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Could I get into these universities ... [worried about GCSEs and ECs!] Watch

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    Could I get into the universities mentioned?

    GCSEs
    AABCCC and D*P2 As in English Language and English Literature, 1 B in History, and 3 Cs in Food Technology, French and Maths. I also have a Distinction* in BTEC IT and a Pass in BTEC Applied Science.

    I know my GCSEs aren't great, but I have entenuating circumstances. My aunt took her life a month before my exams and her funeral was delayed because of post-mortem, etc. Also, halfway through the month of May - which I had 4 exams in - my other aunt was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

    AS levels
    ABBC
    A in Government & Politics, Bs in History and English Literature, and a C in English Language.

    I haven't got these yet, but I feel I am capable of that - maybe a C in English Literature. So I could end up with ABCC.

    A levels
    AAB
    As in Government & Politics and History, a B in English Literature.

    Again, I am still in AS but setting my sights on these grades. Treat this query as if I have obtained this/will obtain this.



    Extra-curriculars
    • I write articles about American politics for a website with a readership of around 3,000 people a week
    • Trying to get a week's volunteering with my local MP
    • Trying to secure a placement with my local paper
    • Considering joining Amnesty International enrichment at college
    • I would join the debate team but I am rather shy and am only good at debating via the internet
    • Thinking of applying to get some work experience with the National Trust - so I can write in my PS about my love of history
    • May do an EPQ at A2 about the American election 2012
    Universities I wish to attend
    1. University of Manchester - BA Politics & IR - AAB
    2. University of York - BA Politics & IR - AAB
    3. University of Sheffield - BA Politics - AAB
    4. University of East Anglia - BA Politics - ABB
    5. University of Essex - BA Politics with a Year Abroad - ABB-BBB
    Thanks
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    Honestly I think you could get offers from most of those uni quite comfortably. York may be a bit iffy but I applied in the '10 when everything was oversubscribed. I'm sure you'll be fine. Don't worry about GCSEs. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

    It would be easiest if you got two As but you'll be fine with one A and two Bs at AS. I think it'd be wise to do resits though and to bump up the grade in the January before A2s. Relieves pressure.
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    Your GCSE grades and ECs will pose no obstacle, unless the university asks for a B in Maths, which is rare for politics.

    Wait until you have your AS grades and A2 predictions, as that is what will determine how able you are to get into the universities listed. However, if your AS predictions are correct (and that's a very big if!) I would suggest finding another university that you like the look of with slightly lower grades - say, 300 points or ABC (no, BBB is not always seen as equivalent to ABC!)
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    (Original post by fnm)
    Honestly I think you could get offers from most of those uni quite comfortably. York may be a bit iffy but I applied in the '10 when everything was oversubscribed. I'm sure you'll be fine. Don't worry about GCSEs. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

    It would be easiest if you got two As but you'll be fine with one A and two Bs at AS. I think it'd be wise to do resits though and to bump up the grade in the January before A2s. Relieves pressure.
    Thanks, but what about my ECs?

    (Original post by Origami Bullets)
    Your GCSE grades and ECs will pose no obstacle, unless the university asks for a B in Maths, which is rare for politics.

    Wait until you have your AS grades and A2 predictions, as that is what will determine how able you are to get into the universities listed. However, if your AS predictions are correct (and that's a very big if!) I would suggest finding another university that you like the look of with slightly lower grades - say, 300 points or ABC (no, BBB is not always seen as equivalent to ABC!)
    I am afraid - in regard to the ECs - that I will come up against politics nerds who are on debate teams and members of Youth Parliament. I do NOT want to be a politician when I am older, I want to be either a political journalist or a war correspondent -- so I haven't engaged in political related things such as Youth Parliament and will instead get involved in the media, etc.

    Thanks
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    Doing political things is not the same as being good at politics, though. Youth Parliament is great, but it's not essential. Unis are mainly interested in your interest in the subject, and you can show that by writing articles and your EPQ. If you can do politics related things like reading books that would be even better.
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    (Original post by Phil Dunphy)
    I am afraid - in regard to the ECs - that I will come up against politics nerds who are on debate teams and members of Youth Parliament. I do NOT want to be a politician when I am older, I want to be either a political journalist or a war correspondent -- so I haven't engaged in political related things such as Youth Parliament and will instead get involved in the media, etc.

    Thanks
    I'm a politics student, and it has to be said that political extra curriculars tend to bear very little relation to the reality of studying politics.

    That said, on my PS I think I said that I had done MUN, been to various politicians speak (e.g. Nick Clegg, in his pre-coalition / "I'm sorry" days, when I wasn't embarrassed to admit that I voted Lib Dem in 2010!), membership of Liberty (i.e. I paid £10 or whatever it was) and a weeks work experience at a government department (in reality, it was a week of filing and sorting the post at my local HMRC office when i was 16.... puffery much!)

    You would do well to do some reading, and mention it in your PS. Off the top of my head, some "readable" books that I have read recently include
    - Chavs: The demonisation of the working class - Owen Jones
    - The Spirit Level: why equality is better for everyone - Wilkinson & Pickett
    - Global Political Economy: Evolution and Dynamics - O'Brien and Williams (a textbook on IPE, which is essentially where IR meets economics, or looking at economics in political terms)

    Some rather heavier stuff includes
    - A Theory of Justice - Rawls
    - Nozick (he's done lots of stuff, but Distributive Justice is a good antidote to Rawls)
    For these, you should read around the work, i.e. read the literature about the literature. Trying to read the whole thing would kill most people, including me, but reading around it will give you enough to be able to talk about the work.

    I've only been doing political philosophy and IPE this term (alongside a couple of other non-politics modules), and I'm blowed if I can remember a single reading from last year when it's 2am, at least in part because I did very little reading in first year!

    Edited to add: have a look for any public lectures in your town. I have been to some quite good public lectures before - the Bristol Festival of Ideas, for instance, is excellent.
 
 
 
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