Is she applying to too many programmes??? Watch

Tomharper
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My former classmate is going to send off her UCAS application in the next 2 weeks and well I think she is applying to too many programmes. Like Durham university's website applying to 2 programmes is tough enough but 3 or more is far too many and will be too much on her personal statement. It could even backfire as the admission staff could see see that she lacks commitment at the specific subject she wishes to study. She presently is applying to these universities:

UCL- History (AAA)
KCL - History and geography (AAB)
York - History/ Politics (AAB)
Birmingham - History and politics (AAB)
Durham - combined arts (AAB)
nottingham - history and politics (AAB)

She presently has ABB but one of the Bs is sat in one year and she is resitting modules and will be predicted AAA. However I still feel she is applying to far too many programmes and should replace KCL for somewhere say SOAS for history and politics or even straight history. She desperately needs some more opinions on this subject as her tutor couldn't really say much about her choice and just told her to apply. Any responses would be great, especially to people whom applied to more than 2 programmes.
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kellywood_5
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The only one that sticks out a bit is history and geography, but since all her choices include history and at least 3 include politics, she shouldn't have too many problems. Her personal statement should mostly concentrate on history, but have quite a bit on politics as well. Then she could just say something like how she's interested in all humanities subjects to link geography in.
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michaelbenson
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Another issue seems to me that required grades of each the prospective university courses are all similar to one another, either AAA or AAB perhaps a more conservative course which offers ABB might also be a more appropriate Insurance option. You know, just in case
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~CAROLINE~
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I applied for pretty much different programmes at all of my Unis and ended up with 4 offers! The Durham one is pretty hard to get onto cos theres very few places, dont know about the others tho cos i didnt apply to any of those but history and politics are pretty similar subjects, i've found they both overlap with my history A Level. If she wants to chance the Geography one then go for it by all means, if my Uni is anything to go by Geog is pretty undersubscribed here cos they offered it to me on results day as part of my combined. I got on programmes that i didnt say i wanted to study at Keele i didnt even apply for anything like my ps said!
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Tomharper
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Another issue seems to me that required grades of each the prospective university courses are all similar to one another, either AAA or AAB perhaps a more conservative course which offers ABB might also be a more appropriate Insurance option. You know, just in case
For the B she missed an A grade by 2 marks and the module she slipped up on was a D so I guess it shouldn't be a problem.
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peachmelba
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History with/without politics should be fine in terms of the personal statement. I agree that the combination with Geography seems a bit harder to cover.

Looking at the list of unis (all top tier with the possible exception of Birmingham) and her AS results, I wonder a bit about the motivation for joint/combined courses.

Does she really want to do history (as at UCL) but thinks her chances of getting offers will be improved by applying for joint courses? I'm not sure this tactic will work at the likes of York, KCL & perhaps Nottingham, as they are so competitive & lots of strong candidates get rejected. What were her GCSE results like? Interested to know whether switching to single history would be possible at these unis once she got there.

Or is she simply finding it hard to make a choice? If the latter, she might be better considering Edinburgh/St. Andrews, as the 4 year course would let her defer the decision. Combined Arts at Durham offers lots of flexibility (though not sure whether she can take politics/geography modules as they come under the Combined Social Sciences degree). Although Durham is prestigious, I'm also not sure how employers would view the course (I know it is possible to end up with a "named" combined arts degree).

I do sympathise as I found it really hard to pick a subject and even now wonder whether I made the right decision. Hope it works out for her.
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Purple
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Well they are all related via History so there isn't that much of a problem
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Tomharper
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Looking at the list of unis (all top tier with the possible exception of Birmingham) and her AS results, I wonder a bit about the motivation for joint/combined courses.
For the history course at UCL she just wants to use up her last choice at a top university. I thought Birmingham was a top tier university and certainly rate it on par with nottingham especially on prestige. She wants to study history with politics, however she also did geogrpahy at A level and very university offers this combination for a degree like KCL. She has 2A*, 4As, 3 Bs and 2 Cs. However according to KCL your school is taken account of and she is ranked in the top 5 in our year in terms of GCSE performance.

History with/without politics should be fine in terms of the personal statement. I agree that the combination with Geography seems a bit harder to cover.
I think thats the problem. However KCL said that it is not compulsory so I guess you don't have to talk about your course at A level. I guess she can include how that she is very interested in environmentalism, demeographics, world development issues like AIDS and debts in the poor countries. I think if she can get rid of the Durham course and say put anyother joint politics course it will make it much easier as she could just place this information in like 2 paragraphs in her PS.
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Vincente
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I will give you a straight answer for this. Don't apply to durham's course! If she wants to apply there still change to the joint honours course or single honours. At least your PS actually suits your set of courses. Peachmelba IMO is wrong to say that the degree will be looked down at as a weak degree because you still need AAB to get in and its a Durham degree. Also as long as your friend is predicted the right grades (she even already has an A, and she sat an A level in one year which definitely should be allowed considered) it doesn't matter, GCSEs aren't everything! Your PS and refernce is just as important so make sure you get it right by limiting the courses you are applying to!
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peachmelba
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Just to clear up a few points:
I thought Birmingham was a top tier university and certainly rate it on par with nottingham especially on prestige.
I didn't intend to rubbish Birmingham (I applied there myself) but the entry standards for history were 372 points versus Durham 486, York 473, Nottingham 442 KCL 432, UCL 407, according to The Times guide. The picture is similar for politics and English. Prestige is in the eye of the beholder but I think most people would agree that competition for places is less intense at Birmingham.
Peachmelba IMO is wrong to say that the degree will be looked down at as a weak degree because you still need AAB to get in and its a Durham degree.
Actually, I didn't say it would be looked down on, I said
Although Durham is prestigious, I'm also not sure how employers would view the course
I think that's a reasonable doubt to express given that it's a newish course and employers in some sectors are snobbish and conservative about subjects. When they are trying to discriminate between lots of candidates with AAB+ from other prestigious unis, these fine nuances may make a difference.
She has 2A*, 4As, 3 Bs and 2 Cs. However according to KCL your school is taken account of and she is ranked in the top 5 in our year in terms of GCSE performance.
GCSEs aren't everything!
have a look at the thread on the history forum about Durham and GCSE grades. Even with her good results, she might not clear the first hurdle. This makes the advice to switch to single/joint honours a bit perilous. I seem to remember the Combined Studies site saying they expected people to be applying for different combinations at other unis and wouldn't hold that against them.

So from what the OP has said, I still think that the history/geography choice is the odd one out. Would KCL's War Studies/history programme not be closer to her preferred history/politics combination than history/geography? I then think the same personal statement could be crafted to be strong for all choices.

One final thought. It might be worth having one choice at ABB even given the AAA prediction. As her AS results show, it's so easy to miss your grade by a couple of marks and find yourself in clearing/on an unplanned gap year.
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username81904
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I found myself in the same situation. Just wondering there is politics geography history and art in the subjects shes applied for. Which one did she drop at A2? I managed to squeeze three subjects into my ps but i would have thought it would be hard to show enthusiasum for four subjects in one ps. What i ended up doing as well was write my ps for business and comp and then picked a lower entry grade GIS course so they wouldnt mind about the personal statement.

So far i think what i did is working since ive got offers and interviews. Maybe do something similar with your friends situation?
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Vincente
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As her AS results show, it's so easy to miss your grade by a couple of marks and find yourself in clearing/on an unplanned gap year.
Those are her A2 grades, I think.

but the entry standards for history were 372 points versus Durham 486, York 473, Nottingham 442 KCL 432, UCL 407, according to The Times guide
Have it looked at Bristol? I think it is the hardest to get in outside oxbridge and the UCAS score there is also under 400 as well. Birmingham want AAB with an A in history thats on par with Nottingham, York and a low KCL offer which is intended for people from non traditional background or weaker school background (I think she also went to Burnley college like the OP)

I think that's a reasonable doubt to express given that it's a newish course and employers in some sectors are snobbish and conservative about subjects. When they are trying to discriminate between lots of candidates with AAB+ from other prestigious unis, these fine nuances may make a difference.
Thats very naive. Employers look more closely to the university you attended and how well you performed at university. Employers interview as well you know. It is up to yourself to get the employer to pick you at the interviews not your grades.

have a look at the thread on the history forum about Durham and GCSE grades
Last year a student from salesian college (my old school) got into Durham to do history with 3A* and 6As, but he got AAAAA at A level.
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mtbab
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i'm more concerned about her choices. 5/6 of her choices are AAB. she has no insurance. She didn't even get AAB at AS, and yes she slipped the A by 2marks, but whose to say that she may not do that again come this June and come out with ABB.

But considering she got ABB at AS, resits or not, she has not got even one ABB option and this seriously concerns me and i'm surprised your school have said nothing to her about this. Albeit she is predicted AAA she need to look at her actual grades and scrap one of those AAB for an ABB. I'm not saying pick a uni that there is no hope in hell she will go to, there has to be an ABB uni she'll like. Its not that i think she is aiming too high, but that she isn't leaving herself a safety net.

Her choices i think are fine, as they all are common with History so they are not too too different.If you look at my course in my sig, i have joint programs with American Studies, and i have courses with International and European elements but they all have the common foundation of law. So if she just focuses on History and says now and again how politics in history enthuses her and then slide in a "if we look at the geography of eg 18thC Britain with masses of population based in cities, it is obvious how politics played a major role within these cities etc" and just do quick little comparative sentences that way she should be fine.
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Lottie
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Re: Applying for History & Geography as well as History & Politics

It is perhaps not advised but I think much depends on the way her interest in the subject has been phrased. If she is more interested in human than physical geography, I think it would be easier to fit it naturally in her personal statement. There is a degree of overlap between "historical geography" and "cultural history", I suppose, and politics perhaps plays a role in proposing solutions to the problems raised in human geography (and, arguably, in physical geography as well).

I suppose I'm trying to say that there is a way in which it could seem perfectly logical and there's a way that it could make admissions tutors scratch their heads a little bit.
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Tomharper
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i'm more concerned about her choices. 5/6 of her choices are AAB. she has no insurance. She didn't even get AAB at AS, and yes she slipped the A by 2marks, but whose to say that she may not do that again come this June and come out with ABB.
Shes got ABB at A level already! and one of the B was done in one years effort. The universities said that she is more than entitled to resit one of the modules considering A levels should be done in one year. Warwick (which she surprisingly didn't apply to) will even give her a ABB offer if she was accepted instead of AAB.

I guess she can also include how that she is interested in environmentalism, demeographics, world development issues like AIDS and debts in the poor countries. Which clearly is linked to geogrpahy. For history could she say history of economic development in countries like China and Britain and how succcessive governments have used policies to achieve this.
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kellywood_5
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(Original post by peachmelba)
Would KCL's War Studies/history programme not be closer to her preferred history/politics combination than history/geography? I then think the same personal statement could be crafted to be strong for all choices.

One final thought. It might be worth having one choice at ABB even given the AAA prediction. As her AS results show, it's so easy to miss your grade by a couple of marks and find yourself in clearing/on an unplanned gap year.
:ditto: War Studies and History would fit in much better with the rest of her choices than history and geography. I do think it would be sensible for her to apply to at least one ABB uni as a back up.
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