Official Cambridge Postgraduate Applicants 2021 Thread

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Wired_1800
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#61
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#61
(Original post by Kalaygalay5)
Current University: Graduated in 2019 from SOAS with a MSc in International Politics
- Current Course:
- Achieved (or Expected) Grade: High Merit (67.5)
- Prospective Course: MPhil in Development Studies
- Other universities you’re applying to: Oxford, LSE


Hi everyone, I have a major burning question. So back in undergrad (2013-2017) I had a major extenuating circumstance and finished with a really low GPA (in the US). I was lucky enough to get into a MSc in SOAS and I ended up doing well and meeting the minimum requirement for the Cambridge MPhil degree I am applying to. However I was wondering if any of you could honestly tell me if my postgraduate grade will help or will they still put a lot of weight on my undergraduate scores? I have two years working experience in the UN in different countries: Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and I am published at a young age. However I understand that Oxbridge really put an emphasis on grades as opposed to working experience. I feel like I have a low chance but I am just going to go for it. I would just be really grateful if anyone whose had experience in applying could give me an honest answer to if my MSc grade will be able to carry me into even having a chance of standing out.

Note: I also noticed Oxford has a comprehensive mechanism for extenuating circumstances so I feel better about it there, but unsure about it with Cambridge. I am however getting in touch with Cambridge regarding my situation.
I think you should reach out to Cambridge to obtain an exact response on your situation.

My view is that the emphasis on grades is mostly present for undergraduate degrees than postgraduate degrees. At postgraduate level, there seems to be a holistic approach to assessing an application. If you have an average undergrad degree but have strong postgrad degree and relevant experiences, I think you will still be a competitive applicant.

For me, I’d rather select a student with relevant work experience and good postgrad grade than another with no experience and a 1st class. Apply and hope for the best. Good luck.
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threeportdrift
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#62
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#62
(Original post by Kalaygalay5)
Current University: Graduated in 2019 from SOAS with a MSc in International Politics
- Current Course:
- Achieved (or Expected) Grade: High Merit (67.5)
- Prospective Course: MPhil in Development Studies
- Other universities you’re applying to: Oxford, LSE


Hi everyone, I have a major burning question. So back in undergrad (2013-2017) I had a major extenuating circumstance and finished with a really low GPA (in the US). I was lucky enough to get into a MSc in SOAS and I ended up doing well and meeting the minimum requirement for the Cambridge MPhil degree I am applying to. However I was wondering if any of you could honestly tell me if my postgraduate grade will help or will they still put a lot of weight on my undergraduate scores? I have two years working experience in the UN in different countries: Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and I am published at a young age. However I understand that Oxbridge really put an emphasis on grades as opposed to working experience. I feel like I have a low chance but I am just going to go for it. I would just be really grateful if anyone whose had experience in applying could give me an honest answer to if my MSc grade will be able to carry me into even having a chance of standing out.

Note: I also noticed Oxford has a comprehensive mechanism for extenuating circumstances so I feel better about it there, but unsure about it with Cambridge. I am however getting in touch with Cambridge regarding my situation.
Cambridge are pretty strong with considering relevant work experience as a make-up for grades, though 2-3 years might not be enough - you'd have to apply and see. I've known people get on Masters degrees without any prior degree level study though, ie no undergrad, on the basis of work experience, and I got in with an irrelevant 2.2, but in all cases there was substantial work experience to indicate ability. I'd play up the practical/applied experience you got in the UN work and link the challenges you saw in that work to what the course modules offer and how that will set you up to be more effective afterwards. You should also highlight how the Dev Studies course moves forward and does not overlap the SOAS course, because they can be sticky about making an offer on top of a pre-existing Masters on a similar subject.
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Kalaygalay5
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#63
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#63
(Original post by threeportdrift)
Cambridge are pretty strong with considering relevant work experience as a make-up for grades, though 2-3 years might not be enough - you'd have to apply and see. I've known people get on Masters degrees without any prior degree level study though, ie no undergrad, on the basis of work experience, and I got in with an irrelevant 2.2, but in all cases there was substantial work experience to indicate ability. I'd play up the practical/applied experience you got in the UN work and link the challenges you saw in that work to what the course modules offer and how that will set you up to be more effective afterwards. You should also highlight how the Dev Studies course moves forward and does not overlap the SOAS course, because they can be sticky about making an offer on top of a pre-existing Masters on a similar subject.
Thank you so much. That advice for not overlapping with the SOAS is really helpful because my SOAS degree was in International Politics not Development Studies and these Dev degrees are much more specific and more oriented to my career goals.
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Livontheedge
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#64
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#64
(Original post by Kalaygalay5)
Thank you so much. That advice for not overlapping with the SOAS is really helpful because my SOAS degree was in International Politics not Development Studies and these Dev degrees are much more specific and more oriented to my career goals.
Unrelated but I am also applying for Development Studies! Good luck with your app and with the extenuating circumstances!
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Wired_1800
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#65
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#65
(Original post by waqas mukhtiar)
any one from uk please.???
How can this thread help? Ask away.
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Kalaygalay5
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#66
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#66
(Original post by Livontheedge)
Unrelated but I am also applying for Development Studies! Good luck with your app and with the extenuating circumstances!
Good luck to yours too! Btw are you planning to apply by the November deadline or the January one?
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Livontheedge
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#67
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#67
(Original post by Kalaygalay5)
Good luck to yours too! Btw are you planning to apply by the November deadline or the January one?
Probably by the end of this month! I am done with my statements so I am just waiting on recommenders. I am working full time right now and work is mot crazy for once so I am using this time to get all the apps done. You? Are you applying to other programs?
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Kalaygalay5
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#68
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(Original post by Livontheedge)
Probably by the end of this month! I am done with my statements so I am just waiting on recommenders. I am working full time right now and work is mot crazy for once so I am using this time to get all the apps done. You? Are you applying to other programs?
Same! I am going to apply end of this month and have gotten all my references but am working on my PS. I am also applying for the MPhil in Dev Studies in Oxford and the MPA in LSE. You?
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ss93
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#69
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#69
(Original post by Livontheedge)
Unrelated but I am also applying for Development Studies! Good luck with your app and with the extenuating circumstances!
Applied to the same course! Good luck with your applications!
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Livontheedge
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#70
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#70
(Original post by Kalaygalay5)
Same! I am going to apply end of this month and have gotten all my references but am working on my PS. I am also applying for the MPhil in Dev Studies in Oxford and the MPA in LSE. You?
I am doing African Studies at Oxford and Cambridge (I got into Cam last round but took my current fellowship instead), and maybe LSE for health and development. Oxford is sooo expensive and 2 years so I don't think I would be able to afford it...
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Livontheedge
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#71
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#71
(Original post by sussexgal)
Applied to the same course! Good luck with your applications!
Same to you! I was wondering, how strong is your econ background? I feel like there is a fair bit of econ at Cambridge and I've only taken introductory courses and I am getting stressed haha
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ss93
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#72
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#72
(Original post by Livontheedge)
Same to you! I was wondering, how strong is your econ background? I feel like there is a fair bit of econ at Cambridge and I've only taken introductory courses and I am getting stressed haha
Only had about 2 Econ courses in UG and did my A Level in Econ, that's about it. Pretty stressful - its quite a competitive course!
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Livontheedge
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#73
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(Original post by sussexgal)
Only had about 2 Econ courses in UG and did my A Level in Econ, that's about it. Pretty stressful - its quite a competitive course!
Ok, we are in the same boat haha it is stressful, but worth a shot!

(Original post by Kalaygalay5)
Same! I am going to apply end of this month and have gotten all my references but am working on my PS. I am also applying for the MPhil in Dev Studies in Oxford and the MPA in LSE. You?
Should we make a group chat for Dev Studies applicants?
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ss93
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#74
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(Original post by Livontheedge)
Same to you! I was wondering, how strong is your econ background? I feel like there is a fair bit of econ at Cambridge and I've only taken introductory courses and I am getting stressed haha
Are you about to both African Studies and Development Studies at Cam?
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Livontheedge
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#75
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(Original post by sussexgal)
Are you about to both African Studies and Development Studies at Cam?
Yes! I got into African Studies last year but applied too late and got no funding. Plus, I really wanted to take my current job because it's a global health/development position and I wanted to get some experience under my belt! Are you thinking of doing African studies too?
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Kalaygalay5
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#76
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#76
(Original post by Livontheedge)
Ok, we are in the same boat haha it is stressful, but worth a shot!


Should we make a group chat for Dev Studies applicants?
Let's do it!! I think that would help a lot. I could use some advice regarding my PS too
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ss93
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#77
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(Original post by Livontheedge)
Yes! I got into African Studies last year but applied too late and got no funding. Plus, I really wanted to take my current job because it's a global health/development position and I wanted to get some experience under my belt! Are you thinking of doing African studies too?
Oh, that's great to hear! Nope, I am just doing Dev Studies. I have applied already. I have a business background so I am really stressed about that.
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Livontheedge
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#78
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(Original post by Kalaygalay5)
Let's do it!! I think that would help a lot. I could use some advice regarding my PS too
(Original post by sussexgal)
Oh, that's great to hear! Nope, I am just doing Dev Studies. I have applied already. I have a business background so I am really stressed about that.
Sent you both a message!
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Livontheedge
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#79
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#79
Hi everyone! Random question but is anyone potentially considering putting Trinity down as their top choice? They offer masters studentships which is pretty unique, but I also don't know if I am just wasting first choice on them.... Any thoughts?
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Wired_1800
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#80
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#80
(Original post by Livontheedge)
Hi everyone! Random question but is anyone potentially considering putting Trinity down as their top choice? They offer masters studentships which is pretty unique, but I also don't know if I am just wasting first choice on them.... Any thoughts?
From last year, I think the general advice was to put the College first, if they require you to do so. If not, best to maximise your chances and select other Colleges that you may prefer. Try not to fall for the Trinity “prestige”. Good luck
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