Getting into Oxbridge for Postgraduate Study Watch

Clockwiser
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#201
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In 2006, there there was no need to put the GCSE and A-level grades down on the Oxbridge application form.

Is this still true now in 2009? I have been offered a place at a top music college in london with an offer of 2 Es. I'm thinking of dropping 2 of my current A-level subjects to leave me with more time to do music. (I'm currently doing 4 and struggling to cope with everything plus all the music I do). Is it wise? If I get a first in the Undergraduate course, A-level results wouldn't matter then?
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KMaine
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To address your questions:
1) I went to a small liberal arts college in the U.S.
2) I did not apply for undergraduate study at, in my case, Oxford.
3) Whether or not it's expensive probably depends on how you define expensive. It is a bargain compared to the U.S., at least for UK/EU applicants.
4) A masters/doctoral degree obviously is higher than any undergrad degree. It might be harder to get in for undergrad as most competitive applicants will apply after A-Levels, IBs, etc. Not as many people apply for postgraduate degrees, especially in the purely academic fields. That said, the entry requirements for postgraduate applicants are still very high. This is my long way of saying that I don't think it is any less prestigious getting a postgraduate degree as opposed to an undergraduate degree, it is just less common. Plus, I am of the impression that the postgrad community is much more international than the undergrad community, which primarily is British.
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emioly
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(Original post by KMaine)
To address your questions:
1) I went to a small liberal arts college in the U.S.
2) I did not apply for undergraduate study at, in my case, Oxford.
3) Whether or not it's expensive probably depends on how you define expensive. It is a bargain compared to the U.S., at least for UK/EU applicants.
4) A masters/doctoral degree obviously is higher than any undergrad degree. It might be harder to get in for undergrad as most competitive applicants will apply after A-Levels, IBs, etc. Not as many people apply for postgraduate degrees, especially in the purely academic fields. That said, the entry requirements for postgraduate applicants are still very high. This is my long way of saying that I don't think it is any less prestigious getting a postgraduate degree as opposed to an undergraduate degree, it is just less common. Plus, I am of the impression that the postgrad community is much more international than the undergrad community, which primarily is British.
Ah yes, thank you for your response. I suspected many would be internationals actually just wasn't sure. Tbh I've always wanted to go abroad if I do postgrad but it seems even more expensive (considering I'd probably be hoping to go to America) and not that worth it since I think I'd pretty much have no chance of getting into anywhere as well respected as Oxford or Cambridge (ie. Ivy league universities)
Hm, not sure I'll forgive cambridge for rejecting me though and they probably wouldn't even have me second time round haha. Not sure why I'm thinking about this right now it's sooo long away and I have no idea how I'll be feeling then. Was just having a mini crisis haha
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ChemistBoy
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(Original post by emioly)
And lastly, do you think it is worth it? It's very expensive isn't it? and it's not regarded as well as if you had an undergraduate degree from there?..
The point of continuing to postgraduate education should never be to try and re-write the past. However I don't really think you can even compare a postgraduate and undergraduate degree anyway so how on earth you can say the latter are not regarded as well is beyond me. As for cost, this is entirely dependent on what degree you do, a DPhil in science won't cost you any more because you are at Oxford or Cambridge thanks to research council funding covering college fees.
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rottcodd
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(Original post by Clockwiser)
In 2006, there there was no need to put the GCSE and A-level grades down on the Oxbridge application form.

Is this still true now in 2009? I have been offered a place at a top music college in london with an offer of 2 Es. I'm thinking of dropping 2 of my current A-level subjects to leave me with more time to do music. (I'm currently doing 4 and struggling to cope with everything plus all the music I do). Is it wise? If I get a first in the Undergraduate course, A-level results wouldn't matter then?
You've bumped a very old thread there sir. At postgraduate level, nobody gives a damn about your A-levels or your GCSEs.
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Clockwiser
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What about American universities such as Harvard and Yale?
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by Clockwiser)
In 2006, there there was no need to put the GCSE and A-level grades down on the Oxbridge application form.

Is this still true now in 2009? I have been offered a place at a top music college in london with an offer of 2 Es. I'm thinking of dropping 2 of my current A-level subjects to leave me with more time to do music. (I'm currently doing 4 and struggling to cope with everything plus all the music I do). Is it wise? If I get a first in the Undergraduate course, A-level results wouldn't matter then?
Are you asking whether employers would look at your application different after going to music college (RCM by any chance?) because you only did two A Levels, or are you asking whether it would affect your chances when applying to a postgrad course at Oxford? I'm confused!
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rottcodd
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(Original post by Clockwiser)
What about American universities such as Harvard and Yale?
Why not have a look at the application form and check for yourself? My hunch would be that, as an international student it's likely they will want a bit more info from you, which might include A-levels. But how you perform on your degree is going to override a poor performance at A-levels. A-levels are just what you need to get into university - once you get there, for postgraduate study, nobody really cares what you did when you were 17.
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apotoftea
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(Original post by emioly)
What sort of universities are you people who are applying to Oxbridge for postgrad from?
A very small new university for my undergrad. University of London for my MA.

Did many of you apply unsuccessfully for undergraduate study?
Nope as there was no way in hell with my A-level grades to even bother applying.

And lastly, do you think it is worth it? It's very expensive isn't it?
No more expensive than any other university tbh bar the college fees. Tuition fees are the same & accommodation is cheaper than what I'm paying currently. I'm also applying for funding so IF I get in AND get funding, I'll be effectively given money to be there.
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Angelil
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(Original post by emioly)
Not looking to offend anyone here. Actually don't really know why I'm thinking so far ahead but anyways...
What sort of universities are you people who are applying to Oxbridge for postgrad from?
Did many of you apply unsuccessfully for undergraduate study?
And lastly, do you think it is worth it? It's very expensive isn't it? and it's not regarded as well as if you had an undergraduate degree from there?..
I went to Exeter University. I was an unsuccessful undergrad Oxford applicant, but I wanted to apply there again for several reasons and not, as ChemistBoy puts it, to rewrite the past. It also wasn't the only uni I applied to or got offers from and I'd have been happy to attend any of my choices.
I enjoyed my year, and received a great deal of excellent teaching and access to outstanding resources. It also gave me a greater idea of the future direction I wished to take, so I would say postgrad study is worth it generally if you're intelligent enough/motivated enough etc. I don't think it's less well regarded than an undergrad degree from there at all though - where did you get that idea?
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roxy potter
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With regards to postgrads being easier to get into, the only reason there's less applications for postgraduate study in Oxbridge is because a)less people want to do masters and phds than batchelors and b) you need a top class degree and far less people have top class degrees than good A levels.
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oriel historian
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(Original post by apotoftea)
No more expensive than any other university tbh bar the college fees. Tuition fees are the same & accommodation is cheaper than what I'm paying currently. I'm also applying for funding so IF I get in AND get funding, I'll be effectively given money to be there.
That's a relative misrepresentation. Oxford is far more expensive than any other town of its comparative size for university. Swansea, for example, where I am now, is miles cheaper than Oxford. The same goes for Cardiff.

Only those who are used to South-East prices would say Oxford is no more expensive.

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apotoftea
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(Original post by oriel historian)
Only those who are used to South-East prices would say Oxford is no more expensive.
Which I am If you're coming from a lot of places, Oxford will seem expensive but it's all relative though. I don't find London expensive for example (the actual place, not my halls rent) whereas the majority do. Accommodation and college fees aside, actual tutition fees are no more than a lot of universities.
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oriel historian
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(Original post by apotoftea)
Exactly - it's expensive accommodation wise compared to some places, less expensive than others and I'm lucky enough to say it's cheaper. Actual tuition fees wise, it's the same
The physical tuition fee set by the government, yes; the college fees which vary wildly no. Oxford is at least £2000 more on average than what my tuition fee would be. I guess it's cheaper than the LSE but it's still more expensive than anywhere else bar Cambridge.
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apotoftea
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(Original post by oriel historian)
The physical tuition fee set by the government, yes; the college fees which vary wildly no. Oxford is at least £2000 more on average than what my tuition fee would be. I guess it's cheaper than the LSE but it's still more expensive than anywhere else bar Cambridge.
For PG it's subject dependent as well though isn't it? (which fees arn't government set as each institution charges different amounts).That £2000 more on average will be smaller than the amount you pay for some inner-London halls. KCL charge upto £7000 a year (40 weeks).

So it's all relative
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Angelil
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Plus not many universities MAKE you go catered, which is also more expensive
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oriel historian
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(Original post by apotoftea)
For PG it's subject dependent as well though isn't it? (which fees arn't government set as each institution charges different amounts).
Well it largely breaks down into arts, sciences (for which you pay for lab use), and business.

The college fee is charged irrespective and it ISN'T related to halls. It's a fee that the colleges charge you blanket fashion. You then have the fluctuating costs of college accommodation to factor into it.
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oriel historian
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(Original post by Angelil)
Plus not many universities MAKE you go catered, which is also more expensive
That is, as with a lot of things, college dependent.
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Angelil
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Possibly
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oriel historian
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(Original post by Angelil)
Possibly
No, it is.
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