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GCSEs needed for prestigious law universities? watch

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    Will the following GCSEs be good enough for the more prestigious law universities such as lse, Durham, ucl, Edinburgh etc?

    Spanish a*
    History a
    Business studies (double award) a a
    English literature a
    English language a
    Maths a
    Science (triple award) a a a
    Music b
    Statistics b

    Thankyou in advance
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    I'm not applying for Law or anything similar but this caught my eye because a friend of mine has applied to Manchester for Law and they wanted an A in GCSE English Language, and he got a B but did very well in his AS levels so after enquiring they said he should apply and he did.

    Apart from that, AFAIK strict GCSE requirements for any course are fairly uncommon. Overall you have done well, it is important to focus on your AS which will be the basis of your predicted grades which as you will know are the main basis of the offers. The only exception I'd say would be Oxford which does take GCSEs seriously and you would need a handful of A*s. For Cambridge they care more about how you do at AS.

    Some may argue that you might not have enough A*s/as many as others, but I think for something like law you can make up for it by showing a strong interest and doing well in your A levels, and you should consider applying to the unis you mentioned.
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    You will likely struggle with LSE. Probably more so than with Oxford, since the latter has admissions testing etc to consider as well.
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    I do not believe Edinburgh teaches English law, and you would therefore have to do a conversion course if you wanted to practise in England.

    I would recommend Bristol as a choice. I know of people studying law there who did not do fantastically well at GCSE level and my experience is that it is probably the best value law school in the UK in terms of how hard it is to get into versus how respected its law degrees are in the law and other professions.
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    (Original post by C_Russell)
    Will the following GCSEs be good enough for the more prestigious law universities such as lse, Durham, ucl, Edinburgh etc?

    Spanish a*
    History a
    Business studies (double award) a a
    English literature a
    English language a
    Maths a
    Science (triple award) a a a
    Music b
    Statistics b

    Thankyou in advance
    For a lot of top places, you'd be fine - GCSEs may be used to discriminate candidates to some extent, but great AS levels/predictions/personal statement/LNAT etc. can make you stand out and have a good chance. So if you do really well in your A levels, then definitely apply.

    However, LSE and Edinburgh are two exceptions here. As far as I know, LSE uses GCSEs quite a bit, and almost everyone applying there will have great A level grades, so avoid it even if you do well. If you do brilliantly at AS, you'd have a better chance of getting into Cambridge as at least they see your UMS scores and have an interview. Edinburgh is also not recommended as they teach Scottish law. So if you wanted to become a barrister or solicitor in England, you'd have to do a conversion course that essentially serves as a law degree - so you may as well have not studied law at Edinburgh at all. If you want to be a lawyer in Scotland, get a degree from Scotland. Otherwise avoid.

    But if you're not doing any AS levels, the situation changes quite a lot. With the old system just ending with the current year 13s, everyone did AS levels - so they can help applicants that did ok at GCSE to really stand out. But of course a new system is now in place, with 2 year A level courses and AS as a separate qualification. If you're not doing AS levels, your GCSEs will be the only source of academic information about you that the universities can get; predictions can be unreliable. So, if you're only doing full A level courses, do apply to some top unis (though not Scottish ones, LSE or Oxford as the latter two are GCSE-focused), but also apply to some that ask for lower entry requirements.
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    (Original post by a noble chance)
    I do not believe Edinburgh teaches English law, and you would therefore have to do a conversion course if you wanted to practise in England.

    I would recommend Bristol as a choice. I know of people studying law there who did not do fantastically well at GCSE level and my experience is that it is probably the best value law school in the UK in terms of how hard it is to get into versus how respected its law degrees are in the law and other professions.
    Thing is, Bristol is extremely strict with its marking of scripts throughout the degree. The average for first year was just 53%, with a big majority getting 2.2 in all exams (out of 385 students, only 9-11 were getting firsts in individual subjects, and I know that overall just three got 1sts).
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    (Original post by *Stefan*)
    Thing is, Bristol is extremely strict with its marking of scripts throughout the degree. The average for first year was just 53%, with a big majority getting 2.2 in all exams (out of 385 students, only 9-11 were getting firsts in individual subjects, and I know that overall just three got 1sts).
    What is your source? Your figures certainly don't chime with Unistats' from the recent past:

    http://m.unistats.ac.uk/subjects/stu...eturnTo/Search

    Assuming your figures are right, it could be strict marking, the calibre of the student taking a nosedive as per my previous post and/or how much effort these students are making in first year, which I imagine is less than in their other years and will probably even out as per Unistats. Also worth bearing in mind is that law is the degree with the smallest proportion of firsts and also carries a higher than average proportion of 2:2s, so these figures aren't earth-shatteringly surprising.
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    (Original post by a noble chance)
    What is your source? Your figures certainly don't chime with Unistats' from the recent past:

    http://m.unistats.ac.uk/subjects/stu...eturnTo/Search

    Assuming your figures are right, it could be strict marking, the calibre of the student taking a nosedive as per my previous post and/or how much effort these students are making in first year, which I imagine is less than in their other years and will probably even out as per Unistats. Also worth bearing in mind is that law is the degree with the smallest proportion of firsts and also carries a higher than average proportion of 2:2s, so these figures aren't earth-shatteringly surprising.
    My source is the statistics page for each individual module on blackboard.

    Ie in criminal law:

    355 candidates were registered on the unit.
    The results were as follows:
    Firsts: 10 (3%)
    Upper seconds: 97 (27%)
    Lower seconds: 149 (42%)
    Thirds: 63 (18%)
    Fails / absent: 36 (10%)

    The number of firsts is pleasing and represents a healthy increase from previous years. (like wth!)"

    Still, these are considerably lower than those I've seen from unis of similar calibre. Perhaps it's because of the gigantic class size.
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    (Original post by *Stefan*)
    My source is the statistics page for each individual module on blackboard.

    Ie in criminal law:

    355 candidates were registered on the unit.
    The results were as follows:
    Firsts: 10 (3%)
    Upper seconds: 97 (27%)
    Lower seconds: 149 (42%)
    Thirds: 63 (18%)
    Fails / absent: 36 (10%)

    The number of firsts is pleasing and represents a healthy increase from previous years. (like wth!)"

    Still, these are considerably lower than those I've seen from unis of similar calibre. Perhaps it's because of the gigantic class size.
    I refer you to the second paragraph of my previous post.
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    (Original post by a noble chance)
    I refer you to the second paragraph of my previous post.
    I did read it. I'm simply answering your first question with some more detail.

    With regards to the reason, it is definitely strict marking because they have clearly stated so.
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    (Original post by *Stefan*)
    I did read it. I'm simply answering your first question with some more detail.
    You've answered the first two sentences but haven't addressed the other ten.

    With regards to the reason, it is definitely strict marking because they have clearly stated so.
    Where have they stated that strict marking is the only reason for the poor performance of this year's first year law graduates? Where have they even stated they are marking more strictly at all? I seriously doubt this. Much more likely is that it's attributable to a combination of the factors suggested in my antepenultimate post.

    If the departmental response you gave is accurate it is probably weighted towards first year Bristol law students generally doing worse in their first year than second or third - which is probably something to do with the fact that the first year of a Bristol law degree does not count towards the final degree classification. Obviously this is the deciding factor and not that the marking has supposedly got stricter.
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    (Original post by a noble chance)
    You've answered the first two sentences but haven't addressed the other ten.
    I didn't address them because you stated your opinion as a matter of fact (and rightly so I'd say) - it wasn't a question.

    (Original post by a noble chance)
    Where have they stated that strict marking is the only reason for the poor performance of this year's first year law graduates? Where have they even stated they are marking more strictly at all? I seriously doubt this. Much more likely is that it's attributable to a combination of the factors suggested in my antepenultimate post.
    Dude, I'm a Bristol Law student - they mentioned it a few times in the lectures but my personal tutor was the most direct by saying that they had a different "philosophy", particularly for the first year, which is why the average last year was about 53% (low 2.2). It does indeed improve for the second and third years, but it's still noticeably lower than the remaining top law schools.

    It is well known that Bristol, alongside Nottingham, has not observed the late grade inflation as much.
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    (Original post by *Stefan*)
    I didn't address them because you stated your opinion as a matter of fact (and rightly so I'd say) - it wasn't a question.
    Debates are usually a matter of responding to and challenging positons expressed in matters of fact.

    Dude, I'm a Bristol Law student - they mentioned it a few times in the lectures but my personal tutor was the most direct by saying that they had a different "philosophy", particularly for the first year, which is why the average last year was about 53% (low 2.2). It does indeed improve for the second and third years, but it's still noticeably lower than the remaining top law schools.

    It is well known that Bristol, alongside Nottingham, has not observed the late grade inflation as much.
    I have edited my post. The reason first years do worse than other years is obviously because they care less about their academic attainment than they do in other years because the first year does not count towards their overall degree mark. Most of them care enough to pass and continue their degree but not to work so hard as to achieve highly when it won't impact on their overall mark. This is the obvious, rational reason Bristol law students do poorly in their first year and do well in their overall degree.

    I see no evidence that this is different in other universities and would be interested to see some to support your position. Since first year marks are internally released, I don't suppose you have any.

    What your lecturer said is not provable here but they could have said that for any number of reasons other than to convey truth. For example, they might have been incentivising students to not be complacent and end up failing and being kicked out/having to repeat the year. It is weak evidence for your argument on two counts.
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    (Original post by a noble chance)
    The reason first years do worse than other years is obviously because they care less about their academic attainment than they do in other years because the first year does not count towards their overall degree mark.
    People also do worse in first year at Cambridge, where the first year counts equally with the other two years.

    Part of it is motivation, but part of it is just that first years don't know what they're doing, at least not from the start.

    I entirely don't buy that markers are anything but more lenient with first year candidates, though.
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    (Original post by a noble chance)
    Debates are usually a matter of responding to and challenging positons expressed in matters of fact.



    I have edited my post. The reason first years do worse than other years is obviously because they care less about their academic attainment than they do in other years because the first year does not count towards their overall degree mark. Most of them care enough to pass and continue their degree but not to work so hard as to achieve highly when it won't impact on their overall mark. This is the obvious, rational reason Bristol law students do poorly in their first year and do well in their overall degree.

    I see no evidence that this is different in other universities and would be interested to see some to support your position. Since first year marks are internally released, I don't suppose you have any.

    What your lecturer said is not provable here but they could have said that for any number of reasons other than to convey truth. For example, they might have been incentivising students to not be complacent and end up failing and being kicked out/having to repeat the year. It is weak evidence for your argument on two counts.
    I am going to discontinue this here as you're getting too aggressive and I'm definitely not in the mood for that after such a long day. I did not come here to debate you - I only answered the first question to help the OP with their decision.

    Nonetheless, whether the first year counts or not is inconsequential - firms are still going to look at that above all else.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    People also do worse in first year at Cambridge, where the first year counts equally with the other two years.

    Part of it is motivation, but part of it is just that first years don't know what they're doing, at least not from the start.
    I'm sure these are also strong factors.

    I entirely don't buy that markers are anything but more lenient with first year candidates, though.
    I agree. More important is that there are other, far more probable reasons for first years doing especially poorly than an especially severe marking system that softens up in the second and third years of the course.
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    (Original post by *Stefan*)
    Dude, I'm a Bristol Law student - they mentioned it a few times in the lectures but my personal tutor was the most direct by saying that they had a different "philosophy", particularly for the first year, which is why the average last year was about 53% (low 2.2). It does indeed improve for the second and third years, but it's still noticeably lower than the remaining top law schools.
    Weren't you given an offer by LSE?
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    (Original post by callum_law)
    Weren't you given an offer by LSE?
    Yes.

    They wanted Excellent + A*A and I got Excellent + A*A*B. They told me they wanted that B to have been an A, and so I missed my offer (I still don't understand what happened to this day, but I didn't push for it because I knew they were already full after giving more offers than they should, as was evidenced through their replies).

    Not regretting it at all right now though (nor not choosing either KCL or Durham, whose offers clearly did not specify any subjects).

    [And this reply was a lot longer than what I had in mind :P]

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    (Original post by *Stefan*)
    Yes.

    They wanted Excellent + A*A and I got Excellent + A*A*B. They told me they wanted that B to have been an A, and so I missed my offer (I still don't understand what happened to this day, but I didn't push for it because I knew they were already full after giving more offers than they should, as was evidenced through their replies).

    Not regretting it at all right now though (nor not choosing either KCL or Durham, whose offers clearly did not specify any subjects).

    [And that reply was a lot longer than what I had in mind :P]

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    Yeah, very few doors will be closed because you completed your degree at Bristol rather than LSE. Though, as a Law student, you should become comfortable with that feeling of being ****ed by technicalities, such as achieving A*A*B in place of A*A; it shall form a large part of your academic and professional life.
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    (Original post by callum_law)
    Yeah, very few doors will be closed because you completed your degree at Bristol rather than LSE. Though, as a Law student, you should become comfortable with that feeling of being ****ed by technicalities, such as achieving A*A*B in place of A*A; it shall form a large part of your academic and professional life.
    I too hope the difference in reputation will not prove detrimental (for a lack of a less dramatic word). Firm activity is really strong though so it does help alleviate the disappointment of not getting into LSE (which I think stemmed not from the obvious reputation of the institution but from me recklessly becoming too invested in it).

    And yeah haha, I'm getting this feeling already - that said, I absolutely love the course thus far so I think I'm going to adjust sooner or later.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
 
 
 
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