Cambridge masterclass days - worth it? Anyone's DC going/gone on one?

(22 Posts)
DrMadelineMaxwell Thu 08-Feb-18 19:08:20

And, in particular, are they worth it for the actual process of applying for uni in the future and are they worth the nrarly 4 hour drive it will be for us?

OP’s posts: |
PandaG Thu 08-Feb-18 19:15:34

Ds went to 2, he was trying to decide between two subjects, and they also gave him a bit of a feel for whether studying at Cambridge was for him. It helped confirm his decisions and he got an offer. Only time will tell if he makes the grades. He went on his own by train though.

DrMadelineMaxwell Thu 08-Feb-18 19:19:21

Train will work out at 5.5 hours and £100 here as we've left it late finding out about the one DD might want to go on. Not a problem though.

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jellybeanteaparty Thu 08-Feb-18 19:29:35

I think they are great if you want to confirm you love the subject, suss out the course and if you think the style would suit you. They do talk a bit about applications and personal statements etc.The open days including faculty open days will give you enough info however I think the masterclass's really help a student work out if the subject choice is right and separately the course at Cambridge is right.

PandaG Thu 08-Feb-18 19:43:23

Yes, we went with DS to subject open day, some of the information was understandably repeated from the masterclass, but open day helped him decide which college.

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 08-Feb-18 20:01:12

Dd found it interesting. Not sure it's worth a four hour journey though!

whiteroseredrose Thu 08-Feb-18 20:14:16

DS went to two and really got a lot out of them. Really interesting and gave him some pointers for background reading. He went alone though, by train day return.


whiteroseredrose Thu 08-Feb-18 20:15:37

6am train there and arrived back around midnight. They have lots of energy at that age!

hellsbells99 Fri 09-Feb-18 00:31:30

DD went to an Engineering one and thought it was a waste of time and not very friendly. It started late, then they were just dismissed for the lunch break (we assumed they would be eating lunch together) and she was on her own and didn't know anyone. She said they spent most of the time talking about admissions and trying to sell the course.
The most useful thing she got out of it was deciding she didn't want to apply there.

Earlgreyandcake Fri 09-Feb-18 07:28:33

Going to one tomorrow- will let you know!

Dancingdreamer Sat 10-Feb-18 06:26:07

My DD did a Cambridge Masterclass and a subject taster day at Oxford. She used them to decide if she wanted the course but also because both incorporated a visit to a college which was also helpful. In the end they helped her decide she definitely wanted Oxford and which course she did and did not want to study.

I am not sure if your DC is interested in Oxford but I know on their open days some colleges run subject taster sessions. You often have to book but these are also helpful.

DrMadelineMaxwell Sat 10-Feb-18 12:43:47

Earlgrey, we are here now and she's doing the history taster day. I'm kicking my heels in the shops nearby til she's done.

It was an early start for us to get here so I hope she finds it worthwhile.

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SuperPug Sat 10-Feb-18 12:48:57

Yes- if it is run well.
I would avoid anything that is not run by the universities and charges £200 +.

Earlgreyandcake Sat 10-Feb-18 12:54:39

Drmad - dd doing history too! I'm on my 4th coffee! Did you attend parents lecture this morning?

EmmaGrundyForPM Sat 10-Feb-18 12:58:23

OP if you're in Cambridge today the Light Festival is on. If you wait until 6pm then the Senate house, Kings College and lots of other places will be lit up with amazing light installations. It's really worth staying for.

Plus if you're looking for somewhere to eat lunch, try Abantu in Hobson Street. It's lovely.

foundoutyet Sat 10-Feb-18 15:20:07

ha, how many students are attending this as quite a few of us parents on mumsnet!?..... DC left on his own this morning by train.

angollady Sat 10-Feb-18 15:51:54

Do you mean masterclasses or taster sessions?
My dd was offered master classes after not being eligible for the summer school. Why did I go to university?
It was 2 days about a month apart. She did really enjoy them, but they were led by postgraduates rather than teaching staff, so there wasn't an opportunity to be 'spotted'.
She rang up and asked about overnight accommodation as we live about 5 hours away and she wouldn't get there by the start time. They not only provided a room for free but they also paid her rail fares.
I don't know if it was helpful for the application as such. She referenced it in a couple of sentences in her personal statement. However, I doubt it it had anything to do with the fact she was offered a place.

SuperPug Sat 10-Feb-18 16:51:36

These events aren't for "spotting" pupils. Obviously good to get speaking to someone in the correct faculty but they're not going to have a say in your application, especially with the college system.

DrMadelineMaxwell Sat 10-Feb-18 19:04:31

It was a masterclass day, so 2 lectures from drs of their subject. Then q and a and advice about applying and a chance to talk to students and the admissions team.

It was made clear attending would have no bearing on her application.

What I wanted her to get out of the day was...
A feel for the demographic of kids who might be applying for the course.
A feel for what the place was like.
For her to be able to decide if it was where she wanted to apply and the subject she wanted to apply for.

And of course, lectures at Cambridge should show an interest in her subject for when she's writing her personal statement for wherever she decides to apply .

She loved it. Made new friends and was able to check that the summer school in UCL that she is attending in Aug is going to be a good thing for her application too.

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DrMadelineMaxwell Sat 10-Feb-18 19:08:07

Earlgrey, unfortunately we only found out about the day on Thurs by which point the parent session was booked up. The email said ask to see if there was space but the sign on the door was clear that it was fully booked so I'm relying on the paper info and what dd tells me for her application.

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LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 11-Feb-18 16:17:03

She did really enjoy them, but they were led by postgraduates rather than teaching staff, so there wasn't an opportunity to be 'spotted'.

1) It would be bad practice to 'spot' anyone at this sort of day. It doesn't happen.

2) Postgrads sometimes interview and often are teaching staff.

2rebecca Mon 12-Feb-18 08:00:30

We flew down from Scotland for the engineering one. It was worth it because Cambridge was the only uni outwith Scotland my son was thinking of applying to and although he loved the day it made him realise he didn't want to go there and we had a good weekend.

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