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mccardey
11-25-2013, 07:28 AM
Just looking for a decode on a report card from Oxford. It has grades like CCB, BBC, B++

Does anyone know what sort of grades these are? Good, bad or indifferent?

Much thanks.

Helix
11-25-2013, 07:30 AM
I know what you've been looking at!

mccardey
11-25-2013, 07:33 AM
I know what you've been looking at!

I swear she's making me old before my time, that girl of mine

*sigh*

Helix
11-25-2013, 07:54 AM
I'm sure you know this about Oxford Uni: a BA is 'upgraded' to MA after seven years or so, without any extra academic requirements.

Anna_Hedley
11-25-2013, 09:10 AM
British grades in general:

A+/A* - Exceptional, the best grade you can receive.
A - Extremely good.
B - Good.
C - Average/competent.

D-E is considered poor, and anything below that is a fail.

skylark
11-26-2013, 12:02 AM
Just looking for a decode on a report card from Oxford. It has grades like CCB, BBC, B++

Does anyone know what sort of grades these are? Good, bad or indifferent?

Much thanks.

Oxford uni? They don't have report cards as such. Students are told what their grades are (for the term, or in an exam) but there's nobody to report to - they are adults.

I'm a bit confused by this. B++ would be a pretty good grade - it's the highest grade you can get which isn't an A of some sort, and As are relatively unusual.

But CCB and BBC are three grades (each) i.e. three courses/exams/topics- they don't correspond to B++ which is only one grade for one course/exam/topic.

B (no pluses or minuses) is a perfectly adequate grade. C would be cause for concern. I'm not sure there even is a D grade - it certainly isn't considered a pass.

It would also be very unusual in the UK to list lower grades before higher ones - CCB would always be given as BCC.

Helix may know what you've been looking at, but I don't. I'm almost wondering if BCC would be a set of A level results, at which point they'd be decent but not great - they'd definitely get you into university, but not a top one. But B++ isn't an A level grade.

gothicangel
11-26-2013, 12:34 AM
Oxford uni? They don't have report cards as such. Students are told what their grades are (for the term, or in an exam) but there's nobody to report to - they are adults.



I'm at Leicester and my sister is at Durham, when we have our essays returned they are graded, my sister hands in at least one essay a week. I don't know about Oxford, but at Durham you are provided with a Parent in your college, and Academic Advisor from your department. The grading system tends to go:

90-100% Top 1st
70-90% 1st
60-69% 2:1
50-59% 2:2
40-49% 3rd
> 40% Fail

A BBC definitely wouldn't get you into a top tier Russell or 1994 group. You would probably have to look towards the 'New' universities.

mccardey
11-26-2013, 01:15 AM
Thank you all. Skylark, I was translating Academic Transcript to Report Card just to make things easier. Sorry if it made things harder. ;)


90-100% Top 1st
70-90% 1st
60-69% 2:1
50-59% 2:2
40-49% 3rd

Gothic - I have no idea what that means, but it's what people keep saying. What's the 2:1 thing? Second class first? What does that even mean???

But it doesn't matter because I'm not at Oxford, and someone who is British will understand it. So thank you :)

Parametric
11-26-2013, 01:30 AM
A 2:1 is an upper second-class degree and a 2:2 is a lower second-class degree.

Parametric
11-26-2013, 01:35 AM
A BBC definitely wouldn't get you into a top tier Russell or 1994 group. You would probably have to look towards the 'New' universities.

I think it actually depends on the course. My incredibly competitive law course at a top Russell Group university asked for an AAB, but my friends' chemistry course at the same university asked I think for a BBB? And I was stunned that my obscure masters programme at UCL only asked for a 2:2. :)

usuallycountingbats
11-26-2013, 02:38 AM
Yes, I went to a Russell group uni and did a science degree - my offer was ABC (The average offer in my year for that degree was BBB). I believe it's now AAA. The UCAS points from ABC were the same as for BBB at the time I applied. It was a relatively competitive course too - think there were 10 applicants per place in my year give or take.

Interestingly most science Masters only look for 2:2 and above (or they did when I was applying), because it's basically assumed you'll do a PhD if you have a 2:1 or above and want to stay in academia.

OP - your academic transcript looks like A level results to me. Those translate into UCAS points and different courses have different points requirements. To complicate this further, the uni can specify not only which subject you must take, but also you grade for each subject.

So I was offered ABC. For the sake of simplicity, lets say A=10, B=8, C=6. I couldn't take any 3 A levels and get at least 24 points, I had to take 2 sciences and maths, one of the sciences had to be biology, and the A had to be in biology and the B in maths.

It may have changed subtly since I did it - the UCAS website should give you a lot of useful info.

usuallycountingbats
11-26-2013, 02:41 AM
The other thing to note is that universities can and will give unconditional offers if they particularly like a student. If you're world class at a sport for example, Loughborough used to give out either unconditional or ridiculously easy offers (like 2 Es).

Both my MSc offers were unconditional.

Helix
11-26-2013, 03:09 AM
Might need a bit of additional info. This is a final academic transcript from the early 80s for a BA, which involved a hefty whack of what's now known as RPL (recognition of prior learning), i.e. results from another degree used for the first (and, possibly, second) year of the Oxford degree.

They're definitely not A level results!

usuallycountingbats
11-26-2013, 03:15 AM
Having looked at it, I don't think it can be interpreted against anything other than another transcript from the same university.

Other uk unis don't present their transcripts in that way, and you don't know the grade boundaries, which is essential info - at my uni they adjusted up and down each year to make sure the right proportion of people got each classification.

usuallycountingbats
11-26-2013, 03:17 AM
Just to add, Oxford (and Cambridge) are total anomalies and not representative of how UK universities work in general.

Fran
11-26-2013, 03:19 AM
Just looking for a decode on a report card from Oxford. It has grades like CCB, BBC, B++

Does anyone know what sort of grades these are? Good, bad or indifferent?

Much thanks.

I would expect to see this format for A-level results or grade requirements for entry rather than university grades. But England is a foreign country. They do things differently there. :D

etcetc
11-26-2013, 04:58 AM
I'm afraid I can't actually help with what it means, but so you know, it's definitely not how they do things now. For humanities subjects at least you barely receive marks at all before exams, except for 'collections' at the beginning of each term, which are mocks.

Polenth
11-26-2013, 11:01 AM
Universities do their own wacky thing when it comes to their internal grading. It's only the final degree grade which is a standard system. That final grade will be in terms of first, second (split into 2:1 and 2:2) and third.

My first university marked things with a number. My second marked them with letter grades. It's basically just there to give students an idea what final degree they're aiming at.

gothicangel
11-26-2013, 11:48 AM
Yes, I went to a Russell group uni and did a science degree - my offer was ABC (The average offer in my year for that degree was BBB). I believe it's now AAA. The UCAS points from ABC were the same as for BBB at the time I applied. It was a relatively competitive course too - think there were 10 applicants per place in my year give or take.



I'm currently studying for a second degree at Leicester, in Ancient History and Classical Archaeology, and was accepted on my previous degree. Having checked their website their A-level requirement is ABB (they are top tier 1994 group.)

The only applicants who receive a conditional offer for a Masters programme are those who are yet to be awarded their Undergraduate degree.

gothicangel
11-26-2013, 11:53 AM
Universities do their own wacky thing when it comes to their internal grading. It's only the final degree grade which is a standard system. That final grade will be in terms of first, second (split into 2:1 and 2:2) and third.

My first univsersity marked things with a number. My second marked them with letter grades. It's basically just there to give students an idea what final degree they're aiming at.

True, my first degree was at Stirling and the do it:

1A
1B First
1C

2A
2B Upper Second
2C

2D
2E Lower Second
2F

3A
3B Third
3C

4A
4B Near Fail
4C

5A
5B Fail
5C

And you had to have a minimum of a 2F average to be accepted on your Honours year.

skylark
11-26-2013, 12:23 PM
Might need a bit of additional info. This is a final academic transcript from the early 80s for a BA, which involved a hefty whack of what's now known as RPL (recognition of prior learning), i.e. results from another degree used for the first (and, possibly, second) year of the Oxford degree.

They're definitely not A level results!

This could work if they have completed their first degree with good results - it would exempt them from the requirement to pass Mods/Prelims, i.e. the first year. They'd have to do the second year no matter what. This is called "senior student status" and they wear a slightly different gown from ordinary undergraduates. But they must have completed the first degree to be a senior student - Oxford doesn't take transfer students.

There is no academic transcript as such. In the 1980s you'd get official notification of your degree result (i.e. first, 2:1 etc.) by looking in the paper (I think it was the Times) or by reading the notice pinned on the door of Schools. You'd also get an unofficial letter from your tutor saying what grade you got in each exam paper, just for interest. In the 80s (and well into the 90s, maybe longer) they would have been Greek grades - alpha minus, beta double plus and so on, not ABC. One grade per paper. If you needed proof of what courses you'd taken, say to apply for a higher degree, you went and talked nicely to your tutor who wrote an individual letter. But there isn't a subject where there would only be three of these grades. I had seven and depending on subject many people had more.

This wasn't the same as other UK universities even then - I remember struggling to fill my MSc application for Manchester in because it asked for things which simply didn't exist. The killer was "results of your second year exams." Oxford doesn't have exams in the second year. I think my tutor sent them my college test results.

Edit: etcetc mentioned "collections" further up the thread - that's what I'm referring to by "college test results".

Helix
11-26-2013, 12:35 PM
Thanks for that.

It's from a letter listing the results for someone who attended Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship. Eight subjects with marks all over the place! Some subjects have one mark, some two, some three. The information was supplied by the Academic Administrator at Queen's many years after the event.

The graduate ended up was what I believe is known colloquially as a Desmond.

usuallycountingbats
11-26-2013, 12:51 PM
I'm interested to know how and why someone who wasn't the student managed to get hold of the transcript given that the Oxford uni website says no one other than the student can apply for a copy of the transcript.

Does anyone know if this is genuine? It all has a very odd feeling to me - makes my alarm bells ring. Has the student verified that it is genuine?

usuallycountingbats
11-26-2013, 12:53 PM
Oh, and a 2:2 from those grades feels about right to me, yes - very average middle of the road, even if it's from Oxford!

mccardey
11-26-2013, 12:58 PM
Does anyone know if this is genuine? It all has a very odd feeling to me - makes my alarm bells ring. Has the student verified that it is genuine?

Oh, don't mind me - I'm just standing here humming in a perfectly innocent hummy sort of way...


Oh, and a 2:2 from those grades feels about right to me, yes - very average middle of the road, even if it's from Oxford!

*sigh* But it's as we suspected (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/25/tony-abbott-just-about-makes-grade-as-rhodes-scholar)...



ETA: Thank you all so much for your help.

Helix
11-26-2013, 01:16 PM
Echoing mccardey's thanks. Sterling work!

mccardey
11-26-2013, 01:20 PM
We've lost all credibility, haven't we? :cry:

usuallycountingbats
11-26-2013, 01:21 PM
We've lost all credibility, haven't we? :cry:

Only in as much as the US did when George Dubya was in power ;)

mccardey
11-26-2013, 01:25 PM
Only in as much as the US did when George Dubya was in power ;)

Only that much?

:cry::cry:

usuallycountingbats
11-26-2013, 01:38 PM
:D Sorry! Friends have been sharing tales of Abbott with me for months, it's hilarious! He really is quite special....

mirandashell
11-26-2013, 02:38 PM
Only that much?

:cry::cry:

Oh bless.... never mind, it's not for ever!

onesecondglance
11-26-2013, 03:13 PM
Oh, and a 2:2 from those grades feels about right to me, yes - very average middle of the road, even if it's from Oxford!

To be fair, a 2:2 from a good uni is worth a lot more than a first from a crap one. I'm not going to start casting aspersions as to which ones are good or not, but I know a lot of very clever people who worked very hard and came out with a 2:2 because their course was at such a high level. (I also know people who got firsts on the same course, and they are brain-the-size-of-small-planet type-people.)

Helix
11-26-2013, 04:00 PM
To be fair, a 2:2 from a good uni is worth a lot more than a first from a crap one. I'm not going to start casting aspersions as to which ones are good or not, but I know a lot of very clever people who worked very hard and came out with a 2:2 because their course was at such a high level. (I also know people who got firsts on the same course, and they are brain-the-size-of-small-planet type-people.)


A lower second from Oxbridge won't get you into a PhD program if the minimum requirement is an upper second. (And if it did, there'd be Questions Asked*.) (It might get you a seat on the front bench, though.)

I'd be wary of saying that any particular student who did well/poorly at good/crap X Uni would get a different mark at crap/good Y Uni because there are so many variables involved with both the student and the unis.

ETA: *This is from an Australian perspective, so I'm making the big and possibly erroneous assumption that things are the same in the UK.

Parametric
11-26-2013, 04:11 PM
To be fair, a 2:2 from a good uni is worth a lot more than a first from a crap one. I'm not going to start casting aspersions as to which ones are good or not, but I know a lot of very clever people who worked very hard and came out with a 2:2 because their course was at such a high level. (I also know people who got firsts on the same course, and they are brain-the-size-of-small-planet type-people.)

Thank you, I feel better about my 2:2 from a good university now. :tongue :D

waylander
11-26-2013, 04:44 PM
A lower second from Oxbridge won't get you into a PhD program if the minimum requirement is an upper second.

It depends on where the funding for the PhD is coming from whether you need a 2:1. From the major funding bodies then you need a 2:1, but if the professor has access to other funds then simply a degree can enough. You can imagine situations where, for example, the student has excellent lab skills but does poorly under exam conditions a PhD might be offered. i know of cases of people with thirds doing PhDs.

usuallycountingbats
11-26-2013, 05:29 PM
The thing is, degree class is rarely relevant outside of academia. Much like no-one now cares what I got in my A levels, and I don't even put the subjects on my CV, my degree class is largely irrelevant now I a) have an MSc and b) have over ten years of work history behind me.

The point I was making is just that a 2:2 is average. I wasn't saying that in a negative way, just that it is middle of the road - a 2:1 isn't stellar by comparison, it's slightly above average, a third is below average, a first is the best you can hope for. I think in my year, 40-49% got you a third, 50-59% got you a 2:2, 60-69% got you a 2:1 and 70%+ got you a first. That was the average of your marks across all modules from second and third year, with weightings applying to exams, experimental dissertation, library research dissertation, labs etc.

If you're smart enough to get into Oxbridge, and come out with a 2:2, then amongst Oxbridge graduates, you're pretty average. There are of course underlying reasons for that - maybe you partied too hard or struggled with exams or whatever.

I didn't even apply to them because I knew I wasn't smart enough, and I don't for one second think my Russell Group 2:1 is equivalent to a 2:1 from Oxbridge - but that's not relevant now because I have other skills on which to hang my hat.

Helix
11-26-2013, 05:30 PM
You'd* want to be really sure of your decision if you were going to hand over grant money to support a student who didn't make your university's standard for postgraduate intake. I'm picturing the paperwork and the academic meetings and it's scaring me. I'm glad I don't have to deal with all that stuff again!

Mind you, a first or upper second is no guarantee of a student being suited to PhD work. Honours work is a taste of what's in store, but doesn't really give the full picture. A lot drop out after they realise how much dedication and doggedness is required to get through the next three or so years.

Having said that, a lower second or third isn't all that good an indication of a student being unsuited to a PhD, but it is a convenient cut off. In my experience** the most common path for lower seconds and thirds is enrolment in a masters with an upgrade to a PhD after 12 - 18 months if their progress satisfies the p'grad committee.

* The non-specific 'you'
** The usual caveats apply.

Helix
11-26-2013, 05:46 PM
It's very late here and I've completely lost track of what point, if any, I was trying to make.

Usuallycountingbats, I did my undergrad at a Russell Group uni, but some time before the Russell Group existed. (I'm old.) (Well, oldish) I put Cambridge third on my application form because their version of the degree sounded quite dull compared to those of my first and second choices.

usuallycountingbats
11-26-2013, 06:02 PM
It's very late here and I've completely lost track of what point, if any, I was trying to make.

Usuallycountingbats, I did my undergrad at a Russell Group uni, but some time before the Russell Group existed. (I'm old.) (Well, oldish) I put Cambridge third on my application form because their version of the degree sounded quite dull compared to those of my first and second choices.

Well, err, yes. :)

I obviously wasn't trying to say that everyone who is smart enough to go to Oxbridge automatically applies or even wants to go. I'd hazard that some of those people *whispers* don't even go to university at all.

Even had I been clever enough, I didn't think taking 4 years to do something which I could do in 3 elsewhere would give me enough of a leg up to make it worth it, so they weren't really on my radar as choices. Well, Oxford certainly wasn't because it didn't offer my first choice course! ;)

I ended up doing the degree I did because it was my only offer, a total backup from my first choice of course (which I got across the board rejections for), and I needed a way to leave home! So I'm certainly not denigrating anything to do with either getting a 2:2 or not going to Oxbridge. Glass houses and stones and all that.

But, hypothetically, if someone is passing themselves off as being all that and a bag of chips because they went to Oxford, it's worth recognising that if they really were all that, they probably should have hoped for more than a 2:2. ;)

skylark
11-27-2013, 12:11 PM
We've lost all credibility, haven't we? :cry:

What, because he only got three B++s? That's two more than I got. I never got an alpha either. But I got a 2:1 because I didn't get any gammas, which kill your average.

Looks to me as if he was pretty darn good at the modern aspects of politics and not much good at the older historical and philosophical aspects. And...he's a modern politician. I know nothing whatsoever about the man, but I'm not seeing a big issue in having a politician whose academic level in politics is Oxford B++.

I think you're missing that even the bottom end of Oxford undergraduates are pretty darn bright. You can come to Oxford having been the brightest person at your school bar none and still struggle to be even average there. Been there, done that.

You're also not expected to be good at everything. The requirements for a First were (maybe still are) "alphas in half your exams, average beta in the rest, no gammas." There will be plenty of people out there with Firsts which contain several B-s, and probably the vast majority will have at least one. The level is pitched such that nobody is expected to be able to do all of it. It's not like the US, where high fliers are devastated if they don't get perfect or near-perfect marks. An alpha in the maths exams that physicists do requires 50%. Like I said, I never got one, and it wasn't for lack of trying. Questions are marked out of twenty. Your score out of twenty per question is then squared and divided by twenty. You got half the question right? Congratulations - that's 10*10/20. You get five marks of the twenty available. You get no marks at all unless you can do at least a quarter of it. And yes, it's harsh, but it's necessary - they've got to differentiate between people who just about all got perfect or near-perfect grades throughout their school career, some of whom are geniuses, some of whom are near-geniuses, and most of whom are just very bright.

I can only assume that the three grades to one paper are marks for individual essays. I've never seen it recorded like that, and nor has my husband who used to be a tutor. It must be a PPE or Queens thing.

(Obligatory disclaimer: of course I know that not all clever people go to Oxford and that having an Oxford degree doesn't make you intrinsically superior. I'm a big believer in show not tell when it comes to demonstrating that you're good at something.)

mccardey
11-27-2013, 12:54 PM
(Obligatory disclaimer: of course I know that not all clever people go to Oxford and that having an Oxford degree doesn't make you intrinsically superior. I'm a big believer in show not tell when it comes to demonstrating that you're good at something.)

Dammit - that's pretty much where he falls down...

owlion
11-27-2013, 12:57 PM
I think several years ago, UK universities gave out a lot of Firsts/A grades (to boost their rankings in league tables), but these days they've cut back on them and some subjects (especially subjects like Film Studies and Philosophy) don't like giving out Firsts much at all. But before the period where getting Firsts became easier, there was the idea getting a 2:1 was pretty darn good and a First nearly impossible (unless you studied all the time). 2:2 was upper-average and a 3 was lower average.

However, I think Oxford and Cambridge never really changed, so getting a 2:1 there would be really good because they'd be reluctant to give out Firsts at all.

(Note: this is based on only my knowledge and information from when my mum went to university.)

I'm also not fond of the Oxford/Cambridge instant-good-degree idea, especially after things I've heard about their Japanese language course in comparison to SOAS's. They just get 1st and 2nd place in rankings by default.

onesecondglance
11-27-2013, 02:02 PM
They just get 1st and 2nd place in rankings by default.

Ahem. If you go by subject area, then you will often find other universities classed ahead of Oxbridge (using English as an example because of the relevance to a writing forum, plus my alma mater tops the table for the third year in a row :D):

http://www.theguardian.com/education/table/2013/jun/04/university-guide-english

But over all subjects they top the same survey:

http://www.theguardian.com/education/table/2013/jun/03/university-league-table-2014

Other surveys give similar results.

"By default" implies a lack of merit, which I don't think is fair. It's true that an Oxbridge degree is not magically better than those from other university degrees, but that doesn't mean they're entirely trading on caché over quality.

skylark
11-27-2013, 09:04 PM
I'm also not fond of the Oxford/Cambridge instant-good-degree idea, especially after things I've heard about their Japanese language course in comparison to SOAS's. They just get 1st and 2nd place in rankings by default.

The only thing I know about SOAS is that it's considered the top place to go for Oriental languages in the UK (one of my daughter's friends is hoping to study Chinese there next year).

I'm not sure if that's a word-of-mouth opinion or based on official rankings, but it's certainly "known".

gothicangel
11-28-2013, 12:17 AM
Ahem. If you go by subject area, then you will often find other universities classed ahead of Oxbridge (using English as an example because of the relevance to a writing forum, plus my alma mater tops the table for the third year in a row :D):

http://www.theguardian.com/education/table/2013/jun/04/university-guide-english

But over all subjects they top the same survey:

http://www.theguardian.com/education/table/2013/jun/03/university-league-table-2014

Other surveys give similar results.

"By default" implies a lack of merit, which I don't think is fair. It's true that an Oxbridge degree is not magically better than those from other university degrees, but that doesn't mean they're entirely trading on caché over quality.

Exactly. My sister is studying Theology at Durham, it's the only university that is accredited by the Church of England. In Scotland the only one accredited by the Church of Scotland is the University of Highlands and Islands.

waylander
11-28-2013, 02:15 AM
However, I think Oxford and Cambridge never really changed, so getting a 2:1 there would be really good because they'd be reluctant to give out Firsts at all.


There were 21 firsts (out of 93 students) in Chemistry at Cambridge my year.

gothicangel
11-28-2013, 03:57 PM
There were 21 firsts (out of 93 students) in Chemistry at Cambridge my year.

This year, the University of Leicester gave out 1 First in its Department of Ancient History and Archaeology.

Anninyn
11-28-2013, 04:29 PM
I think several years ago, UK universities gave out a lot of Firsts/A grades (to boost their rankings in league tables), but these days they've cut back on them and some subjects (especially subjects like Film Studies and Philosophy) don't like giving out Firsts much at all. But before the period where getting Firsts became easier, there was the idea getting a 2:1 was pretty darn good and a First nearly impossible (unless you studied all the time). 2:2 was upper-average and a 3 was lower average.

However, I think Oxford and Cambridge never really changed, so getting a 2:1 there would be really good because they'd be reluctant to give out Firsts at all.

(Note: this is based on only my knowledge and information from when my mum went to university.)

I'm also not fond of the Oxford/Cambridge instant-good-degree idea, especially after things I've heard about their Japanese language course in comparison to SOAS's. They just get 1st and 2nd place in rankings by default.

Indeed, there are many universities that offer better courses - but Oxbridge does have the historical factor going for it.

For Env Science and English (as an example) you could do a lot worse that UEA, the university in my town.

mirandashell
11-28-2013, 05:53 PM
It also has the Old Boy Network.

skylark
11-29-2013, 12:12 PM
Indeed, there are many universities that offer better courses - but Oxbridge does have the historical factor going for it.

For Env Science and English (as an example) you could do a lot worse that UEA, the university in my town.

No, there are a few universities which offer a few better courses. The vast majority of universities are not better in any cases, and the rest are better for a very limited range of subjects - often only one or two. And then there are the courses which Oxbridge don't do anyway. My daughter wants to do one of them, so of course she is not applying to Oxbridge. But don't mistake "we can find cases where Oxbridge isn't your best option" for "Oxbridge is almost never your best option." The historical factor is irrelevant. They offer extremely high quality courses, many of which are the best in the country and all of which are in the top few. There are no other non-specialist universities for which that's true to the same extent.

Env Science and English? That's a good example. Many universities, especially the more traditional ones, won't even offer it as a combination, so of course they will be worse for you if that's what you want to do. One thing that Oxbridge pretty much don't do at all is offer joint degrees between unrelated subjects. Nobody's saying they're better at things they don't even teach.

Mr Flibble
11-29-2013, 01:13 PM
Different unis may offer better courses. Or a better range of courses that may fit what you want better -- Oxbridge often offers a course that gives you a broad overview, but not a speciality.

Oxford offers a singular MEng course for instance (you can specialise in one of 6 areas in the 3rd and fourth year). Brunel offers about 20 different types of engineering degree that specialise from the off and can therefore go into greater depth in that area.

My brother was offered a place at Oxbridge and turned it down for that reason, and when he hires people he looks for that specialisation often. I'm not saying he'd turn down an Oxbridge candidate but that the degree doesn't give people what he is looking for in an employee. My son's looking at uni placings at the mo, and Oxbridge just doesn't offer what he wants - an in depth education in a certain section of engineering.

So, yeah, Oxbridge has a prestigious rep, but it's no longer all that when it comes to actually getting the degree you want*. A degree from somewhere else may actually give you better cred, and some unis have as good or better reps in their field.


*It's good at "pure" subjects.

onesecondglance
11-29-2013, 01:16 PM
Env Science and English? That's a good example. Many universities, especially the more traditional ones, won't even offer it as a combination, so of course they will be worse for you if that's what you want to do. One thing that Oxbridge pretty much don't do at all is offer joint degrees between unrelated subjects. Nobody's saying they're better at things they don't even teach.

I took Anninyn to be saying "Env Science, and English": UEA is indeed one of the top 10 unis in the country for each of those (separate) subject areas, both of which Oxbridge also offer.

mirandashell
11-29-2013, 01:24 PM
Oh the irony of a missing Oxford comma........

gothicangel
11-29-2013, 01:28 PM
Indeed, there are many universities that offer better courses - but Oxbridge does have the historical factor going for it.



When I decided that I wanted to study a second degree, I did look at Cambridge and Oxford, and there where two issues for me. One, the ancient history/archaeology courses appeared to be very dry and boring; two there is a very strict formality to them, that I doubt I would ever feel comfortable in. Even when I looked at my local Russell Universities, they weren't as good on Roman history as Leicester is. It was a happy coincidence that on my first day at Leicester that they announced they had found Richard III. :)

I'm researching Master course at the moment, and I've discounted Oxbridge, Newcastle and Durham again. And very keen on Trinity St David's (Lampeter, University of Wales) which is at the dreg end of the rankings. Mainly because its with held its data for a few years because of a merger, but I researched their Ancient History department which is rated as Excellent, and they are the only university to teach Ancient Religions.

My sister is at Durham, and as she says she only chose it because she had a view of the cathedral from her department (she also had an offer from York St John, which had a view over the Minster too.) She loathes the formality of the older universities, and has narrowed her postgraduate choices to UCL or Stirling.

etcetc
12-07-2013, 02:48 AM
Some pretty broad generalisations on here about 'Oxbridge' degrees

bertrigby
12-08-2013, 01:19 AM
I was at Oxford 05-09 and did get a report card every term - but not with grades. It was usually a short comment from my tutor and a rough estimate of how I might do in the exam (1st, 2:1, 2:2 etc.). None of my essays were ever graded individually and actually I hardly got any written feedback on them at all.