Media Studies Do Not Count

#1
Two years ago my son started his studies for A levels having obtained 13 GCSE O levels at school.
He went along to the Navy Careers Officer having started life in the Sea Cadets explaining that he was studying for two A levels and a As in general studies and was told this would give him enough points for entry as an officer.
He went down to the college under his own steam for an interview and gained a bursary for £1,500 while he was studying for his exams. This August he received his passes which unfortunately only came in as two A level C grades and a B pass in As General Studies.
Phoned up the Navy at Britannia College and was told although he thought he still had enough points they do not count General Studies therefore he could not start this September and his entrance into the college will be withdrawn. Full stop.
At no time was he advised that the Navy does not accept general studies towards the points count up at his Navy Careers Office or during the interview at the college or jumping through all the hoops?
I have spent a couple of hours trying to find what is and what is not accepted for an Officers entrance examination listing the ones that count and the ones the Navy have decided to throw out?
As he is completely shocked over this thinking he had enough points to get in can anybody explain where you could have located subjects which are thrown out. Being a school lad nobody had told him it would have to be certain A levels to get into the college.

If he had known that general studies does not count to the total marks he would have studied for another A level in English and not wasted his time at school. I know have to pick up the pieces and at the moment and don't have an answer for him.
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
#5
I'd speak to the AFCO - they are the only people able to advise in the first instance.

But, something about this thread is setting off a few worry beads - something doesn't add up in the story...
 
#6
I'd speak to the AFCO - they are the only people able to advise in the first instance.

But, something about this thread is setting off a few worry beads - something doesn't add up in the story...
Like 13 GCSEs (well above average) and then only 2 A-Levels when three is the standard? Amongst other things, like the vagaries of the Bursary process which seems to have missed out AIB?
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
#7
Like 13 GCSEs (well above average) and then only 2 A-Levels when three is the standard? Amongst other things, like the vagaries of the Bursary process which seems to have missed out AIB?
Or the fact that its media in the title and general in the message?

Sorry to sound cynical, but the whole thing seems a little odd to me - and also assumes that the RN didn't at any point in two years ask what A levels the kid was taking either...
 
#8
Hi there

My son is away climbing on Ben Nevis to cool off at the moment so writing in on his behalf to get some more information on the process to train as a Navel Officer, apologies for sending this as third hand.
Yes you are correct it should have read General Studies not Media Studies.
Utterly agree really cheesed off with him gaining so many GCSE's without having to work particularly hard and hoped he was going to do A level English with A level politics and A level phycology pointing out that the old three R's would hold him well in the future.
Unfortunately his school will only allow you to take certain A levels and a choice had to be made. He went for the As general studies and came out with the B grade. We thought as politics was his hot subject he would get an A or B not the C he received with his other A level. But at the time he thought the 180 ACUS points was all that was needed to get in. If he managed A level grade B and a grade C that would have been ok.
If all of them were counted up he would have had enough to go through the front door and start training this September the 18th.
The local officer in our city had not told him this would not be sufficient to get in according to my son. He also phoned Britannia College explaining that he only got two C grades plus an As B grade in General Studies. Unfortunately most of the staff were on holiday and he would have to wait until they return in early September having tried a few phone numbers.
We were surprised also about the results having got his school scholarship form the Navy who seemed impressed at his interview plus of course his GCSE results. So we will have to wait to contact their staff in September. But again I ask where are the subjects that are listed down with UCAS points that they will not count? I cannot locate these to date having searched the internet. When he gets home from Scotland I will grill him over the facts. Yes I do have copies of his school scholarship as proof if needed plus all the paperwork this is not a wind up. Having retired from the Police I do not muck about.
Any thoughts on this matter gratefully received.
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
#9
Okay - this is getting confusing, and for Roberts benefit I should note this site does suffer from a number of extremely odd timewasters who do try and get wind ups - hence a lot of cynicism from some posters. Genuine calls for help do get a strongly positive response.

What I'm not clear on is whether your son did sit an Admiralty Interview Board, and pass it, or did he just do an interview with a careers officer? Had he received joining information from BRNC about reporting for training?

What matters here is whether your son was still an applicant to join - whereby he'd need to go through the AFCO system, or if he'd passed AIB for a scholarship and was in the system already (in which case he'd need to go through a different team at BRNC). The whole thing does seem a bit odd - BRNC should have known full well what A levels he was taking, so I am surprised that they'd not spot this.

Perhaps if you can clarify his position its easier to direct you to the right people to help.
 
#11
I think he'll have done the AIB, @Purple_twiglet , because I'm applying for a sixth form bursary too and I still don't have it, after having passed the SIFT interview too.

I don't know why general studies exists, as I've yet to see a university course that doesn't say "we don't accept general studies" - and if other employers such as the navy don't either, then it is beyond useless.

In case anyone happens to know, do overlapping subjects not count? I'm doing maths, further maths and physics, with the first two very clearly overlapping, and I don't want to get caught out. I'll check with my AFCO too next time I'm at the office.
 
#12
Just to say: I believe there were only 8 warfare places this September; your son has done exceptionally well already so this is just a temporary setback. Anyone passing AIB when they're 18 years old or less is more than capable of bouncing back.

Just one question - as I believe other posters can be more help than I on this... has this refusal been sent to you in writing? And was it yourself or your son who made the telephone call to BRNC please?
 
#13
Back again Archangel.

Found some of his papers in his bedroom.

He had contacted Lieutenant Commander XXXX (No serving names pls!) Rtd directly by phone at BRNC who informed him that he could not permit entry to Britannia Navel College. Have opened up a letter for him which says I have no option but to withdraw the offer of entry under the Scholarship Scheme as he did not achieve the necessary A level grades.
So that seems to have sealed his fate for joining the Navy as an officer. However good at the practical side of things and his interviews I realise there is no shifting in the Navy process.
 
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Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#15
Sorry hear of the setback. That's a new one on me with regard unaccepted subjects. Generally, those awarded a scholarship or bursary are advised the required grades and at what appropriate level when the provisional offer was made.

AS Level points only count if the subject was ditched at AS. If, for example, General Studies or any other subject was taken to A2, then the AS grades are irrelevant to the all up total, the only ones that count are the A2 grades...which only count if a grade D or better is achieved.

If the subject in question was not taken to A2 and the provisional offer of a reserved place did not stipulate the grades required for a scholarship and a reserved place, then there would be grounds for your son to submit a request for written clarification via his ACLO.

Question is: Did he sit a general studies A2 exam and if so, what grade was achieved?

I'd never suggest mistakes aren't made but equally if the required grades aren't met or the numbers for the branch are revised, then we tend to cream-off the top. Example? Every year for the last ten years or more, we've had a surplus of individuals who achieve a pass grade for Royal Marines Officer. One year we had four times the number pass selection than we had training places to offer, the only solution is to take the candidates with the best overall scores and it has always been the case that a reserved place was conditional on stipulated grades being gained.

The other thing to consider it that sometimes applicants change their minds about joining and when they do, they may ascribe their change of tack to something outwith their control rather than state they've changed their mind.
 

Spare_Rib

Lantern Swinger
#16
I would get him to speak to his ACLO. Worst case scenario he takes another AS level or two this year (17/18) and re-takes his AIB? But I doubt he'd even have to re-take his AIB as (depending on when he attended) I think a pass is valid for a couple of years? I can't believe that the currently shut door can't be re-opened if he does indeed gain the required UCAS points. Bet he's gutted though. Good luck to him.
 
#17
Hi Purple_twiglet

Trying to find the message on my pc as not normally running around forums like this.
Went into inbox but could not locate a message.
Sorry not an IT heavy user.
 
#18
Thanks Spare_Rib

When he gets home from Scotland I will be discussing the events that have taken place recently.
Having started his interest in the Navy with the Sea Scouts spent a week on board HMS Bristol then off to CTC RM and taken their PRMC Look at Life couple of days and also HMS Collingwood Officer's visit, hoping he will sit down and sort things out over the table.
Will need to find out what was actually written down on documentation and what advice he was given by the Navy careers officer in town. Meanwhile will look for advice and of course a very useful forum having picked it out on Google and amazed at the information around and quick responses. Great stuff.
 
#19
Can anybody tell me if the Navy actually have a list on the internet for recruiting officers that gives a list of qualifications for each post for officer entry. As a new UCAS points system has been recently introduced why do they not publish a list of UCAS points for certain A levels and degrees on one side and a list of subjects that the Navy do not accept for UCAS points?
Surely this would save a lot of disappointment for the candidate and cut down on explanations at Navel Recruiting Headquarters.
 
#20
Can anybody tell me if the Navy actually have a list on the internet for recruiting officers that gives a list of qualifications for each post for officer entry. As a new UCAS points system has been recently introduced why do they not publish a list of UCAS points for certain A levels and degrees on one side and a list of subjects that the Navy do not accept for UCAS points?
Surely this would save a lot of disappointment for the candidate and cut down on explanations at Navel Recruiting Headquarters.
The Navy don't have any input into the UCAS points awarded to various qualifications. If you're looking for UCAS information, you need the UCAS Tariff calculator: https://www.ucas.com/ucas/tariff-calculator

It appears that your lad's problem is with the Royal Navy not accepting General Studies as a formal qualification. This would be in-line with the majority of UK universities, who often stipulate that any offer to study does not include General Studies as part of the UCAS-points tariff. However, all my reading suggests that it is accepted (for whatever reason)... Are you sure that your son achieved a B-grade? Because a C-grade at AS-level would not be accepted, due to the minimum 45-point attainment being needed.

As Ninja has said above, you need to check the offer letter very carefully. If nothing has been said about General Studies being unacceptable, then you have grounds to write and ask for further clarification (with a view to challenging the decision). However, time is clearly of the essence here - BRNC starts fairly soon and any appeal is likely to take time.
 

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