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Postgrad at Oxford or Edinburgh....or elsewhere..?!

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    Ok guys, need some advice:

    I've been offered places at all my taught Masters (English Lit) options, including Oxford Uni and Edinburgh.

    I'm already living in Oxford (undergrad at Brookes) and could easily just move down the hill.

    However, I've heard some dodgy things about the 1900-Present strand at Oxford and am also concerned that since I'm not funded at Mst level, getting funding for Phd level will be tricky...

    But what about Edinburgh?? Anyone know the prospects for Phd funding there? I've looked online and their current Phd students seem to come from an array of backgrounds and other Masters (ie not just Edinburgh) which bodes well...

    Ultimately, if you had to choose (and pay!) to go to either, which would you go for in order to stand you in the best stead for Phd funding next year??

    (FYI, two of my other places are King's College London and York Uni, but the idea of being tres poor in London does not now appeal...and York may be too small and uninteresting, but this is wholly unfounded, just a guess!)
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    Congratulations on your offers.

    I can't offer much advice -- I'm doing the 650-1550 strand at Oxford at the moment, and I've been too busy to really get the low-down on the 1900-present strand's pros and cons. And I know very little indeed about Edinburgh. But if I were you I'd definitely take a closer look at York -- their English department is very strong, and I imagine York is pretty attractive from a cost-of-living point of view. In your position, concerned about doctoral funding prospects and likely (I imagine?) to be working quite hard on the course to try to boost said prospects, I'd be pretty unbothered by how interesting or uninteresting a place was.

    Sorry I can't be more use -- hopefully someone with more knowledge will be along -- and good luck making what sounds like a tough decision!
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    Thank you for your response - (basically) ANY feedback is welcome at this point..!

    A close friend of mine is going to York and we would be on the same course, so from that POV it's attractive also. But there's a (probably stupid) small voice in my head whispering 'if you don't accept Oxford will you regret it?', mainly because it's 'Oxford'....silly, I know, but true nonetheless.
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    (Original post by Pinyay)
    But there's a (probably stupid) small voice in my head whispering 'if you don't accept Oxford will you regret it?', mainly because it's 'Oxford'....silly, I know, but true nonetheless.
    I know the voice you mean well, but humans are pretty good at regretting decisions whether or not they were wise ones.

    I'd urge against letting the 'because it's Oxford' factor affect your decision -- come here because there're specific people and resources you want to work with & specific things you like about the course. Coming here because of the place's mystique doesn't do anyone any favours -- you might not be happy, and the more the university can rely on the Ox-factor to attract fee-paying postgraduate students the less it has to bother making its courses better.

    This will probably sound unpleasant, and it isn't meant like that, but -- a postgrad offer from Oxford for a one-year course, sans funding, isn't quite the big deal that an undergrad offer from Oxford is. And I think even for some undergraduate students there's a legitimate case for taking other unis over Oxford.
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    (Original post by Pinyay)
    Thank you for your response - (basically) ANY feedback is welcome at this point..!

    A close friend of mine is going to York and we would be on the same course, so from that POV it's attractive also. But there's a (probably stupid) small voice in my head whispering 'if you don't accept Oxford will you regret it?', mainly because it's 'Oxford'....silly, I know, but true nonetheless.
    Another thing to consider might be this: assess where you will achieve most at masters-level, with a view to realising your Oxford dream (with funding) at doctoral level. That way you can have 'Oxford', just as you'd like, but without having to fork out loads of money for it.

    I don't know enough about modern-period courses to comment in detail, but just wanted to mention that as another possibility. I do sympathise - it's really hard to make these decisions. I too have an Oxford offer (early modern strand) and a couple of very tempting offers from elsewhere. Good luck with making your choice!
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    Thanks for all this, it's reaffirming what I already think. I'm really drawn to Edinburgh particularly but still haven't ruled out York...

    If anyone has anything to say about those two, I'd really appreciate it!
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    Anyone else with thoughts on this??
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    (Original post by Pinyay)
    Anyone else with thoughts on this??

    Just bear in mind and be comfortable with the fact that no-one in the future will ever ask where you had Masters offers from. All that will ever be on your CV is where you actually went.

    So if staying within the discerning and nuanced world of 1900-present English academia is a certainty, go wherever suits best academically. If anything else is on the cards, consider what Oxford Brookes/Oxford Uni might say about you, v Oxford Brookes/York, Oxford Brookes/Edinburgh etc.

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