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    Hi everyone, I'm an American student planning to apply to graduate school in the UK in a little over a year. However, I have a bit of concern about the schools that I am interested in. I'll start at the beginning: I completed a Bachelor of General Studies (minors in sociology and business) in 2010 from a state university. Basically I had spent my time at this university partying and barely going to class. By the time I had been there for 4 years, my only choice if I was going to graduate right then was to go for a BGS, so I did (I was just desperate to graduate, and so were my parents). My GPA was very low (2.25) but I got my diploma.. Soon after I graduated, I regretted it. I really loved sociology, anthropology, and language and knew I couldn't get into a graduate school with my current credentials, and also my job prospects are very limited.

    In January 2012, I decided to go back to school and complete a BA in Sociology. Along the way I also picked up a 2nd major in German and minor in anthropology. I now have been in school for 3 semesters, have 4 left to go (to finish German and anthro) and have a GPA of 3.82. Moving forward, I don't foresee my GPA as a difficult standard to maintain. I am extremely committed to social sciences and now that I've found my niche I've become very successful academically and have already found professors that I know will be willing to write very good letters of rec for me.

    My concern is, will my past poor performance seriously threaten my chances at getting into top universities in the UK? I am most interested in the taught masters in social anthro at Edinburgh, SOAS, and UCL... and of course there is also Oxford :daydreaming: I'd like to apply to Manchester and Aberdeen as well. My academic interests include European culture, archaeology, anthropology, and language. As such, I have become committed to finding a place at a university in the UK, but I have myself a bit worried because of my previous performance. If anyone has any suggestions on "safe schools" in the UK that have anthro programs, I am totally up for hearing them.

    I know that there is no absolute answer to my question, but I am asking questions of anyone and everyone who may have some insight into graduate admissions and I'm doing as much research online as I can. I'd like to have a little bit of an idea what to expect since currently, I have no plans to apply to schools in the US. Also, would it be appropriate to write postgrad tutors at these schools and speak them them directly about my concerns?
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    I think you need to talk to the schools you are interested in and ask them what their policies are for computing GPA. Is your current GPA just from the classes you've taken since graduating? If it is, then UK schools are likely (I would think...but this is where asking them becomes important) to calculate your GPA using ALL your classes including your original GPA. Since entry for MA's is often set at a 2:1 (UK grading system) , they'll probably expect a 3.5 or a 3.6 or a 3.7 (it differs between universities). If that current GPA is calculated using all your classes, including the earlier ones, then you shouldn't have any problems at all!

    It's definitely appropriate to email contacts at these schools - maybe the course leader or the director of graduate studies for the department.

    Edited to add: with the Sociology BA - is it a complete degree, or just a major (and minors) with you using some of your earlier BGS credits to fill out requirements? I think the specifics of that will make a difference in terms of UK schools' evaluation of your degrees. If they are two completely separate degrees, I suspect you won't have any problems getting onto an MA course...if they're linked in some way, then it might get a bit more complicated with GPA calculations.
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    It's a full BA. My previous sociology classes did transfer in from my previous minor, but the specific classes required only for the major (statistics, research methods, theory, and capstone [in my case, an internship]) have been completed at my current school. Anyway, my best grades at my previous school were in sociology, which is why I'm pursuing it now

    Thanks to both of you, by the way. Very helpful!!
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    No worries - good luck!

    Oh yeah, and Goldsmiths and Kent might be other places to check out; and Essex, if you're thinking of applying for Sociology at all.
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    (Original post by deutsched)
    I am most interested in the taught masters in social anthro at Edinburgh, SOAS, and UCL... and of course there is also Oxford :daydreaming: I'd like to apply to Manchester and Aberdeen as well.
    Do remember that these are cities as well as universities. You are going to be spending a year (at least) there and they have very different characters.
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    Indeed. I actually spent a semester studying in london in 2007 so i have been there as well as oxford and Manchester
 
 
 
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