How hard are degrees... Watch

FadedJade
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#61
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#61
I agree with everything people have said so far, but also tht it depends a lot on the uni as well. At some unis you seem to need to work much harder than what you would need to at another to get the same grade.
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hobnob
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#62
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(Original post by Elements)
It sounds more like it feels like more of a chore to you, rather than a dedication and sustained passion to your subject with an urge to acquire more knowledge and commit yourself fully to the degree subject and task at hand.
Hmm, I don't really see why that would have to be a contradiction... I'd say it's quite possible to love your subject and still consider spending an entire day at the library a bit of a slog (even though you do it willingly because you do love your subject and are consequently prepared to put in the necessary work).
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apotoftea
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#63
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(Original post by CamRob)
1. Look at studies into the amount of time students spend studying at different universities, Oxbridge consistently tops the table in the vast majority of cases. It has absolutely nothing to do with poor time management, we just get a ****load more work. I've written nine 3,000 word essays in eight weeks,, you'd be hard-pushed to find another History student who's written a similar amount in the same amount of time at another university, other than Oxford.
I don't think you can something like History at Oxbridge to any other university because the way it's taught is just so different.

You get far more written work than other universities but I can honestly tell you that I'm expected (and this was made quite clear in our first year) to be doing 30/35 hours a week minimum on reading, note taking, reading again and if essays titles have been given out in the first couple of weeks, working on those.

Having friends at other universities doing the same subject, their workload is much smaller than mine. Plus my mark schemes are generally harder too, even to get around a 65 we're expected to show original thought and insight. Other universities dont even mention this until the mark schemes for 70+.

But this is a small department that expects high standards. I'm imagine it's a different story in the bigger universities where my friends are
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FadeToBlackout
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#64
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Meh. There aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I need to do, let alone everything I'd like to! I don't want to malign people at other unis, because that would be wrong. In terms of the mark scheme reference above, though, a) I've never seen one for History here, presumably because mark schemes were invented after 1900 and b) you'll need original thought to get anything above a III here, let alone above a high II.1!

Basically, I do have to say that what you're expected to do and what you actually do are two different things. CamRob is, clearly, more committed than I was; I was spending, back in my first year, 60-70 hours a week in the theatre and only 7 or 8 on the essay. It is possible to to, it's just not recommended!

In short, you CAN treat History as a doss degree. I have, for the past two years for weekly essays. I seriously love the subject; I can't imagine myself doing anything else. (with the possible exception of archaeology...) Yet I find it a slog not because I'm not passionate about it, but because the individual topics I've been doing havn't been that interesting to me. I have happliy spent 50+ hours reading for essays I've particularly liked; I've spent the summer vacation at uni reading fro my dissertation, and all the vacations bar one (Christmas 2005/6, when I worked full time) doing academic work because I loved the topics I was doing these extended essays on.

It really is swings and roundabouts. I'm procrastinating, even now, because I hate the process of writing my dissertation, even though I loved researching for it.

I'm trying to tread the fine line between saying how uniquely stressful the Oxbridge system is- and it really, really is, for many reasons!- but, at the same time, I don't want to malign those at other unis. The middle ground, as ever, is somewhere in teh middle. If I were to do all the work I was supposed to, I would be spending over 60 hours doing it. That's a silly amount for me- even though it might result in a First. I tend to muddle along, doing the bare minimum when I don't like the work and geeking out totally when I do. It works for me. I reckon in just depends on teh person; clearly if one particularly likes the subject, or is particularly conscientious, they'll do enough all the time.
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apotoftea
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#65
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(Original post by FadeToBlackout)
, a) I've never seen one for History here, presumably because mark schemes were invented after 1900 and b) you'll need original thought to get anything above a III here, let alone above a high II.1!
See, this is where you just can't compare them again, as universities outside of Oxbridge are all using marking criteria (I dont mean mark schemes in the way A-level History has a mark scheme) to define levels of what work equates to what mark.

Oxford has defintely got marking criteria for its postgrad degrees as I've seen it!

And I've just found the undergrad one!
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FadeToBlackout
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#66
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Oh, we do have one.

They hardly shouted the existance of it from the rooftops! It doesn't say much interesting stuff, either; pretty much stuff that's already known.

Oh, and apparently, if you don't have an (original or not) argument, you fail automatically.
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apotoftea
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#67
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Having read it, can't say it's that much different to the one I'm currently using bar the fact that under 40 we automatically fail, Oxford allow an ordinary pass!

A lot more focus on primary sources though which isn't surprising; originality isn't mentioned until 70+ level.
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FadeToBlackout
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#68
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(Original post by Stickyvix)
Having read it, can't say it's that much different to the one I'm currently using bar the fact that under 40 we automatically fail, Oxford allow an ordinary pass!

A lot more focus on primary sources though which isn't surprising; originality isn't mentioned until 70+ level.
You've not read the one for the uni I'm at, though And it's locked away, password protected.....
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ChemistBoy
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#69
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(Original post by CamRob)
1. Look at studies into the amount of time students spend studying at different universities, Oxbridge consistently tops the table in the vast majority of cases. It has absolutely nothing to do with poor time management, we just get a ****load more work. I've written nine 3,000 word essays in eight weeks,, you'd be hard-pushed to find another History student who's written a similar amount in the same amount of time at another university, other than Oxford.
Although, of course, workload and academic rigour are not the same, but I digress.

2. I don't need to prove how passionate I am, I love my subject. The distinction I was making was between science students who are told when and where to work in the majority of cases, and people like me who simply get an essay title, reading list and an appointment a week away and are expected to hand in a completed essay. Therefore forcing yourself is the difference, because YOU decide when you go to the library, not the supervisor/lecturer/demonstrator. And the use of 'passionate' was a link to what the person I'd quoted had pointed out as a difference, and because it is supposedly one of the most important criteria for being selected to study here.
Would you care to offer another, more efficient method for teaching students practical experimental techniques? Given the number of essays I wrote during my degree where we were simply given a title and a few references I wouldn't say that it is all just completely directed study in the sciences. Of course, to actually completely anything truly original in the sciences requires a lot of knowledge and often access to costly equipment or consumables - given that science degrees already cost several times as much to teach as arts degrees one can't really blame universities for not just giving first year undergraduates £50k pieces of equipment, a few references and a key to the department.
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#70
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#70
(Original post by ChemistBoy)
Would you care to offer another, more efficient method for teaching students practical experimental techniques? Given the number of essays I wrote during my degree where we were simply given a title and a few references I wouldn't say that it is all just completely directed study in the sciences. Of course, to actually completely anything truly original in the sciences requires a lot of knowledge and often access to costly equipment or consumables - given that science degrees already cost several times as much to teach as arts degrees one can't really blame universities for not just giving first year undergraduates £50k pieces of equipment, a few references and a key to the department.

Where did I say it was a bad thing or that it needed to be changed? I was simply pointing out a key difference.
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apotoftea
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#71
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(Original post by FadeToBlackout)
You've not read the one for the uni I'm at, though And it's locked away, password protected.....
Hmmmm, I'm sat currently reading it for exams, long essays and the dissertation :p:
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