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confusedmed123
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#1
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#1
I was wondering if anybody could help me make up my mind between Oxford and Cambridge med for 2020 entry (2019 application). Stats wise I have 12A*/9s at GCSE, predicted A levels of bio, chem, maths and further maths (A*A*A*A) and am yet to sit the BMAT. I've done my research and pros of Cam seem to be:
dissection
a wider variety of subjects available for yr 3 intercalation as well as a MdCHB/PhD programme that you can go into,
Seems easier to get into (2018: 16% success rate vs 9% for Ox)
Pros of Ox seem to be:
Better student life (although I'm more for the pub life than the club life, I don't want to be stuck in a town with not much going on)

I really like science but also like the practicalities of medicine so have decided to study medicine. But I know I don't want to be a 100% clinical doctor, and would rather do a bit of research on the side hence the traditional course of Oxbridge. I want the option to switch into a more biological sciences track if I decide in year 3 that practicing Medicine is not for me, which Cam seem better at doing (especially as you might end up with a BA in biology, instead of medical science if you go to Cam).
I was wondering whether Ox offered a PhD programme or would I have to go elsewhere for that? Is that even possible? Is Cam a better place to apply to if you're considering a research career?
Given my stats, would it better to apply to Oxford?
I've been to both and Cam ppl seemed a lot friendlier and less 'cliquey' than Ox , is this actually true?

Sorry for all the questions, I hope someone can answer a few of them :/. Thanks!
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username2391805
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#2
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#2
(Original post by confusedmed123)
I was wondering if anybody could help me make up my mind between Oxford and Cambridge med for 2020 entry (2019 application). Stats wise I have 12A*/9s at GCSE, predicted A levels of bio, chem, maths and further maths (A*A*A*A) and am yet to sit the BMAT. I've done my research and pros of Cam seem to be:
dissection
a wider variety of subjects available for yr 3 intercalation as well as a MdCHB/PhD programme that you can go into,
Seems easier to get into (2018: 16% success rate vs 9% for Ox)
Pros of Ox seem to be:
Better student life (although I'm more for the pub life than the club life, I don't want to be stuck in a town with not much going on)

I really like science but also like the practicalities of medicine so have decided to study medicine. But I know I don't want to be a 100% clinical doctor, and would rather do a bit of research on the side hence the traditional course of Oxbridge. I want the option to switch into a more biological sciences track if I decide in year 3 that practicing Medicine is not for me, which Cam seem better at doing (especially as you might end up with a BA in biology, instead of medical science if you go to Cam).
I was wondering whether Ox offered a PhD programme or would I have to go elsewhere for that? Is that even possible? Is Cam a better place to apply to if you're considering a research career?
Given my stats, would it better to apply to Oxford?
I've been to both and Cam ppl seemed a lot friendlier and less 'cliquey' than Ox , is this actually true?

Sorry for all the questions, I hope someone can answer a few of them :/. Thanks!
Omg I have the exact same stats!!
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.unknown
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Anna191817)
Omg I have the exact same stats!!
Are you also doing medicine?
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username2391805
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#4
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#4
(Original post by .unknown)
Are you also doing medicine?
Yup and I’m going to go for Oxford- only because I know if I don’t go for it, I’ll regret it
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nexttime
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#5
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#5
(Original post by confusedmed123)
which Cam seem better at doing (especially as you might end up with a BA in biology, instead of medical science if you go to Cam).
Do you definitely?

You definitely wouldn't be as qualified as someone who had done a full bio degree - its only a part II after all. Maybe it'd be appropriate for a masters or something though... is this something you asked at open day?

I was wondering whether Ox offered a PhD programme or would I have to go elsewhere for that? Is that even possible? Is Cam a better place to apply to if you're considering a research career?
Yes you can intercalate a PhD at Ox - you'd apply during the course, not before.

Oxford is a larger medical research centre but they're probably as good as eachother in terms of opportunities for students.

Given my stats, would it better to apply to Oxford?
Your stats are impressive and ideal for Oxford. However, Cambridge is just much less competitive overall, so its up to you.

I've been to both and Cam ppl seemed a lot friendlier and less 'cliquey' than Ox , is this actually true?
I think that'd be generalising about literally thousands of people so, I don't think so. For what its worth, I had the opposite impressions from the open days I went to, all those years ago! Its just the people you happen to meet right.

The more reliable thing to pay attention to might be that Oxford med schools is a lot smaller, and college groups are in the 4-8 medic range, whereas some Cambridge colleges have 30+ medics.

Also you can go to London after 3 years at Ox - any med school you like. That's no longer the case at Camb.

Oxford has a lot higher student satisfaction.
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confusedmed123
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Anna191817)
Yup and I’m going to go for Oxford- only because I know if I don’t go for it, I’ll regret it
Can I ask why Oxford over Cambridge? Ps I'm glad I've found someone in the same boat as me. It seems stupid but I sometimes wish I had performed poorly at GCSE/ only have one A* prediction at A-level so the Ox/Cam choice is made for me!
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confusedmed123
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#7
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#7
(Original post by nexttime)
You definitely wouldn't be as qualified as someone who had done a full bio degree - its only a part II after all. Maybe it'd be appropriate for a masters or something though... is this something you asked at open day?


Yes you can intercalate a PhD at Ox - you'd apply during the course, not before.
Sorry I'm so poorly informed but what exactly is a part II? If you intercalate into the Natsci tripos and graduate with the same type of degree as a Natsci student, doesn't that effectively mean you are as equally qualified, at least on paper?

Also regarding PhD at Ox, could you possibly send a link to that? I can't seem to find it anywhere.

Btw thank you for answering my questions I really appreciate it
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username2391805
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#8
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#8
(Original post by confusedmed123)
Can I ask why Oxford over Cambridge? Ps I'm glad I've found someone in the same boat as me. It seems stupid but I sometimes wish I had performed poorly at GCSE/ only have one A* prediction at A-level so the Ox/Cam choice is made for me!
For two reasons mainly:
1) it’s closer
2) I’m only doing two science A levels (chem, biol, geog) which I’ve heard puts me at a big disadvantage as opposed to someone doing maths or physics.
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nexttime
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#9
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#9
(Original post by confusedmed123)
Sorry I'm so poorly informed but what exactly is a part II? If you intercalate into the Natsci tripos and graduate with the same type of degree as a Natsci student, doesn't that effectively mean you are as equally qualified, at least on paper?
I'm not sure about the technicalities of the degree you are awarded, but for example: back when you could intercalate weird stuff, I had a friend who intercalated a law degree. However, although she passed and everything, this did not qualify her to become a lawyer - she would have had to return to university to do a 'proper' law degree to do that.

In practice, applying for a PhD or Masters will involve an interview, and at interview they will establish that your biology degree lasted 1 year, didn't include the non-biology bits of NatSci that Cambridge is famous for. You might have to justify that.

Honestly this is not something I've heard of someone doing so I really don't know how it would go down. Just advising caution.

Also regarding PhD at Ox, could you possibly send a link to that? I can't seem to find it anywhere.
Its all informally organised so there isn't a link unfortunately. There is a BMJ study which surveyed med schools to see who allows PhD intercalation (they mostly do) but it doesn't specifically mention Oxford. I can promise you its true though - my flatmate did it, as did two other people I knew personally. Its not common at all - we're talking 2-4 people in your yeargroup of ~150, but its possible.
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confusedmed123
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#10
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#10
nexttime

I'm going back to Oxford soon so hopefully a chance to ask some questions! Anyway thanks for all your help
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Spacejam22
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#11
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#11
Is A*A*A predictions too low for Oxford?
Also an A* EPQ although l think that’s pretty worthless
11A*s out of 11
I think it’s too low. Everyone in my Sixth form says it’s too low. Three A*s needed at least is the consensus.
BMAT end of Oct but don’t want to waste an application.
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nexttime
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Spacejam22)
Is A*A*A predictions too low for Oxford?
Also an A* EPQ although l think that’s pretty worthless
11A*s out of 11
I think it’s too low. Everyone in my Sixth form says it’s too low. Three A*s needed at least is the consensus.
On what basis lol.

Oxford barely even care about predicted grades - they're super unreliable.
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RhynieChert
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#13
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#13
(Original post by confusedmed123)
Sorry I'm so poorly informed but what exactly is a part II? If you intercalate into the Natsci tripos and graduate with the same type of degree as a Natsci student, doesn't that effectively mean you are as equally qualified, at least on paper?

Also regarding PhD at Ox, could you possibly send a link to that? I can't seem to find it anywhere.

Btw thank you for answering my questions I really appreciate it
just to say if you do intercalate and choose to graduate it officially is the exact same degree as natsci grads and as the first years are also very academically scientific you are not less qualified. the breadth of options for intercalation is pretty great and I enjoy living in Cambridge as a town, still feels busy as it is full of students and there are plenty of a pubs as well as lots of college bars to enjoy
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2500_2
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#14
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#14
I did a different part I (yrs 1&2) and part II (yr 3) at Cambridge (neither medicine or nat sci though) and the tripos system of exams makes it pretty easy to do. I don't think IA & IB medicine and II Nat Sci is likely to be difficult, although there is nothing wrong with asking Nat Sci admissions the question. I believe you can also do a part III Nat Sci (4th year) to make it a MSc. A Cambridge degree is just a Ba/Ma(cantab) whatever it's in because of the tripos system (although it does give you the ability to get a double first).

Personally I think this is a gut decision. If you prefer the feel of Cambridge, you should go there. But ultimately it won't matter hugely, I can guarantee after half a term you'll be bleeding the appropriate shade of blue whichever you pick.
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alec333
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#15
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#15
(Original post by nexttime)
On what basis lol.

Oxford barely even care about predicted grades - they're super unreliable.
It's all quite confusing isn't it? I applied last year with predicted grades of A*A*A...but my BMAT wasn't great and I didn't get an interview. I did get offers for medicine, but actually have decided that I want to study science more than I want to be a doctor. I am thinking of applying to Oxford again with my actual grades A*AA (biology, chemistry, maths) for biomedical science..which is what I always wanted to do (should have ignored the pressure). I will have to do BMAT again and will put some proper work in this year, but wondered if anyone had advise on an online course...or a real life course?
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