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Better to apply to single course or joint honors?

llamamama1714llamamama1714 13 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
My son is working on UCAS application now, with plan to apply in Russian. He is also interested in IR, but wondering if adding IR as a joint course would make it harder for him to be admitted—knowing that IR at his top choices (St Andrews & Edinburgh) is very competitive. Isn’t it true that even if his course is Russian, he can still take classes in IR (by lottery at some schools)? Or history or politics? Is there any advantage to applying to multiple courses? Seems it would make a focused personal statement more difficult to write, as well.
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Replies to: Better to apply to single course or joint honors?

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6573 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    There are several questions rolled into the one, and while some of the answers are college specific some relate to what your son is looking for. The good part is that he is looking closely at the courses to see how they fit.

    The big qustions is whether Russian is the primary focus and IR/Hx/Pol is secondary (in which case, at Edi the mostly likely fit is Russian + Hx or Russian + Politics). On the other hand if IR is the primary, and Russian the secondary, then IR with a year abroad in Russia would be the way to go. Obviously, he can apply to both programs. This is the good and the bad of the UK system- it is much more focused, and more structured, so you get into the meat sooner, but you have to choose from their packages. Are Exeter & Glasgow on his radar? they have strong Russian programs.

    + a language is actually a plus, not a minus.
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  • llamamama1714llamamama1714 13 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you @collegemom3717. Russian is primary, but he would like to take classes in IR, which I think is possible even if in high demand. He’s very excited about spending a year in Russia as well. In terms of stats, he already meets qualifications for St. Andrews, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, but does not greatly exceed them. Hence his concern about applying in IR, which is so competitive. He took Aberdeen off his list today as they don’t have Russian, and he’s decided this is definitely his focus. He would like to stick with Scottish, Irish, and Canadian schools.
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  • jupiter98jupiter98 326 replies1 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited August 24
    All degrees of Russian and x,y,z will have the schedule worked out for compulsory classes - they will be Russian + x1, x2, etc.
    For example
    http://www.drps.ed.ac.uk/current/dpt/utrusha.htm level 7,8 give him multitudes of choices, but the question remains about schedule

    He will need to make sure his optional classes fit with the compulsory ones in terms of schedule. Fitting in IR courses (they will be his optional courses) will depend solely on how schedules align. He might get lucky or not.

    I just noticed that Russian 2a was being offered next year, which is great news. No more merging students after year 1.
    edited August 24
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3367 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 26
    At St Andrews it is quite difficult to enroll in the first year IR modules if you are not doing the degree.
    Schedule is not a problem, the modern languages are scheduled to allow for IR as it is the most popular joint degree. I would not want to chance it, if IR is desired.
    edited August 26
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  • llamamama1714llamamama1714 13 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you @VickiSoCal. I’m curious if my son would have less of a chance for admission if he applies joint Russian & IR; or should he apply to both Russian alone, and Russian & IR? Same with Edinburgh (Russian alone and Russian with linguistics). His statement right now is pretty good for Russian and linguistics. Harder to work in the IR piece. But as you say he might be unable to take classes in IR, unless doing the course, if he does earn a spot at St Andrews.
    Many thanks for thoughts!
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