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    I’m currently 17 and forced to drop out of sixth form due to ill health and a family bereavement. I don’t know what to do. I was hoping to do a history degree before and was encouraged by my School to apply for oxford, despite it only being a community school. I have considered applying to college to study a level history, government and politics and sociology. Would top universities like oxford/Cambridge accept me with these a levels and circumstances. Will they accept people from college not sixth form. Also will the accept people over the age of 18?

    I don’t want to get my hopes up to inevitably fail. I know I need to be realistic.

    My predicted grades in sixth form were A*AA/AAA.

    My GCSE’s were not as high as they should have been. I was expected all A*’s but due to another bout of ill health and another family bearvement when studying for my GCSE’s I managed to get 7 GCSE’s at mainly grade B’s & C’s but was able to continue studying due to extenuating circumstances considering I was only actually at school for 7 weeks in year eleven. I started year eleven normally but after my father passed away I only went back in the Easter term.

    The death of my mother in January forced me to cease my a level studies.
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    1) Yes those subjects should be ok. See requirements for all subjects here: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/unde...rements?wssl=1

    2) Yes you can apply from a college

    3) Yes they accept students over 18 and students who have had to take longer over their a-levels due to extenuating circumstances

    4) For History you will sit the HAT which can help balance out bad GCSEs and you should get your referee (when it comes to it) to explain the circumstances around your GCSEs and restarting A-levels at college

    You could also look at the continuing education department offerings in history - they have a part time option for history (though you would need to be able to travel to Oxford, fund the course and would possibly still need alevels given you are still young) https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/about/fo...ate-in-history which you can transfer from into other universities including Oxford.

    You can also start a local history diploma part time with them and progress all the way through to a part time PHd... https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/about/un...-local-history Again, you have to be able to get yourself to Oxford and fund the course but it is worth being aware that there are other options to getting an Oxford degree than just the standard full time entry at 18.

    As your circumstances are not standard, I would suggest getting in contact with admissions tutors at the department at cont ed, and maybe a couple of the colleges (try Harris Manchester who specialize in mature students ie: over 21) and have a chat with them plus go to some open days when they come around and talk to people in the know about what your options/chances are.
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    (Original post by Charn0t)
    I’m currently 17 and forced to drop out of sixth form due to ill health and a family bereavement. I don’t know what to do. I was hoping to do a history degree before and was encouraged by my School to apply for oxford, despite it only being a community school. I have considered applying to college to study a level history, government and politics and sociology. Would top universities like oxford/Cambridge accept me with these a levels and circumstances. Will they accept people from college not sixth form. Also will the accept people over the age of 18?

    I don’t want to get my hopes up to inevitably fail. I know I need to be realistic.

    My predicted grades in sixth form were A*AA/AAA.

    My GCSE’s were not as high as they should have been. I was expected all A*’s but due to another bout of ill health and another family bearvement when studying for my GCSE’s I managed to get 7 GCSE’s at mainly grade B’s & C’s but was able to continue studying due to extenuating circumstances considering I was only actually at school for 7 weeks in year eleven. I started year eleven normally but after my father passed away I only went back in the Easter term.

    The death of my mother in January forced me to cease my a level studies.
    I think you have a good context and should apply. If you are an academic marvel or excellent, Oxford would love to have you, i think.

    Make sure you write about how you have struggled through life to achieve your dreams and show how Oxford would support your ambitions to realise your inherent potential.

    Oxbridge are trying to move away from the privately-educated children of wealthy families to applicants that are representative of the UK. So your story and profile, if good enough, would be a gold-mine for them.

    Dont get weighed down by Oxford. Keep working hard and doing you.

    All the best.
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    [QUOTE=Wired_1800;74459396

    Make sure you write about how you have struggled through life to achieve your dreams and show how Oxford would support your ambitions to realise your inherent potential.
    [/QUOTE]

    Whilst Oxford are trying to be accessible, don't do the above. If you apply in the future, talk about history and examples of books/topics etc that have interested you and why etc (do some more research into personal statements nearer the time)/ If you must talk about circumstances, don't waste more than a couple of sentences on it. Get your referee to talk about the extenuating circumstances. In the case of Cambridge, I think they may still do an extenuating circumstances form in which case you would complete that.

    Unlike American universities, Oxford do not want to have an essay about your life story and, as your personal statement will be used for other universities, you shouldn't explicitly bang on about Oxford.
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    (Original post by Kiki09)
    Whilst Oxford are trying to be accessible, don't do the above. If you apply in the future, talk about history and examples of books/topics etc that have interested you and why etc (do some more research into personal statements nearer the time)/ If you must talk about circumstances, don't waste more than a couple of sentences on it. Get your referee to talk about the extenuating circumstances. In the case of Cambridge, I think they may still do an extenuating circumstances form in which case you would complete that.

    Unlike American universities, Oxford do not want to have an essay about your life story and, as your personal statement will be used for other universities, you shouldn't explicitly bang on about Oxford.
    Obviously the OP should not cover his whole PS about sad personal stories. I advised that they should mention it and relate it back to their interests.

    The three main items for any PS are:
    1. Why the University?
    2. Why you?
    3. Why that subject?

    How one relates all three into one well-written statement is what gets them in. If you write a generic essay without relating it to you, then it loses the personal touch and the university loses the contextual basis.

    You have to remember that there would be many students who might have done the foreign trips, read the books, inspired by that teacher; it is up to you to drive in your personal touch.

    My PS was so personal that my College admission tutor came to speak with me during the first week, because he remembered what I had written and how well it was delivered. I had applied for Engineering.
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    (Original post by Wired_1800)
    Obviously the OP should not cover his whole PS about sad personal stories. I advised that they should mention it and relate it back to their interests.

    The three main items for any PS are:
    1. Why the University?
    2. Why you?
    3. Why that subject?

    How one relates all three into one well-written statement is what gets them in. If you write a generic essay without relating it to you, then it loses the personal touch and the university loses the contextual basis.

    You have to remember that there would be many students who might have done the foreign trips, read the books, inspired by that teacher; it is up to you to drive in your personal touch.

    My PS was so personal that my College admission tutor came to speak with me during the first week, because he remembered what I had written and how well it was delivered. I had applied for Engineering.
    Definitely don't write about "Why the University" in a PS. You are applying to 5 universities, they don't need to be told why they are good. (You might write *something* about it if you are applying to Cambridge and using their SAQ, but otherwise it's a waste of space.)
 
 
 
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