Official Cambridge 2020 Postgraduate Applicants Thread

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Exceptional
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The 2019 thread was initiated around this time last year, so let's get the 2020 one up and running! Penultimate/final year exams are looming, and many of us are considering postgraduate courses.

Ice breaker information to get the ball rolling:

- Current University:
- Achieved (Expected) Grade:
- Prospective Course:
- Prospective College:
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities:

Good luck everyone!
Last edited by Exceptional; 1 year ago
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Hjortlund
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Looks a bit dead in here, but I guess it is kind of early seeing as applications will open in a while.. Anyways, look forward to chatting with other prospective cambridge postgrads. Also, if you're appyling from overseas, hmu! I'm from Copenhagen, so feel like a fish out of water with regards to UK post grad applications.

- Current University: University of Copenhagen, Niels Bohr Institute
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: 10.2 (Expected 10.7 at application deadline)
- Prospective Course: MAST in Applied Mathematics
- Prospective College: Christ's
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: I do research in gravitational wave physics in my free time. In addition to this, I also am active in a bunch of clubs at the physics department, such as our movie club, physics revue, freshmen tutors etc. Otherwise I skateboard and dance lindy hop in my free time.
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Exceptional
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(Original post by Hjortlund)
Looks a bit dead in here, but I guess it is kind of early seeing as applications will open in a while.. Anyways, look forward to chatting with other prospective cambridge postgrads. Also, if you're appyling from overseas, hmu! I'm from Copenhagen, so feel like a fish out of water with regards to UK post grad applications.

- Current University: University of Copenhagen, Niels Bohr Institute
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: 10.2 (Expected 10.7 at application deadline)
- Prospective Course: MAST in Applied Mathematics
- Prospective College: Christ's
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: I do research in gravitational wave physics in my free time. In addition to this, I also am active in a bunch of clubs at the physics department, such as our movie club, physics revue, freshmen tutors etc. Otherwise I skateboard and dance lindy hop in my free time.
Haha yes, this thread will be more active over the next few months I'm sure
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chungls123
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(Original post by Hjortlund)
Looks a bit dead in here, but I guess it is kind of early seeing as applications will open in a while.. Anyways, look forward to chatting with other prospective cambridge postgrads. Also, if you're appyling from overseas, hmu! I'm from Copenhagen, so feel like a fish out of water with regards to UK post grad applications.

- Current University: University of Copenhagen, Niels Bohr Institute
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: 10.2 (Expected 10.7 at application deadline)
- Prospective Course: MAST in Applied Mathematics
- Prospective College: Christ's
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: I do research in gravitational wave physics in my free time. In addition to this, I also am active in a bunch of clubs at the physics department, such as our movie club, physics revue, freshmen tutors etc. Otherwise I skateboard and dance lindy hop in my free time.
Hello Hjortlund,
We are applying for the same course and I just start learning to play skateboard (I broke my ankle haha)! However, I know nothing about gravitational waves :P

- Current University: UCL (Bsc mathematics and physics)
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: 86% (year 1) 92% (year 2)
- Prospective Course: MAST applied mathematics (theoretical physics stream)
- Prospective College: Any
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: Summer project on the exchange of light particles.

Submitted: 27/10/2019
Review by department: 28/10/2019
Degree committee: 18/2/2020
GAO: 25/2/2020
Conditional offer: 3/3/2020

Thoughts: I have only one summer project with no publication. Almost empty CV and messed up one of my reference. Hard work and grades are most important.
Last edited by chungls123; 4 months ago
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Livontheedge
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Hey guys!

Don't know anything about physics but here is my rundown
- Current University: Sewanee (liberal arts college in the US)
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: 3.95/4.00 (hopefully graduating summa *** laude with honors!)
- Prospective Course: MPhil Development studies
- Prospective College: No major preference!
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: I am currently doing research on the affirmative action bill in Ghana! I also did a semester abroad here as well as an internship last year! I'm a resident of the Women's Centre at my university -- we work to reduce sexual harassment on campus and provide an open and safe space for students to come to at any time!
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Hjortlund
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(Original post by chungls123)
Hello Hjortlund,
We are applying for the same course and I just start learning to play skateboard (I broke my ankle haha)! However, I know nothing about gravitational waves :P

- Current University: UCL (Bsc mathematics and physics)
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: 86% (year 1) 92% (year 2)
- Prospective Course: MAST applied mathematics (theoretical physics stream)
- Prospective College: Any
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: Summer project on the exchange of light particles. I love spending my free time with my family and friends. I also like making piano cover for anime/game musics.
Awesome that you're applying for the same course!

Oh damn, did you break your ankle while skateboarding? Gotta be careful haha! Worst I've done is dislocate my shoulder, hurts like hell.
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Canisse
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Hello!

- Current University: Durham University
- Expected Grade: First
- Prospective Course: MPhil in Criminological Research
- Prospective College: Peterhouse - Corpus Christi
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: Various volunteer activities. Enthusiastic outdoor adventurer, backpacker, wilderness survival trekker - always in the company of my English Setter.

Good luck to you all!

Timeline:
Application submitted: 31 December
Last reference submitted: 6 January
Under review by department: 21 January
Under review by degree committee: 23 January
Awaiting Approval by GAO: 4 February
Conditional Offer Made: 6 February
Accepted at Peterhouse: 11 February
Last edited by Canisse; 4 months ago
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Edminzodo
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- Current University: University of Liverpool
- Achieved Grade: 1st Class
- Prospective Course: MPhil Egyptology
- Prospective College: Christ's
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: Taking a year out to intern at a university, have been involved with a number of societies, had 2 research internships, 3 relevant work experience placements, won a number of prizes, and have some Egyptological public speaking experience, too.
Last edited by Edminzodo; 11 months ago
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Hjortlund
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So I just recieved grades for my Statistical Physics course, and received a 02, the lowest passing grade, which has seriously tanked my grade point average. If I were to apply this year, I would at best be able to bring my average up to 10.1, with Cambridges minimum being an average of 10. The professor for the Statistical Physics course has recently been removed from his lecturing position, and this was his last year teaching this course, due to the quality of his lectures and harshness in grading. Could it perhaps help my application if one of my referees mentioned this?

I'm seriously considering just applying in 2021 so I have an actual chance of getting in..
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Diplomatic
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- Current University: a good RG university
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: First
- Prospective Course: MPhil in Development Studies
- Prospective College: Peterhouse
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: two relevant internships, taught in a developing country, won a few academic prizes, won an international essay competition related to the Sustainable Development Goals, plus some other bits and pieces.


Good luck everyone!

Timeline:

Application submitted: 04-Sep
Under review by dept: 03-Oct
Last edited by Diplomatic; 9 months ago
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SonicDiouf
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- Current University: A Russell Group uni in the north.
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: First.
- Prospective Course: Sociology MPhil
- Prospective College: Darwin looks nice, not too fussed though.
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: I was on University Challenge.

best of luck guys
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nerd_astroGuy
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- Current University: One of the Russel Unis
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: First
- Prospective Course: PhD Astrophysics
- Prospective College: no preference
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: 2 relevant internships, on-going year long project on galaxies, love cooking, teaching and console gaming.
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rb2666
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- Current University: A Top 20 non-Russel university
- Expected Grade: First
- Prospective Course: MPhil in European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures (ELAC)
- Prospective College: Clare or Jesus, haven't really digged into it yet
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: Part of the Spanish society's committee, involved with the translation center at my university, and fundraising for a charity working in a Latin American country. I'm also currently trying to learn Portuguese.


I'm considering applying after my Autumn grades are back this Christmas, will I be able to include them in my application, or am I just better off applying in September? I'll be partaking in a module that pretty much aligns with my prospective course during this fall, so I thought it'd be nice to send my summative for it as my work sample.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by rb2666)
- Current University: A Top 20 non-Russel university
- Expected Grade: First
- Prospective Course: MPhil in European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures (ELAC)
- Prospective College: Clare or Jesus, haven't really digged into it yet
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: Part of the Spanish society's committee, involved with the translation center at my university, and fundraising for a charity working in a Latin American country. I'm also currently trying to learn Portuguese.


I'm considering applying after my Autumn grades are back this Christmas, will I be able to include them in my application, or am I just better off applying in September? I'll be partaking in a module that pretty much aligns with my prospective course during this fall, so I thought it'd be nice to send my summative for it as my work sample.
Best time to apply is Jan or Feb. By that time you can get a reference with some substance behind it, you've got more idea about your preferences in specialisation, and you are still well before the main funding deadlines. Rushing in before Christmas serves no real purpose.
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rb2666
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Best time to apply is Jan or Feb. By that time you can get a reference with some substance behind it, you've got more idea about your preferences in specialisation, and you are still well before the main funding deadlines. Rushing in before Christmas serves no real purpose.
Thanks for the advice!
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1998Anonymous
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- Current University: Sussex
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: currently at a 67 due to extenuating circumstances, but I'm predicted a 1st
- Prospective Course: MPhil in Modern and Contemporary Literature
- Prospective College: no preference
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: I am the editor in chief of a local news website and I write for a few other websites too. I also do freelance photography (my photos have appeared in most of the national papers!) as a side business and I teach English to European and Chinese students. I'm also a student rep for my course and regularly attend talks in my department, and was previously promised a JRA scheme (I hope to try again next summer when my department has funding) and work experience at the Telegraph but this has fallen through sadly. I'm intending to do as much relevant work experience as I can over the next year. I also am in the process of setting up a mental health campaign and a creative arts and literary zine.


Not sure if this will be enough, but Dr Sarah Dillon specialises in exactly what my research proposal focuses on - it would be a dream to have her supervise me. I'm a bit scared that I'm not clever enough - if anyone has any tips or things I can do to help make my application stronger/give me more experience in my field please let me know!
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elephantblue
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Hi all !

- Current University: Leicester
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: Achieved 1st (averaged 78)
- Prospective Course: MPhil Sociology of Marginality and Exclusion
- Prospective College: Unsure
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: Fluent in Gujarati, ran a student society for two years, alongside working part-time and volunteering with a homeless charity.

I graduated this year, as I decided it would be a good thing to take a year out before applying for 2020. Super nervous I won't get in, or get the funding any advice/info would be so appreciated!
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student234567
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- Current University: Oxford, doing PPE
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: got a first in first year, no second year exams. Hoping for a first overall
- Prospective Course: MPhil Philosophy
- Prospective College: haven't researched it yet really and will need to visit to find out more but liking the look of Trinity Hall or Jesus!
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: ehhh my extracurricular things are much less impressive than anything so far mentioned on here. - also fun fact I really need to get myself to properly start on grad applications, have been procrastinating it for a while. also finding it hard to find referees - does anyone know whether they might accept PhD students as referees?
Last edited by student234567; 11 months ago
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TheUKAmerican
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Current University: Huddersfield - BA Linguistics/Cambridge ICE - Advanced Diploma (Corpus Linguistics/Statistics)

Achieved:
Huddersfield:
1st year - an average grade of 69 without any weighting of modules applied.
2nd year - 68, officially. But they cut the worst module of each year so it’s technically a mean grade of 66 (Had some issues with family back home at the time of the respective summative.) That being said, the graduate office probably has their own scoring mechanisms so I’m not sure how they go about grading.

3rd year - Probably going to be somewhere 67 through 75. I suspect I’ll end up with a first for the year and ergo a first overall, however.

Cambridge:
1st year - somewhere between 68 and 70 (waiting on one more assignment!)
2nd year - I've got a really helpful supervisor for my dissertation, and I've got a really unique dissertation topic, so I'm aiming for a 70.

Prospective Course: Mphil in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics/Mphil in Second Language Education/Mst in Healthcare Data (Just depends on what accepts me/where my research and career interests go after I finish my two qualifications)

Prospective College: Based on my experiences as a part timer this last year, I really like the vibe at John's and Selwyn in particular. But King's is appealing too.

Fun Fact/Extracurricular Activities -
- Certificate in Methodology and Statistics of Data Science completed at Utrecht University over the summer (I'm interested in going into either corpus or computational linguistics) These were master's level courses so I've technically got postgraduate ECTSs now. Hope this shows I can study at the master's level.
- Youngest native speaker of Missouri French, interested in applying corpus based statistical methods to the dialect from both a documentation perspective, and an education perspective.
- Research assistant at Huddersfield
- Wrote the first textbook of Missouri French, expecting publication soon!
- Doing two intensive summer sessions learning Arabic in Egypt over the next two years for fun. (Not super relevant to my application.)
- Current Press Officer for the Cambridge Uni Hip-Hop Society ! (Come along to our shows, they're great fun!)


Only thing which really bothers me right now is that technical 66 for second year on my CV. The rest of my application CVs/research wise should be solid, and I know I can get a high 2:1 minimum again for third year. But on the other hand, being the youngest speaker of a dying language is probably a very strong point on my application.
Last edited by TheUKAmerican; 10 months ago
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averyblacksheep
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We're applying for the same course haha!I'm from India, expecting about 3.75 on 4 GPA. I'm a student rep for my course too and I'm actively involved in translation, I've had some translation work published and I'm working on my first full length draft!
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