Oxford History reapplication or PPE at Durham/Warwick?

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mrcerec
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Hi All

Parent alert!!

My son has just got his IB results - 40 with 765 at HL (611 UCAS points or 4 A*s A level + a at AS level) (he did HL maths - hence the 5!) He is less than 1% away from the 7 on two subjects but is unlikely to go much higher.He scored the highest ever his school had at History HL (82% - boundary for a 7 was 67%) and the school has said he could try for Oxford History, but it would be a bit risky.

He has his insurance offer at Warwick for PPE, and is classed as a really good near-miss for Durham (due to the 5 in the Maths 6 needed and 38 overall).

Now what would you do? Would you reapply to Oxford? My son reckons that PPE from Durham or Warwick is a better bet for employability than History from Oxford. And if he goes for Oxford that means applying for History across the board, so no PPE. He does love History, but he also loves Politics and Economics. And the school says Oxford opens doors like no other uni.And finally any opinions on whether Durham or Warwick is better for PPE/going to Uni?

Thanks all!!
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BobLoblawLawBlog
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(Original post by mrcerec)
Hi All

Parent alert!!

My son has just got his IB results - 40 with 765 at HL (611 UCAS points or 4 A*s A level + a at AS level) (he did HL maths - hence the 5!) He is less than 1% away from the 7 on two subjects but is unlikely to go much higher.He scored the highest ever his school had at History HL (82% - boundary for a 7 was 67%) and the school has said he could try for Oxford History, but it would be a bit risky.

He has his insurance offer at Warwick for PPE, and is classed as a really good near-miss for Durham (due to the 5 in the Maths 6 needed and 38 overall).

Now what would you do? Would you reapply to Oxford? My son reckons that PPE from Durham or Warwick is a better bet for employability than History from Oxford. And if he goes for Oxford that means applying for History across the board, so no PPE. He does love History, but he also loves Politics and Economics. And the school says Oxford opens doors like no other uni.And finally any opinions on whether Durham or Warwick is better for PPE/going to Uni?

Thanks all!!
Personally, I'd go for Warwick (although I am slightly biased). Does he know what kind of career he wants to go for? Generally though, I'd agree that PPE is better for employment than History. Personally, I don't think I could justify taking a whole year out just so I could say I went to Oxbridge, especially when he has other really good offers.
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Yael
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Oxford, of course. Nothing can beat Oxbridge in terms of employability / academia prospects.

The question is whether he's into History more or is he more into PPE? If you think about it, these are two radically different degrees, requiring different sets of skills and interests.
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_Fergo
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Unfortunately, he doesn't meet the standard requiremens for Oxford: they require "IB: 38 (including core points) with 666 at HL".

I'd personally say that it's in his best interest to go to Warwick, which is a very good university, should Durham reject him later on.

(By the way, will you ask for a remark for maths?)
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mrcerec
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(Original post by Yael)
Oxford, of course. Nothing can beat Oxbridge in terms of employability / academia prospects.

The question is whether he's into History more or is he more into PPE? If you think about it, these are two radically different degrees, requiring different sets of skills and interests.

Yes I get that in theory. But does Oxford History really beat PPE at Durham/Warwick in terms of employability?

He loves History, and judging by his results he is really good at it. But he also enjoys PPE - did a taster course (he also did Ancient Greek HL and loved the philosophy)
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mrcerec
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(Original post by *Stefan*)
Unfortunately, he doesn't meet the standard requiremens for Oxford: they require "IB: 38 (including core points) with 666 at HL".

I'd personally say that it's in his best interest to go to Warwick, which is a very good university, should Durham reject him later on.

(By the way, will you ask for a remark for maths?)
Enquiring to Corpus they said that they would look at his application "in the round" - 765 at HL puts him at a disadvantage but does not rule hin out completely ie great HAT score etc will see him in.

And Maths was too far away to ask for a remark.
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Yael
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(Original post by mrcerec)
Yes I get that in theory. But does Oxford History really beat PPE at Durham/Warwick in terms of employability?

He loves History, and judging by his results he is really good at it. But he also enjoys PPE - did a taster course (he also did Ancient Greek HL and loved the philosophy)
Yes, really.

I study Economics and Philosophy (without Politics) at one of the top 8 universities, but still Oxbridge is one level above everything else - not necessarily academically - but in terms of worldwide employability.
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constanzev
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I would go for Warwick PPE. Employers love Warwick PPE, especially in the world of finance. Also, reapplying is risky and having 765 at HL will be a huge disadvantage.
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mizzsnazzter
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Id probably go PPE at Durham tbh, Warwick is very well known for the maths/science but Durham is famous for its arts so he would do better to go to Durham IMO
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constanzev
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(Original post by mizzsnazzter)
Id probably go PPE at Durham tbh, Warwick is very well known for the maths/science but Durham is famous for its arts so he would do better to go to Durham IMO
Probably depends on what he wants to focus on. Warwick is definitely stronger for Economics than Durham (and I think it has also been ranked higher in Politics than Durham)
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Mike_123
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(Original post by mrcerec)
Yes I get that in theory. But does Oxford History really beat PPE at Durham/Warwick in terms of employability?

He loves History, and judging by his results he is really good at it. But he also enjoys PPE - did a taster course (he also did Ancient Greek HL and loved the philosophy)
I would go Warwick tbh. Employability difference between Warwick/Oxbridge is limited in the UK for most professions. 5 in HL maths doesn't look favourable either
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colourtheory
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(Original post by mrcerec)
Enquiring to Corpus they said that they would look at his application "in the round" - 765 at HL puts him at a disadvantage but does not rule hin out completely ie great HAT score etc will see him in.

And Maths was too far away to ask for a remark.
The Oxford application consists of:
HAT score, interviews, submitted work, personal statement, GCSEs, IB results

Your son needs to be doing well across the board in order to be considered, so it's best to not get complacent. The HAT score is v. important, but other things can make or break an application, even if it includes a high HAT score.

I'm currently study History at Oxford and would like to get across the massive work load that comes with studying here. You need to love history to do well. We're given 12 essays of 2500 words to complete within a single 8 week term and the academic prose can be very intensive and often quite dry. There is no way to do well in exams here unless you've completed all the reading (which averages out at about 10 books a week). Other universities offer excellent degrees without the massive workload and only the applicant can judge whether it will be worth the extra effort for sometimes negligible gains.

It's not up to teachers or parents to pressure someone into applying to Oxford. If the student is not willing to do all the extra work with the high possibility of rejection (and the extra work required when actually here) then the university might not be for him / her.

The teaching style here is very intensive with lots of emphasis placed upon tutorials (often I only have 1 lecture a week). Is the applicant willing to have such limited contact hours with tonnes of self driven study? It's not about applying to Oxford for the sake of applying to Oxford. The university and its teaching needs to be a good fit for the student otherwise they are likely to struggle over the three years. Would they do better with a greater number of lectures at Warwick / Durham? Could they do exceptionally well there where they might perform at a more average level at Oxford relative to the rest of their year?

Whether or not Warwick and Durham is better for employment is very negligible. No-one will throw out an Oxford graduate's job application because of the university they went to (and I suspect the case is the same with Warwick and Durham).

Edit: Oxford can also be very isolating and difficult on one's mental health. There is a climate of perfection here that makes being here incredibly tough. Work is always aimed above a student's level of ability and we're often confronted with what we don't know as much as with what we do know.
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