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is there any chance that I could get into Durham Uni for History?

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    OK so it goes like this:

    My best friend lives only 20 miles away from Durham and if I could study there then it would resolve a LOT of problems.

    The only issue is; I want to read history.

    I'm aiming for a top university (thinking of applying to Manchester, Warwick, Sheffield & Lancaster. I will also let you know that I have considered Cambridge but discounted it - I don't think I could deal with the admission tests & pressure of that uni). I feel I can do get into these universities with the appropriate degree of work: lots of it.
    If I move to any of the above then I would have to rent a room in term time & travel home on days/weekends off. This is only for the first year; if after that I am settled and there is no problems I will move my family to where I am.

    With my friend living so close to Durham, I feel that it would relieve a lot of pressures & worries & I'd find it far easier to settle.
    I had originally discounted Durham as I noticed on the university league tables that 0% of mature students are on a History course :eek: So with that I would say, obviously, my chances are none.

    However, do you think there would be any way to get in? Do you think I could have a hope in this world or should I forget the idea and move on?

    They do have a year 0 but it's only for ancient history & I'm more interested in modern & medieval *sigh*.
    Do you think I could do my access course, do really well, get onto that year 0 course, strive to do amazing & then see if I could transfer to history?

    Any ideas, however blunt, are welcomed. I need to try & figure out what is realistic and what is not. If there's a chance I can do something to help my application then I'm all for that too

    Thanks x

    EDIT: I am hoping I don't sound big-headed. I am not overly confident on any university & will be grateful to go anywhere. I only have one shot at this & with having 6 children I need to make the absolute best that I can and make every second count. Studying in a top uni would greatly increase my chances of a better job at the end of it, and with studying history that's very important.

    I do know that I am capable of the top universities, but my current qualifications do not imply that. Even if I do exceptional in the access course; I still feel that the chances of Durham are so slim. I am just hoping that there's a magic answer I guess, or that someone can ultimately burst my bubble... x
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    Have you phoned up / emailed an admissions tutor for the History department there? They'd give you the best advice regarding this, as crappy as that sounds.

    But from anecdotal evidence around this forum, it seems that History @ Durham University is very competitive and they expect stunning grades at even GCSE level (seemingly unusual for about 90% of uni courses, even for the good unis). I'm not sure how the department at that uni views mature students taking Access students.. or even the uni at all, I don't know if I've ever read about Access students up there.

    Since you want to be close to Durham have you considered applying for Newcastle University? They offer History and they're pretty closeish to Durham, anyway.
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    Thanks

    I was going to email them tonight actually.

    Just been having a look at finance etc & apparently you will only receive the university grant (national scholarship) if you live in halls. If you don't then you don't get a penny :eek: I simply can't afford to that I'm so heartbroken now, but in all honesty, at least I can just take that off the table.

    Yes, Newcastle is an option, but my friend lives 35 miles away from there & that it quite a bit further than I am willing to commute

    Thank you for your help though My GCSEs aren't amazing, not terrible either, I had a very unsettled childhood unfortunately.

    I actually feel a little better now :lol:
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    (Original post by sweetiepie82)
    Thanks

    I was going to email them tonight actually.

    Just been having a look at finance etc & apparently you will only receive the university grant (national scholarship) if you live in halls. If you don't then you don't get a penny :eek: I simply can't afford to that I'm so heartbroken now, but in all honesty, at least I can just take that off the table.

    Yes, Newcastle is an option, but my friend lives 35 miles away from there & that it quite a bit further than I am willing to commute

    Thank you for your help though My GCSEs aren't amazing, not terrible either, I had a very unsettled childhood unfortunately.

    I actually feel a little better now :lol:
    They certainly accept mature students.

    If your going straight in then you are talking a standard offer of A*AA, and your offer would map to that. The GCSE grade thing is a bit of an urban myth according to the students posting their GCSE grades on the stalking page. But the kind of students that get A*AA or higher at A level also tend to get very high GCSE grades. This is for 18/19 yos not mature students. They also have a dedicated foundation centre, rather than using some local college like Leicester and York do and offer History with foundation. They also offer joint honours, such as ancient history and archaeology etc (no digging required), which are AAB standard offers and some offers on this year's stalking page are ABB. My PS opened with "Whilst my O levels and A levels are not spectacular........."

    The stated position at Durham is that you must live in college year one, but I just said I don't think my wife will be very keen on that as she will have both kids to look after whilst she is studying at Newcastle and I don't fancy paying for a room when I will be staying and sleeping at the house we are getting in Durham. They were fine, and there is a statement deep in the website that states that personal circumstances are allowed for. It is true that because I am not living in college that I do not expect a bursary, where as my wife will be eligable at Newcastle. Whether I will get a pleasant surprise due to personal circumstances I do not know, but I prefer to keep my glass half empty. All the other loans, grants etc will be the same as anywhere else.

    The only thing to do is ring them up and talk to some explaining your circumstances. I have found them to be very friendly and helpful. E.g. My PS ended with a request for an early decision so that my wife and I could make a decision on where we were going and start looking into school and colleges for the kids etc, the admissions tutor emailed me directly saying they had noted this, I had been processed that day and would hear soon and I did, before xmas, which is very early for Durham. They have also arranged for a personal visit to and tour of the department and college in June as I could not make the open days, which is also when my wife will visit Newcastle via a similar arrangement.

    9 of the 10 Universities responded very positively to our request for early decisions, one even bringing forward an interview date from the open day in Feb to a specific one for me in December, there was one exception which was still pending in mid Jan when my withdrew from that choice. We had all our decisions, excepting that one, before xmas and hence could make an early joint decision. One of my wife's choices (Northumbria) arranged a telephone interview to save her travelling to Newcastle.

    In our experience Unis are very approachable and very responsive. In fact so nice we felt really "guilty" about the ones we eventually declined. (Big softy at heart )
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    Thank you evening sunrise - you are a true asset to these boards :angel:

    I have emailed all the other universities that I would love to go to & most (all but Warwick!) have been amazing; really positive

    I will email Durham now & ask what they think.

    Thank you again x
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    (Original post by sweetiepie82)
    Thank you evening sunrise - you are a true asset to these boards :angel:

    I have emailed all the other universities that I would love to go to & most (all but Warwick!) have been amazing; really positive

    I will email Durham now & ask what they think.

    Thank you again x
    Ring them, ask if you book a telephone discussion....become a person to them
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    (Original post by evening sunrise)
    Ring them, ask if you book a telephone discussion....become a person to them
    Ask them to book me in for a discussion? Sounds good; however, I'm a little apprehensive about speaking on the telephone as, although it's not strong, I do have a slight scouse twinge to my accent I feel scouse sounds rather aggressive and I don't want to come across badly. That's not to say I hate it or anything; I have no problem with it. But I know it can be viewed upon negatively

    Not sure if that's anything to worry about. Plus, I'm so much better at writing than speaking :lol:
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    (Original post by sweetiepie82)
    Ask them to book me in for a discussion? Sounds good; however, I'm a little apprehensive about speaking on the telephone as, although it's not strong, I do have a slight scouse twinge to my accent I feel scouse sounds rather aggressive and I don't want to come across badly. That's not to say I hate it or anything; I have no problem with it. But I know it can be viewed upon negatively

    Not sure if that's anything to worry about. Plus, I'm so much better at writing than speaking :lol:
    Regional accent. Well they are only 15 miles from Newcastle...........but I think you will understand them if they speak slowly

    If it helps I have a bAth not a bARth and I mow the grAss not the grARss.

    But you do what your comfortable with.
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    (Original post by evening sunrise)
    Regional accent. Well they are only 15 miles from Newcastle...........but I think you will understand them if they speak slowly

    If it helps I have a bAth not a bARth and I mow the grAss not the grARss.

    But you do what your comfortable with.
    I like bOOHks & not books & I cOOHk and not cook :lol: I also say 'ya know' a lot at the end of sentences :lol:

    I think I may be okay, I used to work on the phone & was okay then; I'll give it a go tomorrow Thanks for that.

    Do I ask to speak to someone in the history department? Will it be an admissions tutor I should ask for do you think?

    Thanks es
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    (Original post by sweetiepie82)
    I like bOOHks & not books & I cOOHk and not cook :lol: I also say 'ya know' a lot at the end of sentences :lol:

    I think I may be okay, I used to work on the phone & was okay then; I'll give it a go tomorrow Thanks for that.

    Do I ask to speak to someone in the history department? Will it be an admissions tutor I should ask for do you think?

    Thanks es
    I would ask for a conversation with an admissions tutor, to discuss and get advice on how to meet your objective of reading history at Durham, given you are a mature student. It is not so much asking whether you have a chance, or will they have you, but their advice on how to make it happen.

    Good luck

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