Rejected by Edinburgh for MSc AI even though I exceeded minimum grade requirement? Watch

posthumus
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Hello all,

Today I am extremely upset as I have been rejected by University of Edinburgh for MSc Artificial Intelligence.

I was pretty confident that I was appropriate enough for this course, my background:
- First Class Honours in BSc Computer Science
From a reputable University that at times in recent years has been above Edinburgh in QS world rankings (top 20)
- 2 years Software Engineering experience
- A lot of extra-curriculum activities showing interest in AI such as; classes, events and personal projects.

The reason I have been given is that "because your final degree classification, or the grades you have achieved so far, do not meet the necessary standard for entry." which does not make sense as I received a First Class Honours and their requirement is a 2:1. In fact they have accepted people from many other degrees too with a 2:1.

I have noted on my application page that my qualification is displayed as "Grade:1 , Result: Pass".. I had applied very close to when they opened for applications and they had also made huge changes to the application system while I was applying. Now I can see that if you apply you have the field of "Overall Class/Grade" with options to select the likes of "First Class (1st)" as well as "Pass".

Now I am wondering how do I go about this? Because my future is now very uncertain. Should I email them and contest or at least ask for specific feedback on my application (which I definitely deserve) ??

I assume that the "Programme director" would be the best person to email and is also the admissions tutor (his email is on my application portal).

Please any views/guidance would be great in this time of great need :p:(

Thanks in advance.
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alleycat393
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(Original post by posthumus)
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Yes email or even ring him to explain. Make sure you're polite but have all your facts.
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Duncan2012
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(Original post by posthumus)
my qualification is displayed as "Grade:1 , Result: Pass"..
That'll be the problem. A 'Pass' at UG is not good. Phone/email with the information.
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President Snow
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Definitely phone them up and then later put in writing everything you have said here. You should without a shadow of a doubt contest this and get them to review the situation - but do so politely and respectfully, they'll help more if they like you enough to want to help.

Good luck!
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christouandr
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My qualification is also displayed as "Result: Pass" but it is currently in progress and I expect First. Do you think there is a problem for me too? Not received an answer yet.
Last edited by christouandr; 4 weeks ago
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by posthumus)
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Just go back and explain that as you got a first, their feedback doesn't make sense, that you think you made an error on the application form and can they reconsider your application.
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posthumus
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(Original post by christouandr)
My qualification is also displayed as "Result: Pass" but it is currently in progress and I expect First. Do you think there is a problem for me too? Not received an answer yet.
Did you apply to MSc Artificial Intelligence as well?

I have brought this up with admissions and will get back to you on here if they confirm this is an issue.
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Tastyburger4
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(Original post by posthumus)
Did you apply to MSc Artificial Intelligence as well?

I have brought this up with admissions and will get back to you on here if they confirm this is an issue.
Hi, I just applied to the MSc in AI.

I already graduated with a 1st and my application also shows:
Grade:1 / Result: Pass

Good that you are checking this out but to be honest I think there is a misunderstanding here.

The "Grade" is split between 1,2:1,2:2 etc... the fact that you have grade 1 shows it's a first.

The result is pass or fail. not pass as in you just got a pass on the course and nothing higher.
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posthumus
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(Original post by Tastyburger4)
Hi, I just applied to the MSc in AI.

I already graduated with a 1st and my application also shows:
Grade:1 / Result: Pass

Good that you are checking this out but to be honest I think there is a misunderstanding here.

The "Grade" is split between 1,2:1,2:2 etc... the fact that you have grade 1 shows it's a first.

The result is pass or fail. not pass as in you just got a pass on the course and nothing higher.
(Original post by christouandr)
My qualification is also displayed as "Result: Pass" but it is currently in progress and I expect First. Do you think there is a problem for me too? Not received an answer yet.
Nothing wrong with the system.

The reason given to me was that I had some modules in the first year where I achieved under a 2:1.

They also said that my Computer Science course did not contain any "real" mathematics modules, totalling up to 60 credits. This suggests that the majority of Computer Science students will not be considered (My course contained mathematics throughout; optimisation, logic, linear algebra etc), unless it's a combined CS & Math degree.

It is also important to point out that the people who made this decision are "Recruitment officers" and not academics from the department itself, so I really do question whether they can scrutinise my transcript like this. The director himself is in no way involved with the admissions process.
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mimibearxo
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(Original post by posthumus)
Nothing wrong with the system.

The reason given to me was that I had some modules in the first year where I achieved under a 2:1.

They also said that my Computer Science course did not contain any "real" mathematics modules, totalling up to 60 credits. This suggests that the majority of Computer Science students will not be considered (My course contained mathematics throughout; optimisation, logic, linear algebra etc), unless it's a combined CS & Math degree.

It is also important to point out that the people who made this decision are "Recruitment officers" and not academics from the department itself, so I really do question whether they can scrutinise my transcript like this. The director himself is in no way involved with the admissions process.
Were these modules wherein you got sub 2:1 core modules related to your degree? I'm not sure how it works in the UK but in Canada we are able to take quite a lot of electives that are completely unrelated to our major (i.e. I took courses in theater, genetics, asian folklore, english literature, etc. even though I majored in psychology); however, from what I hear, the UK system is very different and much more specialized.
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Tastyburger4
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(Original post by posthumus)
Nothing wrong with the system.

The reason given to me was that I had some modules in the first year where I achieved under a 2:1.

They also said that my Computer Science course did not contain any "real" mathematics modules, totalling up to 60 credits. This suggests that the majority of Computer Science students will not be considered (My course contained mathematics throughout; optimisation, logic, linear algebra etc), unless it's a combined CS & Math degree.

It is also important to point out that the people who made this decision are "Recruitment officers" and not academics from the department itself, so I really do question whether they can scrutinise my transcript like this. The director himself is in no way involved with the admissions process.
Damn. Ok, then your situation sounds exactly like mine, except I only just applied and they have not yet reveiwed the application.

Might I ask, where you went to university? And also how long it took for them to give you a reply since the time you applied?

I also have a CS degree which did not have dedicated courses on "Linear Algebra" etc, but I tried to get a letter and syllabus from my university showing that the maths modules for CS that we had to take contained the required courses. But I really found it hard to collect a total of 60 credits in maths, it just is not part of the typical CS degree, which I found quite frustrating to be quite honest, a CS course is peppered through with maths etc, it should suffice.
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Tastyburger4
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(Original post by mimibearxo)
Were these modules wherein you got sub 2:1 core modules related to your degree? I'm not sure how it works in the UK but in Canada we are able to take quite a lot of electives that are completely unrelated to our major (i.e. I took courses in theater, genetics, asian folklore, english literature, etc. even though I majored in psychology); however, from what I hear, the UK system is very different and much more specialized.
this is a general characteristic with the European system. In Europe you start specialising in your last days of secondary school, then in High School and by the time you apply for university you would have had to meet the entry requirements of the courses you want. E.g. Pure Mathematics is a requirement for a CS undergrad. This leads to highly highly specialised academics, and makes Europe a good place for research but does not quite do enough to give each individual a broader view of other subjects, indeed the lackof innovation in comparison to the US could be attributed to the lack of people moving between disciplines thus transferring ideas.

In the US, I am aware that they take a different view, you go in, chose a major and then take anything else you like to allow you to explore your academic tastes so to speak.
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Tastyburger4
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(Original post by posthumus)
Nothing wrong with the system.

The reason given to me was that I had some modules in the first year where I achieved under a 2:1.

They also said that my Computer Science course did not contain any "real" mathematics modules, totalling up to 60 credits. This suggests that the majority of Computer Science students will not be considered (My course contained mathematics throughout; optimisation, logic, linear algebra etc), unless it's a combined CS & Math degree.

It is also important to point out that the people who made this decision are "Recruitment officers" and not academics from the department itself, so I really do question whether they can scrutinise my transcript like this. The director himself is in no way involved with the admissions process.
Also, did you apply anywhere else? I appled to UCL Machine Learning and Oxbridge
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President Snow
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(Original post by posthumus)
Nothing wrong with the system.

The reason given to me was that I had some modules in the first year where I achieved under a 2:1.

They also said that my Computer Science course did not contain any "real" mathematics modules, totalling up to 60 credits. This suggests that the majority of Computer Science students will not be considered (My course contained mathematics throughout; optimisation, logic, linear algebra etc), unless it's a combined CS & Math degree.

It is also important to point out that the people who made this decision are "Recruitment officers" and not academics from the department itself, so I really do question whether they can scrutinise my transcript like this. The director himself is in no way involved with the admissions process.
This is awful.

I'll be honest, I do not feel that appealing further is really going to change the outcome here. I would still advise you to. Take it over the heads of the tecruitrecr officers, and email the equivalent of director / head of department / Pro Vice Chancellor of Postgraduates or someone like that (maybe even two people).

Say that you accept the decision and know that there's probably nothing which can be done now to change it, but that you really think their recruitment policies are not working.

Lay out a clear argument that, if a first year isn't counted by your university, it should be possible to show significant improvement in later years. That there is enough mathematics content in a computer science degree, or that the website should make it very clear that only mathematics undergrads will be accepted - link to the cutrcur website requirements - etc. etc

As I say I dindo think it will change the outcome now, but you should be raising hell over poorly documented requirements or badly implemented policies.
Last edited by President Snow; 3 weeks ago
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by posthumus)

It is also important to point out that the people who made this decision are "Recruitment officers" and not academics from the department itself, so I really do question whether they can scrutinise my transcript like this. The director himself is in no way involved with the admissions process.
This is entirely standard, especially for very high volume courses. There is simply no chance that academics have the time to scrutinise every application. The teams that are hired undergo plenty of training, and there is usually a double checking process. They tend to specialise in a narrow band of specific degree programmes. It's often the same people hired year after year. There are meetings and training sessions beforehand and checks and balances through the process and any really marginal cases usually are sent to the departments.

I'm not sure why a post-doc or junior lecturer might be better at selecting students that a PhD holder who had made a career in university admissions.
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