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    Hi, just hoping that those of you who know more than me applying for postgrad courses could give me some advise.

    I'm currently studying Philosophy and I'm aiming for a first. After completing my degree, however, I want to apply for something slightly more concrete; possibly the MA Human Values & Contemporary Global Ethics offered at Kings College London.

    In the summer before the third year I'm considering teaching English abroad, maybe in Cambodia or China. Antedating Uni loans, I've never had the money to do anything really interesting like this, so that will be my only chance before applying.

    My dilemma is, should I:

    1) Stay home and study during summer, hopefully guaranteeing my 1:1

    or

    2) teach for the summer and thus have something interesting and relevant to put in my application, but risk graduating with a 2:1

    I realise the degree is for life, so it makes me think 1) is better, however: if I want to do a masters (which I do) it has to be the academic year after I complete my degree. So I can't work towards a first and then take a year out to work abroad. There are reasons for this which I won't be discussing and they will not change.

    Also, the above mentioned course doesn't seem to be offered anywhere else and there are only a few like it that I would really want to do. It's going to be quite hard to get on to any of them and if I don't, then I probably wouldn't be able to re-apply the next year, even for different courses.

    Any advise is welcome, preferably from those who know about such things but anyone with a view point is, or course, welcome too.

    Thanks
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    Stop obsessing about getting a first (which you may not get anyway) and live a bit. Work in Asia sounds ideal for getting a perspective.

    TBD
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    That's more presumptuous and offensive than helpful TBD (whether it was meant like that or not).

    It's a perfectly legitimate question, and just because I've asked for advise on a forum it doesn't mean I'm losing sleep over it: I just don't know much about postgrad applications and whether grades or extracurricular are generally preferred.

    There's a fair chance I'll get a first if I prepare during the summer, and a lesser chance I'll get one if I don't. I'm judging this on a number of factors, all of which I know and you don't. Yes, I could be wrong, but you have no reason to doubt me.

    But thanks anyway.
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    I have been told by an admissions tutor that extra curricular is of very little interest to them.
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    Generally you'll need a high 2:1 or a 1st to get into a masters, so just missing out on a first doesn't necessarily mean you wont get the place, as long as you have a good academic transcript so far.

    Having said that, many universities don't put that much weight on extra-curriculars so spending the summer teaching may not help your application much. It's unlikely to hinder it though.

    I suppose it partly depends on whether you think you could just spend the summer studying? I know I was never able to work constantly over a summer! Surely you could keep up with reading etc while away, or not spend the whole summer abroad?
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    Thanks h.

    In which subject though? I can see why teaching in the East would be of no interest someone applying for something like a strict science, but considering that the MA is about global values might it not be relevant to have experience of different cultures, values, etc?
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    You would need to push that angle of it in your application. You may also want to contact the department and see if they place any weight on that when looking at applications.
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    L J, that sounds like a good idea, but I haven't found any programmes where you can teach for less than a month or so which aren't too expensive to go on. But yeah, if it's possible then it would definitely be a good route to take.

    And no I wouldn't have spent the whole summer studying, I'd certainly have a job here, regularly socialise and probably go to a festival or two. Mostly it's about having the library faculties etc.
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    J L, more good advise there, I'll email them.

    Thanks.
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    I would save the money and put it towards your master; finishing with a first will put you in a better position of securing funding too. If you have a couple of grand spare then it might be an option enrolling on a CELTA programme during the summer; that way instead of you paying for the privilege of teaching some Asian children some English for a few weeks you could teach English anywhere and get paid.
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    Yeah the CELTA programme is already my preferred route. I'm planning on teaching somewhere new each summer and I'd like to have a real job at each one so I can temporarily become part of the local community and hopefully have an 'authentic' experience of different cultures. (I'm not really interested in humanist, student based charities, they tend to get on my nerves).

    But it seems that the general consensus is that getting a first should be a priority over having this as the token extra curricular activity on my personal statement. (That it would be helpful for funding is a good point too, I'll keep that in mind). Unless anyone has a good reason to think otherwise I'll probably focus on the studying and save the teaching for next summer instead.
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    You asked the question and I am giving you a very good answer based on the information presented. Not all the answers you get on a forum will validate your proposed course of action; and may in fact open your eyes to alternatives.

    TBD


    (Original post by Rob19)
    That's more presumptuous and offensive than helpful TBD (whether it was meant like that or not).

    It's a perfectly legitimate question, and just because I've asked for advise on a forum it doesn't mean I'm losing sleep over it: I just don't know much about postgrad applications and whether grades or extracurricular are generally preferred.

    There's a fair chance I'll get a first if I prepare during the summer, and a lesser chance I'll get one if I don't. I'm judging this on a number of factors, all of which I know and you don't. Yes, I could be wrong, but you have no reason to doubt me.

    But thanks anyway.
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    (Original post by TBD)
    You asked the question and I am giving you a very good answer based on the information presented. Not all the answers you get on a forum will validate your proposed course of action; and may in fact open your eyes to alternatives.

    TBD
    A first isn't the be all and end all. Go away teach English, enjoy your summer, and spend the odd bit of time keeping up to date with academic journals etc.

    Then come back study hard and get a high 2.1 / 1st for your degree!
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    I don't think I ever lifted a finger academically during the summer and it did me no harm. I don't see the point in spending a summer working really unless you're doing some reading/planning for your dissertation, but you can always do that abroad (and I should probably state for the sake of honesty that although I intended to do this, I never did...). I'd go have fun. It's all very well prioritising a first but I don't see that working over the summer would be necessary to get one.
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    Yeah it is just for the dissertation really, I get to choose it in year two so I can do loads of the work for it over the summer. It's worth about a third of my final degree, which means I want to really take my time on it. Then I can focus on exams, essays, etc during term time.
 
 
 
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