Manchester uni or Southampton uni?(21 Posts)
My daughter has offers for history degree at both unis - both AAB. She's not confident in achieving these grades. Which one do you think may potentially be more flexible if she puts as first choice? Considering Manchester met or Essex as second choice
It varies year on year because it depends on what the other students applying have achieved and how over subscribed the course is. If it is not over subscribed there is wriggle room. Therefore I would choose the university by a mix of the higher ranked course, where she wants to live and the feel of the university. You could look at employment figures and cost of living as well. I just do not see how personal anecdotes of success or failure to get on a course with lower grades in previous years will inform this year.
Not sure about Essex or Manchester Met. Colchester countryside or Manchester? Really depends on how you feel about a campus in Essex over a large city.
Thanks for your advice. Agree Essex and Manchester so very different. Both courses look good but lots to consider
Manchester uni guarantees accommodation for both firm and insurance.
Several of DDs' friends dropped grades last year and still got into their first choices - this includes Manchester (but for different courses). I don't have any knowledge of Southampton. If she is likely to only drop one grade I would risk putting her favourite two as firm and insurance - with clearing as a backup!
I agree with hellsbells. I would think it is very likely Manchester Met & Essex will be in clearing. If not, there will be other history courses. Far better to put the two she really wants down & hoping for the best. FWIW I know someone who missed their offer for a different subject at Southampton by a lot last summer & they still took her.
As well as looking at the course, she needs to think about where she wants to spend the next 3/4 years of her life, whether she would prefer a City or a Campus, cost/ease of getting home (is she is likely to want to come home regularly) etc.
Re Manchester Met, I would also check which campus her course will be on.
I know a number of people who went through Clearing, only to find that they weren't in Manchester, but in Crewe.
Agree that she should put the two down that she wants. Also to go and explore the campuses/cities as much as possible.
Why Manchester Met? It's way below the other three mentioned in quality in the field of History.
She should go for the course she really wants to do. She shouldn't second guess herself, or set herself up for failure (not getting the grades).
Usually schools say insurance choice should be a slightly lower offer and definitely attainable grades. Therefore if Southampton and Manchester are the same, then it would have to be clearing if the grades are not reached and these two are firm and insurance. Both may be flexible. I tend to think History at the better Universities is very popular and lots of Universitites will be asking for AAA or higher. AAB could be contextual offer or these universities are less popular for History. However Manchester Met is not on a par with Manchester University so I would definitely go with Manchester University over Manchester Met. I think looking at the ranking positions of the courses, and the universities, not necessarily the content is a better guide as to which university. Course content changes and employers never care much about the content of a history course (unless you are teaching it of course). They care more about Russell Group universities I'm afraid!
If you DD is cautious then she might be better having a safe insurance rather than putting Manchester and Southampton as both firm and insurance choices.
My DD2 was really stressed during her A levels so chose a realistic rather than 'aspirational' firm and an virtually guaranteed insurance. She didn't think she would 'cope' if she gambled with an overly ambitious choice. In the end she went somewhere better using the adjustment process.
A lot of the experience quoted above is out of date. Since 2012 number caps have been lifted completely while fees have been frozen. Universities therefore have to recruit slightly more students each year so that their budget in real terms does not decrease. It is therefore easier to get into top universities than it was even a couple of years ago.
While clearing of course changes year by year, many RG history courses were in clearing for ABB or even BBB last year. Students are very likely to be accepted at all but the very top institutions if they drop a grade, or even two grades. Departments will often take students who have insured with them at one lower grade than their clearing offer, because they prefer to take students who really want to come.
Places such as Manchester Met are almost certainly going to be in clearing for history accepting low grades (Cs and Ds) - if OP's DD has the potential to get AAB then she may well find that the average level at a place such as Manchester Met is far too low for her.
Overall I don't see what OP's DD has to lose by firming and insuring Manchester and Southampton. Both will very likely take one (or even two) dropped grades but if they don't there will be plenty of other places available in clearing, including Essex and Manchester Met. BTW I think both Manchester and Southampton guarantee accommodation to insurance as well as firm but this is easy to check on their websites.
Our experience was different. My son missed both his history offers for Bristol and Exeter and neither of these would take him with the one grade down.
In the end he went to his number three choice, incidentally frequently rated as highly as the other two. They had offered him an offer originally and didn't mind the one missed grade.
But Bristol and Exeter are "top" over-subscribed places for humanities. They are not usually in clearing for history, so you wouldn't expect them to be taking dropped grades. Similarly you wouldn't expect "top" places such as UCL or Durham to take dropped grades or enter clearing for history.
Southampton (and I think Manchester also) has consistently been in clearing for history, as have other very highly rated RG departments such as York. If I recall correctly York was actually the top rated department for history in the research assessment last year, above Oxbridge etc.
I agree with what disquisitiones said.
My DS applied for Southampton last year - didn't get on his course due to lower grades but they offered him an alternative subject (one he'd studied at A level) and he accepted that instead.
I'd put them both down if she really likes them.
Southampton guarantees accommodation for Firm and Insurance.
Thanks all for your thoughts. If it was just up to me I'd put Southampton and Manchester and take a risk about Essex being in clearing. She however really liked Essex and the course, and I think has decided to put it as her insurance. She got 3 Bs in her AS exams (C in the dropped subject). Planning on going to some of the applicant days as well.
Is there an advantage in making the decision asap due to accommodation?
Check the individual Unis for their accommodation deadlines, generally it doesn't make any difference when you firm your choices for unconditional offer holders.
I remember DS selecting his accommodation for Southampton really early, but can't remember when the cut off was. He was just very keen to go there!
My DD2 has already selected accommodation for Manchester.
What matters is when the accommodation is allocated rather than when it can be applied for. You have to look at each universities accommodation policy individually.
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