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    Hello,

    I have also applied, I had to contact the admin team in order to get them to complete my application - might be worth sending them an e-mail, although I assume you have already!
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    (Original post by sj27)
    I don't remember any question about non-academic activities...maybe because I too would not have put anything. There are people who live in or near Cambridge anyway and some that have moved there for the course, so that would apply more to them. You're not obliged or expected to do anything non-academic, but if you want to you have all the options a fulltime student would. One of our classmates has been very involved with her college's rowing team for example.
    Okay, I stared at this question for a minute or two and have come to the conclusion this just may have been a spelling error on the part of Cambridge, which changes the meaning. The question as it appears reads:

    You may provide details here of our non-academic activities or any special circumstances not evident from other answers in this application that you wish to draw to the attention of the assessors of your application.

    I believe this is supposed to read "your", not "our".

    Nonetheless, I'm still confused about this question. Other sections ask for professional background or career goals. Should this question be treated as an opportunity to explain issues in one's application materials (e.g. if one had an undergraduate degree in an atypical area like biology, etc.) or should one summarize hobbies and non-curricular interests? Or both? I don't have "special circumstances" that require explanation so I'm inclined to provide information about personal interests so that I don't leave it blank, but I'm also afraid that might make me look like a little bit of a rube if I inject into a graduate school application that I like mountain biking, etc.
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    (Original post by carmex)
    Okay, I stared at this question for a minute or two and have come to the conclusion this just may have been a spelling error on the part of Cambridge, which changes the meaning. The question as it appears reads:

    You may provide details here of our non-academic activities or any special circumstances not evident from other answers in this application that you wish to draw to the attention of the assessors of your application.

    I believe this is supposed to read "your", not "our".

    Nonetheless, I'm still confused about this question. Other sections ask for professional background or career goals. Should this question be treated as an opportunity to explain issues in one's application materials (e.g. if one had an undergraduate degree in an atypical area like biology, etc.) or should one summarize hobbies and non-curricular interests? Or both? I don't have "special circumstances" that require explanation so I'm inclined to provide information about personal interests so that I don't leave it blank, but I'm also afraid that might make me look like a little bit of a rube if I inject into a graduate school application that I like mountain biking, etc.
    Ah, yes it is meant to be "your".
    I found the form kind of bitty in that what would normally be one personal statement gets broken up into bits and you have to figure out what to put where without repeating yourself. In that section I recall mentioning some factors that I thought would support the application that were not clear elsewhere (a previous Cam offer that I had had to turn down for funding reasons, emphasising the fact that I had done my previous degree part time as well, and,..I know there was a third but I can't recall it now).
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    A few other questions if anyone would be so kind:

    1 - While there are a number of other spelling errors in the application forms, I've been able to decipher most of them, but this one (in the self-service system) I want to make sure I'm interpreting correctly:
    "Information regarding the time of reference required, and the topics it should cover, can found [SIC] in the Supporting Documents section of the relevant entry of the Course Directory."
    The absence of a "be" between "found" and "in" is no problem. My question is if I'm correct in assuming "time" should be "type"? The only reason I hesitate to draw that conclusion is there is no information on the type of referees or topics references should cover in the course directory beyond they provide "academic or professional" references. Is this actually a statement about timing and deadlines and I'm erroneously assuming "time" is a spelling error?

    2 - The self-service application asks one to upload a personal statement. However, in completing the application form I included the substance of my personal statement in the three qualification questions because the "Supporting Documents" guide advises: "
    Applicants are encouraged to provide information within the application form about their motivation forapplying [SIC] for the course and to outline relevant experience and interests". Did I, in fact, erroneously include personal statement-like information in the application form and I should have uploaded this separately? If not, and I upload a personal statement that is essentially a copy of information contained in the form, will that be viewed negatively?
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    I can't answer 2 as that did not happen to me in the last round. What you should be asked for is upload of a research proposal - did you get that?

    Also - re you saying no info on reference topics - (because I knew my referees well ) I can tell you that once you have listed someone as a referee, they get sent a reference request form that lists in some detail the types of things they should address in the reference. I do seem to recall them saying they would prefer at least one academic reference but understandable if some don't have given the target cohort - so I am surprised there isn't anything like this again?

    As for typos confusing the meaning, I suggest you actually contact ICE about that. They should embarassedly answer :laugh: and then fix the problem.
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    I presume you saw this, linked from the main MSt info page. Says academic or professional references, the personal statement bit they say provide within the application form so you shouldnt need to upload separately..http://cdn.ice.cam.ac.uk/course-mate...f997f/id/21642
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    I simply put 'please see attached personal statement' in those boxes, which made sense to me.

    With regard to references, I provided two academic referees. I also emailed the department regarding the 'permission from work' form, stating I was not keen on discussing the course with work until I had received an offer. This was fine, pasted email contents into a pdf document and uploaded.

    I would not be overly concerned with nuances on the site, just follow the advice in the booklet and apply. References are added after you submit by the way, in case that was also confusing.

    I had thesis interview last night, so I can assume that my application was at least presented competently :-)
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    (Original post by timmymagic)
    I simply put 'please see attached personal statement' in those boxes, which made sense to me.

    With regard to references, I provided two academic referees. I also emailed the department regarding the 'permission from work' form, stating I was not keen on discussing the course with work until I had received an offer. This was fine, pasted email contents into a pdf document and uploaded.

    I would not be overly concerned with nuances on the site, just follow the advice in the booklet and apply. References are added after you submit by the way, in case that was also confusing.

    I had thesis interview last night, so I can assume that my application was at least presented competently :-)
    Out of curiousity - did they indicate why they wanted to interview you?
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    Yes, to determine how suitable the proposed thesis supervisor is and to gain a bit more information on the topic and area of study - my proposal was quite vague and broad. I got the impression I would not have been interviewed had my proposal been more narrow and defined, although the interviewer did not say that exactly.

    Hoping to receive a decision by the end of the week.
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    Good luck!
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    Thanks :--)

    How have you found the programme? Presumably you are finishing off your thesis at the moment? Good luck! :--)
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    (Original post by sj27)
    As for typos confusing the meaning, I suggest you actually contact ICE about that. They should embarassedly answer :laugh: and then fix the problem.
    There are a lot of problems with grammar and spelling throughout. I was actually quite shocked as I've declined offers from much lesser schools (though I'm starting to reconsider whether they really are all that much lesser) that don't have any spelling/grammar errors. I'm surprised, honestly, that English composition is an issue at this level. It's, frankly, a pretty bad omen when an American, for chrissakes, is critiquing the English language skills of the oldest (?) university in England.

    Anyway, I'm holding my tongue for now and just trying to decipher the meanings of these <ahem> creative spellings and word constructions as I'm pretty sure if I actually sent in a list of all of them it would not be received kindly!
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    (Original post by timmymagic)
    Thanks :--)

    How have you found the programme? Presumably you are finishing off your thesis at the moment? Good luck! :--)
    Well, 'finishing up' is perhaps a stretch but deep in it, yes! I've loved the course; the range of options is great and the generally experienced cohort adds another dimension (something the kecturers comment on too - more than one has said they enjoy teaching the MSt more than the MPhil because of it). But be warned, it is a lot of work, especially if you are coming from a non-IR background. There is no allowance made in grading for the fact that you have a job/family/business trip when the essay is due etc, it is graded on its own merits to the usual Cambridge graduate standard. So an insane amount of work, especially if you are aiming for a distinction, but intensely rewarding.

    (Original post by carmex)
    There are a lot of problems with grammar and spelling throughout. I was actually quite shocked as I've declined offers from much lesser schools (though I'm starting to reconsider whether they really are all that much lesser) that don't have any spelling/grammar errors. I'm surprised, honestly, that English composition is an issue at this level. It's, frankly, a pretty bad omen when an American, for chrissakes, is critiquing the English language skills of the oldest (?) university in England.

    Anyway, I'm holding my tongue for now and just trying to decipher the meanings of these <ahem> creative spellings and word constructions as I'm pretty sure if I actually sent in a list of all of them it would not be received kindly!
    I'm amazed at this actually...I would definitely have noticed if this had been the case when i applied. I'm perfectly happy to let them know !!!
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    (Original post by carmex)
    Insofar as I can tell, this is not a duplication of an existing thread, if it is, my apologies. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has experience with Cambridge's MSt in International Relations taught via ICE? Specifically, a few questions:

    - What is the age range of students? It’s been about ten years since I received my undergraduate degree, would that make me relatively old?
    - During the two-week residential sessions, about how many hours per day are devoted to class-work (i.e. lectures and seminars)?
    - I haven’t been able to get an entirely clear answer to this question elsewhere, but does anyone know if applications are reviewed after the deadline or on a rolling basis? That is, are my chances improved by applying early?
    - What are relative undergraduate grades of successful applicants? I’m in the United States and my final grade point average was 3.74 which, I believe, is equivalent to a UK 2i honors, though I think just at the cut-off point. (In applying to U.S. schools my chances have been improved as I had a Graduate Record Exam [GRE] score in the 95th percentile, unfortunately for me, no one outside the U.S. cares about that, ha.) Also, does Cambridge evaluate heavily the relative prestige of your undergraduate institution? My undergraduate degree is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, would this make me less competitive than someone with a lower undergraduate grade, but from, say, Harvard or Yale?

    Thanks very much in advance for any help.
    I heard from a few people who had only a 'brief encounter' with ICE. I d advise find the turnover of students, read extremely carefully the documentation of the place and specs before you pay. Find out about the qualifications publications of the staff that is actually going to teach you and make sure you undestand eveything. Find if ICE can change any part of the programme and its terms and conditions. The ICE operates its own rules and so you need to know to what exntend and who will be esponsible for teaching, supevision, assessment etc. and to whatwould the University provide for you and who / how many will be dealing with your study - one place or two?.

    I ve heard certain Diplomas and Certificates have a range age that would be above what I guess is yours. Some will be professionals as well.

    Why would you not try a straight University? With 95th percentile sure you get in many. You say you have not been able to get an entirely clear answer but they should provide answers.
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    (Original post by sj27)
    I can't answer 2 as that did not happen to me in the last round. What you should be asked for is upload of a research proposal - did you get that?

    Also - re you saying no info on reference topics - (because I knew my referees well ) I can tell you that once you have listed someone as a referee, they get sent a reference request form that lists in some detail the types of things they should address in the reference. I do seem to recall them saying they would prefer at least one academic reference but understandable if some don't have given the target cohort - so I am surprised there isn't anything like this again?

    As for typos confusing the meaning, I suggest you actually contact ICE about that. They should embarassedly answer :laugh: and then fix the problem.
    They should not have any errors in an application form.
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    (Original post by carmex)
    There are a lot of problems with grammar and spelling throughout. I was actually quite shocked as I've declined offers from much lesser schools (though I'm starting to reconsider whether they really are all that much lesser) that don't have any spelling/grammar errors. I'm surprised, honestly, that English composition is an issue at this level. It's, frankly, a pretty bad omen when an American, for chrissakes, is critiquing the English language skills of the oldest (?) university in England.

    Anyway, I'm holding my tongue for now and just trying to decipher the meanings of these <ahem> creative spellings and word constructions as I'm pretty sure if I actually sent in a list of all of them it would not be received kindly!
    Not good to have that many errors. Have you tried applying to other places?
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    I have a feeling the website was contracted out perhaps, not written by the staff at ICE/Cambridge. Either way, it is still pretty shocking - but the actual handout that explains how to apply is very clear and professionally written as you would expect.

    The course itself, when you look it up and compare lecturers etc., is essentially the MPhil taught in a different manner. In fact, other than the timings of lectures etc., it looks exactly the same. It would also appear that MSt graduates have gone onto good PHD programmes, so I cannot see where you can go wrong. In fact, it is more puzzling as to why you would choose the MPhil over the MSt when you factor in lost wages - perhaps if you could get funding for the full time programme and wanted to fully experience living at Cambridge?

    The lecturer I was interviewed by commented on how Cambridge was quite 'late to the party' of part-time education, but had started to catch up in the last 15 years. It is a shame Cambridge/Oxford do not provide more part-time degrees, but as I mentioned in another thread, LSE are pretty much the same. They have designated executive programmes, but the part-time element to their general programmes is sadly lacking. I guess perhaps 'part-time' has a certain stigma attached to it.
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    (Original post by timmymagic)
    I have a feeling the website was contracted out perhaps, not written by the staff at ICE/Cambridge. Either way, it is still pretty shocking - but the actual handout that explains how to apply is very clear and professionally written as you would expect.

    The course itself, when you look it up and compare lecturers etc., is essentially the MPhil taught in a different manner. In fact, other than the timings of lectures etc., it looks exactly the same. It would also appear that MSt graduates have gone onto good PHD programmes, so I cannot see where you can go wrong. In fact, it is more puzzling as to why you would choose the MPhil over the MSt when you factor in lost wages - perhaps if you could get funding for the full time programme and wanted to fully experience living at Cambridge?

    The lecturer I was interviewed by commented on how Cambridge was quite 'late to the party' of part-time education, but had started to catch up in the last 15 years. It is a shame Cambridge/Oxford do not provide more part-time degrees, but as I mentioned in another thread, LSE are pretty much the same. They have designated executive programmes, but the part-time element to their general programmes is sadly lacking. I guess perhaps 'part-time' has a certain stigma attached to it.
    The College at the Univesity of London that offers part-time programmes is Birkbeck.
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    (Original post by gloriainexcelsis)
    Not good to have that many errors. Have you tried applying to other places?
    I have and, after giving it some thought over the last few days, have decided not to proceed with applying to Cambridge. Things like spelling and grammar errors in university-produced materials is just too much of a bad omen to gamble $32K on. I'm not saying this is not, perhaps, a fine programme, but if it can't present itself competently and professionally to the outside world the relative value of the degree will be depreciated regardless of whether it is the greatest IR programme on planet Earth.
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    Hahaha - if it was not for the fact it is Cambridge, I would probably feel the same.
 
 
 
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