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University "Blacklists" - October 8th 2011, 11:22 AM


Basicly saying that the Russel Group universities have lists of A-levels that, if you've taken them, mean you won't be allowed into that university. Only trouble is, they won't publish these lists.


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Re: University "Blacklists" - October 8th 2011, 12:48 PM

The Guardian article is scaremongering. While Russell Group universities do see some A-levels as having more worth than others, there is no "secret blacklist". Back when I was applying for university places, the Cambridge University list of favoured subjects was absolutely common knowledge. It was published on their website. They've since revised it, probably after the outcry over "secret blacklists" (although Trinity College Cambridge still has this similar list: http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/index.php?pageid=604), but the replacement is still a useful guide (http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...ts/course.html) for whichever Russell Group university you apply to. You should also look at the courses to which you're planning to apply. University prospectuses will usually list entry requirements (and preferred subjects) for each course.

Point is, the only way you won't know which subjects to take and which to avoid is if you've done no research at all. In which case you probably don't deserve to go to a Russell Group university. The rule of thumb is to take traditional subjects (maths, history, any modern language, any of the big three sciences, geography, etc) and avoid anything with "Studies" in the title.

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Re: University "Blacklists" - October 8th 2011, 01:26 PM

I would think that a part of this is common sense when choosing a degree anyway. If you want to be a doctor, you had better study science subjects, since things like music and drama are not going to give you access to a medicine degree. Therefore they would count as "non-preferred" subjects.

But at the same time if you want to do a music degree, then those subjects would make sense and to have a science-heavy set of A levels would not be beneficial.

I do find it kind of odd that they mention "law" as something that is not worth studying in secondary school, unless I'm reading that wrong. The University of Glasgow, a Russell Group university, takes a lot of pride in its law studies and is, along with medicine, the degree with the highest entry requirements. I figured a background in law would help with that.

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Re: University "Blacklists" - October 8th 2011, 02:28 PM

I know a lot of universities don't like you to have studied law before you get there, not sure why but I've heard it being said in sixth forms near me to people who want to study law degrees.

But yeah, basically as long as you're studying subjects related to your course then I don't think it does matter. Like Scott said if you're wanting to do a medicine degree then science subjects are the obvious choice.
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Re: University "Blacklists" - October 8th 2011, 02:52 PM

I wouldn't be surprised.

I think the idea is to encourage people to study those more fundamental and important subjects, such as maths, english, sciences, geography etc.

Whatever else there is such as law, politics, financial studies or whatever else similar exists just sounds a bit awkward to be taught at sixth form level. There are far more important fundamentals. To law I'd say it's English, and history. Same for politics. Financial studies would maybe break down into maths, geography.

Doing something like law at sixth form sounds like people trying to take cheap shortcuts, and that's what I expect the universities don't like.

"I don't care about politics"
Then politics doesn't care about you either. Truth. You've got to make your voice heard, if you want to be listened to. But that's too logical for some people, so let me go a step further. Not making your voice heard, leaves other people free to hijack it by speaking on your behalf, even if they don't actually give a shit about you. That's politics. So, make your voice heard. That's not a quote from anywhere. That's just me.

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