Would I be silly applying for Oxford for 2016 entry in my circumstances? Watch

dancinginlimbo
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Hi,

Apologies if this should have been posted somewhere else, but I'd appreciate some advice on what I should do. I'm currently a student at another university, and I've decided to leave due to not enjoying my course choice or how the degree system works here (I'm at a Scottish university). I suspected I might feel this way late last year and so, as a precaution, applied to different universities for a straight English degree. I received offers from all five, and have a UCL offer (after interview and the written exam) I feel I should/could take up.

However, due to various financial circumstances and some personal ones, as well as the fact that I never applied to Oxford last time around due to disappointing AS Level results, I feel I might like to apply to Oxford for 2016 entry for English. Obviously, the procedures for Oxford and UCL are not the same, and Oxford is harder to gain a place at of course, but I do feel I may be able to make a strong application based on my success with UCL.

This is clearly risky because there's every possibility I would be rejected, post-interview or not, and I might be rejected if I reapply to UCL in that year too, so it could be a mistake. But I'm just looking for some advice/opinions. I wonder if Oxford would suit me more as a person than London, and it would be much more financially realistic, but I don't know if if I should just take the leap and attend UCL. Of course, if I do attend UCL and don't enjoy it, I'll feel hugely regretful that I didn't try out Oxford instead - so it's all a risk to some extent I suppose.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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We honestly can't tell you with the information you've given us, especially since you don't mention any of your grade results at all or what these financial problems are :nah: If I were you, I'd just go to UCL. Likeliness is you would forget all about Oxford very quickly and wonder why you were ever considering foregoing your UCL place just to have a shot at Oxford :yep:
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dancinginlimbo
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My A-Level grades are A*AA, so good but I probably pretty standard by Oxford standards (I think?). My GCSEs are 5A*s and 5As, which are I think relatively good considering the school I attended.

In terms of financial difficulties, I receive, in addition to the government support, £7,000 support from Edinburth (their maximum). UCL's is much less, and considering it's London, potentially especially in second and third years, I would have to rely much more on loans and a part-time job; which is doable obviously but it's something to consider.

In all fairness I think you're probably correct and, while I'll think about it still, I'll probably take up my UCL place, the English course there does look great.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by dancinginlimbo)
My A-Level grades are A*AA, so good but I probably pretty standard by Oxford standards (I think?). My GCSEs are 5A*s and 5As, which are I think relatively good considering the school I attended.

In terms of financial difficulties, I receive, in addition to the government support, £7,000 support from Edinburth (their maximum). UCL's is much less, and considering it's London, potentially especially in second and third years, I would have to rely much more on loans and a part-time job; which is doable obviously but it's something to consider.

In all fairness I think you're probably correct and, while I'll think about it still, I'll probably take up my UCL place, the English course there does look great.
I don't know the exact details of Oxford's financial packages for students such as you (and me, incidentally - I got a £10K bursary from Oxford ) at the moment because things have changed so much since I was there. Safe to say though, that it is probably better than UCL.

What do you make of the English course structure and modules available at Oxford? Your grades are good. You'd just have to explain why you were so late in making an application. How do you think you'd fare at the ELAT? Questions galore!
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dancinginlimbo
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
I don't know the exact details of Oxford's financial packages for students such as you (and me, incidentally - I got a £10K bursary from Oxford ) at the moment because things have changed so much since I was there. Safe to say though, that it is probably better than UCL.

What do you make of the English course structure and modules available at Oxford? Your grades are good. You'd just have to explain why you were so late in making an application. How do you think you'd fare at the ELAT? Questions galore!
That's a pretty great bursary it has to be said. It is much less than that now I think - but it is still much more than UCL's (I can't remember the exact figures off the top of my head ).

I do like the look of the course structure. The choice in second year to do Pathway I or Pathway II to me seems to be a good way to specialise in what you're interested in to some extent, while still keeping your options open and being forced studying texts which you might not have otherwise, and the potential benefits of that. The main attraction is the tutorial system for me though.

In terms of the ELAT, I would have to practice it as it's unseen, but I think I could do well. There was a similar exercise at my UCL interview this year to do, and I was fairly happy with it (though the ELAT is admittedly quite a bit harder as it's on more than one text). I've also done pretty well in an essay at Edinburgh in an essay which looked at a single poem in isolation. I think I'll practice and see how it goes over the summer - if I find I'm struggling particularly it might not be the best idea to apply.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by dancinginlimbo)
That's a pretty great bursary it has to be said. It is much less than that now I think - but it is still much more than UCL's (I can't remember the exact figures off the top of my head ).

I do like the look of the course structure. The choice in second year to do Pathway I or Pathway II to me seems to be a good way to specialise in what you're interested in to some extent, while still keeping your options open and being forced studying texts which you might not have otherwise, and the potential benefits of that. The main attraction is the tutorial system for me though.

In terms of the ELAT, I would have to practice it as it's unseen, but I think I could do well. There was a similar exercise at my UCL interview this year to do, and I was fairly happy with it (though the ELAT is admittedly quite a bit harder as it's on more than one text). I've also done pretty well in an essay at Edinburgh in an essay which looked at a single poem in isolation. I think I'll practice and see how it goes over the summer - if I find I'm struggling particularly it might not be the best idea to apply.
It was £10K over three years to be fair. And the tuition fees weren't 9K then either! :no: I think Oxford give reduced tuition fees to some students but you'd have to double check that coz I really can't remember the specifics of the new tuition fee shiz.

Maybe you should email the admissions tutor for English at Oxford and just ask whether you would stand a realistic chance and see what they advise you?

Good luck figuring it out either way. I do think you would most likely be very happy at UCL but London IS expensive...
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dancinginlimbo
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
It was £10K over three years to be fair. And the tuition fees weren't 9K then either! :no: I think Oxford give reduced tuition fees to some students but you'd have to double check that coz I really can't remember the specifics of the new tuition fee shiz.

Maybe you should email the admissions tutor for English at Oxford and just ask whether you would stand a realistic chance and see what they advise you?

Good luck figuring it out either way. I do think you would most likely be very happy at UCL but London IS expensive...

Yeah, in order to make it work I'd be in a lot more debt and would have less free time in London. I get £10,000 a year combining edinburgh's bursary with the government's, so it sucks that I don't enjoy the course and am disenchanted with it because im very lucky financially comparedto some people and London would be especially hard I guess. :erm:

I have sent them an email - hopefully they'll clear it up because it is quite confusing. But thanks very much!
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uniqsummer
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Just bear in mind that you are not allowed to work at all during Oxford term times - its a strict no-no.
Also Oxford is one of the most expensive to live in the UK - equally comparable to London (and sometimes higher) so don't assume things will be cheaper than UCL.

I feel you should stick with UCL , not really sure what the benefits are of applying to Oxford and wasting another year.
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