UCAS: Cambridge or Oxford?

(176 Posts)
user1473771286 Tue 13-Sep-16 14:21:26

DD is interested in studying economics at Cambridge. The predicted grade is A*A*A, not all A* (due to a low A grade in one of the AS science subjects). Is this good enough for Cambridge? or is Oxford easier? She got straight A* in GCSE. Any advice? Many thanks.

OP’s posts: |
Bobochic Tue 13-Sep-16 14:24:16

Her grades are fine for applying.

Economics is very competitive and a bit of a lottery at all the top universities.

Bobochic Tue 13-Sep-16 14:24:57

Presumably she is doing Maths and FM?

Needmoresleep Tue 13-Sep-16 14:51:18

They are very different courses. Cambridge economics is very mathematical (as are UCL, LSE and Warwick) Oxford (E&M or PPE) are far less so.

What suits?

Needmoresleep Tue 13-Sep-16 14:52:42

Sorry, mistyped. Less maths at Oxford but it's still normally necessary to show you are a capable mathematician.

TragicallyUnbeyachted Tue 13-Sep-16 14:55:30

I agree with Needmoresleep -- the courses are quite different so she should go by which course is more what she's looking for rather than trying to second-guess whether she'd get an interview with her predicted grades.

MrsHathaway Tue 13-Sep-16 14:57:05

The "only" A needs to be in a different kind of subject - so if it's a pure science that would be ok but if it's her Maths that probably won't be good enough.

She can prove her subject knowledge and interest through MOOCs and wider reading.

Do Oxford offer pure Economics nowadays? You used to have to go through PPE and would need strong essay subjects.


ErrolTheDragon Tue 13-Sep-16 15:01:03

Presumably she knows about the cambridge pre-assessment? http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/ba/admissions.html

TragicallyUnbeyachted Tue 13-Sep-16 15:02:18

There's PPE, Economics and Management or Economics and History now, MrsHathaway -- so still no pure Economics but three relatively different angles on it.

MrsHathaway Tue 13-Sep-16 15:13:08

Thanks Tragically.

I'm sure someone shared something on FB today about the assessment deadline falling very soon ... though that might have been the choral assessments.

shockthemonkey Tue 13-Sep-16 15:26:23

Assessments will be 2nd November!

TSA for Oxford and special assessment from Cambridge

ErrolTheDragon Tue 13-Sep-16 15:32:21

The cambridge pre-assesments (for all subjects afaik) are nov. 2nd but the application has to be in by sep 15th. I'm not sure if they need to have the personal statement and ucas stuff done too if they're 'early applicants' (oxbridge/med/vet/conservatoires) - I got the impression from DD they did but maybe just her school being on top of things. (Shes not interested in econ, just for clarity )

MrsHathaway Tue 13-Sep-16 15:54:56

That rings a bell, Errol.

Whether or not it's scandalous that you have to be so far ahead of the usual UCAS deadlines is a discussion for another day ...

ErrolTheDragon Tue 13-Sep-16 16:13:54

Its only scandalous if colleges/sixth forms let their kids down by not making them aware. If there's going to be a pre-assessment, it needs to be done and marked at this stage so students don't waste one of their 5 choices if they don't make the cut, doesn't it? (or isn't that how it works?) While students ought to be able to google course requirements, they do need to have a clue of the deadlines and that there is such a thing as pre-assessment now.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 13-Sep-16 16:15:57

And I'm a bit worried that the OP's DD has been let down if she's asking this question 2 days before the cambridge pre-ass form needs to be submitted.

Needmoresleep Tue 13-Sep-16 16:46:56

Errol, me too. DS got caught out by how competitive top economics courses were. And if the competition for Cambridge economics is tough, Oxford E&M is brutal.

If you think you might want to continue with pure economics to Masters level or beyond you are probably best off taking a degree with as much maths as possible. One of the four I mentioned above. But most people don't want to, and are instead hoping for a job with an investment bank, accountancy or consultancy firm. If so Oxford or the other four will be fine, as will other degrees. (Cue a debate on the importance of where you study!).

However you then need to be prepared to be rejected, even with stellar grades. And it is a bit of a lottery so you can be rejected by LSE and get Cambridge or be rejected by Warwick and get LSE. So there is a decision. Apply to all-four with a single back up fifth choice and/or be prepared to reapply, or try one treating it as a very aspirational choice.

One reason for the strong competition was that top UK economics courses were attracting a lot of good EU applicants. I wonder if this demand will tail off.

Bobochic Tue 13-Sep-16 17:03:24

I know a lot of students (including my DSSs) who have read (are reading) Economics and it is a bit of a lottery as to where they get offers but it doesn't seem to be terribly important which of a few well-regarded courses they end up on when it comes to applying for Masters, internships and jobs. What matters is doing really well on whichever course you do. There is absolutely no guarantee that an E&M graduate will trump all the others when cashing in on his/her degree.

MrsHathaway Tue 13-Sep-16 17:30:41

That's exactly the scandal. Will schools/colleges without a regular Oxbridge contingent be on top of those deadlines?

Mine was an Oxbridge school so the likely candidates started what was then S-Level tutoring in Y12 and did their application paperwork over the summer, to be finalised in September. Meanwhile my university housemate was the first in his family to go to university and the first from his college to go to university.

I know information is easier to come by nowadays but you do have to be looking for it on the right day.

RhodaBull Tue 13-Sep-16 17:45:48

Don't panic! The deadline for Oxbridge is October 15th, not September 15th.

SanityClause Tue 13-Sep-16 17:45:49

Sorry, Errol, can you link to where applications have to be in by 15 September? I understood it was 15 October.

SanityClause Tue 13-Sep-16 17:46:59

X-posted, Rhoda. That's what I thought, too.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 13-Sep-16 17:48:21

Apologies I am an idiot who can't read.
15th OCTOBER not september!!!!!!

Sincerely hope I haven't caused alarm and despondancy!!! Think I got confused cos my DDs school makes them do stuff early.

MrsHathaway Tue 13-Sep-16 17:49:16

See this page - at the bottom. Depends on subject and disability (!). I don't see 15/9 but I certainly see 30/9 and 1/10.

MrsHathaway Tue 13-Sep-16 17:49:58

To clarify: that's the pre assessment registration for certain subjects. Please do check if in any doubt.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 13-Sep-16 17:50:03

Xposted with non-idiots.

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