DD struggling to decide which offer to firm - advice please
pastaofplenty · 03/03/2015 11:43
DD has so far received 4 out of 5 offers.
She is still waiting for Edinburgh but is trying to get an idea of who to firm in either scenario (she does or doesn't get Edinburgh offer)
At present she is re-evaluating the courses and modules carefully and is happy with all five of her city/student destinations. She has also looked at varying costs, travel etc...
She is unable to go to all offer days (lives in EU) although we are planning informal visits to cities.
So far she has offers from KCL, Sheffield, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Her current thinking is to turn down Newcastle (based on distance and lower subject ranking) but that still leaves her with 3 (potentially 4) to chose from.
She has applied for an Arts/Humanities degree and all five universities are in the top 20 for her subject choice.
Her offers are very similar - A*AA through to AAA
So can you advice on:
- Should she choose on reputation alone (i.e: whole university reputation)?
- Should she choose on subject ranking and/or modules available?
- In which order would you "rank" these five universities reputationally?
Sorry if this sounds very vague - I thought she had decided on her "top two" but an achievable offer from Kings along with higher one from Glasgow and a slow response from Edinburgh is leaving her with too much time to think!!
If it helps she is swayed by Scotland as it offers a 4 year masters degree - should this outweigh the other English universities? She is keen to do postgraduate study and wonders whether her first university choice will have a bearing on where she can apply for this.
Right - too many questions - I'll go now :)
GentlyBenevolent · 03/03/2015 11:47
KCL is really in a different league reputation-wise from the other 3 which have made her offers.
MillyMollyMama · 03/03/2015 11:58
As my DD says, no employer ever looks at subject ranking. They just don't care unless you are in academia. None of these universities appear in the top 10 for recruitment as recently published in the Daily Telegraph. So, in my opinion, Edinburgh would be best but students love all the other universities. Newcastle is now very popular but she has discarded that one. Out of the others KCL will have higher living costs than Sheffield. Obviously London is a very different experience to Sheffield and my DDs friends who went there live all over the outer areas of London in the 2nd and 3rd years to keep costs down. I know nothing about Glasgow and none of my DDs friends applied there as they greatly preferred Edinburgh. Both DH and DSis went to Sheffield. It has a high reputation among its students. I think you know if Sheffield is your sort of place. Newcastle, Edinburgh and KCL are popular with independent school pupils, the others less so.
I would tend to choose the city she likes best. I think there is not much difference between the reputations of the universities you mention but the different modules they offer might be of interest but don't forget lecturers retire, move on and go on maternity leave. Nothing is guaranteed! What city does she like best and feels she will fit into? That's probably the deciding factor.
MillyMollyMama · 03/03/2015 12:00
KCL is not really in a different league! UCL is. Kings is not that difficult to get into and would not trump Edinburgh (if she gets an offer).
MillyMollyMama · 03/03/2015 12:03
I don't think Kings is in a different league these days. UCL is. Kings would not trump Edinburgh, should she get an offer.
Bonsoir · 03/03/2015 12:05
King's most definitely is in a different league internationally.
GentlyBenevolent · 03/03/2015 12:08
MMM - KCL would certainly - as a general rule (variables would include subject studied, degree class obtained) - trump Edinburgh for people applying for graduate jobs with my firm.
You are also wrong about potential employers - not all of them don't care about subject ranking although it's a more nuanced interest than just looking at this year's table in your broadsheet of choice.
Merrylegs · 03/03/2015 12:10
Ds is at KCL. He didn't make AAA but got in anyway. Pros - loves London, lots of free stuff for students, lots of outside Academic content (there's always someone famous/reputable speaking on his subject somewhere in the city on any given day!) Culturally rich of course, great for research (keep noticing that studies mentioned in the news invariably have someone from KCL involved, so.perhaps just good at publicity!). Cons. Cost of rented accommodation.
ChazzerChaser · 03/03/2015 12:12
I think she should pick based on where she thinks she'll enjoy living the most. Which university feels right.
If she's looking at rankings, which version? What criteria? Academics can't agree on which version of data is used, as there's different ways of looking at it, so I'd be really wary of relying so heavily on them. 10th vs 100th of course indicates a significant difference but not 10th vs 13th.
After having made the decisions of where to apply based on the head, I think the heart needs to have it's turn at speaking.
MillyMollyMama · 03/03/2015 12:14
That's interesting and not been my experience. Actually I rarely read the DT! My usual paper had sold out so I thought I would read something different! Edinburgh wasn't in the top 10 either, by the way! Grades to get into Kings would not be that different to Edinburgh. So Scottish universities are not so good then?
MillyMollyMama · 03/03/2015 12:16
Also, the DT was only reporting independent research!
Mrscog · 03/03/2015 12:20
Surely it depends on what she'd like to do afterwards? There aren't many careers where University reputation matters that much. If she's not aiming for something where the university will be 'ranked' then I'd suggest she goes for living experience/modules - ie things which will affect her day to day experience.
holidaysarenice · 03/03/2015 12:27
If you are eu, does that make any of them fee free or better finance packages?
AgentProvocateur · 03/03/2015 12:29
Glasgow is a great city to be a student in. And remember, if you're in the EU, you won't pay fees at glasgow or edinburgh.
SecretSquirrels · 03/03/2015 12:51
We recently went to a mini open day at Edinburgh. Their degree structure is different than the English universities I have looked at with DS. Their courses are often four years for a basic degree with possible entry directly into the second year in some subjects. Their undergraduate degrees are called masters but they are the equivalent of a normal first degree. Link here.
MillyMollyMama · 03/03/2015 13:15
Engineering is often undergrad masters everywhere. Manchester has an undergrad masters in MFL. Not just an Edinburgh thing.
BikeRunSki · 03/03/2015 13:27
I'd say that subject ranking/reputation is considered by employers, certainly in civil engineering.
Newcastle and Sheffield are awesome places to be a student.
Seems odd to turn down Newcastle on distance, yet have a leaning towards Edinburgh.
chemenger · 03/03/2015 13:33
Science and Engineering undergraduate masters like MEng and MChem etc involve an extra year of teaching over the bachelors degree, so in England an MEng generally takes four years, five in Scotland. The Scottish MA degree (which as far as I know is awarded in all Scottish universities) is the normal 4 year degree - it would be regarded in the same way as an English 3 year degree (which I assume would be a BA?).
Poisonwoodlife · 03/03/2015 14:34
Firstly whilst different employers, and indeed newspapers, will have different subjective judgements about reputations and how they would rank the universities you list, or indeed appreciation of which unis are excellent in certain subject areas, they will all be likely to sift you out if you do not achieve a 2.1 so course structure and the modules offered are important to consider, as well as research rankings (though interesting and clever academics don't always translate to good teaching and it is a shame that your DD could not visit to get a feel for that). If the course is not the one that suits your DDs interests and one on which she will do well then it won't really matter about minute differences in subjective ranking between RG and equivalent quality universities.
It is fair to say that there is a group of 6/10 universities some employers eg some Law firms might subjectively prioritise, picking and mixing from Oxbridge / UCL/ Imperial/ Durham / Bristol/ Warwick add others or delete as appropriate and KCL is probably the most likely to make that sort of list. However these days the application process relies on repeated siftings after online psychometric testing / telephone interviewing / paper sifts based on extra curricular and work experience as much as academics, all focused on gaining evidence that the candidates have the qualities, skills and experience needed for the job so actually university reputation is rarely a deal maker /breaker.
KCL has however got the advantage of access to employers' London based recruitment activities.
Edinburgh is a 4 year course with little added value over a 3 year one.
Secondly if your DD choses KCL she will only be living on the outer edges of London if she choses to live either very cheaply or in more salubrious spacious accommodation. DD's peers at KCL all have ended up in areas that tend to be south of the river, but not exclusively so. Main student areas for living that offer a balance of cost (around £650 a month) and space are Clapham, Battersea, Camden, Mornington Crescent, Holloway, and if they are really hip and plan to grow a beard Dalston and Hoxton. Plenty of reasonable properties available (apparently not so much the case in Edinburgh, something to check out), it isn't purely a student market and no need to look until the summer so no need to be house hunting in the Autumn / Spring terms before you even know who your friends are. Plenty of casual work available for students who need to supplement loans / bursaries etc. to pay the higher rents.
pastaofplenty · 03/03/2015 15:59
Wow - thanks for all your responses I wasn't expecteing so much input. It's interesting to read the varied comments and opnions - which are reflective of DD's thinking - no wonder she's confused!
Holiday/ Agent - Sadly the free tuition fees for EU students in Scotland isn't the incentive it would seem as she will not be entitled to the maintenance loan if she takes that route - so that's not a deciding factor unfortunately.
Bike - I think she's turned down Newcastle because of the distance from other places rather than from home.
stonecircle · 03/03/2015 20:01
Pasta - I would choose Edinburgh over the others any day. It's a fantastic and beautiful place to live.
purplepenguin86 · 04/03/2015 03:27
MillyMollyMama - do you have a link for the article you mentioned about the top 10 universities for graduate employment? I did a quick google search but couldn't see it, and would be interested to have a look at it.
Hakluyt · 04/03/2015 11:03
My dd is at Edinburgh and having a ball. Happy to answer any questions if I can........
Hakluyt · 04/03/2015 11:06
And her other option was KCL.....
cashewnutty · 04/03/2015 11:12
DD graduated from Glasgow last year with a First in Theology and Religious studies. She had a ball but also worked hard. It is a fantastic city to study and live in.
Zinxie · 04/03/2015 11:13
Imo, Sheffield is a bit marmite. Personally, I would cry if I had to live there.
KCL is terrific and she gets to experience living in London, to me that would be a done deal.
If, however, that isn't floating her boat, so much...what actually are her priorities? What would be her deciding factors?
edinburgh is beautiful and a great uni.
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