I wanna apply for Master’s programs at LSE and Oxbridge starting next year. I’m currently on completing my undergraduate studies, have the equivalent of a first-class honours will most likely graduate with distinction and Top 5% of my class.
So far so good.
However, I have just read here that it can be quite an issue with admission officers if there are bad grades and/or failed classes on the undergrad transcript. It appears that bad grades and/or failing classes are much more troublesome in the UK and USA. I heard that you can’t just resit a class and that such grades may even count toward your final grade (USA).
The thing is, where I’m from, it’s totally normal to (deliberately) fail a class for whatever reason. In fact, it’s pretty simple. If you fail a class it doesn’t count towards your final grade (why should it, if you didn’t pass?) and you can retake it whenever you want. At my university you’re even allowed to retake exams you have already successfully passed, a good thing if you want to optimize grades. Hence, it’s obvious that little attention is given to a fail or whatsoever.
I’m concerned, however, how this could be perceived with graduate admission at the top universities in the UK. On my home university transcript, failed classes doesn’t show up, only passed ones. I only have two classes where I passed with a 3 but I’m gonna retake them next semester and get a first on them. Unfortunately, I did an exchange in the US last semester where I passed two courses (A-, B+) but failed two and q-dropped one. I failed because I knew it was easier at home and I had other things in mind during this time. By now, I have already completed these classes I failed in the US and got excellent grades on them.
In light of these circumstances, is there even the slightest possibility that graduate admission would reject me despite a first-class degree just because there are 2 failed courses on an exchange semester transcript? Given that in my country the culture of failing classes for whatever reasons is commonly practiced. Does graduate admission generally understand those critical differences between UK vs non-UK universiy life?