bjt1882
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Hi, I'm looking to apply to Durham for History.

I got 5 A*s, 3 As and 1 B (English Language) - or equivalent - at GCSE.

For A Level I'm doing Maths, Politics and History, and I'm predicted A*A*A*. I also got an A in Maths at AS level.

I've heard that Durham puts a lot of emphasis on GCSEs, and that history has become super competitive at Durham. My personal statement is alright (I think), but I fear that I haven't put enough extra-curricular stuff in - do Durham really care about that or should I just focus on the academic stuff? I'm also applying to Cambridge, so I'm not sure how much to include. I've only written about the politics society that I go to at college at the moment.

Thanks
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bjt1882
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2childmum
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Have you looked here -https://www.dur.ac.uk/study/ug/apply/ucas/personalstatement/

Durham will also accept an alternative personal statement -https://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/study/Writeaneffectivepersonalstatement.pdf Oxbridge tend to want a PS focused almost exlusively on academics, whereas Durham like to see something a bit broader, so this gives you the chance to write something aimed specifically at Durham.
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A02ft1
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(Original post by 2childmum)
Have you looked here -https://www.dur.ac.uk/study/ug/apply/ucas/personalstatement/

Durham will also accept an alternative personal statement -https://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/study/Writeaneffectivepersonalstatement.pdf Oxbridge tend to want a PS focused almost exlusively on academics, whereas Durham like to see something a bit broader, so this gives you the chance to write something aimed specifically at Durham.
What do you mean by “Durham will also accept an alternative personal statement”? As far as I remember, you only submit one PS for all your applications.

If this is still the case, bjt1882, write your PS >95% on your academics for Cambridge. Durham will know that you’re applying to Oxbridge based on your application date, most Durham students were Oxbridge hopefuls anyway. Plus even if an Oxbridge PS should be >95% on academics, a Durham one should be >90%.

While your GCSEs are on the weaker side, your A-levels are very strong — I’d actually suggest applying to one of the more competitive Durham colleges like University.
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2childmum
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If you scroll down in the link I posted there are two more links to documets re PS. The first one -https://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/study/Writeaneffectivepersonalstatement.pdf

includes a section about a suplementary PS which Durham will accept instead of the one on the UCA form
Cambridge also has a suppelementary form which you can fill in alongs the PS on the UCAS form, but it is really aimed at students applying for unusual courses there which aren't offered anywhere else,

Durham colleges are now allocated by computer ballot, so although University college is very competative, your predicted grades contribute nothing towards your college application - they are randomly allocated so that there is a equal mix of subjects at all the colleges
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A02ft1
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(Original post by 2childmum)
If you scroll down in the link I posted there are two more links to documets re PS. The first one -https://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/study/Writeaneffectivepersonalstatement.pdf

includes a section about a suplementary PS which Durham will accept instead of the one on the UCA form
Cambridge also has a suppelementary form which you can fill in alongs the PS on the UCAS form, but it is really aimed at students applying for unusual courses there which aren't offered anywhere else,

Durham colleges are now allocated by computer ballot, so although University college is very competative, your predicted grades contribute nothing towards your college application - they are randomly allocated so that there is a equal mix of subjects at all the colleges
Oh yeah that’s true about the colleges. They changed the system last year or the year before. Instead of the colleges choosing their students, students will now be put in a ballot for the more popular colleges.

Personally I think it’s a terrible idea and will erode the characteristics that make each of the Durham colleges unique.... University is the smart one, Hatfield the rah one, Chads the nice one, John’s the Christian one, Cuth’s the edgy one. But I guess all these characteristics will become “was” rather than “is” now. Sad.
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2childmum
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I was chatting to the Master at John's a couple of years ago and he said this exact some thing. The colleges are losing their character a bit now they don't interview, but they are still different to each other. You do still put your choice of college down, and quite a number do get their first choice (apart from University and I think Josephine Butler, as it's self - catered and so popular for that reason).
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A02ft1
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(Original post by 2childmum)
I was chatting to the Master at John's a couple of years ago and he said this exact some thing. The colleges are losing their character a bit now they don't interview, but they are still different to each other. You do still put your choice of college down, and quite a number do get their first choice (apart from University and I think Josephine Butler, as it's self - catered and so popular for that reason).
Yes, I guess the only factor that will help the colleges keep their character now will be student self-selection. I always understood that the hardest colleges to get into -- in terms of applicants to beds -- were University, Chads, then John's, mainly because the latter two are so small. I'm sure the order is not the same for total applications, but that was the case for the ratios.

When I was at Durham they still had the annual academic ranking of the colleges, I guess such a ranking is quite pointless now.
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