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The Oxford MSc Application Process

By Erin Jarvis

I applied quite late in the year for my MSc degree place at Oxford. I had been working full-time since graduating from my undergraduate degree in 2020, and I was struggling to find a Master’s programme that captured my interest. Luckily, I found my current course at the University of Oxford – but there was one small issue. The course closed to applications in only just over a week!

I found the application process much less daunting than I expected, with a separate section to include any personal issues that may have affected outcomes and results in previous degrees or qualifications. This was very helpful to me, as I had experienced some disappointing secondary school examination results due to personal reasons, which had impacted my degree and university choice previously. Being able to separately explain this as well as the singular blip in my university transcript allowed me to feel much more confident in the application process – that it was fair and robust.

Truthfully, I wasn’t expecting to hear anything positive back. I was beginning to think applying was a mistake – how could I go to Oxford? Self-doubt settled in for me fairly quickly and so I tried to push my application to the back of my mind.

A few short days later, I received an email regarding my application. “This is it”, I thought. I was sure it would be a rejection email, thanking me for my time but informing me I wouldn’t proceed any further. Eventually, I opened the email. It was an invitation to an interview. It explained in very full detail what my interview would entail and encouraged me to get in touch if I had any queries or required any accommodations. I thought this approach was great, it was very easy to email back to request anything that I might need. I also appreciated the detail about the process itself, which was very helpful in reassuring the pre-interview nerves. I attended my interview and received an offer, and I am very grateful for the admissions process allowing me to truly highlight my best self.

I was delighted to receive an offer of a place at Oxford, a childhood dream I had long given up on. So, if you’re reading this and have felt similar, it is always worth applying anyway.


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