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Education after mental health treatment

Hi all!
I need some help figuring out what to do and I wondered if anyone has any advice? I live with a number of mental health problems and have had to take a number of breaks from education / change my educational path due to mental health treatment / being unable to cope. I sat my GCSEs a year late but managed to pass them however when I got to college to do my A levels I had another mental health blip and had time off for treatment which resulted in me having to drop an A level subject. So, at the end of this year I am only going to have two A levels when I need three if I am going to go to uni as originally planned. I will be 19 and so too old to do another two years at college to get a third A level. What can I do / what are my options? Should my college accommodate me doing an additional two-years with only one subject as the reason I had to drop one was due to illness OR is there another way I can get a third A level? I can't afford to get a private tutor but I know there are other options out there I just don't know what they are. Can anyone help? 


  • JordanJordan Posts: 121 Super Moderator
    Hi @DanniMae1

    I can't really speak much about the English education system. Please also bare in mind that this advice might be college/university specific and the level of support often might vary or be vastly different from what I am describing.

    A first good step would be to reach out to your college and see if there is anything they can do. The college you are at might have people working in student services or disability/mental health support that can talk you through your options. Your college wants you to pass and do well so they'll be the best ones to provide support.

    On top of that, you should get in touch with admissions departments from universities you wish to apply for and explain your situation. Some universities provide support for "alternative pathways" students; students who have taken a break from education or have not progressed straight into University. 

    If you haven't already,, look at other courses your college offers. They may offer something called a HNC or a HND you can apply for. These course may allow you to progress into your chosen university subject and start at year 2 or 3. Remember to check that the universities you are applying for accept this if it is the route you go down, as it is subject and university specific.

    Please take all of this with a grain of salt as it may differ based on the college you are at, the subject you want to study, and the universities you are applying for. Remember to double-check all these suggestions with the universities you are applying for and your college as it may not be as described.

    Let me know if any of this helps and if you have any further questions  :)

  • CarolineVCarolineV Posts: 133 The Mix convert
    Hi Danni

    With the same disclaimer that Jordan gave about all colleges/universities being different, I have a couple of other things to suggest.

    First, I think it's definitely worth contacting your potential universities. I have various friends who for different reasons didn't get some/all of their A Levels and managed to find alternative ways to do things so it's worth a try. Some unis have programmes called "increasing access/participation" who might be able to offer some advice.

    Also (and I did my A Levels 5 years ago so things may have changed!), it used to be possible to do an A level in a single year-if that was the only course you were studying, so that might be an option.

    I hope that you're able to find an answer, either here or with support from your college

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