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  • Getting into Oxbridge for Postgraduate Study

TSR Wiki > University > Postgraduate Education > Getting into Oxbridge for Postgraduate Study

Getting into Oxbridge for Postgraduate Study

This page (which you can edit) is part of The Student Room's information and advice about Oxford and Cambridge (known collectively as Oxbridge). Whilst the two universities have have much in common, they also have many differences. Our information on the application procedure and interviews applies to both.

If you have questions, or just want to chat, come join us in TSR's Oxford forum and Cambridge forum.

University of Oxford: Guide & Discussion Forum
How to choose a CollegeCollege Pros and Cons
A Week in the Life: of an Arts Student or of a Science Student
FAQ: CollegesApplyingUniversity Life

University of Cambridge: Guide & Discussion Forum
How to choose a CollegeCollege Pros and Cons
A Week in the Life: of an Arts Student or of a Science Student


The following information is also portrayed in this thread on the forums. This article aims to provide a summary of the information provided in the threads linked to from there about postgraduate study at Oxbridge and also provide direct links to where you can discuss these topics further. It will take time to develop every section, so please feel free to help out where you can.

You can also use the forums if you have any other questions about postgraduate study at Oxbridge or questions about a specific degree scheme, or a specifically related to Oxford or Cambridge, please use the main Oxbridge forums.

Contents

The Basics

Here are the basic details for applying for both universities

Cambridge

Cambridge entry requirements

Variations may occur between different faculties, so you should check the specific admission criteria for the particular course you want to apply for. Cambridge provides a statistical breakdown of applications received, overall and for individual courses, at CamDATA. Many faculties also provide their annual reports for download.

Oxford

Oxford entry requirements

Again, variations may occur between different faculties, so you should check the specific admission criteria for the particular course you want to apply for. Oxford do not seem to provide the statistics of the number of applicants for particular courses, unlike Cambridge.

If you are not from the UK and you are unsure as to whether your degree is comparable to undergraduate degrees provided in the UK, Oxford recommends that you utilise this website: http://www.naric.org.uk/ (National Recognition Information Centre). Be aware that you have to pay for this service.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following list is of a number of frequently asked questions, together with links to the forums to provide more information. Obviously, if these threads do not answer your questions, feel free to start a thread in the forums [use the links at the top of this article] FAQs include:

  • General "How do I get into Oxbridge" question
  • Do they take GCSEs/A Levels into account?
  • I went to a top tier uni, what do I need to get into Oxbridge?
  • I went to a lower tier uni, can I still get into Oxbridge?
  • Subject-specific links
  • Others


General "How do I get into Oxbridge" questions

Oxbridge Postgraduate

Postgrad at Oxbridge

Oxbridge postgrad study

Oxbridge English postgrad study (Entry requirements query)

Applying to English Masters at Oxbridge (Entry requirements query)

Going onto Oxbridge after Uni of London

Chances of getting into an MSc at Oxbridge


Are Joint Honours a disadvantage for Oxbridge Masters?

There's no reason why the fact that you're doing a joint undergraduate degree should decrease your chances of getting onto any masters programme[1]. So long as you cover the correct areas and topics within your degree that are needed for the postgraduate study you will have as good a chance of being acceptable as someone doing single honors.

You can discuss this more on the forums: Joint Honours a disadvantage for Oxbridge Masters?


Postgrad degrees (Entry requirements query)

Taught Masters Application

MA: Chances from lower tier uni

Graduate Application to Oxbridge with a 2.2


How are individual module results looked at?

When making your application you will need to include a transcript for your degree - basically it's an official document showing all your module results. How this is interpreted could vary for candidates from different universities/courses due to different syllabuses and grading systems in use at each place[2]. However, in general, they take into consideration your final predictions. Also, I do think they tend to take into higher consideration modules which are relevant to the course you're applying for, yet that doesn't mean you can get away with 3rds in irrelevant modules[3].

You can discuss this more on the forums here:


Admission easier for postgrad?

Stepping up a University level at postgrad

Political Masters Courses

Does the ranking of your university affect where you can go for postgrad?

It shouldn't, no. If you are a strong applicant with a strong application then your university shouldn't affect things at all. The admissions tutors will be able to pick out the best students wherever you did your undergraduate studies.

You normally should expect stronger or weaker offers depending on where you studies either. The academic offers are usually very individual, based on your achievement, references and interview (if applicable). Having a senior academic say that you have the potential to be a good research student is far more important than where you went to university[4].

You can discuss this more on the forums here:

Do they take GCSEs/A Levels into account?

Generally you'd have to say A Levels grades aren't that important - in fact many application forms will not have a place for them. You could still add them as supporting information however, especially if you got very good grades. Some courses may require you to send in a CV for your application. Again you do not have to put A Level grades here either if you don't want to - indeed some might advise that pre-university academic qualifications don't need to be on a CV for graduates.

However, whether you need to state your A Level grades as part of your application could vary for different courses, so you're best double checking for whichever course you're choosing to make sure you get it right. But the bottom line is your first degree classification is much more important as an indicator of academic achievement and in many cases you won't need to even mention your A Level grades.

When it comes to GCSEs, you're safe saying they are even less important than A Levels - the unis will be more interested in your current ability and successes than something you did five or more years ago.


You can discuss this more on the forums here:

I went to a top tier uni, what do I need to get into Oxbridge?

Going onto Oxbridge after Uni of London

Oxbridge chances

Graduate Application to Oxbridge

Postgrad at Oxbridge

I went to a lower tier uni, can I still get into Oxbridge?

Does the ranking of your university affect where you can go for postgrad?

Stepping up a University level at postgrad

Module Results

MA: Chances from lower tier uni

I did joint honours, will that affect my application to Oxbridge?

Joint Honours a disadvantage for Oxbridge Masters?

Oxbridge English postgrad study

Postgrad degrees

Subject Specific

Computer Science - Chances of getting into an MSc

Like with most postgrad degrees at Oxbridge, or indeed anywhere, having a very strong average module mark, great references and a good personal statement are the most important things. Work experience could also be key in some cases - so it's worth checking with the university to see how important, if at all, it is for the specific computer science MSc you're thinking of applying for. You'd need to do this well in advance of applying though, to give yourself time to sort some out if required.

The reputation of your university is not so important provided you are a strong candidate. The admissions tutors will be able to pick out who has the best potential for the course whether you're from what are considered the top universities or not.

Each course will have publicised minimum requirements on their website and in the prospectuses. If you meet these requirements and want to apply, do it. You have nothing to lose. At the end of the day if you meet the requirements and present them with a strong application you've done all you can and it just comes down to the strength of the other candidates who apply as to whether you succeed.

You can discuss this more on the forums here:

English

Oxbridge English postgrad study

Applying to English Masters at Oxbridge

Postgrad at Oxbridge

Medieval Literature Postgrad

History

Joint Honours a disadvantage for Oxbridge Masters?

Islamic Studies

Islam/Finance/Oxbridge

Politics

Political Masters courses

Russian Studies

MSc Russian Studies at Oxford

Others

Why do people think…

Other Sources

Cambridge Union Graduate Forum. Cambridge's GU provide a forum for applicants to post their queries and discuss concerns they may have regarding the application process.

Comments

  • The information for the article was taken from this thread

Also See

Got postgrad questions which aren't covered above? Then visit the Postgraduate Forum to get your answers.


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