Aleandra
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Hello,

I am presently undertaking a gap year and looking to enter university in 2021, although I am struggling somewhat to choose my universities. Having attained A*A*A*AC at A level in English Literature, Psychology, Art, History and my EPQ (in which I hope my low grade will not be too much of an issue?) I think I would primarily like to aim for more aspirational universities. I am an ambivert, if such a thing exists, and happy in either a city or campus environment with no particular preference, although I do like places of historical and cultural interest, though I suppose this is comparatively unimportant. With regards to course I suppose I prefer more traditional styles of course and teaching; my primary areas of interest are Gothic literature, Romantic literature, Russian literature (particularly early Soviet), womens' writing over time (particularly stereotypically male dominated fields such as satire), contemporary performance poetry and Middle English. I think my preferences being rather classic, wide-ranging and widely available is what is making this so difficult to chose only five! I am unconcerned with international reputation as I do not plan to work outside of the United Kingdom, though the disparities between some rankings do confuse me, for instance The University of Edinburgh being ranked third and ninth nationally and globally by QS, but nationally mid-twenties by Complete University Guide. Anyway, I digress - any recommendations will be most gratefully received!
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swanseajack1
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With your grades you could apply anywhere. I think Oxbridge, St Andrews and Durham would be good choices but then I dont know much about the content of English courses. York might also be worth looking into as well as Exeter or Bristol.
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Aleandra
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
With your grades you could apply anywhere. I think Oxbridge, St Andrews and Durham would be good choices but then I dont know much about the content of English courses. York might also be worth looking into as well as Exeter or Bristol.
Thank you. I have heard that the QS ranking is more important in terms of employability, in which case could Cambridge, Edinburgh and York potentially be better than the likes of Exeter and St Andrews?
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Aleandra)
Thank you. I have heard that the QS ranking is more important in terms of employability, in which case could Cambridge, Edinburgh and York potentially be better than the likes of Exeter and St Andrews?
i have been in the real world for 3 years. your employability almost entirely depends on your work experience/people skills on your CV not your uni., especially for people with degrees like English
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Aleandra
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
i have been in the real world for 3 years. your employability almost entirely depends on your work experience/people skills on your CV not your uni., especially for people with degrees like English
Thank you. In my gap year I am working as tutor and freelance journalist alongside trying to find an internship in this field. Regardless of the university I end up at I would like to have a placement year or year abroad to develop skills. Is this a good plan, or I would I be better off avoiding English altogether?
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Aleandra)
Thank you. In my gap year I am working as tutor and freelance journalist alongside trying to find an internship in this field. Regardless of the university I end up at I would like to have a placement year or year abroad to develop skills. Is this a good plan, or I would I be better off avoiding English altogether?
you know, it may surprise you but 'irrelevant' weekend/summer jobs as a shop assistant or working in a café are better for your CV than 'relevant' jobs often, because those sorts of humble jobs show customer/client focus and people skills.... for example if your 'freelance journalist experience' doesn't help you get into the media industry, then you still can set yourself up for any office job really by showing you held down a weekend/summer job for an extended time
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Aleandra
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
you know, it may surprise you but 'irrelevant' weekend/summer jobs as a shop assistant or working in a café are better for your CV than 'relevant' jobs often, because those sorts of humble jobs show customer/client focus and people skills.... for example if your 'freelance journalist experience' doesn't help you get into the media industry, then you still can set yourself up for any office job really by showing you held down a weekend/summer job for an extended time
Thank you. I have no particular aspiration for solely the media industry, it just seemed very interesting and I want to keep my options open. Presumably I demonstrate some skills working for a tutoring company like being punctual, self-motivated, organised, personable, good at communicating etc?
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Aleandra)
Thank you. I have no particular aspiration for solely the media industry, it just seemed very interesting and I want to keep my options open. Presumably I demonstrate some skills working for a tutoring company like being punctual, self-motivated, organised, personable, good at communicating etc?
yes, it's good for your CV but employers do prefer more formalised work where you'd have an employer's reference from, whether it's a prestigious internship (not necessary) or working behind a bar!
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Aleandra
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
yes, it's good for your CV but employers do prefer more formalised work where you'd have an employer's reference from, whether it's a prestigious internship (not necessary) or working behind a bar!
I would have an employer's reference - I work for a company. Thank you.
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Aleandra
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Hello,

I am currently trying to choose my last choice for English Literature between Edinburgh or Durham. I perhaps like the course ever so slightly more at Edinburgh due to the modules on offer and the flexibility to swap to joint honours after second year if I so choose, but I am attracted to the collegiate system and location at Durham and it appears to rank slightly higher nationally. I would also rather graduate at 22 as opposed to 23 via a Scottish MA. As I have no definite preference for one, however, I was wondering if anyone could provide any personal experience, or even an "outsider's" opinion for me to consider? I applied to Durham last year and received an offer; I now hold A levels at A*A*A*AC but I am aware competition varies year on year. Conversely I have no experience applying to Edinburgh and do not know how likely I would be to receive an offer, so any guidance would be appreciated.
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Aleandra
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Hello,

I am trying to choose my last choice for English Literature. I am attracted to the flexibility of Edinburgh's course and prefer some of the first year modules to those offered by Durham, but generally speaking I have no preference for either course. Both locations seem to be pretty and safe and both universities seem to be well-regarded, although, despite being top ten globally according to QS, Edinburgh seems to rank lower nationally. The only advantage I can think of for Durham is that the course is three years, not four. However, as I am unable to visit either, I was wondering what opinions and/or experience anyone had to as what is "best"? I received an offer from Durham last year but competition changes year on year; conversely I have no idea of the likelihood of an Edinburgh offer as I have never applied.
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swanseajack1
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Edinburgh is a far bigger city than Durham. Edinburgh is a real city full of everything going on whereas Durham is more compact and will have more of a homely feel. It also uses a college system which some like and others dont. English is one of Durham's flagship courses and is right up there with Oxbridge. It is sometimes known as the Oxbridge of the North and sometimes described as full of Oxbridge rejects due to the large numbers of Oxbridge applicants who use it as their second choice, Ultimately it boils down to course and location and which you prefer.
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