MSt Creative Writing - Cambridge Watch

RobTar
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Hi all. Has anyone here applied to the MSt Creative Writing programme at Cambridge, and if so, could you please share what stage you're currently in and what the experience has been like so far? I've just submitted my application for the 31 Jan deadline and am trying to not check my status every 30 minutes, haha! My main concern centers on how admissions is weighted. I've been told that the writing sample is their primary focus in any application, followed by the research proposal; I have a pretty non-traditional background in that I do not hold an undergraduate degree, but do have an MA with Distinction (first class) and strong work experience and academic references. Does anyone have any thoughts on how this might be viewed specifically by Cambridge's admissions team?
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alleycat393
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(Original post by rosyfed)
Hi all. Has anyone here applied to the MSt Creative Writing programme at Cambridge, and if so, could you please share what stage you're currently in and what the experience has been like so far? I've just submitted my application for the 31 Jan deadline and am trying to not check my status every 30 minutes, haha! My main concern centers on how admissions is weighted. I've been told that the writing sample is their primary focus in any application, followed by the research proposal; I have a pretty non-traditional background in that I do not hold an undergraduate degree, but do have an MA in Documentary Film with Distinction (first class). Does anyone have any thoughts on how this might be viewed by their admissions team?
It can take 6-8 weeks for decisions to be made and the deadline is only today. No one can predict how an admissions team will view your application as it will depend on a number of factors.
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shivani123
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lol how have u got an MA without a degree?!!!!
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RobTar
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(Original post by alleycat393)
It can take 6-8 weeks for decisions to be made and the deadline is only today. No one can predict how an admissions team will view your application as it will depend on a number of factors.
Thank you! I've just received an invitation to interview, so I'm feeling quite buzzed now
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RobTar
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(Original post by shivani123)
lol how have u got an MA without a degree?!!!!
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lol aren't you quite rude and a bit ignorant! UK and US universities--Cambridge, Yale, Oxford, the University of London, Royal College of Art where I received my MA--accept students all the time into Master's and PhD programmes without an undergrad. Depth of professional experience and strong references are considered as an equivalent. It's common knowledge. As an update: I've just received an invitation to interview at Cambridge for the MSt.

Bit of advice: it would be good for you to understand how these sorts of things work before you make comments trolling people who clearly know better than you. Comments like yours aren't really helpful, nor are they the point of threads like these. Plus, it just makes you look bad.
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RobTar
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As an update for anyone else in my shoes applying to the programme at Cam, I received this reply from an alum:

"You'll be judged on what you do have, not what you don't have. They are very good at non-traditional backgrounds. I was on a Master's with someone who had no prior education apart from a 196x school leaving certificate - but a lifetime of experience. You were told write, it will be the writing sample, the research proposal and then the Masters will stand you in good stead grade-wise."

Cheers.
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Wahrheit
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(Original post by rosyfed)
lol aren't you quite rude and a bit ignorant! UK and US universities--Cambridge, Yale, Oxford, the University of London, Royal College of Art where I received my MA--accept students all the time into Master's and PhD programmes without an undergrad. Depth of professional experience and strong references are considered as an equivalent. It's common knowledge. As an update: I've just received an invitation to interview at Cambridge for the MSt.

Bit of advice: it would be good for you to understand how these sorts of things work before you make comments trolling people who clearly know better than you. Comments like yours aren't really helpful, nor are they the point of threads like these. Plus, it just makes you look bad.
I've been in higher education for nearly 7 years across three universities (in the US and the UK) and I also didn't know it was possible to get an MA without doing an undergraduate either, and even you yourself said it wasn't traditional. The poster you are responding may have been trying to understand how these things work from "people who know better than them" by asking you. I assure you that it's not common knowledge, and is very rare and limited to a small number of subjects and courses.

That aside, congratulations on your invitation to interview! If you're at this stage then the admissions team most certainly haven't seen your untraditational background as an issue. When I was interviewed at Cambridge for undergrad after dropping out of another univeristy, they made it clear that my own untraditional background wouldn't hold me back or count against me in the admissions process, so my best advice to you would be that they aren't looking for justifications or defensiveness over your past and that you shouldn't worry about it too much.

Good luck!
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alleycat393
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(Original post by rosyfed)
Thank you! I've just received an invitation to interview, so I'm feeling quite buzzed now
Well done. Good luck!
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RobTar
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(Original post by Wahrheit)
I've been in higher education for nearly 7 years across three universities (in the US and the UK) and I also didn't know it was possible to get an MA without doing an undergraduate either, and even you yourself said it wasn't traditional. The poster you are responding may have been trying to understand how these things work from "people who know better than them" by asking you. I assure you that it's not common knowledge, and is very rare and limited to a small number of subjects and courses.

That aside, congratulations on your invitation to interview! If you're at this stage then the admissions team most certainly haven't seen your untraditational background as an issue. When I was interviewed at Cambridge for undergrad after dropping out of another univeristy, they made it clear that my own untraditional background wouldn't hold me back or count against me in the admissions process, so my best advice to you would be that they aren't looking for justifications or defensiveness over your past and that you shouldn't worry about it too much.

Good luck!
Hi there. It's definitely possible, and yes, much more common than people think. I don't feel in the least defensive about my background as my professional experience and achievements more than make up for an undergraduate degree; I was, more than anything, curious as to how Cambridge specifically views these things (since the original post on this thread, their programme director has made it clear to me that it is not an issue). From conversations with professors and other academics in other institutions, a Master's degree plus extensive work experience definitely help. The unis I've listed above definitely have accepted students with non-traditional backgrounds into Master's programmes and up (a good friend is in an MFA at Yale with no undergrad; another is at Oxford with no undergrad, and I am currently sitting on a PhD offer from the RCA, but am on the fence about it because of the cost and difficulty accessing funding as an international student).

Thank you for your input and best wishes! And let's face it: the poster I'm responding to definitely meant that in a mocking tone.
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Wahrheit
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(Original post by rosyfed)
Hi there. It's definitely possible, and yes, much more common than people think. I don't feel in the least defensive about my background as my professional experience and achievements more than make up for an undergraduate degree; I was, more than anything, curious as to how Cambridge specifically views these things (their programme director has since made it clear to me that it is not an issue). From conversations with professors and other academics, a Master's degree plus extensive work experience definitely help. The institutions I've listed above definitely have accepted students with non-traditional backgrounds into Master's programmes and up (am currently sitting on a PhD offer from the RCA, but am on the fence about it because of the cost and difficulty accessing funding as an international student).

Thank you for your input and best wishes! And let's face it: the poster I'm responding to definitely meant that in a mocking tone.
Perhaps they did, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt

All the best with your application and your interview!
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Klogan
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Did you hear back from Cambridge RobTar? And how was the interview?
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