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    How difficult is it to get into Oxford or Cambridge for post-graduate study? I would be applying for an MPhil in Economics. Presumabely it would be a lot harder than getting in at undergraduate level, but from what I have read it is a lot fairer process as it is easier to distinguish between candidates.

    I got 8A*s and 2 As at GCSE and 3 very high As at A-level and am on course for a first at Warwick in Economics. I would also be sponsored by the Bank of England, but would this influence them in anyway or give me a significant advantage over other candidates.

    Has anyone gone through the process? What colleges are easiest to get into? How does postgrad study differ from undergrad? Mine is a taught course so does that mean I would get tutorials too?
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    Can't offer any first hand experience, but I know someone who went to a different university, and still maintains he wouldn't have gotten into Cambridge when he applied, but he came top of his year every year in the physics course, was really very good, and was snapped up by one of the physics groups for a Phd in Cambridge.
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    (Original post by Saxman)
    How difficult is it to get into Oxford or Cambridge for post-graduate study? I would be applying for an MPhil in Economics. Presumabely it would be a lot harder than getting in at undergraduate level, but from what I have read it is a lot fairer process as it is easier to distinguish between candidates.

    I got 8A*s and 2 As at GCSE and 3 very high As at A-level and am on course for a first at Warwick in Economics. I would also be sponsored by the Bank of England, but would this influence them in anyway or give me a significant advantage over other candidates.

    Has anyone gone through the process? What colleges are easiest to get into? How does postgrad study differ from undergrad? Mine is a taught course so does that mean I would get tutorials too?
    I'm interested in postgrad at Cam too, in Economics. Are you a first year student at warwick? If you are, what's it like and what are the employment opportunities there? (Do people come and recruit?) Sorry for the question overload, I'm trying to pick what I'm going to do this september.
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    (Original post by Saxman)
    How difficult is it to get into Oxford or Cambridge for post-graduate study? I would be applying for an MPhil in Economics. Presumabely it would be a lot harder than getting in at undergraduate level, but from what I have read it is a lot fairer process as it is easier to distinguish between candidates.

    I got 8A*s and 2 As at GCSE and 3 very high As at A-level and am on course for a first at Warwick in Economics. I would also be sponsored by the Bank of England, but would this influence them in anyway or give me a significant advantage over other candidates.

    Has anyone gone through the process? What colleges are easiest to get into? How does postgrad study differ from undergrad? Mine is a taught course so does that mean I would get tutorials too?

    Not sure how it works at Cambridge but I can tell you about Oxford. Firstly it's irrelevant which college you apply to in terms of getting in. You are interviewed by the department that you're applying to and if they want you then a college will take you, maybe not your first choice but someone will. How difficult is it to get in? Well it varies. The department will have a certain number of 'places' to offer to EU students (I'm assuming you're in that category) and obviously how difficult it is to get one of these places depends on how many applicants there are. This is much more variable from year to year than undergrad applications simply because the numbers are much lower. I wouldn't have thought that your department would look at any academic acheivements before A-level but will expect a strong performance at university - at least 2:1 or above. You seem to have all the right boxes ticked in that respect. They will also ask you to provide (usually) 3 academic referees that will supply a confidential written report on you. This is often the best way the department has of distinguishing between similar candidates.

    As for sponsorship - yes that can help. It depends exactly what sort of sponsorship you mean. Some companies offer to pay the fees etc for a certain person. This effectively gives the department another place to offer and they will almost always make an offer to that person (usually dependant on them getting a 2:1 or above). More common is companies offering to give the student some cash during their time doing the course. This is less attractive to the department, as they don't get anything out of it, but is another string to your bow - it demonstrates that someone thinks you're a decent investment.

    As for the taught part of your course - I really don't know how that works. Sorry. Anyway best of luck applying, hope I've been of some help.
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    (Original post by Saxman)
    How difficult is it to get into Oxford or Cambridge for post-graduate study? I would be applying for an MPhil in Economics. Presumabely it would be a lot harder than getting in at undergraduate level, but from what I have read it is a lot fairer process as it is easier to distinguish between candidates.

    I got 8A*s and 2 As at GCSE and 3 very high As at A-level and am on course for a first at Warwick in Economics. I would also be sponsored by the Bank of England, but would this influence them in anyway or give me a significant advantage over other candidates.

    Has anyone gone through the process? What colleges are easiest to get into? How does postgrad study differ from undergrad? Mine is a taught course so does that mean I would get tutorials too?
    I'd say you stood a very good chance. Just make sure you get the first. College doesn't matter at all, as another replier said, admission is for subject first.
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    You probably have a good chance. I've applied to both Oxford and Cambridge for History. Cambridge have made me a conditional offer (condition being that I get an average of 65% overall this year - so not really that much), and I haven't heard from Oxford yet. Therefore, if you get a first from Warwich (which is brilliant for Economics afaik, I guess you shold definitely apply. From what I gather from the Cambridge prospectus, college choice isn't as important as it is for undergrads, because the decision really is made by the Faculty (and they say it is University policy that everyone who fulfills the conditions of their academic offer will get a place in some college - although not necessarily the ones you have stated on your application form).
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    THanks for the encouragement. I was of the view that all the places would be filled by international students and Oxbridge undergraduates. I know that around 45 places are avaliable each year of which 1/3 or so are international students so probably 30 are avaliable to EU students.

    "Therefore, if you get a first from Warwich (which is brilliant for Economics afaik, I guess you shold definitely apply. "

    Sorry Tommyboy what does afaik mean?
    Btw congratulations on your offer from Cambridge. What and where was your undergrad degree?

    sisyphus. Yes I realise a first is essential and that is my priority. Cambridge demand it, but oddly Oxford just say 2.1 or 1st

    daveyboy, if I do get the sponsorship from the Bank which I am likely to, they pay for course fees and give me some money for living expenses. Whether they pay Cambridge the full expense of the course or just pay the 3000 or whatever that as a UK student I would have to pay anyway is unknown.

    Mysticmin I would maintain that after Cambridge and LSE Warwick is easily 3rd best in the country for Economics. We have some excellent academics with a really good reputation (an astonishing amount of lecturers who have done all their education at Oxbridge). The course is also very mathematical and technically rigorous, which is useful for postgrad study. ANy other qs just PM me.
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    (Original post by Saxman)
    How difficult is it to get into Oxford or Cambridge for post-graduate study? I would be applying for an MPhil in Economics. Presumabely it would be a lot harder than getting in at undergraduate level, but from what I have read it is a lot fairer process as it is easier to distinguish between candidates.

    I got 8A*s and 2 As at GCSE and 3 very high As at A-level and am on course for a first at Warwick in Economics. I would also be sponsored by the Bank of England, but would this influence them in anyway or give me a significant advantage over other candidates.

    Has anyone gone through the process? What colleges are easiest to get into? How does postgrad study differ from undergrad? Mine is a taught course so does that mean I would get tutorials too?


    Hi. It seems as if you have a very good chance of getting a place. Have you already decided on Cambridge if you're thinking of an MPhil?

    You may well find that you have a better chance of a place as a postgrad than as an undergrad. You're unlikely to be interviewed for a Masters, and extra-curricular activities seem to be far less important. The references are probably the crucial part of the application. Incidentally, if you want to mention your A-levels etc. you might want to ask your referees to mention them - there isn't a natural place to mention them on the form and it might look a little pompous if you try to squeeze them in somewhere.

    Hope that helps.

    By the way, some colleges have firm links with certain universities. If you can find one which is linked in some way to Warwick you might improve your chances.
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    (Original post by Saxman)
    "Therefore, if you get a first from Warwich (which is brilliant for Economics afaik, I guess you shold definitely apply. "

    Sorry Tommyboy what does afaik mean?
    Btw congratulations on your offer from Cambridge. What and where was your undergrad degree?
    afaik = As Far As I Know
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    My BA is from Essex (Modern History).
    Andm, as someone else has said before I think, postgraduate applications are much more concerned with academic ability: you don't really state your A-levels or extra-curricular activities anywhere. Instead you just send in references, research proposals / statement why you want to do the course, and possibly samples of written work. Finance might be an issue though, so if you could get funding that would probably work out to your advantage.
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    Mmm, extracurriculars and Alevels are my strong points, so maybe I will try and get my referees to squeeze these in. Not being interviewed willl be good as I screwed up my undergrad interview, as I do not think very well on my feet.

    That is a good idea about colleges linked to Warwick. I know that a number of my professors did all their education at Oxbridge so I will talk to them.

    The problem is getting good references. I can get a superb one from my former school teacher for economics, but I can only use that on the Oxford form not the Cambridge one. For the uni referees it is harder, as at Warwick there is no individual tutorials and very little assessed work. We have classes though and I have impressed the teachers in those classes as I participate a lot and am good at asking hard questions. I will probably ask one of those teachers for a reference. As for my personal tutor, he will be going mainly on marks which thus far have been consistently a 1st so with a good exam performance at the end of this year he should be able to write something nice about me.
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    (Original post by Saxman)
    How difficult is it to get into Oxford or Cambridge for post-graduate study? I would be applying for an MPhil in Economics. Presumabely it would be a lot harder than getting in at undergraduate level, but from what I have read it is a lot fairer process as it is easier to distinguish between candidates.

    I got 8A*s and 2 As at GCSE and 3 very high As at A-level and am on course for a first at Warwick in Economics. I would also be sponsored by the Bank of England, but would this influence them in anyway or give me a significant advantage over other candidates.

    Has anyone gone through the process? What colleges are easiest to get into? How does postgrad study differ from undergrad? Mine is a taught course so does that mean I would get tutorials too?

    I applied this year for something similar, Management MPhil at Cambridge. Unfortunately courses such as Management/Finance/ Economics are actually far far more competitive than something like Oriental Studies or Land Economy. I think the Cam. prospectus is far more realistic and offers a pretty reasonable reflection on what you need. For Econ you will defintely need a first, perhaps even a good first. Although I think having your degree from a brand name university shoulllld ensure you get in, providing you get a first. If you do get the first (I know for a fact that great work experience cannot make up for the lack of a first) AND have the B of E sponsorship I would say getting in should just be a formality.

    Relative to undergrad. the process at Oxbridge for postgrads is more varied. On one end you get courses where a simple 2:1 is sufficient and on the other end you get courses where they ask for a 1st as a bare min. and even then get 10 applications per place!

    With College, hmm, it's difficult to say. The process is different, once you are admitted to the faculty you are guaranteed a place. Then after this, your application goes to your first/then second choice colleges. You may as well apply to the most prestigious or wherever you really would like to go, as once your application has gotten past the faculty stage you *always* end up with a college at least. I personally think the college you go to does matter, at St Johns and Trinity it's something like 10 apps per place, so just getting a place there is bound to look impressive on your CV, i.e. you beat 9 other people who actually made it into the University of Cambridge for a place.

    Incidentally, they do not even look at pre university qualifications. Frankly I wouldn't bother mentioning them, they don't matter at this level. They will go mostly on your second/final year results.

    If you're looking for more info. let me know nearer the time, hoepfully I'll have made some contacts there by that time!

    Best of Luck
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    (Original post by J.S.)
    I applied this year for something similar, Management MPhil at Cambridge. Unfortunately courses such as Management/Finance/ Economics are actually far far more competitive than something like Oriental Studies or Land Economy. I think the Cam. prospectus is far more realistic and offers a pretty reasonable reflection on what you need. For Econ you will defintely need a first, perhaps even a good first. Although I think having your degree from a brand name university shoulllld ensure you get in, providing you get a first. If you do get the first (I know for a fact that great work experience cannot make up for the lack of a first) AND have the B of E sponsorship I would say getting in should just be a formality.

    Relative to undergrad. the process at Oxbridge for postgrads is more varied. On one end you get courses where a simple 2:1 is sufficient and on the other end you get courses where they ask for a 1st as a bare min. and even then get 10 applications per place!

    With College, hmm, it's difficult to say. The process is different, once you are admitted to the faculty you are guaranteed a place. Then after this, your application goes to your first/then second choice colleges. You may as well apply to the most prestigious or wherever you really would like to go, as once your application has gotten past the faculty stage you *always* end up with a college at least. I personally think the college you go to does matter, at St Johns and Trinity it's something like 10 apps per place, so just getting a place there is bound to look impressive on your CV, i.e. you beat 9 other people who actually made it into the University of Cambridge for a place.

    Incidentally, they do not even look at pre university qualifications. Frankly I wouldn't bother mentioning them, they don't matter at this level. They will go mostly on your second/final year results.

    If you're looking for more info. let me know nearer the time, hoepfully I'll have made some contacts there by that time!

    Best of Luck
    I have to admit I disagree slightly on the importance of A-levels. I'm not familiar with the Cambridge form for Masters but I seem to remember including them for my DPhil application. The point is that it is very difficult to asses how good a grade is from a certain university. They're meant to be consistent but a first from the 'university of former polys which sounds like a more famous uni in the same town' is not as good as a first from a good red brick uni and tutors may well look at A-level grades as the last place where all people have done the 'same' exams. As I'm sure you're getting the impression as everyone says, the key is the references. If your lecturers etc are ex Oxbridge, talk to them and see if they have any particular strong links. For example if one of them has worked closely with someone senior at whichever uni you're applying to then a good reference from them may well carry more weight than a very good reference from someone that your interviewers haven't heard of.

    Best of luck.
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    (Original post by davey_boy)
    I have to admit I disagree slightly on the importance of A-levels. I'm not familiar with the Cambridge form for Masters but I seem to remember including them for my DPhil application. The point is that it is very difficult to asses how good a grade is from a certain university. They're meant to be consistent but a first from the 'university of former polys which sounds like a more famous uni in the same town' is not as good as a first from a good red brick uni and tutors may well look at A-level grades as the last place where all people have done the 'same' exams. As I'm sure you're getting the impression as everyone says, the key is the references. If your lecturers etc are ex Oxbridge, talk to them and see if they have any particular strong links. For example if one of them has worked closely with someone senior at whichever uni you're applying to then a good reference from them may well carry more weight than a very good reference from someone that your interviewers haven't heard of.

    Best of luck.
    I filled in both Cambridge and Oxford forms about two months ago - no mention of A-levels on either of them. As for the references: yes, that is a very good point. It definitely depends on the reputation of your referees, and possibly of that of the uni you took your first degree in (although a First is quite respectable from most places).
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    Right. I think everything is cleared up now. Get a first, get some good references from the "big names" of my university, and decide on what I am likely to want to do the dissertation part of the course on.

    Although, the problem is that there is very little professor contact so while my personal tutor is a big name (Director of Studies, did all his studies at Oxbridge etc) getting other references will be harder as the class tutors are all PhD students.

    How did the other people on this thread who applied for postgrad study sort out references?
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    (Original post by Saxman)
    Right. I think everything is cleared up now. Get a first, get some good references from the "big names" of my university, and decide on what I am likely to want to do the dissertation part of the course on.

    Although, the problem is that there is very little professor contact so while my personal tutor is a big name (Director of Studies, did all his studies at Oxbridge etc) getting other references will be harder as the class tutors are all PhD students.

    How did the other people on this thread who applied for postgrad study sort out references?

    ahh matey, you're worrying too much here. You don't necessarily need 'big names'. You just need someone who is a fairly well established faculty member. Seriously, don't go around hunting for big names-it's better to go with someone familiar with your work. If you have a first, then they'll write an exceptional reference for you. The staff at Warwick or any other good university know how difficult it is in such a selective school to finish in the top 5/10%, if that's what you do, they'll write you a fantastic ref., no doubt about that.

    As for A level grades, they don't matter for Economics-the MPhil is just waaay too competitive for them to take into account anything so unimportant. Do remember, you are actually in a slightly different boat to someone applying for the Oriental Studies MPhil (for e.g.). Your are applying for a degree where an ex poly degree is likely to be dismissed anyway, i.e. for the Management MPhil it actually states that the admissions standard of your previous university too will be taken into account in making a decision, and for those that do not come from universities with an established international reputation, a GRE is required. So, the system is pretty fair.
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    I've recently applied for an M.Sc at both Oxford and Cambridge. It was a last minute decision, so I actually got the Oxford application in after the recommended closing date. However about 2 weeks later I received a letter from the departement saying I was provisonally accepted. Since I pretty much messed up third year uni (although i'm on track for a high 2:1 or a 1) I can only assume either my references were great, or that the course wasn't full (They must have been getting desperate!).

    I'm not sure how likely it is that a college will reject you if the department accepts you. Does anyone know?
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    (Original post by beckalina)
    I've recently applied for an M.Sc at both Oxford and Cambridge. It was a last minute decision, so I actually got the Oxford application in after the recommended closing date. However about 2 weeks later I received a letter from the departement saying I was provisonally accepted. Since I pretty much messed up third year uni (although i'm on track for a high 2:1 or a 1) I can only assume either my references were great, or that the course wasn't full (They must have been getting desperate!).

    I'm not sure how likely it is that a college will reject you if the department accepts you. Does anyone know?

    Oxford guarantees that you'll get a college place if you have an offer from a department, so you can be absolutely certain that you're off to Oxford. Congratulations.
    There's no guarantee that the college will be one of your four, though - but it will be somewhere.
 
 
 
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