This is a follow on from last years chat and FAQ thread. Some of the information has been copied and some of it is new - please read it. I have been trying to help people with their UCAS applications on TSR for the last 3 or 4 years as a PS helper and as a regular poster in this forum. This thread contains answers to the questions I see year in year out and it is incredibly frustrating if I have spent time making a thread such as this and people continue to ask the same question elsewhere. If your question has been covered in this thread do not expect a helpful reply if you ask it again. I have spent time making this thread for YOUR benefit, not just for a bit of fun on my part. I already know the answers and have my degree, I don't need it.
However, if you have any additional questions then please do post them in the thread and we'll do our best to answer them for you
If you've already applied to Edinburgh, then good luck with your application. Hopefully you'll love the city and University as much as I did
Applying and UCAS
Do I need to have any special Standard Grade/Higher/AH or GCSE/A level subjects?
Applicants for NEARLY ALL courses in the College of Humanities and Social Science MUST offer a GCSE (C or above) or Standard Grade (3 or higher) in a language other than English. Applicants can offer a classical or
modern language, so Latin and Ancient Greek are accepted. The ONLY exceptions to this are for applications for education (primary, physical, community ed), 'applied sport science' and 'sport and recreation management'.
If you do not meet these requirements, you will be rejected. Please see here
on the HSS website for more information.
Applicants for law are highly advised to have A level/Higher English (Language/Literature/Combined course). Both GCSE English Lit AND Lang at an A or A* are accepted in lieu of an A level. Just Standard Grade English is not accepted.
Check the university website for other course requirements.
I am English/go to a private school/from the SE of England/applied to Oxbridge, does this mean I will be automatically rejected?
These are merely rumours created by people who need to find an answer for why they were rejected. The University of Edinburgh is full of English students, most of whom are from the South (or so it seems) and a hell of a lot went to private schools or very good state ones. If these rumours were true, how would this make up the majority of the student population? It is true that Edinburgh do consider your achievements in relation to where you were educated yes, and they do also have local access schemes but so do most top universities. Edinburgh just appear to be more honest or open about these things.
Remember that none of your universities know where you have applied until after you’ve made your decision for your firm and insurance choice.
I want to apply for 2011 entry but I’m not predicted 10 million As in my final exams, should I bother?
Yes and No – you do not need straight As to get an Edinburgh offer. There are plenty of students who have been accepted into Edinburgh without straight As, myself included.
However, in the past few years the university have stated that for high demand courses (ie: most of them) if you do not have any extenuating circumstances such as illness or being from a poorly performing school then you generally need to be predicted AAA to be considered for a place.
NEW for 2011 entry: Typical offers for MOST courses will be in the region of BBB-AAA. Edinburgh are being incredibly secretive as to what this actually means and I have no idea either, so only time will tell. My feeling is that if you do not meet one or more of Edinburgh's entry criteria (eg: low educational attainment at your school or extenuating personal circumstances) then expect to get a AAA offer. If you do not, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Your personal statement is the most important part of your application. At universities where the vast majority of applicants far surpass the academic requirements then this is the key thing which makes a difference in the offer making. TSR has a PS helper service where you can get a full and detailed review of your PS from university students or graduates. We will have seen numerous applications for your subject from students from all over the world from all different academic backgrounds. If you post your PS in the PS help area of the site it is totally private from the rest of TSR (other than approved PS helpers and some moderators) and will not show up on UCAS plagiarism checks.
I’m an international (non EU) student, will this affect my application?
Yes. Edinburgh state in their admissions policy that they will usually give offers to all applicants (regardless of the course) who apply from outside of the EU. The only course with a quota restriction is medicine. This is because there are no funding restrictions on international places and all universities are free to admit as many students as they wish whereas there are strict quotas for UK/EU funded students where the university is liable to be fined should they admit too many students.
See under notes, number 6:
International students: applicants who meet or are predicted to meet the minimum entry requirements are likely to be made an offer for all programmes, with the exception of Medicine. The number of medicine places for international students is limited by UK Government restrictions to 7 percent of the total medicine entrants. Consequently, international entry to medicine is also extremely competitive.
I really want to go to Edinburgh – should I apply for more than one course?
This generally is not a good idea, for any university. Your PS needs to be focused on one (or two, for joint honours) subjects meaning the more subjects you apply for the harder it is to show your interest and dedication to a particular subject.
If you do apply to more than one course be aware that Edinburgh will only consider two of your applications. If you apply to 3 or more courses, at least one will be an automatic rejection so this is a waste of a space.
If you want to be in Edinburgh consider also applying to the other universities in the city: Heriot Watt, Queen Margaret University and Edinburgh Napier. There is also the Edinburgh College of Art which is considering a possible merger with the University of Edinburgh.
After making your application to Edinburgh
My application status on EUCILD/MyEd has gone blank. What does this mean?
This means your application is being considered and a decision will be made shortly. If you have been made an offer, you are able to find out before the actual application status has changed on EUCILD or UCAS have been informed by following these instructions:
Compare your EUCILD to this one
from a successful applicant*.
Look at the fees and funding tab. Previously, there were 2 sub headings: my tuition fee details and general fees information. If your application has been successful an additional tab will appear. This is the one in the middle called "my fee details".
Click on this link and it will bring you to another page with with wording to the effect of 'listed below are the details for the degree course for which we have made you an offer'. If you have this new tab and these words, then well done, you have an offer! The actual offer terms will be posted on UCAS but this can take anything from a few hours to a few days. Be patient!
If you do not have a 'my fee details' tab and it looks the same as it always has done, do not despair as it does not necessarily mean you have been unsuccessful as all of these things happen in stages with time passing between each event, so there is still hope.
* Thanks to livesindreams for the screen shot
I applied 10 million years ago, when will I hear back?
Edinburgh are notoriously slow – it is incredibly common for applicants to apply in September and not hear back from them until April. Most offers tend to come between the end of January and the end of March. Officially, providing you applied before the 15th (22nd in 2010) Jan deadlines then all universities have to get back to you before 5th May. Any unanswered applications are automatically rejected by UCAS after this date. UCAS request that universities aim to reply by 31st March but certainly with the most popular courses at Edinburgh you may be waiting longer than this date.
Last year (2010 entry) Edinburgh waited until after the 15th Jan deadline to make most decisions. This was so they could ensure they made the right amount of offers as the government were fining institutions who went over their student allowance quotas. Most universities in the UK did this, hence there were very few offers before Christmas.
Do not contact the admissions office (or me) – they have not lost your application, they are just slow.
Edinburgh has not sent me a welcome letter/accommodation information/open day details/anything in the post – should I contact them?
No. Although some universities send their applicants loads of information in the post, Edinburgh do not. You should receive an email acknowledging your application and giving you details to access MyEd which contains the online university application portal where you can track your application. This is all you will receive from Edinburgh until they have made a decision on your application, and even if they do make an offer, the information you get between now and September is minimal in comparison to some other universities.
I’ve just realised that the degree I’ve applied for is an MA – surely that’s a postgraduate course!! I want to do an undergraduate degree!
Due to tradition at the ancient Scottish universities, all degrees awarded in the College of Humanities and Social Science are MAs. This is NOT a post graduate qualification and nor is it is an integrated Masters course, it is an undergraduate MA. If you wish to get an MA you need to do further study after graduating from Edinburgh. In your first two years at Edinburgh you will study 3 subjects thus adding breath as well as depth to your degree, then in 3rd and 4th year you will move to the honours courses. See the “outside courses” sticky thread by me (oxymoronic) for more details.
In the College of Science and Engineering, it is possible to do a proper integrated Masters course. This lasts for 5 years.
I was rejected despite meeting the minimum entry requirements – what is going on?
Thousands of completely able students apply to Edinburgh each year – it is one of the most competitive universities in the UK meaning they can not accept everyone. As has been said, academic attainment is all relative as if you are competing with other people who have equally high grades. Therefore, it is your personal statement which counts.
Just because you have been accepted to Oxford, Cambridge, Durham or elsewhere it does not mean that you will be instantly accepted into Edinburgh. Most courses at Edinburgh last year had acceptance rates of 5-15%, at other universities 15-30% of applicants get an offer. It is much harder to get into Edinburgh than many other universities due to the lower minimum entry requirements making the pool of competition much bigger.
English Lit at Edinburgh 9.5% of applicants get an offer
English Lit at Oxford 21% of applicants get an offer
History and Politics at Edinburgh 6.9% of applicants get an offer
History and Politics at Oxford 18.1% of applicants get an offer
If you have an issue with the way your application was handled take it up with the admissions office rather than moaning about it on TSR.
I’m a medicine applicant, when will I find out if I have an interview?
Edinburgh do not interview for medicine, the decision is made on the basis of your application information alone. You will be notified of the outcome of your application before May 2010.
Post offer issues
Who else on TSR has applied/been given an offer for my course?
Please check the applications and offers thread for details.– This is updated regularly. Remember that the A & O thread is NOT for chatting. Either PM the relevant people or quote them in this thread if you want to chat about your application.
Don’t make separate threads about this, they will just be merged with this thread.
Edinburgh is my firm or insurance choice, now what?
You will be asked to send confirmation of your academic qualifications to date. This includes copies of your GCSE/Standard Grade/Higher/AS level qualifications. You can either send them as a photocopy or scan them to MyEd.
You now need to apply for accommodation (see the sticky thread by nearlyheadlessian) even if Edinburgh is your insurance university.
I want a current student’s opinion of course X, please!
There are only a handful of current students who regularly post in the Edinburgh forum. We will try to help you out as much as we can based on our own experiences, knowledge and that of our friends however we don’t know everything, particularly with postgraduate courses as we are all undergraduates. The majority of us are students in the College of Humanities and Social Science, although there are a few posters who are based at Kings Building with the College of Science and Engineering.
The Edinburgh TSR forum is not like the Oxbridge/Durham/Warwick communities etc where there are loads of students who regularly post, we are a small select group!
Look in the “outside subjects” thread by me (oxymoronic) as there is a link to the course reviewer where there are reviews from past students for a number of different courses.
I've realised I want to study course X instead of the one I have an offer for, can I change it?
If you are 100% certain that you want to change your course, contact the admissions department now and they may do this for you. However, given the flexibility of the Edinburgh system (with some course exceptions) they will probably tell you to speak to your Director of Studies in freshers week and make the change then. If it still isn't possible to change, you will be able to change your degree at some point in first year to another subject providing you pick the one(s) you are interested in as your outside courses at the start of the year. Again, see the "outside courses" sticky by me (oxymoronic) for more information.
Which accommodation is the best? Shall I pick catered or self catered? Do I apply for a small or large size room? When do I need to apply?
Please read the first post of the accommodation thread sticky by nearlyheadlessian, all of your questions are answered there. If you have any additional questions post them in that thread.
I do not work for the University of Edinburgh - I was a student here and completed my undergraduate studies in July 2010. Any advice given in this thread by me (or any of the other Edinburgh students) is not given as a representative of the University of Edinburgh. Therefore, what we say is not given in an official capacity and you are advised to check with the University if in doubt at any point during your application.
Remember: I am a graduate, not a staff member. This means I can not check the progress of your application or comment on when you will be given an offer. Please do not PM me as I am unable to help you. I receive several PMs a week during the UCAS cycle relating to Edinburgh applications. If you need to contact the University, I am not the person to need to be speaking to at all!