how can I apply Cambridge university master degree

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bowen Jing
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currently, I m studying CS at the University of manchester. due to the remote study, my first-year grade is 2:2 Do I still have the opportunity to apply to a school or a computer science graduate student at Oxford University? If so, can you tell me, besides high school grades, what else do I need? GRE? Internship experience? research experience? Many thanks
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They won't consider your school results for masters courses at Cambridge (or Oxford or anywhere else). Research experience would be desirable for many masters courses, although for some industry experience will also be relevant. If they don't state the GRE is required then you don't need to take it (and taking it won't improve anything).

In terms of your uni grade, bear in mind at most unis your first year result doesn't count towards your overall classification, or counts very little. So take stock of what went well and what didn't and make sure to improve on that for next year and aim for an overall classification of a high 2:1 or 1st (depending on requirements).
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bowen Jing
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
They won't consider your school results for masters courses at Cambridge (or Oxford or anywhere else). Research experience would be desirable for many masters courses, although for some industry experience will also be relevant. If they don't state the GRE is required then you don't need to take it (and taking it won't improve anything).

In terms of your uni grade, bear in mind at most unis your first year result doesn't count towards your overall classification, or counts very little. So take stock of what went well and what didn't and make sure to improve on that for next year and aim for an overall classification of a high 2:1 or 1st (depending on requirements).
Hi Thanks very much for your answer. It helps a lot. So if I get strong First class in the Y2 and Y3, they will not care about my first year grade when I apply to Cambridge right?

Btw "They won't consider your school results for masters courses at Cambridge (or Oxford or anywhere else)." what s that suppose to mean?

Thanks in advance
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In terms of the academics, they only look at your uni grades.

I wouldn’t say that Cambridge ‘will not care’ about your first year grades. In theory, they take all grades you submit into consideration. However, the extent of their importance will be significantly reduced if you have a strong first in 2nd & 3rd year.
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(Original post by bowen Jing)
Hi Thanks very much for your answer. It helps a lot. So if I get strong First class in the Y2 and Y3, they will not care about my first year grade when I apply to Cambridge right?

Btw "They won't consider your school results for masters courses at Cambridge (or Oxford or anywhere else)." what s that suppose to mean?

Thanks in advance
Your A-Level grades will not be a factor used to weigh up whether or not you should be given a place to study a Masters.
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holly_1994
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Hi! I did an MPhil at Cambridge and received an offer for an MA at Oxford, and can tell you that the main things they look for are:

1. Solid grades throughout all years of your degree. If you pull up in years 2 and 3 and average a high 2:1 / first then you might stand a chance. If you get a mid 2:1 in your second year, you might want to wait until after you’ve graduated/received better third year results to help boost things, but there’s never any harm in applying. I will say that on my course of about 15 people (MPhil Medieval History) everyone had a first class degree or international equivalent, including myself, but I applied before I had my overall results meaning I had an average of high 2:1 (although was clearly on track for a first) when I received my offer. It is worth remembering that the majority of masters courses at Oxbridge state an upper 2:1 is fine, so a first isn’t always compulsory.

2. Research proposal. They will look for a solid proposal that is workable and adds to the field of scholarship. You need to produce a proposal that stands out and concerns an area of research that is needed in your field. Look for gaps in the field or areas where you can build. Make sure you make your proposal flawless! There are example proposals on the English department website for Cambridge you might wish to look at.

3. (Optional) Interview with chosen supervisor. I say interview, but it might just be an informal chat. You don’t need to seek out a potential supervisor as they can choose someone on your behalf, but personally I think you should take time to find the best fit for you and send them an email asking if they’d be happy to discuss your project. If you have the chance to meet them in person or via Teams or something then do it! Let them put a face to the name. A good personal connection might be enough to smooth over any creases in your application. Oh and, from experience, they are more than happy to chat with you. Cambridge is much friendlier than Oxford on that front, I must say, but don’t be afraid to reach out when you come to applying.

If you can put in the work from now, get all the academic support on offer at your current university (ask about essay writing help, exam support, mentoring, etc) work your socks off and get high 2:1s and above, you’ll have as good a shot as anyone else.

As others have said, they don’t care about A levels and GCSEs. In fact, from what I remember, I didn’t have to put them down on my applications. They just want to know that your grades are consistent and that you are a strong candidate that will be able to carry out the proposed research project. You’ve got two years to prove your consistency, but start making the changes straight away.

Don’t worry about internships and things. I didn’t have any and it wouldn’t have made a difference had I done 10 internships.

Know your subject thoroughly. Know your research proposal and understand how it will impact the field. And pull up your grades. Other than that, you’ll require a bit of luck.

I hope this helps!
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bowen Jing
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(Original post by holly_1994)
Hi! I did an MPhil at Cambridge and received an offer for an MA at Oxford, and can tell you that the main things they look for are:

1. Solid grades throughout all years of your degree. If you pull up in years 2 and 3 and average a high 2:1 / first then you might stand a chance. If you get a mid 2:1 in your second year, you might want to wait until after you’ve graduated/received better third year results to help boost things, but there’s never any harm in applying. I will say that on my course of about 15 people (MPhil Medieval History) everyone had a first class degree or international equivalent, including myself, but I applied before I had my overall results meaning I had an average of high 2:1 (although was clearly on track for a first) when I received my offer. It is worth remembering that the majority of masters courses at Oxbridge state an upper 2:1 is fine, so a first isn’t always compulsory.

2. Research proposal. They will look for a solid proposal that is workable and adds to the field of scholarship. You need to produce a proposal that stands out and concerns an area of research that is needed in your field. Look for gaps in the field or areas where you can build. Make sure you make your proposal flawless! There are example proposals on the English department website for Cambridge you might wish to look at.

3. (Optional) Interview with chosen supervisor. I say interview, but it might just be an informal chat. You don’t need to seek out a potential supervisor as they can choose someone on your behalf, but personally I think you should take time to find the best fit for you and send them an email asking if they’d be happy to discuss your project. If you have the chance to meet them in person or via Teams or something then do it! Let them put a face to the name. A good personal connection might be enough to smooth over any creases in your application. Oh and, from experience, they are more than happy to chat with you. Cambridge is much friendlier than Oxford on that front, I must say, but don’t be afraid to reach out when you come to applying.

If you can put in the work from now, get all the academic support on offer at your current university (ask about essay writing help, exam support, mentoring, etc) work your socks off and get high 2:1s and above, you’ll have as good a shot as anyone else.

As others have said, they don’t care about A levels and GCSEs. In fact, from what I remember, I didn’t have to put them down on my applications. They just want to know that your grades are consistent and that you are a strong candidate that will be able to carry out the proposed research project. You’ve got two years to prove your consistency, but start making the changes straight away.

Don’t worry about internships and things. I didn’t have any and it wouldn’t have made a difference had I done 10 internships.

Know your subject thoroughly. Know your research proposal and understand how it will impact the field. And pull up your grades. Other than that, you’ll require a bit of luck.

I hope this helps!
Hi ! Thank you very much for your help!

actually, I hope they care about my A level grade. (all the courses I got A*)

The past year is really special. We had to accept the remote study and the online test.

I got really bad grades in the math and other theory exams because we have to type them on the computer rather than write on paper.

the University I study at(Manchester) will not count my first-year grade. Will Oxford&Cambridge admissions teachers reject me because of this?

Thanks in advance!
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holly_1994
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(Original post by bowen Jing)
Hi ! Thank you very much for your help!

actually, I hope they care about my A level grade. (all the courses I got A*)

The past year is really special. We had to accept the remote study and the online test.

I got really bad grades in the math and other theory exams because we have to type them on the computer rather than write on paper.

the University I study at(Manchester) will not count my first-year grade. Will Oxford&Cambridge admissions teachers reject me because of this?

Thanks in advance!
There is nowhere on the Cambridge application form for you to write your A level or GCSE results, so they won't be able to take these into account, unfortunately. I'm sure Oxford was the same, but I can't remember! This is a link to a (rather long) thread I started back in 2017 which might have some helpful tips when it comes to applying and the application process. It's a few years old but I'm sure you'll find some good tips from people: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4207500

Don't worry too much about first-year grades. If you pull up from now you'll be in with a shot, and it shows that you are able to recognise your weaknesses and build on them, which is always a good thing. Don't forget: Covid has ruined a lot of people's academic performance this past year or so, and is a totally valid reason for not scoring as highly as you'd have liked. Your referees can also mention the impact of Covid in relation to your first year results, but only if they can see a stark improvement in your second and third year results. You want them to be able to say "yeah sure they fell short in first year but this was only because of Covid", but if your grades remain the same throughout second and third years it'll look like Covid wasn't the reason you fell short in first year. Now is the time to prove your true potential, and you have more than enough time to improve. Covid isn't going anywhere any time soon, so you need to find a way to work around it now that we are more au fait with distance learning/working than we were this time last year.

Grades
It doesn't matter if Manchester doesn't count your first-year results. They will still appear on your transcript, for Oxbridge and other universities you apply to to see.

Basically, the way they analyse your grades is by looking at your transcript. So, when you apply, you have to submit a transcript of your grades to-date. The university will produce for you a list of every module you've sat, and what the overall raw score is for each one, such as 65.7 or 53.1 or whatever. This makes it easier for Oxford, Cambridge or whatever other universities you apply for to establish your true potential, because a score of 61 and a score of 69.4 are both 2:1s, but the 69.4 is a much higher raw score than the 61. That is why they don't use 1:1, 2:1, 2:2, etc. but the raw scores, because they give a much more accurate reflection of a person's capability and potential.

Also, they can see how you perform across the board, so if you are strong in other modules and get high 2:1s and firsts, but get 2:2s in a couple of modules that bring down your overall grade, they can see that you are a strong candidate but that you struggled with a particular area/certain modules. If you can show them that you improved in second year, by getting high 2:1s and hopefully some firsts in there too, that will help massively. Put all your efforts into getting a first, and if you fall short of that then you should still be in the high 2:1s. If you aim for a 2:1 and fall short, you are in the 2:2 bracket, so always shoot high. There's no such thing as "naturally able" or "naturally clever", just people who exhaust all options to help themselves score big. So, become the kind of person who sniffs out every opportunity, every bit of support, and work your little socks off.

Building relationships with academic supervisors, guidance counsellors, etc.
Make sure you are present in every lesson you have. I cannot stress how important this is. If you have tutorials/seminars then make sure you participate by offering answers and engaging in discussions, get feedback from your academic mentors or whatever equivalent you have at Manchester, and form relationships with your teachers and supervisors. You will need references when you apply for your masters, and you want them to be glowing. You want them to be able to say that you are on track for a high 2:1 or a first overall, and the only way your referees can say that is if they can see your grades improve in second year and see that you are putting in the work. They are more likely to polish your reference if they like you and appreciate you and are able to put a face to the name.

Forget first year. It's gone, done and dusted. Focus now on second and third years. Create an action plan. Create a list of all the people/support networks at university that will help you improve your grades. Meet with your mentor/supervisor/whomever and explain that you are worried about your first year results and really want to have a shot at Oxbridge, and ask for any advice they have. That is their job, and they are bloody good at it.

Sorry for such long answers, but I really want to flesh things out a bit so that I can help you. I hope what I've said makes sense, but let me know if you need any clarifications!
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bowen Jing
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(Original post by holly_1994)
There is nowhere on the Cambridge application form for you to write your A level or GCSE results, so they won't be able to take these into account, unfortunately. I'm sure Oxford was the same, but I can't remember! This is a link to a (rather long) thread I started back in 2017 which might have some helpful tips when it comes to applying and the application process. It's a few years old but I'm sure you'll find some good tips from people: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4207500

Don't worry too much about first-year grades. If you pull up from now you'll be in with a shot, and it shows that you are able to recognise your weaknesses and build on them, which is always a good thing. Don't forget: Covid has ruined a lot of people's academic performance this past year or so, and is a totally valid reason for not scoring as highly as you'd have liked. Your referees can also mention the impact of Covid in relation to your first year results, but only if they can see a stark improvement in your second and third year results. You want them to be able to say "yeah sure they fell short in first year but this was only because of Covid", but if your grades remain the same throughout second and third years it'll look like Covid wasn't the reason you fell short in first year. Now is the time to prove your true potential, and you have more than enough time to improve. Covid isn't going anywhere any time soon, so you need to find a way to work around it now that we are more au fait with distance learning/working than we were this time last year.

Grades
Basically, the way they analyse your grades is by looking at your transcript. So, when you apply, you have to submit a transcript of your grades to-date. The university will produce for you a list of every module you've sat, and what the overall raw score is for each one, such as 65.7 or 53.1 or whatever. This makes it easier for Oxford, Cambridge or whatever other universities you apply for to establish your true potential, because a score of 61 and a score of 69.4 are both 2:1s, but the 69.4 is a much higher raw score than the 61. That is why they don't use 1:1, 2:1, 2:2, etc. but the raw scores, because they give a much more accurate reflection of a person's capability and potential.

Also, they can see how you perform across the board, so if you are strong in other modules and get high 2:1s and firsts, but get 2:2s in a couple of modules that bring down your overall grade, they can see that you are a strong candidate but that you struggled with a particular area/certain modules. If you can show them that you improved in second year, by getting high 2:1s and hopefully some firsts in there too, that will help massively. Put all your efforts into getting a first, and if you fall short of that then you should still be in the high 2:1s. If you aim for a 2:1 and fall short, you are in the 2:2 bracket, so always shoot high. There's no such thing as "naturally able" or "naturally clever", just people who exhaust all options to help themselves score big. So, become the kind of person who sniffs out every opportunity, every bit of support, and work your little socks off.

Building relationships with academic supervisors, guidance counsellors, etc.
Make sure you are present in every lesson you have. I cannot stress how important this is. If you have tutorials/seminars then make sure you participate by offering answers and engaging in discussions, get feedback from your academic mentors or whatever equivalent you have at Manchester, and form relationships with your teachers and supervisors. You will need references when you apply for your masters, and you want them to be glowing. You want them to be able to say that you are on track for a high 2:1 or a first overall, and the only way your referees can say that is if they can see your grades improve in second year and see that you are putting in the work. They are more likely to polish your reference if they like you and appreciate you and are able to put a face to the name.

Forget first year. It's gone, done and dusted. Focus now on second and third years. Create an action plan. Create a list of all the people/support networks at university that will help you improve your grades. Meet with your mentor/supervisor/whomever and explain that you are worried about your first year results and really want to have a shot at Oxbridge, and ask for any advice they have. That is their job, and they are bloody good at it.

Sorry for such long answers, but I really want to flesh things out a bit so that I can help you. I hope what I've said makes sense, but let me know if you need any clarifications!
Hi Holly

Thank you so much!

your answer is really helpful. I will forget what happens in the first year and strive my best in the Y2 !!!

Thanks again for your help!
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Hi Holly

Thank you so much!

your answer is really helpful. I will forget what happens in the first year and strive my best in the Y2 !!!

Thanks again for your help!
No worries! I'm sure you'll do well, wherever you end up studying!
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bowen Jing
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(Original post by holly_1994)
No worries! I'm sure you'll do well, wherever you end up studying!
I personally think that getting an offer from Cambridge is just a recognition of my studies. I will use the advice you gave me to work towards this goal! !

Finally, thank you very much for your help and hope that everything goes well in your life and work!
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holly_1994
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(Original post by bowen Jing)
I personally think that getting an offer from Cambridge is just a recognition of my studies. I will use the advice you gave me to work towards this goal! !

Finally, thank you very much for your help and hope that everything goes well in your life and work!
Thanks! All the best for your future.
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EmiEmi999
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Wow thank you Holly for an in-depth information! I found this really useful!
I am also planning to apply to top universities like Oxford, Cambridge, ucl, and kings college for my master degree also! I am currently a second year students majoring in Childhood Studies with Management at the university of Bristol. My first year grade was 65 and I improved this year with a 69 average. Though I am quite happy with my scores but I am quit confident to apply to Cambridge or Oxford since the last time I checked they said a 2 years working experience is needed. I am not sure whether they changed it now since Covid and all. I have done some internships and volunteers actually but it does not equate to 2 years working experience. However, I saw on your post that you did not have any work experience. Am I right? If so, did they mention anything about your work experience during the application process?
I honestly just feel discourage since I do not have that much experience and is afraid that that might hinder my application. Do you think they really care that I just finished my bachelor degree and goes straight to master degree with no job experience? Would that effect my application?
Also, when do you think is the best time to start my application and submit it?
Thanks in advance.
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bowen Jing
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(Original post by EmiEmi999)
Wow thank you Holly for an in-depth information! I found this really useful!
I am also planning to apply to top universities like Oxford, Cambridge, ucl, and kings college for my master degree also! I am currently a second year students majoring in Childhood Studies with Management at the university of Bristol. My first year grade was 65 and I improved this year with a 69 average. Though I am quite happy with my scores but I am quit confident to apply to Cambridge or Oxford since the last time I checked they said a 2 years working experience is needed. I am not sure whether they changed it now since Covid and all. I have done some internships and volunteers actually but it does not equate to 2 years working experience. However, I saw on your post that you did not have any work experience. Am I right? If so, did they mention anything about your work experience during the application process?
I honestly just feel discourage since I do not have that much experience and is afraid that that might hinder my application. Do you think they really care that I just finished my bachelor degree and goes straight to master degree with no job experience? Would that effect my application?
Also, when do you think is the best time to start my application and submit it?
Thanks in advance.
Personal perspective: the internship may depend on the course you choose. For example, I study engineering which doesn't need experience of work or internship. For me, GPA and RP are extremely important. However, my friends who study business(accounting) need internship experience from a big company
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EmiEmi999
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Thanks Bowen Jing! I’ve just checked it and now there’s no requirement for work experience (I think they changed it due to Covid and all). I honestly don’t think I’ll get accepted but I just want to give it a try so that there’s no regret in life hahaha. Thank you for your opinion!
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(Original post by EmiEmi999)
Wow thank you Holly for an in-depth information! I found this really useful!
I am also planning to apply to top universities like Oxford, Cambridge, ucl, and kings college for my master degree also! I am currently a second year students majoring in Childhood Studies with Management at the university of Bristol. My first year grade was 65 and I improved this year with a 69 average. Though I am quite happy with my scores but I am quit confident to apply to Cambridge or Oxford since the last time I checked they said a 2 years working experience is needed. I am not sure whether they changed it now since Covid and all. I have done some internships and volunteers actually but it does not equate to 2 years working experience. However, I saw on your post that you did not have any work experience. Am I right? If so, did they mention anything about your work experience during the application process?
I honestly just feel discourage since I do not have that much experience and is afraid that that might hinder my application. Do you think they really care that I just finished my bachelor degree and goes straight to master degree with no job experience? Would that effect my application?
Also, when do you think is the best time to start my application and submit it?
Thanks in advance.
Hello! It all depends on the course, really. I'd call Oxford and have a chat about it, because they'll be able to give you all the best info. I think I started writing applications in October or whenever they opened, and didn't finish them/submit until the November. I got my Cambridge offer through before Christmas but Oxford takes much longer as they don't send out offers until after the application deadline has passed (which is usually in January), so applying around November is probably a nice way to go. But it can take months and months and months to hear back, even if you apply on the first day applications open, so it doesn't matter if you don't apply until the last day applications are open. I will say, though, that Cambridge makes offers on a rolling basis, meaning they review applications as soon as they receive them and make offers throughout the year.

I know a lot of universities are making allowances re. Covid, especially when it comes to work experience. A lot of teaching courses, for example, no longer require any classroom experience. Just call and have a chat with Oxford and any other universities that normally have requirements that are impacted by Covid, to see what the most up-to-date news is.
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(Original post by holly_1994)
Hello! It all depends on the course, really. I'd call Oxford and have a chat about it, because they'll be able to give you all the best info. I think I started writing applications in October or whenever they opened, and didn't finish them/submit until the November. I got my Cambridge offer through before Christmas but Oxford takes much longer as they don't send out offers until after the application deadline has passed (which is usually in January), so applying around November is probably a nice way to go. But it can take months and months and months to hear back, even if you apply on the first day applications open, so it doesn't matter if you don't apply until the last day applications are open. I will say, though, that Cambridge makes offers on a rolling basis, meaning they review applications as soon as they receive them and make offers throughout the year.

I know a lot of universities are making allowances re. Covid, especially when it comes to work experience. A lot of teaching courses, for example, no longer require any classroom experience. Just call and have a chat with Oxford and any other universities that normally have requirements that are impacted by Covid, to see what the most up-to-date news is.
Thank you so much! Would definitely do that.
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(Original post by holly_1994)
Hi! I did an MPhil at Cambridge and received an offer for an MA at Oxford, and can tell you that the main things they look for are:

1. Solid grades throughout all years of your degree. If you pull up in years 2 and 3 and average a high 2:1 / first then you might stand a chance. If you get a mid 2:1 in your second year, you might want to wait until after you’ve graduated/received better third year results to help boost things, but there’s never any harm in applying. I will say that on my course of about 15 people (MPhil Medieval History) everyone had a first class degree or international equivalent, including myself, but I applied before I had my overall results meaning I had an average of high 2:1 (although was clearly on track for a first) when I received my offer. It is worth remembering that the majority of masters courses at Oxbridge state an upper 2:1 is fine, so a first isn’t always compulsory.

2. Research proposal. They will look for a solid proposal that is workable and adds to the field of scholarship. You need to produce a proposal that stands out and concerns an area of research that is needed in your field. Look for gaps in the field or areas where you can build. Make sure you make your proposal flawless! There are example proposals on the English department website for Cambridge you might wish to look at.

3. (Optional) Interview with chosen supervisor. I say interview, but it might just be an informal chat. You don’t need to seek out a potential supervisor as they can choose someone on your behalf, but personally I think you should take time to find the best fit for you and send them an email asking if they’d be happy to discuss your project. If you have the chance to meet them in person or via Teams or something then do it! Let them put a face to the name. A good personal connection might be enough to smooth over any creases in your application. Oh and, from experience, they are more than happy to chat with you. Cambridge is much friendlier than Oxford on that front, I must say, but don’t be afraid to reach out when you come to applying.

If you can put in the work from now, get all the academic support on offer at your current university (ask about essay writing help, exam support, mentoring, etc) work your socks off and get high 2:1s and above, you’ll have as good a shot as anyone else.

As others have said, they don’t care about A levels and GCSEs. In fact, from what I remember, I didn’t have to put them down on my applications. They just want to know that your grades are consistent and that you are a strong candidate that will be able to carry out the proposed research project. You’ve got two years to prove your consistency, but start making the changes straight away.

Don’t worry about internships and things. I didn’t have any and it wouldn’t have made a difference had I done 10 internships.

Know your subject thoroughly. Know your research proposal and understand how it will impact the field. And pull up your grades. Other than that, you’ll require a bit of luck.

I hope this helps!
Hi Holly,

Hope you are doing well

I got a question about your third piece of advice.

Do you mean to find a chosen supervisor in Cambridge?

If so, how can I find a supervisor in Cambridge?

via their official page, or?
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Hi Holly,

Hope you are doing well

I got a question about your third piece of advice.

Do you mean to find a chosen supervisor in Cambridge?

If so, how can I find a supervisor in Cambridge?

via their official page, or?
Hi Amanda,

If you Google the staff directory for your department, e.g. “Cambridge University History Faculty Staff” or whatever it may be, sift through the ones that specialise in your area (e.g. medieval literature, hydrology, cancer studies) and contact them by the email address next to their name. They should all have an institutional email address on the staff directory page, and you are perfectly OK to send an email to their academic email address if it is listed. Just briefly introduce yourself and your thesis idea/project, and ask if they would be happy to discuss things further. If they are interested, you might end up having a discussion via email that may or may not lead to a face-to-face or phone discussion, but I think you’re best keeping your initial email brief, providing only the necessary info that may spark further conversation.

I hope this helps
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#20
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#20
(Original post by holly_1994)
Hi Amanda,

If you Google the staff directory for your department, e.g. “Cambridge University History Faculty Staff” or whatever it may be, sift through the ones that specialise in your area (e.g. medieval literature, hydrology, cancer studies) and contact them by the email address next to their name. They should all have an institutional email address on the staff directory page, and you are perfectly OK to send an email to their academic email address if it is listed. Just briefly introduce yourself and your thesis idea/project, and ask if they would be happy to discuss things further. If they are interested, you might end up having a discussion via email that may or may not lead to a face-to-face or phone discussion, but I think you’re best keeping your initial email brief, providing only the necessary info that may spark further conversation.

I hope this helps
Hi Holly,



I see, appreciate your detailed explanation!
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