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I'm from a South Asian country, and here marksheets are accepted for all kinds of admissions. Now, I have applied to a UK university, and upon uploading my marksheets, which look like this:

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I received this email from them:

Thank you for your application to study on the MSc in Economics. To help us to process your application please provide a breakdown of the Economics modules you have studied in your degree. We need to determine whether you meet the individual modules requirements of background in econometrics, microeconomics and macroeconomics. Thank you for your help.

I had nothing else that I could provide them with, so I sent the syllabus, so that they could get the name and the topics included in Paper 1 and 2. But again they emailed this:

A transcript with details on the modules you have studied and the score you have obtained is required for us to review the module requirement of this course MSc Economics. A syllabus does not serve the purpose unfortunately.

So, after this, I procured a transcript from my university, which contained a breakdown of my marks for all three years (not just 3 Year), and emailed it to them along with the syllabus (because this transcript too doesn't include the name of the modules). They replied

A transcript with details on the modules you have studied and the score you have obtained is required for us to review the module requirement of this course MSc Economics. A syllabus does not serve the purpose unfortunately. Thank you for your understanding.

I'm quite afraid that my application shall be rejected because of this. But what can I do? That was the last thing my university could provide me.

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    Did you call this a syllabus or did they? This is not what I would call a syllabus. If you called it a syllabus, the person receiving it probably didn't even look at it before telling you a syllabus is not what they need. This looks like a transcript. Call it a transcript if someone is asking for a transcript and this is the document you have to provide.
    – Bryan Krause
    Jan 15 at 15:15
  • The transcript shows your marks in the subjects, the syllabus gives them an idea of what topics were covered in the subjects. This is all I needed to transfer to a foreign University. I expect that Bryan is correct that they're simply not looking at the information you've provided them, possibly in part due to language confusion. If they don't accept the syllabus, then I'd suggest explaining your issue to the teachers of each course, and maybe they can flesh out the information more fully in an email you can forward. It wouldn't hurt asking your intended University what they are looking for. Jan 15 at 23:32
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    Is it clear that they're asking for a document directly from your precious university with this information? Since I don't know how these things work, I would have guessed that I need to write a document answering the question (and attach some official documents to the end of my document in order to demonstrate that what I wrote is accurate). Jan 16 at 5:52
  • How have previous successful applicants from your university/country, to this university, handled this? Is there any online group (WA/reddit/LinkedIn) where you could check?
    – smci
    Jan 17 at 0:43

4 Answers 4

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I think you need to speak to someone at the university (as in a real human, rather than an email address), as that transcript looks fine to me (as someone who reviews grad student applications at a UK university).

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    Basically it appears that the admissions officer expects to see a number of modules (+marks) for the individual components if your studies. Taught by different professors, examined individually, econometrics and microeconomics are very different subjects. Jan 15 at 23:42
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    @PauldeVrieze did you have multiple separate economics modules/ exams? It is common, particularly in the UK/USA to break things down into modules, but, for example, my degree in Cambridge wasn't broken down into separate modules - I just had one exam at the end of the year. Jan 16 at 8:42
  • To add to this, this is a situation where I would call the department. If there isn't a phone number associated with the application process, try looking up a departmental administrative assistant on the university website. Ask them if they have received your latest email and documents and explain that this is how the University releases transcripts. Maybe there was simply a misunderstanding. If they still don't accept this, ask them specifically what information they need, then email your University registrar with the department admin CC-ed and ask if they can provide that information.
    – Andrew
    Jan 17 at 2:18
  • They have emailed me this: "Dear Applicant, Please see the module requirements for MSc Economics in this webpage: birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/taught/econ/… Your provided transcript does not serve the purpose to review these module requirements. Thank you for your understanding." I'm a little confused as what they are saying. Are they saying that module requirements are missing from my uploaded transcript? Or that the uploaded ttranscrript is not sshowing the information sought for?
    – ConGovDeIn
    Jan 22 at 11:55
  • The requirements state you need good marks in "Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics or Statistics modules". You don't have these modules, you just have "economics ". Can you demonstrate that your economics course covered those 4 areas? Better would be if there were any way of demonstrating good marks in each topic. Jan 22 at 20:19
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I suggest you try to get out of your current position as middle-man in this conversation by getting the UK uni and your current uni to communicate directly. Ideally by phone, rather than email.

Two specific ideas:

  1. Ask the UK uni to contact your uni if they need more/different info. This probably won’t work because it requires effort by the UK uni.
  2. Ask your uni to make a phone call or write an email that says something like “we have provided all the documents that are available, and we have always found them to be acceptable to universities world-wide, including the UK, so we don’t understand what else is required”.

Good luck.

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I would try to put them in contact with your university (and vice versa) so that it is clear what the university can provide and what it cannot.

If it is clear to the place you apply to that you are providing all that is possible and that it is honest and accurate, you may be ok. But it is others that need to give that assurance.

A professor of yours might serve rather than a registrar or equivalent, or a department head. But there are no guarantees.

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    I don't think an admissions committee would lift a finger to run this down. An approach that requires less effort on their part would be m9re effective. Jan 15 at 15:41
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    @ScottSeidman, my expectation is that it would be a staff member, not the committee that followed up.
    – Buffy
    Jan 16 at 14:58
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I've faced similar situations, and here is how I solved them:

Assuming the information the target university asks for actually exists, you compile the information yourself. In this case, this would mean identifying stuff like "I took this much teaching on Microeconomics, and I got that grade. I took...". You then approach someone at your home university to confirm the correctness of your data. Maybe a professor is willing to put this on letterhead and add a statement that to the best of their knowledge, the data is accurate. This could be something stamping it with some kind of official university stamp. Now you have a document you can show to the target university.

If the requested data doesn't actually exist, maybe because teaching at your home university works very differently from the expectations at the target university, you need to contact either an actual decision maker or a supportive academic at the target university to discuss what the next best thing is.

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