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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Oxford Mum
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If you prefer the St. Andrews course, apply there. Your parent’s opinion doesn’t count, and they are wrong to try to pressurise you.

What do you think of the Oxford course?

On the other hand, you have excellent grades, and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that you may receive an offer. However there are the admissions tests to consider and you will have to show an interestin your subjects by doing extra reading.
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blackthrn
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go to the place you like the course better. i’m predicted A*A*A* and everyone keeps telling me to apply to oxford but i think the course looks awful so i’m not. you’re gonna be there for 4/5 years, don’t choose somewhere based on its name
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by blackthrn)
go to the place you like the course better. i’m predicted A*A*A* and everyone keeps telling me to apply to oxford but i think the course looks awful so i’m not. you’re gonna be there for 4/5 years, don’t choose somewhere based on its name
What a sensible person you are.
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billybig
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Hey.

I was also in your position in applying to Oxford and St Andrews. What makes you think St Andrews isn't sporty? I am a third year now and I'd say that if you want to be involved in sport it is a very sport uni and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Also, what societies would you be interested in? There are a tonne of societies and you can practically find a society for anything!
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la_banane_verte
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What type of diversity and social life are you worried about at St Andrews?
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emiuk
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(Original post by billybig)
Hey.

I was also in your position in applying to Oxford and St Andrews. What makes you think St Andrews isn't sporty? I am a third year now and I'd say that if you want to be involved in sport it is a very sport uni and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Also, what societies would you be interested in? There are a tonne of societies and you can practically find a society for anything!
idk I just don't get the vibe. I play badminton competitively and I also dance a lot so its a bit of a let down on those fronts (especially as I wont be able to compete tournaments in England if I go to uni in Scotland due to the inconvenience). It's hard to explain what societies I'm looking for but I'm just not really attracted to them like I am with nottingham for example. again I think it's just the vibe (horrible deciding factor I know).

if you don't mind me asking how do you find the social aspect? do you get bored often and find there's nothing to do?
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emiuk
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(Original post by la_banane_verte)
What type of diversity and social life are you worried about at St Andrews?
socio economic and ethnic diversity mostly. I can appreciate that there will be a mixture of social and unsocial people so I understand that but ive grown up in an independent school so I'd like to get a proper mix at uni (ironic because I may choose Oxford haha)

and social life because of its reputation as 'dead' pretty much. I do like going out (but I could live without it) and I've heard there are no clubs so stuff like that is a bit off putting.
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emiuk
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
If you prefer the St. Andrews course, apply there. Your parent’s opinion doesn’t count, and they are wrong to try to pressurise you.

What do you think of the Oxford course?

On the other hand, you have excellent grades, and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that you may receive an offer. However there are the admissions tests to consider and you will have to show an interestin your subjects by doing extra reading.
I think the Oxford course looks interesting but im not sure if I'll be able to keep up with the economics side since I dropped maths
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MagnumKoishi
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(Original post by emiuk)
I got all 9s at GCSE and predicted A*A*A
Why on earth would they only predict you A*A*A when you have all 9s? Only a handful of people (double or perhaps even single figures) nationwide get all 9s. A*A*A*, and even A*A*A*A* is easy compared to all 9s as lots of people manage those...
Especially as predicted grades matter a lot in universities, they should be predicting you higher
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emiuk
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(Original post by MagnumKoishi)
Why on earth would they only predict you A*A*A when you have all 9s? Only a handful of people (double or perhaps even single figures) nationwide get all 9s. A*A*A*, and even A*A*A*A* is easy compared to all 9s as lots of people manage those...
Especially as predicted grades matter a lot in universities, they should be predicting you higher
16 people out of 76 in my cohort at school got all 9s, so im sure the number would be in the hundreds at least.

also I flopped my history mock and got a B so it's understandable (especially as my school did unusually bad in history at a levels last year)
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MagnumKoishi
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(Original post by emiuk)
16 people out of 76 in my cohort at school got all 9s, so im sure the number would be in the hundreds at least.

also I flopped my history mock and got a B so it's understandable (especially as my school did unusually bad in history at a levels last year)
Yeah I got the stats wrong, the stats I found were people who got twelve 9s. Loads more people got all 9s, but did less than 12 subjects
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emiuk
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(Original post by MagnumKoishi)
Yeah I got the stats wrong, the stats I found were people who got twelve 9s. Loads more people got all 9s, but did less than 12 subjects
yep I only did 11 (though most of my school did 10)
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la_banane_verte
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(Original post by emiuk)
idk I just don't get the vibe. I play badminton competitively and I also dance a lot so its a bit of a let down on those fronts (especially as I wont be able to compete tournaments in England if I go to uni in Scotland due to the inconvenience). It's hard to explain what societies I'm looking for but I'm just not really attracted to them like I am with nottingham for example. again I think it's just the vibe (horrible deciding factor I know).

if you don't mind me asking how do you find the social aspect? do you get bored often and find there's nothing to do?
You can definitely compete in England if you want (though there are plenty of tournaments in Scotland?), it's not that inconvenient to get there. Here's the badminton club page https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/sport/s...ort/badminton/ .

Dance is really really popular in St Andrews, this is the main club https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/sport/s...ubsport/dance/ but there are also societies for other types of dance (ones I can think of off the top of my head are https://www.facebook.com/StAndrewsBallads/ , https://en-gb.facebook.com/celticsoc/ , https://en-gb.facebook.com/STAARTANGO/)


(Original post by emiuk)
socio economic and ethnic diversity mostly. I can appreciate that there will be a mixture of social and unsocial people so I understand that but ive grown up in an independent school so I'd like to get a proper mix at uni (ironic because I may choose Oxford haha)

and social life because of its reputation as 'dead' pretty much. I do like going out (but I could live without it) and I've heard there are no clubs so stuff like that is a bit off putting.
I think it's fair to say St Andrews doesn't have the best socio-eonomic or ethnic diversity, but Oxford is definitely worse. About a third of our students are overseas so we do have a pretty good diversity of cultures. We have a bit of a rep for being full of independent school students, but state school students are still the majority, and as a state school student myself, I never really thought it was a problem.

That reputation for social life is really a load of b ollocks. We don't really have nightclubs, that's true (though there is Club 601 in the Union and the Vic has a bit of dancefloor space), but we have so much other stuff going on that it really doesn't matter. Societies and sports clubs have events all the time, there's loads of pubs, there's balls, there's festivals, etc etc etc
Last edited by la_banane_verte; 3 weeks ago
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Oxford Mum
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To be honest, Oxford does sound very similar in social mix and overseas students to St. Andrews with a majority of state school students. Just asking, but how do you know that mix of students at Oxford is definitely worse?
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la_banane_verte
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
To be honest, Oxford does sound very similar in social mix and overseas students to St. Andrews with a majority of state school students. Just asking, but how do you know that mix of students at Oxford is definitely worse?
https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-anal...ation/table-t1
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