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Where could I get in to?

lavishdolphinlavishdolphin Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
Hello all! I've generally been looking at US colleges, but I've recently been interested in attending one in the UK. Where could I get into? I want to study philosophy, I scored a 31 act, and I have a 3.8 GPA. I am planning on taking some SAT subject tests, what should I get in order to improve my chances? Any feedback is welcome! Is it unrealistic for me to look to study in the UK?

Replies to: Where could I get in to?

  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 11,574 Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    Do you know you want to study that for sure?

    In the UK (especially in England), you apply to a course/major and it's hard if not impossible to change majors. They also want high related subject test scores (AP's of 5 or 4).
  • lavishdolphinlavishdolphin Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    @PurpleTitan yes I am sure I want to study philosophy. I am taking the AP World history and English exams this week
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 4,814 Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    The short answer is that a 31 and some strong APs (of at some, but not all unis, strong SATII subject tests in humanities type classes) will get you into a fair few UK universities.

    There is a search function on the UCAS site (parallel to CC) here.

    One of the great things about the UK is that genuinely almost all the info you need is online, including the entry requirements and course descriptions for every course. They all have International pages, almost always with equivalencies for entry requirements.

    Some things to be aware of:

    1. Be sure to read the course descriptions *carefully* as the UK is much, much more prescriptive than the US. As @PurpleTitan said, if you get there and decide you don't like it you may well have to start over again as a 1st year (depends a bit on what you change to and the specific uni).
    2. There is much less continuing assessment. Depending on the course and the uni usually 60-100% of your mark will be on the final.
    3. There is almost certainly no financial aid.
    4. There is much less hand-holding than in the US- you are expected to figure things out for yourself.
    5. Except at the top unis, if you meet the numerical requirements and do a decent job of your Personal Statement (read the info on the UCAS site about the PS- it is *very* different than a US app essay) and have a reasonable rec you are very likely to get an offer.
  • lavishdolphinlavishdolphin Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    @collegemom3717 My parents can afford most of the colleges that I've looked into, but I really like Trinity in Dublin. Are there any others that have good philosophy programs that you recommend?
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 4,814 Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    LOL if you had said Ireland (instead of the UK) I would have asked about TCD! You can do straight philosophy, or a joint honours course with a lot of other subjects (info here). The Irish system is similar to the UK, in that you have few if any choices in the first year or two, and get more electives - but in your subject area- as you go on. Still very little continuing assessment-exams are typically 50%+ of your final grade.

    I am not especially familiar with very many philosophy courses in the UK. You might like Durham- people in the US don't know it, but it is very well regarded in the UK, and it is a collegiate university (like Oxford and Cambridge, you belong to a college within the university, so you have a 'home'). St Andrews (Scotland) is on the Common App, is *extremely* American-friendly (20%of the students are from the US), and for special occasions you get to wear flashy red Hogwarts-style gowns. Birmingham, Warwick, Bristol, Edinburgh (*great* college town)?

    Fwiw, for philosophy TCD and the Scottish unis are 4 years; the English ones are 3 years.
  • lavishdolphinlavishdolphin Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    @collegemom3717 wow TCD seems amazing!!! I'm really interested in studying in Europe, it doesn't necessarily have to be the UK. Are there any other countries that teach in English?
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 4,814 Senior Member
    Here and here are two (non-commercial) websites that will help you find courses in any subject in the EU. I suspect Denmark and the Netherlands are the most likely for philosophy, but be careful: I know that UCopenhagen for one teaches some classes in English, so it pops up on these sites, but it does not offer the full undergrad degree in English.

    Be aware that European unis are generally even more prescriptive and more hands-off than the UK and Ireland in terms of college students minding themselves, and that they are mostly even less campus-centric.

    Have fun looking around :-)
  • exlibris97exlibris97 Registered User Posts: 922 Member
    Durham has joined the Common App. They provide some very useful advice, stating that they don't consider the Essay or Extracurricular sections of the applications. They want your predicted AP grades and a tailored personal statement. Anything else doesn't interest them.
  • lavishdolphinlavishdolphin Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    @exlibris97 do you think I could get into Durham? I don't know how hard it is to enter these European universities since I don't know how selective they are
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 4,814 Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    @lavishdolphin:
    5. Except at the top unis, if you meet the numerical requirements and do a decent job of your Personal Statement (read the info on the UCAS site about the PS- it is *very* different than a US app essay) and have a reasonable rec you are very likely to get an offer.

    By top I mean Oxford, Cambridge and LSE.

    Selectivity is very numbers-based, esp for full-pay international students.
  • lavishdolphinlavishdolphin Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
This discussion has been closed.