Choosing Oxford or Cambridge University to study music. Watch

esme1234
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Hi everyone, I'm planning to study music when I attend University next year. Is it possible to apply for both Oxford and Cambridge at the same time? Which one of these two would you recommend for music, and for what reasons?

I also noticed that Cambridge requires an A* and two As, while Oxford requires three As. Does this mean Cambridge might have a slightly higher standard?

I look forward to hearing everyone's perspectives on this matter
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DingusDongus
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You can only apply to one.
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by esme1234)
Hi everyone, I'm planning to study music when I attend University next year. Is it possible to apply for both Oxford and Cambridge at the same time? Which one of these two would you recommend for music, and for what reasons?

I also noticed that Cambridge requires an A* and two As, while Oxford requires three As. Does this mean Cambridge might have a slightly higher standard?

I look forward to hearing everyone's perspectives on this matter
You can only apply to both if you are doing so as an organ scholar.

The A* does not reflect superiority, but different approaches to selecting students.

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auburnstar
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Allow me to scream with joy at finding another muso

*coughs*

You can only choose one. True that the entry requirement is higher at Cambridge, so that is a factor to consider. An important thing to look at is the differences in course structure. Some things to consider:

- Differences in course structure
- Entry requirements and how likely you believe yourself to be capable of A*AA vs AAA
- Location and proximity to London
- More city feel (oxford) or more town-like (cambridge) *admittedly, neither has a big city feel like eg london, birmingham or manchester
- Minor differences in admissions process (cambridge has a two-hour harmony exam for everyone, oxford can give harmony tests at some colleges but also use short tasks at interview)

Good luck!
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esme1234
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Thanks for the answers and opinions

auburnstar - What kind of differences in course structure do they have? I've visited their websites but would like more clarification. Also, I wonder if any of them requires you to study popular or newer types of music? (I am only interested in the Western Classical tradition.)
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auburnstar
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(Original post by esme1234)
Thanks for the answers and opinions

auburnstar - What kind of differences in course structure do they have? I've visited their websites but would like more clarification. Also, I wonder if any of them requires you to study popular or newer types of music? (I am only interested in the Western Classical tradition.)
I'm afraid I don't know any more than what's on the website. I'm assuming you looked at it in some detail? (eg you know that in year 2 at cam historical studies analysis and tonal skills make up 50% of the course, whereas year 2 at ox music history is compulsory but you have 6 options). You could email the admissions of both unis, asking for further detail, I'm sure they'd be willing to help out

Goatherd can tell you more than I on the last point, but just from their websites popular music doesn't seem to be mandatory. There might be a popular music special topic on occasion but that is only one module of many more classically-oriented ones. I certainly get the feel that it is more classically-oriented with limited opportunities for assessed performance.
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esme1234
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I've had another look at the websites and it is indeed not mandatory to study popular music I'm leaning towards Cambridge but will think about it a bit more.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by esme1234)
I've had another look at the websites and it is indeed not mandatory to study popular music I'm leaning towards Cambridge but will think about it a bit more.
You can easily avoid popular music modules if you want to, though you may be required to study musicological issues that refer to/are specific to popular music, in musicology-specific modules (e.g. Oxford's Musical Thought and Scholarship module). You will almost certainly have to study 20th/21st century Western art music at Oxford, and I'd assume it'd be the same for Cambridge too...

Regarding the discrepancy between the offer grades: as soon as the A* came out, Cambridge bumped up all its humanities subject offers to A*AA, as Cambridge was confident that all the applicants it would have otherwise attracted would be easily achieving these grades. So they've used it in their offers from the outset. Oxford were less certain (from what I gather - I was there pre-A* grades :shakecane: ) about how the A*s would be distributed and how those from lower-achieving schools/backgrounds might be affected, so have not used them so far The prestige and calibre is pretty much identical (though Cambridge is a **** uni, obviously ).

I'm an Oxford music alumna. Left there 7 years ago, but not much changes in Oxford (or Cambridge) in that amount of time... So if you have any Oxford-specific questions, feel free to ask here or to PM me :musicus:
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esme1234
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That's very helpful information, thank you

I'm still undecided about which one to choose, so would appreciate any more suggestions about what aspects to consider.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by esme1234)
That's very helpful information, thank you

I'm still undecided about which one to choose, so would appreciate any more suggestions about what aspects to consider.
As has been said above, I think course content and course structure could be a good way to decide. For example, I applied to Oxford over Cambridge because I am **** at harmony/counterpoint/analysis and knew that before applying, and their course back then (and still, I believe) is more heavily geared towards those kinda things than Oxford's is. I knew there were harmony exams at Cambridge that I would be unlikely to pass.

As a secondary point, I knew I was unlikely to be called to interview at Cambridge because of my UMS marks at AS level, which weren't that great. (Now that A Levels are slowly going linear again, I'm not sure how much of a consideration AS grades/UMS marks are for Cambridge but back in the day, mine wouldn't have got me very far!)

It's also worth considering that I believe at Cambridge you are examined each year, and all examination marks go towards your final degree. At Oxford, everything rests on your third year exams/submissions. There are benefits and drawbacks to both systems, so it's a matter of which you might prefer :smartass:
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inspired Jay
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Heyyyy Esme1234, how’s ur decision going on? I think I would like to apply for music in Oxford at the end of this year.
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Doones
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(Original post by inspired Jay)
Heyyyy Esme1234, how’s ur decision going on? I think I would like to apply for music in Oxford at the end of this year.
They haven't been on TSR since Nov 2017...
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inspired Jay
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
They haven't been on TSR since Nov 2017...
Sad fact...
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