My real chances of getting into top unis... (Be rude If you have to...) Watch

maromad89
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Well, I believe this is the first post i should have ever written... I really really really really really really really really reallyreally really really (long but necessary) need your help here, because you may have experience or may know people who have entered these universities with profiles similar to mine.

The thing is that I´d like to know If I could stand a chance of being selected for the following postgraduate courses considering the CV I have (written below), as I will probably have to choose just some of those programmes because paying more than 4 or 5 application fees is completely impossible to me:

These are the MSc programmes I´d like to apply to:

- MSc in Integrated Immunology (University of Oxford)
- MSc in Immunology (Imperial College London)
- MSc in Infection and Immunity (University College London)
- MSc in Biology - with specialization in Immunology - (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
- MSc in Molecular Biosciences - (University of Heidelberg, Germany)
- MSc in Molecular Biology - (University of Gottingen, Germany)
- MSc in Biomedicine - (Karolinska Institute, Sweden)
- MSc in Life Sciences and Technology - (EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland)
- MSc in Immunotechnology & Biotherapies - (UPMC, France)

This is my profile:

Next year, I will be finishing my 4-year BSc degree in Biological Sciences at a small but nationally prestigious University in biomedical research from Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the moment, my total grades are 93 / 100 % (I believe it would be considered a 1st in the UK) and I would like to finish with 90 / 100 % at least.

In addition, by the time I apply I will have done 1 year or 1 year and a half of research in Cancer, Inflammation and Immunology in the best known University of my country (University of Buenos Aires) in order to complete my undergraduate thesis.

I have also done 4 short-courses related to Immunology (intended for Postgraduate applicants, but I could manage to apply anyway).

Apart from that, I have a relatively strong command of English, considering it is not my mother tongue (I have passed CPE exam from University of Cambridge ESOL and also CAE and FCE).

---------------------------

I know it is quite a long post, but this time I need your help as I´ve never had before. I know many of you could give me a hand with this selection and this will be quite crucial for my decision. Do you think I stand a chance of entering those places with the CV I have? Should I go for more and try directly with a PhD application or would it be too much?

Any, any help you give me will be very much appreciated as I really need it this time and I really don´t know what to do at the moment.
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thegodofgod
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to be honest, that sounds pretty good, considering that, for example, if you want to study medicine as a graduate in the UK, most universities ask for a 2.1 Honours degree in any subject.

So as long as you're quite decent at speaking / communicating in English, you should be fine.

Nice average so far by the way

Good Luck!!
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midnightL
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(Original post by maromad89)
Well, I believe this is the first post i should have ever written... I really really really really really really really really reallyreally really really (long but necessary) need your help here, because you may have experience or may know people who have entered these universities with profiles similar to mine.

The thing is that I´d like to know If I could stand a chance of being selected for the following postgraduate courses considering the CV I have (written below), as I will probably have to choose just some of those programmes because paying more than 4 or 5 application fees is completely impossible to me:

These are the MSc programmes I´d like to apply to:

- MSc in Integrated Immunology (University of Oxford)
- MSc in Immunology (Imperial College London)
- MSc in Infection and Immunity (University College London)
- MSc in Biology - with specialization in Immunology - (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
- MSc in Molecular Biosciences - (University of Heidelberg, Germany)
- MSc in Molecular Biology - (University of Gottingen, Germany)
- MSc in Biomedicine - (Karolinska Institute, Sweden)
- MSc in Life Sciences and Technology - (EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland)
- MSc in Immunotechnology & Biotherapies - (UPMC, France)

This is my profile:

Next year, I will be finishing my 4-year BSc degree in Biological Sciences at a small but nationally prestigious University in biomedical research from Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the moment, my total grades are 93 / 100 % (I believe it would be considered a 1st in the UK) and I would like to finish with 90 / 100 % at least.

In addition, by the time I apply I will have done 1 year or 1 year and a half of research in Cancer, Inflammation and Immunology in the best known University of my country (University of Buenos Aires) in order to complete my undergraduate thesis.

I have also done 4 short-courses related to Immunology (intended for Postgraduate applicants, but I could manage to apply anyway).

Apart from that, I have a relatively strong command of English, considering it is not my mother tongue (I have passed CPE exam from University of Cambridge ESOL and also CAE and FCE).

---------------------------

I know it is quite a long post, but this time I need your help as I´ve never had before. I know many of you could give me a hand with this selection and this will be quite crucial for my decision. Do you think I stand a chance of entering those places with the CV I have? Should I go for more and try directly with a PhD application or would it be too much?

Any, any help you give me will be very much appreciated as I really need it this time and I really don´t know what to do at the moment.

Honestly, you should be fine. I’m from the UK and I have a lot of friends at Oxford/Cambridge/Imperial/UCL so I can speak for them but not for the others.

The prestige of your University does matter but only you can be realistic in that respect.

TOP TIP!! - Make DAMN SURE YOU LEAVE NO DOUGHT IN THEIR MIND you are intelligent. Make sure on your application you fully express your ability by mentioning you grades and the other papers.

This is what I would recommend for your applications.

Oxford – Boast your ability, talk about everything you have achieved ACADEMICALLY through grades and the other stuff.

Imperial – GRADES and that you have taken the initiative to do the other things, showing you are able to do more than the average student

UCL – ALL ROUNDED PERSON, mention your grades and boast your ability but show-off more so than the others what else you have done. What makes you different?
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Enoch.
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Go for it.
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maromad89
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(Original post by ussumane)
Go for it.
All your words have been great, people, thank you very very much.

Any additional advice, comments or recommendations will be perfect, post as much as you can here that I would like to hear from lots of people on this, as it is essential for me.

And thank you again...
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dshadow
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(Original post by maromad89)
Well, I believe this is the first post i should have ever written... I really really really really really really really really reallyreally really really (long but necessary) need your help here, because you may have experience or may know people who have entered these universities with profiles similar to mine.

The thing is that I´d like to know If I could stand a chance of being selected for the following postgraduate courses considering the CV I have (written below), as I will probably have to choose just some of those programmes because paying more than 4 or 5 application fees is completely impossible to me:

These are the MSc programmes I´d like to apply to:

- MSc in Integrated Immunology (University of Oxford)
- MSc in Immunology (Imperial College London)
- MSc in Infection and Immunity (University College London)
- MSc in Biology - with specialization in Immunology - (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
- MSc in Molecular Biosciences - (University of Heidelberg, Germany)
- MSc in Molecular Biology - (University of Gottingen, Germany)
- MSc in Biomedicine - (Karolinska Institute, Sweden)
- MSc in Life Sciences and Technology - (EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland)
- MSc in Immunotechnology & Biotherapies - (UPMC, France)

This is my profile:

Next year, I will be finishing my 4-year BSc degree in Biological Sciences at a small but nationally prestigious University in biomedical research from Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the moment, my total grades are 93 / 100 % (I believe it would be considered a 1st in the UK) and I would like to finish with 90 / 100 % at least.

In addition, by the time I apply I will have done 1 year or 1 year and a half of research in Cancer, Inflammation and Immunology in the best known University of my country (University of Buenos Aires) in order to complete my undergraduate thesis.

I have also done 4 short-courses related to Immunology (intended for Postgraduate applicants, but I could manage to apply anyway).

Apart from that, I have a relatively strong command of English, considering it is not my mother tongue (I have passed CPE exam from University of Cambridge ESOL and also CAE and FCE).

---------------------------

I know it is quite a long post, but this time I need your help as I´ve never had before. I know many of you could give me a hand with this selection and this will be quite crucial for my decision. Do you think I stand a chance of entering those places with the CV I have? Should I go for more and try directly with a PhD application or would it be too much?

Any, any help you give me will be very much appreciated as I really need it this time and I really don´t know what to do at the moment.
I see no problem with your CV whatsoever. As someone else has already told you below, it's paramount that you blow your own trumpet. First of all, show them your command of English, and second, make sure they understand how passionate you are about the subject of your study -whatever it is- and your achievements, both academically -in this respect your references might make some difference- and practically.

As per your choice between a Master degree or a PhD, I think it depends on your focus. If you intend to prepare yourself to get a job in the "real world," then a MSc might be a more logical choice.

If you think that research is what you are really keen on, then a PhD might be the choice. However, a few universities don't consider PhD applications without a postgraduate degree, so, even if a PhD is your final goal, a MSc might still be your best option to make your way towards it.

Whatever you decide to do, best of luck
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maromad89
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(Original post by dshadow)
I see no problem with your CV whatsoever. As someone else has already told you below, it's paramount that you blow your own trumpet. First of all, show them your command of English, and second, make sure they understand how passionate you are about the subject of your study -whatever it is- and your achievements, both academically -in this respect your references might make some difference- and practically.

As per your choice between a Master degree or a PhD, I think it depends on your focus. If you intend to prepare yourself to get a job in the "real world," then a MSc might be a more logical choice.

If you think that research is what you are really keen on, then a PhD might be the choice. However, a few universities don't consider PhD applications without a postgraduate degree, so, even if a PhD is your final goal, a MSc might still be your best option to make your way towards it.

Whatever you decide to do, best of luck
Great, great I´m so happy to hear all you´ve written. I will have a go with this Unis at masters level as you suggest, trying to show my strong passion for the subject.

Thank you very much, I hope i can help you as much as you have done with me.
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evantej
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Speaking from personal experience, I would warn against making too many applications; it seems to me that you are applying to some institutions for the sake of prestige, which is odd given the fact you have raised the issue of application fees. The fewer applications you make the better they are likely to be, and the higher chance you stand of gaining admission. Nevertheless, good luck.
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beefmaster
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(Original post by evantej)
Speaking from personal experience, I would warn against making too many applications; it seems to me that you are applying to some institutions for the sake of prestige, which is odd given the fact you have raised the issue of application fees. The fewer applications you make the better they are likely to be, and the higher chance you stand of gaining admission. Nevertheless, good luck.
Very good advice. I applied to too many universities last year. Ended up getting a job and not going this year. Wasted lots of money on application fess..spent a huge amount again this year. You never know what will happen in a year so limit the applications as much as you can.
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maromad89
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I was thinking of that risk and because of that I started this post. My idea, in fact, is not to apply for every programme I mentioned but to 5 or a maximum of 6 programmes (Oxford, Imperial, UCL, Heidelberg, ETH Zurich and one more Uni from Switzerland, or two more If I choose to take UCL out - EPFL Lausanne and Uni of Zurich would be those universities, respectively).

Considering I wanted to reduce my initial list (that is the one I have mentioned in this post) I was asking about my chances because I would like to be sure about entering on at least one of those programmes, and although it may happen that I am not selected for any programme, at least now I have a little more hope. In addition, I believe I will start with the preparation of the different applications during next week or the following as I am on holidays and I may have some time for preparing drafts of personal statements and organizing all the other documents.

Do you think this would be a safer move than going for the full list of applications? (The problem is that If I can´t get into one of those Unis I will lose much more time than I would like to, so I´d like to be as sure as possible of my chances).

Apart from that, I will be applying to Clarendon Fund Scholarships because Overseas fees are impossible to me (and I think to most of the world... ) so I will have some time to rule out UK´s applications If I have to (which happen to have the most expensive applications fees out of them all, considering Gottingen and Heildeberg do not charge applications fees, for example) in case I don´t get any scholarship.

(Original post by evantej)
Speaking from personal experience, I would warn against making too many applications; it seems to me that you are applying to some institutions for the sake of prestige, which is odd given the fact you have raised the issue of application fees. The fewer applications you make the better they are likely to be, and the higher chance you stand of gaining admission. Nevertheless, good luck.
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dshadow
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(Original post by maromad89)
Great, great I´m so happy to hear all you´ve written. I will have a go with this Unis at masters level as you suggest, trying to show my strong passion for the subject.

Thank you very much, I hope i can help you as much as you have done with me.
No problem Just let me remind you once again of the importance of presenting good references when you apply. The people who write them should know you personally and can therefore testify on your character and personal and academic skills -presumably your thesis supervisor and another teacher of yours.
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lukeg1988
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It sounds like you have a great chance of getting into most of the universities you have applied to.

When dealing with postgrad courses I found that it comes down your personal statement. As long as you make it clear your reasons for applying and why you’re interested in the institution. Always play up to its prestige, they love that.

I have accepted a place at UCL on to the MSc in infection and immunity course for 2011 entry. I would suggest that you apply as soon as possible, I applied for entry in 2010 but they had filled all the spaces on the course by February.

I recently went to the imperial college post grad open day and the main difference between imperial and UCL was the length of the research project. 4 months at UCL and 7 months at imperial. Also depends whether you want to focus on pure immunology at imperial or if you like the infectious diseases aspect that UCL offers. So its up to you and your personal preference of what research you want to focus on in your career.

Good luck.
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grape:)
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(Original post by beefmaster)
Very good advice. I applied to too many universities last year. Ended up getting a job and not going this year. Wasted lots of money on application fess..spent a huge amount again this year. You never know what will happen in a year so limit the applications as much as you can.
How much are application fees? On average?
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beefmaster
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(Original post by grape:))
How much are application fees? On average?
ok E.g. this year I have paid

£50 - Oxford
90 Euros - Science Po
90 (?) CHF - Graduate Institute Geneva

and I have a £35 Cambridge one to go!

Paid about the same in total last year. If you are applying to US universities the cost can be even greater!
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grape:)
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(Original post by beefmaster)
ok E.g. this year I have paid

£50 - Oxford
90 Euros - Science Po
90 (?) CHF - Graduate Institute Geneva

and I have a £35 Cambridge one to go!

Paid about the same in total last year. If you are applying to US universities the cost can be even greater!

That's really interesting. Thanks very much!
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maromad89
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Hey! Thanks so much for your response, it was very complete!

Now that you tell me you applied to UCL, do you know the application fees for UCL? Because I can`t seem to find them on the web. And Imperial application fee is £50, right?

(Original post by lukeg1988)
It sounds like you have a great chance of getting into most of the universities you have applied to.

When dealing with postgrad courses I found that it comes down your personal statement. As long as you make it clear your reasons for applying and why you’re interested in the institution. Always play up to its prestige, they love that.

I have accepted a place at UCL on to the MSc in infection and immunity course for 2011 entry. I would suggest that you apply as soon as possible, I applied for entry in 2010 but they had filled all the spaces on the course by February.

I recently went to the imperial college post grad open day and the main difference between imperial and UCL was the length of the research project. 4 months at UCL and 7 months at imperial. Also depends whether you want to focus on pure immunology at imperial or if you like the infectious diseases aspect that UCL offers. So its up to you and your personal preference of what research you want to focus on in your career.

Good luck.
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lukeg1988
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Had a look on there website because I couldn't remember

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-stu...-admission/faq

About half way down it says that there is no application fee to UCL, as it should be! Gets on my nerves when uni ask for money upfront just to read your name when you go to the effort of jumping through their application form hoops.

I'm not sure about Imperial because after the open day I decided that UCL's program was better suited to my interests. Thought that I should mention that when looking at Imperials website the dept of medicine is not on the South Kensington Campus. So when looking at the pictures of the campus be aware that you will rarely have lectures / labs there as the dept of medicine is split between the Hammersmith and Paddington hospital campuses.
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blacklight
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I'm currently on the MSc Infection and Immunity at UCL if anyone has questions.
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lukeg1988
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(Original post by blacklight)
I'm currently on the MSc Infection and Immunity at UCL if anyone has questions.
Yeah I have a few questions if you don't mind

Whats your timetable like? Would you say you would have time to fit in part time work?

What are most of the practicals like?

What do you think of the course overall?

thanks
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blacklight
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(Original post by lukeg1988)
Yeah I have a few questions if you don't mind

Whats your timetable like? Would you say you would have time to fit in part time work?

What are most of the practicals like?

What do you think of the course overall?

thanks
1) In the first term it has been quite busy. We have had 2 full days a week, and around 2 hours every other day of lectures, tutorials and labs. I'm guessing an average of 20 hours direct contact each week. I know someone who is working a part-time job, but it definitely is not for the faint of heart, or if you want to get top grades. When you include coursework and reading, I suppose it is easy to average over 40 hours work a week.

2) So far not terribly extensive on the labs. About 5 hours a week doing bacteriology, which finished in November. I don't think I will be doing any more until late spring. The difficulty level of the practical work itself wasn't so bad, especially if you have done microbiology.

3) So far I am enjoying the course. I was definitely surprised by the number of contact hours, and also the fact that they included quite a few very small group tutorials. In the first term there is a lot of epidemiology involved, so be ready for that. The intake isn't too big, about 20, so the lectures are mainly small-scale affairs, and with the high number of lectures, there is a lot to take in. We also had a visit to the HPA, which was quite enjoyable. It's also worth mentioning that the vast majority of the course takes part in the Bloomsbury area, so travel isn't too bad, except for the occasional bits done at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead.

The first term consisted of all non-optional modules, but from now on we split into 100% optional modules, with a few shared by intercalated medical students (though we have extra tutorials, different assessment etc). So from this point onwards I guess it varies.
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