Is it better to go to Oxford for undergrad or postgrad?

Watch
Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
I've always wanted to go to Oxford. It's been my dream since I was younger. I got excellent GCSE grades and I'm predicted excellent A Level grades. I've done reading across many subjects (I was hoping to study philosophy or law).
I'm in Year 12 so I will have to apply soon, but I'm having second thoughts about if I even want to go to Oxford for undergrad. It's obviously incredibly hard and I don't even know if I'll be able to get in! And even if I do, the workload is insane and I will be working more than having fun, which is a part of the uni experience for me.

However, every time I think about not applying it fills me with sadness. I was considering to go to Oxford for postgrad. Is that a good idea? Essentially my question is whether going to Oxford for postgrad is just as prestigious as going for undergrad?
0
reply
liverninthered
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
So your two hesitations are that you won't get in and that it won't be fun. Firstly, nothing bad can come from applying and being rejected - you still have four other choices. In response to the second, you haven't been to Oxford, how do you know what the workload is like? The idea that nobody in Oxford has fun is a misconception. Also, you only spend 24 weeks in Oxford a year, leaving plenty of time in the holidays for whatever else you may want to do.

Is Oxford postgrad as prestigious as Oxford undergrad? I have no idea, but are you only considering Oxford due to its prestige? If so, perhaps you should think more carefully about whether the University is actually the right one for you.
7
reply
Realitysreflexx
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 month ago
#3
(Original post by Anonymous)
I've always wanted to go to Oxford. It's been my dream since I was younger. I got excellent GCSE grades and I'm predicted excellent A Level grades. I've done reading across many subjects (I was hoping to study philosophy or law).
I'm in Year 12 so I will have to apply soon, but I'm having second thoughts about if I even want to go to Oxford for undergrad. It's obviously incredibly hard and I don't even know if I'll be able to get in! And even if I do, the workload is insane and I will be working more than having fun, which is a part of the uni experience for me.

However, every time I think about not applying it fills me with sadness. I was considering to go to Oxford for postgrad. Is that a good idea? Essentially my question is whether going to Oxford for postgrad is just as prestigious as going for undergrad?
Your undergrad subconsciously leads to your postgrad. e.g. if you don't make it to Oxford for undergrad, you had best attend a Russell group or a few other obvious UK universities and get a first or very near if you have hopes of Oxford Postgrad.

The chances of you ascending from the University of Bolton to Oxbridge are slim.
1
reply
Ghostlady
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 month ago
#4
my daughters didnt get in oxford for undergrad, but its not stopping her going for a phd for oxbridge after shes done her masters. i would go for it, because then should you not get in, you can try again later on down the line
2
reply
Realitysreflexx
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 month ago
#5
(Original post by Ghostlady)
my daughters didnt get in oxford for undergrad, but its not stopping her going for a phd for oxbridge after shes done her masters. i would go for it, because then should you not get in, you can try again later on down the line
So it's not stopping her from applying or she's been accepted lol.
1
reply
Anonymous #1
#6
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#6
(Original post by liverninthered)
So your two hesitations are that you won't get in and that it won't be fun. Firstly, nothing bad can come from applying and being rejected - you still have four other choices. In response to the second, you haven't been to Oxford, how do you know what the workload is like? The idea that nobody in Oxford has fun is a misconception. Also, you only spend 24 weeks in Oxford a year, leaving plenty of time in the holidays for whatever else you may want to do.

Is Oxford postgrad as prestigious as Oxford undergrad? I have no idea, but are you only considering Oxford due to its prestige? If so, perhaps you should think more carefully about whether the University is actually the right one for you.
Ah okay thank you! I've just heard bad things from people who went there, saying that the workload is much higher than other universities. I guess I need to do more research about student life!

And no that's not the only reason I want to go there, don't worry! It's for a lot of reasons really, but I want to study the subject I love with world-class professors and other people who love the subject like I do. Also I've always absolutely loved the university itself and the city. It's quite a long list of reason to be honest I could go on forever
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#7
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#7
(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
Your undergrad subconsciously leads to your postgrad. e.g. if you don't make it to Oxford for undergrad, you had best attend a Russell group or a few other obvious UK universities and get a first or very near if you have hopes of Oxford Postgrad.

The chances of you ascending from the University of Bolton to Oxbridge are slim.
Ah okay thanks for the advice! I'm hoping to go to Durham or UCl for undergrad so I think it should be fine in that instance!
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#8
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#8
(Original post by Ghostlady)
my daughters didnt get in oxford for undergrad, but its not stopping her going for a phd for oxbridge after shes done her masters. i would go for it, because then should you not get in, you can try again later on down the line
Fantastic thank you that's reassuring. Well done to your daughter, too, that's amazing.
0
reply
Ghostlady
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 month ago
#9
(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
So it's not stopping her from applying or she's been accepted lol.
She got to interview stage for the undergrad course December just gone, and was rejected this January. It wont stop her from applying for a phd there once shes got her masters at the uni she will be at come 2024.
0
reply
Realitysreflexx
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 month ago
#10
(Original post by Ghostlady)
She got to interview stage for the undergrad course December just gone, and was rejected this January. It wont stop her from applying for a phd there once shes got her masters at the uni she will be at come 2024.
Well good luck for her future, but I'm not sure that's really what you made it seem... No offense!
0
reply
Chief Wiggum
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#11
Report 1 month ago
#11
I don't necessarily think there's a right or wrong answer here.

I think getting in for undergrad is more "prestigious" since I think it's typically more competitive to get in an undergrad level.

But it's up to you what you think you'd prefer.
3
reply
vicvic38
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#12
Report 1 month ago
#12
As a current Oxford Student, the idea we don't have fun is such rubbish. Oxford has lots of fun societies to get involved in (no matter your interest in drinking) and lots of people to socialise with. That's balanced with an incredibly compressed courseload, sure, but I find that going 9am to 6pm with a break for lunch and a break for JCR tea means my evenings are free for whatever mischief I wish to get up to. I usually find myself working 10-5 on the weekends as well, but that's because I've been a bit slack during the week.

This does depend on course, naturally. I'm a Mathematician, and our course load is admittedly less than say, a Chemist, or a Classicist, but that doesn't stop them from having fun either!

There is also something to be said for the fact that doing your undergrad at Oxford makes it miles easier to get in on a masters here (not sure about DPhil.) Getting on the masters (where the course is not integrated) is basically a question of getting a first. I had a friend who missed out on a first and ended up heading up to St Andrews for the masters, and is coming back this year for his DPhil.

If you have any questions, feel free to fire them my way!
3
reply
Ghostlady
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#13
Report 1 month ago
#13
(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
Well good luck for her future, but I'm not sure that's really what you made it seem... No offense!
None taken and thanks. She attended Oxford last year on UNIQ, so she did get to experience a part of what Oxford had to offer and it helped secure a place she equally loves, so exciting times ahead (hopefully if theres no local lockdowns fingers crossed lol)
Last edited by Ghostlady; 1 month ago
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#14
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#14
(Original post by vicvic38)
As a current Oxford Student, the idea we don't have fun is such rubbish. Oxford has lots of fun societies to get involved in (no matter your interest in drinking) and lots of people to socialise with. That's balanced with an incredibly compressed courseload, sure, but I find that going 9am to 6pm with a break for lunch and a break for JCR tea means my evenings are free for whatever mischief I wish to get up to. I usually find myself working 10-5 on the weekends as well, but that's because I've been a bit slack during the week.

This does depend on course, naturally. I'm a Mathematician, and our course load is admittedly less than say, a Chemist, or a Classicist, but that doesn't stop them from having fun either!

There is also something to be said for the fact that doing your undergrad at Oxford makes it miles easier to get in on a masters here (not sure about DPhil.) Getting on the masters (where the course is not integrated) is basically a question of getting a first. I had a friend who missed out on a first and ended up heading up to St Andrews for the masters, and is coming back this year for his DPhil.

If you have any questions, feel free to fire them my way!
Oh that actually sounds really fun! Thank you for your reply!
I think I got the wrong end of the stick because everyone I know including teachers tell me that I wouldn't like Oxford because it's so academic and no one has any fun! But this reassured me and I think I might apply (although that's the hardest part!)
0
reply
matthewleechen
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#15
Report 1 month ago
#15
(Original post by liverninthered)
So your two hesitations are that you won't get in and that it won't be fun. Firstly, nothing bad can come from applying and being rejected - you still have four other choices. In response to the second, you haven't been to Oxford, how do you know what the workload is like? The idea that nobody in Oxford has fun is a misconception. Also, you only spend 24 weeks in Oxford a year, leaving plenty of time in the holidays for whatever else you may want to do.

Is Oxford postgrad as prestigious as Oxford undergrad? I have no idea, but are you only considering Oxford due to its prestige? If so, perhaps you should think more carefully about whether the University is actually the right one for you.
^ I agree.

To answer your question directly, it depends on the field you're studying. Broadly speaking though, Oxford is harder to gain admission to at undergraduate level. That might say something about relative prestige.
1
reply
artful_lounger
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#16
Report 1 month ago
#16
I think generally the postgrad courses in those areas (the BCL and BPhil for law/philosophy respectively, and a DPhil in areas the departments specialise in at Oxford) would be more notable to academics in those fields than if you had done an undergrad there but graduate studies elsewhere (i.e. in an area that Oxford otherwise specialises in). But in academia generally I don't really think anyone is going to care much where you did your undergrad degree...

For law from a professional perspective I'm not sure how much there is between the BCL and Cambridge/UCL/LSE LLM programmes though. Certainly at undergrad they're going to cover largely the same material (other than Oxford and Cambridge teaching Roman/Civil Law and Oxford having Jurisprudence as a compulsory paper) and will likely have similar prospects (either professionally or in terms of future pursuits in academia).

I'd personally suggest picking Cambridge over Oxford for undergrad law as the way the course is examined seems a lot less stressful than at Oxford. At Cambridge you are classed in each year separately, for papers taken in that year, compared to at Oxford the FPE/finals format where for law you take your first exams after just two terms in first year, then after that your entire degree classification rests on the ~8 exams you take at the end of the 3 years covering material from after those first two terms...that examination format is more or less typical for most "arts" courses at Oxford (and does seem like...a lot...) however, not just law (albeit most take the first set of exams at the end of first year, not after just two terms).

It's worth noting undergrad philosophy is only studied jointly with other subjects at Oxford (namely politics and economics, psychology and/or linguistics, modern languages, or within the classics course which offers the full range of philosophy options, modern and ancient, to the same extent as in those other courses). This may then shift your perspective depending how interested you are (or aren't) in the accompanying subject(s).
Last edited by artful_lounger; 1 month ago
4
reply
Anonymous #1
#17
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#17
(Original post by artful_lounger)
I think generally the postgrad courses in those areas (the BCL and BPhil for law/philosophy respectively, and a DPhil in areas the departments specialise in at Oxford) would be more notable to academics in those fields than if you had done an undergrad there but graduate studies elsewhere (i.e. in an area that Oxford otherwise specialises in). But in academia generally I don't really think anyone is going to care much where you did your undergrad degree...

For law from a professional perspective I'm not sure how much there is between the BCL and Cambridge/UCL/LSE LLM programmes though. Certainly at undergrad they're going to cover largely the same material (other than Oxford and Cambridge teaching Roman/Civil Law and Oxford having Jurisprudence as a compulsory paper) and will likely have similar prospects (either professionally or in terms of future pursuits in academia).

I'd personally suggest picking Cambridge over Oxford for undergrad law as the way the course is examined seems a lot less stressful than at Oxford. At Cambridge you are classed in each year separately, for papers taken in that year, compared to at Oxford the FPE/finals format where for law you take your first exams after just two terms in first year, then after that your entire degree classification rests on the ~8 exams you take at the end of the 3 years covering material from after those first two terms...that examination format is more or less typical for most "arts" courses at Oxford (and does seem like...a lot...) however, not just law (albeit most take the first set of exams at the end of first year, not after just two terms).

It's worth noting undergrad philosophy is only studied jointly with other subjects at Oxford (namely politics and economics, psychology and/or linguistics, modern languages, or within the classics course which offers the full range of philosophy options, modern and ancient, to the same extent as in those other courses). This may then shift your perspective depending how interested you are (or aren't) in the accompanying subjects.
Thank you so so much! This was incredibly helpful!
0
reply
Celtic Conjurer
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#18
Report 1 month ago
#18
I think it depends on what you’re looking for exactly. For me it was always about the undergrad because not only do you get so many more years at Oxford than a typical 1 year Master’s postgrad, but you get the whole living in a college experience which you might not get as a postgrad. I just think that the undergrad experience is more unique and specific to Oxford whereas a postgrad might be more similar to what it would be like at other unis.
4
reply
FRS500
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#19
Report 1 month ago
#19
(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
Your undergrad subconsciously leads to your postgrad. e.g. if you don't make it to Oxford for undergrad, you had best attend a Russell group or a few other obvious UK universities and get a first or very near if you have hopes of Oxford Postgrad.

The chances of you ascending from the University of Bolton to Oxbridge are slim.
This is nonsense tbh. I know of one guy who did law at a London uni that's so far from Russell Group you'd need an A-Z to find it.

He ended up at Oxford doing a BCL
0
reply
matthewleechen
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#20
Report 1 month ago
#20
(Original post by FRS500)
This is nonsense tbh. I know of one guy who did law at a London uni that's so far from Russell Group you'd need an A-Z to find it.

He ended up at Oxford doing a BCL
Depends on the competitiveness of the course in question. Just because it is anecdotally possible doesn't make it likely. Of course, a brilliant student from a mid to low ranked undergraduate programme can go to Oxford for graduate study. But the question is whether the chances (conditional on an average student from that programme) are good.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How do you feel about your grades? Are they...

What I expected (165)
25.04%
Better than expected (132)
20.03%
Worse than expected (362)
54.93%

Watched Threads

View All