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    I've just received offers from Bristol and Edinburgh to study French. The problem is I have no idea which one is better for languages, and I want to be academically stretched. I've visited both and really like both cities so can anyone give me any advice on anything at all to do with either university? Reputation for languages is obviously very important, but also general university life. Thank you!
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    Not coming from either Uni, but having applied to both back when I was in your shoes, I chose Edinburgh over Bristol. My reasons were pointless and pedantic and shallow, if I'm quite honest with you, so I won't give you them.

    I've looked at the Time Good Uni guide, since both Unis, to me, are much-of-a-muchness in terms of languages. Turns out, they are indeed quite similar. The only difference it seems between the two is the fact that Bristol is going to get you a job, most likely based on the fact that an employer is likely to think "Oxford, Cambridge, Golden Triangle, Durham, Bristol..." in terms of Unis.
    I tried to compare it to Cardiff, because I find our languages department pushes us, but doesn't do so in a way that you feel like you're being taught - it's more a case of "teach yourself; learn what you want to, and we'll iron out the bumps" (at least in Spanish....). So based off that one, either way you look at it you're getting a more 'academic' experience.

    Personally, if they're both so similar on a table of rankings, I'd either hope-to-God someone from Brizzle or Edinburgh pops in and gives you a better reason to study/not study at their Uni. Or, I'd put Bristol down as my firm, just because:
    1. Both Unis seem very similar in rankings
    2. Edinburgh is, at least for me, MANY hours from home making Christmas vacation and such a pain in the rear.
    3. Bristol, at least from my friend's experiences there, seems to be a fairly lively Uni with a good sense of camaraderie.


    I'm not much help, but, I'm already at my Uni and content with it, so, yeah... Just browse the net, or hope for a better answer; or ultimately choose Bristol.
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    (Original post by eb23)
    I've just received offers from Bristol and Edinburgh to study French. The problem is I have no idea which one is better for languages, and I want to be academically stretched. I've visited both and really like both cities so can anyone give me any advice on anything at all to do with either university? Reputation for languages is obviously very important, but also general university life. Thank you!
    When it comes to academic reputation and university life, I don't think there's much between Bristol and Edinburgh.

    I think the best thing you can do is have a really good look at the different courses available at each university. You can look at Bristol's course here and Edinburgh's course here.

    The main difference between the two is that Edinburgh's course is not just focused on French. I think you choose two subjects which aren't French to study in your first and second years. You might want to check this with an Edinburgh student.

    For more information about outside subjects at Edinburgh, take a look here.
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    Don't choose Edinburgh, they're completely ******* over their language department - the Russian department is closing down completely. Doubt they'd do that to French but still...
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    (Original post by superwolf)
    Don't choose Edinburgh, they're completely ******* over their language department - the Russian department is closing down completely. Doubt they'd do that to French but still...
    Who told you this? :listen:

    ... And yes it's true you pick 3 subjects in your first year at most Scottish unis.
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    (Original post by pamelaa)
    Who told you this? :listen:

    ... And yes it's true you pick 3 subjects in your first year at most Scottish unis.
    Some people studying Russian there. Edinburgh completely ****** them over.
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    (Original post by pamelaa)
    Who told you this? :listen:

    ... And yes it's true you pick 3 subjects in your first year at most Scottish unis.
    Edinburgh's language funding was dramatically cut, and smaller languages such as Russian and Portugese were going to be cancelled, but weren't after student protests. Someone told me that Edinburgh has sacked a lot of their native speaking language assistants because of it It was in the news if you google it.

    OP, I applied to both universities, and received an offer from Bristol which, unless the staff beat me up on the open day or something, will be my firm. There seems to be a lot of extra-curricular French stuff - the French Society arranges for you to hang out with native French erasmus students and trips to France (as well as bar crawls and less educational stuff ), and every Thursday lunchtime there's a forum to discuss French literature. Bristol also has more opportunities for the year abroad - Edinburgh encourages you to study at a university or teach, whereas Bristol also offers work placements, volunteering etc.

    The course is important too, and a more personal decision depending on what you want to study. At Bristol in your first year, you study modern French society, politics and history, the arts in contemporary France, and French literature and film. You can see what you'll be studying throughout the degreehere. I don't know much about Edinburgh's course (although I'm sure their website has much more information), but I know you study outside subjects in the first two years (as is also the case at Bristol for single honours students).

    Anyway - congratulations on your offers, they're both amazing unis (although I'm now slightly biased in favour of Bristol :p:)and I'm sure you'll have an amazing time wherever you go!
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    (Original post by xmarilynx)
    Edinburgh's language funding was dramatically cut, and smaller languages such as Russian and Portugese were going to be cancelled, but weren't after student protests. Someone told me that Edinburgh has sacked a lot of their native speaking language assistants because of it It was in the news if you google it.
    Language funding was going to be dramatically cut. It all came down to misunderstandings and mismanagement of information in the end though, and looked a right mess to everyone. Essentially, someone somewhere in the university made some sweeping statements (think "we must knock £400k off our budget" kind of sweeping) which was, it transpires, somewhat unfounded. The natural reaction from the student body was to protest. This was the first the vice-chancellor heard about it and he wasn't best pleased. The result of lots of behind the scene negotiations was essentially that not much happened. There are going to be 2 or 3 reasonably prominent retirements in the next couple of years from DELC (dept of euro languages and culture) where replacements will not be hired. However, all departments and languages are safe and will be for the foreseeable future. Obviously, French is unlikely to ever be affected by these sorts of issues anyway. Native teaching staff have not been sacked, but in a couple of cases language assistants who worked freelance anyway have had their hours reduced or taken away.

    I'd recommend Edinburgh because of the academic flexibility you're offered in terms of outside courses for two years. On top of that you can change your degree title with ease if you have a change of heart, and contrary to what has been suggested here, year abroad options are pretty wide and varied - you can certainly work during the year if you can demonstrate that it will do you some good.
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    Glad I found this thread, I'm in the exact same position between Edinburgh and Bristol, I had no idea about the staff changes at Edz! When I went I was impressed at how firm the department staff all seemed to be together and the French and Russian staff were all connected and knowledgeable about different aspects of this, that and the other!
    Eep. I was swaying towards Edinburgh but I really don't know! Arghhhhh.
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    So whether there's been a dramatic cut at Edinburgh or not already, they could still decide to in the next few years right?
    So if Edinburgh did decide to axe the Russian department in two years say, what would happen to my degree?! Would I graduate with just single honours French or would they continue to teach Russian until current students had graduated without accepting any new intake to the department?

    I'm in the exact same position stuck between Edinburgh and Bristol and was swaying towards Edinburgh until I found this! Eep.
    I have no ideaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

    P.S. I don't know why I posted twice, I thought the first one hadn't stuck, sorry!
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    Three languages sounds like way too much stress, better to focus on two. I'd choose Bristol but am a little biased.
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    I'm not applying to Bristol but I'm swaying between Edinburgh and Warwick for French and English literature. The thing that worries me the most are the consistently low student ratings for the Edinburgh French course in comparison with Warwick. Would the low ratings for French be due to that funding problem? :s
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    (Original post by Lissia)
    Would the low ratings for French be due to that funding problem? :s
    The low student satisfaction ratings are a mixed bag. In part they are a result of some problems, which are generally being addressed. Primarily, I think they are the result of people coming to Edinburgh in the expectation that it is some magical Oxbridge of the north and when the educational experience doesn't match those expectations they mark down in the satisfaction surveys. Always take satisfaction surveys with a pinch of salt anyway, there was a fairly big fuss over the discovery a few years ago that St Andrews more or less fix theirs and it wouldn't surprise me if similar practices went on elsewhere.
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    (Original post by nearlyheadlessian)
    The low student satisfaction ratings are a mixed bag. In part they are a result of some problems, which are generally being addressed. Primarily, I think they are the result of people coming to Edinburgh in the expectation that it is some magical Oxbridge of the north and when the educational experience doesn't match those expectations they mark down in the satisfaction surveys. Always take satisfaction surveys with a pinch of salt anyway, there was a fairly big fuss over the discovery a few years ago that St Andrews more or less fix theirs and it wouldn't surprise me if similar practices went on elsewhere.
    Agreed - student satisfaction scores really shouldn't be taken too seriously. I know some lower-ranked universities have been criticized for encouraging students to vote high to bump the uni up the league tables, and it wouldn't surprise me if this were happening elsewhere too.
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    (Original post by eb23)
    I've just received offers from Bristol and Edinburgh to study French. The problem is I have no idea which one is better for languages, and I want to be academically stretched. I've visited both and really like both cities so can anyone give me any advice on anything at all to do with either university? Reputation for languages is obviously very important, but also general university life. Thank you!

    Hi i don't know if this is any help, i went all the way to Edinburgh to see the languages department, to do italian, and to be honest it was aweful. not the resorces and everything, but the two teachers i met werent very nice, one of them didnt even talked unless i asked specific questions! the department was a modern/block building [not very inspiring]
    so if you are into more beautiful architecture the languages are taught in old georgian houses at bristol. In terms of reputation, I'm not sure about the league tables but Bristol seems to have a really well known reputation so it might sound a lot more prestigious to say you graduated from there. however edinburg is a beautiful city and i absolutely loved scotland. In the end i chose Bristol! It seems like the the course really makes you stretch yourself mentally mainly because it covers such different ranges, and the first year you dont choose, so you learn about things you wouldnt have normally thought about!
    I hope this is useful!
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    (Original post by mmdnott)
    Hi i don't know if this is any help, i went all the way to Edinburgh to see the languages department, to do italian, and to be honest it was aweful. not the resorces and everything, but the two teachers i met werent very nice, one of them didnt even talked unless i asked specific questions! the department was a modern/block building [not very inspiring]
    so if you are into more beautiful architecture the languages are taught in old georgian houses at bristol. In terms of reputation, I'm not sure about the league tables but Bristol seems to have a really well known reputation so it might sound a lot more prestigious to say you graduated from there. however edinburg is a beautiful city and i absolutely loved scotland. In the end i chose Bristol! It seems like the the course really makes you stretch yourself mentally mainly because it covers such different ranges, and the first year you dont choose, so you learn about things you wouldnt have normally thought about!
    I hope this is useful!
    Just to be nosey, which languages will you be studying there? I've chosen Bristol too
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    (Original post by mmdnott)
    Hi i don't know if this is any help, i went all the way to Edinburgh to see the languages department, to do italian, and to be honest it was aweful. not the resorces and everything, but the two teachers i met werent very nice, one of them didnt even talked unless i asked specific questions! the department was a modern/block building [not very inspiring]
    so if you are into more beautiful architecture the languages are taught in old georgian houses at bristol. In terms of reputation, I'm not sure about the league tables but Bristol seems to have a really well known reputation so it might sound a lot more prestigious to say you graduated from there.
    The languages department was "awful" (bit like your spelling, no?) because the two "teachers" weren't "very nice"? Seems a bit unfair to tarnish well over 100 members of teaching staff because you didn't immediately get along with someone. Do you require the building you're working in to be "inspiring"? Choosing universities based on a building you might or might not have classes in seems a bit unreliable. As for Bristol being better known and more prestigious than Edinburgh, I can only assume you're joking.

    Bristol is a good university as is Edinburgh. I can only assume you must have some very strange misconceptions about what university is like.
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    (Original post by MessyEater)
    So whether there's been a dramatic cut at Edinburgh or not already, they could still decide to in the next few years right?
    So if Edinburgh did decide to axe the Russian department in two years say, what would happen to my degree?! Would I graduate with just single honours French or would they continue to teach Russian until current students had graduated without accepting any new intake to the department?

    I'm in the exact same position stuck between Edinburgh and Bristol and was swaying towards Edinburgh until I found this! Eep.
    I have no ideaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

    P.S. I don't know why I posted twice, I thought the first one hadn't stuck, sorry!
    Hey what did you go with in the end - I am facing the choice right now between the two with offers for english with philosophy but i'd really like to take up russian - what did you pick and why? And what would you recommend?
 
 
 
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