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Best universities for Philosophy?

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    I'm already considering Cambridge, but which other universities would you say are the best for a Philosophy course?
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    Do you have any particularl interests in philosophy?

    First of all, there's the obvious (the very top unis) such as Durham (particuarly strong in philosophy of science and medicine, moral philosophy and metaphysics), Bristol (particularly strong in logic and philosophy of science), St Andrews, Warwick and Kings College London.

    Then there's your solid "redbrick" universities such as Sheffield and Manchester. Hull are quite good, also.

    Do you have any preference in terms of location (small city, large city etc?)
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    (Original post by Lux Astraea)
    I'm already considering Cambridge, but which other universities would you say are the best for a Philosophy course?
    Heya, the Guardian guide
    (http://browse.guardian.co.uk/educati...y&Institution=)
    for Philo says:

    1)Oxford
    2)Cambridge
    3)LSE
    4)Warwick
    5)UCL

    I'm applying for Philo this year, and I'm applying to Cam; LSE; Warwick; UCL and Belfast.

    Belfast safety net-27th nationally

    In terms of how well the unis are regarded its oxbridge, then the London Unis (LSE then UCL then KCL (SOAS is brilliant also, bt no philo), then the other unis like Warwick, Durham, Edinburgh, Bristol.

    Your thing says your from Chile. If that's correct, you may not know about the sort of stereotypes of all the unis here. Now I may get slated for this, but the stereotypes I have got (accurate or not), are that Bristol and Durham are quite middle-class British, conservative, private schooled etc. In particular Bristol has a reputation for rich kids who don't go to work (once again I repeat this may or not be the case in reality-jst the stereotype-obv won't the case universally). Bristol is a really nice town though. I was going to apply until I started hearing these bad things (the Uni has been accused of bias towards independant candidates).

    LSE is very very international (like over 40%), deemed left wing, very respected internationally (one of the best institutions in the world for social sciences). One thing you should know is that the course is not in Philo, it is Philo, Logic and Scientific Method. This will affect what the course goes into-it may not go into your area of particular interest. You should look into this.

    UCL also very good, more middle class than LSE, less international, very respected

    Warwick poss best non Oxbridge/London Uni in UK. High state school no.s (80% on Bristol's 50-60). Middle of nowhere.

    Edinburgh will be a 4 year course.

    I would also reccomend you look at Trinity College Dublin, which is a great alternative option. As it's in the ROI, you apply seperately via a Cao form, not UCAS. It is therefore not one of your 5 choices on UCAS. There is no reference or personal statement, so it's an easy enough application (though everything's more complicated as an international student)-but I'd look into it. TCD will also be a 4 year course, with v. short terms.

    A lot comes down to whether you mind studying in London, and the extra expense that comes with that. I personally would rather not study in London, but they have good reps. If you do like London, then it's much easier.

    If you want help choosing a college for Cambridge, message me back-I have spent a LONG time researching applicantffer ratios.

    But I'm just one guy, don't base too much on what I say, research more.

    Anyway, good luck with all this,
    Peace and Love xx
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    (Original post by bj_945)
    Heya, the Guardian guide
    (http://browse.guardian.co.uk/educati...y&Institution=)
    Please, please don't use the Guardian tables. It's a joke and (quite rightly) ridiculued in sections of academia.

    If any have to be used (as a rough guide) then either the Times

    http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/tol_...ect=PHILOSOPHY

    1. Cambridge
    2. Oxford
    3. LSE
    4. St Andrews
    5. Durham
    6. Bristol
    7. Kings College London
    8. Warwick
    9. Sheffield
    10. York

    Or the Independent's

    http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...e.htm?ipg=6643

    1. Cambridge
    2. LSE
    3. Oxford
    4. Durham
    5. St Andrews
    6. Kings College Duham
    7. Bristol
    8. Edinburgh
    9. Warwick
    10. Sheffield

    The Guardian's are particularly bad. They use a "value added" type score whihc just give ludicrous (and false) results. What's more, they've been known to include universities who have closed down their departments and don't even teach the subject anymore :rolleyes:

    But please, I think you're placing too much on an emphasis on league tables (and poor ones at that).

    (Original post by bj_945)
    In terms of how well the unis are regarded its oxbridge, then the London Unis (LSE then UCL then KCL (SOAS is brilliant also, bt no philo), then the other unis like Warwick, Durham, Edinburgh, Bristol.
    Are they? :confused:

    There's no way that all of the university of London instiutions, even KCL are seen as superior to Durham, Bristol etc. It just isn't. I could perhaps accept a small gap between UCL and the rest, but not UoL as a group, or KCL.

    Ultimately I think most would see it as Oxbridge, then LSE and Imperial (but only in their specialities, they are specialist unis after all, even then the other top unis can match them in certain areas), with UCL, Warwick, Bristol, Durham etc. pretty much the same. The difference is negligible and it's far too an over-simplification to think the real world actually acts like the ladder your describe. It doesn't.

    (Original post by bj_945)
    Now I may get slated for this, but the stereotypes I have got (accurate or not), are that Bristol and Durham are quite middle-class British, conservative, private schooled etc. In particular Bristol has a reputation for rich kids who don't go to work (once again I repeat this may or not be the case in reality-jst the stereotype-obv won't the case universally).
    It is a streotype (altough I'd say Durham and Bristol are equally well known and criticised for it) that they are full of Oxbridge rejects, private school students and "Rahs". There's an element of truth in it but I can assure you (and the OP) that it's exaggerated. I don't quite know where you get "conservative" from? Certainly no more than the other "top" unis (particualrly Oxbridge).

    (Original post by bj_945)
    Bristol is a really nice town though. I was going to apply until I started hearing these bad things (the Uni has been accused of bias towards independant candidates)).
    :laugh:

    This always cracks me up. Have you not been around in the past few weeks, with people accusing Bristol of being biased against (not towards) those from independent schools? The fact is, neither are true. They can't do right for doing wrong.

    (Original post by bj_945)
    LSE is very very international (like over 40%), deemed left wing, very respected internationally (one of the best institutions in the world for social sciences).
    Philosophy isn't a social science though, it's an arts subject. I'm not denying LSE is exceptionally strong in the social sciences (largely economics and politics/government) but then it is a specialist instiution. In the arts (and one social science, law) it's no stronger than Oxbridge, Durham, UCL etc.

    (Original post by bj_945)
    One thing you should know is that the course is not in Philo, it is Philo, Logic and Scientific Method. This will affect what the course goes into-it may not go into your area of particular interest. You should look into this).
    That is true and something that should be remembered. It's one of the reasons why I was trying to find out whether or not the OP had specific interests.

    (Original post by bj_945)
    Warwick poss best non Oxbridge/London Uni in UK. High state school no.s (80% on Bristol's 50-60). Middle of nowhere.
    First of all, I'd love to see how you can defend Warwick's position as the best outside of Oxbridge/London.

    If I'm honest, Warwick is only really particualrly special in economics and maths. In law it isn't even one of the elite law schools (unlike other non-Oxbridge and London unis such as Furham and Bristol). Again, like LSE, in the arts it's certainly no stronger than Durham, Bristol, Edinburgh, possibly Glasgow etc.

    Also, Warwick's not "in the middle of nowhere". It is a campus uni, that is true, but it's on the edge of a large city (Coventry) and still forms one of the largest urban areas in the entire country (West Midlands).

    It only takes about 20 minutes until your into Coventry from the campus.

    (Original post by bj_945)
    Edinburgh will be a 4 year course.
    As will any Scottish degree, certainly from the ancients (St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dundee). I hghly recommend Glasgow to the OP, if for the city and gorgeous university if nothing else.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to be so critical (you didn't get off to the best of starts with the Guardian rankings) but I really don't agree with the "ladder" of Oxbridge, then London (including KCL), then Warwick, then "the rest".

    You were semi-correct about Bristol and Durham. They are very white, middle class universities (at undergraduate level anyway). They are both no less international than the rest of the other top unis (with the exception of Warwick and LSE). At postgraduate level Durham is far more varied and really doesn't follow the "white, privately educated middle class" stereotype. At undergrad level though it's a semi-truth.

    OP, if you're interested in Durham (it's a beautiful city and fine philosophy department) then PM me or ask any questions you want to know here. I really can recommend it. Especially if you're interested in the history and philosophy of science and medicine.

    But please don't think Oxbridge, LSE, UCL, Durham, Warwick, Bristol, Edinburgh and KCL are the only unis. Please take note of what I said about the other universities. Sheffield and Hull in particular. York, Nottingham, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Birmingham and Southampton may also be worth looking at.

    If you have any questions, let me know. I've spent the last seven years studying philosophy (the last four spent at Durham) so have a reasonable amount of knowledge (but not an expert).
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    [QUOTE=River85]Please, please don't use the Guardian tables. It's a joke and (quite rightly) ridiculued in sections of academia.

    If any have to be used (as a rough guide) then either the Times

    http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/tol_...ect=PHILOSOPHY

    1. Cambridge
    2. Oxford
    3. LSE
    4. St Andrews
    5. Durham
    6. Bristol
    7. Kings College London
    8. Warwick
    9. Sheffield
    10. York

    Or the Independent's

    http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...e.htm?ipg=6643

    1. Cambridge
    2. LSE
    3. Oxford
    4. Durham
    5. St Andrews
    6. Kings College Duham
    7. Bristol
    8. Edinburgh
    9. Warwick
    10. Sheffield

    The Guardian's are particularly bad. They use a "value added" type score whihc just give ludicrous (and false) results. What's more, they've been known to include universities who have closed down their departments and don't even teach the subject anymore :rolleyes:

    But please, I think you're placing too much on an emphasis on league tables (and poor ones at that).[QUOTE=River85]

    Yeh, I did actually mean to mention to the OP (by the way, what does that stand for, haven't been able to work it out yet??) that league tables are not everything. However, whilst they may not tell you how valuable your time may be somewhere, they probs do tell you something about how emplyers will view your degree (general league tables, not subject-specific)

    [QUOTE=River85]Are they? :confused: [QUOTE=River85]

    I think certainly internationally and probs nationally, yes. Internationally LSE is well known and respected, but people won't really know Durham. People know what Uni of London means, not Durham or Bristol. And nationally, people do choose London-LSE or UCL particularly-over Cambridge regularly, because they want to live in London. And people can see that. For instance, one guy in my year has UCL as his 1st, Cam as his 2nd. Makes sense to my mind: he wants to live in London, whilst still getting one of the best educations in the country. But Durham/Bristol 1st, Cam 2nd at Undergrad?? Very very unusual, and I just wouldn't be able to understand someone who did that. I don't wanna slate any of these Unis, cos' they're all great institutions. I think acadmically, Durham will be competing with UoL. It's only rep I'm really talkin' bout.

    Durham/Bristol has that Oxbridge reject rep, where London just doesn't (maybs UCL does a tiny bit). To my mind, in reputation terms, it has to be Oxbridge, then London, then others."

    [QUOTE=River85]"There's no way that all of the university of London instiutions, even KCL are seen as superior to Durham, Bristol etc. It just isn't. I could perhaps accept a small gap between UCL and the rest, but not UoL as a group, or KCL.[QUOTE=River85]

    Yes, I will concede not UoL as a group, not KCL (though i would probs say KCL on a par in rep terms with Bristol), but certainly LSE, UCL, SOAS, Imperial over Durham+Bristol+Warwick in rep terms any day, both nationally and particularly internationally.

    [QUOTE=River85]Ultimately I think most would see it as Oxbridge, then LSE and Imperial (but only in their specialities, they are specialist unis after all, even then the other top unis can match them in certain areas), with UCL, Warwick, Bristol, Durham etc. pretty much the same. The difference is negligible and it's far too an over-simplification to think the real world actually acts like the ladder your describe. It doesn't.[QUOTE=River85]

    I would certainly go Oxbridge then Good UoL block incl. Imperial, LSE, SOAS, UCL then others. Yes obv Durham over Royal Holloway, or wtv, and probs above KCL (although that has a good phil department).

    [QUOTE=River85]It is a streotype (altough I'd say Durham and Bristol are equally well known and criticised for it) that they are full of Oxbridge rejects, private school students and "Rahs". There's an element of truth in it but I can assure you (and the OP) that it's exaggerated. I don't quite know where you get "conservative" from? Certainly no more than the other "top" unis (particualrly Oxbridge).[QUOTE=River85]

    Well, oxbridge wouldn't be known for oxbridge rejects would it . As for private schools, the figures are similar for Bristol as for Oxbridge (in fact i think higher private %ges at Bristol than Oxbridge, don't know 'bout Durham). I accept tho' that you'll almost certainly be right in saying those stereotypes are exaggerations-basically all stereotypes are-but it's as much the reputation as the actual rah-ness that would worry me. Superficial maybe, but I wouldn't wanna go anywhere where this was even true enough to develop into a reputation.

    [QUOTE=River85]
    :laugh:

    This always cracks me up. Have you not been around in the past few weeks, with people accusing Bristol of being biased against (not towards) those from independent schools? The fact is, neither are true. They can't do right for doing wrong.[QUOTE=River85]

    Don't laugh too hard, I'm aware that they have recentlyvbeen accused of being biased towards state schoolers. But this was only by the private schools due to Bristol's response to the initial accusation, which was, as I said, that they were biased towards independant schools.

    [QUOTE=River85]Philosophy isn't a social science though, it's an arts subject. I'm not denying LSE is exceptionally strong in the social sciences (largely economics and politics/government) but then it is a specialist instiution. In the arts (and one social science, law) it's no stronger than Oxbridge, Durham, UCL etc.[QUOTE=River85]

    The reputation it carries around in social sciences obv pushes its whole rep up, whatever you're studying. And in the tables, it tends to beat Durham and UCL for Phil, as it has in all those tables.

    [QUOTE=River85]That is true and something that should be remembered. It's one of the reasons why I was trying to find out whether or not the OP had specific interests.[QUOTE=River85]

    Yeh, I think we can agree on that anyway. Most of the courses are fairly similar in the broad areas they cover, but should all be checked, especially in that LSE case.

    [QUOTE=River85]First of all, I'd love to see how you can defend Warwick's position as the best outside of Oxbridge/London.[QUOTE=River85]

    Purely off the back of the league tables I'd seen

    [QUOTE=River85]If I'm honest, Warwick is only really particualrly special in economics and maths. In law it isn't even one of the elite law schools (unlike other non-Oxbridge and London unis such as Furham and Bristol). Again, like LSE, in the arts it's certainly no stronger than Durham, Bristol, Edinburgh, possibly Glasgow etc.[QUOTE=River85]

    Not what the tables say...again i accept that probs isn't the best thing to base your uni choice off, but has to be taken into account.

    [QUOTE=River85]Also, Warwick's not "in the middle of nowhere". It is a campus uni, that is true, but it's on the edge of a large city (Coventry) and still forms one of the largest urban areas in the entire country (West Midlands). It only takes about 20 minutes until your into Coventry from the campus.[QUOTE=River85]

    20 mins to a town is as much in the middle of nowhere as you could get in England, really. Compared to the other unis we're talking about, and to the majority of British unis, it is really quite isolated.

    [QUOTE=River85]As will any Scottish degree, certainly from the ancients (St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dundee). I hghly recommend Glasgow to the OP, if for the city and gorgeous university if nothing else.[QUOTE=River85]

    Yup, Glasgow's cool.

    [QUOTE=River85]You were semi-correct about Bristol and Durham. They are very white, middle class universities (at undergraduate level anyway). At postgraduate level Durham is far more varied and really doesn't follow the "white, privately educated middle class" stereotype. At undergrad level though it's a semi-truth.[QUOTE=River85]

    Yeah. What do you reckon bout TCD? I'm interested in what you reckon too, cos' I'm also choosing Uni soon .

    Peace and Love xx
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    (Original post by bj_945)
    I think certainly internationally and probs nationally, yes. Internationally LSE is well known and respected, but people won't really know Durham. People know what Uni of London means, not Durham or Bristol. And nationally, people do choose London-LSE or UCL particularly-over Cambridge regularly, because they want to live in London. And people can see that. For instance, one guy in my year has UCL as his 1st, Cam as his 2nd. Makes sense to my mind: he wants to live in London, whilst still getting one of the best educations in the country. But Durham/Bristol 1st, Cam 2nd at Undergrad?? Very very unusual, and I just wouldn't be able to understand someone who did that. I don't wanna slate any of these Unis, cos' they're all great institutions.
    That doesn't make Durham, Bristol etc. inferior academically (which is what you were strongly suggesting, especially by your "Warwick is probably the next best after Oxbridge and London" comment". That is the real issue I had.

    Warwick doesn't have a fantastic international rep. Even Cambridge isn't particularly well known in the US.

    However, I think you'll find that most people internationally, certainly those outside of academia, would know Imperial, LSE, UCL etc. It's only really the London brand name they recognise. London is one of the major cities of the world, of course they are going to.

    (Original post by bj_945)
    I think acadmically Durham will be competing with UoL. It's only rep I'm really talkin' bout.
    Rep is near enough impossible to measure.

    Go to most members of the public and they'd have a fair idea of Durham as being at least a fairly good uni (though some will think it's older than it actually is). Anyone who know anything about higher education will know that it is.

    Go and ask them what the School of Oriental and African studies is and you'll get a blank face from many.

    I also see no evidence that SOAS in particular has a better "rep" It's a hard thing to measure. It's a very abstract thing.

    I don't really believe in head teacher rankings (I certainly don't agree with them being used in league tables). However, it does give a general idea of how unis are seen by the (often ignorant) general public. It's the best guide to "rep" that we have (though still quite inadequate). The lateset ranks are, as follows: -

    Imperial 6th, Bristol 6th
    Durham 8th
    University College London 10th, Warwick 10th
    LSE 15th
    Kings College London 18th
    SOAS 107th :eek:

    Now, I don't mean to rely on these rankings too much. They are quite ludicrous and seem to consist of the traditionally prestigious/best known unis (Oxbridge, Bristol, Durham, top UoL unis, some Scottish ancients) then the big city unis including the redbricks (Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, Nottingham). They then get to smaller unis such as Lancaster, Exeter, Leicester who, I think we'll agree, are very good universities. Anyway, they get to these and, it seems, don't really have a clue where to place them (due to not being as well established/in large cities - with the exception of Leicester).

    But it's for this very fault that I do believe they give some indication as to how such universities are seen by the general (clueless) public (not that it really matters) and there's really little difference betweem UCL, LSE, Durham and Bristol.

    If you have a better way of measure it then please, go ahead and let me know. There are "peer rankings", but I don't think the difference is significant in those either (UoL having the edge due to them being the larger research unis - little concern for an undergrad).

    I'll come to employers later. However, if the OP (as an international student) is worried about how recognised their degree will be then I can't deny that a London brand name is possibly best (unless your prospective employers will be particularly knowledgeable of UK universities).

    To take a US example, I don't think an employer will think much less of a Rice graduate than a Brown or Princeton one. Even Stanford and UC Berkeley aren't that well known to small and medium size employers internationally. Not if they're still a well qualified and otherwise very suitable candidate.

    (Original post by bj_945)
    Durham/Bristol has that Oxbridge reject rep, where London just doesn't (maybs UCL does a tiny bit). To my mind, in reputation terms, it has to be Oxbridge, then London, then others."
    I can assure you that there'll be plenty of people who'll chose Oxbridge over UoL. Just because a few people at your school chose UoL over Oxbidge, they were in the minority. About 10% of people I know at Durham chose Durham over Oxbridge. I doubt the other UoL instiutions have a high percentage.

    As for chosing UoL over Oxbridge, I couldn't have done that back when I was an applicant. Typical offers for philosophy, for example: -

    Oxford/Cambridge AAB (now AAA)
    Durham, LSE - ABB (Durham now largely AAA, LSE AAB?)
    UCL BBB (now AAB - ABB?)
    KCL BBB
    Most of the redbricks (Leeds, Newcastle etc.) BBB

    There is the exception of Imperial for engineering (unless they like Oxbridge's general engineering programme, where you don't specialise until later on) or, for economics, LSE. Those are the only cases when most would chose UoL over Oxbridge. Not that Imperial is part of the university of London anymore. The same happens with Durham in some of the sciences, or with their combined honours course.

    Just because the UoL doesn't have that reputation of being a "Oxbridge reject" uni, it doesn't mean it doesn't have the same number of Oxbridge rejects.

    I don't think the "Oxbridge reject" reputation should be taken too seriously. It's a derogatory term used to insult the provinicial universities (and exaggerate the "Rah" element). It comes from both universities having a largely private school intake. Besides, being an Oxbridge uni isn't all that bad. It shows that, for those who do want to place Bristol or Durham as their firm and say a a lot for both their "reputation" and academic standing.

    (Original post by bj_945)
    Yes, I will concede not UoL as a group, not KCL (though i would probs say KCL on a par in rep terms with Bristol), but certainly LSE, UCL, SOAS, Imperial over Durham+Bristol+Warwick in rep terms any day, both nationally and particularly internationally.
    Again, prove it

    Ultimately, reputation is only a minor concern. Academics and undergraduate teaching is what really counts and, by your admission, they're pretty equal.

    An employer, certainly nationally, will not make such a fine distinction between university of London and the rest of the "top" unis. Even those that care about such things (which isn't has high a number as most think).

    Ultimately, it's only really law and IB that are (in my opinion) so strict. Durham and Bristol are easily up there as elite law school (alongside LSE, UCL and, of course, Oxbridge). Durham and Bristol aren't as represented in IB, that is true. But there are still grads going into front office roles every year. Just a small number (which is largely due to a lack of interest, Durham and Bristol, like Oxford, have always been traditionally drawn towards law and the Civil service/politics than banking).

    (Original post by bj_945)
    Well, oxbridge wouldn't be known for oxbridge rejects would it ..
    I meant for being traditional/conservative.

    (Original post by bj_945)
    As for private schools, the figures are similar for Bristol as for Oxbridge (in fact i think higher private %ges at Bristol than Oxbridge, don't know 'bout Durham)...
    Percentage of private school intake

    Oxford - 47%
    Durham - 38%
    Bristol - 37%
    LSE - 34%

    Bristol (and Durham) are still not equal with Oxbridge and far closer to LSE and UCL.

    (Original post by bj_945)
    (LSE's reputation in) social sciences obv pushes its whole rep up, whatever you're studying. And in the tables, it tends to beat Durham and UCL for Phil, as it has in all those tables.
    It's a league table (anyway, for arguments sake, I seem to remember Durham being third last year in the Independent's, LSE fourth or fifth)

    I don't think two or three league table places is much to worry about.

    Anyway, I'd disagree with LSE specialising in the social sciences being a reason for chosing it over the other unis. It still remains that philosophy is an arts uni and it's Durham and Bristol (Durham in particular) who are well known for their great arts courses (and, to those who can see beyond the classics, law, history and english stereotype they also rival Imperial in the sciences).

    Although, let me make it clear, I'm not suggesting Durham has a stronger department than LSE. Just they are both equal and fine universities. It comes down largely to location and subject interests which the OP should chose.

    (Original post by River85)
    First of all, I'd love to see how you can defend Warwick's position as the best outside of Oxbridge/London.
    (Original post by bj_945)
    Purely off the back of the league tables I'd seen].
    Oh dear.....they are only league tables. If that's all you can back your points up with then your arguments are very, very weak (and, for a future philosopher, I'd expect better).

    I knew from your first post that you took league tables too literally (mentioning the exact ranking of QUB). Not only that, but you use the Guardian tables (which are a laughing stock). I strongly advise that, should you use any, then the Independent's and Times' are better.

    Please don't take league tables too literally. The real picture is far more complex than that. They give a very shallow view of higher education.

    But, just to humour you, Durham and UCL are right next to each other in the Times' rankings (with seven points difference). That is tiny (there's over 100 points between just Oxford and Cambridge). There's 15 points between Warwick and Durham and only 50 between Warwick and Bristol. Again, still very small indeed.

    (Original post by bj_945)
    In the Independent's rankings Warwick is 5th, Durham 6th and UCL 8th.
    Your argument fails

    (Original post by bj_945)
    Not what the tables say...again i accept that probs isn't the best thing to base your uni choice off, but has to be taken into account.
    :confused: Erm...why? Please give me one good reason? League tables are very new (15 years old). People managed before them.

    They are nothing bet a set of statistics. The fact that there's such a difference between the Guardian's and the others must show you somthing.

    Even if you are going to take league tables seriously (and so literally) then, as I've shown, there's no difference.

    (Original post by bj_945)
    20 mins to a town is as much in the middle of nowhere as you could get in England, really. Compared to the other unis we're talking about, and to the majority of British unis, it is really quite isolated.
    Maybe it's just me (someone from a semi-rural village, 20 minutes from Newcastle) who has spent a lot of their time in rural settings (and adores the countryside) but I think "middle of nowhere" really is that. Somewhere an hour from the nearest village, let alone city. Twenty minutes is nothing and the fact remains that it's one of the largest urban areas in the country (Coventry and Birmingham). It's a huge metropolitan area.

    There are plenty of similar campus based unis (or unis in much smaller cities).

    I also suggest that, if you think Warwick is in the middle of nowhere, you look at the Royal Agricultural College

    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl...38452&t=h&z=15

    Also, the OP (who we must not forget in this debate) may like a campus based university like Warwick. It's therefore not fair to unfairly bias or prejudice him/her.

    You see, I don't just have a bias towards Durham and Bristol. I can defend Warwick too (or any uni, should I feel the need to).

    (Original post by bj_945)
    Yeah. What do you reckon bout TCD? I'm interested in what you reckon too, cos' I'm also choosing Uni soon
    It's an excellent university. My philosophy teacher suggested that I should apply there (it was his alma mater, I think) but I was dead set on Durham. I didn't really want to go anwhere else but, if I had to, it would have been somewhere outside the UK (but still the Anglosphere). TCD would have been a good choice.

    I slightly regret not doing so but then again, if I did apply then I would have studied philosophy (and probably regretted that). I much prefer Durham's philosophy course. I was recently checking out their ancient history and archaeology courses and am quite impressed.

    If you like the course though then it's a great uni with wonderful history (if you care about such things).

    Anyway, I don't mean to be too critical, I just don't really agree with your views and your arguments stand on shaky ground. I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree (otherwise it'll take over the OP's thread). Should you want to reply to any of my points (or ask me any questions) then PM me. But, at the end of the day, I don't suppose will both entirely agree and everyone's entitled to their own opinion.

    OP, I'll be back later on with some more advice and will try and, if I have time, will come up with more relevant uni choices (though need to check a few things).
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    Hi. Thank you for all your help!!

    I don't know if this would influence the advice you're giving me at all, but I'm mostly interested in moral and political philosophy, and I plan to pursuing a degree in Law after studying Philosophy.

    As an international student I indeed don’t know much about each university’s fame or reputation, and that is why I’m seeking help. The universities whose courses I’ve looked into are Cambridge, LSE, St. Andrews, UCL, King’s College London, Bristol, Durham and Warwick. From these I’m definitely applying to Cambridge and LSE, but I don’t know about the others. They all seem amazing.

    Oh, and I wouldn't mind living in London at all, but I think I’d rate quality and prestige over location. I do realize that all of these are fantastic universities, though, and I'm sure the small differences must be quite hard to measure.

    Again, thank you for all the advice!
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    Sorry for the little debate above. It's what happens when you get two philosophers together :p:

    (Original post by Lux Astraea)
    I don't know if this would influence the advice you're giving me at all, but I'm mostly interested in moral and political philosophy, and I plan to pursuing a degree in Law after studying Philosophy.
    Great. I was just going to suggest that if you are looking for a balanced programme to make sure the course includes continental and modern philosophy, logic, moral and political philosophy, some metaphysics, philosophy of mind and possibly philosophy of language.

    Philosophical training can provide a great foundation for law (as I'm sure you know) I just hope you can afford two degrees (say the man who is going to do a second undergrad degree or a masters :p: )

    Durham (who I know you've looked at) have a good course in moral theory and political philosophy. I think philosophy and history of medicine and metaphyiscs are probably their two strongest areas. Still, they have a great political philosophy module in the second year and some good moral philosophy/ethics modules throughout (including a module devoted to biomedical ethics, if you're interested in that. I'm sure they taught environmental ethics

    If you apply for the single honours degree you can also take modules outside the department. These can include political thought modules from the politics department. They tie in quite well with political philosophy and Durham have particular expertise in mediaeval political thought (particularly St Augustine).

    If you haven't seen the list of modules available in the philosophy department then you can here: -

    http://www.dur.ac.uk/resources/facul...works/v500.pdf

    UCL are also great for political philosophy and ethics, arguably stronger than Durham (they do have Jonathan Wolff). It's hard for me to admit that, but I'd still say Durham are stronger in metaphysics and philosophy of medicine (for what it's worth :p: )

    Also, may I draw your attention to Newcastle? It's probaby not what you're after, I don't know, but I feel it's an interesting course and may go un-noticed by many (who think Newcastle don't teach philosophy as they don't feature on league tables - another weakness of them). It's not V500 philosophy, but "philosophical studies: knowledge and human interests". It deals with how knowledge has been acquired over the years and takes a more combined philosophical and sociological approach to how knowledge has been gained, developed and communicated over the centuries. As it involves an overlap with the social sciences there is, I believe, a bit of a political content to it. There's also a specialist module in moral theory as well as a flexible choice option where you can take modules from outside the philosophy school (in a way similar to Durham's) in a wide range of disciplines such as politics itself, other social sciences, environmental policy etc. It has been a while since I last looked at the course content (six years, to be exact, I applied to Newcastle in 2002 but chose Durham and Glasgow above it).

    http://www.ncl.ac.uk//documents/ugbr...al-studies.pdf

    It may not interest you but I thought I should mention as it's easily missed (despite Newcastle being a large and major uni and city).
    If you want to know more about Durham (as a city or the uni and philosophy department) or Newcastle (as a city and I can give general information about the university) then feel free to ask.

    Something that's a bit more up your street is Sheffield. It has a strong philosophy department with strengths in value theory (moral and political philosophy) and also, rather interestingly, has a module in the philosophy of law.

    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/prospectu...?id=3606562009

    Anyway, hope I've helped. I'll try and suggest some more when I have time. I must go now. Good luck with the research.
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    I can't be arsed to read the entire thread but I can say that I've not been even slightly dissapointed in the philosophy department here (Bristol). The lecturers have been almost uniformly excellent, the courses are generally very good and it is really only let down by the library provision in Bristol which isn't always brilliant. Steps are being taken there though.

    May not be your cup of tea if you aren't into heavily analytic philosophy though...
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    (Original post by andy5788)
    I can't be arsed to read the entire thread but I can say that I've not been even slightly dissapointed in the philosophy department here (Bristol)
    :yep: It is an excellent department.

    (Original post by andy5788)
    May not be your cup of tea if you aren't into heavily analytic philosophy though.
    I certainly agree with that :p:
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    What course and year are you then?
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    (Original post by andy5788)
    What course and year are you then?
    I'm not at Bristol, I'm an ex (of sorts) student at Durham (philosophy and politics). I just know Bristol's course quite well (you do have Alexander Bird and others after all)

    If you read the above posts you'd know that (but I don't blame you for ignoring them, large and rambling debate really).
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    "The universities whose courses I’ve looked into are Cambridge, LSE, St. Andrews, UCL, King’s College London, Bristol, Durham and Warwick. From these I’m definitely applying to Cambridge and LSE, but I don’t know about the others. They all seem amazing."

    Yeh, you're basically looking at all the right places. As I've mentioned, I would add Trinity College Dublin and Edinburgh as two obvious options you've missed on your list. You'll then be looking at all the best unis, and it'll come down to personal choices about where you want to study etc.

    I would say put down UCL

    Peace and Love xx
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    Please take the paper rankings with a cupful of salt.

    I've heard Durham's department can be a bit small and pokey for some, I'm surprised it's so highly ranked in the tables - its reputation within academia suggests it's no better than the other 'second tier' institutions. Indeed, the paper rankings have caused its standard offer to jump from ABB to AAB-AAA in a very short space of time apparently because of their knock-on effects...

    York has a brilliant reputation, on par with Durham et al within academia. It's often overlooked.

    St Andrews punches well above its weight postgrad, and seems rather proud of the fact, so you can expect a good undergrad department.

    The London unis have pretty much unparalleled variety because they share quite a few courses so you get massive breadth.

    Philosophy is one of a handful of areas where Sheffield keeps up with places like Bristol etc.

    Nottingham, Leeds, Glasgow and to an extent Reading and Essex all have a handful of areas where they are internationally important (I know Nottingham are brilliant for Wittgenstinian-tinged TOK and Aesthetics, Leeds for I believe meta-ethics and Essex for continental philosophy).
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    Firstly, although Oxford is high in the league tables, bear in mind that you cannot take single honours philosophy there.

    Moral and political philosophy is a good choice! (The fact its my specialism has absolutely nothing to do with it ) If that's the area you are interested in, I highly recommend Reading, their specialism in that area really is outstanding. Personally I've never thought of Durham to be particularly good in this area, with their emphasis more on the metaphysics and phil. mind. Warwick is also a very good course in this area.

    I'd like to completely disagree with River85 about Newcastle. I went to have a look there at their Philosophical Studies course and wasn't very impressed with the standard. One of their assignments was a POSTER to be put up on the wall. It wasn't detailed, it wasn't philosophical, and looked as though it was done by late primary school/early secondary school children. I was honestly shocked that people were doing that for their degree.

    as for bj945 offering advice about Cambridge colleges based on application statistics, I'd pretty much ignore that. If you'd like to know about Cambridge colleges feel free to ask me seen as I've actually been here for the last three years. The reason I say to discount it is because a) you should apply for the college you want to be at, regardless of statistics, and b) there is a lot of pooling that goes in philosophy because it is such a small subject. You will be interviewed by people from two different colleges, and it is often the case that if there is no room at the original college, there is a good chance of getting in at the one of the other interviewer, given that they know your standard.
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    I'm also at Cambridge and would recommend it. When I was applying I thought the Southampton course looked good as it was so broad and if I remember correctly you had complete choice over what modules to take. Nottingham, Bristol and Warwick also all seemed good.

    I wouldn't really worry too much-- I'd imagine that every university covers the main things (metaphysics, philosophy of mind, ethics, logic), and in my opinion it's better to go with the overall reputation of a uni rather than some negligible difference in course content or whatever.
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    The chance that you'll have a clue what you want to specialise in at age eighteen is absolutely zero anyway.
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    My post disappeared Hmmmmmm

    I remember writing in my PS that I was particularly interested in ethics and political philosophy and that's still my interest and what I'm applying for a Masters in.:p:
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    Bristol has the God that is James Ladyman:



    He is the coolest of the cool.
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    (Original post by fraternité)
    I've heard Durham's department can be a bit small and pokey for some).
    It's small, both in terms of student and staff numbers as well as the building (two decent size Georgian townhouses).

    (Original post by fraternité)
    I'm surprised it's so highly ranked in the tables - its reputation within academia suggests it's no better than the other 'second tier' institutions.
    We're just talking about the philosophy department here? Well, there's a reason for that, it's not a massive, research intensive department. The research it does do, it does well, but not in great numbers. It's certainly not as intensive as KCL, Cambridge, Bristol etc. But it still exceeds most unis in terms of entry standards, graduate prospects and student satisfaction. Now, whatever you think about the inclusion of these stats it does explain why, despite its only fairly good RAE score, it outranks more research intensive departments.

    So that's why it may not have the same respect amongst fellow academics as departments like English, Physics, law or History. But just because it doesn't have a fantastic number of top research staff (there's only really E J Lowe, possibly also M D Eddy and Prof. Maehle). Doesn't mean it can't match the others in undergraduate teaching. It does have some great areas, too, (moral philosophy, metaphysics, history and philosophy of medicine and science).

    (Original post by fraternité)
    Indeed, the paper rankings have caused its standard offer to jump from ABB to AAB-AAA in a very short space of time apparently because of their knock-on effects.
    Not really. I don't think it's really seen a surge in applicants (although I could be wrong). I don't think it's any more popular than it was a few years back. I don't mean continue the stereotype that Durham is only good in the arts (as it does have top science departments) but it's always been known for its top arts courses, philosophy being no exception.

    Back when I applied (2002) Durham was still ABB and, as far as I'm aware, Durham and LSE were the two unis with the highest typical offer outside Cambridge. Durham and LSE at ABB and Cambridge AAB. LSE increased their offer to AAB, Cambridge AAA and UCL went from having a lower typical offer to AAB/AAA. Even so, Durham still kept theirs at ABB until, as you say, recently. There are various reasons for this (haven't got time to go into them, watching Little Britain) but I don't think typical offers should be over analysed (after all, their politics department are one of only two in the country with a typical offer of AAA. It's fair to say it's not one of its strongest or most popular departments).

    (Original post by fraternité)
    Philosophy is one of a handful of areas where Sheffield keeps up with places like Bristol etc.
    I'd agree with that. Sheffield does have your typical redbrick strengths but still matches the top unis in philosophy. Politics too (I only say this as I study PhilPol). Great teaching and research.

    (Original post by fraternité)
    Nottingham, Leeds, Glasgow and to an extent Reading and Essex all have a handful of areas where they are internationally important (I know Nottingham are brilliant for Wittgenstinian-tinged TOK and Aesthetics, Leeds for I believe meta-ethics and Essex for continental philosophy).
    l'l also add Hull.

    Anyway, I in my PMs a few weeks ago I've persuaded to apply to Durham. I think I replied to your last PM, OP, but if I didn't (or you want to know anything else) then just PM me.

    (Original post by Kater Murr)
    Bristol has the God that is James Ladyman:

    He is the coolest of the cool.
    Is that what he looks like? I love him :love:

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