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Essex vs. Manchester

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    Hi!

    I am prospective postgrad student from India. I have been accepted by University of Essex and University for Manchester for a Master's program in Social Sciences. Both of these programs fare equally in terms of curriculum, faculty and future prospects. Being an overseas student, what I would really like to know is how Manchester and Colchester,Essex differ in terms living there(costs, weather, things to do/see, community, and anything else you regard as a major differentiating factor). Thanks for reading!

    MH.
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    (Original post by mh.postgrad)
    Hi!

    I am prospective postgrad student from India. I have been accepted by University of Essex and University for Manchester for a Master's program in Social Sciences. Both of these programs fare equally in terms of curriculum, faculty and future prospects.
    I would generally agree with this. It's worth mentioning though that Essex has an extremely good reputation for the social sciences, but yeah, you can't really go wrong with either.

    Being an overseas student, what I would really like to know is how Manchester and Colchester,Essex differ in terms living there(costs, weather, things to do/see, community, and anything else you regard as a major differentiating factor). Thanks for reading!
    Well whilst the north is generally a bit cheaper than south, Manchester is a large city whereas Essex campus is effectively its own little village near Colchester, so I imagine in terms of living costs they are roughly about equal.

    I don't think considering the weather conditions is really an important factor - I mean the south east is generally drier and more sunny but this is the UK so all you can really say is you're not going to get stuck in a monsoon, thrown up a tornado or bake to death in a desert. Essex is about 20 minutes by train away from a beach.

    As for things to do - it depends on what you want from your postgraduate education. Manchester is a really fun city with a brilliant night life and plenty of stuff to do. Essex, as I say, is a bit in the middle of nowhere so that the social life is quite heavily focused on campus-based activities. This isn't necessarily a bad thing it's just a different experience. At Essex, you are less than an hour away by train from London. Both unis will have their fair share of societies so it's unlikely you would get bored in either place but as I say, it depends what kind of experience you are wanting.
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    (Original post by mh.postgrad)
    Hi!

    I am prospective postgrad student from India. I have been accepted by University of Essex and University for Manchester for a Master's program in Social Sciences. Both of these programs fare equally in terms of curriculum, faculty and future prospects. Being an overseas student, what I would really like to know is how Manchester and Colchester,Essex differ in terms living there(costs, weather, things to do/see, community, and anything else you regard as a major differentiating factor). Thanks for reading!

    MH.
    Manchester is a much nicer place to live and the University is more prestigious generally. However Essex has a very strong reputation for social sciences. Its worth noting that Manchester is likely to be more rainy than Colchester, as the East is the driest part of the UK. But yeh, Manchester is a big very popular city, and Colchester is just a town. So if you don't like towns, and need a city, then factor that in.
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    I wouldn't mind living in a town, which makes the choice all the more difficult I suppose. Thanks for the advice dfw and Craghyrax!
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    (Original post by mh.postgrad)
    I wouldn't mind living in a town, which makes the choice all the more difficult I suppose. Thanks for the advice dfw and Craghyrax!
    Well if you are looking a bit more for the 'quiet' life, Essex could be a good choice. Although Colchester isn't a particularly wonderful place, the University is actually based in a big park next to a little village called Wivenhoe (google-image search Wivenhoe; it's quite pretty). A lot of students live here as opposed to Colchester.
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    Thanks for the advice dfw!
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    Oh to complicate matters, I now have an offer from University of Southampton. I know it ranks below UofM and UofEssex in Uni rankings, reputation etc (not sure how credible), however, I still think the program's quite at par with the other two. Any thoughts on the Uni and the place as such?

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