How much do universities care about extracurricular activities? Watch

flibber
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I know that Oxford and Cambridge hardly care about them, while the top American universities take them (Boy Scout, American football) into account a lot in addition to SAT/ACT, and AP. But what about British universities in general?
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Carnationlilyrose
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(Original post by flibber)
I know that Oxford and Cambridge hardly care about them, while the top American universities take them (Boy Scout, American football) into account a lot in addition to SAT/ACT, and AP. But what about British universities in general?
For academic courses, hardly at all. For vocational courses where relevant work experience is essential, such as vet med or medicine, very much more so.
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flibber
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(Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
For academic courses, hardly at all. For vocational courses where relevant work experience is essential, such as vet med or medicine, very much more so.
I didn't know medicine/vet med was vocational; I though 'vocational' meant stuff like hairdressing and BTECs.

I'm planning to enter an academic course, so how much would you recommend writing about extracurricular activities in my personal statement?
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Carnationlilyrose
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(Original post by flibber)
I didn't know medicine/vet med was vocational; I though 'vocational' meant stuff like hairdressing and BTECs.

I'm planning to enter an academic course, so how much would you recommend writing about extracurricular activities in my personal statement?
That is because the meaning of vocational is regularly misunderstood. Courses which lead to a professional qualification are vocational. Courses which are studied for the subject alone are academic, broadly speaking.

The usual guidelines are 70 - 75% subject, 25 - 30% other stuff.
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username457532
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(Original post by flibber)
I didn't know medicine/vet med was vocational; I though 'vocational' meant stuff like hairdressing and BTECs.

I'm planning to enter an academic course, so how much would you recommend writing about extracurricular activities in my personal statement?
Vocational means heading towards a particular career.
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subject1
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(Original post by flibber)
I didn't know medicine/vet med was vocational; I though 'vocational' meant stuff like hairdressing and BTECs.

I'm planning to enter an academic course, so how much would you recommend writing about extracurricular activities in my personal statement?
Vocational just means a degree that prepares you for a specific career, and would not really lead you to other career opportunities.

Medicine is definitely a vocational degree, as is hairdressing and BTECs, but medicine/dentistry/vet sci are just "a bit more" respected.

If you are doing an academic course such as maths or history, then extracurricular activities mean nothing unless you are applying to a less-competitive university.
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flibber
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(Original post by SmallTownGirl)
Vocational means heading towards a particular career.
(Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
That is because the meaning of vocational is regularly misunderstood. Courses which lead to a professional qualification are vocational. Courses which are studied for the subject alone are academic, broadly speaking.

The usual guidelines are 70 - 75% subject, 25 - 30% other stuff.
That's why I feel sorry for people doing medicine... they're trapped in that field for the rest of their working lives.

Does stuff that's implicitly but not completely linked to the subject (e.g. a person participating in the school's politics society and is applying for economics) count as 'supercurricular' or 'extracurricular'?
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FrostShot
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(Original post by flibber)
I know that Oxford and Cambridge hardly care about them, while the top American universities take them (Boy Scout, American football) into account a lot in addition to SAT/ACT, and AP. But what about British universities in general?
Lots of people will tell you to do lots of extra curriculars, but DON'T LISTEN TO THEM! Get your grades sorted and be SUPER ACADEMIC; keep training your academic skills to the point that A levels become essentially worthless, and you can perform strongly on university entrance examinations .That is the best course of action.
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flibber
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(Original post by subject1)
Vocational just means a degree that prepares you for a specific career, and would not really lead you to other career opportunities.

Medicine is definitely a vocational degree, as is hairdressing and BTECs, but medicine/dentistry/vet sci are just "a bit more" respected.

If you are doing an academic course such as maths or history, then extracurricular activities mean nothing unless you are applying to a less-competitive university.
So I can essentially leave the extracurricular part out (or just put a sentence or two) since I want to apply for competitive universities?
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username457532
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(Original post by flibber)
That's why I feel sorry for people doing medicine... they're trapped in that field for the rest of their working lives.

Does stuff that's implicitly but not completely linked to the subject (e.g. a person participating in the school's politics society and is applying for economics) count as 'supercurricular' or 'extracurricular'?
The most important thing is whether you can show you've learnt something from it and how this will help you in your degree and future career. Don't just list things. So you were in the politics society? What benefit does that give you?
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subject1
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(Original post by flibber)
That's why I feel sorry for people doing medicine... they're trapped in that field for the rest of their working lives.

Does stuff that's implicitly but not completely linked to the subject (e.g. a person participating in the school's politics society and is applying for economics) count as 'supercurricular' or 'extracurricular'?
I am not a medic, but medics get big bucks and will probably earn more than most of us, so you can't exactly feel "sorry" for them. :P
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subject1
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(Original post by flibber)
So I can essentially leave the extracurricular part out (or just put a sentence or two) since I want to apply for competitive universities?
If it is related to your course then definitely yes! By competitive which universities do you mean?
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AvWOW
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(Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
That is because the meaning of vocational is regularly misunderstood. Courses which lead to a professional qualification are vocational. Courses which are studied for the subject alone are academic, broadly speaking.

The usual guidelines are 70 - 75% subject, 25 - 30% other stuff.
What about Biotechnology? Is that 'vocational'?
And the extra-curricular I'm getting is like leadership training and work experience. Also a few sports achievements... nothing much. Compared with my friend though I though I was heavily lacking. But in terms of academics, I'm very focused. Expecting 4 As for AS.
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flibber
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(Original post by subject1)
I am not a medic, but medics get big bucks and will probably earn more than most of us, so you can't exactly feel "sorry" for them. :P
What if they decide halfway that being a doctor is not for them?
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flibber
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(Original post by subject1)
If it is related to your course then definitely yes! By competitive which universities do you mean?
Russell Group.
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Jupers
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(Original post by subject1)
Vocational just means a degree that prepares you for a specific career, and would not really lead you to other career opportunities.

Medicine is definitely a vocational degree, as is hairdressing and BTECs, but medicine/dentistry/vet sci are just "a bit more" respected.

If you are doing an academic course such as maths or history, then extracurricular activities mean nothing unless you are applying to a less-competitive university.
Just a question from someone who will be applying soon. As someone who will be applying for an academic course, what can I do to make myself stand out?
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flibber
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(Original post by FrostShot)
Lots of people will tell you to do lots of extra curriculars, but DON'T LISTEN TO THEM! Get your grades sorted and be SUPER ACADEMIC; keep training your academic skills to the point that A levels become essentially worthless, and you can perform strongly on university entrance examinations .That is the best course of action.
Thanks! Is there a reason why people keeping telling others to focus on extracurricular rather than supercurricular?
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Novascope
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I'd say it depends on what you want to study? I don't think that a university would care as much if you were applying for an academic course. A creative course however could be different. For example I got offered an unconditional place at my uni on the spot in my interview simply because the head of department was impressed by all of the things I had done outside of college. Because there's obviously more to creative subjects than just intelligence they like to see when someone is passionate enough about it to go out of their way to do extra work for it
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subject1
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(Original post by flibber)
What if they decide halfway that being a doctor is not for them?
That is why you need to be a committed and determined person to study medicine. I guess they reap the rewards if they manage to finish the course, but I think like up to a third of medics drop out or something like that!

For Russell Group I would say that you should write a line or two about your extra-curricular activities, maybe one about a sport and one about a skill. however, most of it should be about "supercurricular activities" that are related to your course. Unfortunately they do not really care about whether you help out at the old people's home!
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dirtmother
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There is no law that says you have to continue in the job that your vocational degree has prepared you for - and conversely, there's no right to either.

I did a highly vocational degree and one of the most able students in my year has never practiced in that field since graduating but I am sure the skills, knowledge and experience from the course will have stood her in good stead in her chosen career. I also went off and qualified in another field.

That's not to say that universities don't want evidence that you might have the qualities required for the job and a realistic insight into what it involves.
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