Getting into Oxbridge for Postgraduate Study Watch

ellie.rew
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#1741
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#1741
(Original post by Eboracum)
The point I was trying to make was that I wanted to do a Masters but not a DPhil. That I'd be doing it for all those reasons except going on to further study, which, is a growing trend I am aware. Plus the courses look really interesting. But the Oxford course wasn't really what I was looking for.
Sorry, my point was that unless you're sure that a particular masters will allow you to do one of those things for you, then it's difficult to justify the cost, especially when it's as prohibitively high as Oxbridge.
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llacerta
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(Original post by Sapient)
Hello guys,

I'm currently studying Biomed at Queen Mary and it's looking like I'll average ~85% for my degree with a first in every module I've taken, probably the top scoring student. Am I likely to get an offer for a Mphil in Genetics? I also scored extremely highly in my Access course I took prior to my Bachelors degree if that counts for anything.

Thanks.
I can't say much for the specifics of what you want to apply for, but I will say that whilst amazing marks can definitely make an application strong, it is also important for the rest of the application to be equally strong, e.g. good references, a good interview (if your course interviews), if your course is research-based then experience of research in that area, and so on. Being the top scoring student is excellent, no doubt about it, but in my Master's cohort of 12 around half were the top scoring students of their class at undergrad so great grades can only do so much. But I'm sure the rest of your application would be great so you probably have a decent chance!
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hamzakhan312
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#1743
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Hey guys,
I hope you are all enjoying your summer. I am student of politics at Queen Mary university of London, and just got my second year result securing 66 Percent. This (September) I will not only be in my Final year but shall also be applying to some top unis, which include Oxford (Master's; Global Governance and Diplomacy). I can get some good references and have a good chance of getting above 70 percent in my final year. The only question is that I am confused whether I have a good chance of geting a conditional offer from Oxford? should I start working on my Personal statement or not? The course mentioned requires First or predicted First class degree.
Best
hk
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BJack
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#1744
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#1744
66 is a long way off a first....
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Novezeil
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#1745
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#1745
Sadly not at all. Only very top first class succeed. Unless you have really strong essay to back you up.
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Klix88
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#1746
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#1746
It depends whether you think your uni/referee will predict you a First based on your current grades and performance. If you think they will, then it's worth a punt. But there's no point applying if you can establish that your uni will predict you a 2:1. You're best advised to have a meeting with your course leader and get their view.
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ellie.rew
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#1747
To be honest, in a competitive course like politics/IR, I imagine that even if you do manage to get a First in your final year (and in your overall classification - I'm not sure how it's weighted between 2nd and 3rd year), you're likely to loose out to someone who has consistent Firsts throughout. Your transcripts will be important though, if you're to stand any chance - are you getting firsts in certain classes that relate particularly to the masters and being pulled down by others? Are you on an overall upwards trajectory? I would second the advice about and ask if your references would be able in good conscience to predict a first for you.
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just_passing_bye
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#1748
Does the admission team look in any particular way at those who want to do a Master's but are pretty convinced they're not interested in going for a PhD? What I mean is - do they favour students who show an interest in going into research/phd over those who just want to do a Master's after which they plan on leaving the academia and joining the work force?
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jelly1000
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#1749
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(Original post by hamzakhan312)
Hey guys,
I hope you are all enjoying your summer. I am student of politics at Queen Mary university of London, and just got my second year result securing 66 Percent. This (September) I will not only be in my Final year but shall also be applying to some top unis, which include Oxford (Master's; Global Governance and Diplomacy). I can get some good references and have a good chance of getting above 70 percent in my final year. The only question is that I am confused whether I have a good chance of geting a conditional offer from Oxford? should I start working on my Personal statement or not? The course mentioned requires First or predicted First class degree.
Best
hk
how do you know that when you couldn't get a first in second year?
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llacerta
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#1750
(Original post by just_passing_bye)
Does the admission team look in any particular way at those who want to do a Master's but are pretty convinced they're not interested in going for a PhD? What I mean is - do they favour students who show an interest in going into research/phd over those who just want to do a Master's after which they plan on leaving the academia and joining the work force?
I think that depends very much on the course. For example, my course is sold as a 'training ground' for doing a PhD, so, reasonably, they expect applicants who want to carry on in research. More applied or other courses might not be the same, though. However, if you get the feeling that they prefer applicants who want to continue in academia, there's nothing wrong with, err, saying that for the time being...There are a fair few people in my class who said it at the time but aren't sticking around to do a PhD now. It happens.
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hamzakhan312
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(Original post by jelly1000)
how do you know that when you couldn't get a first in second year?
First, lets me thank you all for your suggestions and comments. Secondly, soon after getting my result I emailed my advisor who didn't say much and asked me to see himin person in Sep as I am back in my home country. The reason why I will get a strong first degree is that I work well under tense environment. First year hardly weighted 10 percent of overall degree, whereas second year in which I got 66 (compared to 59 in first year) only contributes 30 percent. Last year is 60 percent therefore I have good chance of being predicted but again it depends what my advisor tells me in Sep. Lastly, I have been good in Global governance module at Queen Mary, but Diplomacy is what I want to do in future, therefore, Oxford's blend of Global Governance and Diplomacy is interesting. The maximum I have got in essay is 74 in one of my essays for Global Governance at Queen Mary.
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Misovlogos
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#1752
(Original post by hamzakhan312)
First, lets me thank you all for your suggestions and comments. Secondly, soon after getting my result I emailed my advisor who didn't say much and asked me to see himin person in Sep as I am back in my home country. The reason why I will get a strong first degree is that I work well under tense environment. First year hardly weighted 10 percent of overall degree, whereas second year in which I got 66 (compared to 59 in first year) only contributes 30 percent. Last year is 60 percent therefore I have good chance of being predicted but again it depends what my advisor tells me in Sep. Lastly, I have been good in Global governance module at Queen Mary, but Diplomacy is what I want to do in future, therefore, Oxford's blend of Global Governance and Diplomacy is interesting. The maximum I have got in essay is 74 in one of my essays for Global Governance at Queen Mary.
Not to dampen your spirits - it's certainly possible - but you do realise, given your first and second year grades, that you would have to average 74% in third year to pull your aggregate up to a first?
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sj27
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(Original post by jelly1000)
how do you know that when you couldn't get a first in second year?
This...

(Original post by hamzakhan312)
First, lets me thank you all for your suggestions and comments. Secondly, soon after getting my result I emailed my advisor who didn't say much and asked me to see himin person in Sep as I am back in my home country. The reason why I will get a strong first degree is that I work well under tense environment. First year hardly weighted 10 percent of overall degree, whereas second year in which I got 66 (compared to 59 in first year) only contributes 30 percent. Last year is 60 percent therefore I have good chance of being predicted but again it depends what my advisor tells me in Sep. Lastly, I have been good in Global governance module at Queen Mary, but Diplomacy is what I want to do in future, therefore, Oxford's blend of Global Governance and Diplomacy is interesting. The maximum I have got in essay is 74 in one of my essays for Global Governance at Queen Mary.
You do realise that even if you are predicted a first, if you get an offer it will almost certainly be a conditional one that requires you to actually achieve a first. Also, this is just speculation, but I'm guessing that if Oxford see 59 in first year and 66 in second year, they'll be pretty sceptical of a predicted first even should you manage to get that prediction.
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Gridiron-Gangster
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(Original post by hamzakhan312)
First, lets me thank you all for your suggestions and comments. Secondly, soon after getting my result I emailed my advisor who didn't say much and asked me to see himin person in Sep as I am back in my home country. The reason why I will get a strong first degree is that I work well under tense environment. First year hardly weighted 10 percent of overall degree, whereas second year in which I got 66 (compared to 59 in first year) only contributes 30 percent. Last year is 60 percent therefore I have good chance of being predicted but again it depends what my advisor tells me in Sep. Lastly, I have been good in Global governance module at Queen Mary, but Diplomacy is what I want to do in future, therefore, Oxford's blend of Global Governance and Diplomacy is interesting. The maximum I have got in essay is 74 in one of my essays for Global Governance at Queen Mary.
Oxford will want to see academic consistency especially with predicted grades so a 59 may harm your chances. It's great you are saying you will get a first and I hope you do but the problem is when a tutor looks at your application you will not come across as first class student, that is assuming the course asks for a first. If compared to someone else predicted a first from a similar or better university with top results throughout the course then really they will give them the offer over you. Of you can put a strong application go for it. If you could wait until you graduate with a first and then apply your chances might be better.
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Gridiron-Gangster
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#1755
Also you should be working well all the time if you're aiming high and not just at the 11th hour. You won't get away with that at Oxford.
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hobnob
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(Original post by hamzakhan312)
The reason why I will get a strong first degree is that I work well under tense environment. First year hardly weighted 10 percent of overall degree, whereas second year in which I got 66 (compared to 59 in first year) only contributes 30 percent.
Strictly speaking, though, that's not so much evidence of working well under pressure as evidence of underperforming unless under pressure.:erm:

Anyway, of course there's no reason why you shouldn't just give it a go this year as a long shot, but one thing you need to bear in mind is that a requirement of a first is above all an indication for a popular course that attracts a lot of applicants. That in turn increases the chance that they'll do preliminary sifts to get application numbers down to a more manageable number before they consider them in more detail. And academic track record to date is one of the easiest criteria to use for that purpose. So what this means is that even if you are predicted a first, your risk of being 'deselected' at an early stage in the process will be relatively high. You'll be in a better position next year if/when you actually have a first and not just a prediction and references expressing faith in your potential to achieve one in the right kind of conditions.
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GrandPessimist
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As others have already said, it will be a long shot given your grades. I have a friend who received a conditional offer, but her 2nd year results were all over 75% with two of them even being around 90%!! She has worked her a** off though and totally deserves it. It was still a long shot for her, because her 1st year results were bad, but in the 2nd year she did everything she could and that paid off.

Do you have any extracurriculars or internships or anything to suggest that you are really passionate about diplomacy? That can play a big part in an application.

Also, again, as others have said, you might have a better chance if you apply after graduation. Provided that you have the first class degree, if you also spend your time after graduation working in some capacity for an embassy, a political party, anything really that involves diplomacy, then I think you might have more chances.


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jelly1000
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(Original post by hamzakhan312)
First, lets me thank you all for your suggestions and comments. Secondly, soon after getting my result I emailed my advisor who didn't say much and asked me to see himin person in Sep as I am back in my home country. The reason why I will get a strong first degree is that I work well under tense environment. First year hardly weighted 10 percent of overall degree, whereas second year in which I got 66 (compared to 59 in first year) only contributes 30 percent. Last year is 60 percent therefore I have good chance of being predicted but again it depends what my advisor tells me in Sep. Lastly, I have been good in Global governance module at Queen Mary, but Diplomacy is what I want to do in future, therefore, Oxford's blend of Global Governance and Diplomacy is interesting. The maximum I have got in essay is 74 in one of my essays for Global Governance at Queen Mary.
If you can replicate that 74 several times over then great, but be bewarned it isn't easy. Whilst I managed a 75 and a 76 on two of my essays I could never get those sorts of marks regularly, not because I didn't try but because I could never bring eveything altogether as well.
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GrandPessimist
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(Original post by hamzakhan312)
First, lets me thank you all for your suggestions and comments. Secondly, soon after getting my result I emailed my advisor who didn't say much and asked me to see himin person in Sep as I am back in my home country. The reason why I will get a strong first degree is that I work well under tense environment. First year hardly weighted 10 percent of overall degree, whereas second year in which I got 66 (compared to 59 in first year) only contributes 30 percent. Last year is 60 percent therefore I have good chance of being predicted but again it depends what my advisor tells me in Sep. Lastly, I have been good in Global governance module at Queen Mary, but Diplomacy is what I want to do in future, therefore, Oxford's blend of Global Governance and Diplomacy is interesting. The maximum I have got in essay is 74 in one of my essays for Global Governance at Queen Mary.
I really don't want to sound mean, but I don't think that's enough!

It is great that you got 74, but you need to constantly aim higher and do everything to achieve firsts in multiple essays. And if you can do that for exams, I think it will be even more impressive!

Think of the volume of applications Oxford receives for this course. They receive a number of applications probably 5 times over the number of places they can offer. You are not simply competing with UK students, but with students from all over the world who may have 1st class degrees in a variety of areas (economics, law, politics, languages) and may also have relevant working experience. Getting a single 74 in one essay will not be enough to have a realistic chance.

Have you spoken to any tutors especially tutors who may be Oxford graduates? What is their opinion about your chances?
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the mezzil
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#1760
What is the accommodation like for postgraduates at both Universities? Do they live in colleges, or in the city in private accommodation?

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