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    I'm planning to apply to Durham for English Literature for 2012 entry, however I've heard that the course is very competitive and so I was wondering if anyone who received an offer in past years could give me advice on how to make my application stand out?
    I'm predicted 3 A*s and an A for A level so I think my grades are fine, it's mainly extra-curricular stuff I'm worried about, I don't really have anything like that relating to English :/ What did other people do to get in?
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    I'm applying for English Lit 2012 too!
    This is when we both try to psych out our competition
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    (Original post by egirl64)
    I'm planning to apply to Durham for English Literature for 2012 entry, however I've heard that the course is very competitive and so I was wondering if anyone who received an offer in past years could give me advice on how to make my application stand out?
    I'm predicted 3 A*s and an A for A level so I think my grades are fine, it's mainly extra-curricular stuff I'm worried about, I don't really have anything like that relating to English :/ What did other people do to get in?
    You don't need ECs relating to English You won't really be judged on your ECs at all - they just want to see that you do something, so that they know you don't sit in a library all day (if you worked 18 hours a day to get those grades you'd probably find the uni course too difficult and be a bit boring), and because they want enthusiastic people who are keen to get involved, particularly as the collegiate system makes it so easy for people to participate in things.

    Focus more on thinking around the texts you've read in your A level and for further reading: linking themes in your A levels (eg if you take History, how studying it has helped make you a better English Lit student), how you've thought about different perspectives for the themes you've studied in your A level course, thought about book plots in different ways (eg using the historical context, how people might interpret the text differently now) etc - just independent thinking rather than whatever spark notes says about it!

    Also, as it's so oversubscribed they'll be looking for people who are a good fit for their course, so check that you do want what their course is. You can see the modules at www.dur.ac.uk/faculty.handbook - obviously you don't need to write "I want to study this module" as you're applying to 5 unis and you don't really know what the module will be like. But if you get through to the last round of applicants they are choosing between and your PS is all about how you just want to study war poems and Durham doesn't really do much about war poetry, then they'll pick the person whose interests fit more with a Durham English degree, because that person is more likely to firm Durham (as the course suits them), and also more likely to enjoy and really engage with the degree.

    Obviously your interests will change hugely over sixth form and your degree, but if you want to focus on something Durham doesn't offer then it's not a good for you or the department if you go to Durham.
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    I'm also applying for English Lit 2012! (if I get the grades :P). I personally don't like Durham's course, prefer York - but it's also really competitive for English.
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    (Original post by evelynevelyn)
    I'm also applying for English Lit 2012! (if I get the grades :P). I personally don't like Durham's course, prefer York - but it's also really competitive for English.
    I have a friend at York so know a bit about that course if you've got any questions? The structure and assessment' are pretty different at the 2 unis: York has 2 semesters and you take different modules each semester (one ending with late Jan, one ending in June, you have lectures all through the Summer term; whereas Durham has 3 terms like school (you study the same 6 modules throughout the whole year), with only revision lectures and exams and then 3 weeks of no academic work in the summer term.

    York is all coursework (essays and assessed seminar contributions) except 1 exam and includes compulsory modern language study; whereas I think a lot of Durham's course is assessed by exams, particularly in first year - you can see the assessment methods by looking up modules here www.dur.ac.uk/faculty.handbook. You can take electives at Durham if you want to study some language modules though. I don't think York has a dissertation either, whereas Durham is big on dissertations.
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    (Original post by egirl64)
    I'm planning to apply to Durham for English Literature for 2012 entry, however I've heard that the course is very competitive and so I was wondering if anyone who received an offer in past years could give me advice on how to make my application stand out?
    I'm predicted 3 A*s and an A for A level so I think my grades are fine, it's mainly extra-curricular stuff I'm worried about, I don't really have anything like that relating to English :/ What did other people do to get in?
    Do you write or act at all? I worked at an Oxfam Books and got involved in a literary festival in my town.
    I didn't even bother applying to Durham because it was too competetive and now I have offers from Cambridge, York, Bristol and Leeds. Why Durham in particular? - it seems like a dangerous course to set your heart on.
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    (Original post by angelmxxx)
    I have a friend at York so know a bit about that course if you've got any questions? The structure and assessment' are pretty different at the 2 unis: York has 2 semesters and you take different modules each semester (one ending with late Jan, one ending in June, you have lectures all through the Summer term; whereas Durham has 3 terms like school (you study the same 6 modules throughout the whole year), with only revision lectures and exams and then 3 weeks of no academic work in the summer term.

    York is all coursework (essays and assessed seminar contributions) except 1 exam and includes compulsory modern language study; whereas I think a lot of Durham's course is assessed by exams, particularly in first year - you can see the assessment methods by looking up modules here www.dur.ac.uk/faculty.handbook. You can take electives at Durham if you want to study some language modules though. I don't think York has a dissertation either, whereas Durham is big on dissertations.

    I thought the language paper was optional? hmm going to have to do some more research, and thanks for the info.
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    (Original post by evelynevelyn)
    I thought the language paper was optional? hmm going to have to do some more research, and thanks for the info.
    http://www.york.ac.uk/depts/engl/ugr...equirement.htm
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    (Original post by evelynevelyn)
    I thought the language paper was optional? hmm going to have to do some more research, and thanks for the info.
    If it helps, taking a language paper in an English degree is nothing like taking a language at school - I had to make special enquiries because I'm dyslexic. If you've ever taken Latin it's more like that, you translate a passage using a dictionary and so on and then write on it as though you were doing an English essay.
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    (Original post by CathySarah)
    If it helps, taking a language paper in an English degree is nothing like taking a language at school - I had to make special enquiries because I'm dyslexic. If you've ever taken Latin it's more like that, you translate a passage using a dictionary and so on and then write on it as though you were doing an English essay.
    I think you have to read some of the texts in the original language too?
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    (Original post by angelmxxx)
    I think you have to read some of the texts in the original language too?
    Yes, that's what I meant. But it you're worried about the foreign language module because you were bad at French at something, it's important to remember that you don't learn it the same way as you learn a language at school.
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    (Original post by egirl64)
    I'm planning to apply to Durham for English Literature for 2012 entry, however I've heard that the course is very competitive and so I was wondering if anyone who received an offer in past years could give me advice on how to make my application stand out?
    I'm predicted 3 A*s and an A for A level so I think my grades are fine, it's mainly extra-curricular stuff I'm worried about, I don't really have anything like that relating to English :/ What did other people do to get in?
    What about writing for your schools newspaper? local newspaper??? i applied to med and i was an editor and a writer in my school newspaper. Have you done nothing like that? What about extra classes ie. poetry? Shakespeare reading? my school offers these, does yours? What about drama etc?

    If your applying for entry in 2012 then your applying this September right?
    If so then you've got time to do stuff... join your schools clubs etc... doesnt have to be for long... i did my school paper for a couple of weeks lol but i spoke about it a lot in my PS.

    Gd luck!!
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    (Original post by CathySarah)
    Do you write or act at all? I worked at an Oxfam Books and got involved in a literary festival in my town.
    I didn't even bother applying to Durham because it was too competetive and now I have offers from Cambridge, York, Bristol and Leeds. Why Durham in particular? - it seems like a dangerous course to set your heart on.
    I don't at the minute but I was thinking of starting, I'll have a look into literary festivals thanks
    I loved the city when I visited and the course looks amazing, the reputation it has for English is a massive plus as well. I did love Nottingham too though and that's less competitive, so even if I don't get Durham I'll be happy with Nottingham
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    (Original post by Mobs25)
    What about writing for your schools newspaper? local newspaper??? i applied to med and i was an editor and a writer in my school newspaper. Have you done nothing like that? What about extra classes ie. poetry? Shakespeare reading? my school offers these, does yours? What about drama etc?

    If your applying for entry in 2012 then your applying this September right?
    If so then you've got time to do stuff... join your schools clubs etc... doesnt have to be for long... i did my school paper for a couple of weeks lol but i spoke about it a lot in my PS.

    Gd luck!!
    I've helped run poetry and book clubs, would that be a good thing to talk about? My school doesn't have a newspaper or extra classes but I could talk to teachers about setting them up if it would be worth it thanks
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    (Original post by egirl64)
    I've helped run poetry and book clubs, would that be a good thing to talk about? My school doesn't have a newspaper or extra classes but I could talk to teachers about setting them up if it would be worth it thanks
    Setting up a newspaper could be really interesting and would add huge points to your cv and applications - all jobs want you to show initiative, determination, leadership, etc. and thinking creatively to start a newspaper (whether it was online or printed) would demonstrate your decision-making skills to universities too.

    Durham has a new (this academic year) website which publishes student articles in a blog format - http://www.thebubble.org.uk/ - perhaps you could create a similar website so people at your school/local schools could write articles? You wouldn't have to update it every week, the Durham one has a new article from 2 or 3 sections each week, so each section publishes 1 article a week.
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    (Original post by angelmxxx)
    I have a friend at York so know a bit about that course if you've got any questions? The structure and assessment' are pretty different at the 2 unis: York has 2 semesters and you take different modules each semester (one ending with late Jan, one ending in June, you have lectures all through the Summer term; whereas Durham has 3 terms like school (you study the same 6 modules throughout the whole year), with only revision lectures and exams and then 3 weeks of no academic work in the summer term.

    York is all coursework (essays and assessed seminar contributions) except 1 exam and includes compulsory modern language study; whereas I think a lot of Durham's course is assessed by exams, particularly in first year - you can see the assessment methods by looking up modules here www.dur.ac.uk/faculty.handbook. You can take electives at Durham if you want to study some language modules though. I don't think York has a dissertation either, whereas Durham is big on dissertations.
    Hi I'm hoping to apply in 2013 (yes, awfully ahead of myself :rolleyes:). I'm interested that York is mainly coursework assessed - does that really mean no finals or anything?
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    (Original post by BookWormShanti)
    Hi I'm hoping to apply in 2013 (yes, awfully ahead of myself :rolleyes:). I'm interested that York is mainly coursework assessed - does that really mean no finals or anything?
    Thinking ahead is good!

    I think there's one exam at the end of 2nd year but that's it. That could depend on which modules you take, but yes: almost no end of year exams, just essays throughout the year. Your contributions to seminars are also assessed and count towards your degree too, with some assessed group presentations I think. (Seminars are small classes of 6-12 students in which you discuss topics, a bit like a lesson at school but without any teaching, just discussion. The teaching is done through lectures - and obviously the vast majority of your learning comes through your independent reading!).
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    (Original post by angelmxxx)
    Thinking ahead is good!

    I think there's one exam at the end of 2nd year but that's it. That could depend on which modules you take, but yes: almost no end of year exams, just essays throughout the year. Your contributions to seminars are also assessed and count towards your degree too, with some assessed group presentations I think. (Seminars are small classes of 6-12 students in which you discuss topics, a bit like a lesson at school but without any teaching, just discussion. The teaching is done through lectures - and obviously the vast majority of your learning comes through your independent reading!).
    Thanks for clearing that up! Wow, that sounds seriously good. I'm good at exams but I'd imagined that's so much less pressured. With that and the foreign language module, York's course certainly sounds wonderful.
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    (Original post by BookWormShanti)
    Thanks for clearing that up! Wow, that sounds seriously good. I'm good at exams but I'd imagined that's so much less pressured. With that and the foreign language module, York's course certainly sounds wonderful.
    Less pressured maybe - although it does mean that you have to work hard throughout the whole year as you'll have weekly seminars and essays throughout the year. I prefer a mix of coursework and exams because then I can take it a bit easier throughout the year and go for a big push at the end! (And I always think that coursework standards are higher than exam standards, although I have a seen exam this year so that idea may not be so true for that.)
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    I prefer exams. I was dead set on applying for York, but now that I've found out the course in more coursework based I'll have to think again. I quite like Edinburgh atm.
 
 
 
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