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    I've recently had an interview at Oxford University for Experimental Psychology and feel it went pretty well. However, I also hold an offer for Bath University with a placement year in industry.

    I'm really not sure, if I got an offer from Oxford, that I'd want to go there. I know it's hypothetical at the moment and I can't decide until I do find out whether my application was successful, but I just wondered what people thought.

    Thank you! x
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    You don't have to go there. There are many factors to consider, such as whether the course chosen will get you to where you want to go, employment prospects, course content and teaching style.

    I was in a similar position last year - I'm currently doing languages at Cambridge but for some time I wasn't entirely sure if it was for me, instead being very tempted by Southampton, particularly over the worry of course content, as my course is very literature heavy compared to Southampton, which I hadn't wanted. Now that I'm here though, I absolutely love everything I'm doing! It's surprising.

    Just remember you don't have to make a decision until May!
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    (Original post by geeensee)
    I've recently had an interview at Oxford University for Experimental Psychology and feel it went pretty well. However, I also hold an offer for Bath University with a placement year in industry.

    I'm really not sure, if I got an offer from Oxford, that I'd want to go there. I know it's hypothetical at the moment and I can't decide until I do find out whether my application was successful, but I just wondered what people thought.

    Thank you! x
    Might be worth listing out the pros and cons for each university. For oxford, you'll probably get better teaching (since they have the money to do small group tutoring) and a better reputation degree, although cons would be more stressful, harder to get a first, and no placement. Doing a four year course also has the added benefit that its likely that after just three years, especially at Oxford, you wont have spent a huge amount of time thinking about what specifically you want to do when you graduate. However, if you can afford a masters degree (and its relevant to what you want to do after leaving), a Bsc + Msc might look better than a placement year.
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    Oxford's not for everyone. That said, it would help us to know why you feel like it may not be for you, so we can dispel any myths if necessary :yep:
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    (Original post by geeensee)
    I've recently had an interview at Oxford University for Experimental Psychology and feel it went pretty well. However, I also hold an offer for Bath University with a placement year in industry.

    I'm really not sure, if I got an offer from Oxford, that I'd want to go there. I know it's hypothetical at the moment and I can't decide until I do find out whether my application was successful, but I just wondered what people thought.

    Thank you! x
    Currently a 2nd year EP student so if there is anything you want to know then feel free to ask.
    As everyone has said, Oxford isn't for everyone, so pick based on what you feel you will get the most out of and what is important for you. I won't lie, I was heavily swayed to Oxford when I went on the open day and talked to a current student who said that in 2nd year we got to hold an actual human brain in a practical... and that has been one of my highlights so far
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    (Original post by geeensee)
    I've recently had an interview at Oxford University for Experimental Psychology and feel it went pretty well. However, I also hold an offer for Bath University with a placement year in industry.

    I'm really not sure, if I got an offer from Oxford, that I'd want to go there. I know it's hypothetical at the moment and I can't decide until I do find out whether my application was successful, but I just wondered what people thought.

    Thank you! x
    When I was applying lots of people pushed me to go for Oxford but I went to Manchester as I knew it was best for me. I don't regret it or feel I've been disadvantaged. Definately don't just accept it for the 'prestige'. You'd be much better off going where you feel most comfortable. Oxbridge is VERY high intensity. My brother is at Cambridge and is currently working 15 hour days to get through his holiday work.
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    (Original post by pak1994)
    Currently a 2nd year EP student so if there is anything you want to know then feel free to ask.
    As everyone has said, Oxford isn't for everyone, so pick based on what you feel you will get the most out of and what is important for you. I won't lie, I was heavily swayed to Oxford when I went on the open day and talked to a current student who said that in 2nd year we got to hold an actual human brain in a practical... and that has been one of my highlights so far
    You get to hold a human brain nearly everywhere (well ive been to two different places and did it at both of them for psych)...

    Out of interest, how is EP examined? Is it mostly long essays? Or do you get MCQs and short questions aswell?
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    (Original post by iammichealjackson)
    You get to hold a human brain nearly everywhere (well ive been to two different places and did it at both of them for psych)...

    Out of interest, how is EP examined? Is it mostly long essays? Or do you get MCQs and short questions aswell?
    Well that guy was the only one who mentioned it to me, so it made me very happy. :rolleyes:

    In first year you sit 3 exams - one in Intro to Psych, one in Stats and one in Neurophysiology or Philosophy (or I think you could also pick Linguistics). Intro to Psych is 3 hours long, and you write two essays (each worth 25%) and do short notes (worth 50%). The short notes are basically a topic (e.g A-not-B error) and you write about that. You have to do 16 short notes overall (4 for each module) out of a choice of 20. The Neurophys exam is completely short essay based - 5 essays in 3 hours.

    In second year you sit 4 Psychology papers, with 2 modules examined in each paper. For each module you write one essay (1hr), and do short answer questions (20mins) which are based entirely on the lecture slides. The 5th paper is a 3 hour stats paper based on questions around SPSS (the stats package that we use) outputs. This paper is also made up of a number of core practical reports that you write during the year.

    The third year exams are 3hrs each in which you write 3 essays. You either sit 2 or 3 of these papers, depending on if you do a dissertation or not (if you do a dissertation then you only do 2 advanced options, and therefore sit 2 exams).
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    Did you get an offer?
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    (Original post by Noodlzzz)
    Did you get an offer?

    Yes I did!

    Very happy but unsure what to do now.
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    (Original post by geeensee)
    Yes I did!

    Very happy but unsure what to do now.
    Like someone said, list the pros and cons of each of the universities you're considering. If you can, try and speak to current students of the universities about the course and just living there in general.
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    (Original post by geeensee)
    Yes I did!

    Very happy but unsure what to do now.
    Go for Oxford - you won't get anything like the tutorial system at Bath, and you won't get to mix with humanities students. You will be able to get plenty of work experience opportunities through Oxford if you are proactive (though I'm doing maths, not psych, so someone else may qualify this). Oxford isn't for everyone, but I have no reason to advise you to go there if I didn't genuinely believe it was the better option.

    (Source: in my fifth year at Oxford, and I live in Bath).
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    If you prefer the course at Bath then turn down Oxford, it is not for everyone.

    I turned down an offer as I hated my few days of interviews etc and it has not impacted on my career at all. I met my husband at the other uni I chose so it was meant to be!
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    (Original post by Muttley79)
    If you prefer the course at Bath then turn down Oxford, it is not for everyone.

    I turned down an offer as I hated my few days of interviews etc and it has not impacted on my career at all. I met my husband at the other uni I chose so it was meant to be!
    Yeah, I didn't enjoy my few days of interviews much, mostly enjoyed the city rather than the university or college itself. That's good to know it hasn't impacted on your career - I guess people are just made to think that maybe an Oxford degree could get you further, but I haven't seen any evidence for that.

    Oh wow, must've been meant to be then!
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    (Original post by Octohedral)
    Go for Oxford - you won't get anything like the tutorial system at Bath, and you won't get to mix with humanities students. You will be able to get plenty of work experience opportunities through Oxford if you are proactive (though I'm doing maths, not psych, so someone else may qualify this). Oxford isn't for everyone, but I have no reason to advise you to go there if I didn't genuinely believe it was the better option.

    (Source: in my fifth year at Oxford, and I live in Bath).
    Apart from the tutorial system are there any other benefits you can think of?
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    (Original post by geeensee)
    Apart from the tutorial system are there any other benefits you can think of?
    I'd just like to say the tutorial system isn't entirely unique. UCL offers something similar but with a few more people compared to Oxford.
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    (Original post by geeensee)
    Apart from the tutorial system are there any other benefits you can think of?
    I haven't experienced other universities as a student, so take everything I say with a pinch of salt, but I think the following comments are fair.

    - The tutorial system is a really big thing, and shouldn't be dismissed too easily. For the first two years they teach you in pairs or small classes. After that things become more specialised, but you still meet them regularly. I know my personal tutor really well - they only have about six students per year, so they take a personal interest in each one. I have received some really good advice regarding careers etc, and I know I can go and talk to them any time. For at least one of the years I lived on the same staircase as their office. You get more personal help than you do at school.

    - Oxford can be less social than many other universities, if you don't make the effort (the things are out there if you do though, and the existence of JCRs helps). Personally I don't think this is a factor, but you might.

    - The JCR (Junior Common Room). These vary between colleges, but are a good way to meet people, and give each college a 'homely' feel.

    - There is a fantastic welfare system. It's often said that it's hard to get into Oxford, but once you're there they do everything the can to keep you.

    - You may find the course slightly more 'academic' than practical (though it will have a large practical element - the distinction is not a huge one). HOWEVER, I would be extremely wary of choosing a course based on its content, because as an A-level student (sorry!) you have no real idea of what the subject is like at university. The things I am studying now are nothing like the options I thought I would choose.

    - World class academics will not impinge on your undergraduate life much, but are nice to know. However, if you're interested in something academic you will make useful contacts.

    - The Oxford Union (if you like that sort of thing).

    - Later on, if you want to do a PhD in particular, Oxford degrees are considered to be 'worth more'. This isn't necessarily true in the real world, but it is in anything requiring academic knowledge.

    - I'm pretty sure our courses are harder. I believe this because it's significantly harder to get in (therefore better average quality of students), but roughly the same amount of people get firsts. Take this as you will - it may be easier to get a first at Bath, but personally I would go for the challenge. Anyone who gets into Oxford is capable of succeeding there.

    So basically, it boils down to prestige, a harder course, welfare and the tutorial system. I don't have any reason to try to sell Oxford to you - it makes no difference to me whether you go or not - but personally I would choose Oxford purely for the name (which is not insignificant), contacts and extremely personal atmosphere and level of help you get. I hope I've given you some things to think about, anyway.
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    (Original post by Octohedral)
    .
    Thank you so much for that, it's really useful to hear from someone who goes there. I'll definitely consider the things you mentioned. I really appreciate it.
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    (Original post by geeensee)
    Thank you so much for that, it's really useful to hear from someone who goes there. I'll definitely consider the things you mentioned. I really appreciate it.
    No problem. Feel free to ask anything else, and congratulations on your offer!
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    The tutors only give offers to people who they think are capable and will thrive in the Oxford environment - they know what theyre doing. If you're good enough to get an Oxford offer, I would think very hard before rejecting it!
 
 
 
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