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Masters Discussion Forum

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UG average needed for Cambridge/Oxford master's?


User: anoncat - 01 July 2017 07:07

I'm considering applying to Oxford and/or Cambridge for my master's, and I was wondering if anyone knows the types of averages successful UK applicants to master's degrees tend to have? I have been told that the most important part of a master's application is grades, so I'm wondering how well I need to do in my degree in order to stand a good chance. I'm aware that most accepted applicants have firsts, but presumably a considerable number of applicants with firsts don't get in. So I'm wondering if successful applicants tend to have mid or high firsts.

I'm specifically interested in the sorts of marks applicants with undergraduate degrees in Sociology have, as Sociology is the degree I'm doing and it appears to be more common to get grades for example in the 80s in subjects such as Mathematics. I'm interested in applying to study a master's in Sociology or a similar subject.

Thanks in advance.

User: TreeofLife - 04 July 2017 12:00

I wouldn't know since I've never been near Oxbridge, but I'm guessing grades aren't that important as long as you reach the minimum. Since you generally pay for Masters yourself they generally let you in.

No one cares about the percentage of a first. Maybe people look at the consistency of your unit marks on a transcript and how relevant the units you took are to the Masters, but you're not going to lose out on a place because you got a 71% overall and someone else got a 73%.

I just interviewed students for a PhD and the position didn't go to the 'best' candidate in terms of academic achievement. Postgrad stuff is about more than that.

User: anoncat - 04 July 2017 12:50

Hi, thanks for your response. I should probably mention that I would be applying for scholarships, as I can't afford to self-fund out of the pocket.

What factors were most important to you when you assessed students for entry to a PhD?

User: TreeofLife - 04 July 2017 14:04

Oh I see, scholarships might be a bit different then. But there's still no right answer - it depends on your competition. There's the government Masters loans as well if you wanted to go down that route.

I was looking for experience (but again this isn't essential), enthusiasm with evidence (ie examples of previous work in the area, even if just undergraduate units or dissertations, not just sounding enthusiastic), reasons for wanting to a do a PhD in this area and then how they would fit into the research group. Also my interpretations of what they wanted from a PhD and whether this PhD would meet their expectations.




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