momo1271
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Hi, So im just going to lay out my situation and if anybody has any thoughts or suggestions that'd be great.

I applied to Cambridge (Art History, Fitzwilliam) for 2020, when at the time i had predicted grades of A*AA. I didnt receive an offer for a place - i was pooled although unfortunately not given any other offers. And when i got my actual calculated grades i received an AAA (History, Politics, Classics). I looked at alot of other universities for subjects relating to Classics, Art History, Philosophy and Politics but felt slightly that everything else was second best and that i didnt want to undersell myself - along with really liking Cambridge.

I decided to start at the Uni of Leeds, studying classics, which has been a good way to spend a term but it hasn't been very fulfilling. I admit a part of this is definitely to do with online teaching, but i am now considering other options before the UCAS deadline of the 29th Jan, in case i may want to drop out and restart come September.

It has crossed my mind that i could consider applying to Oxford, but i'm not sure that their entry requirements of AAA are in any way realistic of the offers they get? and am not sure i would thrive in their interview style. It would also mean waiting until October again, with little happening around me at the moment / plan of what to do.
I've also considered London universities - specifically UCL for Philosophy, but living in London already, makes me slightly apprehensive of studying here. And often London Universities seem to have mixed reputations - being better for international students etc.

I'm not finding the rankings particularly useful, as after Oxbridge it tends to go St Andrews, Durham, Warwick, Loughborough - none of which have appealed to me greatly, mostly because they either seem disinteresting or i've heard negative things about.

I suppose ultimately i just want to really enjoy a degree in the humanities, to be challenged and go to a university where i feel proud to go to / has a really excellent reputation (of which i know Leeds does also). It'd be great if they had a really good reputation in the humanities field, and preferably a city like Leeds - but the university / course is more important.

I do understand i need to make a bit of a leap of faith and go in one direction or another, just having as much information on the course as i can and doing my research. But if anyone has any thoughts or insights, please let me know. Thanks
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04MR17
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(Original post by momo1271)
Hi, So im just going to lay out my situation and if anybody has any thoughts or suggestions that'd be great.

I applied to Cambridge (Art History, Fitzwilliam) for 2020, when at the time i had predicted grades of A*AA. I didnt receive an offer for a place - i was pooled although unfortunately not given any other offers. And when i got my actual calculated grades i received an AAA (History, Politics, Classics). I looked at alot of other universities for subjects relating to Classics, Art History, Philosophy and Politics but felt slightly that everything else was second best and that i didnt want to undersell myself - along with really liking Cambridge.

I decided to start at the Uni of Leeds, studying classics, which has been a good way to spend a term but it hasn't been very fulfilling. I admit a part of this is definitely to do with online teaching, but i am now considering other options before the UCAS deadline of the 29th Jan, in case i may want to drop out and restart come September.

It has crossed my mind that i could consider applying to Oxford, but i'm not sure that their entry requirements of AAA are in any way realistic of the offers they get? and am not sure i would thrive in their interview style. It would also mean waiting until October again, with little happening around me at the moment / plan of what to do.
I've also considered London universities - specifically UCL for Philosophy, but living in London already, makes me slightly apprehensive of studying here. And often London Universities seem to have mixed reputations - being better for international students etc.

I'm not finding the rankings particularly useful, as after Oxbridge it tends to go St Andrews, Durham, Warwick, Loughborough - none of which have appealed to me greatly, mostly because they either seem disinteresting or i've heard negative things about.

I suppose ultimately i just want to really enjoy a degree in the humanities, to be challenged and go to a university where i feel proud to go to / has a really excellent reputation (of which i know Leeds does also). It'd be great if they had a really good reputation in the humanities field, and preferably a city like Leeds - but the university / course is more important.

I do understand i need to make a bit of a leap of faith and go in one direction or another, just having as much information on the course as i can and doing my research. But if anyone has any thoughts or insights, please let me know. Thanks
Okay so a few things:

1. It's good that you're not finding the rankings useful - they are a waste of time for someone in your context.

2. If Oxford's entry requirements are AAA, that means they will typically give offers of AAA to successful applicants. Just because other applicants might have an A* or two on their UCAS form won't really make a great deal of difference.

3. What careers are you interested in? You talk a lot about wanting to enjoy your time on your course - but what are you actually doing the course for? Simply please? Or do you actually need a degree for the line(s) of work you're interested in following up in the future. This should be the biggest thing guiding your thinking in my personal view, not any of the other stuff about "reputation".

4. What is it about living in London that you don't like? Be honest.

5. Oxford interviews have the same purpose of Cambridge ones: is this candidate suited to tutorial/supervision style teaching?
Since you pooled during your Cambridge application, that suggests that the Cam professors thought you were. While Oxford may well take a different view, I do not think worrying about your interview should be a barrier to you deciding to apply in the first instance.

Edminzodo, anything to add? :holmes:
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momo1271
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Okay so a few things:

1. It's good that you're not finding the rankings useful - they are a waste of time for someone in your context.

2. If Oxford's entry requirements are AAA, that means they will typically give offers of AAA to successful applicants. Just because other applicants might have an A* or two on their UCAS form won't really make a great deal of difference.

3. What careers are you interested in? You talk a lot about wanting to enjoy your time on your course - but what are you actually doing the course for? Simply please? Or do you actually need a degree for the line(s) of work you're interested in following up in the future. This should be the biggest thing guiding your thinking in my personal view, not any of the other stuff about "reputation".

4. What is it about living in London that you don't like? Be honest.

5. Oxford interviews have the same purpose of Cambridge ones: is this candidate suited to tutorial/supervision style teaching?
Since you pooled during your Cambridge application, that suggests that the Cam professors thought you were. While Oxford may well take a different view, I do not think worrying about your interview should be a barrier to you deciding to apply in the first instance.

Edminzodo, anything to add?
Hi,

As regards to the career question, my thinking has always been to study what i really find fascinating and worry about a job afterwards. This is partly because i think i'll do better in my degree that way, but also that Philosophy, Classics, Art History and Politics are subjects that people go off to do all kinds of things with, they're not too specific. I'm doing the course to be challenged and to really deeply learn about my subject. I would like to possibly do humanitarian work, or curation, and at some point hope to do an art foundation, if thats any help.

And with London, to be honest i need to do a little more talking to people about it. I know a few people studying here so i should ask them first about my concern of cost of living, proximity to home and perception that its heavily international (although now i am wondering why i'd think this is a bad thing).

And thanks for taking the time to reply, that's been really helpful.
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Sandtrooper
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(Original post by momo1271)
Hi, So im just going to lay out my situation and if anybody has any thoughts or suggestions that'd be great.

I applied to Cambridge (Art History, Fitzwilliam) for 2020, when at the time i had predicted grades of A*AA. I didnt receive an offer for a place - i was pooled although unfortunately not given any other offers. And when i got my actual calculated grades i received an AAA (History, Politics, Classics). I looked at alot of other universities for subjects relating to Classics, Art History, Philosophy and Politics but felt slightly that everything else was second best and that i didnt want to undersell myself - along with really liking Cambridge.

I decided to start at the Uni of Leeds, studying classics, which has been a good way to spend a term but it hasn't been very fulfilling. I admit a part of this is definitely to do with online teaching, but i am now considering other options before the UCAS deadline of the 29th Jan, in case i may want to drop out and restart come September.

It has crossed my mind that i could consider applying to Oxford, but i'm not sure that their entry requirements of AAA are in any way realistic of the offers they get? and am not sure i would thrive in their interview style. It would also mean waiting until October again, with little happening around me at the moment / plan of what to do.
I've also considered London universities - specifically UCL for Philosophy, but living in London already, makes me slightly apprehensive of studying here. And often London Universities seem to have mixed reputations - being better for international students etc.

I'm not finding the rankings particularly useful, as after Oxbridge it tends to go St Andrews, Durham, Warwick, Loughborough - none of which have appealed to me greatly, mostly because they either seem disinteresting or i've heard negative things about.

I suppose ultimately i just want to really enjoy a degree in the humanities, to be challenged and go to a university where i feel proud to go to / has a really excellent reputation (of which i know Leeds does also). It'd be great if they had a really good reputation in the humanities field, and preferably a city like Leeds - but the university / course is more important.

I do understand i need to make a bit of a leap of faith and go in one direction or another, just having as much information on the course as i can and doing my research. But if anyone has any thoughts or insights, please let me know. Thanks
So, you'd basically be taking time off until October 2022, in the hope that you might get into Oxford?

You still seem unsure over what course to do. You need to settle on a subject - perhaps a joint honours degree would be an idea for you - before you start even considering transferring university.
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04MR17
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(Original post by momo1271)
As regards to the career question, my thinking has always been to study what i really find fascinating and worry about a job afterwards.

I would like to possibly do humanitarian work, or curation, and at some point hope to do an art foundation, if thats any help.

And with London, to be honest i need to do a little more talking to people about it. I know a few people studying here so i should ask them first about my concern of cost of living, proximity to home and perception that its heavily international (although now i am wondering why i'd think this is a bad thing).

And thanks for taking the time to reply, that's been really helpful.
With your first sentence, if I'm honest with you, that's a really poor way to be making decisions when there's a huge amount of money and time at stake. We're talking about 3+ years of your life, plus thousands of pounds, all for a purpose that doesn't quite exist. Studying these subjects is fascinating, I couldn't agree more, but you need an idea of what you're studying them for if your aim is to have a career afterward. Otherwise it's simply accumulating debt for the sake of not being sure what you want to do with your life.

To be candid, a lot of people don't have the luxury of being in that position since they can't afford to.

It sounds to me that you need to spend this time researching potential careers, be specific when doing this, look at what you need to gain access to those job positions. I've just been advising an Oxford offer holder who is considering turning their offer down to attend another university. My advice to them was the same: that these decisions must be motivated by your long term plans for the future.
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OxFossil
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(Original post by 04MR17)
With your first sentence, if I'm honest with you, that's a really poor way to be making decisions when there's a huge amount of money and time at stake. We're talking about 3+ years of your life, plus thousands of pounds, all for a purpose that doesn't quite exist. Studying these subjects is fascinating, I couldn't agree more, but you need an idea of what you're studying them for if your aim is to have a career afterward. Otherwise it's simply accumulating debt for the sake of not being sure what you want to do with your life.

To be candid, a lot of people don't have the luxury of being in that position since they can't afford to.

It sounds to me that you need to spend this time researching potential careers, be specific when doing this, look at what you need to gain access to those job positions. I've just been advising an Oxford offer holder who is considering turning their offer down to attend another university. My advice to them was the same: that these decisions must be motivated by your long term plans for the future.
I agree with most of your opinions, 04MR17 , but not this one! Or at least, not entirely. It is a precious thing to have found a subject for which you have real enthusiasm early in your life, and to me, it trumps calculations about finances that are in any case, largely speculative.

But I do agree it is worth thinking ahead in terms of the sort of things that inspire you. For example, working with animals, or education, or advocacy for disadvantaged people. Then work out what "transferable skills" (terrible phrase) you could get to equip for working in that area.
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04MR17
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(Original post by OxFossil)
I agree with most of your opinions, 04MR17 , but not this one! Or at least, not entirely. It is a precious thing to have found a subject for which you have real enthusiasm early in your life, and to me, it trumps calculations about finances that are in any case, largely speculative.

But I do agree it is worth thinking ahead in terms of the sort of things that inspire you. For example, working with animals, or education, or advocacy for disadvantaged people. Then work out what "transferable skills" (terrible phrase) you could get to equip for working in that area.
I have no objection to people following subjects they're passionate about - I agree, it is a wonderful thing. But to follow that with disregard for what you will use that degree for is foolish in my view. Unless you have the capital to sit on your laurels for a few years and ponder what direction you wish to take your life into. There's a balance to achieve, and the impression I'm getting in this thread is that we're considerable off kilter
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OxFossil
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(Original post by 04MR17)
I have no objection to people following subjects they're passionate about - I agree, it is a wonderful thing. But to follow that with disregard for what you will use that degree for is foolish in my view. Unless you have the capital to sit on your laurels for a few years and ponder what direction you wish to take your life into. There's a balance to achieve, and the impression I'm getting in this thread is that we're considerable off kilter
I guess its about different people having different experiences and outlooks. After graduating, I spent two years without waged work, and without savings to fall back on. Whilst figuring out what sort of career path I wanted to follow, I did full time volunteering in exchange for bed and board. It wasnt an easy time, and I never did "catch up" financially with my more career minded peers. But that suited me. The OP will find their own way, and your perspective will help.
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momo1271
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I take your point, while i do know plenty of people studying with no specific idea of what their career may be, or in the aim of doing further study, i also know those who have come out of a degree and entered into a bit of inertia as to what to do next. So i will give it some thought.

I do also agree with what @oxfossil said, and that to my mind the best time to figure out where i might go next is while im learning and growing over the 3 years of a degree, and hopefully before i leave it. And that also my primary concern is just finding the right course for me.

Its not the perfect position to be in, and i am fortunate to be able to even consider giving the time to reapplying next year - as @ Edminzodo says it would mean waiting until come October in the hopes that i'd be given a place, which is why i'm giving it some consideration before deciding either way. It has been suggested i could also finish my first year at Leeds, trying to get as good a grade as possible before reapplying - both to occupy me, and also to show that i'm being true when i say i'd like to be challenged more. Before reapplying in October.

Thanks to you all for your suggestions
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Sandtrooper
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(Original post by momo1271)
I take your point, while i do know plenty of people studying with no specific idea of what their career may be, or in the aim of doing further study, i also know those who have come out of a degree and entered into a bit of inertia as to what to do next. So i will give it some thought.

I do also agree with what @oxfossil said, and that to my mind the best time to figure out where i might go next is while im learning and growing over the 3 years of a degree, and hopefully before i leave it. And that also my primary concern is just finding the right course for me.

Its not the perfect position to be in, and i am fortunate to be able to even consider giving the time to reapplying next year - as @ Edminzodo says it would mean waiting until come October in the hopes that i'd be given a place, which is why i'm giving it some consideration before deciding either way. It has been suggested i could also finish my first year at Leeds, trying to get as good a grade as possible before reapplying - both to occupy me, and also to show that i'm being true when i say i'd like to be challenged more. Before reapplying in October.

Thanks to you all for your suggestions
Just one extra point - Oxbridge isn't the be all and end all. I'm here now, and I miss my previous university a lot. If you can't find a course you are truly passionate about, don't waste your time reapplying.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by momo1271)
Hi,

As regards to the career question, my thinking has always been to study what i really find fascinating and worry about a job afterwards. This is partly because i think i'll do better in my degree that way, but also that Philosophy, Classics, Art History and Politics are subjects that people go off to do all kinds of things with, they're not too specific. I'm doing the course to be challenged and to really deeply learn about my subject. I would like to possibly do humanitarian work, or curation, and at some point hope to do an art foundation, if thats any help.

And with London, to be honest i need to do a little more talking to people about it. I know a few people studying here so i should ask them first about my concern of cost of living, proximity to home and perception that its heavily international (although now i am wondering why i'd think this is a bad thing).

And thanks for taking the time to reply, that's been really helpful.
Have you looked at Exeter's flexible combined honours? It's a brilliant course you can design around your interests ...

http://www.exeter.ac.uk/undergraduat...exible/exeter/

Exeter isn;t a big city but there's plenty to do and the campus is amazing.
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