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    • Thread Starter


    I'm a final year environmental science student from the National University of Ireland, Galway. I was wondering if you could give me advice in regard to the likelihood of be me being accepted into MSc in Biomedical Sciences Research at Bristol. The cut off is 2.2 but I have a non Biomedical degree and Mental has seriously effected illness has effected my studies

    I had been on course for a first in my degree but due to difficulties with mental illness my final mark has slipped probably to a 2.1 but possibly to a 2.2. I have good academic recommendations, proof of high academic ability up until the episode which caused me to miss a significant amount of time I needed for study. I also have medical records showing that I have sought treatment and am on the road to recovery.

    I had hoped to be accepted into this course after graduation but (due to financial issues) I would really appreciate an honest opinion if being accepted into the MSc in Biomedical Sciences Research is still a realistic possibility due to my non-Biomedical primary degree and now my less than hoped for final grade.

    Will they take into account that my illness effected my degree? I mean it's hard to prove and there's no
    guarantee that I could have hung to a first

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks very much

    It's a bit of a difficult situation. The usual path would be to submit for Extenuating Circumstances during your degree, so that your marks can be adjusted to take account of the impact that your illness has had on your ability to study. In this way, your final degree result should not be influenced by your health problems. I can only speak for unis I've attended, but given the situation you describe, you would be in a very good position to claim Extenuating Circumstances - I would recommend doing this as soon as possible.

    If you have decided against submitting for Extenuating Circumstances, then your Masters uni may question whether your illness really did impact you. They will not be in a position to say how badly your problems affected you and can therefore not make an informed decision. It may help if your referees include information in your references, but this would normally be backed up with Extenuating Circumstances. As your referees are not part of your diagnosis/treatment, they will not be in a position to give an informed opinion on anything other than the situation they have observed. That might not give them the full story of what was going on for you.

    As for whether Bristol would accept you with a non-Biomedical Sciences degree, I'm afraid only they will be able to tell you. The entry requirements don't state anything beyond "A lower second-class honours degree or higher (or international equivalent) and evidence of practical ability" so you'll need to contact the Admissions Office to ask whether an undergrad degree subject is part of the equation. The description of the taught units is online - do you think that you could undertake them without any kind of background knowledge? If Bristol offer teaching which assumes none, then you'll be fine. But you'll only find out by asking them.
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