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    I want to apply for the Oxford UNIQ Summer School, but I'm wondering if anyone has any advice for my application? Preferentially, I want to undergo the Law course. I think this is a fantastic opportunity and it would be great if anyone could help me out (especially with my personal statement).
    Has anyone been to the summer school before?

    Thank you!
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    I did Classics on the UNIQ summer school last year!! It was the best decision I've made and the best week of that summer.
    Since my subject's a bit different to yours and I'm not an expert at all at writing personal statements, I'll try to mention stuff I found most helpful last year. For your statement the best advice I got was to try not to come out with sweeping, opinionated statements in an effort to sound really clever. Even though it's obvious I fell into that trap and I sounded like a right idiot until my teacher pointed it out. Be honest and concise!
    You probably know that Oxford recommend mentioning wider reading on your statement, but don't forget to include a short opinion on the books/articles/speeches you put down. Although you do have a character limit, so don't feel you have to write an essay detailing why you think that - that's partially what the interview discussions will be about when you apply for real. I went for short statements like 'I thought their criticism of this was unfair, it had some interesting points about that, etc' but if you have room for more explanation, go for it. And, of course, if you've done stuff related to your subject outside school (debating, etc) definitely put that down!
    There's no harm in entering a few relevant essay or debating competitions to talk about in your statement, even if you don't get placed. It's a great way to say 'I enjoyed thinking about such-and-such a subject/topic/dilemma, etc in my entry' and sometimes Oxford colleges hold competitions like that for Year 12 students. I got to go to a Study Day at St John's for just entering a Classics essay competition, even though I didn't win one of the prizes! But I know there's not a lot of time to enter things like that between now and the UNIQ deadline. However, if you want something to embellish your actual application they can be really useful.
    Don't leave your second choice blank! I was rejected from my first choice (English) and got into Classics for my second choice and LOVED it. Made me realise how much I loved the diversity of it and that it suited me more than a pure English course. But if something happens and you don't get into Law but you do get into something like History or Humanities, it'll still help loads with your actual application as you still got into the school. For example, I've heard about people who did Chemistry on UNIQ were accepted for Medicine and so on.
    Get someone you know will be honest to read your statement - again, obvious, but essential. If your school has a careers teacher, or maybe someone from the English department, it would be really helpful even just for grammar and spell check.
    Even more obvious, stick to the website's guidelines like glue. They're telling you exactly what they want from you there. I used the advice there as a general paragraph structure for my statement to make sure I covered everything, if that's any help.

    Apologies for including a lot of stuff Oxford have already written on their guidelines and advice for UNIQ and personal statements in general but they're the most important things I discovered when writing my statement. But just go for it is the best advice I can give. And if you want to ask anything about UNIQ just drop me a message!


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    I'm struggling on the personal statement part too haha


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    (Original post by jenuinemisspelt)
    I did Classics on the UNIQ summer school last year!! It was the best decision I've made and the best week of that summer.
    Since my subject's a bit different to yours and I'm not an expert at all at writing personal statements, I'll try to mention stuff I found most helpful last year. For your statement the best advice I got was to try not to come out with sweeping, opinionated statements in an effort to sound really clever. Even though it's obvious I fell into that trap and I sounded like a right idiot until my teacher pointed it out. Be honest and concise!
    You probably know that Oxford recommend mentioning wider reading on your statement, but don't forget to include a short opinion on the books/articles/speeches you put down. Although you do have a character limit, so don't feel you have to write an essay detailing why you think that - that's partially what the interview discussions will be about when you apply for real. I went for short statements like 'I thought their criticism of this was unfair, it had some interesting points about that, etc' but if you have room for more explanation, go for it. And, of course, if you've done stuff related to your subject outside school (debating, etc) definitely put that down!
    There's no harm in entering a few relevant essay or debating competitions to talk about in your statement, even if you don't get placed. It's a great way to say 'I enjoyed thinking about such-and-such a subject/topic/dilemma, etc in my entry' and sometimes Oxford colleges hold competitions like that for Year 12 students. I got to go to a Study Day at St John's for just entering a Classics essay competition, even though I didn't win one of the prizes! But I know there's not a lot of time to enter things like that between now and the UNIQ deadline. However, if you want something to embellish your actual application they can be really useful.
    Don't leave your second choice blank! I was rejected from my first choice (English) and got into Classics for my second choice and LOVED it. Made me realise how much I loved the diversity of it and that it suited me more than a pure English course. But if something happens and you don't get into Law but you do get into something like History or Humanities, it'll still help loads with your actual application as you still got into the school. For example, I've heard about people who did Chemistry on UNIQ were accepted for Medicine and so on.
    Get someone you know will be honest to read your statement - again, obvious, but essential. If your school has a careers teacher, or maybe someone from the English department, it would be really helpful even just for grammar and spell check.
    Even more obvious, stick to the website's guidelines like glue. They're telling you exactly what they want from you there. I used the advice there as a general paragraph structure for my statement to make sure I covered everything, if that's any help.

    Apologies for including a lot of stuff Oxford have already written on their guidelines and advice for UNIQ and personal statements in general but they're the most important things I discovered when writing my statement. But just go for it is the best advice I can give. And if you want to ask anything about UNIQ just drop me a message!


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    Wow! thank you for your detailed response! Can I ask what were your GCSE grades? Also, do you think I could read your personal statement? My second option is classics too! XO
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    (Original post by alexinorris)
    Wow! thank you for your detailed response! Can I ask what were your GCSE grades? Also, do you think I could read your personal statement? My second option is classics too! XO
    I got 9A*s and 2 As at GCSE. Yeah that's no problem, so long as you don't quote from it though they may keep personal statements on a system and do plagiarism checks on it, better safe than sorry! :P I'll PM it to you! And I can personally say Classics is AWESOME, quite intense language classes but so rewarding and interesting.


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    Thank you for the help!
    I'm a little bit worried because my GCSE results are devastating compared to yours (1A,2B,5C) but I thought I might as well applying because my a level predictions are AAA xx
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    Yeah, you might as well go for it! The worst that can happen is that you don't go and that's what would happen if you don't apply anyway.
    UNIQ also take into account your school's performance in exams so if it doesn't have a good history of A/A* at GCSE they'll totally understand and rank you according to your school.


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    It'd be nice to get talking to other people who are hoping to apply

    I would like to apply for the medicine summer school.
    I'm not sure what else they look for other than grades though- I'm finding it difficult to condense everything I want to say into 2000 characters!

    How about you guys?


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    They're looking for ability from difficult circumstances, they're designed mainly to help people from less fortunate backgrounds to apply to Oxford.
    I applied last year, good luck with it, but don't be disheartened if you don't get a place, I didn't get a place but I still got an offer.
    Just try to show passion in the passage, all I can say really.

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    (Original post by CreamyRoss)
    They're looking for ability from difficult circumstances, they're designed mainly to help people from less fortunate backgrounds to apply to Oxford.
    I applied last year, good luck with it, but don't be disheartened if you don't get a place, I didn't get a place but I still got an offer.
    Just try to show passion in the passage, all I can say really.

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    Congratulations for getting an offer What are you going to be studying?

    I'd love to be accepted on to it. I come from a state high school in a 'deprived' area and I got good GCSE results so fingers crossed!


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    (Original post by emem2011)
    It'd be nice to get talking to other people who are hoping to apply

    I would like to apply for the medicine summer school.
    I'm not sure what else they look for other than grades though- I'm finding it difficult to condense everything I want to say into 2000 characters!

    How about you guys?


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    That's definitely the hardest part of the application! I possibly spent longer on my UNIQ personal statement than I did on my actual personal statement. It's all about being an concise as humanly possible - get rid of absolutely everything you don't need and make sure it's 100% focussed on what makes you deserve a place. My finished UNIQ PS was pretty ugly in terms of the language but it conveyed the main points well.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    That's definitely the hardest part of the application! I possibly spent longer on my UNIQ personal statement than I did on my actual personal statement. It's all about being an concise as humanly possible - get rid of absolutely everything you don't need and make sure it's 100% focussed on what makes you deserve a place. My finished UNIQ PS was pretty ugly in terms of the language but it conveyed the main points well.
    What did you apply for?

    I got 14A*s at GCSE, so I'm hoping that I might stand a chance of at least being considered! I just don't want the personal statement part to ruin my chances :/



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    (Original post by emem2011)
    What did you apply for?

    I got 14A*s at GCSE, so I'm hoping that I might stand a chance of at least being considered! I just don't want the personal statement part to ruin my chances :/
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    Obviously Medicine is the most oversubscribed UNIQ course (in terms of applications per place, more so than the actual Medicine course at Oxford) but with that set of GCSEs you've probably got a really good chance of getting a place (since that's one of the main things they're looking at). There was a 'stalking' thread for last year's UNIQ course where you can see the kinds of academic profiles people had.

    As long as you keep your personal statement concise and focussed rather than rambling on about something, I doubt you can really screw up the personal statement. It doesn't have to be a piece of art, it just needs to communicate the message.

    I did Earth Sciences at UNIQ (and just got a place to do Earth Sciences at Oxford which is pretty amazingly exciting!).
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    (Original post by jenuinemisspelt)
    Yeah, you might as well go for it! The worst that can happen is that you don't go and that's what would happen if you don't apply anyway.
    UNIQ also take into account your school's performance in exams so if it doesn't have a good history of A/A* at GCSE they'll totally understand and rank you according to your school.


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    Ok, thanks for everything! Xo
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    (Original post by emem2011)
    It'd be nice to get talking to other people who are hoping to apply

    I would like to apply for the medicine summer school.
    I'm not sure what else they look for other than grades though- I'm finding it difficult to condense everything I want to say into 2000 characters!

    How about you guys?


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    I've moved this to the University of Oxford forum

    Good luck with your application!
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    Obviously Medicine is the most oversubscribed UNIQ course (in terms of applications per place, more so than the actual Medicine course at Oxford) but with that set of GCSEs you've probably got a really good chance of getting a place (since that's one of the main things they're looking at). There was a 'stalking' thread for last year's UNIQ course where you can see the kinds of academic profiles people had.

    As long as you keep your personal statement concise and focussed rather than rambling on about something, I doubt you can really screw up the personal statement. It doesn't have to be a piece of art, it just needs to communicate the message.

    I did Earth Sciences at UNIQ (and just got a place to do Earth Sciences at Oxford which is pretty amazingly exciting!).

    That's what I'm so worried about, the fact that medicine is so oversubscribed! I guess I'll never know unless I try though


    Congratulations, that is so amazing! What kind of things did you do on your UNIQ week?


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    (Original post by emem2011)
    That's what I'm so worried about, the fact that medicine is so oversubscribed! I guess I'll never know unless I try though

    Congratulations, that is so amazing! What kind of things did you do on your UNIQ week?

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    Obviously there's no way of saying for certain whether or not you'll get in but I definitely think you've got a really good chance, even more so if you score highly in their means testing criteria and you've done some interesting reading or other activities to do with Medicine. Although it's a small sample size, you can see that quite a lot of people with 11+ A*s at GCSE got in last year (again, no guarantee but your chances are good).

    I just found my UNIQ timetable lying around so I can tell you exactly what we did (bearing in mind this is for Earth Sciences). On the first day we all arrived in the late afternoon, so there was just dinner and some small activities in the evening (this happened all evenings, at least in Brasenose where I stayed). The next day was a joint programme for everyone on the summer school (for all courses) and much of it was spent in Exam Schools where there were a number of presentations on admissions, finances, that kind of stuff. We then had little workshops in our groups where we discussed interviews (including sample questions that we discussed), personal statement advice (very helpful!) and also admissions test advice. Then there was a tour around Oxford in the form of a 'treasure hunt' and in the evening there were some 'mini-lectures' that everyone went to but it was a bit weird since they were all humanities lectures and I didn't know what they were talking about most of the time.

    For the next three days, we were all in our course groups in the relevant departments. In Earth Sciences, we generally had a lecture programme in the morning with practical sessions in the afternoon which was all very good fun and massively helped me with my application (as well as completely inspiring my EPQ which was great). On one day there was a murder mystery in the evening (I think) and on another day there was an 'alumni dinner' where we all had a very fancy (and very tasty!) dinner at another college with an alumnus of the relevant course so we could see the kind of things people did after they finished the course. On the penultimate day we had some mock tutorials in the morning with PhD students at the department and we spent the afternoon in the Natural History Museum and in the evening there was another very nice meal and then the Bop. The last day was pretty short, we had an admissions session in the morning and then there was the leaving ceremony and then everyone left. It was a really, really great week overall, would definitely recommend it!
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    Obviously there's no way of saying for certain whether or not you'll get in but I definitely think you've got a really good chance, even more so if you score highly in their means testing criteria and you've done some interesting reading or other activities to do with Medicine. Although it's a small sample size, you can see that quite a lot of people with 11+ A*s at GCSE got in last year (again, no guarantee but your chances are good).

    I just found my UNIQ timetable lying around so I can tell you exactly what we did (bearing in mind this is for Earth Sciences). On the first day we all arrived in the late afternoon, so there was just dinner and some small activities in the evening (this happened all evenings, at least in Brasenose where I stayed). The next day was a joint programme for everyone on the summer school (for all courses) and much of it was spent in Exam Schools where there were a number of presentations on admissions, finances, that kind of stuff. We then had little workshops in our groups where we discussed interviews (including sample questions that we discussed), personal statement advice (very helpful!) and also admissions test advice. Then there was a tour around Oxford in the form of a 'treasure hunt' and in the evening there were some 'mini-lectures' that everyone went to but it was a bit weird since they were all humanities lectures and I didn't know what they were talking about most of the time.

    For the next three days, we were all in our course groups in the relevant departments. In Earth Sciences, we generally had a lecture programme in the morning with practical sessions in the afternoon which was all very good fun and massively helped me with my application (as well as completely inspiring my EPQ which was great). On one day there was a murder mystery in the evening (I think) and on another day there was an 'alumni dinner' where we all had a very fancy (and very tasty!) dinner at another college with an alumnus of the relevant course so we could see the kind of things people did after they finished the course. On the penultimate day we had some mock tutorials in the morning with PhD students at the department and we spent the afternoon in the Natural History Museum and in the evening there was another very nice meal and then the Bop. The last day was pretty short, we had an admissions session in the morning and then there was the leaving ceremony and then everyone left. It was a really, really great week overall, would definitely recommend it!

    That sounds amazing!
    I really like the idea of getting the opportunity to mix with other prospective applicants. I'm the only one from my school considering applying to Oxford, so I'm limited as to who I can talk to about the applications.

    I particularly like the way Oxford structures their courses. I can't speak for Earth Sciences (it sounds absolutely amazing though) as I don't know much about it, but their medicine course is just what I'm looking for as it has so much variety!
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    (Original post by emem2011)
    Congratulations for getting an offer What are you going to be studying?

    I'd love to be accepted on to it. I come from a state high school in a 'deprived' area and I got good GCSE results so fingers crossed!


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    Thanks, I applied for physics! It sounds like you have a great chance, especially if your school is in a deprived area. I got 13A*s but I go to a fairly good grammar school.
    Obviously since I didn't get a place I'm not in the greatest position to give advice, but as Chlorophile said it's important not to ramble, I think I did, which may have gone against me.


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    I am going to apply for the Economics course. Just finishing my PS at the moment - I'm finding it quite hard to get everything in and for it to flow.
 
 
 
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