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Is it harder to get a good degree from a red brick?

tobymore · 30/07/2021 10:24

Hi, DS is the first in our family to go to Uni so apologies for any stupid questions!

He's expected to meet the grades to get accepted on to either a four year course (including a Foundation year) at a red brick, or a three year course at an ex-poly.

I understand the red brick is more prestigious- but does that make it harder to get good grades?

If he doesn't know what he wants to do long term, is it better to have a good degree from a lower university, or a less good degree from a prestigious university?

For context, he doesn't know what he wants to do for a career, looking at English at both places, taking a gap year so will have his A Level grades before he applies.

Thanks Smile

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JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff · 30/07/2021 10:35

Hi OP, I teach English at a post92 (ex-poly) and have worked at a major RG (Russell Group) institution.

By and large, no not more difficult to get a "good" (2.1 or First) from a red brick or RG.

Universities employ a system of external examining, so lecturers from other institutions will scrutinise our marking annually and report formally. At our post92, we are generally told we are too harsh!

You should be able to find % good degrees for a dept online -I am on AL and at a softplay place with DC atm, so bit distracted and trying to remember which league table has this - but you can look.

Generally I would Fdn year valuable if DS had a rough A level exp or sometimes for students with learning differences they can help acclimatise to independent study. But that aside, I would go for the degree and university he likes best and gets the best vibe from. He's there for 3-4y and has to enjoy it!

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ErrolTheDragon · 30/07/2021 10:43

The percentages of grades awarded seems to be quite variable by institution and subject, so it's not simple.
In some fields, employers will have a good idea what the reality is. In some fields, they may balance grade vs institution differently to other fields.

Fwiw when DD was making her decision, it was clear that for her subject, the most prestigious uni imposed a strict cap of no more than 30% firsts/MEng Distinctions, whereas at the next tier (still RGs) it could be 50% or more . She knew she'd be likely to get a 2:1 from the former or a first from the latter ... she went with the former. So, now she has indeed got a 2:1 and a Merit but is also due to start a job in her chosen field in a few weeks time with no problems getting a job offer.

That's just one example.... you can almost certainly find counter examples.

I'd say choose whichever course they'll learn the most from. That's the point of education, after all, not just a number on a bit of paper. Within your chosen field, I'd say go for challenging not easy - wtf is the point of the time and money if you're not going to get the most out of it? But obviously there would be no point doing a course that was beyond your realistic abilities.

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