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    I actually think in some ways its harder to get into Durham than Oxbridge if you're not a top candidate on paper due to the comparative limitations of their admissions process - no interviews/submitted written work etc surely equals more emphasis on factors such as GCSEs.

    Anyway, I have a few tedious questions re the admissions process that're probably going to make everyone wince, and I know that just because people have places at these universities it doesn't make them experts on the admissions stuff, but I'd be grateful for any useful info you could give me.

    Firstly: any idea if there's truth in the rumour that Durham are more likely to turn you down if they think you're applying to Oxbridge?

    Secondly: how seriously do they take GCSE scores and do they rate them as more important than high AS results? Also, do they take into account illness or view it sceptically?

    Thirdly: Do they care about extra curricular that isn't subject related such as instrumental skills/sporting ability, or is it just important to come across as loving your subject and having explored it in diff ways in your own time

    Finally: how common is it for them to interview candidates? And if anyone has been interviewed, what was it like? Is it a similar style to the Oxbridge interviews?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by *Bethany*)
    I actually think in some ways its harder to get into Durham than Oxbridge if you're not a top candidate on paper due to the comparative limitations of their admissions process - no interviews/submitted written work etc surely equals more emphasis on factors such as GCSEs.

    Anyway, I have a few tedious questions re the admissions process that're probably going to make everyone wince, and I know that just because people have places at these universities it doesn't make them experts on the admissions stuff, but I'd be grateful for any useful info you could give me.

    Firstly: any idea if there's truth in the rumour that Durham are more likely to turn you down if they think you're applying to Oxbridge?

    Secondly: how seriously do they take GCSE scores and do they rate them as more important than high AS results? Also, do they take into account illness or view it sceptically?

    Thirdly: Do they care about extra curricular that isn't subject related such as instrumental skills/sporting ability, or is it just important to come across as loving your subject and having explored it in diff ways in your own time

    Finally: how common is it for them to interview candidates? And if anyone has been interviewed, what was it like? Is it a similar style to the Oxbridge interviews?

    Thanks
    Right - Durham actually try to help people who apply to Oxbridge by a)giving offers fairly early, usually and b) having their open days once you know whether you've gotten into Oxbridge or not (and therefore whether it's worthwhile going all that way north!). GCSEs are definitely not rated higher than AS, but are a good indicator - if you did ok at GCSE, but then did well in AS, I'd have thought you'd be fine, but if you did badly in year 11 they might think twice. I think most unis take illness seriously, though. Personal statement should, I would have thought, be a mix of subject-related enthusiasm and stuff about yourself and your extra-curricular interests - Durham is really big on sports/music/journalism etc, and especially wants people who'll get involved in college. Most subjects don't interview; a few do, mainly Physics, Theology, Geology and something else. Erm... Yeah, can't remember right now, sorry! I can't tell you about interview style, but I'm sure someone else around here can. Hope all that was helpful-ish...
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    (Original post by durhamdosser)
    Right - Durham actually try to help people who apply to Oxbridge by a)giving offers fairly early, usually and b) having their open days once you know whether you've gotten into Oxbridge or not (and therefore whether it's worthwhile going all that way north!). GCSEs are definitely not rated higher than AS, but are a good indicator - if you did ok at GCSE, but then did well in AS, I'd have thought you'd be fine, but if you did badly in year 11 they might think twice. I think most unis take illness seriously, though. Personal statement should, I would have thought, be a mix of subject-related enthusiasm and stuff about yourself and your extra-curricular interests - Durham is really big on sports/music/journalism etc, and especially wants people who'll get involved in college. Most subjects don't interview; a few do, mainly Physics, Theology, Geology and something else. Erm... Yeah, can't remember right now, sorry! I can't tell you about interview style, but I'm sure someone else around here can. Hope all that was helpful-ish...
    how interesting....i never thought that they actively helped such people. i thought that each uni couldn't see an applicant's other choices, so do they just guess at who has applied to oxbridge?
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    (Original post by Rebecca/Becca)
    Oxbridge applications go in earlier than non-oxbridge ones so they can make a fair guess from that I'd wager.
    that would make sense yes. durham got back to me second of my six, and i was very happy when they did! the first two who got back to me are ultimately my two choices, coincidently.
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    I heard that they can tell from a personal statement if the candidate is Oxbridge because it will be written in a certain style and include certain things because they've had more help from the school.

    Why do geology interview? And why is it a subject that people get put on when they don't get into something else, it says on the earth sciences site that it gets more applications than places so it can't be that bad can it?
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    I wouldn't have thought they could tell from the personal statement. I did not have any help with it, and was an oxbridge applicant.

    Perhaps they can tell from the reference though?
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    Well, I certainly didn't feel they discriminated against me because I was applying to Oxbridge. In fact, I had an offer from Durham before I heard from Cambridge...way back in November.

    I'd say the timing of the application would give you away - I know that my statement and reference wouldn't have told them anything.
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    (Original post by absentmindedone)
    Well, I certainly didn't feel they discriminated against me because I was applying to Oxbridge. In fact, I had an offer from Durham before I heard from Cambridge...way back in November.

    I'd say the timing of the application would give you away - I know that my statement and reference wouldn't have told them anything.
    I applied to Oxford, and still got accepted to all 6 of my choices, so I don't think the rumour about discriminating against Oxbridge applicants is true at all. For Geography at least, I think a lot of how successful you were rested on your PS. I know people with really high grades who were rejected, and when they asked Durham why it was apparantly because 'they didn't show enough passion for the subject', which they could only guage from the PS as there were no interviews.
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    (Original post by *Bethany*)
    Firstly: any idea if there's truth in the rumour that Durham are more likely to turn you down if they think you're applying to Oxbridge?
    most people who apply to durham apply to oxbridge as well, if they discriminated against people who apply to oxbridge then the uni would only suffer as they lose good students to other members of the top 15. I do not beleive i was disciminated against. Oxford rejected me before durham even contacted me.

    Secondly: how seriously do they take GCSE scores and do they rate them as more important than high AS results? Also, do they take into account illness or view it sceptically?
    I don't think they rate GCSE's very highly, certainly not higher than AS. So long as you passed both English and Maths you would be fine. Predicted A-level grades are the things they go on. My school did not apply for the AS certifcation until the end of A-level so they didn't even recieve my AS grades in my application and i was offered a place, presumably on the strength of predicted grades and personal statement. Really don't know about illness, although i am not sure they know if your grades are moderated due to mitigating circumstances.

    Thirdly: Do they care about extra curricular that isn't subject related such as instrumental skills/sporting ability, or is it just important to come across as loving your subject and having explored it in diff ways in your own time
    I think both is important, but not vital. It will only come up in the case of two identically impressive candidates i would imagine

    Finally: how common is it for them to interview candidates? And if anyone has been interviewed, what was it like? Is it a similar style to the Oxbridge interviews?
    Whether or not you have an interview depends a lot on the subject i think, I was interviewed for physics and i know a couple of other scientists who were but none of my arts student friends were interviewed. I would imagine this is because they can learn more about the ability of an arts candidate from their personal statement than from a scientist's.

    If you are interviewed it is in no way like the vigourous oxbridge interviews. It is basically an open day where they try to sell the uni to you. I was told when i was there that there is nothing you can do at interview short of pulling a knife on your interviewer that would prevent you getting an offer. Basically, if you get an interview, your in.
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    (Original post by Ellie4)
    I applied to Oxford, and still got accepted to all 6 of my choices, so I don't think the rumour about discriminating against Oxbridge applicants is true at all. For Geography at least, I think a lot of how successful you were rested on your PS. I know people with really high grades who were rejected, and when they asked Durham why it was apparantly because 'they didn't show enough passion for the subject', which they could only guage from the PS as there were no interviews.
    That's exactly the same for me...I applied for Engineering, and my PS must have been pretty good. But I have a friend who's gonna get AAA who applied for Physics and didn't get in.
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    I had an interview for Durham this year for Physics. Got an offer of AAB at Collingwood.

    My interview was the week before my Cambridge one and I got my offer the week before Christmas - yay!

    Got rejected form Cambridge day after new years -yay!

    So I don't think applying to Cambridge affected my chances much really.

    Also I had an interview in college and in department. They were much shorter than the Cambridge ones and they basically just talked about what I like doing outside of school (college) and my deaprment (physics) interview was short as the interviewer was away so it was a conversation in a corridor about why I liked physics!

    Just so happy I got my offer - cant wait to go -if I get the grades :eek:
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    Unless his or her father happens to be an emperor or something, any Oxbridge candidate will almost certainly be pretty bright, if not exceptional, so Durham would be extremely stupid - which they aren't - to discriminate against anyone on the grounds that he/she is, or probably is, an Oxbridge candidate.

    ..
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    I got way below potential GCSE grades (9As 1B) and got AAAB at AS and got accepted by Durham, thus demonstrating that GCSEs are not the be all and end all of UCAS admissions. AS levels and predicted grades are a lot more important.
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    (Original post by SammyD)
    I heard that they can tell from a personal statement if the candidate is Oxbridge because it will be written in a certain style and include certain things because they've had more help from the school.

    Why do geology interview? And why is it a subject that people get put on when they don't get into something else, it says on the earth sciences site that it gets more applications than places so it can't be that bad can it?
    I don't know why geology interview. My interview for geophysics was pointless and they asked me for f all in grades, they could've just sent a letter. I think maybe they were just trying to sell the place because the geophysics equipment is damn good and also to let you see the college.

    I may be bumping into you next year unless I get into Imperial and given my string of faux pas (plural of, help?) in exams I think that's very unlikely. The department looked really good.
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    Ironically i am doing both physics and geology, under Natural Sciences, and they didn't interview me.
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    (Original post by Valen)
    Ironically i am doing both physics and geology, under Natural Sciences, and they didn't interview me.
    natsci at durham hardly ever interview if at all, it is stated in the handbook

    btw you dont know pip or jo also on ur course, in geology that is
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    Erm, possibly, what do they look like? I only really know the names of the castle geologists.
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    (Original post by Valen)
    Erm, possibly, what do they look like? I only really know the names of the castle geologists.
    They're both loud and annoying, pip is short with browny ginger hair, jo is taller with long brown hair, but if you dont it doesnt matter, i dont think they know you
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    Referring back to 'admissions', I don't suppose any of you current students are there despite having missed your offer by a grade are you?
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    First time round I was offered ABB, I got BBC and they didn't offer me a place (wasn't expecting them to!) but they offered me a place on a different course at Queens Campus (Stockton) - rejected this!

    Second time round, offered ABB, got ABB, got in
 
 
 

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