Oxford vs St Andrews (lots of contexts oops sorry) Watch

emiuk
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First of all please note that I've posted the same thing in the two different forums to get balanced opinions.

So I'm having a dilemma choosing to apply for either Oxford (history and economics) or St Andrews (economics and management). My school's deadline for early entry is this Friday so I don't have much time to decide.

The case for Oxford/ against st Andrews:
- I quite like Oxford as a uni but I prefer the st Andrews course.
- My parents are reallyyyyy pushing me to apply for Oxford bc they actually think I'll get in (lmfao)
- I'm really put off by the (lack of) diversity and social life at st Andrews
- st Andrews doesn't have many societies I like the sound of
- st Andrews is not very sporty

The case for St Andrews/ against Oxford
- the biggest thing is that I feel like im wasting a space if I apply for Oxford because I would consider going to st Andrews and if I get an offer I will be sure to go to the offer holder day to see if my misconceptions (especially about the type of people) are incorrect. For context I got all 9s at GCSE and predicted A*A*A but i dropped maths a level after year 1 (they say they prefer maths), my personal statement only has a small(ish) paragraph on history (since my other courses are econ and politics) and I think I will flop the HAT bc essays aren't my forte (though I do 3 essay subjects lol).
- HAT and TSA I cba ffs

So yeah pretty much I think im wasting a space bc im quite certain that I will not get into Oxford but might consider St Andrews if I get an offer bc of its ranking and the course looks fun- but don't forget my parents really want me to apply to Oxford and they are very ... difficult🤡
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Nununu
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I dont see why this is a problem since you have 5 spaces?
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Quick-use
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Apply to both. And, make sure you don't need A level Maths for Econ courses because it usually is a requirement.
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emiuk
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(Original post by Nununu)
I dont see why this is a problem since you have 5 spaces?
(Original post by Quick-use)
Apply to both. And, make sure you don't need A level Maths for Econ courses because it usually is a requirement.
im certain on my other 4 (and yes ive checked the requirements)
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by emiuk)
First of all please note that I've posted the same thing in the two different forums to get balanced opinions.

So I'm having a dilemma choosing to apply for either Oxford (history and economics) or St Andrews (economics and management). My school's deadline for early entry is this Friday so I don't have much time to decide.

The case for Oxford/ against st Andrews:
- I quite like Oxford as a uni but I prefer the st Andrews course.
- My parents are reallyyyyy pushing me to apply for Oxford bc they actually think I'll get in (lmfao)
- I'm really put off by the (lack of) diversity and social life at st Andrews
- st Andrews doesn't have many societies I like the sound of
- st Andrews is not very sporty

The case for St Andrews/ against Oxford
- the biggest thing is that I feel like im wasting a space if I apply for Oxford because I would consider going to st Andrews and if I get an offer I will be sure to go to the offer holder day to see if my misconceptions (especially about the type of people) are incorrect. For context I got all 9s at GCSE and predicted A*A*A but i dropped maths a level after year 1 (they say they prefer maths), my personal statement only has a small(ish) paragraph on history (since my other courses are econ and politics) and I think I will flop the HAT bc essays aren't my forte (though I do 3 essay subjects lol).
- HAT and TSA I cba ffs

So yeah pretty much I think im wasting a space bc im quite certain that I will not get into Oxford but might consider St Andrews if I get an offer bc of its ranking and the course looks fun- but don't forget my parents really want me to apply to Oxford and they are very ... difficult🤡
st andrews is famous for its societies due to it's lack of nightclubs (albeit loads of student bars just not full-on clubs)... all the drinking events are student-run and society based, plus the uni is completely filled with American students (just under 25% of the student body in total) which provides a unique social dynamic (hard to explain) and give lots of excuses to take regular trips to the continent every holiday lol

still, if you can cope with the stress of an Oxbridge degree apply to Oxford. it's Britain's second best uni and the colleges are gorgeous, you will regret not trying.
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Nununu
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(Original post by emiuk)
im certain on my other 4 (and yes ive checked the requirements)
Honestly it sounds like you really really like the St.Andrews course. Apply to that one.

Anyone considering another uni over Oxbridge means there is a good reason for it
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Nununu
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What are your chances to get into Economics (with history) at Oxford without Maths?

Must be very small?
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Laycity
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This isn't a choice? Apply for Oxford and if you like St Andrews put it as one of your other four?
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harrysbar
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(Original post by emiuk)
im certain on my other 4 (and yes ive checked the requirements)
I've just checked the requirements and it does say that Oxford prefer A level maths so I think you would be disadvantaged if you don't offer that subject
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Plantagenet Crown
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On the Oxford website it says it is strongly suggested that candidates have maths A-level. So while it’s not an actual requirement, it would put you at a big disadvantage to other applicants. Also, I would ultimately apply for the course I preferred, which you say is St. Andrews’.
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artful_lounger
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I remember looking at an old FoI for History & Economics at Oxford, and for the three year period it encompassed every student admitted to History & Economics had A-level Maths and/or Further Maths, as I recall.

Why did you drop maths? What can your academic reference say about your mathematical ability? It may well raise some flags if you started in maths and then stopped taking it.
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BrasenoseAdm
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(Original post by harrysbar)
I've just checked the requirements and it does say that Oxford prefer A level maths so I think you would be disadvantaged if you don't offer that subject
The term used is 'highly recommended'. In our experience it is very rare indeed for a candidate to achieve an offer without A-level Maths (or the equivalent) and it is also rare to be interview shortlisted without Maths. If the decision truly is an either/or for Oxford or St Andrew's and there a personal preference for St Andrew's, the head and the heart are probably in sympathy here.
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harrysbar
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(Original post by BrasenoseAdm)
The term used is 'highly recommended'. In our experience it is very rare indeed for a candidate to achieve an offer without A-level Maths (or the equivalent) and it is also rare to be interview shortlisted without Maths. If the decision truly is an either/or for Oxford or St Andrew's and there a personal preference for St Andrew's, the head and the heart are probably in sympathy here.
Thank you for clarifying that

You can't get better advice than directly from Brasenose emiuk
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emiuk
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(Original post by BrasenoseAdm)
The term used is 'highly recommended'. In our experience it is very rare indeed for a candidate to achieve an offer without A-level Maths (or the equivalent) and it is also rare to be interview shortlisted without Maths. If the decision truly is an either/or for Oxford or St Andrew's and there a personal preference for St Andrew's, the head and the heart are probably in sympathy here.
thank you!! do you happen to know any figures regarding the number of people admitted onto the course without maths?
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emiuk
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
I remember looking at an old FoI for History & Economics at Oxford, and for the three year period it encompassed every student admitted to History & Economics had A-level Maths and/or Further Maths, as I recall.

Why did you drop maths? What can your academic reference say about your mathematical ability? It may well raise some flags if you started in maths and then stopped taking it.
I dropped maths because I was intending to apply for economics and politics and the unis that I was looking at did not require maths (and I didn't enjoy it) so I dropped it and continued my other subjects which I enjoyed more (and was also better in).
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emiuk
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(Original post by Nununu)
What are your chances to get into Economics (with history) at Oxford without Maths?

Must be very small?
yes it's tiny. I knew this from the start.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by emiuk)
I dropped maths because I was intending to apply for economics and politics and the unis that I was looking at did not require maths (and I didn't enjoy it) so I dropped it and continued my other subjects which I enjoyed more (and was also better in).
I mean...economics, in any degree, is necessarily mathematical at university level. You will need to be using calculus and all the maths that supports that from A-level, fluently, to do economics at university. Some courses don't require A-level Maths, but you will need to learn that content in the course still to do economics.

If you don't enjoy maths, you probably won't enjoy economics at university. You might want to spend some time reflecting on whether economics is really something you are going to enjoy and do well in at university.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by emiuk)
thank you!! do you happen to know any figures regarding the number of people admitted onto the course without maths?
I believe this was the FoI I was referencing: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque..._economics_und

Although it doesn't summarise this, when I went through the data I think there were about 2 or 3 over the period who didn't have A-level Maths and were successful (and none who hadn't taken A-level History, I believe; it might've been the other way around).

Note this data is for the course across the university, at all colleges. Generally it seems there is less than 1 person per year admitted without A-level Maths for History & Economics at Oxford (and for such a small course, any small change such as a single person being admitted can skew the data signifcantly; so it may well be those exceptions were truly exceptional).
Last edited by artful_lounger; 4 weeks ago
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Nununu
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(Original post by emiuk)
yes it's tiny. I knew this from the start.
Then you already know the answer.
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BrasenoseAdm
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(Original post by emiuk)
thank you!! do you happen to know any figures regarding the number of people admitted onto the course without maths?
We could not find anyone gaining an offer last year without Maths.
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