Official Cambridge 2020 Postgraduate Applicants Thread

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TheUKAmerican
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#61
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#61
(Original post by sealguy2)
I'm looking through the Cambridge postgraduate course directory. There is literally very few courses that interest me - one or two at a push. I'm not sure how to put a research proposal together for a course that only slightly interests me. There is a course which I am interested in, but it's at Edinburgh university. I would prefer Cambridge for reputation reasons and closeness to home. I don't know what to do. I find it hard to write about something I have little interest in. What is the point? I wish Cambridge postgraduate courses were more interesting and diverse. Most courses require undergraduate modules and other courses a high 1st. I'm looking for a less competitive, 'generalist' course which is easy to get on. Any ideas?
If you’re not passionate about the subject you want to study you’re going to hate Cambridge. The 8 week terms are too packed and pressure filled for you to handle it on TOP of being expected to do research.
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rb2666
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#62
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#62
(Original post by sealguy2)
I'm looking through the Cambridge postgraduate course directory. There is literally very few courses that interest me - one or two at a push. I'm not sure how to put a research proposal together for a course that only slightly interests me. There is a course which I am interested in, but it's at Edinburgh university. I would prefer Cambridge for reputation reasons and closeness to home. I don't know what to do. I find it hard to write about something I have little interest in. What is the point? I wish Cambridge postgraduate courses were more interesting and diverse. Most courses require undergraduate modules and other courses a high 1st. I'm looking for a less competitive, 'generalist' course which is easy to get on. Any ideas?
Apply to Edinburgh University then. Only reason one should apply to do a postgraduate in any university is because they are passionate about the subject and feel like they can truly contribute to it. As you said, you'll probably find it hard to write about a subject you have little interest in and I believe that said lack of interest will show in your application's proposal/sample work. With Cambridge remaining "competitive" in its postgraduate applications this is likely going to earn you a rejection from them.

Then as UKAmerican said you'll probably not enjoy your masters even if you get in. So that'll be a waste of money, resources and time in your part. I encourage you to look at other universities and hopefully you'll find a course that feels right for you
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sealguy2
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#63
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#63
Is it possible to apply to more than course at Cambridge and at different times?
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threeportdrift
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#64
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#64
(Original post by sealguy2)
Is it possible to apply to more than course at Cambridge and at different times?
Yes and yes. However if you apply to multiple courses in a single department, chances are they will see that and they generally dislike it. It is seen not to demonstrate the commitment and focus desirable in a PG student, rather more the action of someone just hedging their bets to get into Cambridge.
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threeportdrift
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#65
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#65
(Original post by Figaro42)
Didn’t realise it was disliked! I did just that, one research and one taught course. Maybe I should consider withdrawing the taught one now.
It's not universal and it perhaps only comes in to play if the applications are marginal, but they do like focus.
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TheUKAmerican
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#66
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#66
(Original post by threeportdrift)
Yes and yes. However if you apply to multiple courses in a single department, chances are they will see that and they generally dislike it. It is seen not to demonstrate the commitment and focus desirable in a PG student, rather more the action of someone just hedging their bets to get into Cambridge.
Which is why I’m applying to different departments 😆
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Hols1010
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#67
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#67
- University: Non-Tier US school, BBA with major in Finance
- Achieved Grade: First, or 3.84/ 4.00 GPA
- Prospective Course: MPhil Real Estate Finance
- Prospective College: Downing/ Pembroke
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: Graduated in 2016, been working with a Big4 in Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna (I'm German) for the past 2.5 years in Real Estate M&A

Any other applicants for the MPhil REF around?
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threeportdrift
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#68
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#68
(Original post by dreamer1998)
I was hoping someone could help me out. I really want to apply for MPhil Economics but was just wondering if there was any point of me applying if I wasn't in the top 10% of my year group?

Also, if I did end up applying, who should I ask for two references? (As far as I'm aware I would have to ask my academic adviser at my university but who else?)
The top 10% is only a ball park approximation that circumvents the fact that people come from undergrad Unis with very different grading styles, so asking about 3.4 GPA, or 85% or *** laude etc is difficult to judge. Why not have a go, it's the only way you will get an answer - though the MPhil Economics is very competitive.

For referees, ask the two academics who know your work best and you think will give you the most positive reference.
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SabrinaBurton97
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#69
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#69
Current University: university of central Lancashire
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: 1st (hopefully)
- Prospective Course:MRC DRP PhD programme
- Prospective College: I'm not sure yet
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: I am a research assistant at the Social Interaction and Performance lab at my university
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elephantblue
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#70
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#70
Hi all!

I've seen a few posts about contacting a supervisor with your research proposal. Is this necessary? I had no idea this had to happen! My understanding was that I'd submit a resume, research proposal and 2 academic references. (I'm hoping to apply for Sociology MPhil)

Thanks!
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threeportdrift
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#71
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#71
(Original post by elephantblue)
Hi all!

I've seen a few posts about contacting a supervisor with your research proposal. Is this necessary? I had no idea this had to happen! My understanding was that I'd submit a resume, research proposal and 2 academic references. (I'm hoping to apply for Sociology MPhil)

Thanks!
In general, you try to make contact with a Supervisor to see if they are interested in your thesis for a PhD (but it doesn't matter if you don't), but you don't approach a Supervisor for a taught MPhil application. Indeed, some departments specifically ask that you don't for MPhil applications.
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Diplomatic
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#72
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#72
Has anyone that's applied moved to the department review stage yet?
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sealguy2
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#73
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#73
I have applied for one course. My application is 'submitted'. I have been allocated an applicant number. What happens next? Will my application move to the 'review' stage? Will I hear if I have been successful / unsuccessful or will my application hang in the 'submitted' stage for months, if I am unsuccessful?
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threeportdrift
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#74
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#74
(Original post by sealguy2)
I have applied for one course. My application is 'submitted'. I have been allocated an applicant number. What happens next? Will my application move to the 'review' stage? Will I hear if I have been successful / unsuccessful or will my application hang in the 'submitted' stage for months, if I am unsuccessful?
There's no specific timeline. If you are rubbish, your rejection will follow soon. If you are awesome your offer will follow soon. If like 80 odd% of people, you might be in the top x% (where x is the course place plus drop out %), then it will sit and wait until the admissions staff are confident that you are going to make the cohort quality wise and make you an offer, or you are not going to make the cohort and they reject you. Depending how early the cohort quality shows up, and how close to either end you are, that could be any time between now and next April.
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sealguy2
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#75
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#75
(Original post by threeportdrift)
There's no specific timeline. If you are rubbish, your rejection will follow soon. If you are awesome your offer will follow soon. If like 80 odd% of people, you might be in the top x% (where x is the course place plus drop out %), then it will sit and wait until the admissions staff are confident that you are going to make the cohort quality wise and make you an offer, or you are not going to make the cohort and they reject you. Depending how early the cohort quality shows up, and how close to either end you are, that could be any time between now and next April.
Thanks for this information.
In the interim between being accepted/rejected, should I expect to see my application move from 'submitted' to 'in review'?
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threeportdrift
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#76
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#76
(Original post by sealguy2)
Thanks for this information.
In the interim between being accepted/rejected, should I expect to see my application move from 'submitted' to 'in review'?
To under review by department, yes. But it's not a significant move, it just means the administrator has sent it out to an academic to read. It then settles there until the cohort quality becomes clear.
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Diplomatic
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#77
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#77
If anyone's interested, my application just moved to under review by department and I submitted my application on September 4th.
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sealguy2
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#78
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#78
(Original post by Patagonia)
If anyone's interested, my application just moved to under review by department and I submitted my application on September 4th.
Wow. 1 month to change from submitted to in review seems like ages. I submitted my application around 2 weeks ago. It is still in the submitted stage. I hope it changes soon!
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Rowls
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#79
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#79
Hi everyone! How are we? Hope all your applications are going swimmingly

- Current University: Australian National University
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: 7.0/7.0 (Expected first class)
- Prospective Course: PhD in Biological Sciences (MRC LMB)
- Prospective College: Caius or King's
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: I do Ten-Pin Bowling as a sport

Is anyone applying for a PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology?

I've heard stories that the Cambridge applications can close before the specified deadline if the course is full - is this true? Or is it just a ill-founded rumour? It seems odd that they could fill up the whole course before the deadline (given they wouldn't be assessing the full pool of prospective students).

If it is true, does anyone know if it also applies to the MRC LMB PhD programme?

Thank you! (and apologies if this is a stupid question)
Last edited by Rowls; 2 years ago
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threeportdrift
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#80
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#80
(Original post by Rowls)
Hi everyone! How are we? Hope all your applications are going swimmingly

- Current University: Australian National University
- Achieved (Expected) Grade: 7.0/7.0 (Expected first class)
- Prospective Course: PhD in Biological Sciences (MRC LMB)
- Prospective College: Caius or King's
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: I do Ten-Pin Bowling as a sport

Is anyone applying for a PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology?

I've heard stories that the Cambridge applications can close before the specified deadline if the course is full - is this true? Or is it just a ill-founded rumour? It seems odd that they could fill up the whole course before the deadline (given they wouldn't be assessing the full pool of prospective students).

If it is true, does anyone know if it also applies to the MRC LMB PhD programme?

Thank you! (and apologies if this is a stupid question)
Never heard of, or seen that happen, and I've been involved/observing the process since 2003.

Cambridge work hard to ensure they get the best and brightest, which means they constantly delay decisions in case stronger applications come in. In general, they only give a proportion of offer before about April when applications tail off (or whatever deadline is set per course if earlier) and then assess them. If your application is stellar, you could still get an offer quite late on in the summer (provided there wasn't a stated deadline).

Schemes like the one you mention are likely to have a fixed deadline, but if it considers the possibility of closing early, it should say so.
Last edited by threeportdrift; 2 years ago
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