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A*AA predicted. Is it bad to go to lower unis? watch

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    Kind of as the title implies, my target grades are A*AA in EngLit, History and Sociology. I'm applying to do Psychology, if it makes any difference.

    I've applied to:
    Bournemouth (280pts, BCC) (Psychology)
    Plymouth (BBB) (Psychology and Human Biology)
    Goldsmiths (AAB) (Psychology with Clinical Psychology)
    Sussex (AAA) (Psychology with Neuroscience)
    Royal Holloway (AAA) (Psychology, Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience)

    Problem is, I really like Bournemouth, and Plymouth allows me to do Biology (which is quite a passion of mine) with it. Presuming I got offers from both of them I would be applying to places with far lower standards than I'm predicted.

    My question is, is this a bad thing? If I'm capable of getting into, let's say, Sussex, should I go there simply because of the higher standards?

    Another question - with a non-science background, is it foolish to apply for Neuroscience instead in some places? I considered it but backed out (at Sussex for example).

    Thanks in advance!
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    It depends - predicted grades are sometimes overly optimistic, and if you don't feel confident in achieving A*AA/AAA, you are just being safe. If you do do better on results day there is always adjustment available anyway.

    Well done on your offers so far! University is 3 years of your life so ensure it is a uni and course that you do actually like. I imagine that Psychology with a science probably has better career prospects than non-science psych, so that is probably a wise choice as long as you enjoy it. Work hard and I doubt having a non-science background will massively hinder you.

    Just do be aware of your prospects after uni, a uni like Sussex or RHUL may better enable you to get a career after uni but it is imperative you actually like the uni and course.

    Hope I helped
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    (Original post by antigone-)
    It depends - predicted grades are sometimes overly optimistic, and if you don't feel confident in achieving A*AA/AAA, you are just being safe. If you do do better on results day there is always adjustment available anyway.

    Well done on your offers so far! University is 3 years of your life so ensure it is a uni and course that you do actually like. I imagine that Psychology with a science probably has better career prospects than non-science psych, so that is probably a wise choice as long as you enjoy it. Work hard and I doubt having a non-science background will massively hinder you.

    Just do be aware of your prospects after uni, a uni like Sussex or RHUL may better enable you to get a career after uni but it is imperative you actually like the uni and course.

    Hope I helped
    I mean, I could probably get AAA/AAB, I don't know about that A* ;-;
    What's adjustment, sorry? Not familiar with it
    Oh well thank you, but I haven't got any offers yet haha! I'm trying to really think what's best considering I want to go into research psychology (Clinical) as a career
    Sussex was absolutely lovely, but I doubt my chances of getting in. And I'm stuck whether to apply for Neuroscience or Psychology (or both) :')

    But no you've helped a lot, thank you very much
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    (Original post by SkyRees)
    I mean, I could probably get AAA/AAB, I don't know about that A* ;-;
    What's adjustment, sorry? Not familiar with it
    Oh well thank you, but I haven't got any offers yet haha! I'm trying to really think what's best considering I want to go into research psychology (Clinical) as a career
    Sussex was absolutely lovely, but I doubt my chances of getting in. And I'm stuck whether to apply for Neuroscience or Psychology (or both) :'

    But no you've helped a lot, thank you very much
    Oh sorry, I must've misread! To do clinical psych I'm pretty sure a science related degree is necessary so I don't think you have too much of a choice there!

    I assume you know what Clearing is? If not:
    Clearing: On results day if you get lower grades than expected and miss your offers you can find another course somewhere else which will accept you with your lower grades.
    Adjustment is the opposite. If you get better than expected, you can decline your offers and see if unis with higher requirements have spaces.

    I doubt that many Neuroscience courses will accept you if you haven't done any sciences at A-level but I could be wrong.

    Regarding Sussex, you don't know until you try! Good luck
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    (Original post by SkyRees)
    I mean, I could probably get AAA/AAB, I don't know about that A* ;-;
    What's adjustment, sorry? Not familiar with it
    Oh well thank you, but I haven't got any offers yet haha! I'm trying to really think what's best considering I want to go into research psychology (Clinical) as a career
    Sussex was absolutely lovely, but I doubt my chances of getting in. And I'm stuck whether to apply for Neuroscience or Psychology (or both) :'

    But no you've helped a lot, thank you very much
    Adjustment is an option you have to find another uni place if you exceed the grades required by your firm choice on results day.

    If you want a career in psychology make sure the course you pick is accredited by the BPS - be careful with combined courses as if its a 50/50 split it might not be sufficient to gain BPS accreditation so do your research.

    On the whole, if the course is accredited I say go where you will be happy
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    (Original post by antigone-)
    Oh sorry, I must've misread! To do clinical psych I'm pretty sure a science related degree is necessary so I don't think you have too much of a choice there!

    I assume you know what Clearing is? If not:
    Clearing: On results day if you get lower grades than expected and miss your offers you can find another course somewhere else which will accept you with your lower grades.
    Adjustment is the opposite. If you get better than expected, you can decline your offers and see if unis with higher requirements have spaces.

    I doubt that many Neuroscience courses will accept you if you haven't done any sciences at A-level but I could be wrong.

    Regarding Sussex, you don't know until you try! Good luck
    Ah don't worry! And I looked into it, apparently Psychology is as good as any for it so long as I get 2:1 or higher ^^
    Oh! Well, that's handy
    Mm, the problem is that they don't outright ask for any sciences, in fact a couple places said Sociology was good. It's probably fair to assume they want sciences though ;-;

    Hehe, I'll give it a go then, thank you!
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    (Original post by AmyPilot)
    Adjustment is an option you have to find another uni place if you exceed the grades required by your firm choice on results day.

    If you want a career in psychology make sure the course you pick is accredited by the BPS - be careful with combined courses as if its a 50/50 split it might not be sufficient to gain BPS accreditation so do your research.

    On the whole, if the course is accredited I say go where you will be happy
    So it's like asking for a BBB course only to find I get A*AA, then going up to a course that asked for AAA? Because that sounds pretty useful ^^

    Don't worry, all of my options are. Made damn sure of that - because it wasn't clear on at least three of them!

    What about for employment? Do people really care if I got one from Royal Holloway or Bournemouth if it's a 2:1 or a First? ^^
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    (Original post by SkyRees)
    So it's like asking for a BBB course only to find I get A*AA, then going up to a course that asked for AAA? Because that sounds pretty useful ^^

    Don't worry, all of my options are. Made damn sure of that - because it wasn't clear on at least three of them!

    What about for employment? Do people really care if I got one from Royal Holloway or Bournemouth if it's a 2:1 or a First? ^^
    Yes if your firm is BBB and you get anything higher (so ABB or above) you can phone other unis to ask if they have places on their course via adjustment - and by doing it this way you don't sacrifice your firm choice if you are not successful elsewhere.

    Good you checked out the accreditation issue - I do a joint honours psychology course. Mine is accredited but it caught a lot of people out last year as the subject they were combined with meant their psych degree wasn't!

    If you want a career in psych then you have to do the postgrad studies and as far as I am aware these courses do not discriminate as to where you got your undergrad degree. It's the grade that counts.

    I attend what some would say is a lower class uni (had no other option for the course I do) and I achieved A*AAA at A level if that makes you feel any better
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    (Original post by AmyPilot)
    Yes if your firm is BBB and you get anything higher (so ABB or above) you can phone other unis to ask if they have places on their course via adjustment - and by doing it this way you don't sacrifice your firm choice if you are not successful elsewhere.

    Good you checked out the accreditation issue - I do a joint honours psychology course. Mine is accredited but it caught a lot of people out last year as the subject they were combined with meant their psych degree wasn't!

    If you want a career in psych then you have to do the postgrad studies and as far as I am aware these courses do not discriminate as to where you got your undergrad degree. It's the grade that counts.

    I attend what some would say is a lower class uni (had no other option for the course I do) and I achieved A*AAA at A level if that makes you feel any better
    Huh, that's pretty good. Even if they reject me to start with or if is it just to do with firm/insurance choices?

    What was your course with? And yeah, I've already seen that happen with some of my friends who almost applied to non-PBS courses.

    Well I mean that's a relief ^^
    By postgrad are you referring to MSc only, or PhD as well? I'm not smart enough to do a PhD in anything, except maybe sleeping.

    Where do you go? And I guess it does a little, as long as you're happy there and don't have regrets over not going somewhere better :')
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    I made the decision to go to a uni asking for lower grades than those I achieved would allow me to consider. It's inevitable my answer is going to be coloured by that choice, but so far, on balance, I've not regretted it.

    I think, as people have said already, the best policy is to choose the uni/course you think you'll be happiest at/on and that will get you to where you hope to get to. As long as it's not too far beneath your grade standards, I don't think you'll be wasting your talents there.
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    (Original post by SkyRees)
    Huh, that's pretty good. Even if they reject me to start with or if is it just to do with firm/insurance choices?

    What was your course with? And yeah, I've already seen that happen with some of my friends who almost applied to non-PBS courses.

    Well I mean that's a relief ^^
    By postgrad are you referring to MSc only, or PhD as well? I'm not smart enough to do a PhD in anything, except maybe sleeping.

    Where do you go? And I guess it does a little, as long as you're happy there and don't have regrets over not going somewhere better :'
    You can contact any uni to ask about places via adjustment I believe.

    I study psychology and speech pathology (speech and language therapy) - its an NHS funded course and I go to MMU (Manchester Met). I will (hopefully) graduate as a Speech Therapist but will also have a psychology degree - may consider educational psychology at some point in the future but who knows - might have had enough after 4 years at uni lol.

    By postgrad I mean either Masters or PhD - lots of people opt for masters etc at higher ranked unis after graduating from what some people deem "lesser" unis.

    But seriously pick the uni where you will be happier and the course you prefer - I had the option to do a straight speech therapy degree at a Russell Group uni but picked my place not only for the unique programme but also because I preferred the teaching style/approach - no regrets whatsoever!

    Good luck with your application - I remember how stressful Y13 was
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    (Original post by AmyPilot)
    You can contact any uni to ask about places via adjustment I believe.

    I study psychology and speech pathology (speech and language therapy) - its an NHS funded course and I go to MMU (Manchester Met). I will (hopefully) graduate as a Speech Therapist but will also have a psychology degree - may consider educational psychology at some point in the future but who knows - might have had enough after 4 years at uni lol.

    By postgrad I mean either Masters or PhD - lots of people opt for masters etc at higher ranked unis after graduating from what some people deem "lesser" unis.

    But seriously pick the uni where you will be happier and the course you prefer - I had the option to do a straight speech therapy degree at a Russell Group uni but picked my place not only for the unique programme but also because I preferred the teaching style/approach - no regrets whatsoever!

    Good luck with your application - I remember how stressful Y13 was
    That sounds pretty cool! Best of luck with it ^^
    Ahh I see. Yeah, I've known the reverse to be true as well, weirdly.
    Mm, I guess you're right there, thank you
    Haha, you're right and I can't wait to get through it, thank you for the help
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    I wouldn't consider it a bad thing at all, I've heard some great things about the 'lower grade' unis and vice versa. They come up with their entry grades based on a whole number of factors, so don't assume the teaching standard will be any lower, if you really like the uni then go for it!
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    (Original post by AmyPilot)
    By postgrad I mean either Masters or PhD - lots of people opt for masters etc at higher ranked unis after graduating from what some people deem "lesser" unis.

    But seriously pick the uni where you will be happier and the course you prefer - I had the option to do a straight speech therapy degree at a Russell Group uni but picked my place not only for the unique programme but also because I preferred the teaching style/approach - no regrets whatsoever!
    Good point: it's not like the door (to a higher ranked uni) is closed to you forever if you don't go there as an undergrad.

    Your other point I've picked out is the most crucial one, though, imo. The teaching style is so important to consider. If the way it's done at a more prestigious uni doesn't suit you, none of the prestigious aspects of that uni will mean a damn to you and you're not likely to have a very enjoyable 3 years there.
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    (Original post by jimmy_looks_2ice)
    Good point: it's not like the door (to a higher ranked uni) is closed to you forever if you don't go there as an undergrad.

    Your other point I've picked out is the most crucial one, though, imo. The teaching style is so important to consider. If the way it's done at a more prestigious uni doesn't suit you, none of the prestigious aspects of that uni will mean a damn to you and you're not likely to have a very enjoyable 3 years there.
    I know - I was jokingly looking at Oxbridge masters programmes lol! Bit premature as only in year 2 out of 4 but was just curious - I had teachers at college who kept on at me for my choice of uni but they didn't understand that my course is only offered at a handful of unis and the joint honours course I do was only available at one uni.

    I preferred the more practical approach to teaching from the start at my uni rather than the more academic style of other unis. The practical side of my course is where I need more help so its by far the best option for me.

    What do you study by the way?
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    (Original post by AmyPilot)
    What do you study by the way?
    I'm studying English & American Literature and Film - that's a JH degree of two subjects (not three!).

    So, I understand where you're coming from with the JH choices and how that affects your choice of where you go. Bristol or Exeter were as far up the (rankings) ladder as I could go while still having the option to study the two subjects together. Even then I decided to go elsewhere. Had I dropped Film out the mix and just settled for literature, I could've applied to Oxbridge. But I'm a non-conventional applicant, so that caused problems in itself, and furthermore I concluded that at this point, at least, I'm not sure I'd flourish under their system. I might be wrong and it could be that I'd have found it better than where I am now, but my doubts were sufficient to convince me that the better choice was to go elsewhere.

    Btw, I don't think there's anything wrong with you looking ahead to Masters programmes. Keep you eye on the ball, obviously, but what you want to do next might shape how you approach your current studies. (Bear in mind I'm only an undergrad myself, so that's not an authoritative opinion.)
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    This is a really good question because it's an opportunity to lay down some truth (albeit my estimation of it lol!)

    I was in my final year of sixth form ten years ago and getting into a uni with a good recognised reputation was a big deal for me at the time. I got into Manchester University and was so so happy about it.

    Ten years later I am studying at my third ex poly uni and i can't stress enough that they are all much of a muchness (i also believe that a higher ranking uni has less drive to improve themselves for students compared to ex polys in some regards).

    You should definitely prioritise the course subject because that's what is going to determine what you are able to do with your degree. If Plymouth allows you to do a course combination that is very desirable to you then that would be a massive reason to go with them (having two subjects under your belt gives you more options if you want to go into teaching for example).

    Employers will judge the subject you have done at uni more than anything (the uni itself, A level grades etc). As long as you get a uni grade higher than a third, i would argue that it is equally valuable regardless of which uni it is from.
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    (Original post by jimmy_looks_2ice)
    I'm studying English & American Literature and Film - that's a JH degree of two subjects (not three!).

    So, I understand where you're coming from with the JH choices and how that affects your choice of where you go. Bristol or Exeter were as far up the (rankings) ladder as I could go while still having the option to study the two subjects together. Even then I decided to go elsewhere. Had I dropped Film out the mix and just settled for literature, I could've applied to Oxbridge. But I'm a non-conventional applicant, so that caused problems in itself, and furthermore I concluded that at this point, at least, I'm not sure I'd flourish under their system. I might be wrong and it could be that I'd have found it better than where I am now, but my doubts were sufficient to convince me that the better choice was to go elsewhere.

    Btw, I don't think there's anything wrong with you looking ahead to Masters programmes. Keep you eye on the ball, obviously, but what you want to do next might shape how you approach your current studies. (Bear in mind I'm only an undergrad myself, so that's not an authoritative opinion.)
    Good that you are enjoying your subjects!

    I wanted to study speech therapy - 17 unis offer the course in the UK but there was only one place that offered the subject as a joint honours with psychology so my options were very limited - and definitely didn't include Oxbridge lol. Like you - don't think I would have been happy there in any event - it really would not have suited me personally (not the studying but rather the trimmings that go around being in such a place).

    Good luck in the rest of your studies
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    Just in case you don't meet the conditional offers, yes.
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    (Original post by AmyPilot)
    Like you - don't think I would have been happy there in any event - it really would not have suited me personally (not the studying but rather the trimmings that go around being in such a place).
    One of my tutors said one of the drawbacks is that they have their head up their arses there (meaning Ox in particular, since that's where she went). I wouldn't go as far as saying I based my decision on that one comment, but it was one of the factors I began to question.

    Good luck in the rest of your studies
    Thanks. All the best with yours
 
 
 
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