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LSE vs St Andrews

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    From reading that post, it seems to me at least that your English is rather good. I wouldn't really worry too much about the level of English required anyway, as I have seen some international students over the past few months who, like yourself, have said that they too could do more if they were more confident in their English.

    In terms of how important first year is, first year counts for 1/9th of your degree overall. As you should already know, four modules are taken by every student; for the first year only, only the top three scores you have (out of the four modules) are counted. However, they are not put towards the degree separately - instead, they are averaged and considered as one mark in its totality. The fourth module (in which one has scored the lowest mark of the four) is not part of this calculation and does not go towards one's final degree classification, however, one does need to get at least 40% in it.

    This might sound confusing (it confused me too when I was applying!) so I'll explain by means of example: if a BSc. Politics and Philosophy student scores, say, 71 in PH103; 68 in PH101; 64 in GV101 and 61 in GV100, this is what will happen. The mark for GV100 is automatically discounted (as it the lowest one that has been passed). Of the other three, PH103, PH101 and GV101 the scores are added together, so 71 + 68 + 61 = 200. To get the average mark, one divides it by three (as this is the number of modules being considered) and the mean concludes as 66. This is the overall mark for first year. It's a way of helping those in first years who may be struggling in some modules but excelling in others to gain an acceptable first year classification.

    In second and third years, the process is entirely different. Each module is counted separately, so if one goes on to achieve 65, 63, 67, 72, 59, 58, 65, 69 in the last two years of one's degree (add the 66 from first year into the mix too) and one will ultimately receive an overall classification of 2:1 as the person will have received at least five marks that are in the range of a 2:1.

    If this explanation still isn't making any sense to you, this might help you.



    In terms of studying IR though, St Andrews is a very capable university in that department and is world-renowned for its research in that area. I would consider the proposal between LSE and St Andrews very carefully.

    I hope this has helped.
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    I hope I'm in your position in a few weeks. Saint Andrews accepted me a few months back and I'm very happy with it. Nevertheless, LSE accepting me would be a friggin' miracle, all things considered.

    In any case, I think it really depends on your values and what exactly you want from university. From the brief post you wrote I can summarize that you have a good level of English. As such, I don't think that your language abilities should play much of a role in this decision.
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    If your English is the main reason as to whether you should go to LSE or not then don't worry and go. I can't remember the exact statistics (it's somewhere on the LSE website) but many, many, MANY students at LSE do not speak English as their first language and still settle down without much problems. And as TheMeister pointed out, your English is fine and I don't see why it would hold you down. Especially since a chance to study at LSE is hard to come by. Not saying St Andrews isn't a good university, it is, but it sounds like you'd much rather come to LSE anyway.
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    Go to LSE, it's too much of an opportunity to pass on. You have a fair while to perfect your English between then and now. Spend some time in the UK if you can to brush up on your language, a lot of people go on Cathedral Camps or something similar.
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    I guess it depends where and how you want to spend the next 3 years of your life.

    A secluded college-town in the middle of nowhere, Scotland.
    vs.
    Big 'ol city fun.

    I think St Andrews has more of a romantic vibe to it (I heard that _ _ % of students meet their future spouses there... aww),
    OTOH, London is more ... gritty real?
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    Thank you for your help!
    I actually did not expect to get such detailed answers!

    To be honest, I would really prefer to study at LSE. Its reputation, the quality of tuition and LSE's international character are - in my point of view - too attracting to turn down such a unique opportunity.

    However - as mentioned above - I'm rather uncertain whether going to LSE for my bachelor's degree would be the smartest decision: Firstly, I would have time to get used to university life in the UK whilst studying IR at St Andrews ( I imagine St Andrews to be less demanding than LSE) and secondly, as citizen of the European Unions, I wouldn't have to pay any fees up there...

    It is my dream to study for my master's degree in International Relations at either the LSE or Oxbridge.
    Would it be nearly impossible to be accepted into their master programmes with a bachelor's degree from St Andrews? Would I have better chances with a bachelor's degree from LSE - even if my overall score at LSE were not as good as the one I would achieve at St Andrews?


    Once again: Thank you for your help! You can't imagine how desperately I've looked for help within the last weeks- neither my teachers nor my friends here in Germany could help me!
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    (Original post by Scharre)
    the quality of tuition
    You got that right buddy xD.

    Although, on a more serious note, I'd venture to say that you've already made up your mind. Go to LSE if that is what you truly want. It might be difficult but things worth doing usually are.
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    (Original post by Scharre)
    Thank you for your help!
    I actually did not expect to get such detailed answers!

    To be honest, I would really prefer to study at LSE. Its reputation, the quality of tuition and LSE's international character are - in my point of view - too attracting to turn down such a unique opportunity.

    However - as mentioned above - I'm rather uncertain whether going to LSE for my bachelor's degree would be the smartest decision: Firstly, I would have time to get used to university life in the UK whilst studying IR at St Andrews ( I imagine St Andrews to be less demanding than LSE) and secondly, as citizen of the European Unions, I wouldn't have to pay any fees up there...

    It is my dream to study for my master's degree in International Relations at either the LSE or Oxbridge.
    Would it be nearly impossible to be accepted into their master programmes with a bachelor's degree from St Andrews? Would I have better chances with a bachelor's degree from LSE - even if my overall score at LSE were not as good as the one I would achieve at St Andrews?


    Once again: Thank you for your help! You can't imagine how desperately I've looked for help within the last weeks- neither my teachers nor my friends here in Germany could help me!
    In terms of eligibility for Master's degrees at UK universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and the LSE, I am aware that they require only a 2:1 (at the very least) or a 1st in order to qualify - obviously alongside other strong credentials and a demonstrated enthusiasm for the subject area. With that in mind, I don't think (realistically) that you would suffer from discrimination were you to go to St. Andrews instead of the LSE for an undergraduate qualification. The general entry requirements for the LSE are set out on this page.

    Good luck in whatever you may choose.
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    Thank you for your help.

    From what I've heard it's actually pretty easy to be accepted into St Andrews for IR - so I guess I'm gonna make LSE my first choice!

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Updated: March 26, 2012
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