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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    No, UCL is actually underrated - many of its departments are world leading and yet people always say LSE and Imperial are better. :rolleyes:
    LSE and ICL are definitely better for everything that they do
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    (Original post by anonwinner)
    LSE and ICL are definitely better for everything that they do
    But they aren't. Let's consider LSE's flagship subject - economics - UCL is arguably better. REF said UCL had the best Economics department in the country.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    But they aren't. Let's consider LSE's flagship subject - economics - UCL is arguably better. REF said UCL had the best Economics department in the country.
    If you're going to take REF as the measure, then for the latest rankings UCL only outperformed IC in Computer Science.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    But they aren't. Let's consider LSE's flagship subject - economics - UCL is arguably better. REF said UCL had the best Economics department in the country.
    If you can't get into Oxbridge you go to LSE/ICL. If you can't get into LSE/ICL you go to UCL
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    No. That award goes to KCL

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    Metrododo ? Tell us everything :mmm:
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    Sometimes I feel like this is really the hottest topic on TSR. And it seems everyone responding here is talking from different viewpoints. Whether UK is an east or west (or north or south) country depends on whose perspective you take. Inuit people would regard UK as a southern country. I’d like to sort out the topic a bit.

    Entrance level
    Clearly UCL is NOT within top 3, even not top 5 according to UCAS Entry Tariff. It's usually a 7th most difficult university. The newest available data says the average UCAS tariff of UCL entrants is 500, and universities above UCL are Cambridge(601), Oxford(571), Imperial(566), LSE(532), Durham(521), and St Andrews(516). So it's obviously not a university having smartest students.

    Research standards
    There's a couple of viewpoints. Based on average REF, UCL is an 8th best research institution in the UK. According to Academic ranking of world universities, the total research outcome is 3rd best among UK unis (though this position is heavily boosted by medical and biological studies.). THE shows a similar result. So it's not so wrong to say UCL is one of the top 3 research institutions.

    Career prospects
    Commonly known as a target university for certain industries. Although there aren't a lot of objective and statistically reliable data, this and this are relatively persuasive (but not perfectly, because those data don't consider universities' population size difference). It can be quite likely within top 5 industrially preferred universities.

    Historical Importance
    UCL is very important in a historical context of British education. The establishment of UCL directly means the dawn of modern education, since they opened the gate of higher education to female students, ethnic minorities, non-upper class people, and non Anglicans. Without their huge effort, most of us wouldn't have been able to enjoy university lives. The number of nobel prize winners from UCL is 29 and this is the 3rd largest number. So I can safely say it's historically one of the top 3 most important universities in the UK.


    I think above all elements shouldn't be mixed. A person A saying "UCL is overrated.(because students there are definitely not top 5 smartest)", and a person B responding like "Come on, UCL is rather underrated. (Look at its history, research, nobel prize winners etc)" are actually talking about completely different issues. That's what I always feel when people talk about whether UCL is overrated or underrated.
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    (Original post by RussellG)
    Career prospects
    Commonly known as a target university for certain industries. Although there aren't a lot of objective and statistically reliable data, this and this are relatively persuasive (but not perfectly, because those data don't consider universities' population size difference). It can be quite likely within top 5 industrially preferred universities.
    This is what always makes me think how underrated LSE is (even though it is still highly rated). LSE only has about 4,000 undergrad students, Oxford has 11k, Cambridge 12k, and UCL 17k. Yet LSE still tops the lists for most undergrad students going into investment banking etc.
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    I don't see how UCL is overrated.
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    (Original post by Student403)
    No. That award goes to KCL

    Don't diss my Insurance or I will quickscope u scrub! SMOrc #triggered *MLG sad violin blowhorn everywhere*
    ^ Kappa. (Sarcasm)



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    UCL is my firm :laugh:
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    Most overrated university would definitely be Warwick!


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    Not really.

    I mean it's 13th in the rankings now and I think that's perfectly fair
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    (Original post by yl95)
    Imperial is better than UCL in the vast majority of its subjects that it offers so in that way, yes it is.
    Equally one can cite UCL's position as the 4th best university in the world as evidence of being way above Imperial

    Imperial has the enormous disadvantage of not being a multi disciplinary university

    SOAS may be the leading UK university for Chinese Tea Studies but that does not make it superior to Oxford
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    Imperial is a specialist in sciences and LSE in social sciences like Economics, it would be worrying if they weren't better than UCl in such fields.

    I applied to both UCL and Imperial for Computer Science. They're both GREAT unis with pros and cons. I don't really understand why UCL would be so overrated, I didn't hear much about it until I started looking.... UCL is a much larger university than Imperial with a larger campus and more subjects, so in social aspect it will surely be greater. But at the same time Imperial has amazing research facilities and links dedicated to renowned work.

    Perhaps in rankings Imperial is better and it can be seen why, but UCL is pretty amazing too. Just need to give them a chance!
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    CUG rankings (in fact pretty much any arbitrary ranking), graduate salaries, bursary schemes and entry requirements are not relevant.

    Where is your evidence that Imperial's degrees are more difficult? Only someone who has studied the same degree at both UCL and Imperial is qualified to comment on which is harder - have you studied at both universities? I don't know anything about lab facilities; they may or may not be better at Imperial but I don't think it really affects undergraduates even if they are better.

    I don't think you can compare the reputation of a specialist university which only offers a limited number of subjects with a multi faculty university which excels not just in the sciences, but in the humanities and social sciences as well. FYI UCL has more prestigious and world famous departments than Imperial. The Institute of Education, the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, the Slade School of Fine Art, the Institute of Archaeology, the Bartlett, the School of Pharmacy, Med School, Law School, as well as the departments of Dutch, English, Scandinavian Studies, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Life Sciences, Neuroscience, Space and Climate Physics, Anthropology, History, History of Art and Science and Technology Studies all enjoy equally good reputations as anything Imperial has, and many of them are famous around the world.
    Sciences are quite meh at UCL with the lack of funding, their physics course in particular is pretty poor at undergrad and its course structure is watered down in comparison to other unis.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    But they aren't. Let's consider LSE's flagship subject - economics - UCL is arguably better. REF said UCL had the best Economics department in the country.
    About economics, I think it's just because LSE has separated research institutions like CEP having significant number of economists, whereas most of the economists are collected at the Department of Econ in UCL.

    According to IDEAS, the largest bibliographic database dedicated to Economics, UCL's total research performance in economic fields is 32nd in the world, whereas LSE is 12th. The education performance (where top economists graduated most) is 31st at UCL's department of econ and 8th at LSE's department of econ. However, IDEAS also says that the research performance at LSE's DoE is only 40th, which is lower than the DoE at UCL(24th). This is what REF wants to say, I guess.
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    (Original post by anonwinner)
    This is what always makes me think how underrated LSE is (even though it is still highly rated). LSE only has about 4,000 undergrad students, Oxford has 11k, Cambridge 12k, and UCL 17k. Yet LSE still tops the lists for most undergrad students going into investment banking etc.
    But that's because most of LSE's courses aren't arts courses. So not all of those 12k will feasibly consider a career in IB. Also, more students from Oxbridge probably enter academia (I have no source for this).

    Also, there's the perception of LSE that it's just a conveyor belt for producing students that go to the city, which could lead to a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.
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    (Original post by anonwinner)
    This is what always makes me think how underrated LSE is (even though it is still highly rated). LSE only has about 4,000 undergrad students, Oxford has 11k, Cambridge 12k, and UCL 17k. Yet LSE still tops the lists for most undergrad students going into investment banking etc.
    Yes, smaller universities like LSE, St Andrews, Durham, SOAS have a natural disadvantage in terms of recognition issues. But on the other hand, it's much easier to gather students with higher academic merit compared to larger universities.

    Btw Oxford has 11k full-time students and 5k part-time students, and I believe 16k full-time students and 1k part-time students at UCL, if my memory is correct. (very few part-time students at Cambridge and LSE, for some reason)
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    (Original post by yl95)
    If you're going to take REF as the measure, then for the latest rankings UCL only outperformed IC in Computer Science.
    I didn't say it’s the only measure; it is one of several indicators. Imperial didn't beat UCL for Chemistry, by the way.

    (Original post by RussellG)
    Entrance level
    Clearly UCL is NOT within top 3, even not top 5 according to UCAS Entry Tariff. It's usually a 7th most difficult university. The newest available data says the average UCAS tariff of UCL entrants is 500, and universities above UCL are Cambridge(601), Oxford(571), Imperial(566), LSE(532), Durham(521), and St Andrews(516). So it's obviously not a university having smartest students.

    Research standards
    There's a couple of viewpoints. Based on average REF, UCL is an 8th best research institution in the UK. According to Academic ranking of world universities, the total research outcome is 3rd best among UK unis (though this position is heavily boosted by medical and biological studies.). THE shows a similar result. So it's not so wrong to say UCL is one of the top 3 research institutions.
    Entry requirements are only an indicator of course popularity, not quality. I don't think they are relevant to this discussion. But for arguments sake, let's remember that UCL offers quite a lot of niche degrees (Old Norse, Serbian, Urban Studies etc) which don't attract nearly as many applicants therefore the entry requirements are understandably lower. That does not mean the people who do these degrees are less intelligent or achieve lower A level results than Imperial or LSE students.

    Where is your evidence that UCL's position in those tables is "heavily boosted by medical and biological studies"? THE shows that UCL is 5th in the world for the humanities (2nd in UK). Surely that counts for something?

    (Original post by a noble chance)
    SOAS may be the leading UK university for Chinese Tea Studies but that does not make it superior to Oxford
    It does if that's what you want to study.

    (Original post by Terry Tibbs)
    Sciences are quite meh at UCL with the lack of funding, their physics course in particular is pretty poor at undergrad and its course structure is watered down in comparison to other unis.
    Evidence?
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Evidence?
    Their website and my impressions from open days there.
 
 
 
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