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    I am in my last semester of my BSc Biology course and I have started applying for post graduate courses for next year. Recently my attendance has been poor because my sister has been ill and since her husband works out of the country I have been helping look after her and her kids. My dissertation supervisor is well aware of this and has been very supportive and allowed me to be flexible with missing practical sessions etc related to the dissertation. Attendance is not compulsory for any of my modules and I am currently averaging on a 2:1 despite my poor attendance. However recently I have received emails from the school office questioning me about my poor attendance and although I have a genuine excuse I am worried they will not take it seriously or say it is irrelevant as I know they have said that about other people who have been in similiar circumstances. My biggest concern is that due to my poor attendance I will receive poor academic references and it will severely reduce my chances of getting onto a post graduate course despite my grades not being effected by my poor attendance. I am quite friendly with most of my tutors and they know me pretty well so I believe they would be able to give me good references but my big concern is them mentioning my poor attendance that will be on record. I was just wondering if anyone knows from experience what much this poor attendance will effect my chances? Thank you.
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    (Original post by TSR1001)
    I am in my last semester of my BSc Biology course and I have started applying for post graduate courses for next year. Recently my attendance has been poor because my sister has been ill and since her husband works out of the country I have been helping look after her and her kids. My dissertation supervisor is well aware of this and has been very supportive and allowed me to be flexible with missing practical sessions etc related to the dissertation. Attendance is not compulsory for any of my modules and I am currently averaging on a 2:1 despite my poor attendance. However recently I have received emails from the school office questioning me about my poor attendance and although I have a genuine excuse I am worried they will not take it seriously or say it is irrelevant as I know they have said that about other people who have been in similiar circumstances. My biggest concern is that due to my poor attendance I will receive poor academic references and it will severely reduce my chances of getting onto a post graduate course despite my grades not being effected by my poor attendance. I am quite friendly with most of my tutors and they know me pretty well so I believe they would be able to give me good references but my big concern is them mentioning my poor attendance that will be on record. I was just wondering if anyone knows from experience what much this poor attendance will effect my chances? Thank you.
    Honestly, anyone you choose to be a referee for you should be made aware of your current difficulties, and they should be focusing on your academic capabilities in their reference. It will very much depend on the individual, but I imagine most would not mention the attendance issue, or if they did they would mention it in a veiled way - 'TSR1001 has experienced some difficult personal circumstances while completing his/her BSc, but s/he has shown resilience and an ability to remain focused on his/her academic work', or something like that. I imagine that unless something official is noted on your transcript, then no one need mention it necessarily. Have you spoken to potential referees about this? If you get on with them well on a personal level, it might do no harm to have a chat about this and put your mind at rest - or, if a potential referee said they would comment on the attendance issue, then you could ask someone else.
    On a related subject, how much longer do you foresee your caring role continuing? Because while it's great that you're so family oriented, the nature and pressures of postgraduate work might mean that you'd be better off taking a year off after finishing your BSc, if you foresee yourself having to do a lot more caring beyond the end of the academic year.
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    (Original post by gutenberg)
    Honestly, anyone you choose to be a referee for you should be made aware of your current difficulties, and they should be focusing on your academic capabilities in their reference. It will very much depend on the individual, but I imagine most would not mention the attendance issue, or if they did they would mention it in a veiled way - 'TSR1001 has experienced some difficult personal circumstances while completing his/her BSc, but s/he has shown resilience and an ability to remain focused on his/her academic work', or something like that. I imagine that unless something official is noted on your transcript, then no one need mention it necessarily. Have you spoken to potential referees about this? If you get on with them well on a personal level, it might do no harm to have a chat about this and put your mind at rest - or, if a potential referee said they would comment on the attendance issue, then you could ask someone else.
    On a related subject, how much longer do you foresee your caring role continuing? Because while it's great that you're so family oriented, the nature and pressures of postgraduate work might mean that you'd be better off taking a year off after finishing your BSc, if you foresee yourself having to do a lot more caring beyond the end of the academic year.
    Very good advice. I chose referees who knew me very well (both academically and personally) and were able to comment on my abilities to do the course(s) I was applying for. You can never be 100% sure of what the referee will write, but I think it's important you know the person who is picking you. At the end of the day, the references are only a part of your entire application and won't be the only deciding factor in your decision for admission.
 
 
 
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