Master in Linguistics @ Oxbridge: Reload

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Jim
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Hi I'm Jim. I'm new to this forum & this is my second post here.

I am planning on doing a Masters in Linguistics at Oxford or Cambridge & would like to know what the chances are to get in there.

I am currently persuing a BA degree in International Business at Brighton Uni. I chose this Uni because it has one of the highest ratios of international students in the UK which makes things a lot easier when you're not British!

I wonder if being a foreigner is a disadvantage when applying at Oxbridge or if it's rather beneficial, especially with regards to the fact that Linguistics is a quiet demanding subject in terms of language skills...

Any input is appreciated!

Cheers,

Jim
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J.S.
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(Original post by Jim)
Hi I'm Jim. I'm new to this forum & this is my second post here.

I am planning on doing a Masters in Linguistics at Oxford or Cambridge & would like to know what the chances are to get in there.

I am currently persuing a BA degree in International Business at Brighton Uni. I chose this Uni because it has one of the highest ratios of international students in the UK which makes things a lot easier when you're not British!

I wonder if being a foreigner is a disadvantage when applying at Oxbridge or if it's rather beneficial, especially with regards to the fact that Linguistics is a quiet demanding subject in terms of language skills...

Any input is appreciated!

Cheers,

Jim


I know the postgrad system at Oxbridge reasonably well. You certainly need a first to even have your application seriously looked at, this has a lot to do with your first degree being at best of limited relevance, and the university at which you've studied. This is directly from the admissions tutor, it makes ALL the difference as to where your degree is from. To stand a good chance you should perhaps be looking to obtain the highest first class honours in your university year group.

Basically, postgrad is no backdoor way of getting in (aside from very unpopular subjects), and where the ratios are 10/1 you basically have to be the best of the best. People with first class honours from Oxf/Cam/LSE/UCL/War/Notts are likely to apply, also people from the Ivy league. Sorry, didn't mean to discourage.

J.S.
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Jim
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Hi J.S.

Thanks a bunch for your reply. But yes... You discouraged me a hell of a lot! I just realised that I actually know a lot less about the educational system here than I thought...
But why does it say in the Oxbridge brochures that you need a "first OR a good upper second degree" to get in. Why do they say it when there's actually nobody getting in with an upper second?! Is it that they just like getting as many applications as possible?! Are they keen on checking all the application material that comes in?!
Also, I know that many lecturers there have earned their degrees from middle range universities such as Southampton or Bristol or from fairly usual universities in Europe. How could they get in and even teach there?

Jim
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what has international business got to do with linguistics? :confused:
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J.S.
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(Original post by Jim)
Hi J.S.

Thanks a bunch for your reply. But yes... You discouraged me a hell of a lot! I just realised that I actually know a lot less about the educational system here than I thought...
But why does it say in the Oxbridge brochures that you need a "first OR a good upper second degree" to get in. Why do they say it when there's actually nobody getting in with an upper second?! Is it that they just like getting as many applications as possible?! Are they keen on checking all the application material that comes in?!
Also, I know that many lecturers there have earned their degrees from middle range universities such as Southampton or Bristol or from fairly usual universities in Europe. How could they get in and even teach there?

Jim
Suppose they could consider very good 2:1's, but I think that'd really be for 2:1's from the absolute top cohort of Universities. They say 2:1, however when you get 10 applications per place, then I suppose you can afford to get rid of pretty much all the 2:1's. As for Bristol, well that's not really a mid ranked uni. Outside of Oxbridge, LSE, UCL, Bristol, Warwick, (i.e. the top research universities) are very well respected in academia. There would certainly be a bias in allowing people from these universities into grad. school. As for the lecturers, pretty much all the highly regarded lecturers have a first.
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Jim
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Okay, as for Bristol you're certainly right, I was just getting the facts wrong. But I see you point. With a degree from Brighton Uni it might indeed get difficult to get into one of the top universities, as it is a former "polytechnic"... But what I wanted to say is that, when I look at the academic staff's CVs which are provided on the web pages at Oxbridge, some of them are not from those top universities you mentioned...
But another question: Would you think that an appealing cv with many months spent abroad for work placements, language courses etc plus a broad range of languages spoken could uplift a first class honours degree from a former polytechnic?
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Jim
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I think the two are closely related to each other since languages are essential in today's (international) business environment. Language tuition is also part of my current degree course.
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J.S.
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(Original post by Jim)
Okay, as for Bristol you're certainly right, I was just getting the facts wrong. But I see you point. With a degree from Brighton Uni it might indeed get difficult to get into one of the top universities, as it is a former "polytechnic"... But what I wanted to say is that, when I look at the academic staff's CVs which are provided on the web pages at Oxbridge, some of them are not from those top universities you mentioned...
But another question: Would you think that an appealing cv with many months spent abroad for work placements, language courses etc plus a broad range of languages spoken could uplift a first class honours degree from a former polytechnic?

The professors may not all come from top universities, but almost invariably have a first class honours, and a string of scholarships and prizes, whether at undergrad. or at masters level. As for work experience, that does depend on the department itself. I don't know lingustics, I know International Relations and Economics well. I think it's probably something they will look at in addition, rather than a means of compensation. However, as I said, there is a departmental variation in what they prefer, perhaps you ought to ring up and ask. Have to say though 10 apps per place, that is seriously competitive!
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Jim
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(Original post by J.S.)
The professors may not all come from top universities, but almost invariably have a first class honours, and a string of scholarships and prizes, whether at undergrad. or at masters level. As for work experience, that does depend on the department itself. I don't know lingustics, I know International Relations and Economics well. I think it's probably something they will look at in addition, rather than a means of compensation. However, as I said, there is a departmental variation in what they prefer, perhaps you ought to ring up and ask. Have to say though 10 apps per place, that is seriously competitive!
Right. 10 apps per place is daunting. It appears to me that competition for post graduates is even stronger than for under graduates. Is this correct?
I would also think that Economics is more competitive than Linguistics. Maybe it's less than 10 apps per place...
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