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    When do people normally choose?
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    Wait until you get your AS results. If, then, you're confident that you can go on to get AAA at A-level, then an AAB/ABB insurance should be alright.
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    Hmm

    That's a rather unusual set you have there.

    I think most people would regard QM as the most insurance-y of your choices (320-340 points including A in English).

    Exeter is more likely to be an AAA offer (they are upping their offers in many departments).

    I also think a lot of people would argue that Nottingham and Leeds are as strong or stronger for English than your other choices.

    What grades are you predicted?What subjects are you taking? How were your GCSEs?

    What do you want in terms of location/uni style (this looks confused from your selection)? What sort of assessment do you prefer? Do you have particular interests in drama/early English/creative writing etc?

    I think you need to think about these questions more before deciding which unis to apply to.
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    English is a highly competitive subject.

    Last year, the universities offering AAB were extremely popular because they attracted applicants predicted AAA, looking for insurance offers, as well as those predicted AAB.

    As a result, Warwick had over 1000 applicants for just over 100 places, and Exeter upped their standard offer for many people to AAA (athough I think the Cornwall campus offer may have been lower)

    It seemed (from threads on here and experience of people I know) that 5 offers is extremely unusual - there's examples, for instance, of English applicants having only one or two offers. This includes high-quality applicants who may have an Oxbridge offer, another AAA offer and 3 rejections.

    You've identified the key point - that insurance choices for English are really tricky! - and you've still got enough time to research carefully. Good luck!
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    I've made Queen Mary my insurance this year - as peachmelba says, the grades they ask for are relatively low (compared to English courses at other universities, anyway), and while it depends on what you're predicted, personally I felt like it was a safe choice for my insurance, as I'm predicted AAA.

    If your AS results are good and you're confident you can get AAA or AAB at A-Level, then Queen Mary, and maybe Royal Holloway would be good insurance choices, although I'm not sure about Exeter. It's good that you're thinking about it already, but it's probably a bit early to decide - wait until your AS results are out, as they'll help you make your decision.
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    change Exeter to the Falmouth campus? Lower grade requirement (usually!) and you still get an Exeter degree? Just a thought.

    I'd say wait until results day
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    Leicester and UEA are great for English. Leicester wants AAB (Was ABB but they just upped it) and UEA is AAA/AAB but is quite lenient.
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    Well thanks for the responses so far, they've certainly made me re-consider my choices.
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    (Original post by tsxmitw)
    Evening,

    I'm looking to study English Lit for entry in 2010, and would just like to ask everyone who has been through the application process about these 'insurance' choices. So here's my top 5 at the moment...

    Firm choices

    1. Kings College
    2. Warwick
    3. Queen Mary

    Insurance

    4. Exeter
    5. Royal Holloway

    I love the look of all of these universities, and the courses certainly appeal to me.

    I'm a bit dubious over whether my so called 'insurance' choices aren't exactly great choices to fall back on; Exeter I've been told can be competetive and Royal Holloway is an AAB entry like all of my top 5. So in your experiences, should I aim lower, perhaps have, say, Leeds or Nottingham as insurance choices?

    Thanks

    I'm thinking of applying to some of the same unis for English - King's, Royal Holloway and maybe Exeter. I've heard Exeter are quite fussy about GCSE grades though and my GCSE grades were good but not amazing.
    One of my insurance choices is Surrey. They want ABB for English Lit. The university is in a great location close to London and it has great employment rates for graduates so I'd recommend it as a good insurance option to consider.
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    I had no idea which universities would accept me so I went for a wide range:

    Cambridge, Durham, Lancaster, York St John and Bangor. I ended up with all 5 offers and the good thing was some gave me offers straight away so took away the worry of waiting. Aim high, definitely, but also try to have at least one choice where you'll be happy but they have a lower requirement.
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    (Original post by tsxmitw)
    Evening,

    I'm looking to study English Lit for entry in 2010, and would just like to ask everyone who has been through the application process about these 'insurance' choices. So here's my top 5 at the moment...

    Firm choices

    1. Kings College
    2. Warwick
    3. Queen Mary

    Insurance

    4. Exeter
    5. Royal Holloway

    I love the look of all of these universities, and the courses certainly appeal to me.

    I'm a bit dubious over whether my so called 'insurance' choices aren't exactly great choices to fall back on; Exeter I've been told can be competetive and Royal Holloway is an AAB entry like all of my top 5. So in your experiences, should I aim lower, perhaps have, say, Leeds or Nottingham as insurance choices?

    Thanks
    I applied to nearly all of these Universities (predicted AAA and I think my application was generally pretty good, I also sent it off pretty early) and I was offered AAA from Exeter and AAB from Royal Holloway, they both replied really quickly, Leeds offered me a place on their Cultural Studies Course rather than English since that was full and Warwick never got back to me so I had to withdraw my application there so that I could reply to my offers.

    Exeter offer everyone AAA as far as I know so unless you actually want to go there I wouldn't pick it for an insurance choice.

    Leeds is extremely competetive and get a huge number of applicants so whether that would be a good insurance choice or not depends how good your application is. It'd be worth checking what grades they offer if you're going to put it as your insurance because if it's AAA it's not going to be a good insurance choice.

    Royal Holloway offer AAB for English so if your firm choice is going to be AAA then Royal Holloway could be an insurance choice but if your firm choice is going to offer you AAB as well then there's not much point in having an insurance choice with the same grades.

    I'm only speaking from my own experience here but I applied to Leicester and was offered ABB so if you need one with lower grades Leicester might be worth taking a look at. I applied it thinking it would be my insurance but liked it so much that I've put it as my firm!
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    As you say you like London and your grades seem good - why not try UCL? I got an offer from them last year with far from impressive secondary school grades, which has led me to believe that they really can't be that competitive :p:
    From what I've heard, Leeds is very popular, competitive and high in the ranking for English, so perhaps that's not a good insurance choice. They can be very mean though; last year they sent me an email I had an offer, immediately followed by another that they'd made a mistake and had not decided yet. I got an offer eventually, but I guess that was just because they felt guilty.
    I put Royal Holloway as my insurance too and got accepted, so with someone with your grades that should be ok, I guess.

    Good luck with your decision
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    Thanks very much for the responses, looks like Surrey and Leicester could prove good insurance choices for me - I will be looking into these places.

    (Original post by _Claudia_)
    As you say you like London and your grades seem good - why not try UCL? I got an offer from them last year with far from impressive secondary school grades, which has led me to believe that they really can't be that competitive :p:
    Same problem I have with York - they want a GCSE/A level in a foreign lanuage, which I don't have.
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    (Original post by tsxmitw)
    Thanks very much for the responses, looks like Surrey and Leicester could prove good insurance choices for me - I will be looking into these places.



    Same problem I have with York - they want a GCSE/A level in a foreign lanuage, which I don't have.
    So does Nottingham! If you have a valid reason for not having one they can take that into consideration... It didn't really help with my Nottingham app though - they still rejected me. :tongue:

    Have you considered places like Glasgow? Still respectable, with ABB typical offer (or at least, it was this year!) Other unis you could look at are the likes of UEA, Sheffield, and Manchester :yep: You could also look at JH courses as sometimes they have lower entry requirements.
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    I'm predicted A* at A2 for English Lit, as well as an A* in Tudor History, probably an A in Geography and an A in music.
    Interesting that your school hands out A* predictions before seeing the AS results. But that's impressive.

    Your GCSE's are good but probably not as strong as some English candidates.

    I think picking QM because you fancy going to the theatre in London is perhaps a little naieve. Theatre is so expensive (and yes I know about student standby tickets.) And RH is not really in London, the last time I looked. To be honest, with A*A*AA predictions you could do better than either. League tables are not the be all and end all but uni reputation can be important in terms of future career prospects.

    With your grades/predictions, you should aim high with 3 or 4 of your choices. KCL, maybe Exeter if you really like it, and I don't see why you shouldn't have a crack at Oxbridge.

    With a good personal statement and reference, I'd be surprised if you didn't get an offer from Leeds. In 2005/06, they made offers to 55% of 1334 applicants for English (lots of people put Leeds as an insurance choice, so they make lots of offers).

    Leicester would be a good insurance, though I think you are more likely to get an AAB offer this year (my little brother went to an open day the other week). Maybe have a look at Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow, which have strong English departments. Nottingham also no longer require a language at GCSE - though in the first year you have to do 2 out of language/drama/older English modules from memory.

    Good luck
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    (Original post by tsxmitw)
    Evening,

    I'm looking to study English Lit for entry in 2010, and would just like to ask everyone who has been through the application process about these 'insurance' choices. So here's my top 5 at the moment...

    Firm choices

    1. Kings College
    2. Warwick
    3. Queen Mary

    Insurance

    4. Exeter
    5. Royal Holloway

    I love the look of all of these universities, and the courses certainly appeal to me.

    I'm a bit dubious over whether my so called 'insurance' choices aren't exactly great choices to fall back on; Exeter I've been told can be competetive and Royal Holloway is an AAB entry like all of my top 5. So in your experiences, should I aim lower, perhaps have, say, Leeds or Nottingham as insurance choices?

    Thanks
    English isn't my field of expertise but as far as I'm aware, Exeter is very competetive to get into and as you've pointed out they make AAA offers and generally seen as a sound alternative to Oxbridge so Exeter is in no way to be viewed as an insurance option when asking for such high grades.

    You are right to think about some of the redbricks like Leeds or perhaps even Manchester and Liverpool although I wouldn't have thought they were particularly renowned for English unlike some of the places you stipulated.

    How about places like St Andrews, UCL, Bristol, Durham and York?

    When one of my friends applied those places were asking for AAB they may have raised their requirements now.

    I'm aware that English is quite a popular subject so you don't want to apply to all the redbrick universities which are generally oversubscribed.
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    What you have to remember, is entry req is as much a reflection of supply and demand as it is the quality of the program. UCL have a good English dept- but their staff levels and thus course capacity (about 80 a year) mean they can be incredibly picky with applicants- they have about 13 to every place. Places like Glasgow, which is statistically the most popular university for Scots to apply to but much less so from those in England, and has three times UCLs capacity, gets about 6 applicants per place, ergo the AAB-ABB depending on circumstances. If the OP is looking for realistic insurances but doesn't want to scrimp on quality, they'd do well to look around places like those mentioned above. A slight dip in demand for some of the less fashionable places this weather (St Andrews has went from BBC to AAB in a decade while Edinburgh has remained BBB), while being aware that personal tastes change pretty rapidly (Nottingham's dip in applicants being a notable example) means students can sometimes get on high quality courses by virtue of just not following the current trends in the places everyone wants to study at. Universities don't change or become much better or worse overnight- but league tables can fluctuate by several places year on year. It'd be worth spending an afternoon on things like the RAE, QAA and department websites, getting as much info as possible- it might come in useful.
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    (Original post by Warrior King)
    English isn't my field of expertise but as far as I'm aware, Exeter is very competetive to get into and as you've pointed out they make AAA offers and generally seen as a sound alternative to Oxbridge so Exeter is in no way to be viewed as an insurance option when asking for such high grades.

    You are right to think about some of the redbricks like Leeds or perhaps even Manchester and Liverpool although I wouldn't have thought they were particularly renowned for English unlike some of the places you stipulated.

    How about places like St Andrews, UCL, Bristol, Durham and York?

    When one of my friends applied those places were asking for AAB they may have raised their requirements now.

    I'm aware that English is quite a popular subject so you don't want to apply to all the redbrick universities which are generally oversubscribed.
    UCL, Bristol and Durham are equally as competitive IMO, Durham and Bristol are especially evil from what we've seen this year in the English cycle.
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    (Original post by inksplodge)
    UCL, Bristol and Durham are equally as competitive IMO, Durham and Bristol are especially evil from what we've seen this year in the English cycle.
    But it's like I said before, English is a popular course and similarly to Medicine, all universities are competetive to gain entry to, ask for virtually the same grades and it's not unusual for candidates to end up with just one offer.

    Places like Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle would strike my as insurance choices because whilst they are good universities, they are not outstandingly the best places to study English and hence their grade requirements and competetion for places may well be slightly less than places like Bristol or Durham.

    I mean that in no disrespect to the above mentioned universities but the civic universities tend to be more renowned for their Engineering and Medical and Dental course than their Arts and Social Sciences.
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    (Original post by Warrior King)
    But it's like I said before, English is a popular course and similarly to Medicine, all universities are competetive to gain entry to, ask for virtually the same grades and it's not unusual for candidates to end up with just one offer.

    Places like Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle would strike my as insurance choices because whilst they are good universities, they are not outstandingly the best places to study English and hence their grade requirements and competetion for places may well be slightly less than places like Bristol or Durham.

    I mean that in no disrespect to the above mentioned universities but the civic universities tend to be more renowned for their Engineering and Medical and Dental course than their Arts and Social Sciences.
    While I agree in general there, I'd remove Leeds from that group: It's research and teaching scores are in the top half-dozen or so in the UK (no mean feat for a department that big), and its resources are fantastic. It asks for AAB I think now- the only reason why people (read: school leavers) wouldn't want to study there over somewhere like Durham (less staff, less well equipped, scored less well in teaching and research) is because (taking a dislike to Leeds/city environments aside) they have this 'prestige' nonsense in their head where they think Durham is a cut above, probably because the Times tells them that one is 8th and the other 27th overall. In terms of programme quality, Leeds is top notch (Glasgow is arguably even better, but it'll be years before half of England acknowledge the city isn't a **** hole), but its probably because of this idea of studying in certain fashionable places- of which St Andrews and Durham are undoubtedly examples, which keeps the entry requirements high, and thus keeps each year of school leavers thinking that they're somehow much better than their rivals.
 
 
 
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