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2019 Uni Apps thread - the process begins!

(28 Posts)
WaxOnFeckOff Sat 23-Jun-18 22:32:28

Well, things seem to have kicked of early here so I thought I would start up the Uni applications thread.

DS2 has just gone into 6th year and he's been asked (along with the rest of the year) to get the first draft of his personal statement in by Tuesday...

That's going to be a bit of a stretch given that he has no clue if he wants to go, what he would want to do, or any idea if he will realistically have the results to go. He definitely won't have based on 5th year as he (if he passes them) will only have 3 highers since he was redoing Maths Nat 5 and he dropped a higher. He didn't do well in the prelims but feels hopeful. He is currently doing 1 AH and another two highers.

Come 7th of August he may have a decent set of results, fail them all or something in-between, any of those scenarios are equally likely.

I appreciate they want to get them focused and on track but this is madness no?

decena Sat 23-Jun-18 23:13:05

My daughter has just started S5 so she could go to Uni next year but she will only be 16.5 years which seems so young! She's looking at nursing (Hons version) so needs 4 decent higher passes which she should get. She won't then need S6 but she needs to go to the Open Days to see if Uni prefers her to be a year older (very competitive to get in). I think she needs S6 and then a gap year working first but she's not keen on S6 as it will be a "waste" as there aren't exams she needs.
Anyone else having a 16 yo thinking of Uni? She'll need to take a bus as will be too young to drive ! Or get into pubs/clubs!

prettybird Sat 23-Jun-18 23:14:40

Oops blush - sorry - I was going up send you ds' first and last drafts blush. I'll get them to you tomorrow

WaxOnFeckOff Sun 24-Jun-18 00:18:03

No worries pb, hope you are well smile. I'm just a bit perplexed at the thought that the entire year group are ready to do their statements now. hmm confused For sure some will be but i'm sure not all of them will especially as not all will have their S6 subjects nailed down until results day. They told me that at least a third will change their subjects before they start back.

I think DS would like to do something with Politics and or History if he goes at all but is also talking about going into the Navy or Marines.

decena my personal view is the same as you, that I think for that particular course, she should wait. She will be out on placements fairly soon for most courses, that will mean being allocated to a hospital and doing shift work. She might be limited in the shifts she does becasue of her age and also she might find travel difficult. I'd also (if I was a patient) prefer not to have a 17 year old nurse in most cases.

If she doesn't want to do s6, then I'd suggest she gets a job, travels etc before starting nursing.

howabout Sun 24-Jun-18 11:12:00

Bit surprised at your school's approach wax. Our school aren't even firming up on S6 choices yet as they are so used to DC changing their options once they actually have their results. Also in our house we have completely parked the thought process until the results are in. Seems to be little point stressing over ifs, buts and maybes atm.

On the going after 5th year front I have a friend whose DD went to do nursing straight after 5th year and is thriving. However she was 17 and already very independent and knew exactly what she wanted to do. On a practical note it has made some things more difficult eg she is not old enough to do full bank shifts and I think it also affects her placement options.

An alternative to S6 would be a college course. Another couple of friends have DC doing / who have done this. In all cases they were needing to spread their wings from school and have matured a lot from it. If they already have the grades they could take the opportunity to do something for the fun of it rather than the exams. Mine are pursuing art and music respectively on this basis and they have friends doing lots of sport.

My DD2 will still only be 17 at the end of S6 so is considering taking a year out.

WaxOnFeckOff Sun 24-Jun-18 13:37:07

Totally agree howabout. It's nonsense and it's not what they did last year. I would feed back but my relationship with school is poor and so this is just yet another thing I'd be moaning about.

Groovee Mon 25-Jun-18 20:12:05

@decena my niece went into nursing in 2014 and had to hold off her placement for a few weeks as the NHS insisted she be 18 before they took her. She also hated that she couldn't drink or do a lot of things. She felt qualifying at 20 too didn't get her a job as quickly as a lot of her classmates too. She said she wished she had deferred a year.

HotGingerPudding Wed 27-Jun-18 10:40:23

I'm really glad to have spotted a shiny new thread for 2019 as I started reading last year's one relatively recently. My daughter has just moved into S6 and will be applying for 2019 entry. Initially she was very keen on St Andrews for History after going to an Open Day last year but it is very early days! She decided not to go to the recent Open Days at Edinburgh and Glasgow but will go to those later in the year as well as Dundee, Aberdeen and St A's again.

Her school has told them to work on their Personal Statements over Summer and are looking for them to have handed in a draft in August/September depending on their course choice.

It's six years since my eldest was in this position so I feel I've forgotten everything. I think we were very naive last time and really did not fully appreciate demand for places and the chances of getting a successful offer. I think that ironically those chances are even smaller now for a large number of students with the widening access initiative.

Someone on last year's thread gave a link to applications to Edinburgh by course and offers made to Scottish and EU students which I found pretty enlightening! I also managed to find similar data for St Andrews but not for any of the other Scottish Universities. Does anyone know if this is a set of statistics that all universities have to publish and if so how to get hold of them?

Looking forward to following everyone's progress and getting some good advice as we navigate this year!

ClerkMaxwell Wed 27-Jun-18 14:13:38

Not sure how to get hold of admissions statistics for other unis but some unis (Glasgow) publish clear criteria for some subjects so you know if you get 3As2Bs in S5 and meet the subject the requirements you will get an unconditional, if you get less than ABBB you won't get an offer and in between you might get an offer depending on popularity. Exact boundaries depend on circumstances (looked after, low SIMD, target schools) in an attempt to level the playing field.

susiewong Wed 18-Jul-18 23:31:52

Newbie to uni apps & personal statements here so following with interest. In fact never even read one before (& neither had DS)! Should they be concentrating on a specific course / area of interest or can they be more generic ? DS undecided on uni course do hoping open days will help. confused

ClerkMaxwell Thu 19-Jul-18 18:50:37

Personal statements definitely a bigger deal now although lots of variation between unis and courses within unis in terms of how much weight it's given. Some universities/courses give good advice on what they want at the open day talks. DD is applying this year and has downloaded stuff from here She's found it useful but I suspect it wouldn't have been used by my DSs.

susiewong Sun 05-Aug-18 14:54:04

Hi All anyone any advice on applying to oxbridge ? DS now decided that’s what he wants to do 😬. Booked for the next open day in Oxford in September - any tips on how to get the best out of the visit would be welcome.... all assuming Tuesday brings what he’s expecting of course 🤞🏻

Cadsuane Tue 07-Aug-18 09:41:13

One of my Dds' friends applied for Oxbridge (Science) and was asked questions on topics that were in the A level course but not the Higher/AH course. So might be worth considering for the interview stage.

wigglybeezer Tue 07-Aug-18 11:15:57

Hotgingerpudding, my DS is off to St Andrews to study History next month, like your DD he was smitten at an open day. If you need any tips about personal statements let me know, there are good subject specific examples on The Student Room which were very useful.

ClerkMaxwell Wed 08-Aug-18 21:50:02

DD also liked St Andrews (and Edinburgh) but chance of an offer not great for her subject (Biology). She's keen to move away from home so will also look at Dundee and probably Aberdeen (as I've read good things on last year's threads).

Any recommendations for Biological Sciences appreciated.

@susiewong: does your DCs school provide a mentor for Oxbridge applicants. My niece's state school do this. The mentor helps with mock interviews etc.

pmac62 Wed 08-Aug-18 22:30:04

Yeh from what I understand the Oxbridge interviews can be very particular.
My DS is applying for uni next year but not sure which one! He is looking at doing engineering so any recommendations appreciated.

susiewong Thu 09-Aug-18 07:41:45

Thanks @ClerkMaxwell. They have a support group set up (for all early entry courses) but not specifically for Oxbridge. The last student who applied was 3 years ago!
Useful to know about the level of questions too so thx @Cadsuane. Lots of studying to be getting on with then !!
He’s got the entry exam past papers for the course he’s now interested in so a small step forward in the decision process at least. He’ll likeky need extra support though so he’ll ask at school when they’re back next week.
@Pmac62 my advice would be to read the details of all the courses as the course name doesn’t always give a true reflection of what the degree is. But there is so much info out there it’s easy to become overloaded with choice !! Which is a good thing of course ... but stressful 😬

Glendee Thu 09-Aug-18 09:41:35

Hi ClerkMaxwell my DD is away to start a biology with plant science degree at Edinburgh next month.
One of the reasons she chose Edinburgh was the breadth of choice within Biology; ecology, molecular, biomedical, plant science amongst many others. When DD was deciding she personally found St Andrews’ strengths were marine biology; Dundee was great for molecular/biomedical but there was no scope for any ecological/geological slant and Aberdeen seemed to run two schools within their department, biomedical/genetics and ecological/conservation but when we asked there was no scope for mixing these two together. Glasgow has her specific degree but the city wasn’t for her. So, I would recommend looking at what area of Biology your DD is interested in and doing her research (asking anyone who has a biology degree where they went, any forums in the specific area of biology she’s interested in etc.)
We found offer holder days very informative and she made it to one open day which was good but exhausting and not enough time to see everything.
Does her biology teacher know she’s interested in studying their subject at uni? Get your DD to talk to them and about any opportunities out there. Our closest university ran a monthly biological lecture series for local school students. My DD got a great feel for the facilities and what studying biology there would be like.

ClerkMaxwell Thu 09-Aug-18 14:04:36

@glendee: thank you very much I'll pass this on to my DD. She thought that she might like to do NeuroScience but did a UEA MOOC this summer and didn't love it but did another in genetics/molecular biology which she much preferred. However she seems to like whatever topic she currently studying. She's thinking of a degree as wide as possible in the first couple of years and then the option to specialize.

Did you daughter have any lab experience outside school before applying? DS2 did a Nuffield research placement (not biology) but unlikely that DD would get one this year as she's switched to a better school for S5 (still state). Just wondering how essential this is.

Glendee Thu 09-Aug-18 15:26:49

Yes my DD did a Nuffield placement between S5 and S6 and was fortunate enough to do it in a biology lab. I would encourage your DD to apply for Nuffield even if she’s just merely thinking of studying any science at university. The impression from the showcase ceremony I went to was that there was a wide range of backgrounds, there was even private school pupils.

cazzyg Thu 09-Aug-18 16:27:31

For Biological Sciences, Dundee is very good for molecular biology. The departments with the best research will have the best funding and most up to date courses. Family member who works in the field and recruits biology graduates reckons Dundee has the edge academically at the moment.

Glasgow and Edinburgh have a good wide range of different degree options and are both well regarded.

The newer universities are not well regarded academically within the research communities. I don’t want to get into a debate - it’s the reality that anyone applying for a PhD/post after uni in biological science will face.

In reality a decent degree from any of the traditional unis will be fine for entry into any of the traditional routes into a science career, it comes down to where is best depending on course and environment. Enter to get a 2:1 from a slightly less good uni than a 2:2 from a slightly better one. Lab experience is not expected at undergrad level but does give the edge at postgrad level. Any experience/internships during vacations can make a difference and are very competitive.

ClerkMaxwell Thu 09-Aug-18 19:30:27

Thanks I will tell DD to apply to Nuffield but good to know not essential to get an offer. Also I will tell her to look at the research league tables.

DD liked the look of the course at Dundee so it will definitely be one of her choices. She's thinking of skipping the open days and just going to the offer days for those she gets. She did a couple of open days last year with her cousin and knows most of the cities except Aberdeen well because of a hobby.

Do open days provide information that you don't get at offer days e.g. how they select, what they look for in a personal statement.? The couple we went to last year didn't provide much more info than the website

HotGingerPudding Fri 10-Aug-18 18:04:14

Thanks for that offer wigglybeezer. Any links your son found helpful for his personal statement would be very much appreciated. My daughter has just started to put together her first draft as school has asked them to work on them over summer. I think it will be quite a difficult balance to be enthusiastic about a specific course without alienating others!

Congratulations to your son! Is it Modern History he is doing? Also can I ask whether his offer was conditional on 6th year results? My daughter is planning to do 3 AHs this year, one being History and got 5 As at Higher this year. I know from friends whose children applied to competitive courses at Edinburgh and Glasgow in the last 2 or 3 years that their offers were conditional on 6th year grades despite appearing to more than meet entry requirements. Neither applied to St As though.

Aurea Sat 11-Aug-18 08:51:00

Hello everyone!

My DS is desperate to read Law. Anyone in the same boat?

He has completed his almost final draft PS with very minimal guidance/help from the (state) school. In fact the school's advice was to start thinking about it when they returned to school. He's sorting himself out earlier than most as he hopes to apply for Oxford, as their Law degree's course is right up his street.

His ambitions are high, as well as his potential for failure.

As well as Oxford, he is planning to apply for Law at Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen where hopefully he should get some unconditional offers based on his Higher grades (5As and a B).

I look forward to following this thread smile.

Aurea Sat 11-Aug-18 09:00:35



I note with interest__ concern your comments about offers from Edinburgh and Glasgow. Have they started giving conditional offers for some courses even with 5As at Higher?


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