to be a Meteorologist - A forecaster to be more specific. Having read about this sort of post, I realise that I will need to acquire some A levels in maths and physics. Further to these, I'd need to gain a Degree/PhD in the specific field.

    My question is, how do I go about enrolling into a course to gain Maths and Physics A levels?
    Originally posted by jimmy*c
    As a mature student, look for Access To Uni courses rather than A levels unless you especially want to do the exams.
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 14th Sep 17, 5:57 PM
    • 1,296 Posts
    • 1,322 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 17, 5:57 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 17, 5:57 PM
    I agree, there are access to science courses that take 1 year whereas a lot of A level courses take 2. Sometimes you need maths and English at GCSE c or above as well, or be willing to do the one you dont have.
    Hope it works well, 24 is a good age to change direction.
    • Mrs Soup
    • By Mrs Soup 14th Sep 17, 6:01 PM
    • 638 Posts
    • 1,002 Thanks
    Mrs Soup
    • #5
    • 14th Sep 17, 6:01 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Sep 17, 6:01 PM
    Or look at the Open University. They may have a general intro to Science course that would get you going on most science subjects
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 14th Sep 17, 6:26 PM
    • 1,648 Posts
    • 3,409 Thanks
    IAmWales
    • #6
    • 14th Sep 17, 6:26 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Sep 17, 6:26 PM
    Having a plan is great, but it also needs to be realistic. Are you capable of study to PhD level, and can you afford it? Hopefully the answer is yes, but I would suggest you also have a middle term plan, in case your ambitions aren't entirely possible.
    • skint_chick
    • By skint_chick 14th Sep 17, 7:02 PM
    • 671 Posts
    • 5,127 Thanks
    skint_chick
    • #7
    • 14th Sep 17, 7:02 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Sep 17, 7:02 PM
    If you're quick you might still have time to get on an Access course/A level course at college this year. Best to speak to the admissions team of universities you're interested in to see what requirement they have for non school leavers. If you're lucky enough to have some spare time while doing your qualifications to get to uni then consider work experience/placements/volunteering in a relevant position to give you the best chance of getting a job once you graduate too.

    Have a look at meteorologist job ads and see what they require as essential and desirable criteria too - even historic job ads - and how your background fits with this and any other skills you need to brush up on or learn.
    "I cannot make my days longer so I strive to make them better." Paul Theroux
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 15th Sep 17, 4:25 PM
    • 18,783 Posts
    • 19,085 Thanks
    jobbingmusician
    • #8
    • 15th Sep 17, 4:25 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Sep 17, 4:25 PM
    Another vote here for seeing what the OU has to offer. They are MADE for people like you! I didn't do any sciences at A level, but did their science foundation course as part of my degree, and it didn't assume any previous.... If you don't feel you have the skills to start on degree level courses without having done A levels, I'm sure they (and others) run excellent access courses.
    I'm the Board Guide on the Matched Betting; Referrers and Jobseeking & Training boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

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    • mynameisclare
    • By mynameisclare 16th Sep 17, 10:31 AM
    • 236 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    mynameisclare
    • #9
    • 16th Sep 17, 10:31 AM
    • #9
    • 16th Sep 17, 10:31 AM
    You don't need a PhD for operational meteorology (ie forecasting). You probably would if you wanted to go into research instead (it's not impossible without, but difficult).

    eg here are the requirements the Met Office are looking for on their forecasting training course: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/careers/your-career/forecasting--observations

    Job adverts for other forecasting companies seem to generally require experience. The Met Jobs mailing list archives might give you an idea: https://www.lists.rdg.ac.uk/mailman/listinfo/met-jobs

    There is a level of maths needed, so it may still be helpful to do A level maths regardless of whether you require it to get onto a degree course.
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