July 21, 2019

How to Get a Degree Without GCSEs/A Levels

Student Choosing a Book on Library

If you think you’ll never get a degree because you don’t have any A Levels it could be time to reconsider your options. There are alternative entry routes and having GCSEs and A Levels are no longer the only requirements to get accepted onto a course. A foundation year degree course is a great way for people who have no recent academic experience, or students who need to fill in their knowledge gaps for entry onto a UK undergraduate course.

Such courses are also ideal for mature students who have had a prolonged break from studying and need to get acclimatised to the rigours of degree level study. Whether you left school with few qualifications and have been working full-time, or you took time out to raise a family, they can provide the self-belief needed to get you back into the academic world.

As well as equipping you with the tools required to tackle a degree, these courses are as much about building core skills in English and maths and helping you to be confident with the level of study. They are designed to increase your overall enjoyment of the course and your chances of successfully getting a degree without having the formal qualifications such as GCSEs and A Levels.

Can I do a foundation degree without A Levels?

A foundation degree programme is an ideal way to embark on a degree for those without the necessary formal qualifications and is essentially an additional year of study leading directly onto a degree. It equips students with the tools necessary to eventually take on degree-level studying and combines work-based learning with academic study.

Although students don’t need A Levels, they will be expected to have five GCSEs at grade C or above or the equivalent qualifications. However, don’t be disheartened if you don’t have any GSCEs – there are still options open to you. The foundation year with GSM London requires students to have GCSEs but the institution will consider applications on their individual merits, even without qualifications. For example, if you have been working full-time for at least a year and can provide evidence of what you have learned or achieved along with references, then this may well be enough to secure you a place.

The foundation year is the equivalent of A Levels, BTECs and other access courses and links in with the degree courses on offer. Rather than being simply an access programme it gives you direct entry onto your chosen degree course once you have successfully completed all the modules. For example, you can embark on a degree in accounting and finance, marketing or even law through a foundation year. They are flexible career-focussed options to help you start your ideal career.

Former GSM London student Vicky Fitzgerald, who is an Events and Entertainment Management (with Foundation Year) graduate, says: 

I’d been out of education for nearly ten years so starting a degree was pretty daunting. But the Foundation Year was so beneficial – it prepared me really well for the challenges ahead.

Still having doubts? We would love to hear from you if you have any questions about getting onto a degree course without A Levels or GCSEs. You can call us on 020 3797 4687 for further information.

5 thoughts on “How to Get a Degree Without GCSEs/A Levels

  1. I am interested in getting information about ways of getting a degree for those without A level

  2. Hi,

    I left school about 7 – 8 years ago at GSCE level with the bare minimum of 5 GCSE’s (I had other interests at that age other than being in education at that age unfortunately). I’ve developed a bit of a career however everything I’m looking at to progress my career requires degrees. I would like to start working towards a degree with a goal of having one within the next 6 years.
    Is this possible? I can see a foundation degree is something I should look at, are these costly and can I do them remotely? Are there any financial benefits I could look at while doing this?

    Thanks in advance,

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