What qualifies as a 'good reason' for applying to defer at Oxford? Watch

jamieraser
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I read somewhere that applying for deferred entry at Oxford is fine, as long you have a good reason and can explain it well. What sort of things would be acceptable reasons for applying to defer? And does what you say you'll be doing in your gap year affect your chances at getting an offer? I'll be applying for English, by the way.
Thanks!
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Alexandra1234567
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Bereavement, serious injury that requires rehabilitation and physiotherapy? Perhaps illness that makes you unready to start at university. I'd imagine they'd be that sort of thing, akin to 'extenuating circumstances' that affect exam results.

I reckon other reasons may not be as well received perhaps, such as 'I want to travel' or 'I would like to earn/save up money'.

EDIT: These reasons would be applicable in some cases to deferring after receiving an offer, or applying to defer (I'm not sure if that is an option though?)
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Huw Davies
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(Original post by Alexandra1234567)
Bereavement, serious injury that requires rehabilitation and physiotherapy? Perhaps illness that makes you unready to start at university. I'd imagine they'd be that sort of thing, akin to 'extenuating circumstances' that affect exam results.

I reckon other reasons may not be as well received perhaps, such as 'I want to travel' or 'I would like to earn/save up money'.

EDIT: These reasons would be applicable in some cases to deferring after receiving an offer, or applying to defer (I'm not sure if that is an option though?)
I know people who've deferred in order to do the stereotypical travelling gap year, so I don't think you need proper serious reasons, just some kind of objective beyond sitting on your arse all day. I think they've said that they're neutral on the subject, other than a couple of subjects such as Maths where they want to get you in young, before your brain goes off.

For a definitive answer, Oxford University Admissions are the people to ask.
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Mook
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I know quite a few people who have had gap years, but I'm not sure how many of them applied for deferred entry or whether they simply applied post-A level during their year out. The one person I know who did get a deferred offer was for PPP and they were planning to do a Psychology-related placement during their gap year, plus they were a year ahead at school so a gap year meant they started when they 18, rather than 17.
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Alexandra1234567
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(Original post by Huw Davies)
I know people who've deferred in order to do the stereotypical travelling gap year, so I don't think you need proper serious reasons, just some kind of objective beyond sitting on your arse all day. I think they've said that they're neutral on the subject, other than a couple of subjects such as Maths where they want to get you in young, before your brain goes off.

For a definitive answer, Oxford University Admissions are the people to ask.
Ahhh right . I was assuming that OP meant that they had read that deferrals weren't particularly wanted (like St Andrews for certain subjects doesn't allow deferring unless of something serious).

But if they're ambivalent on the subject of gap years, you're right it could be any decent reason!
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Donnchadh
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It's supposedly a little risky, as there's always the possibility you might be offered a non-deferred place if they're not convinced by your plans/you're a borderline candidate, but if that doesn't bother you or you're prepared to reapply in your gap year (which is what I would have done if I hadn't got a deferred offer) they do seem pretty lenient for arts subjects at least. That said, it might vary from college to college - the French tutor who interviewed me at Brasenose suggested as much, anyway - so it might be worth sending a couple of e-mailing?

There were about 20 of us in the Facebook group this year who had deferred: some internationals doing military service, some engineers doing relevant placements/internships, and then a fair few of us who just wanted to go abroad and volunteer/travel and do some work in between; I think there was a girl with an offer for English at New who was tutoring in New Zealand for a year, if that's any help. I did mention at interview that I'd turn down an offer for 2009 entry - I think the reasons I gave for deferring were music diplomas/that I'd be travelling specifically in the francophone world to keep my language skills up (I had pretty much everything organised before I sent off my UCAS, which helped) so as long as you make it clear you're not just dossing around, any reason should do...
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kookishowls
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Military service.
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martin101
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Yeah so long as your answer isnt "I want to doss for a year" then its probably not a problem. You could quite legitimately say you want to travel the world to open your mind to other cultures and experience them to give you a better understanding of world literature (spun in an English applicant sort of way in a few seconds)
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jamieraser
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thanks for the advice everyone - I was just asking because I had been considering the idea recently (not just to doss sadly haha, would probably like to get a job) and was just making sure my wishy-washy plans wouldn't be some kind of impediment
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mariamcconaloguee
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Real reason my friend didn't go to university because his application was late in being processed in which he was in clearing and therefore missed his chance for a place in halls. From this, he did not want to live anywhere else as he thought being a 1st year thats where he would get to know everyone, and did not want to go and live with say 5 people where he could live with like 200 people. He got deferred but did not use this excuse saying he wanted to learn more about his course etc
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boffdude
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This is for postgrad but might give you an idea (taken from http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/postg..._your_offer/):

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Deferring an offer

The University does not normally accept requests for deferral of entry. You will normally be expected to start your course on the date and term indicated on your offer letter. However, you may apply for a deferral of entry if:

Unforeseen and unforeseeable circumstances that are outside your control will prevent you from taking up your offer. This might include, for example, ill health or bereavement. In some instances, deferrals can also be requested because of visa application issues,

AND

You have met all the conditions of your offer, including your Financial Declaration.

(edit: just realised the above is only for deferring after receipt of an offer, which is not the question asked by the OP, so just ignore this and head to the Compsci Dept post below!)
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Oxford Computer Science Dept
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This might be useful to you....

"Do you consider deferred applications?
Oxford University does consider applications from students who wish to defer entry for a year. What is important is that you have something in mind that you intend to pursue during this year off, such as travelling overseas, working, or engaging in some sort of voluntary work. However, tutors in some science subjects may have reservations about deferred entry. This is a matter that you should raise with your likely college of preference, since specific advice about deferred entry does vary a little from college to college." Quoted from here.

"Is it harder to be offered a place through deferred entry?
If you apply for deferred entry, you will usually be applying while at school or college, so obtaining a reference from a teacher who is familiar with your academic work should be straightforward. However, if you apply next year for direct entry, you may find the application process slightly trickier without the immediate support of staff at your school, including potentially using their facilities for any admissions test required for your chosen course. If you apply for deferred entry, the college considering your application may still offer you a place for direct entry if they feel it is appropriate for your application. Making a successful application for deferred entry is seen as slightly more competitive since the college is effectively committing to a decision on your application before they have seen other students applying in the following year." Quoted from here.

"Is it better to apply during my gap year than for deferred entry?
If you wait until you have completed your school-leaving qualifications, the University will be able to see if you have already met the entry requirements, so any offer made would be unconditional. If you choose this route, however, you should bear in mind that you will probably have been away from education since leaving school, so you should ensure that you retain some academic interest in your chosen subject. Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate their aptitude for the subject, which may be easier for those who are still in full-time education." Quoted from here.
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