Second undergraduate degree: Oxford vs. Cambridge Watch

sennacherib
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Greetings,

I'm an international student from Australia, currently studying an undergraduate degree at a reputable university. I'm due to finish this year and will be doing honours in history next year. At the moment, my marks aren't stellar (nor are they terrible), but they're enough to make me eligible for the honours program at my university. Upon graduating, I'm hoping to apply for Oxford and/or Cambridge for a second undergraduate degree in law.

My university doesn't work on a GPA scale; rather, it averages the marks you receive over two semesters. Currently, I'm sitting on an average of 74.3, which is not great and roughly equates to 3.0 on a GPA scale. I still have a few subjects to complete, so I'm hoping to bump this up exponentially prior to enrolling in honours. In my spare time, I contribute to the student newspaper and work a casual job (not within my field) to fund my studies.

I was wondering what the admissions process is like for a second undergraduate degree in law at Oxford and/or Cambridge, particularly for international students. I'm aware that high school marks are still considered, but I was told by both universities that an application would be viewed holistically (e.g. along with university results, work experience, etc.).

Do the admissions tutors for both universities look at specific marks achieved during your undergraduate studies or just your final mark/average?

How much value is put on high school marks when applying for a second undergraduate degree?

During my studies, I transferred between courses (which is visible on my academic transcript) but ultimately I've stuck with the course I first started with. Will this impact my application if the admissions tutors were to examine my transcript?
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LuigiMario
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Good luck, you might succeed... I've been through the application & interview process at both, and Cambs seem to be more hard factual grade based - the bigger the better, whilst sometimes, just sometimes, you might be able to wing the application at Oxford IF you are genuinely passionate about the course and the place

mild astonishment in academia in the UK this year that St. Andrews in Scotland have pipped Oxford to claim "second place" in at least one subjective comparison of the UK's universities. There are a few more VFM courses than just Oxbridge, you'd probably enjoy law at any of the Russell research universities - but dig a bit further, as law is complicated, involving dinners & internships etc, and requires legal experts to inform you with high accuracy

speaking as a complete outsider to Law, I'd probably do something like Monash Law with a year abroad as that would potentially massively reduce the international fees, but then that's a different thing altogether (I mention this as I have a friend studying in Leeds , but he's actually just completing a year in Kyoto , and it cost hardly anything - as it was an inter-university swap - otherwise international fees in UK might be in the many tens of thou' per year - just a thought!)
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by sennacherib)
Greetings,

I'm an international student from Australia, currently studying an undergraduate degree at a reputable university. I'm due to finish this year and will be doing honours in history next year. At the moment, my marks aren't stellar (nor are they terrible), but they're enough to make me eligible for the honours program at my university. Upon graduating, I'm hoping to apply for Oxford and/or Cambridge for a second undergraduate degree in law.

My university doesn't work on a GPA scale; rather, it averages the marks you receive over two semesters. Currently, I'm sitting on an average of 74.3, which is not great and roughly equates to 3.0 on a GPA scale. I still have a few subjects to complete, so I'm hoping to bump this up exponentially prior to enrolling in honours. In my spare time, I contribute to the student newspaper and work a casual job (not within my field) to fund my studies.

I was wondering what the admissions process is like for a second undergraduate degree in law at Oxford and/or Cambridge, particularly for international students. I'm aware that high school marks are still considered, but I was told by both universities that an application would be viewed holistically (e.g. along with university results, work experience, etc.).

Do the admissions tutors for both universities look at specific marks achieved during your undergraduate studies or just your final mark/average?

How much value is put on high school marks when applying for a second undergraduate degree?

During my studies, I transferred between courses (which is visible on my academic transcript) but ultimately I've stuck with the course I first started with. Will this impact my application if the admissions tutors were to examine my transcript?
It does view applications holistically, but only once stellar grades are established. I'm afraid unless you do something amazing in your Honours year, you aren't on track for Cambridge, can't speak for Ox but suspect it would be the same.

Law is highly competitive, top 5% of your academic cohort is a realistic starting point, and then a few points higher for a second undergrad.

The only non-academic experience considered is stuff which is subject related, so law experience in chambers, courts, with pro-bono groups, volunteering in organisations with social conscience/legal aid type objectives. Casual work to fund studies won't be considered.

Transfers between courses will have an impact, especially if neither is related to law. The inference being you jump before being sure of decisions, so are you doing the same here, in a very costly, resource intensive way - will you waste an offer.

Generally, second undergrad degrees are considered harder to get on than standard, but I've no empirical way of proving that.

This is a very expensive and difficult way of getting a UK legal qualification - most people would simply do the cheaper, not academically competitive GDL, or it's soon-to-be replacement.
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