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The Edinburgh FAQ and 'Ask a Student' thread

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    Hi!

    This is a follow on from last years FAQ thread. Some of the information has been copied and some of it is new - please read it. I have helped people with their UCAS applications for the last 6 years both on TSR and in my day job. 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 :love:

    Applying and UCAS

    Do I need to have any special Standard Grade/Higher/AH or GCSE/A level subjects?
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    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 are applying for a course within the College of Science and Engineering, the GCSE language requirement does not apply for most courses.

    If you do not meet these GCSE requirements in full 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.

    There are additional subject and grade requirements for specific subjects, check the Edinburgh website before applying.


    I am English/go to a private school/from the SE of England/applied to Oxbridge, does this mean I will be automatically rejected?

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    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 but I’m not predicted 10 million As in my final exams, should I bother?

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    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(B) as a minimum with strong GCSEs/Standard Grades to be considered for a place.

    Typical offers for MOST courses will be in the region of BBB-AAA.
    It isn't clear how offer grades are decided although 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?

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    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.


    I'm from the UK or the EU, are there quotas and restraints on how many students Edinburgh can admit?

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    From 2012 entry, Scottish universities were also free to admit as many students from the rest of the UK (outside of Scotland) as they wish too. This means that acceptance rates for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland increased. However, there are still strict quotas for "home" students (those who have lived in Scotland for more than 3 years, or students from the EU) where the university is liable to be fined should they admit too many students. This means that competition for these places will be much higher.

    Source:

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    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?
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    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?


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    This means your application is being considered and a decision will be made shortly.

    Good luck!


    I applied 10 million years ago, when will I hear back?

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    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 Jan deadlines then all universities have to get back to you before early 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.

    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?

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    No. Although some universities send their applicants loads of information in the post, Edinburgh do not send as much. 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. Even if they do make an offer, the information you get between now and September is minimal in comparison to some other universities although their communication is now much better than it was in 2005 when I applied to university.


    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!

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    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 usually 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 and info thread 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?

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    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 5-25%, 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.

    For example:
    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. People on TSR can not help you and it's unfair on applicants who have received offers as well as those who are already waiting.


    I’m a medicine applicant, when will I find out if I have an interview?

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    Edinburgh do not interview for medicine, the decision is made on the basis of your application information alone.


    Post offer issues

    Who else on TSR has applied/been given an offer for my course?

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    Please see the 2013 Edinburgh applicants' stalking page to track who else has applied for your course and their status. If you want to chat to the other applicants, you can PM the relevant people or quote them in the "I'm applying to Edinburgh for 2013 entry" chatthread 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?

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    You will probably be asked to send confirmation of your academic qualifications to date. This includes copies of your GCSE/Standard Grade/Higher/AS level qualifications. You should follow the instructions for submission carefully.

    You now need to apply for accommodation (see the Edinburgh accommodation thread) even if Edinburgh is your insurance university.


    I want a current student’s opinion of course X, please!

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    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 courses thread 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?

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    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 in 1st and 2nd year threadfor 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?

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    Please read the first post of the accommodation thread by nearlyheadlessian, all of your questions are answered there. If you have any additional questions post them in that thread.

    For a quick summary - Pollock Halls are not the centre of the social universe. More than 50% of first year students live in s/c flats and elsewhere in Edinburgh. There is no accommodation that is "best" as they're all basically the same and all in good locations. If you want to be right in the middle of the clubs and roll out of bed to lectures then apply for accommodation on Cowgate but nothing is more than 15-20 minute walk from the Central Area. On the other hand if you would rather not live above a nightclub then opt for somewhere that isn't on Cowgate. In first year most students have lectures across the Central Area and other areas of the University - there isn't a "X subject building" in terms of where you will have lectures. Yes, your department will have its own office space but this is for academics and administrative purposes rather than where all of the classes take place, particularly in first/second year where there can be very large lecture groups.

    Pollock Halls tends to be very over priced and you do not get lunch included in the fee but if you're determined to have catered food for your first year it's your only option. Apply for a small sized room unless you have lots of money to splurge - the general feeling amongst Edinburgh students is that the size difference is minimal and until 2008 all of the rooms were priced the same regardless of the size. A "large" room may gain you an additional 30cm of space.


    Disclaimer:

    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!
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    Hello, I wanted to see if there are any students at University of Edinburgh - Architecture ? I would really like to know about the classes, program, how are the teachers and especially how do you work up your schedule, how does a architecture student's schedule look like ?

    I want to apply and would like to know what to expect of it ...

    And if you could give me some tips concerning the portfolio...I would be in debt for life.
    Thank you
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    Hello. So I saw a really similar thread to this on the Bath forum and wanted to repeat it here... (and also on the Bristol forum haha) basically a load of annoying questions from someone considering applying to Edinburgh...

    - What's the campus / university atmosphere like? Quiet, loud, active, community feel etc.

    - What are halls like? Do different halls have different reputations, and if so, what are they? Do they have an atmosphere of everyone mixing together, or do people keep to themselves?

    - Which are the local haunts and hangouts for the student body? (The ones which are most popular.)

    - What are the prices like? I am also considering London but I am soooo put off by how expensive everything is !

    - Are the winters really bad? This may sound idiotic but I know someone who got really depressed at Edinburgh simply because of how awful the weather was.. ie. windy and rainy etc. and she is quite a positive person so I took heed. But feel free to give me your own opinion if you disagree

    Just gives you more of an idea of the place than the prospectus can ! (PS. sorry to the original author of the Bath thread... I completely copied your idea lmao.)

    Thank you
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    (Original post by phiddy23)
    Hello. So I saw a really similar thread to this on the Bath forum and wanted to repeat it here... (and also on the Bristol forum haha) basically a load of annoying questions from someone considering applying to Edinburgh...
    - What's the campus / university atmosphere like? Quiet, loud, active, community feel etc.
    Hard to say. Edinburgh is not a particularly campus based university. The arts buildings are scattered around the George Square area, but there's not a campus as such. Science is largely based on a real campus at King's Buildings, while ve medicine and medicine are separate again.

    The university is what you make of it. If you want to go to loud events, go out clubbing, then fine. If you want to go to debates by candlelight, then fine. If you want to do both, then fine. There's not one overriding atmosphere.

    - What are halls like? Do different halls have different reputations, and if so, what are they? Do they have an atmosphere of everyone mixing together, or do people keep to themselves?
    There are dozens of individual halls, with the main distinction between the catered halls at Pollock and the self-catered halls scattered throughout the city.

    In general, the halls are nice enough. They're basic, but they provide everything you need for the year. Some of the extremely expensive ones offer more luxuries, though.

    Again, it's hard to say what the atmosphere in halls is like. People make the atmosphere, and there are different people every year. If you want to mix with loads of people, there's certainly plenty of opportunity to do so. If you like to keep to yourself, fine too.

    - Which are the local haunts and hangouts for the student body? (The ones which are most popular.)
    Continuing the pattern... hard to say. There are hundreds of pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants within 10 minutes walk of the university. You'll always find plenty of people in the nearest pubs and cafes, though. The Unions are always packed as well. But it depends on what you were looking for. Some events, like the Big Cheese at the union are entirely student, and some club nights are mostly student.

    - What are the prices like? I am also considering London but I am soooo put off by how expensive everything is !
    High, but not London high. Average monthly rent for a flat is £300 - £400 per person. A pint is between £2 at the union and £5 at really expensive pubs. Food is what you make of it - can be high or low.

    - Are the winters really bad? This may sound idiotic but I know someone who got really depressed at Edinburgh simply because of how awful the weather was.. ie. windy and rainy etc. and she is quite a positive person so I took heed. But feel free to give me your own opinion if you disagree
    Not really, no. Where did your friend move from, exactly? They're not much worse than the rest of the UK, and they're certainly better than north of Edinburgh. We had a LOT of snow last year, but that was a bit of a fluke. It is windy and rainy, but I always assumed that you expected that during the winter...

    Just gives you more of an idea of the place than the prospectus can ! (PS. sorry to the original author of the Bath thread... I completely copied your idea lmao.)

    Thank you
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    (Original post by NeoNerd)
    Hard to say. Edinburgh is not a particularly campus based university. The arts buildings are scattered around the George Square area, but there's not a campus as such. Science is largely based on a real campus at King's Buildings, while ve medicine and medicine are separate again.

    yourself, fine too.


    Not really, no. Where did your friend move from, exactly? They're not much worse than the rest of the UK, and they're certainly better than north of Edinburgh. We had a LOT of snow last year, but that was a bit of a fluke. It is windy and rainy, but I always assumed that you expected that during the winter...
    Thanks Not entirely sure actually prob somewhere in the midlands but tbh she was probably just exaggerating and blaming all her woes on the weather
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    Hello,

    is anybody studying scottish studies or another historical subject?
    I have some questions...

    Greedings
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    How common is this? Their website states that this is indeed included in their average offers but is a total rarity, would be grateful if anyone who has experience with this could help.
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    (Original post by YahRah)
    How common is this? Their website states that this is indeed included in their average offers but is a total rarity, would be grateful if anyone who has experience with this could help.
    I have no idea about your question, but you might find something useful here:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1805509
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    I'm applying for Veterinary Medicine at Edinburgh got an email today (my application only got sent yesterday) saying thanks for applying, and that i should use the MyEd thing to do everything I need with regards to continuing the application process.

    They gave me the username and password and I copy and pasted them to the site, but it says "Unfortunately the username you entered was not recognized. Please click back and try again and check that the username is entered correctly. Usernames should be all lower case and made up of only alphanumeric characters"

    So I tried again, typing it in etc done this 10 times or so, still no luck.. What should I do?
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    Well I don't know anything about MyEd but i'd say call them or send them an email about it
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    Thats seems like a really good offer for Edinburgh.
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    Law?

    I'd say it's highly unlikely. Even lower ranked places like City and Reading ask for AAB-AAA.

    BBB is more standard for places like Oxford Brookes and Nottingham Trent.
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    (Original post by VintageJasmine)
    Law?

    I'd say it's highly unlikely. Even lower ranked places like City and Reading ask for AAB-AAA.

    BBB is more standard for places like Oxford Brookes and Nottingham Trent.
    Edinburgh's offer policy is a bit different to those places you've listed above. It does indeed give BBB offers for lots of its courses, but that does not mean it gives them to BBB predicted candidates. To get an offer from Edinburgh, you are going to need AAA predictions to be considered on most courses. Look at the link I posted above, which answers a lot of FAQs about applying to Edinburgh, which is a law unto itself in this respect.
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    (Original post by emknowsaunicorn)
    So I tried again, typing it in etc done this 10 times or so, still no luck.. What should I do?
    Wait. It takes a day or two for your account to clear through and activate.
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    55% of people who apply to electrical engineering get offers - I'm pretty chuffed with that.

    Thanks oxymoronic.
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    (Original post by Electronica)
    55% of people who apply to electrical engineering get offers - I'm pretty chuffed with that.

    Thanks oxymoronic.
    Engineering still has quite high offer rates. But the current rates are astounding compared to the 2007/2008 intake. Offer rates in the high 80% to 90% band happened for science applicants.

    No more, sadly.
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    Last year I got ABBBC in my highers. I am applying for business management and politics, and I am fairly confident of getting an offer in atleast three of my four choices right now. It says on the prospectus that the minimum requirements are BBBB, but then it says in the small print that students must have achieved, or be predicted to achieve atleast AAAA. Is there any point, or if I could convince my current teachers to predict me A's ( I am taking three more highers and an advanced higher) Would I stand any chance of an offer? Please be honest!!!
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    I got an offer of BBBBB (over two sittings), and many other average students also got similar offers from my school. This was for electrical and electronics engineering, so not the most competitive of courses mind you.

    When I applied (2007) they also took into consideration the school you attended and whether your parents went to university. I went to an absolutely horrible school and none of my parents have an honours degree so perhaps they adjusted my offer down.
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    Cool thread!

    Does anyone else have any input on what the atmosphere/campus feel is like? I understand there isn't a campus really for humanities/art, but are there like grounds that a lot of people go to? Or are they just public parks?
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    I'm hoping to apply to law at Edinburgh for 2013 entry
    So my GCSE grades this summer came out like:

    A*-History
    A*-ICT (2010)
    A*A*A* BTEC Level 2 in Public Services - done in spare time.
    AA-Dual Science (IGCSE)
    A-English Literature,
    A-English Language,
    A-Geography (IGCSE)
    A-Classical Civilisation,
    A-French
    C-Maths (retake 2012, predicted A*-sat wrong paper by mistake. CLERICAL ERRORS FTW)(IGCSE)

    And yes I realise they're more likely to look at Higher/AS grades but I do the IB which is examined at the end of the 2 years so I have no fall back. I also have s**t loads of work experience in law in many high end firms and spear head the law society at school. Will I possibly get an offer?

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