My questions are regarding admissions at top universities in Europe. Many of them are of a rather general nature, I hope that is okay. I am from Austria (EU) and I currently studying for a BSc in Physics from the University of Vienna. I will graduate in July 2017 after three years of full time study and will be awarded a BSc which complies with the Bologna system. I have taken courses in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, special relativity, electrodynamics, all on a theoretical level. I am now thinking about applying to MSc programmes in Theoretical Physics at several universities in the UK but also in Germany and Switzerland. My ideas are: UK: Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College, UCL, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, Durham University, King's College London; Germany: Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität München, Universität Heidelberg; Switzerland: ETH Zürich. I have yet to decide which universities I definitely want to apply to, but I hope the above list gives the general idea. My questions all deal with the general theme: Can I even hope to get into any of these programmes with a BSc from the University of Vienna? Or would I have to graduated from a top school in order to even be considered? My grade average (Austrian system) will be around 1.5-1.7, I was told by several sources from the UK that this would correspond either to a UK 1st or strong UK 2:1 - does anyone know if that is true? Would that be a competitive grade average when it comes to admissions or do you have to have a very strong UK 1st to get into the above schools? Another question I have is about recommendation letters - how important are they and how can I get good ones? My problem is that at my university, students don't really have that much facetime with professors during undergraduate studies. Finally, I would like to know what makes a good statement of purpose - how long should it be? Should I stick to brief academic facts or should I tell my life story? I know that those are a lot of general questions - I would definitely appreciate if you could give me some general advice on the odds of getting into the universities I mentioned above and what makes a good application. Thanks a lot!