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Getting into Oxbridge for Postgraduate Study

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    (Original post by LBC213)
    For postgrad applications to Oxbridge, and Camb in particular, they don't give a monkeys about extra-curriculars and there is no PS, just a small space to write a couple of paragraphs on why you want to do that particular course. I've talked to a few course admissions people at Cambridge and if you have 1) A high 1st (2.1s are rare) and 2) Excellent recommendations 3) Well written and thought out reasons for doing the course then you stand a very good chance of getting the offer.

    Almost all of the courses do not interview either, though may invite you for a "chat" after being given the offer. Being from Liverpool university won't that much of a hold back, you help yourself by being at other top unis but it certainly won't hold you back as much as some people here think it will. My personal tutor at Cambridge did her undergraduate at Cambridge's other university, Anglia Polytechnic University (APU), which is known for all the opposite reasons to Cambridge University. She got admitted to do a PhD and is now director of studies for her course at the college. Another person I knew came from UEA. Liverpool isn't that bad, and has a decent reputation in engineering/computing anyway.
    You are wrong about the "small place to write a couple of paragraphs". Most courses require you to attach a seperate sheet outlining your reasons for applying. You are also wrong about the interviews. For most MScs at Cam you are called for an interview. Lastly, getting in usually has to do with the standard of the rest of the people applying with you. Oxbridge attracts a large ammount of US students(ivy league) and usually they are preferred.
    When i applied to Cam the "requirement" was only a 2:1 degree. Apparently most of the people in my year have a couple of masters on top of BScs and some of them also hold a PhD and they claim they do it to change their career path.
    As for whether the uni matters, i think that what matters more is how good the applicant is. Even if you are from the lowest ranking uni, having excellent marks and references that say you've accomplished a lot throughout your degree(and also have a very good final year project) makes you a very attractive candidate.
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    You're right, they do want more than a couple of paragraphs: I wrote a whole three paragraphs of personal statement to get into my DPhil place at Oxford .

    Incidentally, there was a large press furore a few years back about some postgraduate courses (graduate entry medicine being the main one) at Oxford having a list of which universities should always get an interview and which only for exceptional candidates, so it clearly does matter to an extent.



    edit: I'm fairly sure Liverpool was very much the upper half of the list though - I'd imagine google will know.
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    It's weird I always though that Liverpool was a good university. To hear people on this thread you would think that it was some crappy ex-poly. Don't worry too much if you don't get into Oxbridge, their reputations at postgraduate level are not as massive as at undergraduate level there are other very good places to go.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    It's weird I always though that Liverpool was a good university. To hear people on this thread you would think that it was some crappy ex-poly. Don't worry too much if you don't get into Oxbridge, their reputations at postgraduate level are not as massive as at undergraduate level there are other very good places to go.
    Lest you forget, this is TSR. Unless you're at Oxbridge, 99% of posters think your uni is worthless.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    It's weird I always though that Liverpool was a good university.
    Well quite, so did I. My A-level physics teacher went there, as did someone fantastically good on my MSc course.
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    (Original post by Platocrates)
    Lest you forget, this is TSR. Unless you're at Oxbridge, 99% of posters think your uni is worthless.
    Correction:

    Lest you forget, this is TSR. Unless you're at Oxbridge or LSE, 99% of posters think your uni is worthless.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    It's weird I always though that Liverpool was a good university. To hear people on this thread you would think that it was some crappy ex-poly. Don't worry too much if you don't get into Oxbridge, their reputations at postgraduate level are not as massive as at undergraduate level there are other very good places to go.
    It's a 'good' but not a 'great' uni.
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    (Original post by rhododendron)
    Correction:

    Lest you forget, this is TSR. Unless you're at Oxbridge or LSE, 99% of posters think your uni is worthless.
    LSE, schmellessee...
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    L to the S to the E..u get me...repping the LSE town...holla back y'all.
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    (Original post by rhododendron)
    It's a 'good' but not a 'great' uni.
    Essentially for this it isn't going to make the slightest bit of difference.
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    im sorry for that dweeb who is going to my uni next year
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    (Original post by alfieatthelse)
    im sorry for that dweeb who is going to my uni next year
    ha ha ha ha...wassup alfie? nice name.
    I had a goldfish called alfie once.
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    I am starting my undergraduate course soon with the Uniersity of London. Basically if I hould decide later to go on for a masters, I want to know if Oxbridge would consider me if I got a first, but didnt have perfect A-levels.

    Are A-Levels / GCSE grades important when you allready have a first and are applying for a masters?

    Thanks.
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    (Original post by student_kyle)
    I am starting my undergraduate course soon with the Uniersity of London. Basically if I hould decide later to go on for a masters, I want to know if Oxbridge would consider me if I got a first, but didnt have perfect A-levels.

    Are A-Levels / GCSE grades important when you allready have a first and are applying for a masters?

    Thanks.
    Which university in London are you going to? If it were LSE or UCL it would stand you in better stead than RHUL or QMUL.
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    Im going to QMUL... why would that make A LOT of difference? I understand that LSE and UCL have more prestige, but basically it comes down to money and funding. LSE and the like are in richer areas of London and have more money in general which makes the difference. But QMUL is a decent uni, its in the countries top 20, with applicants going from there to Oxford in the past.

    Surely Oxbridge wouldnt look upon a first from QMUL as 'less impressive' than say a first from Kings College.
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    Someone on this forum went to QMUL and is now at Oxford for a masters.

    I don't think they look at A-Levels at all. I don't recall mentioning my scores or grades from high school when I applied to PG courses.
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    (Original post by student_kyle)
    I am starting my undergraduate course soon with the Uniersity of London. Basically if I hould decide later to go on for a masters, I want to know if Oxbridge would consider me if I got a first, but didnt have perfect A-levels.

    Are A-Levels / GCSE grades important when you allready have a first and are applying for a masters?

    Thanks.
    Oxford: Some courses ask for a CV with the application, so if you put them on there, then no doubt they will look. However, there is no actual section on the form that asks for A levels.

    Cambridge: Same as above.
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    (Original post by Platocrates)
    Oxford: Some courses ask for a CV with the application, so if you put them on there, then no doubt they will look. However, there is no actual section on the form that asks for A levels.

    Cambridge: Same as above.
    But seriously don't put your A levels or any grades on your CV.
    a) Its naf.
    b) It looks like you have no other achievements and need to fill up the thing.

    I know you've just finished working your ass off for these grades, but they are really just your entrance ticket, after that the stakes are much higher.
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    Postgrad applications tend to ask only for university grades, but if you've got good A Levels, there's no harm in popping in a supplemental sheet stating what they are, along with your transcript, references and personal statement. I did this and got offers from everywhere I applied.

    If you got a 1st, you would be in a good position to apply to Oxbridge, even thought you're right in saying that there will be an element of university tier bias when it comes to what your 1st is worth.
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    Either way, to answer the OP's question; no, they are not important.

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