Getting into Oxbridge for Postgraduate Study Watch

wkc207
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(Original post by Aemilius)
Both the Mphil Management and Diploma in Economics state they want a First Class degree. You could try for the Mphil Real Estate Finance, but you'd ideally need some relevant experience in real estate.

Thanks, I saw that on the website too. Do you know if that is hard and fast rule? or does it differ between each individual.

If I put in my application before November, when would I likely to know the application results??

thanks very much
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crackingod
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Hi guys!
I am thinking about applying to Oxford for the MPHIL in Politics (Comparative Politics). I have started filling out the application form and everything, but I had a couple of questions in case anybody has any answers:

- As I am currently a History student, I don't have any essays in political science to send, their website says that I need to send two pieces of work on a political science theme. Would political theory be alright (I have one essay on Nietzsche and one on Aristotle, both on their political theory) or what can I do, should I write an essay especially for them?

- I am starting this year, in parallel to my third year a law degree in France (Pantheon-Sorbonne, Paris 1), which I am doing in distance learning (I am going there only for exams, not for classes). Should I mention it in my application? I am not too sure if it would help me or not: I still don't have any grades as I just started and they might think it can hinder my academic achievement in the future? (doing two degrees at the same time). Although, I was thinking that since I am mostly interested in constitutionalism (and my research topic will be on something related to that), law is a relevant thing to have...

- I did an internship in a large international organisation this summer and I wrote a concept paper for them which should be published by the beginning of next year, although I still don't know how "publicly" it will published (it might be only for member states and agencies of the organisation). Should I put it down as a "publication" in my CV or simply put under the heading of my internship as one the tasks I did?

- I was thinking about asking for ESRC funding as I intend to pursue my studies on to a PhD. Anybody know how this should be stated on the application form? I put down ESRC as a funding source, but for the funding status I am not too sure what to put since it is apparently the department that then send on the application to them? (should I put "Intention to Apply to" or "Applied to")

Thanks a lot, and good luck to everyone else applying this year!!
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Kitty Pimms
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(Original post by crackingod)
Hi guys!
I am thinking about applying to Oxford for the MPHIL in Politics (Comparative Politics). I have started filling out the application form and everything, but I had a couple of questions in case anybody has any answers:

- As I am currently a History student, I don't have any essays in political science to send, their website says that I need to send two pieces of work on a political science theme. Would political theory be alright (I have one essay on Nietzsche and one on Aristotle, both on their political theory) or what can I do, should I write an essay especially for them?
I'd contact admissions and ask. I suspect it would be fine however if you were to send those too, but equally if you want to write one on a more empirical theme I am sure it wouldn't hurt to do so.

- I am starting this year, in parallel to my third year a law degree in France (Pantheon-Sorbonne, Paris 1), which I am doing in distance learning (I am going there only for exams, not for classes). Should I mention it in my application? I am not too sure if it would help me or not: I still don't have any grades as I just started and they might think it can hinder my academic achievement in the future? (doing two degrees at the same time). Although, I was thinking that since I am mostly interested in constitutionalism (and my research topic will be on something related to that), law is a relevant thing to have...
Are you sure you can manage two degrees simultaneously? In a sense I think that is the bigger issue than whether it will strengthen your application. Bearing in mind Oxford's residency requirements I'm guessing they wouldn't be overly delighted that one of their students was planning to take an additional distance degree. If you were to apply for the course having completed it however I am sure it would be nothing but a strength.

- I did an internship in a large international organisation this summer and I wrote a concept paper for them which should be published by the beginning of next year, although I still don't know how "publicly" it will published (it might be only for member states and agencies of the organisation). Should I put it down as a "publication" in my CV or simply put under the heading of my internship as one the tasks I did?
Internships goes under jobs, and the paper would be under publications as 'pending', and the places it's been submitted to, I would imagine. If it's not been submitted yet then it's probably best to put it down as an activity during the internship.

- I was thinking about asking for ESRC funding as I intend to pursue my studies on to a PhD. Anybody know how this should be stated on the application form? I put down ESRC as a funding source, but for the funding status I am not too sure what to put since it is apparently the department that then send on the application to them? (should I put "Intention to Apply to" or "Applied to")

Thanks a lot, and good luck to everyone else applying this year!!
You put it down under funding IIRC - first option ESRC application, second option self-funding (applied for, and make a note that you wish to apply so that when the department get your form they will long list you). That said if you're coming from france/switzerland you won't have fulfilled the residency restrictions for ESRC, making you only eligible for fees only - and to be honest the chances of getting that award isn't good, since it's made by the department not the ESRC (unless they put you forward into the competition, but even so, it's a very, very long shot). I'd suggest you look into other funding awards first since the residency requirement will also affect any subsequent PhD applications you make to the ESRC or other 'home' scholarships. Have a look at the funding guide in my sig for more information.

Hope this helps - I would definitely suggest contacting the department or your current supervisors over some of the questions.
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crackingod
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(Original post by IlexAquifolium)

You put it down under funding IIRC - first option ESRC application, second option self-funding (applied for, and make a note that you wish to apply so that when the department get your form they will long list you). That said if you're coming from france/switzerland you won't have fulfilled the residency restrictions for ESRC, making you only eligible for fees only - and to be honest the chances of getting that award isn't good, since it's made by the department not the ESRC (unless they put you forward into the competition, but even so, it's a very, very long shot). I'd suggest you look into other funding awards first since the residency requirement will also affect any subsequent PhD applications you make to the ESRC or other 'home' scholarships. Have a look at the funding guide in my sig for more information.

Hope this helps - I would definitely suggest contacting the department or your current supervisors over some of the questions.
Thanks for your extended answer

I looked at the residency requirement and I should fulfil them (have been born in the UK and came back before the beginning of my degree, plus by the end of my degree will have lived for 4 years in the country. So I fall under the new EU regulation following the 2005 Bidar judgement (with regards to the right to free movement in the EU)

This is also why I am now receiving full UK support for my student loan and not EU only!

Part IV, Regulation 12 of the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 1983, and subsequent amendments, require that candidates for awards have a relevant connection with the United Kingdom. A relevant connection may be established if, at the date of application/nomination:
(i) the candidate has been ordinarily resident in the UK throughout the 3-year period immediately preceding the date of an award, and
(ii) has not been resident in the UK, during any part of that 3-year period, wholly or mainly for the purposes of full time education, and
(iii) has settled status in the UK within the meaning of the Immigration Act 1971 (i.e. is not subject to any restriction on the period for which he/she may stay).

NB Following the Bidar Judgement in 2005, EU nationals who are resident in the UK only need to follow criteria A from the above list (EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for 3 years immediately preceding the date of an award for the purpose of full time education are now eligible for a full grant.)
When you say I should put "self-funding" as a second option, what amount should I put? Full amount ? that is so I pay for everything if I don't get the grant?
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Kitty Pimms
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(Original post by crackingod)
Thanks for your extended answer

I looked at the residency requirement and I should fulfil them (have been born in the UK and came back before the beginning of my degree, plus by the end of my degree will have lived for 4 years in the country. So I fall under the new EU regulation following the 2005 Bidar judgement (with regards to the right to free movement in the EU)

This is also why I am now receiving full UK support for my student loan and not EU only!
Excellent - yes, you should be fine in that case. You know you can apply to more than one department? If funding is a necessity it might be worth your while putting in for the 1+3 elsewhere, too.


When you say I should put "self-funding" as a second option, what amount should I put? Full amount ? that is so I pay for everything if I don't get the grant?
Well, you don't have to put anything if you can't self-fund It's just that usually people have a back-up option - loans, bank of mum and dad, savings, dead aunties, that kind of thing - so if you do have a fall-back, it's probably worth stating it on the form. If you don't have it, obviously don't put it down.
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crackingod
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(Original post by IlexAquifolium)
Excellent - yes, you should be fine in that case. You know you can apply to more than one department? If funding is a necessity it might be worth your while putting in for the 1+3 elsewhere, too.




Well, you don't have to put anything if you can't self-fund It's just that usually people have a back-up option - loans, bank of mum and dad, savings, dead aunties, that kind of thing - so if you do have a fall-back, it's probably worth stating it on the form. If you don't have it, obviously don't put it down.
Thanks a lot for your help!

I was thinking of applying to Cambridge as well but their politics programme seems to be rather different (with much more focus on area studies) and I am much more interested in institutitions etc... so I don't know if its worth applying there. I will also send in my application for Public Policy here at UCL but I'm not too sure if I can do a 1+3 as ESRC is not mentioned on their website except for MPHIL and PHD applicants (who already require a masters).

One last question: I was tempted of applying to the MPHIL in Politics focusing on European Politics and Society, but I am not too sure about how far it is advisable to apply to two programs within the same department and which are very close one to the other? I might as well go simply for the comparative government

Again, thanks a lot!!
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Kitty Pimms
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(Original post by crackingod)
Thanks a lot for your help!

I was thinking of applying to Cambridge as well but their politics programme seems to be rather different (with much more focus on area studies) and I am much more interested in institutitions etc... so I don't know if its worth applying there. I will also send in my application for Public Policy here at UCL but I'm not too sure if I can do a 1+3 as ESRC is not mentioned on their website except for MPHIL and PHD applicants (who already require a masters).
It is very different and they currently don't have any ESRC places (although are eligible for the competition), so funding is a bit tricky. Perhaps worth the price of the application, though? UCL I don't think have any quota places either. There's a downloadable file in the funding guide which lists the quota places for this year, which is probably worth checking out.

One last question: I was tempted of applying to the MPHIL in Politics focusing on European Politics and Society, but I am not too sure about how far it is advisable to apply to two programs within the same department and which are very close one to the other? I might as well go simply for the comparative government

Again, thanks a lot!!
If you're interested in it then you might as well apply. But obviously if you got into both you'd have to pick one, so it's whether you make that decision now or later.
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crackingod
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(Original post by IlexAquifolium)
If you're interested in it then you might as well apply. But obviously if you got into both you'd have to pick one, so it's whether you make that decision now or later.
I was just afraid it would hinder my chances? Giving the impression I'm not too sure of what I want to do + the applications are reviewed by the same department (and probably the same people). I would also need to draft two statements of purpose (and without saying things that would look contradictory to them)
Am I right?

thanks a lot for your help, it is very helpful
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by crackingod)
Thanks a lot for your help!

I was thinking of applying to Cambridge as well but their politics programme seems to be rather different (with much more focus on area studies) and I am much more interested in institutitions etc... so I don't know if its worth applying there.
Take another look at the Cambridge department, especially now it has merged with IR. I have just spent 5 years there and I am surprised that you have that view point of it. There are area studies specialists, but I would have said their were more institutional and approach specialists. Maybe that was just me though, I was philosophy and a small, lone voice
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crackingod
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Take another look at the Cambridge department, especially now it has merged with IR. I have just spent 5 years there and I am surprised that you have that view point of it. There are area studies specialists, but I would have said their were more institutional and approach specialists. Maybe that was just me though, I was philosophy and a small, lone voice
Hi! Thanks for your input
By looking at their MPHIL in politics, you HAVE to take at least two of these (or one and one from international politics modules)

The politics of China
The politics of the Middle East
The Contemporary Politics of Africa
International Environmental Politics

Basically, if I don't want to an area related module I would be forced to take international environmental politics.
Am I right?
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by crackingod)
Hi! Thanks for your input
By looking at their MPHIL in politics, you HAVE to take at least two of these (or one and one from international politics modules)

The politics of China
The politics of the Middle East
The Contemporary Politics of Africa
International Environmental Politics

Basically, if I don't want to an area related module I would be forced to take international environmental politics.
Am I right?
Ah, but take a closer look at a) the syllabus - ie are they looking at institutions within those areas, or colonialism or development etc and b) who is giving the lectures - are they likely to offer a Marxist presentation, constructivist, is the lecturer a regional specialist themselves, or not?

And also remember that the lectures are only a very small starting point. You can still look at institutional aspects of the lecture subject, much as I always tended to look at things I 'wasn't interested in' from the view of it's effect n humanitarian intervention, our obligation to others, moral philosophy etc - which were my core interests. It's quite usual for people to have their own theme and apply it to the core modules as they develop their own personal thoughts and ideas. I think the phrase is 'view the taught elements through the lens of your own interests'


Just had a quick look at the site. I don't know the first lecturer, but it would seem that a few specific institutions and their challenges would be key to this course. I know the lecturers for the ME and Africa modules and both would be comfortable with an institutional approach, particularly DC. And for the environmental issues, the lecturer specifically seems to have an institutional focus. I have no particular reason to sell you the course, it just struck me that your initial observation wasn't what I picked up during my time there
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crackingod
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Ah, but take a closer look at a) the syllabus - ie are they looking at institutions within those areas, or colonialism or development etc and b) who is giving the lectures - are they likely to offer a Marxist presentation, constructivist, is the lecturer a regional specialist themselves, or not?

And also remember that the lectures are only a very small starting point. You can still look at institutional aspects of the lecture subject, much as I always tended to look at things I 'wasn't interested in' from the view of it's effect n humanitarian intervention, our obligation to others, moral philosophy etc - which were my core interests. It's quite usual for people to have their own theme and apply it to the core modules as they develop their own personal thoughts and ideas. I think the phrase is 'view the taught elements through the lens of your own interests'


Just had a quick look at the site. I don't know the first lecturer, but it would seem that a few specific institutions and their challenges would be key to this course. I know the lecturers for the ME and Africa modules and both would be comfortable with an institutional approach, particularly DC. And for the environmental issues, the lecturer specifically seems to have an institutional focus. I have no particular reason to sell you the course, it just struck me that your initial observation wasn't what I picked up during my time there
Thanks a lot for your help. It is actually very helpful to get some input from someone who actually did the course, as it looks much more attractive this way!! Clearly your input is much more useful than their website
I think I will apply anyway as it seems to be worh a shot and it is better than putting all my eggs in one basket.
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rmn002
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Do you think it would be alright if I used a Academic CV/Resume (multiple pages) in place of a single page, concise, "standard" CV for my Oxford application (even though I'm applying for a taught Masters, and not a PhD)?
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Angelil
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^^You have to include a CV? I don't remember that about my application

It depends a) on what Oxford say [i.e. if they specify a single page then that's probably what it should be] and b) what's on your multiple-page academic CV [can any of it be cut out or reduced?]
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rmn002
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(Original post by Angelil)
^^You have to include a CV? I don't remember that about my application

It depends a) on what Oxford say [i.e. if they specify a single page then that's probably what it should be] and b) what's on your multiple-page academic CV [can any of it be cut out or reduced?]
The online application allows you to submit one, and it's required material for the Faculty of History I believe. I'm not sure they specify what they want, that's why I'm asking, and the multiple page CV is really a fancier, more detail version of the short CV (more detail = more explanation given for awards, conferences, etc.)
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Angelil
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Fair enough. The longer one will probably be fine (unless anyone here can tell you differently!).
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threeportdrift
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Multiple pages should mean more than 2 sides of A4.
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apotoftea
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Mine's two sides max.
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rmn002
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Well I have two sides with writing, but there is a third side (which is blank, and has nothing that I purposefully/intended to write) which has resulted from some sort of layout error that I cannot seem to correct.
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apotoftea
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(Original post by rmn002)
Well I have two sides with writing, but there is a third side (which is blank, and has nothing that I purposefully/intended to write) which has resulted from some sort of layout error that I cannot seem to correct.
Hope this makes sense but you can get rid of the blank page - find your cursor marker (probably on the third page) and just keep pressing back space until you're on bottom of the second page. Press it a bit more and the page should disappear
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