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Advice for swapping degrees at Oxford University

(4 Posts)
brentlondon Tue 13-Feb-18 12:02:07

Hello all,
Semi regular poster/lurker here. Have name changed incase this is potentially outing for DD.

She is currently on a gap year living it large, earning some money to travel and getting some hefty work experience under her belt.

She has an unconditional offer for one of the old colleges at Oxford for Classics. She has always maintained that she wants to go into the Law after graduating, and I have advised her to go down the GDL route.

But this year off and seeing more of the legal world, she is really gutted that she hasn't applied for Law. She really loves the subject and regrets not applying for it. She's also not wanting to have the financial burden of a 4 year classics degree and then possibly the GDL to fund on top.

I'm not sure what to advise her to do. Naturally the cynicism in some will think that she's just trying to get in the "easy" way. Is there any way that she could be re-interviewed/ considered for studying Law without taking another gap year and re-applying?

goodbyestranger Tue 13-Feb-18 12:55:12

Two of my girls have done law at Oxford - at old colleges for what that's worth, and I know they'd say that swapping into law would be extremely difficult, old college or not, particularly at this time of year after the interview cycle for entry 2018 is over and given that your DD hasn't done the LNAT. I think tutors would be extremely reluctant to do anything other than advise her to re-apply in the next cycle for entry 2019 - which would mean giving up her place for Classics for 2018. Classics is a really good jumping off point for law and your DD may well be able to get both the GDL and the BPTC/ LPC funded anyhow, if she's both talented and tactical, so the additional debt will be marginal.

goodbyestranger Tue 13-Feb-18 18:59:27

Also, having reflected a little more, can you explain what it is that she's experienced in her placements that makes her determined to study academic law? The tutors would want sound reasons for her feeling that she'll miss out if she doesn't study law as an undergraduate, since the fact that she wants to be a practising lawyer is almost irrelevant. That said, my previous comments stand, but what exactly has she seen in her placements that makes her regret not applying for law as opposed to converting subsequently, where she's most unlikely to be at a disadvantage in terms of landing a TC or pupillage.

HingleMcCringleberry Wed 14-Feb-18 14:05:56

My friend applied to Oxford to read Law, knowing that he wanted to be a barrister (both his parents in the legal profession, so knew what he'd be getting himself into). He was not given an offer, reapplied the following year to read Classics, and was accepted. He is now a barrister. He's grateful to have studied a subject that he loves (he began teaching himself Ancient Greek so that he could apply for the 1A course at Oxford, so you get a sense of how much he enjoyed the subject) rather than something that, per goodbye's comment, he was never particularly fussed about on an academic level.

That said, you've said your DD does love the subject, so maybe their cases aren't very comparable. I think she should do herself a favour and avoid having to studying Roman Law in her first year (with exams in the second term, bleurgh!) and enjoy the awesomeness that is a Classics degree - 3 summer terms without exams, talk about a real privilege!

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