Official Cambridge 2020 Postgraduate Applicants Thread

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sealguy2
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#81
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#81
(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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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; 1 year ago
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threeportdrift
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(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; 1 year ago
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Rowls
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
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 is likely to have a fixed deadline, but if it considers the possibility of closing early, it should say so.
Awesome, thank you so much
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averyblacksheep
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(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.
Hey! Do you get an email notification when the status changes or do you just have to keep checking?
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threeportdrift
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They ask for a transcript in the application process, so they will see all your grades. They'll judge them on relevance to what you are applying for, and overall indication of academic ability.

Cambridge is academic, and competitive, you need to aim for the highest grades you can possibly get. Only over 67% is generally competitive, without substantial professional experience. Will Latin help? I would have thought Middle or Old English, if you can't do AS, N or C.

Have a look at the ASNAC website and see if there is any indication of the profiles of MPhil students.
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Diplomatic
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(Original post by averyblacksheep)
Hey! Do you get an email notification when the status changes or do you just have to keep checking?
No email notification, you just have to keep checking.
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_eco
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Diplomatic
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threeportdrift is it worth emailing the department to ask how long it might take to expect a decision, or just leave it and assume they'll get back before Christmas if I'm great/bad or Feb/March if not?

Thanks
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jam1312
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(Original post by Patagonia)
threeportdrift is it worth emailing the department to ask how long it might take to expect a decision, or just leave it and assume they'll get back before Christmas if I'm great/bad or Feb/March if not?

Thanks
Usually it takes about 4-6 weeks for the final decision (i.e. giving offer) to come up from the day of application
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jam1312
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- Current University: University of Manchester (Chemical Engineering) graduated in 2019
- Achieved Grade: 1st
- Prospective Course: MPhil in Nuclear Energy
- Prospective College: Not sure) might be Darwin or open application
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: Course Rep (final year), UNDP (volunteering), 2 summer internships in Supply Chain and Procurement positions, currently working as quality engineer in Ukraine. The company I work for isn't really well known or reputable. I started a job at Unilever (Hungary) but left after less than a week (due to family issues). I believe I wasn't officially registered at Unilever. If I put Unilever as a work experience in my CV, how likely is that university will find out/contact Unilever? And how important is it to work for a famous/prestigious company??
Thanks in advance )!
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jam1312
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- Current University: University of Manchester (Chemical Engineering) graduated in 2019
- Achieved Grade: 1st
- Prospective Course: MPhil in Nuclear Energy
- Prospective College: Not sure) might be Darwin or open application
- Fun fact/extracurricular activities: Course Rep (final year), UNDP (volunteering), 2 summer internships in Supply Chain and Procurement positions, currently working as quality engineer in Ukraine. The company I work for isn't really well known or reputable. I started a job at Unilever (Hungary) but left after less than a week (due to family issues). I believe I wasn't officially registered at Unilever. If I put Unilever as a work experience in my CV, how likely is that university will find out/contact Unilever? And how important is it to work for a famous/prestigious company??
Thanks in advance )!
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Patagonia)
threeportdrift is it worth emailing the department to ask how long it might take to expect a decision, or just leave it and assume they'll get back before Christmas if I'm great/bad or Feb/March if not?

Thanks
No, it would just be a wasted email. They tell you as soon as they've made a decision. If on the day your application arrives you are very obviously a god, they'll make an offer immediately. As more and more people apply, your quality sinks lower or bobs towards the top. But the size of the pool constantly increases and until they can see what the general quality it, the bulk of applications simply won't get a decision.

There's no point in applying early unless you have to meet a funding deadline, or want to know if you are a god or not Cambridge material at all.

And all this alerting people that 'I've moved from Step A to Step B' in the process is complete nonsense, it just builds the hype and pressure. It is entirely meaningless unless you are doing exactly the same course as someone else and are roughly the same quality of applicant.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by jam1312)
Usually it takes about 4-6 weeks for the final decision (i.e. giving offer) to come up from the day of application
Since when? It's what the blurb says, but most people applying before Christmas won't hear until Feb/Mar. not everyone, there are a few decisions made before Christmas, but the bulk are made afterwards.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by jam1312)
I started a job at Unilever (Hungary) but left after less than a week (due to family issues). I believe I wasn't officially registered at Unilever. If I put Unilever as a work experience in my CV, how likely is that university will find out/contact Unilever?
How can you claim work experience if you were only there a week? That's just asking for trouble.

It can help if you've got relevant work experience, but claiming for a week would just undermine the credibility of the rest of your application.
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jam1312
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
How can you claim work experience if you were only there a week? That's just asking for trouble.

It can help if you've got relevant work experience, but claiming for a week would just undermine the credibility of the rest of your application.
Thanks for your reply! Could you please tell me your opinion about my 2nd question?
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by jam1312)
Thanks for your reply! Could you please tell me your opinion about my 2nd question?
How important is work experience with a famous company? Not at all. Cambridge is an academic university, it's doesn't use work experience as a guide, except where there is substantial professional experience which can replace academic qualifications in mature students. That doesn't mean 25 year olds with a few years experience, it means 30, 40, 50 year olds with decades of experience who had different university opportunities and grading systems when they went through at 18.
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jam1312
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
How important is work experience with a famous company? Not at all. Cambridge is an academic university, it's doesn't use work experience as a guide, except where there is substantial professional experience which can replace academic qualifications in mature students. That doesn't mean 25 year olds with a few years experience, it means 30, 40, 50 year olds with decades of experience who had different university opportunities and grading systems when they went through at 18.
Thanks a lot! That is very helpful!
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sealguy2
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
How important is work experience with a famous company? Not at all. Cambridge is an academic university, it's doesn't use work experience as a guide, except where there is substantial professional experience which can replace academic qualifications in mature students. That doesn't mean 25 year olds with a few years experience, it means 30, 40, 50 year olds with decades of experience who had different university opportunities and grading systems when they went through at 18.
Is it normal for an application to be stuck in the 'submitted' stage at this point in time? Does this mean it has not even been looked at, you know, opened or read, by a department? It is simply sitting on a computer waiting to be assessed, at which point it will move to the 'in review stage'?
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by sealguy2)
Is it normal for an application to be stuck in the 'submitted' stage at this point in time? Does this mean it has not even been looked at, you know, opened or read, by a department? It is simply sitting on a computer waiting to be assessed, at which point it will move to the 'in review stage'?
It's the first day of term tomorrow! Academics have spent the last 3 weeks pulling together their syllabi for the year, organising rooms, lectures, visiting lecturers, emails for safety briefs, fire briefs, library tours, welcome meetings, module selections, field trips, additional lecture series etc. The very last thing they are doing is considering next years' applicants.

No academic or administrator is likely to give applications any thought at all for the next week or two. And anyway, what you see through Camsis is only a rough approximation of what is happening to your paperwork. Generally, yes, submitted means they are just acknowledging receipt. The review stage means it is out with an academic, but they might sit on it for months.

I cannot express enough how watching and trying to interpret the minutiae if these movements is utterly pointless. Just be grateful you haven't got a rejection yet so your application is still in the ringing, slugging away at newcomers who are piling in all the time.
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