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    Hi all.

    I'm from Canada, and I'm wondering if it's still worth applying as an international student to LLB programs that may be taking applications. My history doesn't make me anywhere near the ideal candidate - I'm 25, did pretty well in high school, and got partway through a university degree in the arts - I've got a host of reasons why but they're not really relevant (well, they might be, but I don't know).

    I'm back at home, working, and taking care of my parents, who are getting pretty old (one almost died and the other wound up burning half our home up by accident). Now, they understand as well as I that I don't want to be stuck doing minimum wage jobs forever, and money's not really an issue - between my savings and theirs I can pay my tuition fees and living expenses.

    With this in mind, I've been tossing around the idea of going back to school, and a friend of my sister's just finished her degree at SOAS and couldn't speak highly enough of it. This got me thinking about looking at the UK as an option, and actually I wound up speaking with someone at SOAS about it. She was also the one that gave mne a breakdown of what her living expenses in London were and I worked with that to come up with my own budget.

    What I'm leaning towards is doing a Law degree combined with something else - I gather that, unlike in North America, you get admitted to a course in the UK and then just take that for three years. SOAS's Law and Religion or Law and Social Anthropology both look really appealing. I got fed up with philosophy here and one of the few professors I'd like to a combined degree so that I'd have some practical skills at the end of it that I could parley into a career, and also have something that, if the option was available, I could pursue a master's degree in, either back in Canada or elsewhere for that matter.

    All that said, what's your advice for applying through UCAS? Do I have a shot at maybe getting in somewhere for September 2011, or would most of the seats have already been filled? Would I even have a shot at getting in at all?

    Regarding studying in the UK, I'm mostly just tired of my hometown, and with my parents retiring and my girlfriend wanting to move somewhere else (she's actually got relatives somewhere in the north of England through her grandparents) there's very little keeping me here. My thinking is that if I were to move out of province, I may as well jump a bit further and move out of continent. I've also got a great-aunt in Nottingham who I quite like, and a number of friends scattered throughout Europe from my time in the international residence at the university I went to.

    Is there some place other than UCAS that lists what courses different universities offer? I'd really like to live in a big city, but I'm not terribly picky as to which one, though I've been to London and liked what tiny bit I've seen (to be fair, of the four days I was there I spent three in the British Library and one exploring subway stations).

    Anyway, this is all rather long-winded. In short, I've got a few specific questions:
    1. Is it worth it for me to apply to a law program (given that I'm not terribly picky about where I wind up working after I'm done)
    2. Should I just wait for September 2012 if the answer above is yes
    3. If I were to get accepted somewhere, is there a procedure or quarantine process for bringing pets? I've got a cat, though she's got about four different people who are clamouring for me to leave the country so they can take her in.
    4. Is it common for applicants to aply to the same university 5 times for different courses, or to 5 different universities for the same one? How about when it comes to combined degrees that may not be available at all five institutions of one's choice?
    5. Is there some website or other that you might recommend (aside from UCAS or individual university websites) where I can do some research to compare the 120+ schools you've got? A fellow I know here who did his Master's at Manchester and a PhD at Edinburgh recommended the QS world rankings site, but more options can't be bad.
    6. Is there some qualification or cutoff at which point one becomes considered a mature student or equivalent?

    Thanks for any help, I really appreciate it.
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    1. Apply to study a subject that you have a genuine interest in. If you don't have a genuine interest in a subject, then there's no point in studying it because you just won't enjoy it. Also, remember you'll need to write a personal statement which will convey why you want to study a subject academically, so you really do need to have a genuine interest in the subject you're applying for. If you have a genuine interest in law, then go for it.

    2. Check out this thread if you do want to apply for Sept 2011. I'd advise you to apply for September 2012 though unless you really want to come this year. This will give you time to really have a think and research what course you want to do and what universities you want to apply to (there are loads to choose from). This will also give you plenty of time to visit the UK and the different universities you're interested in (instead of rushing it all just now). It will also mean you can apply for the January 15th deadline, which is the deadline for equal consideration.

    3. I have no idea about bring pets over to the UK, sorry. A quick google search or even posting in the travel or animal and pets section of this forum will get you some answers.

    4. It is more common to apply to 5 different universities for the same course. If you apply to 5 different courses at 1 university, then the university will know this and therefore know that you're not dedicated to one subject. When writing your personal statement, it should be directed to the 1 or 2 subject you're applying to do at every single university. For example, if you applied to 1 university for physics, maths, engineering, etc, then it looks as if you're not dedicted to 1 subject, which is what universities want to see. When it gets to combined degrees then although it's not ideal, you could apply to the joint degree at some universities and just 1 of the subjects at the other, although if possible, it's advised you avoid this.

    5. I think UCAS and the individual universities websites are always the best. I'm not too keen on relying on rankings and things myself but there is this website which has some good information and you can compare unis.

    6. I'm not too sure myself on this. Have a look around/post in the mature students section and you'll be able to talk to current and future mature students to get some answers and advise
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    Thanks Ecosse. I'm not terribly in a hurry to apply for 2011, so I might just wait and, as you say, have a good think about it all.

    It's rather different from university in North America, where at lots of places you don't really declare your major until your 2nd year, or even later in some cases.
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    (Original post by Longstrider)
    Thanks Ecosse. I'm not terribly in a hurry to apply for 2011, so I might just wait and, as you say, have a good think about it all.

    It's rather different from university in North America, where at lots of places you don't really declare your major until your 2nd year, or even later in some cases.
    In Scotland you can delay choosing - Ecosse will know more than I do, but you can start with 3 or 4 subjects and work your way towards 1, though it's a four year degree, so far more similar to the US model.
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    (Original post by Becca-Sarah)
    In Scotland you can delay choosing - Ecosse will know more than I do, but you can start with 3 or 4 subjects and work your way towards 1, though it's a four year degree, so far more similar to the US model.
    Depends on what university it is and the degree. For example, for subjects like accounting, law, etc. then you don't get to choose other subjects. Yes, you might get to choose modules within that subject but you can just chuck in a random subject. I think it's only at the ancient Scottish universities (St Andrews, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen) where you can do around 3 subjects in 1st and 2nd year and then decide which 1 or 2 to take onto honours. For places like Dundee, Heriot-Watt, Glasgow Caledonian, etc you pick your degree and then you just do that 1 subject (like in England).
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    Well, based on this plus the recommendation from Aberdeen from the person I know who went there, I've added that to my list - I emailed the person there who's the Canada liaison so hopefully I'll know by Tuesday whether they're still taking international applicants. Though I have no idea if they're looking for top-calibre statistics from their applicants.
 
 
 
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