Applied for CS, received an offer for Accounting?

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joalpq
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Hello,


I applied to Durham for Computer Science on the 14th of January, and yesterday I received an offer for Accounting with the following message:

After careful consideration, the application for your original course has been unsuccessful. However we are pleased to offer you an alternative programme. Visit www.durham.ac.uk/study/ug/referrals to find out more.

Thank you for your application to study at Durham University. Congratulations on receiving an offer. Your college allocation will be confirmed directly by one of our colleges before 10th April 2020.

Last year I applied to Durham for Computer Science as well (with A*A*A* predictions and 9A* 2A GCSEs), and received an offer of A*AA with an A in Mathematics and put them as my insurance. However, I achieved A*AB (B in Mathematics). I had some mitigating circumstances regarding my A-Levels that were not reported to the exam board at the time because some of them were unknown to me, and others I did not realise you could submit.

As such, this was briefly explained in my reference. Later, I asked my referee to send an email to Durham with a much more lengthy explanation regarding the issues I faced that resulted in my lower than expected grades and explaining why I did not submit them to the exam board, as per https://www.dur.ac.uk/study/ug/apply/process/.

This year I am re-taking A-Level Mathematics and I am predicted an A* which I am certain I will achieve. I also believe my application is much stronger this year with regards to my PS and reference. Additionally, this year I received an interview from Imperial College London for Computing. Getting an interview is extremely difficult and much harder than getting an offer from Durham, which is partially why I am very confused about being rejected.

I have also heard that Durham is "cracking down" on private school students. While I did attend a private school for GCSEs and before, I was only able to continue there for A-Levels because of a scholarship. Durham does not know about that.

I just don't understand why this has happened, and so I feel there was either an error while handling my application or they did not consider the submitted mitigating circumstances.

As such, I think perhaps I should make a complaint (https://www.dur.ac.uk/study/ug/apply/policy/complaints/). Although, I'm not exactly sure what I should say.

I realise it may seem like I think I'm entitled to an offer. I don't think that, I just believe with all the evidence it's very strange that I was rejected so soon.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks.
Last edited by joalpq; 1 month ago
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neko no basu
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I think you should definitely email the university and ask why they have rejected your application for computer science and offered you an alternative course.

Explain your circumstances and why their offer has changed by asking for an A in maths which was not part of their original offer.

Were you thinking of putting Durham as your firm originally?
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joalpq
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(Original post by neko no basu)
I think you should definitely email the university and ask why they have rejected your application for computer science and offered you an alternative course.

Explain your circumstances and why their offer has changed by asking for an A in maths which was not part of their original offer.

Were you thinking of putting Durham as your firm originally?
I phoned them and told them I would like to make an informal complaint as per the process outlined here https://www.dur.ac.uk/study/ug/apply/policy/complaints/ although I did not ask for feedback about why I was rejected.

I don't really care about the conditions of the new offer as I have absolutely zero intention of accepting it, I just thought it was strange.

If I receive an offer from ICL then they will be my firm, and Durham quite possibly an insurance. If not then quite possibly a firm yes.

EDIT: I phoned again and they said I could submit a feedback form, but they would not consider it until the 1st of April.
Last edited by joalpq; 1 month ago
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Admit-One
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Making an alternate offer is fairly common, although usually it is in a related subject. I would've enquired as to whether this was an error or if there was some other reason they thought this was a suitable alternative for you.

Previously receiving an offer doesn't guarantee this time around, potentially the field of applicants was much better, or they want to make fewer offers this time around. Whilst you have mitigating circumstances they may wish to discount retakes as well. Whilst you felt your application was stronger overall I don't think a complaint will get anywhere unless a serious error has been made.

I think the comment about private schools is just hearsay. It is not permitted under UCAS and is counter to the admissions policy of every Uni in the country.
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joalpq
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(Original post by Admit-One)
Making an alternate offer is fairly common, although usually it is in a related subject. I would've enquired as to whether this was an error or if there was some other reason they thought this was a suitable alternative for you.

Previously receiving an offer doesn't guarantee this time around, potentially the field of applicants was much better, or they want to make fewer offers this time around. Whilst you have mitigating circumstances they may wish to discount retakes as well. Whilst you felt your application was stronger overall I don't think a complaint will get anywhere unless a serious error has been made.

I think the comment about private schools is just hearsay. It is not permitted under UCAS and is counter to the admissions policy of every Uni in the country.
I emailed them before I applied and they said

If you have already completed those two A-levels, we would base your application on you re-taking your A-level and your predicted grade in that subject. It would be the same as applying with three subjects except you would only need to achieve your grade in that one subject.

You wouldn't be at any disadvantage for this, but you would still need to complete an application and we would take into account everything you put into that application. We would consider that application equally against everyone else.
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Admit-One
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Okay, so the retake definitely shouldn't have disadvantaged you. Beyond that, it really just says that they'll consider you which they've apparently done.

I'd ask for feedback and see if you can get any more details.
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joalpq
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(Original post by Admit-One)
Okay, so the retake definitely shouldn't have disadvantaged you. Beyond that, it really just says that they'll consider you which they've apparently done.

I'd ask for feedback and see if you can get any more details.
Unfortunately they said they won't be able to give me any feedback until April.

I think I'll submit the form just in case.

I guess maybe they just didn't like my application. Imperial clearly did however and their course is so much more competitive. Granted it's only an interview and not an offer at this stage but the vast majority of interviewees receive an offer. Perhaps Durham are looking for something different... I suppose ICL gave me some confidence regarding my application.
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student424
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(Original post by Admit-One)
Okay, so the retake definitely shouldn't have disadvantaged you. Beyond that, it really just says that they'll consider you which they've apparently done.

I'd ask for feedback and see if you can get any more details.
It's an interesting one. Somebody I know was applying for CS as well and they are re-taking 2 A levels. When they called the uni for advice they said they would consider him but the feeling they got was very much that they didn't like re-takes. They were also told that their personal statement had to very clearly state why they were re-taking. Edinburgh doesn't like re-takes and they clearly state that on their website.
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joalpq
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(Original post by student424)
It's an interesting one. Somebody I know was applying for CS as well and they are re-taking 2 A levels. When they called the uni for advice they said they would consider him but the feeling they got was very much that they didn't like re-takes. They were also told that their personal statement had to very clearly state why they were re-taking. Edinburgh doesn't like re-takes and they clearly state that on their website.
Perhaps, but I'm only retaking one subject to go up a single grade I barely missed, and I have informed them of the extenuating circumstances via my referee. Just seems unfair.
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