An MA in Cambridge University that does not require a 2:1/1st Class Honours

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Kasa
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I spoke with someone who was heavily involved in the general admissions procedures for the ‘Creative Writing MA’ and my jaw dropped open when she mentioned that that course may not necessarily require someone with a 2:1/1st Class Honours.

Adding momentum to the shock was that the fact that a significant proportion of their cohort didn’t even have degrees: All the admissions tutors are after is talent seen in the prose of the sample of creative writing sent to them.

I really want to apply for this course, but I still feel that my impoverished marks and paltry 2:2 might severely hinder my application. I am also concerned that, naturally being Cambridge, they still might require high academic grades; this is regardless of their stance that academic qualifications might be unduly redundant when it comes to the talent in the prose -- the sole factor in the success of the application.
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sj27
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I presume this is the course you mean (you don't study for an MA at Cambridge btw, masters degrees are named otherwise. An MA means you did a BA there, basically.)

Make of the entry requirements what you will...

http://www.ice.cam.ac.uk/mst-creative-writing
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Kasa
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(Original post by sj27)
I presume this is the course you mean (you don't study for an MA at Cambridge btw, masters degrees are named otherwise. An MA means you did a BA there, basically.)

Make of the entry requirements what you will...

http://www.ice.cam.ac.uk/mst-creative-writing
Yes I am aware of that. I used the term MA to avoid confusion of what a MSt was.
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Firure
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Why exactly do you want to do this MSt? It's a shame you only got a 2:2, but what do you think admissions tutors will think, considering your degree's in biomed? Not to mention that the majority of people applying will, probably, have high 2:1s or 1sts in literary disciplines. If you want to do it, fair enough, but I didn't really get the feeling that you wanted to be a writer from your other posts.
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sj27
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(Original post by Kasa)
Yes I am aware of that. I used the term MA to avoid confusion of what a MSt was.
Most people in this forum understand Oxbridge postgrad terms.
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Kasa
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Why exactly do you want to do this MSt? It's a shame you only got a 2:2, but what do you think admissions tutors will think, considering your degree's in biomed?
Yes, my first degree was Biomed indeed. You see, the fact that I want to do something completely different should illustrate just how much I hated it!! As for the admissions tutors, I am hoping that they see that, regardless of the undergraduate degree, there is genuine talent and enthusiasm for the subject area and -- what I hope -- talent.

Not to mention that the majority of people applying will, probably, have high 2:1s or 1sts in literary disciplines.
I sort of intimated this to the person whom I spoke with over the telephone about the AWFUL degree and she said that there were ex-neurologists on the course!

If you want to do it, fair enough, but I didn't really get the feeling that you wanted to be a writer from your other posts.
Really? Why?
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Kasa
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(Original post by sj27)
Most people in this forum understand Oxbridge postgrad terms.
I am relatively new to this particular forum. I'm sorry.
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Georgie_M
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(Original post by Kasa)
I spoke with someone who was heavily involved in the general admissions procedures for the ‘Creative Writing MA’ and my jaw dropped open when she mentioned that that course may not necessarily require someone with a 2:1/1st Class Honours.

Adding momentum to the shock was that the fact that a significant proportion of their cohort didn’t even have degrees: All the admissions tutors are after is talent seen in the prose of the sample of creative writing sent to them.

I really want to apply for this course, but I still feel that my impoverished marks and paltry 2:2 might severely hinder my application. I am also concerned that, naturally being Cambridge, they still might require high academic grades; this is regardless of their stance that academic qualifications might be unduly redundant when it comes to the talent in the prose -- the sole factor in the success of the application.
They will be looking at substantial success in the creative writing field, not just sending in well written prose or having a blog. It is someone with real life experience in this area, I would imagine that is what they mean anyway. Similar to some vocationally based degrees which will lower academic standards if you have significant experience in a relevant area.
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Firure
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(Original post by Kasa)
x
You never said you wanted to write (at least from the posts I saw), just that you hated your undergraduate degree. Just because creative writing is 'different' doesn't mean that you should do it. How would it help you in your goals, anyway? I'm sure many would argue that, if you actually want to have a career as a writer, you just have to write. I'm unconvinced with regard to the prospect of doing a master's, just for the sake of it, or trying to, somehow, erase the events of your undergrad career.

Do you want to write, or do you want to teach, and why do you think an MSt in Creative Writing will help you achieve either of these goals?
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Kasa
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You never said you wanted to write (at least from the posts I saw), just that you hated your undergraduate degree.
I never mentioned the subject area, that is correct, yes.

Just because creative writing is 'different' doesn't mean that you should do it. How would it help you in your goals, anyway? I'm sure many would argue that, if you actually want to have a career as a writer, you just have to write. I'm unconvinced with regard to the prospect of doing a master's, just for the sake of it, or trying to, somehow, erase the events of your undergrad career.
I mentioned in the post my genuine enthusiasm for the area and am hoping that the tutor would see that. I would have to be stupid to do a masters, to heal the deep wounds that my undergraduate degree inflicted on me. Having said that, i hope that it might help in the healing process.
Do you want to write, or do you want to teach, and why do you think an MSt in Creative Writing will help you achieve either of these goals?
I have wanted to write; I have always wanted to write. That has been consistent ever since I was 16 and has not been diluted or tarnished despite the upheavals of my life and my undergraduate degree.
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c2uk
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While it seems you're set on Cambridge, check out this post of a postgrad doing Creative Writing at Cardiff: http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/postgradu...t-scholar-jon/ - I've met him once and if I remember correctly, he too has done something entirely different, I even believe something related to Biology, first.
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sj27
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(Original post by Kasa)
I am relatively new to this particular forum. I'm sorry.
Ok. I would have assumed that you were looking for advice from people in Cam...

Its interesting what you say this person told you. Im doing one of the other MSt's, where they state the same in terms of entrance requirements. In practice i am only aware of one person who has below a 2:1 and indeed more surprising perhaps is that the majority of students already have postgrad degrees - in 3 cases, PhDs! Then again the focus and type of course is completely different. So if you think you can get a decent writing sample together, and a decent motivation for wanting to change tack like this, go for it...
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Kasa
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(Original post by c2uk)
While it seems you're set on Cambridge, check out this post of a postgrad doing Creative Writing at Cardiff: http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/postgradu...t-scholar-jon/ - I've met him once and if I remember correctly, he too has done something entirely different, I even believe something related to Biology, first.
Wow I think him and me were separated at birth!! Thanks so much for this!
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Kasa
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(Original post by sj27)
Ok. I would have assumed that you were looking for advice from people in Cam...

Its interesting what you say this person told you. Im doing one of the other MSt's, where they state the same in terms of entrance requirements. In practice i am only aware of one person who has below a 2:1 and indeed more surprising perhaps is that the majority of students already have postgrad degrees - in 3 cases, PhDs! Then again the focus and type of course is completely different. So if you think you can get a decent writing sample together, and a decent motivation for wanting to change tack like this, go for it...
Thank you. I am surprised as you are.
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Kasa
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(Original post by Georgie_M)
They will be looking at substantial success in the creative writing field, not just sending in well written prose or having a blog. It is someone with real life experience in this area, I would imagine that is what they mean anyway. Similar to some vocationally based degrees which will lower academic standards if you have significant experience in a relevant area.
Hmmm. Thank you for your interesting observations, which put the comments made on telephone into a deeper contextual focus. But she stressed over the telephone that the success really relied on the prose rather than the rich background.
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sj27
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(Original post by Kasa)
Hmmm. Thank you for your interesting observations, which put the comments made on telephone into a deeper contextual focus. But she stressed over the telephone that the success really relied on the prose rather than the rich background.
The website does however steer you towards the undergrad certificate if you don't have either an undergrad degree in it or writing experience.
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Kasa
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(Original post by sj27)
The website does however steer you towards the undergrad certificate if you don't have either an undergrad degree in it or writing experience.
My boyfriend says that I should omit the degree from my application if I hate it so much.
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returnmigrant
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Just be aware that no degree course can teach you how to write, and once you'e done it no publishers or agents will rushing to offer you a contract.
Its also an expensive way to take a year off to write (that's essentially what these 'courses' allow you to do).

As someone who used to work in Publishing I can tell you that these Creative Writing courses (including the one at Cambridge) are the biggest con possible. You can learn as much on weekend course - http://www.faberacademy.co.uk/ - where you will actually work with professional writers not failed ones who've turned to academia for a job.
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sj27
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(Original post by Kasa)
My boyfriend says that I should omit the degree from my application if I hate it so much.
Your boyfriend is wrong. If you want to omit it from a cv that's up to you (although how will you explain the gap in your life?) but the university application requires you list all university study that you have done. Honestly, if you are unable to explain in a personal statement to them why you are changing your mind then about what you want to do then you should really be thinking about why you want to do this.

Also not sure if you missed the point of my post which was that absent an undergrad in creative writing or experience - neither of which you have - they suggest you do the undergrad certificate first. Irrespective of how much you loved or hated your degree.
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Zenomorph
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Why not just give them the writing and take it from there.

It does kind of make sense though, what does writing a good novel have to do with a degree ?
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