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What's better - a 2.1 from Oxbridge or a first from Aston? Watch

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    (Original post by joe_bromfield)
    It depends on the individual.

    When I graduated from Aston in 2010 I was the top student in the entire university. Not just in my subject, but across ALL subjects. I averaged well over 80%. I then went on to blitz MSc Economics at the University of Bristol and now I'm doing a PhD.

    Reasons I went to Aston: I had a rough time at college and didn't work very hard in my A levels at all (only got ABBB), and I also needed to stay in Birmingham for family reasons.

    Is someone who got a 2:1 from Oxford or Cambridge better than me?! Definitely not. But it completely depends on the individual, which is why employers conduct interviews instead of just hiring on the basis of the CV alone.
    Get off your high horse mate!! Achievement is not measured in how well you do at uni.
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    (Original post by Nichrome)
    I think that the current system of external examination is a sham and there is absolutely no equality in standards across institutions, rendering classifications completely useless.
    How so?
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    1st at aston is equivalent to 1 years experience at primark
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    2.1 at Oxbridge.

    Assuming the course was the same, I think it would be harder to achieve a 2.1 at Oxbridge than a 1st at Aston.
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    (Original post by Nichrome)
    In terms of what's better, I would say it's better to get a first from anywhere rather than a 2.1 from Oxbridge.
    That's clearly not true, and if it were it begs the question: why on earth are people struggling in such fierce competition for Oxbridge when they could simply go to Bangor and get a first - and according to you, be in a better position? It's obviously nonsense. You only have to look at the jobs Oxbridge graduates will secure (the majority of whom have a 2.1) compared to lower ranked universities and all that competition is understood.

    An Oxbridge 2.1 will open up far more opportunities than a Sunderland or Chichester first. However, it's probably better to get a first from anywhere than an Oxbridge 2.2 simply because you will be auto-filtered from graduate jobs requiring a 2.1, which nearly all do.

    (Original post by Nichrome)
    I think that the current system of external examination is a sham and there is absolutely no equality in standards across institutions, rendering classifications completely useless.
    I agree - and not just across universities, but also across subjects. E.g. compare the amount of science graduates who get a first compared to the amount of arts graduates.
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    (Original post by noobynoo)
    Depends on the prejudices of your employer I expect.

    A 2.1 from Oxbridge would make me think you got in to Oxbridge because your parents kept a tight leash on your learning but when you actually got there you failed miserably.

    A first from Aston (whatever that is) may make me think your a high achiever but lack the self confidence to have applied to Oxbridge.

    IDK.
    A 2.1 from Oxbridge is far from a failure, few people get firsts, and the people who do are really the best of the best. I can tell you that certainly in maths that our example sheets (and then so our exams) are much more difficult than some other universities'. I've looked at Imperial maths example sheets and found them to be nothing short of a joke to get through whereas I struggle to complete 3/4 of a Cambridge example sheet.

    And certainly I know of people who have gotten firsts in maths in other universities (that will not be named) who certainly are not as good at maths as people in my college struggling to get 2:2s.

    I'm sure I'll get a lot of stick for this post but I'm telling it how it is. That isn't to say that you're instantly better if you have a 2.1 from Oxbridge over a 1st elsewhere - but it definitely can often be the case.
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    Oxford 2:1, nowadays a 1st doesn't differentiate you from the whole other students having 1st's. Also Oxford is prestigious across the world
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    2:1 oxford will get you interviews more so than a 1st from aston...unfortunate truth.

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    Aston has a higher graduate rate than oxford.
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    Let's put it this way; if there was a standard Finals exam for all 3rd year students across the country, who would do better - the person who would otherwise get an Upper Second from Oxford, or the person who would otherwise get a First from Aston?

    I think we take a clue from that fact that the Oxford student will have almost certainly outperformed his peer at A-Level. Add to this a far more rigorous and strenuous education in the following 3 years, and I'm fairly certain that the Oxford student would gain a higher raw mark. The 2.1 he/she achieves at Oxford is an indicator of their ability next to Oxford Firsts, and not a uniform grade comparable to 2.1s from less prestigious unis.

    Basically, Oxbridge is extremely tough. The workload is just immense, and sustained throughout 3 years. I had two essays due in by the end of Freshers Week. For many friends at other unis, that was all the work they did in a term.
    It's no surprise that Oxbridge grads tend to dominate in the high-profile careers in politics, media, law, banking, etc.
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    (Original post by yaboy)
    1st at aston is equivalent to 1 years experience at primark
    I had no idea I was so qualified.

    I think it would depend on the course and the employer. When I got a job in a lab at 17, my years worth of work experience (yep, a chunk of that at Primark!) got me the same job as 2.1s in psychology, cancer pharmacology, ecology and forensic science. It got me a better job than some degrees would have. To be honest, as someone who has shortlisted people for interview I'd interview both people (assuming CVs were up to scratch of course) as they have both shown a significant amount of knowledge and dedication to get those results, then it would come down to the sort of person they were.
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    (Original post by joe_bromfield)
    It depends on the individual.

    When I graduated from Aston in 2010 I was the top student in the entire university. Not just in my subject, but across ALL subjects. I averaged well over 80%. I then went on to blitz MSc Economics at the University of Bristol and now I'm doing a PhD.

    Reasons I went to Aston: I had a rough time at college and didn't work very hard in my A levels at all (only got ABBB), and I also needed to stay in Birmingham for family reasons.

    Is someone who got a 2:1 from Oxford or Cambridge better than me?! Definitely not. But it completely depends on the individual, which is why employers conduct interviews instead of just hiring on the basis of the CV alone.
    To be brutally honest, I’d say they probably are better, if we’re talking purely about academic achievement. Many people don’t work hard in their A-levels but still get the straight A/A* grades they need for Oxbridge. Go on to land themselves a 2.1 and they’re well in line for further academia or jobs in banking, consultancy, etc.

    Would you rate your First from Aston below someone who achieves a double-starred First from the University of Roehampton?
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    (Original post by Bill_Gates)
    Aston has a higher graduate rate than oxford.
    I take it what's meant by this is the graduate employment rate But that's a bit misleading in this context, and for several reasons.

    The first is that Aston is very heavily vocational on the whole - its courses typically have an obvious workplace applicability and this is supplemented by placements and sandwich years. Oxford meanwhile is turning out some substantial proportion of its grads in courses including classics, theology, and oriental studies. Adjust for these and compare like for like and my suspicion is that Oxford engineers or biochemists do quite as well in securing graduate jobs as their Aston counterparts.

    Another point is that statistics for graduate employment collect those people who are in work or further study 6 months after graduation. What this means is that the figures will be distorted by those in the happy position of being able to bide their time in job-finding. Some small percentage of Oxford's graduating cohort, yes, but perhaps enough to affect placing on this metric.

    The third consideration is the "better prospects for employment" cannot be parsed as "prospects for better employment".
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    What happened to the 140 characters thing??
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    (Original post by playingcards)
    To be brutally honest, I’d say they probably are better, if we’re talking purely about academic achievement.
    With specific regard to this lad, as he describes it, no way in the world. He got the highest marks in the whole graduating cohort of his entirely respectable university and went on to "blitz" (which I take it means get a distinction) in a masters degree at Bristol. That course will have a history of taking people with Oxbridge firsts, never mind, 2.1s, such that his performance here against Oxbridge grads who are certainly taking it seriously admits of a comparing like for like.
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    This has been done a million times.

    Employers look at far more than just the number next to your degree. Presumably if your prospective job is any good it will require an interview. If the only thing you've got to say about "why are you right for this job?" is "well I went to a better university so my degree is worth more" you will get laughed out of the building without so much as a handshake.

    Unless a University is complete horseturd, then the better the grade, the better you've done.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    What happened to the 140 characters thing??
    I think there's a bug where if you quote someone you can get away with putting as many characters as you like.
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    I think employers are more interested in the result of your degree and not where you went to do the degree.Therefore I would say 1st Aston.
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    I would say for a bog standard 2:1, employers will differentiate by comparing the institution, but if it's a first then it beats everything. Top trumps!

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    I have a 1st from an RG, and my friend has an Oxford 2:1 in the same subject.

    He did far more work at uni than I, did more research and essays, covered more material and probably remembers more of his subject than I.

    Undoubtedly he has had a much more comprehensive uni education.

    Could I have got a first there? Could he have got a first from my uni? I don't know- our degrees were just too different.

    Oxbridge is harder. That is the simple fact. It is more intense, there is more work to do in less time, the work is more difficult and it is assessed in a more difficult manner.

    For this reason, it is better respected. I'm not sure I'd rather have an Oxbridge 2:1 than my 1st. I'd certainly take it over a 1st from Aston for 80% of subjects.


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