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    Hi,

    I've just completed my first year in Politics BA at Portsmouth University and am on track for a convincing 1st. I understand its first year but if I were to graduate with a 1st I would like to know my chances to get into the higher universities.

    My A-Level grades are BBD which I understand are below par for a Russell group but I am not convinced they count for so much considering they should be irrelevant compared to a 1st?

    When applying do they look for internships, work experience, language skills, being part of societies, SU etc? What would attract them the most? What do they appreciate more?
    Plus any other advice I would love to hear.

    I do completely understand that I might not end up with a first and it is only Portsmouth Uni but I want to do anything possible to help myself when applying for postgrad study and future jobs.

    thanks.
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    I had these same questions, I'm second year at a super low tier uni. CCC for my A Levels but now it's looking like I'm going to get a first for my degree.

    The research I've done into this has lead me to believe that Oxbridge/Russell Group unis should not take into account the university where you studied for your undergrad. However, people have also said (and this is just in forums and the likes so I don't know if there's a valid source or not) that the workload differs massively between some of the lower tier universities and Oxbridge/Russel, therefore looking at your transcripts the unis you apply to might decline based on the assumption that you cannot cope with a more intense workload. It seems to make sense however I don't know how true or untrue this is...

    As for your A Levels it seems that a lot of applicants are not even asked for their grades, though it might differ between courses.
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    Thanks for the reply, I think for now I'll focus on just getting my first and I am going to be learning German for the next two years as part of a separate university programme. Have you found anything else russell group unis appreciate apart from grades?
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    I haven't looked so much for other Russel group but I'm assuming it's similar to Oxbridge.. A lot of people have said that they don't seem to be interested in extracurriculars or any other experience that isn't either related to the degree subject or HEAVILY contributed to the skills needed to be able to complete the grad degree, if I'm making sense?
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    (Original post by lucythorp)
    I haven't looked so much for other Russel group but I'm assuming it's similar to Oxbridge.. A lot of people have said that they don't seem to be interested in extracurriculars or any other experience that isn't either related to the degree subject or HEAVILY contributed to the skills needed to be able to complete the grad degree, if I'm making sense?
    Yes makes complete sense, thanks
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    Your extra-curricular activities could hold a big chunk in your acceptance . It depicts your interests outside of your field of studies. A job/internship depicts if you have attempted to undertake any experience in your current field of studies. A-Levels won't matter much when you apply for a postgrad , it just shows your educational history ; if you've been a consistently strong student. I wouldn't worry a lot.
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    (Original post by Jmlw123)
    Hi,

    I've just completed my first year in Politics BA at Portsmouth University and am on track for a convincing 1st. I understand its first year but if I were to graduate with a 1st I would like to know my chances to get into the higher universities.

    My A-Level grades are BBD which I understand are below par for a Russell group but I am not convinced they count for so much considering they should be irrelevant compared to a 1st?

    When applying do they look for internships, work experience, language skills, being part of societies, SU etc? What would attract them the most? What do they appreciate more?
    Plus any other advice I would love to hear.

    I do completely understand that I might not end up with a first and it is only Portsmouth Uni but I want to do anything possible to help myself when applying for postgrad study and future jobs.

    thanks.
    Likely zero, every university has there own standards for a first year that then builds upon subsequent years, developing your writing style and study skills in the vein of that specific university....for example my university doesnt allow transfers into 2nd year...and many others dont and if they do they would only take top from top uni.

    Postgrad may be a totally differing ballgame, i would get a first overall and go that route. You may be able to get into a middling Russell group, but Portsmouth is truly considered to be a poor uni even for an ex poly technic.
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    (Original post by Realitysreflexx)
    Likely zero, every university has there own standards for a first year that then builds upon subsequent years, developing your writing style and study skills in the vein of that specific university....for example my university doesnt allow transfers into 2nd year...and many others dont and if they do they would only take top from top uni.

    Postgrad may be a totally differing ballgame, i would get a first overall and go that route. You may be able to get into a middling Russell group, but Portsmouth is truly considered to be a poor uni even for an ex poly technic.
    I wasn't asking to transfer at all, I was only asking about applying for a postgrad course (likely a normal MA), though I know too well myself Portsmouth isn't held in the highest esteem could you please expand upon that, is that due to its reputation or something else..
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    (Original post by Jmlw123)
    I wasn't asking to transfer at all, I was only asking about applying for a postgrad course (likely a normal MA), though I know too well myself Portsmouth isn't held in the highest esteem could you please expand upon that, is that due to its reputation or something else..
    Its generally not elitely regarded and when i say middling Russell group is possible, i consider middling Russell groups to be Nottingham (where i attend) Bristol, Warwick *the top middling* Sheffield, etc so plently of respected unis, but im not sure if it would be enough for say oxbridge or LSE....

    But you never know with university admissions, i was rejected by Leicester and accepted by Nottingham???? It can be really random lol.
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    (Original post by Realitysreflexx)
    Its generally not elitely regarded and when i say middling Russell group is possible, i consider middling Russell groups to be Nottingham (where i attend) Bristol, Warwick *the top middling* Sheffield, etc so plently of respected unis, but im not sure if it would be enough for say oxbridge or LSE....

    But you never know with university admissions, i was rejected by Leicester and accepted by Nottingham???? It can be really random lol.
    Thanks for the reply, I really put oxbridge in the title to try and get peoples attention so i could get a reply! If anything the very top ones are a pipe dream but the ones as you mentioned I would love to go to, I had a similar experience when applying for unis, i was accepted by sussex yet rejected by leicester, sadly my D grade in Law cost me my place at sussex, Bristol/Birmingham are the type of unis I would like to go to.
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    (Original post by Jmlw123)
    Thanks for the reply, I really put oxbridge in the title to try and get peoples attention so i could get a reply! If anything the very top ones are a pipe dream but the ones as you mentioned I would love to go to, I had a similar experience when applying for unis, i was accepted by sussex yet rejected by leicester, sadly my D grade in Law cost me my place at sussex, Bristol/Birmingham are the type of unis I would like to go to.
    So odd, theres literally nothing mystical about Leicester!?!?!?!?!
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    (Original post by Jmlw123)
    Hi,

    I've just completed my first year in Politics BA at Portsmouth University and am on track for a convincing 1st. I understand its first year but if I were to graduate with a 1st I would like to know my chances to get into the higher universities.

    .
    (Original post by lucythorp)
    I had these same questions, .
    For Postgrad, Uni's won't be interested in A levels or extra-curricular activities, unless they are course related. You need a strong academic record at undergrad (67% or above is the usual baseline), a strong research proposal (if required for the course), a strong personal statement, good references, and the final and perhaps hardest part - the funding.
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    (Original post by abhinair3004)
    Your extra-curricular activities could hold a big chunk in your acceptance . It depicts your interests outside of your field of studies.
    What are you basing that assertion on?
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    (Original post by Jmlw123)
    Hi,

    I've just completed my first year in Politics BA at Portsmouth University and am on track for a convincing 1st. I understand its first year but if I were to graduate with a 1st I would like to know my chances to get into the higher universities.

    My A-Level grades are BBD which I understand are below par for a Russell group but I am not convinced they count for so much considering they should be irrelevant compared to a 1st?

    When applying do they look for internships, work experience, language skills, being part of societies, SU etc? What would attract them the most? What do they appreciate more?
    Plus any other advice I would love to hear.

    I do completely understand that I might not end up with a first and it is only Portsmouth Uni but I want to do anything possible to help myself when applying for postgrad study and future jobs.

    thanks.
    Good luck with everything, but as ive been told, Oxbridge and Russell Groups have a fast paced learning environment and it is much more challenging than attending, say, UEL. They will look at your A Levels and possibly GCSEs for Oxbridge. It is very important that you demonstrate you have the ability to even keep up at Oxbridge/ Russell, let alone achieve a top grade. Hope this helps 😀 don’t let me put you off, though. Self confidence is important and if you want something you should try to go get it! You will only have one chance after all! 😎
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    (Original post by RogerOxon)
    What are you basing that assertion on?
    It's not an assertion as such , it differs from uni to uni. The way I put it was wrong , I guess. I just meant to say that extra -curricular activities are also taken into importance
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    (Original post by abhinair3004)
    It's not an assertion as such , it differs from uni to uni. The way I put it was wrong , I guess. I just meant to say that extra -curricular activities are also taken into importance
    Ones that are not relevant to the subject are useless for Oxbridge.
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    I'm in the same boat, hoping my undergraduate university won’t be a hindrance to my oxbridge postgraduate application for law.

    Extracurriculars are important, source: ALL my oxbridge/ivy league friends and a post Cambridge lecturer. Yes, irrelevant extracurriculars are less important, but if it makes you happy then go for it! It’s not going to harm an application, unless it’s going to distract you from your studies then I would re-evaluate.

    Relevant extracurriculars are vital. Keep in mind nearly ALL applicants are going to have the grades or predicted grades. I’m doing law so it’s a first class honours. Extracurriculars differentiates someone from the hundreds of applications. Of course it is not the only factor, but it is still a significant factor regardless. Taking the perspective of the admissions team and ask yourself; ‘what makes them want to accept me from a sea of first class honours with perfect A-levels from LSE?’ Your extracurriculars should form part of that answer. Furthermore, it also helps in terms of job application. I’m not sure what profession you are hoping to enter, but for law I know I need all the help I can get to make my CV stand out.

    As for your current university, it is really hard to comment. ‘Technically’ undergraduate institutions don’t matter, and it ‘shouldn’t matter’. Plenty of people including Cambridge themselves stated that it doesn’t matter. However, like you, I still can't help but feel a little uneasy. I recommend looking at this link: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque..._passthrough=1 it's the statistics for Cambridge postgraduate applicant profile which includes the undergraduate institutions they attended. I’ve always believed in stats and quantitative data. However just a side note, there are qualitative factors influencing the numbers as well e.g: People from lower tier schools might be put off applying which might explain the lack of admissions.

    Anyways, that’s all the information I’ve gathered from my research. Best of luck to the both of us!
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    (Original post by Jmlw123)
    I do completely understand that I might not end up with a first and it is only Portsmouth Uni but I want to do anything possible to help myself when applying for postgrad study and future jobs.
    Your undergrad university makes little difference when applying for a masters, or for jobs.

    For example, there are MPhil students at Cambridge from Portsmouth University.

    (Original post by Realitysreflexx)
    Portsmouth is truly considered to be a poor uni even for an ex poly technic.
    Portsmouth has a Gold TEF. Just like Nottingham. And it's firmly mid-table (if rankings matter...) for Politics, above some RGs.
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    (Original post by jaychambers0808)
    Good luck with everything, but as ive been told, Oxbridge and Russell Groups have a fast paced learning environment and it is much more challenging than attending, say, UEL. They will look at your A Levels and possibly GCSEs for Oxbridge.
    This is not true for my subject (law) and I suspect for other subjects too. Neither Oxford nor Cambridge ask about qualifications below undergrad level as part of their standard application form and it's up to the candidate whether or not to include them on their CV (I didn't and received offers from both)
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    (Original post by 236975879)
    This is categorically untrue for my subject (law) and I suspect for other subjects too. Neither Oxford nor Cambridge ask about qualifications below undergrad level as part of their standard application form and it's up to the candidate whether or not to include them on their CV (I didn't and received offers from both)
    Hi. Thanks for that advice. I assume you are at Cambridge / Oxford then? I was nearly stating that, A Level grades will be looked at if they didn’t discuss this with you, then they probably did with other fellows / tutors etc.
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