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    This has probably already been mentioned but getting a 2.1 at Cambridge is tough - you can work pretty hard and still not get one as I found out
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    (Original post by blue_shift86)
    Well put it this way. It's easier to get a 2:1 in a lower ranked university than a higher ranked one. And even within the Russel group it's easier to get a 2:1 in somewhere like UCL say, than somewhere like oxford or cambridge, because their programs are harder.

    So in summary: how hard it is depends on where you study.
    I like how you talk as if what you've said is correct and you've actually experianced "programs" from multiple unis to back up your claims
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    I can't be arsed to find statistics, but having had this discussion many times before (including with university staff) I am fairly confident stats would back up the following assertion:

    Arts and social science degree grades heavily cluster around a 2:1, whilst math and science degree grades have a considerably more even spread across the range 1st to 3rd.

    With an arts degree getting a 1st requires seriously hard work, but as long as you can write coherently and reference your essays then getting a 2:1 is relatively easy. I probably averaged less than 20 hours work a week to get a 2:1, and this was not at all uncommon. To get a 1st you have to work more like twice that, and so generally people just don't bother - I seem to remember only 2 or 3 people in my year got a 1st. You have 2 lectures a week, if you even bother going to those, so getting a 1st requires dozens of hours a week spent studying books in the library. Outside of those with serious ambitions to get a top-flight career or go into academia, there is no motivation to do so - you're better off either getting relevant extra-curricular experience, or just enjoying yourself.

    In the sciences there is no shortage of people with a natural aptitude who find large chunks of their course easy, and given the courses are lecture intensive, and people are under close supervision to hand in problem sheets and complete experiments, those who do have the aptitude are generally pushed to get a 1st. Then there are also plenty of people who get to university and find advanced level maths or physics is beyond them, or otherwise just really dislike their subject and don't make the effort to keep up with the workload, and struggle to achieve a 2:2 or a 3rd.
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    (Original post by VictorVaughn)
    Also I find it really funny that people get offended when someone says a science degree is harder or whatever-who cares?

    As long as you get a good grade, enjoy yourself at university and get a good job. Thats all that really matters.

    You guys need to stop being so touchy
    That's because on TSR some muppets make out as though the Arts students don't have to put in any work at all and uni is a cake walk.

    Plus, it is debatable as to which is hard because sciency subjects have absolute answers (right?) so it is possible to get a 100%, whereas Arts subjects its a bit more difficult because of the interpretation.

    Both types require a lot of work, I just think it's daft that people constantly say oh my degree is harder blah blah blah, at the end of the day, no degree is just handed out to you, we all have to put alot of effort in.
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    Motivation - first and foremost you have to have the motivation to attain a good degree. Not everyone has this.
    Study techniques - you need to find YOUR most effective and efficient methods of learning. They differ between people. I personally found lectures weren't that effective, so I compensated for this.
    Progress - you need to know how much progress you're making on a regular basis, so make sure you attempt problems sheets etc before classes, so you can measure your progress. Do not underestimate how much getting right answers will do to your confidence. If not, you can acquire feedback.
    Playing the game - your degree will be judged by various methods of assessment, so make sure you adapt yourself to each one.
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    (Original post by Dude Where's My Username)
    I like how you talk as if what you've said is correct and you've actually experianced "programs" from multiple unis to back up your claims
    but I did, why else would i make such a claim? I went to 3 different russel group unis and tried 4 different courses. Spent 5 years getting a BSc degree. And it was never my attempt to sound correct but merely put forth my personal experiences and beliefs
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    (Original post by blue_shift86)
    but I did, why else would i make such a claim? I went to 3 different russel group unis and tried 4 different courses. Spent 5 years getting a BSc degree. And it was never my attempt to sound correct but merely put forth my personal experiences and beliefs
    Now I know that, your claim has credibility. Still though, don't accredited courses have similar content, regardless of whether they're Russel Group or not? I can graduate with an Meng from my uni (Plymouth) with a 1st and still qualify for Chartership status and a chance at securing all the best Civil Engineering jobs, alongside Imperial and Oxford graduates. (As a side note, last year 10% got a 1st, 35% got a 2:1 on my course. I've no idea on stats for the two other afformentioned unis).

    Seeing as that's the case, would you say your claim is most likely limited to your discipline or my course is unusual in matching higher ranked unis for course content?
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    (Original post by Dude Where's My Username)
    Now I know that, your claim has credibility. Still though, don't accredited courses have similar content, regardless of whether they're Russel Group or not? I can graduate with an Meng from my uni (Plymouth) with a 1st and still qualify for Chartership status and a chance at securing all the best Civil Engineering jobs, alongside Imperial and Oxford graduates. (As a side note, last year 10% got a 1st, 35% got a 2:1 on my course. I've no idea on stats for the two other afformentioned unis).

    Seeing as that's the case, would you say your claim is most likely limited to your discipline or my course is unusual in matching higher ranked unis for course content?
    no idea about whether it's just my course but maths in oxford was harder than the maths program at ucl. there is more content at oxford and they teach u in a shorter time. For example i've compared stuff i did with kings college maths people and stuff i did in my first year at ox people at kings did in their 3rd year. So the degree at oxford was harder. Also think of it this way: Why would it be harder to get into oxford than ucl or kings college? If they all had the same programs, i donno about u, but i'd go for the lowest ranked uni to be around more normal people and do it over a longer period of time.

    Not got nothing against your degree, and i personally wish i'd gone to a normal uni like plymouth cos i made almost no friends in ucl cos it was full of posh people. I had class issues.
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    (Original post by CookieDoughLove)
    That's because on TSR some muppets make out as though the Arts students don't have to put in any work at all and uni is a cake walk.

    Plus, it is debatable as to which is hard because sciency subjects have absolute answers (right?) so it is possible to get a 100%, whereas Arts subjects its a bit more difficult because of the interpretation.

    Both types require a lot of work, I just think it's daft that people constantly say oh my degree is harder blah blah blah, at the end of the day, no degree is just handed out to you, we all have to put alot of effort in.
    I don't know about traditional science courses (Physics, Chemistry and Biology)-but some of the smartest people I know who have completed Maths or Meng degrees have had to work extremely hard to get firsts. They worked on average 100 hour weeks.

    Another issue is that over in N.America and Canada it is the norm for a capable student to get 80% or more to get a 'B' grade (equivalent to our 2.1). I never understood the point in marking out of 100 when no one in my degree has got higher than 70s (except for math or statistics modules).

    Actually that brings up another question-how many hours per week would you guys perceive as a lot of work?

    Personally I think 10 to 15 hours daily six months before exams is a lot. But an old teacher of mine directed me to do this amount at University. Then again he was from India
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    (Original post by James Gregory)
    I can't be arsed to find statistics, but having had this discussion many times before (including with university staff) I am fairly confident stats would back up the following assertion:

    Arts and social science degree grades heavily cluster around a 2:1, whilst math and science degree grades have a considerably more even spread across the range 1st to 3rd.

    With an arts degree getting a 1st requires seriously hard work, but as long as you can write coherently and reference your essays then getting a 2:1 is relatively easy. I probably averaged less than 20 hours work a week to get a 2:1, and this was not at all uncommon. To get a 1st you have to work more like twice that, and so generally people just don't bother - I seem to remember only 2 or 3 people in my year got a 1st. You have 2 lectures a week, if you even bother going to those, so getting a 1st requires dozens of hours a week spent studying books in the library. Outside of those with serious ambitions to get a top-flight career or go into academia, there is no motivation to do so - you're better off either getting relevant extra-curricular experience, or just enjoying yourself.

    In the sciences there is no shortage of people with a natural aptitude who find large chunks of their course easy, and given the courses are lecture intensive, and people are under close supervision to hand in problem sheets and complete experiments, those who do have the aptitude are generally pushed to get a 1st. Then there are also plenty of people who get to university and find advanced level maths or physics is beyond them, or otherwise just really dislike their subject and don't make the effort to keep up with the workload, and struggle to achieve a 2:2 or a 3rd.
    I agree with most of these points.

    You do find that on the arts and humanities virtually everybody gets a 2:1. There's a big difference between just scraping a 2:1 (on the border with a 2:2) and just missing a 1st....a big big difference in quality of student, but at the end of the day they both come out with a 2:1

    What I saw at uni was a lot of students who by the end of their 2nd year knew that they would not be good enough to get a 1st, but were safe enough after the first semester of 3rd year exams in a 2:1, to be fairly comfortable with a 2:1, so what happens is they start to wind down and slack off in their last semester. When they've worked out that they only need to average 55 in their final set of exams to get a 2:1 overall, they will end up averaging about 57. Some don't realise that further down the line that could end up counting against them when they send their transcript off to employers who see a pattern of marks....63, 65, 62, 58, 57, 56....it shows your the type of person who just does the minimum you need to

    On the science subjects there are students who 'get' the material and students who just don't get it. The ones who get it fly high and get 1sts, the ones who don't struggle to even get a 2:2. So you don't get the big clustering around 2:1s that you do in arts/humanities.

    The golden rule about getting a 2:1 is - don't fail anything, don't do resits. The moment you do a resit and end up with a score of 40 you're playing catch up and will need to do really well to get a 2:1. Usually people who do resits end up getting 2:2s.
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    (Original post by blue_shift86)
    no idea about whether it's just my course but maths in oxford was harder than the maths program at ucl. there is more content at oxford and they teach u in a shorter time. For example i've compared stuff i did with kings college maths people and stuff i did in my first year at ox people at kings did in their 3rd year. So the degree at oxford was harder. Also think of it this way: Why would it be harder to get into oxford than ucl or kings college? If they all had the same programs, i donno about u, but i'd go for the lowest ranked uni to be around more normal people and do it over a longer period of time.

    Not got nothing against your degree, and i personally wish i'd gone to a normal uni like plymouth cos i made almost no friends in ucl cos it was full of posh people. I had class issues.
    I'm sorry to hear about your experiance. At least you got to make up for it by going travelling afterwards

    You made a good point about the class thing. Plymouth isn't posh, but as I came from SE London, a lot of people here appear really middle class.....which I can tolerate. I'd go mad if I was surrounded by toffs. I can't stand them! I always said if I got a chance to go to Oxbridge, I wouldn't as I'd hate the overall experiance.

    I can believe what you're saying there. Doesn't Oxford only do (undergraduate) Master degrees though? There's a huge difference between the first year of BSc and first year Meng here too........
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    (Original post by Dude Where's My Username)
    Now I know that, your claim has credibility. Still though, don't accredited courses have similar content, regardless of whether they're Russel Group or not? I can graduate with an Meng from my uni (Plymouth) with a 1st and still qualify for Chartership status and a chance at securing all the best Civil Engineering jobs, alongside Imperial and Oxford graduates. (As a side note, last year 10% got a 1st, 35% got a 2:1 on my course. I've no idea on stats for the two other afformentioned unis).

    Seeing as that's the case, would you say your claim is most likely limited to your discipline or my course is unusual in matching higher ranked unis for course content?
    Look at the league tables on 'The Times' for various major engineering courses (Aero-Civil-Electrical)-there are a couple of uni's in the top 3 that were ranked higher than either Oxford or Cambridge (I don't remember specifically).

    I don't think it really matters if the content of courses is a little different so long as you are being trained in what you need to be trained in (Your developing the right skills) and employers want to hire you.

    N.B. Not that league tables are reliable seeing as academics are not the ones formulating them but rather newspapers.
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    (Original post by VictorVaughn)
    Actually that brings up another question-how many hours per week would you guys perceive as a lot of work?
    Hmm....anything more than 40 hours is a lot of work for me. During my uni days I worked about 20-30 hours a week including lectures. I made the decision that it wasn't worth the extra exponential time to get that first. Instead I concentrated on being well rounded and did extra curricular stuff.
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    (Original post by Dude Where's My Username)
    I'm sorry to hear about your experiance. At least you got to make up for it by going travelling afterwards

    You made a good point about the class thing. Plymouth isn't posh, but as I came from SE London, a lot of people here appear really middle class.....which I can tolerate. I'd go mad if I was surrounded by toffs. I can't stand them! I always said if I got a chance to go to Oxbridge, I wouldn't as I'd hate the overall experiance.

    I can believe what you're saying there. Doesn't Oxford only do (undergraduate) Master degrees though? There's a huge difference between the first year of BSc and first year Meng here too........
    oops, accidently negged u when i was quoting this (sorry). Anyhow, i hate toffs too. Oxford was full of em, as was ucl (but ucl to a lesser extent). I met one normal guy who was on my course at ucl and like me he was from the slums of NW london and we both commuted daily cos we were poor and he kept me sane like. If it wasn't for him i'd like have probably dropped out a 3rd time. No idea bout ox and whether they do undergrad masters (no idea wtf that is tbh!)

    When do you graduate? Much luck with jobs? No luck at my end. Degrees r useless.
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    (Original post by James Gregory)
    I can't be arsed to find statistics, but having had this discussion many times before (including with university staff) I am fairly confident stats would back up the following assertion:

    Arts and social science degree grades heavily cluster around a 2:1, whilst math and science degree grades have a considerably more even spread across the range 1st to 3rd.

    With an arts degree getting a 1st requires seriously hard work, but as long as you can write coherently and reference your essays then getting a 2:1 is relatively easy. I probably averaged less than 20 hours work a week to get a 2:1, and this was not at all uncommon. To get a 1st you have to work more like twice that, and so generally people just don't bother - I seem to remember only 2 or 3 people in my year got a 1st. You have 2 lectures a week, if you even bother going to those, so getting a 1st requires dozens of hours a week spent studying books in the library. Outside of those with serious ambitions to get a top-flight career or go into academia, there is no motivation to do so - you're better off either getting relevant extra-curricular experience, or just enjoying yourself.

    In the sciences there is no shortage of people with a natural aptitude who find large chunks of their course easy, and given the courses are lecture intensive, and people are under close supervision to hand in problem sheets and complete experiments, those who do have the aptitude are generally pushed to get a 1st. Then there are also plenty of people who get to university and find advanced level maths or physics is beyond them, or otherwise just really dislike their subject and don't make the effort to keep up with the workload, and struggle to achieve a 2:2 or a 3rd.
    Broadly speaking I don't disagree, but I think it's important to point out that this is all going to vary from subject to subject and from university to university (although I am aware it's not always just a matter of Oxbridge > Russel Group > everywhere else). I do an arts subject, but I have to put in 30-40 hours a week in term time as well as 20+ a week during most of the holidays in order to get a 2:1 on essays - if I did less than this my 2:1 would be too low for me to guarantee getting the grade in finals. I live next to a mathematician, and I'd say we put about the same amount of effort in to get roughly the same grades.
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    (Original post by marille)
    I live next to a mathematician.
    I feel your pain. I used to be one and know exactly how weird mathmos can be!
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    (Original post by blue_shift86)
    oops, accidently negged u when i was quoting this (sorry). Anyhow, i hate toffs too. Oxford was full of em, as was ucl (but ucl to a lesser extent). I met one normal guy who was on my course at ucl and like me he was from the slums of NW london and we both commuted daily cos we were poor and he kept me sane like. If it wasn't for him i'd like have probably dropped out a 3rd time. No idea bout ox and whether they do undergrad masters (no idea wtf that is tbh!)

    When do you graduate? Much luck with jobs? No luck at my end. Degrees r useless.
    Haha, don't worry about it! I'm not suprised to hear that. Oxford has one of the lowest state school intakes in the country.
    Undergraduate masters would be a Masters as opposed to a Bachelors of Arts or Science. I just had a quick gander at the site and you were either doing the BA or the Masters which would of been a lot more complex than the BSc.

    I'm in the first year of BSc after doing foundation year (my A-Level subjects weren't Engineering related) so I won't be looking for another job for a while. I'm already at Premier Inn. If I get butt****ed by the jobs market at graduation, I'll stay where I am.

    I'm suprised you're finding it tough to get employed with your degree though. You got a good classification and subject, so it must just be done to competition. What kind of jobs have you been looking for?
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    (Original post by Dude Where's My Username)
    Haha, don't worry about it! I'm not suprised to hear that. Oxford has one of the lowest state school intakes in the country.
    Undergraduate masters would be a Masters as opposed to a Bachelors of Arts or Science. I just had a quick gander at the site and you were either doing the BA or the Masters which would of been a lot more complex than the BSc.

    I'm in the first year of BSc after doing foundation year (my A-Level subjects weren't Engineering related) so I won't be looking for another job for a while. I'm already at Premier Inn. If I get butt****ed by the jobs market at graduation, I'll stay where I am.

    I'm suprised you're finding it tough to get employed with your degree though. You got a good classification and subject, so it must just be done to competition. What kind of jobs have you been looking for?
    I started a MMath, but way uni works is that u don't do incorporated masters till 4 year and the first 3 years are same whether u do BA or Mmath.

    I am applying for anything i can get from hotel receptionist, data admin, investment banking, anything! competition is crazy, yes.
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    (Original post by blue_shift86)
    Well put it this way. It's easier to get a 2:1 in a lower ranked university than a higher ranked one. And even within the Russel group it's easier to get a 2:1 in somewhere like UCL say, than somewhere like oxford or cambridge, because their programs are harder.

    So in summary: how hard it is depends on where you study.
    At the end of the day a lot of people forget that you go to different universities but you're studying the same degree with (different modules in some cases) with perhaps the exception of Oxbridge.

    A History Degree from Westminister will be just as hard to get a 1:1 as it would at Durham, just Durham might have more history modules and other things.
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    Its incredibly easy to get a 2:1 provided you are willing to go to lectures and do the work set
 
 
 
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