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username2752874
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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I don't think there's a straightforward, easy, one-size-fits-all answer to this tbh. I personally agree that the calibre of Masters students (and sometimes even PhD students!) at Oxbridge isn't necessarily the same as that of the undergrads. But then I'm a terrible snob like that
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(Original post by FriendlyPenguin)
Why would you say that?
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Chief Wiggum
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(Original post by GradeA*UnderA)
At many universities, the undergrad course is almost always more competitive than the postgrad course (except in medicine, though that's because the requirements are a lot more accessible, typically down to BBB from AAA, but I digress).

Take Oxford and Cambridge for example. The undergrad courses are competitive in terms of applicants to place and they're all AAA-A*A*A or higher. Yet for postgrad, many are a 2:1 in the subject, with lower applicantlace ratios
This is true especially for niche degrees, particularly in social sciences. You get a lot of people with B and C grades at A-Level with a first or 2:1 at a mediocre uni getting in, mainly because no one else wants to (many undergrads would've graduated from there and gone on to work, or would've done a MMath/MEng/MSci (undergrad masters).

This sprung to my mind when my mums said her friend's son studies at Oxford. We met their family over dinner, and through general discussion, I found out he's a postgrad at Oxford in Roman History, and that he got a 2:1 in History from Brunel.

When you see all the people getting rejected on the undergrad thread for Oxbridge with great grades, it begs the questions.

I believe people do these master's to boost employment with the Oxbridge name on their CV.

Note: this is about Master's students. PhDs are fairly comparable to undergrad IIRC
Well, I'd have thought your average Oxbridge undergrad is smarter than your average Oxbridge Masters student. Essentially for the reason you have just described.

I know a lot of "average" people who seem to have got in following their undergrad degree elsewhere.

But meh, I haven't scientifically studied this. Anecdotally, I'd agree with you.
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Dan Deplorable
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A significant proportion of Masters students are only there because they were unable to find a proper job - these people are more often than not the less able students.
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trapking
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(Original post by GradeA*UnderA)
At many universities, the undergrad course is almost always more competitive than the postgrad course (except in medicine, though that's because the requirements are a lot more accessible, typically down to BBB from AAA, but I digress).

Take Oxford and Cambridge for example. The undergrad courses are competitive in terms of applicants to place and they're all AAA-A*A*A or higher. Yet for postgrad, many are a 2:1 in the subject, with lower applicantlace ratios
This is true especially for niche degrees, particularly in social sciences. You get a lot of people with B and C grades at A-Level with a first or 2:1 at a mediocre uni getting in, mainly because no one else wants to (many undergrads would've graduated from there and gone on to work, or would've done a MMath/MEng/MSci (undergrad masters).

This sprung to my mind when my mums said her friend's son studies at Oxford. We met their family over dinner, and through general discussion, I found out he's a postgrad at Oxford in Roman History, and that he got a 2:1 in History from Brunel.

When you see all the people getting rejected on the undergrad thread for Oxbridge with great grades, it begs the questions.

I believe people do these master's to boost employment with the Oxbridge name on their CV.

Note: this is about Master's students. PhDs are fairly comparable to undergrad IIRC
Oh look yet another oxbridge idiot who is not even at University yet but has the audacity to say things like:

This sprung to my mind when my mums said her friend's son studies at Oxford. We met their family over dinner, and through general discussion, I found out he's a postgrad at Oxford in Roman History, and that he got a 2:1 in History from Brunel.
Get out of your own ass mate.
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fallen_acorns
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I agree. Masters in general are a funny degree, as they serve so many purposes...

Many people I know took them just to put off work for another year or two, or because they didn't secure a job, and carrying on studying was more respectable then being unemployed

A few people took them out of passion for their study/academia

The third group of people.. Ill cal lthem the late-maturers.. they took them because they 'grew up' later then normal.. maybe they messed up their ALevels, but are reasonably clever, got into an average university, and then decided to turn their life around. A masters is a good way to do this.

The 4th group are those who leave university, enter the workforce, and then return to study a masters years later beaus its a necessity or it will help them in their current career.

---

Generally speaking I am suspicious about anyone who does a masters straight after their undergraduate degree, and doesn't intend to go into academia.. it screams avoiding work or cant get a job.

Its always worth remembering those who go back to studying after working for a few years though, as masters taken into account work and life experiences as well as just grades to a much higher degree then undergraduate degrees. Take me for example, My undergraduate degree is very average, but I have approaching 4 years experience running my own company in my field. When I was applying for part-time master courses, this was a huge boost, and after learning about my work, my past education became largely ignored.

(I also agree that PHD goes back to better reflecting undergrads)

Overall, If I were in charge I would shake up the masters structure a bit, and devide it into multiple different courses that better fit the people studying them. Have 1 course heavily academic, with high requirements, for those wanting to move on to doctoral study. Have another that is more pratical, flexible, and focused on developing skills ready for working etc. Make sure they are very distinct so people know what they are getting.
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username2752874
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(Original post by trapking)
Get out of your own ass mate.
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username2752874
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
I agree. Masters in general are a funny degree, as they serve so many purposes...

Many people I know took them just to put off work for another year or two, or because they didn't secure a job, and carrying on studying was more respectable then being unemployed

A few people took them out of passion for their study/academia

The third group of people.. Ill cal lthem the late-maturers.. they took them because they 'grew up' later then normal.. maybe they messed up their ALevels, but are reasonably clever, got into an average university, and then decided to turn their life around. A masters is a good way to do this.

The 4th group are those who leave university, enter the workforce, and then return to study a masters years later beaus its a necessity or it will help them in their current career.

---

Generally speaking I am suspicious about anyone who does a masters straight after their undergraduate degree, and doesn't intend to go into academia.. it screams avoiding work or cant get a job.

Its always worth remembering those who go back to studying after working for a few years though, as masters taken into account work and life experiences as well as just grades to a much higher degree then undergraduate degrees. Take me for example, My undergraduate degree is very average, but I have approaching 4 years experience running my own company in my field. When I was applying for part-time master courses, this was a huge boost, and after learning about my work, my past education became largely ignored.

(I also agree that PHD goes back to better reflecting undergrads)

Overall, If I were in charge I would shake up the masters structure a bit, and devide it into multiple different courses that better fit the people studying them. Have 1 course heavily academic, with high requirements, for those wanting to move on to doctoral study. Have another that is more pratical, flexible, and focused on developing skills ready for working etc. Make sure they are very distinct so people know what they are getting.
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fsdasf
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(Original post by Chief Wiggum)
Well, I'd have thought your average Oxbridge undergrad is smarter than your average Oxbridge Masters student. Essentially for the reason you have just described.

I know a lot of "average" people who seem to have got in following their undergrad degree elsewhere.

But meh, I haven't scientifically studied this. Anecdotally, I'd agree with you.
Is this a commonly held opinion there? I did initially think it was piss easy (e.g. a high 2:1 is required, which is obviously a lot easier than A*A*A at A level or whatever the minimum is) but then I saw this

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque..._passthrough=1

it seems to be a similar difficulty overall, but varies much more between individual courses e.g. over 3 quarters of the people from oxbridge and the very top american ones get rejected for stuff like the mphil in finance, although for something like anglo saxon, norse and celtic well over half of people get in from all unis.

I mean even if you just press f3 and type in "oxford" it seems as if at least a third of Oxford students get rejected. Surely it must be at similarly difficult to get in if that's the case unless there's something I'm missing here you could point out?

Disclaimer: I am applying for a masters there so might be biased and hope this isn't really the case, although didn't get rejected from oxbridge at undergrad (and had the grades (4A*) but never had the "confidence" to apply).
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Chief Wiggum
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(Original post by fsdasf)
Is this a commonly held opinion there? I did initially think it was piss easy (e.g. a high 2:1 is required, which is obviously a lot easier than A*A*A at A level or whatever the minimum is) but then I saw this

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque..._passthrough=1

it seems to be a similar difficulty overall, but varies much more between individual courses e.g. over 3 quarters of the people from oxbridge and the very top american ones get rejected for stuff like the mphil in finance, although for something like anglo saxon, norse and celtic well over half of people get in from all unis.

I mean even if you just press f3 and type in "oxford" it seems as if at least a third of Oxford students get rejected. Surely it must be at similarly difficult to get in if that's the case unless there's something I'm missing here you could point out?

Disclaimer: I am applying for a masters there so might be biased and hope this isn't really the case, although didn't get rejected from oxbridge at undergrad (and had the grades (4A*) but never had the "confidence" to apply).
As I say, I haven't looked at this scientifically. You could be right. Literally my post was just based on my personal observations.

I don't have time to read through a load of stuff online about it at the moment.

I guess admissions might seem more "random" for Masters, since you might get people who did badly in A Levels, then get a First from a "poor" university getting an offer?

I wouldn't worry about being biased. Everyone is biased. I did undergrad medicine (6 years) at Cambridge and didn't apply for a Masters :p:

I would imagine the competition varies substantially depending on the subject.
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Zactopus
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You clearly don't know much about the post graduate application process if you think that it's all about grades.

For post graduate courses the focus is research much much more so than for undergraduate. As long as you have a 2.1 grades don't matter. Having a higher grade doesn't mean you are going to have better research output. At a postgraduate level they care more about whether your research interests are compatible with theirs. Whether you have research experience and what projects you have worked on. Was any of your previous work publishable? Also your references have huge sway in postgraduate applications.

Don't compare your A-levels with a masters students research, you'll be coming up short.
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username2752874
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(Original post by fsdasf)
Is this a commonly held opinion there? I did initially think it was piss easy (e.g. a high 2:1 is required, which is obviously a lot easier than A*A*A at A level or whatever the minimum is) but then I saw this

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque..._passthrough=1

it seems to be a similar difficulty overall, but varies much more between individual courses e.g. over 3 quarters of the people from oxbridge and the very top american ones get rejected for stuff like the mphil in finance, although for something like anglo saxon, norse and celtic well over half of people get in from all unis.

I mean even if you just press f3 and type in "oxford" it seems as if at least a third of Oxford students get rejected. Surely it must be at similarly difficult to get in if that's the case unless there's something I'm missing here you could point out?

Disclaimer: I am applying for a masters there so might be biased and hope this isn't really the case, although didn't get rejected from oxbridge at undergrad (and had the grades (4A*) but never had the "confidence" to apply).
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fsdasf
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(Original post by Chief Wiggum)
As I say, I haven't looked at this scientifically. You could be right. Literally my post was just based on my personal observations.

I don't have time to read through a load of stuff online about it at the moment.

I guess admissions might seem more "random" for Masters, since you might get people who did badly in A Levels, then get a First from a "poor" university getting an offer?

I wouldn't worry about being biased. Everyone is biased. I did undergrad medicine (6 years) at Cambridge and didn't apply for a Masters :p:

I would imagine the competition varies substantially depending on the subject.
Ahhh alright, pressing f3 and typing in oxford wasn't exactly a scientific study either lol. If you haven't got time to read it it basically shows about a third of oxford/American ivy league undergrads get rejected, acceptance rate varies a lot by uni and a lot more by course than at undergrad. Interestingly part 3 maths also seems to be one of the easier ones to get on despite being by far the most famous/"prestigious".

I think it makes sense that if it was much easier than at absolute most 10 percent of Oxford undergrads would have been rejected (e.g. the people who were let in by "mistake" or had complications during the course).

About it seeming random I expect it may be people on the less competitive courses. It's also worth noting that the sheet shows people from good unis get in much more often, like you'd expect which leads me to assume although the technical minimum is a 2:1 or whatever the uni actually considers it on a case by case basis e.g. mid 2:1 oxbridge = mid first imperial (or whatever the 3nd best uni is) = 85 percent russel group = over 90 percent for very the low down ones.

Also anecdotally the only other person with 4A* at a level either ever met was very surprisingly much "worse" than me, and someone with AAB (with the B in the subject I'm studying, which I got 100 percent in) who although "worse" than me is quite close, so possibly some of the masters students with bad a level grades just found uni better suited them than A levels. Of course this isn't too common though.

Anyway hopefully I'll get the answer next year
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(Original post by Zactopus)
You clearly don't know much about the post graduate application process if you think that it's all about grades.

For post graduate courses the focus is research much much more so than for undergraduate. As long as you have a 2.1 grades don't matter. Having a higher grade doesn't mean you are going to have better research output. At a postgraduate level they care more about whether your research interests are compatible with theirs. Whether you have research experience and what projects you have worked on. Was any of your previous work publishable? Also your references have huge sway in postgraduate applications.

Don't compare your A-levels with a masters students research, you'll be coming up short.
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(Original post by fsdasf)
Ahhh alright, pressing f3 and typing in oxford wasn't exactly a scientific study either lol. If you haven't got time to read it it basically shows about a third of oxford/American ivy league undergrads get rejected, acceptance rate varies a lot by uni and a lot more by course than at undergrad. Interestingly part 3 maths also seems to be one of the easier ones to get on despite being by far the most famous/"prestigious".

I think it makes sense that if it was much easier than at absolute most 10 percent of Oxford undergrads would have been rejected (e.g. the people who were let in by "mistake" or had complications during the course).

About it seeming random I expect it may be people on the less competitive courses. It's also worth noting that the sheet shows people from good unis get in much more often, like you'd expect which leads me to assume although the technical minimum is a 2:1 or whatever the uni actually considers it on a case by case basis e.g. mid 2:1 oxbridge = mid first imperial (or whatever the 3nd best uni is) = 85 percent russel group = over 90 percent for very the low down ones.

Also anecdotally the only other person with 4A* at a level either ever met was very surprisingly much "worse" than me, and someone with AAB (with the B in the subject I'm studying, which I got 100 percent in) who although "worse" than me is quite close, so possibly some of the masters students with bad a level grades just found uni better suited them than A levels. Of course this isn't too common though.

Anyway hopefully I'll get the answer next year
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fsdasf
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(Original post by GradeA*UnderA)
I think average 85% at a Standard Russell group is a borderline impossible task
I have over 90 so yeah it's possible but rare (in sciences at least).

I want to give the final year at Cambridge physics a go and see if I can get a first, not applying for undergrad because of "muh background"/"muh privilege" is one of my biggest regrets.

Anyway about the difficulty of getting in it just seems to vary massively by course (obviously the one where 75%+ of oxford undergrads get rejected is much harder than undergrad).
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(Original post by fsdasf)
I have over 90 so yeah it's possible but rare (in sciences at least).

I want to give the final year at Cambridge physics a go and see if I can get a first, not applying for undergrad because of "muh background"/"muh privilege" is one of my biggest regrets.

Anyway about the difficulty of getting in it just seems to vary massively by course (obviously the one where 75%+ of oxford undergrads get rejected is much harder than undergrad).
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Pidge Gunderson
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High firsts are extremely uncommon, especially for science subjects at top RGs. If you're achieving over 85%, you're either a genius or cheating.
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(Original post by GradeA*UnderA)
I thought that no one ever gets past 80% or is that just at Oxbridge?

Do you get a special reward at all?
I think it varies by uni. Oxbridge it might be the top 0.01 percent or something get above 80. Here I have no idea, there might be a few other people but there's no award as far as I know. The second highest person I know has 74 so I am definitely quite a bit above the average here.

Also just about your 2nd point in another reply although rare it is possible for people to improve (and "deprove"). I actually got B/C average at gcse including in physics.
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