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When to apply to UK programs?

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I know UK programs usually have a different timeline for applicants; seems like a lot are rolling admission?

When is it best to apply to these programs, especially if you are an international applicant hoping for financial aid?

I'm most interested in the MA in English and Philosophy at University of Sussex btw. Anyone have any experience with this program?

Thanks!

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Hi! It depends on where you want to go -- Oxford and Cambridge have early deadlines (literally, in the next two or three days...) Others are later but typically will have funding deadlines around March/April. As far as I know you have to have an offer in hand before you apply for funding, so probably try to apply early February at the latest if you're going for scholarships. :)

Good luck!

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For the M.Phil-PhD programme (English) , it might be a good idea to finish the applications end jan... only so one makes it in time for scholarships..

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Hi,

Most UK programs operate a rolling admission process (e.g., https://lfylive.lse.ac.uk/lfy/tc/enquiries/enquiry.html?a=4&q=40240&searchString=)

One of my friends applied in May and received an offer of admission in late June!

As for the funding, your chance of getting any funding from the school is close to zero (e.g., http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/registry/studentfinancialsupport/pgscholarships/scholarshipsoverseas). If you are an exceptional international student, they (i.e., your department) MIGHT give you the tuition fee waiver, but you will have to support yourself. The immigration law has changed since the new government came into power. International students must have 800 pounds (per month) * 9 + your tuition fee to apply for a visa if your school is in the capital. If not in the capital, 600 * 9 + the tuition fee. Finally, as an international student you are not entitled to apply to external funding bodies like AHRC (e.g., http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/FundingOpportunities/Pages/default.aspx).

You can apply to funding bodies in your country such as the Fulbright scholarship awards (http://www.fulbright.co.uk/fulbright-awards/for-us-citizens), but those are very competitive. You would be impressed by the calibre of the Fulbright scholars (http://www.fulbright.co.uk/about/american-participants/postgrad-scholars).

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I submitted my application to The University of Edinburgh on November 28th and was offered admission on December 12th. Since the deadlines are rolling, it's definitely a case of the earlier the better.

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Thanks for the wonderful information and links orangeMan.

and antecedent, I know that this is a relative (and quite personal) question, but did Edinburgh give you any money? Just wondering because I continue to hear such negative things about financial aid for overseas students. Also, do you feel like Edinburgh is quite selective in their process?

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It depends on the school. Some are very quick, others take much longer. Be sure to check scholarship deadlines, as those are often earlier than deadlines for courses. Good luck :)

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Congrats on Edinburgh! Are turn around times like that typical for them? Anyone?

It depends on the size of the program, but it can be pretty fast if you aren't looking for funding and the program isn't huge. There often isn't a committee looking at applications, but just 1-2 people. So in other words, it depends, but it's not uncommon.

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When I applied for my MA in the UK, I sent in my app on a Monday and had an offer on the Wednesday.

British universities have FAR fewer applications than those in the US and accept much larger percentages of people from the application pools.

The quality of resources tends to be poorer at UK uni's outside the top ten (ish... and even then Oxford's resources, for example, don't compare with Harvard's). However, the standard of teaching and scholarship is pretty fantastic at most uni's in the top 30-40 in the UK. So, they might be less competitive to get into, numbers-wise, but you'll still be getting a quality education... as to whether a PhD from a UK uni will get much recognition if you want to teach in the US, that's a different story.

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I know UK programs usually have a different timeline for applicants; seems like a lot are rolling admission?

When is it best to apply to these programs, especially if you are an international applicant hoping for financial aid?

I'm most interested in the MA in English and Philosophy at University of Sussex btw. Anyone have any experience with this program?

Thanks!

I don't have any experience with that program particularly, but I can share what I know of the English department:

It's a very respected department, always scores highly on research and teaching ratings; it's well known as a very left-leaning, highly theory oriented place, very 'intellectual' in that Continental Philo way. I know a lot of people who have studied there and absolutely loved it; my MA supervisor suggested it as a place for me to apply for the PhD, and I would have done so if I had wanted to stay in the UK, it's considered a very modern and forward thinking department.

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Thanks for all the wonderful responses!

I am seriously debating with applying to Sussex some time in the next few weeks for entry into Fall 2012. However, I am worried that if I am rejected, I won't be able to reapply in the Fall (along with a number of other schools) for entry into Fall 2013. Is this concern completely unfounded? I have tried looking up application info on their website, but am rather confused. They seem to suggest that students start applying as early as May and then that application reviews commence in November. Can anyone help me out?

Muchas gracias!

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If you are applying for fall 2012 entry, then you should submit your application now. If for fall 2013 entry, then next year. You can always call them and ask.

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and antecedent, I know that this is a relative (and quite personal) question, but did Edinburgh give you any money? Just wondering because I continue to hear such negative things about financial aid for overseas students. Also, do you feel like Edinburgh is quite selective in their process?

Not a dime so far, but I was accepted for a taught M.Sc. in English Language, and research in the UK is what seems to get you the big bucks, so I'm not surprised. There are a few scholarships I am eligible for through the university that I will apply for if I end up accepting their offer, but if I got them all it would only make up half of the tuition, and then just barely.

I am seriously debating with applying to Sussex some time in the next few weeks for entry into Fall 2012. However, I am worried that if I am rejected, I won't be able to reapply in the Fall (along with a number of other schools) for entry into Fall 2013. Is this concern completely unfounded? I have tried looking up application info on their website, but am rather confused. They seem to suggest that students start applying as early as May and then that application reviews commence in November. Can anyone help me out?

Because of the rolling deadlines, the applications are open for 2012 from September until June or so (in general), and for 2013 they will open in September again and close June 2014, or at least that's my understanding. As far as I know you can apply every year until you are accepted, much like with American schools, and when the committee sits has little to do with it (unless you're applying to Oxbridge).

I don't really have any way of knowing if they are selective, because I'm the only one I know who applied this season. I felt that for the M.Sc. my application was pretty strong, but for an MPhil my application would have been lacking a bit (no published papers, no conference presentations, only one major research project and it wasn't in my intended field of study).

I just submitted my FAFSA, which Edinburgh had asked for, so maybe they will make some random need-based funding decision based on that information? It's unlikely, but for 15,000 pounds a year I'm willing to pin my hopes on anything.

Thanks for the congratulations, guys :)

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British universities have FAR fewer applications than those in the US and accept much larger percentages of people from the application pools.

 

Roughly how much higher is the percentage of acceptances? I'm trying to determine whether it would be in my interest to apply to multiple UK programs. From what I have seen, American MA programs don't tend to accept more than 60% of applicants (if that, though strangely Villanova accepts more according to Petersons). How does this compare with British programs? Also, are they more interested in accepting international students (for the higher tuition obviously)? I may be able to get the EU tuition rate as I am in the process of getting an EU passport.

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What's the word on funding and tuition in the UK? I've always wanted to live other there, but from what I've heard tuition is relatively high if you're not in the EU, funding is hard to come by if you're not in the EU and if you come to the U.S. after completing your program, people will look down their nose at your degree unless it's from Oxford or Cambridge (generally because the programs are shorter).

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Roughly how much higher is the percentage of acceptances? I'm trying to determine whether it would be in my interest to apply to multiple UK programs. From what I have seen, American MA programs don't tend to accept more than 60% of applicants (if that, though strangely Villanova accepts more according to Petersons). How does this compare with British programs? Also, are they more interested in accepting international students (for the higher tuition obviously)? I may be able to get the EU tuition rate as I am in the process of getting an EU passport.

I'm not sure of actual numbers for Master's programs (you can search most university websites and there will be a document somewhere with this information). But I can say this: I'm from the UK, and I do not know anyone who has applied for an academic MA who has not been accepted  (of my friends, family, acquaintances etc); finance and journalism tend to be the most competitive Master's programs in the UK.

 

For PhDs, in English Oxford and Cambridge accept around 40-50% of applicants, I imagine the percentage is similar, if not higher, at other universities. 

 

You don't pay for UK apps (do you as an international student?) and the process is much less involved than the US, so you don't have much to lose by applying to a few - I'd say 3-5 programs would be more than enough. I applied to one...as did many people I know.

 

Unless you've been in the UK for three years prior to the start of your program, then you will be charged international fees. Though, in the last few years scholarships for international students have improved drastically (they are still not great, though). I know UEA has some scholarships particularly for American students.

Edited by wreckofthehope

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I have a few questions on this topic myself.

 

First, my old MA advisor suggested that if I don't get into any doctoral programs this season, that I perhaps try doing a program at Oxford (I'm a medievalist, so yeah).  Just wondering what people think of this.  It could get me some great rec letters for later PHD apps, and it would be nice to use my brain again.  On the other hand, it's expensive as hell, and intimidating as hell, and feels like a massive and scary decision.

 

Related to that, if I did a M.ST instead of the M.Phil, would that look less good?  I wouldn't mind doing the M.Phil, but since it's a second Masters degree, I don't really want to spend another two years before submitting PHD apps again.  I'd like to maybe be done with school before I'm 40.

 

And lastly, and I know this question is a long-shot, does anyone know if there are grants or scholarships or whatever if you're studying over there as an international student with a disability?  From my brief travels, I know they are awesome with disability fees for stuff like museums, but I don't know if that consideration extends to universities, and even more if it extends to wandering Minnesotans.

 

I'm feeling out this idea, so input would be great.

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I have a few questions on this topic myself.

 

First, my old MA advisor suggested that if I don't get into any doctoral programs this season, that I perhaps try doing a program at Oxford (I'm a medievalist, so yeah).  Just wondering what people think of this.  It could get me some great rec letters for later PHD apps, and it would be nice to use my brain again.  On the other hand, it's expensive as hell, and intimidating as hell, and feels like a massive and scary decision.

 

Related to that, if I did a M.ST instead of the M.Phil, would that look less good?  I wouldn't mind doing the M.Phil, but since it's a second Masters degree, I don't really want to spend another two years before submitting PHD apps again.  I'd like to maybe be done with school before I'm 40.

 

And lastly, and I know this question is a long-shot, does anyone know if there are grants or scholarships or whatever if you're studying over there as an international student with a disability?  From my brief travels, I know they are awesome with disability fees for stuff like museums, but I don't know if that consideration extends to universities, and even more if it extends to wandering Minnesotans.

 

I'm feeling out this idea, so input would be great.

I'm in a TOTALLY different field, but I did my BA there, so feel free to PM me if you have questions about the uni or colleges or the English Faculty, or anything really. 

 

I wouldn't be intimidated - if you're good enough for a US PhD program, or good enough to apply to one, then you are a serious candidate with a good chance of being accepted. It sounds like Ox would be a good fit academically, so go for it. 

 

The MPhil is usually a research degree at Oxford... if you were planning to stay at Ox for the DPhil then doing the MPhil would be worth it (because your MPhil work is the start of your DPhil work); otherwise, the normal MSt should be fine. Most UK Master's are one year.

 

Disability provisions for UK students are quite good, but they come mostly from the government, not the university (or, at least, from the government through the university) and so I suspect you would not be eligible.

 

All that said, if this would be a second Master's (am I reading your post correctly?), I'd personally be very wary - what would it add to what you've already got to offer?

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Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of on the funding side of things; I can't afford to live in England for a year unfunded.  I'll  poke around a bit though, see what I can dig up.

 

As for it being a second Masters, you are correct.  And the way my advisor put it, it would be a chance to push me forward academically at a period where I'm kind of standing still, as well as a  chance to get in contact with some really potentially great letter writers.  I went to a pretty unknown school for my MA, and with how much people keep talking about prestige mattering for applications, I have to think adding a contact or two from Oxford wouldn't hurt my chances.

 

Also just sort of something I've always wanted to do.  If I could figure out a way to design a course that is as much history as it is lit, that would be even better.  I'd considered getting a second MA in history anyway, and I'd love to blend the two.

 

I apologize if this is rambly--I'm really drugged up on cold meds right now.

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