To those more informed than I am,
I am planning on applying for postgraduate law, which will include an application to either the senior status program at Oxford, or the affiliated student program at Cambridge. I need some help differentiating between the two and working out which is best for me.
Having done a lot of research via the institution websites, and emailing members of staff, I still have a bunch of questions that I could use some clarification on:
- I know both cities well, and love them both. I find Cambridge more close and friendly, while Oxford has more energy; I would be happy making either home for two years. I've attended the open days of both, and found them equally warm, welcoming, and full of engaging people. Is either one law program regarded as better structured, more flexible, more inclusive etc. of graduate law students?
- I am studying an MSc at UCL, in Politics and Philosophy of Science, and became set on law after taking a module in political philosophy of counter-terrorism. I believe that the Oxford course, Jurisprudence, is often said to be more theoretical; how true is this, and how does the focus of each course differ? I'm not totally set on being a lawyer, per se, I am just really interested in studying the law.
- I understand that the Oxford senior status program offers the chance to begin studying 2/3rds of the way through 1st year, rather than at the beginning of 2nd year. Does this make an appreciable difference to the intensity of the workload, and does it help/hinder becoming part of the social fabric of the department/college?
- I'm on track for a Distinction at MSc level, which I study alongside working 4 days a week for a really cool and unique research job. I think I have some pretty good work experience, and can demonstrate passion and hard work through hobbies (like rowing). However, my undergrad studies (while generally alright) have a few rough patches due to illness. Without wanting to sound too much like I'm asking 'which is easier to get in to?' (entirely aware the answer to that is 'neither' ), is one university, or certain colleges within the universities, generally more considerate of a candidate as a whole rather than as a mere academic record? Does one more than another still place significant weight on GCSEs and A-Levels? I've heard the rumours about Cambridge being less concerned with GCSEs, but more with A-levels, which would seem to demonstrate that they like people who show upwards trajectory. Equally, I've been told before that Oxford is more likely to consider the candidate as a whole. I have not seen any real proof of either being the case - and I imagine any difference is negligible and/or variant between colleges - but, in case there IS a marked difference, I thought I'd ask!
In addition, are there any specific colleges at either university (eg I know Hughes Hall, Camb, is a mature college with a large law intake) which are more open to graduate law students?
- From my understanding, Cambridge tends to interview a significant portion of candidates, whereas Oxford interviews fewer. However, Oxford pools students even if they don't make it to interview, whereas Cambridge only pools you if you have been asked to interview. I also understand that Oxford only interviews you if you pass the LNAT, whereas Cambridge interviews and assesses at the same time. Is this correct, and can anybody elucidate on the separate admissions processes?
Apologies for the huge post! I hope it's clear that I'm not trying to determine the 'easiest' university to get into; I am after a top tier education, in the place best geared for who I am and what I study. Any advice from people who know the process well, have gone through it, and have studied law (graduate or otherwise) at either institution would be hugely helpful! Currently, I'm finding it difficult to separate out the pros and cons.
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Senior Status Law: Oxford vs Cambridge watch
- Thread Starter
Last edited by FebruaryFace; 23-07-2017 at 22:21.
- 23-07-2017 21:49
- 23-07-2017 21:55
I would say Cambridge if you have excellent A levels, Oxford is ****ed as you need excellent GCSEs