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How good is the University of St Andrews?

(98 Posts)
indiraisindiaisindira Wed 30-Nov-16 21:21:26

DD has a conditional offer for history there and she's considering it even though it's 10 hours away!

It looks very traditional! I like the look of the small town life, much safer and less worrying for me blush

How prestigious is it?

I see that it is 3rd in the league tables this year. Is it really the third best university in the UK?

How well regarded is it for getting into the city for banking/law?

We are going up to visit it for a feel of the place soon wine

OP’s posts: |
bevelino Wed 30-Nov-16 21:59:05

St Andrews is highly regarded and prestigious. Dd received an offer and the only reservation she had was that the university is in a very small town and far from everywhere. Dd''s cousin and a few of her friends study there and absolutely love the place. However the university was not for dd in the end.

dementedma Wed 30-Nov-16 22:02:51

Highly respected!
Lots of moneyed students and hooray henries. But it will open the right doors.

littleredpear Wed 30-Nov-16 22:10:15

Brilliant uni, very well respected in my industry (mathematics based) and it's a great Scottish town to live in.

We holiday there grin

littleredpear Wed 30-Nov-16 22:11:07

I hope my kids get a place there, good luck with your decision flowers

goodbyestranger Wed 30-Nov-16 22:16:18

My dad had a good career in the City having done undergrad at St A (but only after he changed his name from a foreign one to a lowland Scottish one he found on the spine of a dusty old tome in the law library there (no-one would interview him with his original name back in those days but once he went Scottish all doors opened, miraculously)).

BaggyCheeks Wed 30-Nov-16 22:20:00

I did History there 10 years ago - fantastic experience, in spite of the small town. It's a very friendly town, with excellent transport links given how remote it seems. You can be at Edinburgh in just over an hour by train, buses to Dundee every 10 minutes, bus to Glasgow and Edinburgh twice an hour.

The History department are fantastic as far as the teaching quality goes. Lots of interesting modules available, and they allow you to further specialise in Honours. The degree structure allows you to get a broad range of subjects in during sub-hons, so long as you get so many credits in history modules. I have a friend who were accepted for Modern History, and ended up graduating in Geoscience. For me, this looked like:
1st year, 1st semester: Mediaeval History, Ancient History, French.
2nd semester: Mediaeval History, Ancient History, Sustainable Development.
2nd year 1st sem: Mediaeval, ancient, divinity
2nd year 2nd sem: Mediaeval, ancient, modern history
3rd year/junior hons: I changed to Mediaeval history and did all mediaeval modules.
4th year/senior hons: all mediaeval, with dissertation in the first semester.

ittooshallpass Wed 30-Nov-16 22:20:06

How prestigious is it? Er... Prince William met Katherine Middleton there... confused

BaggyCheeks Wed 30-Nov-16 22:20:49

And while there are a lot of yahs, there are also a lot of normal people who just get on with it quietly grin

PiggyPlumPie Wed 30-Nov-16 22:28:00

My DD is just finishing her first semester and she is loving it. I imagine that if you were coming from a big city then it could be a bit isolating. She has done an Ancient History module and thoroughly enjoyed it. The pastoral care is very good - DD has a "family".

Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.

peteneras Wed 30-Nov-16 23:47:27

”I see that it is 3rd in the league tables this year. Is it really the third best university in the UK?”

Well, not according to these people.

BackforGood Wed 30-Nov-16 23:58:39

Highly prestigious - so much so that even MNers approve of it shock grin

Students will also read another subject alongside their chosen one (I think this might be common in all Scottish Universities?)

My niece went to study history, took up Italian (as a new subject), loved it so much, she has forged her adult life in Italy

AddictedtoLove Thu 01-Dec-16 10:34:51

Prestigious? You're asking about prestige, rather quality of teaching and research? Or quality of life? Or the enjoyment and stimulation of degree programmes?

I think I've reached peak "sharp-elbowed middle class" parenting.

mouldycheesefan Thu 01-Dec-16 10:37:25

Yes Kate Middleton seems to have done ok out of it!
But ten hours away would be a bit off putting.

KatherinaMinola Thu 01-Dec-16 10:40:51

Highly regarded and very prestigious. It is very posh though.

Kr1stina Thu 01-Dec-16 10:59:28

If you have to ask whether or not St Andrews is prestigious then I suspect you move in social circles where this is irrelevant.

lornathewizzard Thu 01-Dec-16 11:09:21

I had an offer for history for St Andrews way back when (17 years ago jeez) and it was my first choice til we visited. It just felt too posh and I felt like I wouldn't fit in. So just be careful not to get swept up in the prestige/reputation and make sure DD picks for the right reasons.

bojorojo Thu 01-Dec-16 12:01:49

10 hours - would you not fly home? It has plenty of students with money from England. This is how they travel.

goodbyestranger Thu 01-Dec-16 12:16:06

bojo I'm not sure how often you drive up and down to Scotland from the south but it's a great deal cheaper to fly!

IHaveBrilloHair Thu 01-Dec-16 12:22:30

I'd love it if DD applied/was accepted, it's where my Mum went too.
I think the degree structure would really suit her, she's 15 so not quite at that stage yet, it's also not too far away from us either.

mintthins Thu 01-Dec-16 12:22:45

DD went for an open day recently and absolutely hated it. She had previously stayed in halls there three times, and we often visited the town as a family. So she knows the town and buildings well. However the emphasis on the prestige and uni traditions over academic study really, really put her off. That may be a subject specific problem - she is looking at medicine, and the tour guides were both English Lit students who said "no one bothers to do any work till third year". That no academic staff turned up for the Medicine talk (only admissions admin) was a major turn off for her. Conversely though, the Chemistry department were really impressive. In my own subject, they are world leaders in a very specific niche. However, I'd make sure the department is the right one for her.

Manumission Thu 01-Dec-16 12:27:24

If you have to ask whether or not St Andrews is prestigious then I suspect you move in social circles where this is irrelevant.

That is the superlative MN post of pithy advanced snobbery.

Beautiful 😂

bojorojo Thu 01-Dec-16 12:28:01

I don't' drive there - I fly. That's why I said to fly rather than a 10 hours drive. I had not really thought about the cost of driving vs flying. But I am sure you are right.

goodbyestranger Thu 01-Dec-16 12:34:39

You mentioned moneyed students that all. You need money to drive, rather less to fly.

PaperdollCartoon Thu 01-Dec-16 12:41:43

It's certainly prestigious but very much linked to money and a certain 'type' of student. Two colleagues went there, they're both lovely but definitely fit the type. They both loved it though. Lots of former private/boarding school types. It's well regarded for getting into the city, but the cultural capital part of that shouldn't be ignored. My company is high end professional services which also quite fits this 'type' so makes sense (I don't really fit it myself, but just enough to get along!)

Young friend of a friend has just dropped out due to struggling with that culture, there were comments that she 'wore a lot of high street clothes' and other students were really rude, including moving away when she sat down.
If your daughter fits the culture she'll be fine.

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