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    (Original post by King of the Ring)
    I speak of St Andrews as it actually is, which is just short of being a UK top 10 university. Edinburgh is comfortably a top 8 UK university.
    The issue is that I don't think you've attended either of those universities.

    I had an offer from Edinburgh Uni for Medicine, which is arguably their most prestigious course, and studied Medicine at St Andrews, gaining a First... I really don't want to boast, but it seems to me that too many people who have no connection to a university talk an awful lot about it.
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    (Original post by King of the Ring)
    You have an outdated mindset. The UK league tables aren't as respected as they were 10-15 years ago, mainly because of the criteria they now use. UCL is ranked in the top 10-20 bracket in all major World rankings, and does not need the UK rankings to confirm that it is a genuine rival to Oxbridge for research.
    Outdated ? according to who ? you ? and who are you ? a self serving alumni who deliberately hyping up UCL beyond its worth. At least I give an honest balanced approach.

    Rival to Oxbridge ? With scores of subjects that require less than AAA to get into does not equate no rival.

    BTW, UCL ranks outside the 20 on THES, so get your facts right.
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    (Original post by A Square)
    I have no idea what the teaching is like, I just know there's a high proportion of undergrads there. Mostly it just seems like some people are hellbent on attacking the University unfairly.
    I certainly am not attacking St Andrews, I just think at least 11 other UK universities are better overall and have much more depth and resources about them.
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    (Original post by mrkl)
    Outdated ? according to who ? you ? and who are you ? a self serving alumni who deliberately hyping up UCL beyond its worth. At least I give an honest balanced approach.

    Rival to Oxbridge ? With scores of subjects that require less than AAA to get into does not equate no rival.

    BTW, UCL ranks outside the 20 on THES, so get your facts right.
    To be quite frank, you are deluded about the status and prestige of UK universities. UCL is now the second richest UK university after Cambridge, and the most powerful for research. To try and compare a £1 billion pound institution to some titchy £250 million universities like Surrey and Loughborough is just not on, and I will not tolerate your stupidity on the subject any further. You are dismissed.
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    (Original post by King of the Ring)
    Nottingham is a top 10 UK university for research power, and World top 70 according to QS. Which of course points to a pretty good university. They also have nice overseas campuses, making it a global research university. They could have kept their very superficial prestige by keeping students numbers small and focusing on maintaining a top 10 UK ranking, but ultimately they would have stood still and not made any progress as a global brand.

    Apologies to all for deviating from the original thread topic, I just wanted to shut up mrkl and his crusade against Nottingham, one of the more prestigious universities in the elite Russell Group.
    (Original post by mrkl)
    Outdated ? according to who ? you ? and who are you ? a self serving alumni who deliberately hyping up UCL beyond its worth. At least I give an honest balanced approach.

    Rival to Oxbridge ? With scores of subjects that require less than AAA to get into does not equate no rival.

    BTW, UCL ranks outside the 20 on THES, so get your facts right.
    He's a Nottingham alumni and has created multiple aliases on TSR. He's just pissed because he's always relied on world rankings to bash Durham and St Andrews and boast about Nottingham. Now he can't do it anymore because they're ranked above Nottingham.

    It's honestly sad how adamant and obsessed you are with bringing down those two universities so you can feel better about Nottingham.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rankin...lobal_Rankings
    I wonder where Nottingham is on this list? Oh that's right, it doesn't even appear
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    (Original post by C_Richards99)
    He's a Nottingham alumni and has created multiple aliases on TSR. He's just pissed because he's always relied on world rankings to bash Durham and St Andrews and boast about Nottingham. Now he can't do it anymore because they're ranked above Nottingham.

    It's honestly sad how adamant and obsessed you are with bringing down those two universities so you can feel better about Nottingham.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rankin...lobal_Rankings
    I wonder where Nottingham is on this list? Oh that's right, it doesn't even appear
    You are not Caucasian, are you? Just a thought.
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    It never ceases to astound me how people can get accepted to one of the best universities in the country but apparently can't do proper research before they decide where to spend four years of their life.

    (Original post by Umiisadorable)
    O.K, I'm writing this because I wished someone had done the same for me when I was applying to University, and been honest about what its REALLY like at St Andrews. I am a Second year student at the University, and wanted to make a formal warning to people wanting to apply to this University, because I don't want others to be duped the way that I was and then arrive here and realise what a colossal mistake they have made.

    O.K, academically, the university has a very strong reputation which in my opinion, isn't entirely justified; having been to a private school since the age of 12, I have actually been relatively unimpressed by some of the teaching standards here at St Andrews especially in the first two years which do not actually count towards the rest of the degree. So essentially, two out of the four years you'll spend here, unless you are actually studing medicine are a complete waste and count for nothing, and some of the tutors in the Arts honours degree are simply postgraduate students whose tutorial sessions are completely redundant and useless and essentially function as a means of checking that you've simply read the pointless articles and snippets set. The point is that St Andrews has a strong reputation primarily because it is an OLD university- the oldest in Scotland in fact, which is why its regarded so highly- so don't be fooled as I was into believe that it is truly anything special.

    Now, to the most significant part of my article- the place itself is hopeless. Its like a tiny, picturesque little prison with no clubs, and a very limited amount of shops and NO SHOPPING CENTRE whatsoever. People really skim over that fact when talking about this place as if it doesn’t matter, but its important because it becomes maddening- even for people who claim to adore the place, the fact that the highstreet has basically very few shops is a drag, as is the standard and quality of the so-called 'nightlife'. As I stated there are NO CLUBS just tiny crowded pubs with embarrassingly little space that attempt to mould themselves into clubs, but have 'dancefloors' the size of a small bedroom and play awful music. Students BEHAVE as though they are enjoying themselves thoroughly, getting dressed up to stand around in grotty pubs and drink, but they’re either very sad or pretending, honestly, because there's never any space and ALL VENUES SHUT AT ONE O CLOCk in the morning. I'm not kidding. So people leave their little dorms at 11 to come back two hours later drunk and say they've had a great night. It’s very, very sad. If leaving the Union at 1 in the morning after spending your time in there listening to the same terrible music in a tiny box of a room sounds fun then perhaps not, but people behave as if they're SO excited for absolutely no reason at all because there is nothing to get excited about. I love going out, but going out here is not what i call going out because all you're doing is going to one of the pubs next to Tesco to the Union which are all five minutes away from each other because the place is so ridiculously, pathetically small.
    It is a beautiful place if you like castles and rabbits, and there is a gorgeous beahc although its only really ‘usable’ for one moth over the two Semesters and the fact that it is as small as it is ruins things, because instead of being able as you should in a city or a larger town, to escape to the centre for an afternoon just to relax or go somewhere a little different with friends- here there is no 'centre' to escape to, and So little to do its incredibly claustrophobic.

    The centre of town consists of three streets with tiny little shops and a few banks, like the bare minimum you would expect from an underdeveloped borough in London. There’s Dundee to go to which is 25 minutes away on a bus, but that in itself is actually a very dismal place with a few half decent shops although it does have a few clubs, which are the only saving grace of the place- I’ve been a few times and the clubs are actually good there which is a plus, but the cab fare to get there and back is 60 pounds- you know why? Because of the terrible transport system which means that there are no such thing as night buses here and so you HAVE to take a cab if going out to Dundee later than midnight- it’s things like that which bother me, because even ATTEMPTING to have fun is hard work here.

    Its also very difficult to find decent work here because of the lack of opportunities because of the lack of shops, and the \university’s Career Centre is completely hopeless, and basically has no reason for existing, because all the vacancy details could just be sent by e-mail to students, but they refuse to do that and instaead obligate you to go there in person and look up a vacancy located in a single file, which yu then have to que for half and hour to get access to. I am NOT joking.
    Most significantly, I have spoken to three people from London, two of whom are my friends and one who has now left because he hated the place so much, and they all say the same thing about it. I had to write this because since I came I have contemplated leaving several times, so if you’re from a decent, fun city, be prepared for the hugest disappointment of your life.

    This is an excellent place for social climbers who live in Wellingtons and wear Ray Bans and tweed in December and actually consider drunkenly stumbling around in someone’s lounge or the crowded rooms in the Union until only 1 in the morning to be a fun night out. My experience here has illustrated the extent of people's capacity for self deception and delusion because sincerely, the place is pathetic. One of the most boring places I have ever lived, and a regretful and frustrating experience. If you want a real taste of University life, do not come to St Andrews- almost everyone I’ve spoken to since coming here has expressed that they dislike the place for the very same reasons I have stated here. Obviously, as I expect, people will disagree with me, but this needs to be said, because I have seen hints of others stating negative things about the place but no-one so far I have read has really given the place the dressing down it deserves.
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    (Original post by lucasnorth)
    It never ceases to astound me how people can get accepted to one of the best universities in the country but apparently can't do proper research before they decide where to spend four years of their life.
    17/18 year olds aren't exactly known for having infallible research skills… plus sometimes you don't know what you're looking for until you've experienced it :P
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    Hey everyone. Can someone give me an insight into what the student life for medics specifically is like there. If I get an offer from St Andrews (fingers crossed) I'll have to choose between going there and Manchester - two very different places, I'm aware. The med school looked quite nice and modern when I went for my interview, but it was during the Christmas holidays so there were no students about and I couldn't get a sense of the student life for medics.

    Thanks
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    Hello,

    I don't suppose you could tell me what course you were doing as I imagine the standard of teaching varies dependant on course?

    Thanks.
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    I lived in london, went to a state school, then st andrews and then onto work. I think people don't appreciate what they have. In london there are so many areas you cannot walk around in, there is very little sense of community and student accomodation is around 10000 a year. I think coming from a private school has given you an unrealistic view of the real world of work where you are expected to be an independent learner. In a state school whenever I came across tricky things in physics I had to look them up online or in textbooks and teach myself so I found the transition to St Andrews easy.
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    Feeling like you don't fit in? Perhaps you didn't. St Andrews isn't for everyone. That's the point.
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    This is nonsense. I graduated from St Andrews in 1987 and loved my years there. What makes the place is the people you get to know,and that was enough for me. Parties were frequent at the weekends. I fail to understand how you did not do your homework before you went if you were so intent on big anonymous night clubs and fun lasting till four in the morning. Clubbing interests a section of young people but how they want to enjoy themselves is not limited to that, despite the impression given in the media, and by your narrow minded focus on drinking and dancing. You are meant to go where you feel (having done your research) you are going to fit in. You should not expect the place to fit round you
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    (Original post by sophie_c)
    Each to their own! I'm also in 2nd year at St Andrews, and am absolutely loving it! Indeed so much that I am already thinking that my time here is passing far too fast (and I'm doing a 5 year degree here)! I'm going on my year abroad next year, in France, and to be quite honest, I'm going to miss St Andrews so so much!

    Ok yes, it is small, but surely you can deduct that from the prospectus and visiting day! If you don't like small towns, it's probably not the best place to choose! Ok it doesn't have clubs, but that doesn't mean there's nothing going on! There are so many house parties all the time, and there are more pubs per sq meter (or something) here than anywhere else iin the country! And they're not all "old people" pubs if you get what I mean, the likes of The Vic and The Raisin have a more clubby atmosphere. Also, when the weather is nicer, there are parties on one of the THREE beaches with bonfires, which are always great craic If you want clubs, there's always Dundee, and Edinburgh!

    In terms of shops, as it is a small town of course there are going to be less shops than in a bigger city, but it's got pretty much everything you need! 4 supermarkets (Tesco, Alsi, Morrisons, 24hr Nisa Extra), New Look, Boots, Clarks, WH Smith, Rymans, Monsoon and Accesorize, Superdry, Joules, Jack Wills, The Body Shop, several phone shops, Trespass, Intersport, American import food shop, and many independent clothing and shoe shops, food shops, lots of amazing gift type shops (Beetle, Bonkers, Top Drawer etc), several bakeries (you have to try a fudge doughnut from Fisher and Donaldson mmmm ), DVD rental, LOADS of coffee shops (North Point, Beanscene and Taste being among my personal favourites), loads of charity shops, I could go on...! If you want more, Dundee is 25 mins away on a bus (that run every 15 minutes!)

    Haha, and it really isn't in the middle of nowhere! I have friends who live in London, and they can get a direct train (from London - Leuchars), leuchars being only a few mins away from ST As on the bus! And people coming from abroad, can fly to Edinburgh, and that isn't far away either!

    Basically, I absolutely love it here, and have found the teaching levels to be of a very high standard! I am very sorry that OP is not enjoying it here, but if I am completely honest I don't think I have ever met anyone here that is not absolutely in love with the place! Apart from it being very beautiful, it also has such a great atmosphere! It being small isn't always a bad thing, it certainly saves a lot of money on transport etc, I've never gotten a bus or taxi cos everythings so easy to walk to- and I don't live in the centre of town! The beaches are also pretty cool... this afternoon I went to East Sands (roughly 20 seconds walk from my flat) with a flatmate with a flask and biscuits...

    Sorry for the long answer, but please don't write St Andrews off that easily people, at least visit!


    ...and I didn't even mention the traditions... Raisin weekend (:woo:) academic families, the undergrad gown, and the list goes on...!
    I came to the Open Day and fell in love with the place. I'm still awaiting to hear if my application is successful. I'm not a person who likes clubs so the pubs and student union suit me fine. I also like the idea of a smaller town and a smaller community. Big cities do nothing for me personally. St. Andrews has got everything I will need as a student. I hope I get in. Everyone is different and some will like the St. Andrew's experience and some won't. C'est la vie!
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    The OP is clearly just a dissatisfied extravert who doesn’t understand that some people prefer quiet places. His actual criticisms of the university lack substance. For anybody reading this, don’t be drawn in by him. He should learn to control himself and widen his perspective a bit.
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    Okay so I refuse to read anymore after reading that gigantic article by the thread starter. I live 5 miles from the town of St.Andrews and I am a high school student, and I can whole-heartedly say that St.Andrews without the university would be on its knees. For me, St.Andrews is the nearest 'big place' for me, and if you are to link that to what the thread starter has said, you can conclude that it is a massive let down. Its gotten to the point where we are forced to go to either Nando's or Blackhorn for a quick bite to eat, both of which get exhausted EXTREMELY fast, and any other establishment is a total ripoff in my opinion (9 pounds for a chippy at Cromars hahaha wow). I can't comment on the university itself, and even though I have applied this year in hope that they take into account my local status and other reasoning, I would not consider St.Andrews as a worthwhile university to study at if you're from a quiet area that is rural or suburban. Get out and see what city life has to offer you, experience proper clubbing that is not restricted to two s*** pubs, another pub that turns into a nightclub for a little while, and a bog-standard union which gets laughed at by its University of Dundee counterpart. I have lived here for 16 years, don't waste 4-6 of yours.

    I'm not saying its a bad place to study necessarily, however, this is my perspective on things. I use the university library as I have access to it and that is very good, and from the open day, the university itself is very lovely and has a good structure. Overall, its the applicants decision.
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    I'm a PhD Student at St Andrews having just finished my masters here. St Andrews has some small places with dancefloors like the VIC and the student union is brand new and plenty big enough for dancing but once you get here you won't be wasting time looking for nightclubs when we have the most amazing black tie balls in Scotland. We have great sports clubs too that are genuinely open to all levels, shooting, golf, archery, canoe etc and our academic departments are top class. We have great indian and chinese restaurants so lord knows why anyone would want to waste their time at nandos.

    I did my undergraduate degree in Birmingham so I have experienced both types of university. If you want to have the typical student experience of living in a city and getting wasted every night at a university with mediocre faculties then head to Dundee or some other city but if you want to experience top class facilities, epic sports clubs, epic balls and epic house parties then you won't find anywhere better than St Andrews
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    Sounds great for English Literature, and a clean unspoilt natural environment by the sea. A risk for an 18 year old London girl who wants a quieter student experience, but not to go 'to the other extreme', so to speak. I will try to get a flight up there for the open day, but some trek!
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