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Please help...I don't know if it is worth it for me to apply to Oxford PPE?

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    (Original post by Newcastle456)
    Well, I completed my master's in a very competitive subject area (500 apps for 50-60 starting every year), they vary from field to field (some are 2 to 1, classics rtc). This is same for UG, there's a wealth of difference between doing say Law, Economics, PPE, Medicine than Land Economy, Celtic Studies, etc. Oxbridge courses just aren't the same competitiveness so it's not a binary choice. Of course, the university will play this down, but it's the same for colleges. Trinity is obviously much more competitive and prestigious than Homerton.

    I had several tutorials across the year, small seminar classes (6-10 students) lectures with 4 students, lectures with 30-35 (never more, UG can have 100s) I was taught by the leading academics in my field (who don't teach UGS so much), world economic forum economist of the year in x, another CBE, etc etc. Contact time about 12 hours a week? More than my UG in honours years. My faculty is a postgraduate only one too and my course was half taught, half research, very different to most other subjects. I had 5 mini dissertations (4000 - 5000 words each and 3 exams for formal assessment). On top of that, I personally did 3 unassessed 2000 word essays but it was up to you how many you did, the academics would look at it but I just didn't have much more time.

    I can't speak for other courses but I had world class teaching by genuine world leaders, our own lecture series was organised by the academics who brought in several leading figures and even our normal lectures, if they were in a niche subject area, they brought in the expert because they had the contact.

    If I continue onto the PhD, I'll be taking the UG tutorials so it's getting to stage where it's redundant for me, i'm actually becoming an expert. I already work part time doing UG admissions help for Oxbridge and similar top institution entrance.

    My course had several diplomats, un workers, lobbyists, I'd be mad to compare the cohort quality to my UG who were equally bright (maybe brighter) but just not as motivated or complete with real world experience.

    To sum, I can't compare my experiences. I'm already working in the civil service and starting quite a prestigious graduate internship with a notable organisation soon and my range of options uk and abroad are immense. Another thing I'll add is I'm more proactive than most, basically it's what you make of your experience. I also was at a traditional old college and my university experience was very memorable.

    I had many an interesting chat with the UGS (although some were absolute mugs [same with PG] but most great chat) over hall too about their subjects and have good memories, I'm only 22 myself.

    On the labour market, when you apply for more senior roles in my field (development), you won't even get looked at without a master's, I can easily migrate abroad now, and i'm actually now thinking about a MBA in the US. Prestige etc has become redundant, university is a signalling device for some, it's probably very different if I didn't already have a prestigious PPE degree in the bag and was doing English or something.

    At master's level you also interact with people from Harvard, top regional universities, Stanford, Chicago, Oxford, LSE, Warwick, it's just different. You are getting beyond point where people are just doing a subject which they are good at, people are carefully thinking about careers etc.

    The university and UK gov also gave me £10k so I barely paid for my master's too in terms of tuition. Lucky, fortunate, I worked hard all I can say. Cambridge is life changing if you want it to be, it's what you make of it.
    Thanks for the detailed reply.

    It seems my impression of Oxbridge postgrad was misguided.

    (Original post by anonwinner)
    What are your thoughts on the quality/worth of postgrad courses at Oxbridge?

    I've heard that they don't do tutorials for postgrad students, and that Oxbridge is generally less prestigious for postgrad than undergrad.
    I don't think Oxbridge is necessarily less prestigious for postgrad than undergrad; for my subject (Law), the taught Masters programme is widely considered as one of the best in the world, and probably more prestigious than the BA.

    Personally though, having done both UG and PG at Oxford, I feel that I had better teaching as a UG. As a UG, I had tutorials every week (with optional lectures), whereas as a PG, teaching was predominantly through seminars and lectures. We did have tutorials, but there were only 4 per subject, spread throughout the entire academic year (ie a total of 16 for the entire year, versus +/- 36 for UG per year).

    I was also somewhat disappointed with the quality of some of my PG classmates (I was under the impression that they would be a lot stronger academically than my UG tutorial mates because of the high admission standards, but that wasn't the case), which in turn affected the learning experience. Most of them were fine, and some were very bright indeed, but a good number of them wasted precious contact time by asking very silly questions. That being said, I do think my UG tutorial mates were generally intelligent, took their work seriously, and came prepared for tutorials, which cannot be said of all UGs.

    (Original post by eli254)
    Thanks for the advice! I did so bad in first year because of my mental health problems, and I feel like even if i explained that to oxford, it would come off as me wanting sympathy and would do me no benefit either sigh. But let's just assume I did end up applying...the mid 2:1 would definitely hurt me more than benefit, correct? (even with a strong reference from a professor)
    Tbh if you have mental health problems, I would advise staying at Durham. Support for mental health at Oxford is (sadly) a bit hit-and-miss, in my experience (and that of lots of people I know or have spoken to about it). It's a place that would most likely exacerbate your issues :sad:

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    (Original post by eli254)
    I finished my first year at Durham this year (BA Politics), and i'm thinking about applying to oxford for PPE because I really think the course suits me better academically. I have never applied to Oxford before because it never appealed to me until my first year at durham.

    I don't know if it is worth it for me to apply though. I didn't think PPE would be the right course for me until now, and I really don't think I can do another year at Durham.

    And i'm sure tutors would be wondering about how if i wanted to switch a degree programme so badly, why didn't I just apply to other uni's with the PPE programme like KCL, UCL, even Durham again...but the truth is I didn't feel challenged enough at Durham and I don't think I would feel challenged enough at other schools I just listed.

    I also really like how Oxford structures its PPE programme and its academic environment. But i feel like if I wrote down in my personal statement on UCAS that the reason why i'm only applying to oxford's PPE (and no other uni) was i didn't feel challenged enough at Durham....it would look completely ridiculous because I couldn't even manage to get anything higher than a 2:1 (except for a 72 in one module, but also got a 59 in one module ugh ).

    I got a mid 2:1 for my first year.

    i know i rambled on a lot, but i just need some truthful advice, and if its even worth it for me to apply, and what oxford thinks about students applying with a 2:1.

    i know it sounds like i'm only applying to oxford because of its prestige, but it really isn't the case, and i would really appreciate it if people could help me with this keeping that in mind as hard as that might be.
    Why not do post graduate at Oxford instead?

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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Tbh if you have mental health problems, I would advise staying at Durham. Support for mental health at Oxford is (sadly) a bit hit-and-miss, in my experience (and that of lots of people I know or have spoken to about it). It's a place that would most likely exacerbate your issues :sad:

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Just to add, the pastoral support at Cambridge for disability is amazing, so much better than Warwick. When I dislocated my knee, they made provision if need to use taxis (linked to college), faculty amazingly considerate of the fact I just couldn't work and with my own anxiety stuff, disability services were amazing.

    Having spoken to lots of my friends who have studied at Oxford, they also had amazing support pastorally. Although, completely agree is variable but if you compare to other institutions, actually a lot better. Oxford and Cambridge have the resources to spend on it and do so. I'm doing university undergraduate admission work, and been in touch with a few organisations who look at data and things, and the data does support it.

    It's the same for outreach, they spend so much more than comparable institutions like LSE, Warwick etc etc (because they can).

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