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Imperial College vs Edinburgh University: MSc in Advanced Computing!

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    • Thread Starter

    Hi everybody!
    I am a 21 years old student from Italy, and I'm currently in the last year of my bachelor in Computer Engineering. For the next year I applied for a MSc at both Imperial College and Edinburgh University, and finally I got an offer from both of them!
    Actually maybe I would be happier if one of them didn't accept me, since now I'm so undecided about which one to choose, and I should give them an answer within a couple of weeks! :P
    I've never been in either of these cities, so it's quite a blind choice for me! I tried to get as much information as possible on the Internet, but I'm still undecided!
    From what I've seen, I think I wouldn't dislike staying in Edinburgh, I like the atmosphere there, and the fact that you don't have to worry about transport so much. On the other hand, I've always dreamed of being in London, but what most scares me is the high living cost, and the fact that probably with my financial availability I will be able to get an accommodation not so close to the university, and probably lose a lot of time on the public transport just to get to the University.
    I love biking and walking, so it would be nice knowing if there are cheap accommodation not too far from the University that are easily reachable by bike or walking, since that would be for me a big advantage!
    At the end of the day, Imperial seems to me a better university, but what scares me in London is the high prices and the time to be spent on public transport. In Edinburgh I think I'd love the place, but I don't know if the University compares to Imperial (I definitely wouldn't like to regret refusing an offer from Imperial!)
    Please, any advice or suggestion is really appreciated! ^^
    Thanks to all of you in advance!


    Personally, I'd choose Edinburgh. But completely up to you! Good luck! :-)

    IMO, Imperial's reputation in quantative subjects is like 20x that of Edinburgh, especially on an international scale. But then again, what do i know about computing. But if you ask a member of the general public i would guess that 80%+ people would say that Imperial's better for most subjects.


    there really isn't anything to add.

    It has to be imperial if you see it in terms of overall reputation and after graduation employment opportunities...
    sure london is much more expensive than edinburg but it all comes down to priorities...i am facing a similar situation. I too have offers from Imperial (MSc computing (soft engg) ) and edinburg (MSc computer science ) for courses starting in oct 2010 .....
    I am from India and i will be taking a huge loan for this course...so the most important thing for me is after graduation employment....
    imperial is way ahead of edinburg in terms of employment specially coz it is in London...
    according to imperial website computing grads from imperial earned an avg salary of 35k in 2009...so my obvious choice is imperial....although expensive but it will pay off in the long run....

    but both have excellent computing departments....AI course of edinburg is one of the best in the world....so if you were goin for that, then edinburg is preferable...

    the fact is, that everyone on this forum goes on about reputation as if its the be all and end all, but it really isn't. its a sign of immaturity and naivety to be so concerned with reputation, because that really isn't what matters - any top 20 uni is going to get you an interview, and that's all that matters really - it's up to you. beyond that its your grades, your extra curricular activities, the opportunities that you've taken whilst at university that determines whether or not you get a job.

    things to think about in edinburgh is what campus will you based on, george square or kings buildings - which is a 20 minute bus ride out of the centre (free every 30 mins).

    another key question is the atmosphere - london is great (i'll probably do my phd at LSE) but isn't good (imo) for undergraduate studies, its too big, unfamiliar, and disparate. in edinburgh you get a really small tight knit community in one of the most beautiful places in europe. edinburgh is frequently voted as the best place to live in the UK - and in terms of quality of life (low crime, atmosphere, value for money, art etc) its miles ahead of london (just try getting on the tube every day in rush hour as opposed to walking through the green blossoming meadows with a view of arthurs seat and the castle and you'll know what i mean)

    when it comes down to it you'll have a good time at either university - your choice should be based on the experience as opposed to the reputation, because IMO it doesn't matter that much between edinburgh and imperial. yes the latter is famous generally for technical subjects, but among specialists in the field of informatics edinburgh is a big mover and shaker (i have a friend who works for google in california, former NASA employee, who went to bath university, and he said edinburgh grads are well received, the fact he went to bath proves my point that its about you not the institution - birds of a feather flock together!)

    (Original post by danny111)

    there really isn't anything to add.
    If you knew anything about Edinburgh's School of Informatics you'd know that its ridiculously world famous. Its a partner with Stanford. Its ranked first in the UK in 2011.

    Where did you end up going? I'm facing the same choice for 2014-2015.

    Due to reputation and the London appeal I'm leaning towards Imperial. However, I have several concerns:
    1. I feel like the Imperial course is too short - starts in October, ends in June. Edinburgh starts in mid-September and the final project is due in August. How can you learn as much when you are learning for two months less?

    2. Also, at Imperial most course grades are based mostly on exams (90%) rather than projects (at Edinburgh it's usually 70%, slight better given that the CS is highly practical).

    I don't want to end up going to Imperial for the wrong reasons. Where did you end up going? Do you have any thoughts on the questions above?

    I know that many Indians will write Imperial, because, Indians go more with the hype of media, and don't investigate themselves.

    I am an application for both of these two prestitigious university, and have a conditional offer with Edinburgh Informatics.

    As of now, I am waiting for the Imperial's result for 'Msc Advanced Computing'.

    The fact of the matter is that I am more biased towards Edinburgh's course work, as it appears to be more reserach oriented.

    Besides, Edinburgh's prestige certainly is right up there.

    Rankings are misleading, especially, the rankings of Times Higher Education, which appears to be biased against non capitalist and non english speaking world.

    I checked the ranking of RWTH Aachen, another prestigious university of germany, and it ranks 118, whereas Imperial ranks in top 10. But RWTH Aachen is also highly selective. So these rankings are biased.

    But it is upto the individual to decide.
Updated: April 19, 2015
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