Getting into Oxbridge for Postgraduate Study Watch

apotoftea
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(Original post by the_alba)
But to my memory, where most Master's application forms ask how you plan to fund, almost all students tick the 'applying to AHRC' box, and don't actually have to prove they can self-fund unless they fail to get AHRC funding. So I don't see how a university could take a student's ability to self-fund into account, when they don't really have that information until the summer, which is well after most offers have been made. :confused:
It's changed slightly this year with the process of the BGP. I had to put on my DPhil form that I was applying for a specific AHRC funding with studentship code and everything. Those applying for taught courses had a different code.

So effectively anyone who reads the guidelines and knows about funding, will just put the code in so they get put on the "considered for funding" pile.
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0404343m
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(Original post by the_alba)
But to my memory, where most Master's application forms ask how you plan to fund, almost all students tick the 'applying to AHRC' box, and don't actually have to prove they can self-fund unless they fail to get AHRC funding. So I don't see how a university could take a student's ability to self-fund into account, when they don't really have that information until the summer, which is well after most offers have been made. :confused:
You're correct, yes. However, the point I was making was, if you should happen to have the funding ready to go at application time, and they have lets say, 20 places, they'll make offers to the five or so in that position then and there, because of these financial pressures, and conditional the rest off. It's mainly to do with the sad fact that the best 20 students might not get on the course, but the self-funders are able to with perhaps lesser grades. On Glasgow's form last year, if you ticked 'self-fund', they asked for evidence, which from what I've heard I've been led to believe was enough to gain you an offer of a place before someone with potentially better grades but no funding. Said person might later get an offer, and then go on to get funding and thus get on the course, but it does highlight a supposed tendency to put the 'safe' students down first.
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apotoftea
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(Original post by 0404343m)
If you should happen to have the funding ready to go at application time, and they have lets say, 20 places, they'll make offers to the five or so in that position then and there.
Yes but the offer is given before they ask for proof that you've got the money in the bank. It's a conditional offer on the basis of showing via bank statements/letter from a savings account bank to university x that you've got enough money to fund yourself.
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0404343m
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(Original post by apotoftea)
Yes but the offer is given before they ask for proof that you've got the money in the bank. It's a conditional offer on the basis of showing via bank statements/letter from a savings account bank to university x that you've got enough money to fund yourself.
At Glasgow and I believe Oxford, they can ask for it as part of 'supporting documents' before any offer is made.
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hobnob
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(Original post by 0404343m)
At Glasgow and I believe Oxford, they can ask for it as part of 'supporting documents' before any offer is made.
Perhaps they can, but do they actually do it?
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0404343m
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(Original post by hobnob)
Perhaps they can, but do they actually do it?
They didn't with me, but in the business school with a high proportion of international students, they like to see guarantees before they cross off any places. I know of quite a few people (one who does dentistry as an international student for the eye watering £21,000 a year in fees) who was asked for all sorts of financial certificates before a place was even offered. Much will depend on the subscription level of the courses and how many offers have been given out by the time of application, but yes, it can and has happened.
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yolswell
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(Original post by hobnob)
Perhaps they can, but do they actually do it?
I've never heard of any home students being asked to prove they can self-fund before an offer is made. Perhaps international students are different, however.

Were you guys asked to provide proof that you could self-fund at any point before your courses started? I certainly wasn't, even when my AHRC application fell through. Turning up with the tuition fee cheque at the start of the course seemed to be enough proof in itself.
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apotoftea
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(Original post by 0404343m)
At Glasgow and I believe Oxford, they can ask for it as part of 'supporting documents' before any offer is made.
There's nothing in Oxford's guidelines (and I've read them enough now) that says proof of being able to fund is required as part of the application process. All the stuff I've read, especially when it comes to colleges is that the documents are supplied AFTER the offer has been made.
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Kitty Pimms
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(Original post by hobnob)
Perhaps they can, but do they actually do it?
Yes, Oxford don't ask for proof until the college offer comes through.

Then again, I can't imagine many people tick the 'no, definitely don't consider me for any money, I've got 30k tucked under the sofa...' box when they've got little to lose by having a shot. So I would have thought that those intending to definitely self-fund with no backup option would have to be fairly confident in their ability to cough up. Extrapolating somewhat, but I can see why a university would consider the avowed self-funders a sufficiently safe bet to edge out marginal candidates seeking funding.
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the_alba
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#330
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(Original post by 0404343m)
You're correct, yes. However, the point I was making was, if you should happen to have the funding ready to go at application time, and they have lets say, 20 places, they'll make offers to the five or so in that position then and there, because of these financial pressures, and conditional the rest off. It's mainly to do with the sad fact that the best 20 students might not get on the course, but the self-funders are able to with perhaps lesser grades. On Glasgow's form last year, if you ticked 'self-fund', they asked for evidence, which from what I've heard I've been led to believe was enough to gain you an offer of a place before someone with potentially better grades but no funding. Said person might later get an offer, and then go on to get funding and thus get on the course, but it does highlight a supposed tendency to put the 'safe' students down first.
I still don't understand this, because no-one would have their funding 'ready to go' before the offer is made, because you need the offer before you can apply to funding bodies; and even those students who would be able to self-fund would be trying for AHRC money first. I applied to Oxford, York, and Glasgow, and all made me offers without asking for proof. When I got my college offer from Oxford, they gave a deadline for me giving them proof, which I gave them in the form of my AHRC letter when it came through. Only if I hadn't got the funding would they have realized that I couldn't afford to self-fund, after which they would have withdrawn the offer. Maybe I'm just being thick, but unless the rules have changed drastically since then (2006), I still don't see how the funding issue can affect initial offers.
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hobnob
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(Original post by the_alba)
I still don't understand this, because no-one would have their funding 'ready to go' before the offer is made, because you need the offer before you can apply to funding bodies; and even those students who would be able to self-fund would be trying for AHRC money first. I applied to Oxford, York, and Glasgow, and all made me offers without asking for proof. When I got my college offer from Oxford, they gave a deadline for me giving them proof, which I gave them in the form of my AHRC letter when it came through. Only if I hadn't got the funding would they have realized that I couldn't afford to self-fund, after which they would have withdrawn the offer. Maybe I'm just being thick, but unless the rules have changed drastically since then (2006), I still don't see how the funding issue can affect initial offers.
Thanks, that was essentially what I meant to say, but you've expressed it much more clearly.
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0404343m
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No, you're not being thick- I'm just not making much sense.

Basically, for the arts, where the fees are low- it doesn't make a huge difference, even with this pressure to sell degrees. Move across to the MBAs which are normally full and cost four times that, and international students 100% have had to prove their financial viability before the offer is even made. I know its also happened at least once on the MLitt in War Studies, which leads me to think it can happen again.

The point is more a hypothetical one- if University (lets call them a Bank) had two students (customers) one who was a 2:1 (salaried worker) and one with a 1st (rocket scientist). The former is your steady income supply, can pay for the course (mortgage repayment) and the other is out of work, but might somewhere down the line invent something worth millions. What I have been led to believe, is if there was just one person they could pick, it would be the salaried worker, the safer bet. Of course we're on about big courses, research councils and scholarships, with various deadline dates, so it makes life a bit more complex- but the point about the Uni giving more leeway with offers they regard as safe on the funding front is valid- I've heard it from too many people for it not to be.

They'll know themselves that a borderline 2:1 student with mediocre references will probably not get funded, so a tick in the 'self funded, money already provisioned' box, is useful in obtaining an offer. The better students will probably still not struggle to get a conditional, but I'd be very interested to see in one of the courses that research council funding is not an option (the MBA) what would happen if they managed to receive enough applications to fill the course with people who could prove funding outright without needing to go to a bank. From my knowledge of staff here, I think I know what Glasgow would do when it came to making offers, and it ain't the one which goes on academic ability first...

Really, what I've been trying to say, is:

(Original post by IlexAquifolium)
Then again, I can't imagine many people tick the 'no, definitely don't consider me for any money, I've got 30k tucked under the sofa...' box when they've got little to lose by having a shot. So I would have thought that those intending to definitely self-fund with no backup option would have to be fairly confident in their ability to cough up. Extrapolating somewhat, but I can see why a university would consider the avowed self-funders a sufficiently safe bet to edge out marginal candidates seeking funding.
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market-maker
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Hey all,

Posted on the other Oxbridge thread but just seen this conversation and seems more relevant.

Received an offer of an Oxford college place for an MSc but they want a decision by the end of this month. The letter says that if funding is not yet finalised, then a "provisional acceptance" is ok at this stage but that I should contact them as soon as funding is sorted.

I'm yet to secure funds for the course and it could be a while before I'm able to do so. Anyone else in the same boat or had this experience before? If I accept on a provisional basis, any ideas on how long until I have to make a firm commitment?

Cheers
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playa
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#334
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my first year counts for 0

Assuming i get 70%+ in my second year

if get a 2:2 in the first year... to what extent would this affect my application to oxbridge for MSc in finance for example?

Thanks
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hobnob
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#335
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I've moved your post to this thread, since the thread you posted it in was three and a half years old.
(Original post by playa)
my first year counts for 0

Assuming i get 70%+ in my second year

if get a 2:2 in the first year... to what extent would this affect my application to oxbridge for MSc in finance for example?

Thanks
It probably wouldn't look too good, because even if it didn't count towards your actual degree, it would still show up on your transcript (and account for half of the grades you'd be applying with).
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roxy potter
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Also responding to Playas question (I couldn't find the post to quote)

I know people doing the MPhil Finance who had to get a triple first as their academic condition.
Also, regardless of whether it counts towards your degree or not, any exam you take is seen as an indicator of your ability.
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playa
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(Original post by roxy potter)
Also responding to Playas question (I couldn't find the post to quote)

I know people doing the MPhil Finance who had to get a triple first as their academic condition.
Also, regardless of whether it counts towards your degree or not, any exam you take is seen as an indicator of your ability.
triple first meaning a 1st in all 3 years?

Surely, it cant be seen as an indicator of ability if you dont put anywhere near maximum effort in 1st year exams?

Also, do you know if my work exp in finance, banking and my outstanding ECs would be of any relevance to my application?
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roxy potter
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Yeah a first in all three years.

They can't judge how much effort you put in in first year, they can only go by what the results on the page tell them. In addition they probably want people who always put in effort. Even if you could demonstrate that you didn't put in much effort, not putting in maximum effort looks lazy.
If you have a good excuse or you've shown a consistent improvement, that may help your case but obv, a good result in first year is desirable. Especially if you're in final year and they're working off your predicted grades.

Extra curriculars don't matter at all. I'm not sure about work experience, I suppose it helps although the MPhil Finance is for people with little or no work experience.

But obv, this is all based on my opinion/experience, I don't know what the exact mindset of an adcom is.
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hobnob
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(Original post by playa)
Surely, it cant be seen as an indicator of ability if you dont put anywhere near maximum effort in 1st year exams?
No, but the grades you achieve (with maximum effort or otherwise) will be taken as an indicator of ability. That's why universities ask for transcripts in the first place. Which isn't to say it'll be impossible to get an offer with a first-year 2.2 on your transcript, of course, but universities won't altogether ignore it either. Aiming for a 2.2 in first year and a first in second year doesn't sound like a very good plan to me.
Also, do you know if my work exp in finance, banking and my outstanding ECs would be of any relevance to my application?
Yes, of course they would. But they'll be a relatively minor part of the application.*

*Unless the course description specifically says otherwise, obviously.
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playa
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#340
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(Original post by hobnob)
No, but the grades you achieve (with maximum effort or otherwise) will be taken as an indicator of ability. That's why universities ask for transcripts in the first place. Which isn't to say it'll be impossible to get an offer with a first-year 2.2 on your transcript, of course, but universities won't altogether ignore it either. Aiming for a 2.2 in first year and a first in second year doesn't sound like a very good plan to me.

Yes, of course they would. But they'll be a relatively minor part of the application.*

*Unless the course description specifically says otherwise, obviously.
and would references be more or less important than 1st year results?

I mean the offers are conditional on 3rd year anyway
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