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Edinburgh over Imperial?

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Why bother with a post grad course - waste of time? 17-10-2016
    • Thread Starter

    My firm choice will be Cambridge, but it looks highly unlikely that I am going to make my offer. My two next options are imperial vs. Edinburgh both for Biochemistry. I realise Imperial has the better reputation, but I've always had my doubts about it.

    My issues with imperial are the following:
    1) Living in London seems dreadful. Spending ages commuting to and fro, having to rent out some dingy little apartment after first year in the middle of London, all feels a bit overwhelming and very unconducive to a typical student life.

    2) Cost 9000 Vs 0 (EU) + excruciating living costs in London vs Edinburgh

    3) Grim reviews about social life/ student satisfaction. Large proportion of international (particularly asian) students that bring the workaholic culture along with them. Apparent dissatisfaction with the actual course and feedback from lecturers.

    It seems to me as if Imperial is a bit of a degree factory, disinterested in its own students and full of Oxbridge rejects who keep their head down for 3 years, power through their degree and emerge straight into a 9-5 job (albeit with a higher salary). My questions are then: Am I very wrong about any of my impressions? And, if not, then is Imperial really worth it in terms of graduate prospects thereafter compared to Edinburgh (especially with respect to international employer reputation)? Will an imperial degree make right all those years spent missing out on a conventional student life and sprouting grey hairs in London life?

    The decision deadline is very soon and I'm leaning towards Edinburgh, but I just thought I would give it one last thought in this post. Any responses are welcome!

    P.S. Might be wrong thread, but is there any difference in terms of reapplying to Cambridge while at Imperial Vs. Edinburgh? Or are both highly discouraged?

    It seems to me as if Imperial is a bit of a degree factory, disinterested in its own students and full of Oxbridge rejects who keep their head down for 3 years, power through their degree and emerge straight into a 9-5 job (albeit with a higher salary). My questions are then
    Well, a job is better than no-job

    From an international reputation perspective, most people wouldn't know other than oxbridge, imperial, LSE.

    My vote for imperial

    lol I'm sure you can do really well (75+) at Imperial and still have time to do other stuff.... given that you can actually manage your time.

    My verdict: Reputation wise - Imperial is worth it. But bear in mind that I AM ASIAN and I live very easily. So if you do care that much about the 3 years of your life, then Edinburgh might be better.

    (Original post by retreto)
    Well, given that you're going to firm Cambridge, if you put Imperial as your insurance, then you're most likely going to get the least popular student hall at Imperial. That's definitely going to be the newest one which is in North Acton. that's 45 minutes by tube away from the main campus.


    In terms of finding accomodation, it isn't too difficult to be honest and if you're stuck you can always shell out a bit more and live in the private student halls.

    Student life is what you make of it. Assuming you're an average (at Imperial standards) student, you could coast through and get a 2:1 easy but if you want to push yourself a bit, you could probably get a good 75% 1st by the end.

    As you've said, the job prospects are excellent (only behind the specialist teaching and medicine colleges), which I've personally experienced by cruising through the preliminary stages of internship initial screenings/telephone interviews. In my opinion, you'll regret not picking Imperial if you decide to choose Edinburgh, as you'll miss out on the opportunity to really stretch yourself intellectually - if you've got an offer from Cambridge, I'd have to assume that you're at least a bit bright.

    If you were doing a 4 year course e.g. MEng, then I would probably be leaning towards doing your degree in Edinburgh because of the additional £9,000 tuition fee debt for the extra year but since your course (I'm assuming) is only 3 years, then I would recommend Imperial in my opinion.

    If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

    I would insure Edinburgh in all honesty.

    With Edinburgh:
    * You'd graduate without any student loan debt
    * Have access to a very generous grant system via the university
    * Would be surrounded by one of the nations most iconic cities for 4 years, without paying OBSCENE prices like in London
    * Your job prospects aren't hugely dampened - there's nothing stopping you from applying to and getting the same jobs as an Imperial student
    * There's a bit more leeway if you miss your Cambridge offer vs with Imperial
    * The university is still globally renowned, almost every American I've spoken to has heard of Edinburgh Uni
    * Continuation of the above, there's a vibrant international student body

    I don't think Imperial is worth the extra debt, expense of living in London and more risk of not even getting into the uni.

    Posted from TSR Mobile

    You should generally take starting salaries, as with any statistic, with a pinch of salt. Imperial may have higher starting salaries, but they also have much higher entry standards, meaning that on average they are taking on more intelligent people. The higher starting salaries could well be down to having cleverer people, rather than a better course.

    Given Edinburgh is a top 10 uni, I don't think you will lose out significantly by going there. As long as you work hard and get a first, you should be able to get a well-paid job regardless of which uni you go to. Remember that while Imperial might get you a slightly higher paying job on average, it's going to put you back an extra £27,000 - £36,000 (depending on whether you do a masters) in debt from tuition alone, and that's not taking into account the extortionate living costs in London compared to Edinburgh. All in all, you may be financially better off going to Edinburgh.

    Also, Edinburgh is a beautiful city, especially in the evening. I'd rather live there than in London tbh.

    I go to Imperial and my advice would be not to come here. Go for Edinburgh, seriously.
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