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Should I shoot for Oxford? Have I got a chance in hell? watch

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    Cliff notes (to keep it as short and readable as possible) :

    1. I have a 1.1 Honours degree in English (from an Irish university.) I came first (in my overall degree) out of about 3 or 4 hundred people in the Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines - this should stand to me.

    2. I want to switch to studying Evolutionary Psychology. I love it (plus I'm fairly well-versed in it).

    3. The universities I have my eye on include Liverpool, St Andrews, Brunel, and.... Oxford

    4. I got in touch with Liverpool; they said they review applicants like me on a case-by-case basis, and I'd need to put together a very convincing personal statement. I would not necessarily need to do a conversion course.

    5. My thoughts: I probably could get into Liverpool for September 2010.
    However, I feel that I should shoot as high as I can. I think my chances of being accepted by Oxford right now are about the same as me finding a unicorn in my garden tonight, but - I might have a chance if I do a year-long conversion course in psychology, and then apply for Oxford.

    I'm going to email them all, pretty soon, but I'd like to be armed with TSR's thoughts! Thank you.
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    Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Is there any merit in not trying for Oxford?
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    Which uni in Ireland?
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    I think you've got to weigh up the pros and cons of doing the conversion course, I assume at some cost and then applying with the chance that you may not get through the system (it's notoriously competitive for everything). Saying that, if you do as well on the conversion course as you have done at undergrad, than that'll only help matters. I guess the argument is is why do you want to switch subject area? You'd also need convince admissions tutors over this too.

    Also don't be fueled into the 'it's Oxford' syndrome - it doesn't suit everyone and you've got to have the right reasons to apply ie: department, academics etc. Of all of the places to study, is it the best place to do the course you want? Look at the academics in the field and where they're based - supposedly 'better/the best' universities don't always have the people you want to be working with.
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    Go for it. You have nothing to lose.

    If you don't do it, you will always have the "what if" thought in your head.
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    I think you've got to weigh up the pros and cons of doing the conversion course, I assume at some cost and then applying with the chance that you may not get through the system (it's notoriously competitive for everything). Saying that, if you do as well on the conversion course as you have done at undergrad, than that'll only help matters. I guess the argument is is why do you want to switch subject area? You'd also need convince admissions tutors over this too.

    Also don't be fueled into the 'it's Oxford' syndrome - it doesn't suit everyone and you've got to have the right reasons to apply ie: department, academics etc. Of all of the places to study, is it the best place to do the course you want? Look at the academics in the field and where they're based - supposedly 'better/the best' universities don't always have the people you want to be working with.
    I don't mean to sound like an idiot, but what's a conversion course?
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    (Original post by The Harlequinn Mask)
    I don't mean to sound like an idiot, but what's a conversion course?
    In order for the OP to study the course they want (at Oxford) they need to do a conversion course as their first degree isn't the right qualification. They're usually a year long and act as a foundation/basic year in order to get a student up to date before starting a new subject/degree
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    Go for it.
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    (Original post by The Harlequinn Mask)
    I don't mean to sound like an idiot, but what's a conversion course?
    OP is referring to the Psych conversion course used to obtain graduate basis for registration with the British Psychological Society. GBR is usually required to enter postgraduate psych training; typically obtained by doing an undergrad in Psychology.

    Conversion courses offer non psych-grads (or those who got a non-BPS accredited Psych degree from one of them jumped up leisure centres) the opportunity to study a psych postgrad.
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    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    OP is referring to the Psych conversion course used to obtain graduate basis for registration with the British Psychological Society. GBR is usually required to enter postgraduate psych training; typically obtained by doing an undergrad in Psychology.

    Conversion courses offer non psych-grads (or those who got a non-BPS accredited Psych degree from one of them jumped up leisure centres) the opportunity to study a psych postgrad.
    Do you have to do a conversion course to get into any unrelated postgraduate study?
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    Reading the title i thought you were planning on trying out for the oxford shooting team.
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    The worst thing that can happen is that you get a polite rejection letter (and there is no limit to the number of times you can reapply).

    I have a Dutch friend who wasn't sure about applying to Oxford for a postgraduate course because she thought she didn't have much chance of getting in. She applied though, and now she is very happy halfway through her first year there. :-)
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    (Original post by The Harlequinn Mask)
    Do you have to do a conversion course to get into any unrelated postgraduate study?
    Perhaps not, but you do for psychology at Oxford, because the department explicitly says so.
    I suppose generally it would depend on just how unrelated your degree is, but I don't really think it's unreasonable of universities to expect people to have some grounding in the subject.:dontknow:
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    I'd probably enjoy the conversion course, and I wouldn't be doing it with the sole intention of possibly getting into into Oxford.

    I'll email them so, though I don't expect much...


    (Original post by hobnob)
    Perhaps not, but you do for psychology at Oxford, because the department explicitly says so.
    I suppose generally it would depend on just how unrelated your degree is, but I don't really think it's unreasonable of universities to expect people to have some grounding in the subject.:dontknow:
    Your sig sounds like something out of the PoMo generator.
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    (Original post by PrimateJ)
    Your sig sounds like something out of the PoMo generator.
    It's from a brilliant but underappreciated 1940s comedy called Ball of Fire. There's a key scene in which an academic distracts a bunch of armed thugs with nonsensical waffle while his colleagues try to come up with a creative way of getting rid of them.
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    (Original post by Means Motive Opportunity)
    Reading the title i thought you were planning on trying out for the oxford shooting team.
    LOL.
 
 
 

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