The Official 'How To Get A First Class Degree' thread Watch

ikiru
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(Original post by too many legs.)
No and yes. A degree from a red-brick university i.e. Oxbridge, UCL, LSE, etc, will automatically be regarded as a superior degree qualification due to the prestige of those unis (their history, teaching standards, standards of students admitted with A*/A grade A-levels). That goes without saying. So a first from those universities will obviously be a cherry on top of an otherwise excellent degree to have.

BUT, if you manage to get a first from a non-redbrick, that will bolster your degree to a higher standard. Honestly there are going to be a lot of 2.1s from universities all over the country, but if an employer comes across a first, from any uni, they'll be impressed because as you can tell from the above posts, it requires a lot of organisation and determination. The 1st on your CV will show that.

Honestly prior to coming to uni I spent an awful lot of time thinking about the prestige of my uni choices and obviously that isn't a bad thing but once you've got in, just think about your extra-curriculars and your exams/essays. You're in too deep into uni to be thinking about how it'll look if you get a degree from a non-redbrick. If you get a first, you'll be at a very good position regardless of where you go (however that does depend on the actual degree subject, because a 1st in media studies isn't going to be viewed as good as a 1st in maths).
Oh I see, I don't know if you ever heard of Trent university in Nottingham, that's the one I'm attending because I know for sure I missed out on my firm choice. Do you thinka degree from there in philosophy and international relations would be credible?
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NikolaT
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(Original post by ikiru)
Oh I see, I don't know if you ever heard of Trent university in Nottingham, that's the one I'm attending because I know for sure I missed out on my firm choice. Do you thinka degree from there in philosophy and international relations would be credible?
A humanities degree from an ex-poly probably isn't a situation most people would envy. The student side of it seems okay, but the 'afterward' part of it not so much:

http://unistats.com/subjects/overvie...eturnTo/Search
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GoingToBurst
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(Original post by mijo)
I believe we are both saying the same thing just with different perspectives of looking at it. It appears your perspective is from that of the "smart" student and mine is from the "struggling" student looking to achieve a first.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that I would not have achieved a strong first in final year if I didn't develop right relationships and seek help from other first class students. Remember I was a struggling student not a student who has got first class marks in prior years and already knew what success looked like., I didn't.

But heres the kicker: I never sought them out to leech, I was naturally drawn to them and vice versa because I was willing to put in the work to get the first.

A student who is naturally willing to work hard and achieve a first with the right mind-set he/she will naturally "connect" with and be drawn to likeminded students. This is the same as sports, work and other areas of life, we are naturally drawn to and connect with likeminded individuals striving after similar goals etc

Many struggling students are not aware of the importance of this and that's why I mentioned this. Even though I listed what to do like "techniques" its never about what you do , but how and why.
If you are willing to put in the work, help people and exercise mutual value exchange and connection, I don't see where you can go wrong.

Hope this makes sense, I don't want to ruin this thread with back and forth, but I believe we can come to a mutual understanding. Perhaps Pm me if you want to carry on lol

Take care.
It makes perfect sense that you take tips from first class students, apply them and then see your grades improve, but it you're still talking about making relationships with these people for the ultimate end goal of helping yourself succeed rather than because you want to have those people in your life for who THEY are. You want them in your life for who they can they can help YOU become. Do you see what I mean? All I'm saying is that people should be careful because there is no worse feeling that discovering that your group of friends only want you around when you can help them, rather than because you're actually friends.
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too many legs.
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(Original post by ikiru)
Oh I see, I don't know if you ever heard of Trent university in Nottingham, that's the one I'm attending because I know for sure I missed out on my firm choice. Do you thinka degree from there in philosophy and international relations would be credible?
I have indeed!

Philosophy and International Relations are respectable degrees! But my honest advice would be to attempt to become involved in a lot of extra curricular activities at university so you seem as an interesting all-rounder when you graduate (I'm sure you are interesting, but on a CV employers can only see that through what you've been involved in).

Try your best at your university, whichever we get into. Good luck!!!
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ikiru
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(Original post by NikolaT)
A humanities degree from an ex-poly probably isn't a situation most people would envy. The student side of it seems okay, but the 'afterward' part of it not so much:

http://unistats.com/subjects/overvie...eturnTo/Search
That was an insightful link, thanks. Is it best to choose another degree from the same uni then? something thats not humanities based?
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ikiru
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(Original post by too many legs.)
I have indeed!

Philosophy and International Relations are respectable degrees! But my honest advice would be to attempt to become involved in a lot of extra curricular activities at university so you seem as an interesting all-rounder when you graduate (I'm sure you are interesting, but on a CV employers can only see that through what you've been involved in).

Try your best at your university, whichever we get into. Good luck!!!

Thankyou! you've been great help
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scrawlx101
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(Original post by too many legs.)
I have indeed!

Philosophy and International Relations are respectable degrees! But my honest advice would be to attempt to become involved in a lot of extra curricular activities at university so you seem as an interesting all-rounder when you graduate (I'm sure you are interesting, but on a CV employers can only see that through what you've been involved in).

Try your best at your university, whichever we get into. Good luck!!!
so which one should i pick:

psychology or english lit?
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iAmanze
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Is there a big difference between getting a 1st and a 2:1?

Would an employer actively favor you as you have a 1st or is it not even that deep?
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holly_1994
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(Original post by iAmanze)
Is there a big difference between getting a 1st and a 2:1?

Would an employer actively favor you as you have a 1st or is it not even that deep?
All courses are marked differently. If you do maths/a science at university, then you can get 80%, 85%, 90%, or more. I study History, and we were told in our first week to not expect over 75% as humanities degrees are somewhat speculative, whereas maths and science are either right or wrong. For example, 1 + 1 is 2, and there is no disputing that.

So, with that in mind: a 2:1 is 60-70% and anything upwards of 70% is a first. How far into a first you get depends on the type (humanities/science/maths) of your degree. It's only 10 marks per grade boundary, excluding that of a first, which can go to 100%. Employers will only consider the overall grade of your degree if you are applying for a professional job, where it might be required that you have at least a 2:1. Most employers that do stipulate degree preference nearly always want at least a 2:1, so it is not a necessity to have a 1st in order to achieve a top career. Having said that, it is also not a necessity to get a 2:1 to enter a professional/competitive career.
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ChemicalBond
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I haven't finished my degree yet, but I finished my first year (10% of the degree, which is environmental science) with 79.5%. I started out going about things the same way as A Level and scraped low 2.1's. But then by employing the following techniques I managed to pull my grades up into strong firsts.

1) If you're lucky enough to have lots of friends on your course, collaborate. Obviously copying is a massive no-no, but if you help each other out then it helps. For example, in my group of friends, we had people who were strong at different parts, whether it was chemistry, maths, geology, genetics or economics. By helping and supporting each other, it helped us to clarify anything we weren't sure of and make sure no one felt "inferior". Obviously, if you're completely stuck in the mud, there's no harm in asking a lecturer or consulting a book for clarification, but helping your friends always helps.

2) Read, read, read! Don't go overboard, but if you feel like you could do with a bit more knowledge, go for it.

3) Be sure that when you're finding sources, they're reputable. Don't settle for anything just because it's loosely relevant.

4) Read the question several times. Make sure you understand what they want of you.

5) Before answering a question, make a plan (I'm being a hypocrite here... there were a few all nighters, including two on the same night. Please don't do it. Even though I got over 80% in both of them, it's not good, and you'll be recovering for days as well as spotting silly mistakes when you get your script back when it's been marked that might've not appeared had you done it while relaxed and awake!). You don't have to 100% stick to the plan, but it's recommended so you know where you're going with the assignment and don't repeat yourself/miss out key issues. Find good references and use them.

6) Read your work as you're going through. Does it make sense? Does it flow nicely? Is the grammar correct, and is your spelling top notch? Read it over and over again until you're bored of it. Then give it to a friend or two to read to make sure you're okay. Poor writing will lose you marks! Same goes for a calculation-based assignment. (One of the assignments on the double all nighter was a calculation one. All my calculations were perfect until the last few questions. Although I got ECA awarded, I still chucked away about 5-7% because I didn't check properly- again, another reason to not pull all-nighters because you're going to be too tired to check them correctly!)

7) Have a life as well! Being locked in the library 24/7 is as bad as not studying at all, if not worse, because you stand the risk of crashing your brain. Get the balance right.

8) Look after yourself. Eat well, sleep well, take time to exercise.
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eve1293
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Just throwing in my experience/tips:

1. Pick a subject you really enjoy. There will be modules that you like and modules that you don't, but if you're genuinely interested in the subject as a whole then it will make studying a lot easier and will help you to make links between ideas.

2. Read. Those reading lists you get? Go beyond it. The reading lists on a lot of (arts and social science) courses cover the basic/fundamental readings for the course and often they will all repeat the same information. Go to the library or search online for new studies or journal articles relating to your course. Getting a first is all about originality and being able to apply the new things you have read to the course you're studying is key to this. Plus I find the more recent dates (2000's) to be easier to remember for referencing than for an older study

3. Prepare for every assignment. Some people can do every essay the night before and still get a first. I am not one of those people! I always did all of my reading and research for an essay before doing a detailed plan (sometimes a tutor will look over a plan and give you feedback too) then settling down to write it. This whole process usually took me a week or two.

4. Take good notes. This may sound simple but it can be tempting to just sit back and let the lecturer talk at you whilst you daydream about being in bed, but lecturers often give useful information in a lecture that isn't on the slides. Always worth listening out for what they're really interested in too - as it will likely be on the exam!
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gman10
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Some really helpful tips!
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mijo
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(Original post by gman10)
Some really helpful tips!
THis thread is packed with so much gold, gman10 great work starting this! Someone needs to compile all of this into a short document or something.
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Skidman
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(Original post by LondonLove29)
Just reminded myself about this thread as im preparing for my second assignments. Thanks for all the tips they are great.

To those of you who already have a first, question:
Im in my first year and averaged 60% for my first pieces of coursework. Am i on track to get a first? i feel like im slacking already.
What did you all average by the end of first year?

Thanks
I would say yes considering that was your first piece of assignment, and you can only go up if you follow the feedback from your lecturer. Your writing style and referencing is the key and using relevant contemporary one's wisely should boost your marks.

Just finished my degree and like you my first assignment was 58%, but i average 71% in first year
74% in second year
76% in third year
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abc_1234
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Tamarauebi
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A first class is achievable doing 12-18 hours a week. I work more than 40 hours a week (full time), married, as well as study full time. Try as much as possible to reduce your hours spent on social media (Facebook, WhatsApp & co), hangout reasonable if you have to, but most importantly, manage your study time.
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sana.zaheer
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Hi...
I'm a second year law student. In my first year I got a high 2.2 I just missed the 2.1 because of one bad paper . I really want to do well. I want to get a high 2.1 this year so I can aim for like 70 to 74% next year to scrape a first. I am putting more effort in this year. There is no doubt I can do more. I have been told I cant do it. I really want to though. What I really wanted to ask was this...



1) I am confused on further reading. It is true I am not doing any at the moment. I am mainly coming home after lecture opening the core text book and making notes on that topic. Which consumes my time. How can I even make time for further reading. I do the set seminar work. Read articles and the cases in full(sometimes)... any tips?

2) if anyone has done a law degree and have studied EU law pleaseee tell me what is the effective way of studying this topic!

3) jurisprudence and well on general coursework... I get low 2.1s... like 63. How can I boost this?

4) And to scrape a first... what is required of me? How hard do I need to work and push myself. I am a hardworker. Not the intelligent type but when I give my 100percent I do not fail myself.
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Science1996
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Recently finished my second year of a Biological Sciences degree with an 86% average... so here's my advice:

1. Go above and beyond the recommended texts. You don't have to read books cover to cover... but doing some reading here and there will definitely help.

2. Referencing. When you reference in an exam it instantly shows the marker and the external moderator that you've gone the extra mile and it makes marking your work easier for the examiner.

3. You don't necessarily have to be working 12 hour study sessions throughout the week, but simply working consistently throughout the year with a day off here and there will definitely benefit you in the long term.

4. Understanding the layout of your exam will make it easier for you to work out how to study. For example, for one of my modules this year there were 12 topics, and on the exam there were 8 essay questions and you only had to answer 4. This meant that 4 topics were going to be left out of the exam. By this logic, it was perfectly acceptable to leave out 4 topics when revising, so even if the 4 topics that you left out came up, you will have revised all other areas of the course in order to be able to answer the other 4 available.
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velvetsky
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(Original post by Science1996)
Recently finished my second year of a Biological Sciences degree with an 86% average... so here's my advice:

1. Go above and beyond the recommended texts. You don't have to read books cover to cover... but doing some reading here and there will definitely help.

2. Referencing. When you reference in an exam it instantly shows the marker and the external moderator that you've gone the extra mile and it makes marking your work easier for the examiner.

3. You don't necessarily have to be working 12 hour study sessions throughout the week, but simply working consistently throughout the year with a day off here and there will definitely benefit you in the long term.

4. Understanding the layout of your exam will make it easier for you to work out how to study. For example, for one of my modules this year there were 12 topics, and on the exam there were 8 essay questions and you only had to answer 4. This meant that 4 topics were going to be left out of the exam. By this logic, it was perfectly acceptable to leave out 4 topics when revising, so even if the 4 topics that you left out came up, you will have revised all other areas of the course in order to be able to answer the other 4 available.
Number 3 is what let me down this year. Scraped a 2:1 (68) and hoping for a 1st next year.


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KM.
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None of those unis you mentioned are Red-brick.

Don't you mean Russel Group universities?
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