Getting into Oxbridge for Postgraduate Study Watch

camaieu
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#1901
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#1901
Hello everyone! I'm a third year MML student at Cambridge, and I'm in the bewildering and slightly frightening position of deciding what to do next. Thankfully, I have a fourth year!

I'm seriously considering the Mst in modern and medieval languages, specialising in medieval French literature.

I achieved a first in my first year, but a 2.1 in my second year. I was hospitalised for over a week with suspected meningitis, and I also suffered from severe depression as a consequence. I achieved firsts in 2 of my 3 literature papers, but I also achieved 2.2s in two language papers (1 mark off a 2.1!)

I'm predicted to achieve a first in my final year, since I have a strong dissertation and a year in France to improve my language skills. Hopefully I won't end up in hospital in fourth year...!

I know that you guys aren't in a position to tell me if my academic transcript is weak, but do you think that this, in and of itself, could be detrimental to my application? Or are other areas (research proposal, sample writing, references) considered on an equal basis?

Cheers!




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Viceroy
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#1902
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(Original post by camaieu)
Hello everyone! I'm a third year MML student at Cambridge, and I'm in the bewildering and slightly frightening position of deciding what to do next. Thankfully, I have a fourth year!

I'm seriously considering the Mst in modern and medieval languages, specialising in medieval French literature.

I achieved a first in my first year, but a 2.1 in my second year. I was hospitalised for over a week with suspected meningitis, and I also suffered from severe depression as a consequence. I achieved firsts in 2 of my 3 literature papers, but I also achieved 2.2s in two language papers (1 mark off a 2.1!)

I'm predicted to achieve a first in my final year, since I have a strong dissertation and a year in France to improve my language skills. Hopefully I won't end up in hospital in fourth year...!

I know that you guys aren't in a position to tell me if my academic transcript is weak, but do you think that this, in and of itself, could be detrimental to my application? Or are other areas (research proposal, sample writing, references) considered on an equal basis?

Cheers!




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It sounds as if you're doing great. So sorry to hear about the hospitalization issues though. It seems like you should be in a great position to continue academic study. Your research proposal will be very important when you apply for the MSt, so you might want to review it with some of faculty members at Cambridge before submitting it.
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Josb
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(Original post by camaieu)
Hello everyone! I'm a third year MML student at Cambridge, and I'm in the bewildering and slightly frightening position of deciding what to do next. Thankfully, I have a fourth year!

I'm seriously considering the Mst in modern and medieval languages, specialising in medieval French literature.

I achieved a first in my first year, but a 2.1 in my second year. I was hospitalised for over a week with suspected meningitis, and I also suffered from severe depression as a consequence. I achieved firsts in 2 of my 3 literature papers, but I also achieved 2.2s in two language papers (1 mark off a 2.1!)

I'm predicted to achieve a first in my final year, since I have a strong dissertation and a year in France to improve my language skills. Hopefully I won't end up in hospital in fourth year...!

I know that you guys aren't in a position to tell me if my academic transcript is weak, but do you think that this, in and of itself, could be detrimental to my application? Or are other areas (research proposal, sample writing, references) considered on an equal basis?

Cheers!
I'd say that the research proposal is more important than your transcript. They won't look at your 2:2 in your second year if you achieve a first! :lol:
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gutenberg
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(Original post by camaieu)
Hello everyone! I'm a third year MML student at Cambridge, and I'm in the bewildering and slightly frightening position of deciding what to do next. Thankfully, I have a fourth year!

I'm seriously considering the Mst in modern and medieval languages, specialising in medieval French literature.

I achieved a first in my first year, but a 2.1 in my second year. I was hospitalised for over a week with suspected meningitis, and I also suffered from severe depression as a consequence. I achieved firsts in 2 of my 3 literature papers, but I also achieved 2.2s in two language papers (1 mark off a 2.1!)

I'm predicted to achieve a first in my final year, since I have a strong dissertation and a year in France to improve my language skills. Hopefully I won't end up in hospital in fourth year...!

I know that you guys aren't in a position to tell me if my academic transcript is weak, but do you think that this, in and of itself, could be detrimental to my application? Or are other areas (research proposal, sample writing, references) considered on an equal basis?

Cheers!




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As far as I know Cambridge ask for a full transcript when you apply, so they will see the 2.2. However, as others have said, if you do achieve that first ultimately, then you should have very few problems receiving an offer. I will also say that, seeing as you are a Cambridge undergrad, you are at an advantage in that the department will know of your circumstances (being ill in second year), compared with someone applying from outside who may have to explain that blip on their record. Additionally, your references, being (I presume) all internal Cambridge people, will only further strengthen your case if you can get people teaching & working in MML to support you. So keep working hard & I don't doubt you'll get an offer
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camaieu
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(Original post by Viceroy)
It sounds as if you're doing great. So sorry to hear about the hospitalization issues though. It seems like you should be in a great position to continue academic study. Your research proposal will be very important when you apply for the MSt, so you might want to review it with some of faculty members at Cambridge before submitting it.

(Original post by Josb)
I'd say that the research proposal is more important than your transcript. They won't look at your 2:2 in your second year if you achieve a first! :lol:

(Original post by gutenberg)
As far as I know Cambridge ask for a full transcript when you apply, so they will see the 2.2. However, as others have said, if you do achieve that first ultimately, then you should have very few problems receiving an offer. I will also say that, seeing as you are a Cambridge undergrad, you are at an advantage in that the department will know of your circumstances (being ill in second year), compared with someone applying from outside who may have to explain that blip on their record. Additionally, your references, being (I presume) all internal Cambridge people, will only further strengthen your case if you can get people teaching & working in MML to support you. So keep working hard & I don't doubt you'll get an offer
Thank you so very much for your kind replies. You've really helped put my mind at rest. I'm looking at other places, in case Oxford or Cambridge don't work out, but this helps a lot. At the very least, the 2.2s are in areas (audiovisual papers, urgh) that don't have anything to do with what I want to study (literature).
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Sabs20
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I couldn't find a more appropriate topic, hope someone will see this and move it where it belongs
Is someone here doing a Criminology masters at Oxbridge?
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Jojo_willie
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#1907
Hi guys!

I was applying for BBSRC DTP funded programme at Cambridge, but I got rejected and they suggested me to transfer my application to another Department. They did that, but I am afraid of getting rejected again:-( I have a low 2:1, obtained from the non-UK EU university and relevant research experience. I'm a master student at another EU university at the moment, but I didn't send in my master grades, only undergraduate ones. My references should be good as well. Anyone with similar experience? I chose Department of Biochemistry, so is it possible to just get accepted at a research based PhD, if you have just satisfied minimum requirements?
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punctuation
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(Original post by Jojo_willie)
Hi guys!

I was applying for BBSRC DTP funded programme at Cambridge, but I got rejected and they suggested me to transfer my application to another Department. They did that, but I am afraid of getting rejected again:-( I have a low 2:1, obtained from the non-UK EU university and relevant research experience. I'm a master student at another EU university at the moment, but I didn't send in my master grades, only undergraduate ones. My references should be good as well. Anyone with similar experience? I chose Department of Biochemistry, so is it possible to just get accepted at a research based PhD, if you have just satisfied minimum requirements?
I haven't heard of that but if they suggested it then I'm sure it is possible. I don't know what you mean 'if you have just satisfied minimum requirements. You might be required to interview, write a research proposal, etc. - check the requirements carefully. I would email the BBSRC DTP admin back to check the protocol.
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Jojo_willie
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(Original post by punctuation)
I haven't heard of that but if they suggested it then I'm sure it is possible. I don't know what you mean 'if you have just satisfied minimum requirements. You might be required to interview, write a research proposal, etc. - check the requirements carefully. I would email the BBSRC DTP admin back to check the protocol.
Thanks for the answer! Well, I haven't been shortlisted for the interview. I have already completed the application, which included a small research proposal, but this is not relevant for the application. 'I have just satisfied minimum requirements' means that I have the lowest 2:1, just on the border between 2:2 and 2:1.
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llacerta
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#1910
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(Original post by Jojo_willie)
Hi guys!

I was applying for BBSRC DTP funded programme at Cambridge, but I got rejected and they suggested me to transfer my application to another Department. They did that, but I am afraid of getting rejected again:-( I have a low 2:1, obtained from the non-UK EU university and relevant research experience. I'm a master student at another EU university at the moment, but I didn't send in my master grades, only undergraduate ones. My references should be good as well. Anyone with similar experience? I chose Department of Biochemistry, so is it possible to just get accepted at a research based PhD, if you have just satisfied minimum requirements?
Why didn't you send in your master's grades as well? Or do you not have any yet?
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Jojo_willie
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(Original post by llacerta)
Why didn't you send in your master's grades as well? Or do you not have any yet?
Yeah, I cannot get them at this point, so I don't know what to expect. My master grades should be also equivalent of 2:1 at this point.
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Josb
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(Original post by Jojo_willie)
Yeah, I cannot get them at this point, so I don't know what to expect. My master grades should be also equivalent of 2:1 at this point.
That doesn't look good (considering that even people with good 1st don't get funding). You should try again next year. A good Masters and especially a good thesis can compensate an average Bachelors.
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Jojo_willie
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(Original post by Josb)
That doesn't look good (considering that even people with good 1st don't get funding). You should try again next year. A good Masters and especially a good thesis can compensate an average Bachelors.
Ok, thanks for the advice. Yeah, that's not good. I mentioned in the CV that I am a master student, but that doesn't mean a lot obviously.
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Josb
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(Original post by Jojo_willie)
Ok, thanks for the advice. Yeah, that's not good. I mentioned in the CV that I am a master student, but that doesn't mean a lot obviously.
For a PhD, you have to show that you can do good research, so you'll probably have more chance next year, since you'll be able to give them a sample of your master's thesis. Don't screw that one.
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Jojo_willie
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(Original post by Josb)
For a PhD, you have to show that you can do good research, so you'll probably have more chance next year, since you'll be able to give them a sample of your master's thesis. Don't screw that one.
Ok, thank you!
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Jantaculum
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(Original post by Jojo_willie)
Hi guys!

I was applying for BBSRC DTP funded programme at Cambridge, but I got rejected and they suggested me to transfer my application to another Department. They did that, but I am afraid of getting rejected again:-( I have a low 2:1, obtained from the non-UK EU university and relevant research experience. I'm a master student at another EU university at the moment, but I didn't send in my master grades, only undergraduate ones. My references should be good as well. Anyone with similar experience? I chose Department of Biochemistry, so is it possible to just get accepted at a research based PhD, if you have just satisfied minimum requirements?
If they suggested that you transfer your application to another department, then they must have a good reason for that - ie they think your application would be better suited to that department, and maybe you have a better chance there (although funding is always going to be an issue)

You have a 2.1 so that satisfies the minimum University requirement, and your research experience will help.


As a current Masters student, they are likely to be looking for a number of things. They might want an indication of your predicted Masters grade, which could be included in your references. They might ask for a sample of your writing (a Masters assignment or section from your dissertation. They will almost certainly be looking for excellent references.

Although you'd be in a stronger position to apply when your Masters is finished (and the application procedure is less complicated because there's less guessing!) there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't give it a go this year.




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Jojo_willie
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I don't know. I thought that it was a general thing that they ask you to apply at another department. They also didn't tell me to switch to Biochemistry, that's what I've chosen. Is it possible that they ask for the grades now, although the deadline was December 2nd? I apologize for the inconvenience, but I am quite curious about this. Thank you for the detailed answer!:-)
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sj27
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(Original post by Jojo_willie)
I don't know. I thought that it was a general thing that they ask you to apply at another department.
No, it's not. The general thing is that you get rejected, end of story.
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Jojo_willie
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(Original post by sj27)
No, it's not. The general thing is that you get rejected, end of story.
Ok, I didn't know that. Maybe they allowed me to transfer because the PhD program I've been applying for is funded, so you firstly get a British Research Council grant and then are admitted. They might have had mercy and allow me to transfer somewhere else where I can be admitted prior to finding funding:-)

Btw, is it easy to get into Trinity? Also, how competitive Cambridge Trust grants and Trinity External Research Studentships are? Again, do people with 2:1 get them?:-)
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llacerta
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(Original post by Jojo_willie)

Btw, is it easy to get into Trinity? Also, how competitive Cambridge Trust grants and Trinity External Research Studentships are? Again, do people with 2:1 get them?:-)
Trinity is notoriously competitive. I have several friends (from Oxford) who applied for the Trinity External Research Studentships and did not get it, despite a 1st at undergrad (in one case, top of the class) and being on track for a Distinction in their Master's. I'm not saying that it's impossible with a 2.1, but the reality is that that the people who apply for these sorts of studentships and grants tend to have a slew of top results.

The fact that they've recommended you transfer is promising, however, and I would take any opportunity they give you- after all, you never know if you don't try. Best of luck.
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