I am planning to apply to the MSc in Comparative Social Policy at the University of Oxford.
I am from India, and hold a Bachelor of Commerce degree from a decent university and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (equivalent to an MBA) from the top business school in the country. Both my undergrad and post-grad degrees are from India.
I also have 5.5 years of work experience, out of which 4 years have been in the development sector and the 1.5 years was spent running my own start up. My work in the development sector has been in the area of health and education, and involved policy analysis and evaluation, among other things.
Now my problem is this: I have a good undergraduate degree but my grades for the postgraduate degree are atrocious. To give details, I have a 78% in undergrad - among the top rankers in my batch. But my post-grad degree grades are pretty sad - a CGPA of 2.5, which puts me in the bottom half of the batch. To put it in context, the batch topper would have scored around 3.5 only, so a 2.5 is not as awful as it sounds in the US system but its not good either.
- Given that I am applying for a master's programme, and they only ask for a 1st class or high second class undergraduate degree, would they give much weight to the masters grades when considering the application?
- I can get very strong references from professor who taught me during my masters course. Will that help offset the low marks to some extent?
- Would my work experience, most of which is very relevant to the course, be given much weightage?
- Finally, should I also email the department this question, or better not to rake up this issue and bring unnecessary attention to it?
Thanks in advance for your replies!