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    Last year this time I was in a bit of a predicament; I had pretty poor AS grades, but now I have 3 As (despite having being predicted AAB) with UMS all above 500 (and 4 A*s and 7 As at GCSE - they are OK I'd say, but in my view nothing special given what many Oxbridge applicants achieve). I had wanted to apply to Oxbridge and am wondering if I should do so now. I Know you get this post every single year from people asking "should I or shouldn't I", but I would like an honest opinion based on your experiences rather than prospectuses (which tend to be unclear and not always mirror the reality of things). I need to know two things:

    Oxford or Cambridge? At Cambridge I am more or less guaranteed to get an interview but am reluctant to dig up some of my UMS scores for AS (AACCC are my grades), which tey will ask for. As for Oxford, I was rejected from Oxford last year so once bitten, twice shy, and I have always had the impression that Oxford is "harder" to get into.

    Second, should I read Law or Theology (I am genuinely interested in both)? If I went for law, the ratio is daunting: something like 10 applicants for every place - and many of them will have far better grades than me and more of them. Also, I would have to resit the LNAT test. But I have enough knowledge of Logic and law and politics to fair pretty well in an interview. and write a good personal statement.

    Yet if I apply for theology, though the ratio would be more favourable on the face of it (2 applicants for ever 1 place offered or something), the smaller pool of applicants would make particularly good ones much more conspicuous, and that may diadvantage me (e.g. those with biblical languages at A Level and those with 1000 A*s at GCSE). Still I would relish the opportunity to study it. I must stress that I have a genuine interest in both subjects and I am not looking for an "easy way out".

    Finally, if I applied to Cambridge, the tripos would let me change with relative ease from theology to law.

    Your thoughts would be welcome. I must act soon.
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    (Original post by GreenMonstrosity)
    Last year this time I was in a bit of a predicament; I had pretty poor AS grades, but now I have 3 As (despite having being predicted AAB) with UMS all above 500 (and 4 A*s and 7 As at GCSE - they are OK I'd say, but in my view nothing special given what many Oxbridge applicants achieve). I had wanted to apply to Oxbridge and am wondering if I should do so now. I Know you get this post every single year from people asking "should I or shouldn't I", but I would like an honest opinion based on your experiences rather than prospectuses (which tend to be unclear and not always mirror the reality of things). I need to know two things:

    Oxford or Cambridge? At Cambridge I am more or less guaranteed to get an interview but am reluctant to dig up some of my UMS scores for AS (AACCC are my grades), which tey will ask for. As for Oxford, I was rejected from Oxford last year so once bitten, twice shy, and I have always had the impression that Oxford is "harder" to get into.

    Second, should I read Law or Theology (I am genuinely interested in both)? If I went for law, the ratio is daunting: something like 10 applicants for every place - and many of them will have far better grades than me and more of them. Also, I would have to resit the LNAT test. But I have enough knowledge of Logic and law and politics to fair pretty well in an interview. and write a good personal statement.

    Yet if I apply for theology, though the ratio would be more favourable on the face of it (2 applicants for ever 1 place offered or something), the smaller pool of applicants would make particularly good ones much more conspicuous, and that may diadvantage me (e.g. those with biblical languages at A Level and those with 1000 A*s at GCSE). Still I would relish the opportunity to study it. I must stress that I have a genuine interest in both subjects and I am not looking for an "easy way out".

    Finally, if I applied to Cambridge, the tripos would let me change with relative ease from theology to law.

    Your thoughts would be welcome. I must act soon.
    None of us can make these sorts of decisions for you, but I do have a couple of points to make. Firstly, your grades are definitely good enough to apply to Oxbridge, even for Law. Secondly, Law is a far more competitive course than Theology - you don't need statistics to work that one out, it's just obvious. Nevertheless, enthusiasm for the subject is important and it tends to show at interview, so it's really not worth picking the easier one because the odds look better (I know you say this isn't the case, but it seems like you're making the odds your first priority.). Thirdly, Oxford and Cambridge are equally hard to get into for Law (not sure about theology), and both unis now request UMS grades. My personal opinion is you should think about what you're really interested in and where you'd prefer to study. It sounds like you prefer Oxford, so why not go with your original preference? That said, it would make sense to have a look at the course structure at each uni, as that may affect how much you enjoy the course. For example, in Cambridge's favour, there is more flexibility in the Cambridge Law course, and the exams are at the end of every year instead of in one huge block at the end of the degree. Hope this helps.

    P.S. I don't think it's true that you can change with relative ease from Theology to Law... you'd probably have to get a First in your first or second year, at a guess. You really should pick the one you want to do in the first place, or you may end up very disappointed later on.
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    (Original post by sTe\/o)
    None of us can make these sorts of decisions for you, but I do have a couple of points to make. Firstly, your grades are definitely good enough to apply to Oxbridge, even for Law. Secondly, Law is a far more competitive course than Theology - you don't need statistics to work that one out, it's just obvious. Nevertheless, enthusiasm for the subject is important and it tends to show at interview, so it's really not worth picking the easier one because the odds look better (I know you say this isn't the case, but it seems like you're making the odds your first priority.). Thirdly, Oxford and Cambridge are equally hard to get into for Law (not sure about theology), and both unis now request UMS grades. My personal opinion is you should think about what you're really interested in and where you'd prefer to study. It sounds like you prefer Oxford, so why not go with your original preference? That said, it would make sense to have a look at the course structure at each uni, as that may affect how much you enjoy the course. For example, in Cambridge's favour, there is more flexibility in the Cambridge Law course, and the exams are at the end of every year instead of in one huge block at the end of the degree. Hope this helps.

    P.S. I don't think it's true that you can change with relative ease from Theology to Law... you'd probably have to get a First in your first or second year, at a guess. You really should pick the one you want to do in the first place, or you may end up very disappointed later on.

    Well, I guess it's to be expected that I am quite concerned about the statistical probability of getting in - I have six choices and must use them wisely - but that is not the primary motivation for my choice of subjects (which is purely scholarly). Does anybody do Theology and Philosphy at Oxford or Cambridge around here anyway? If so, I'm interested to know what its like what your grades were and how you like the course.

    When I mentioned that Tripos would allow me to change "with relative ease" I meant it more in terms of the level of disruption and flexibility. Though they may exist, I am not aware of any other university that allows one to change subjects mid-course. Thanks for your response . Will rep anybody who gives me an informative, useful, and candid response.
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    worth noting that if you wanna be a lawyer, studying law as an undergraduate isn't the only way or even necessarily the best way to do it. Many people go on to do law courses after their first degree. I read somewhere that many law firms even prefer people to not do law as an undergradute.

    My cousin for example did geography and is now doing a graduate diploma in law at the college of law.
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    (Original post by thomasjtl)
    worth noting that if you wanna be a lawyer, studying law as an undergraduate isn't the only way or even necessarily the best way to do it. Many people go on to do law courses after their first degree. I read somewhere that many law firms even prefer people to not do law as an undergradute.

    My cousin for example did geography and is now doing a graduate diploma in law at the college of law.
    I was aware of this, hence the temptation to do theology. If I want to be a lawyer in the end I might as well study something slightly out of the ordinary on the way.
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    I may be wrong but I've heard that those who get a degree in History often do a course conversion into Law, and excel in their new fields simply due to the way their mind has been trained at university. Not sure how Theology would measure up though - I am hardly familiar with the syllabus.
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    I would say it's definitely worth applying - your grades are good enough. As for the course decision, only you can make that because it's all about what you're interested in. Theology is the obvious choice because it is significantly less competitive, and if you're worried about how you would fare in the interview just read around it before you go
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    Dont worry about your UMS marks too much, they'll be very impressed that you managed to bump one of your subjects up to an A from a C. If you really dont want to put down your other ASs then there is the option of decertifying them - im pretty sure all they really want is 3As at A2.
    Also, my friends dad is a partner in a law firm, and he said they prefer those with a different undergraduate degree (as in not law). This probably isnt true of all law firms though, so if you're serious about pursuing a career in law, then you should definitely do some research into what firms prefer depending on what type of lawyer you want to be (ie barrister, solicitor etc etc), then you'll be able to make a decision thats both academically and career-oriented
 
 
 

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