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    Original creation: 19th August 2012 22:50

    Note: When asking about your chances, please tell us about your A-levels, GCSEs, and some mention of things you've written on your personal statement so that we can give you better advice. Just giving a set of results tells us little about how you might fare other than 'you've got the requirements to have a chance'.

    Right, we've had about three of these threads in the last few days, so I'm going to merge threads into this one, and ask people to please post further questions in here. I think I'll also do a clearup and merge questions on each college into one thread I wrote an FAQ post about GCSEs, since that's one of the easiest questions to answer, but there's a much wider range of questions asked, and many unique personal situations that need to be taken into account.

    If I merge you into this thread, and you think people have missed your question, please feel free to quote yourself and ask again.


    So, we get a lot of people asking whether they stand a chance of getting into Durham with certain grades, often 'let down' by one or two things, or else doing 'non-traditional' subjects.

    Essentially there isn't much point in asking these questions, because all the information on application requirements is up on the Durham University website - if you don't match those requirements, then you probably won't get in - all TSR can offer is redirects to that information, and anecdotal evidence of people getting in or failing to get in with certain grades, which proves very little.

    Applying to Durham can be stressful, as a great many undergraduate applicants will be coming straight from school/college/VI Form with straight As/A*s at both GCSE and A-level - which are a very easy way to discriminate between applicants. Durham likes to take more than that into account, looking at personal statements and considering what you'd add to the community more than other universities, but it is still tough applying if you don't have those top grades.



    The central hub of information for applications to Durham University can be found here. A list of FAQs can be found here. And here is another page explaining more of the consideration proceedure, and some reasons why your application may not be successful.

    No matter what you may hear, the following will have no bearing on your application to Durham University [statistics here for 2009/10]:
    • Race
    • Socio-economic background
    • Personal Beliefs
    • Age
    • Other universities you've applied to
    • Criminal record (except for those courses listed here)


    Their full admissions policy, describing what they take into account when considering applications, is listed here.

    (Original post by Durham University Website)
    Our admissions policy is fair and transparent and we seek to recruit the most able and most motivated students who can best benefit from a Durham University education. Every application is important to us and we welcome applications from all students irrespective of background.

    Multiple factors are taken into account to identify the most able candidates and this is determined by academic staff who are experts in their field and actively involved in teaching their subject. These factors include (1) A-Level (or equivalent) grades; (2) GCSE (or equivalent) grades; (3) the personal statement; (4) the reference; (5) the development of study skills; (6) motivation for the degree programme applied for; (7) independence of thought and working; (8) skills derived from non-academic extra-curricular activities such as engagement in sport, the arts or voluntary and community work; and (9) contextual consideration of merit and potential.

    Durham University is a hugely popular choice for prospective students and as a result we receive considerably more high quality applications than the places we have available. In some subjects Durham is now as competitive as Oxbridge for entry and in many subjects three As is the minimum entry qualification. If students do not apply they will not gain entry, so even though it is competitive the most able students from all schools are strongly encouraged to apply and compete for entry.

    And here are some relevant points for people replying to this thread to bear in mind:

    (Original post by River85)
    "You don't know the OP certainly won't get in. Being a Durham graduate, a student of the department in question for eight years and someone who knows the admissions tutor, even I can't say. However, speaking from my own knowledge and experience, I know that it can be possible to gain a place without stellar grades providing significant potential can still be demonstrated."

    "For now all the OP is asking about is an honest evaluation of her chances, which has been provided by a number of current students and graduates, and the contact details for both the philosophy admissions tutor and the foundation centre."

    "The extent to which GCSEs matter, and the likelihood of receiving an offer with non-traditional qualifications, does vary by department and specific admissions tutor. Also, in my experience, universities often don't have the time to give feedback to applicants who failed to get an offer. They may just give a generic reply such as your GCSEs weren't good enough."


    And lastly, a comment specifically about GCSEs (taken from the FAQ):

    (Original post by Awoodrow2)
    #10 Do Durham Care About My GCSEs?

    Historically, only the very popular History program has had any requirements concerning GCSEs. Since the introduction of the A* at A-level, not a single department has required applicants to have any number of particular grades at GCSE.

    (Original post by Classics and Ancient History Department)
    What are the minimum GCSE requirements?
    Because we get so many applications with predictions of AAA or higher, we are sometimes forced to use the profile of GCSE marks to make decisions. If your application reaches that stage in the process, we may be looking for a substantial number of A*s with no very low marks.

    Should I bother applying if I have less than AAA at A-level or lack a substantial number of A*s at GCSE?
    Please do apply if you think you can make a strong case. We read all applications carefully and do not apply any mechanical rule to eliminate applications. We only go strictly on grades when the remaining applications have been read several times and we are unable to make any more distinctions. Quite a few applicants, some with lower marks, will have been made offers before reaching that point in the process, on the strength of the case made by the application as a whole.
    This writer got into the MPhys program with only 2 A*s at GCSE. So basically, you don't need them, but it helps. Durham are much more interested in your personal statement, and what you can offer to the university as a whole rather than how well you'll do at your subject, compared to other universities.




    Please PM if there's any useful information I've missed off here, or if I've misrepresented something.
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    Hey
    I'm interested in doing accounting do Durham care about gcse grades or just about a level grades?

    Thx
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    Some departments do, some don't. If you check their website, it lists which ones care.
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    kl thx
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    Durham do take into account gcse's, but seeing as you would be applying for accounting, it doesn't really matter if you didn't exactly achieve all A's and A*s, as it's at the Stockton Campus and accounting's not as popular as other subjects at Durham. I achieved 3 A's, 6 B's and 2 C's at GCSE but got an offer from Durham for accounting & finance.
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    Haha lol I gt same gcses as u LOL erm if u don't mind me askin wt a levels u get??
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    (Original post by killercow292)
    Haha lol I gt same gcses as u LOL erm if u don't mind me askin wt a levels u get??
    Lol erm well I've just completed A-Levels in Business and Maths in which I'm predicted an A and B respectively. Also I've done an OCR National in ICT which is equivalent to an A-Level and I'm predicted Distinction (A) for that. Plus I have Psychology at AS Level at a grade C.
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    Did for me, I got rejected for not having 8 A* at GCSE, they didn't even take into account my awesome extracurricular stuff =(

    Edit: if anyone is wondering how I know it was for the lack of 8 A*s, I asked them for feedback on why they rejected me and that's all they told me.
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    I'm currently in Year 12 IB (November 2012 session), wishing to apply for Law. I've heard varying reports on this, but for the most part the general consensus is that legal work experience is indeed valuable. I've not had the opportunity to undertake any, nor do I envisage I would be able to between now and application date. Thus, I ask: how much does this hurt my chances?
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    I'm on my gap year, after getting A*A*A in my A-Levels last August, and I've received an unconditional offer from Durham to study Classics. However, in September I had the bright idea to continue, as an independent student, the Philosophy A-Level that I started last year (I got an A at AS). Now, however, having suddenly woken up after spending the past six months in a permanent state of drunkeness, I have realised that I simply have neither the time to study, nor the enthusiasm to actually revise for the exams. I was wondering whether it would have any bearing on my unconditional offer if I simply didn't bother with it; I only say this because I put on my UCAS application that I was doing this A2, and that I was predicted an A* overall. Does this mean that Durham will be expecting an overall A-Level, despite giving me an unconditional offer?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by Connor93)
    I'm on my gap year, after getting A*A*A in my A-Levels last August, and I've received an unconditional offer from Durham to study Classics. However, in September I had the bright idea to continue, as an independent student, the Philosophy A-Level that I started last year (I got an A at AS). Now, however, having suddenly woken up after spending the past six months in a permanent state of drunkeness, I have realised that I simply have neither the time to study, nor the enthusiasm to actually revise for the exams. I was wondering whether it would have any bearing on my unconditional offer if I simply didn't bother with it; I only say this because I put on my UCAS application that I was doing this A2, and that I was predicted an A* overall. Does this mean that Durham will be expecting an overall A-Level, despite giving me an unconditional offer?

    Thanks
    You have to take every A-Level you wrote down on your UCAS form, or ask Durham if it's OK not to take it. If you simply don't turn up to the exam, Durham can refuse to give you your place, even though your offer's unconditional.

    You can turn up to the exam, not writing anything and get 0 and still get your place though.

    The best thing to do is to email them and explain what's happened.
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    Thanks
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    (Original post by undergradstudent)

    The best thing to do is to email them and explain what's happened.
    I wouldn't mention the drunk part!
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    I am thinking about studying French and German at Durham in 2013.
    But I am very worried about my GCSE's

    AS Predictions: AAAA (French, German, English Lit and History)

    GCSE's: English Lit A*
    English Lang A*
    French A
    History A
    German B
    Geography B
    Maths B
    Additional Science B
    Core Science B
    P.E C
    R.E (Short Course) B
    ICT (Short Course) Pass

    What do you think?
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    (Original post by Fuzzed_Out)
    Did for me, I got rejected for not having 8 A* at GCSE, they didn't even take into account my awesome extracurricular stuff =(
    what subject was that then?
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    (Original post by Fuzzed_Out)
    Did for me, I got rejected for not having 8 A* at GCSE, they didn't even take into account my awesome extracurricular stuff =(
    History?
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    (Original post by roh)
    History?
    He studied/ is studying Mechanical Engineering at Birmingham, so either that or something similar..
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    PS Helper
    (Original post by RP-MRU.)
    He studied/ is studying Mechanical Engineering at Birmingham, so either that or something similar..
    Top TSR stalking
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    (Original post by roh)
    Top TSR stalking
    Well, it's hardly difficult to click on his profile. Where the hell did you get History from?!
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    My friend had no GCSEs and he got into Economics at University.
 
 
 
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