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Does it matter which university you get your degree from? watch

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    Has anyone heard of Heriot Watt University?

    What do you think of it?
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    (Original post by SuperStarr1)
    I'd actually quite like to hear an opinion on this?

    Me too.
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    (Original post by Nahdrav)
    It will be hard to get a firm answer for this on TSR; a website mostly populated by students(the Student room after all) taking A-Levels or GCSEs who have never really experienced the world of graduate employment.

    Also, your question is really quite vague, it varies a lot from field to field. I've heard that for those reading Law your universities reputation is paramount ,whereas for Medicine it makes little to no difference as long as you get into a course.

    Alongside this, pretty much everything everyone above has said is true. You will be writing down which university you got your degree from in your CV and a 2:1 from say Warwick is going to be more employable than a 1st from Teeside in 95% of situations.

    isn't that because only the better universities offer medicine, so if you get into a medical school, it's going to be a good degree?

    somewhere like anglia ruskin isn't going to offer a proper medicine course, is it?
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    (Original post by DaveJ)
    I imagine it would matter. I would imagine that comparitvely "bad" universities would be easier to get a First at than comparitively "good" universities, as it would be easier to be placed within the top x%.
    this absolutely has to be the case.

    anyone who thinks otherwise needs a reality check.
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    (Original post by JW92)
    There are definitely other factors but I wouldn't say it's a terrible analogy. The calibre of students and teaching staff is generally going to be better at Oxford or Cambridge than Durham, where the calibre of students and staff is probably going to be better than Nottingham. If this weren't true, then A grade students would apply to ex-polys because they like the course and city, but overwhelmingly they don't.
    I think you should consider individual departments, not universities as a whole. I mean Ox / Cam will always be better considered, whether they should be or not is debatable. The fact is that comparable courses in terms of content, are no different in any university. I mean to what extent would you consider something to be better, how do you define what is better? Research? That's irrelevant to undergraduates. The teaching experiences of students vary a lot and also seem to be very unique. I'm sure many A grade students, such as myself apply to ex poly's based on their own views rather than that of an ill informed employer. But of course its still something which in reality should be considered.
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    (Original post by chap54)
    On TSR, the opinion would be yes. In the real world, the answer is no. Of course im generalising for the majority, where only a small number of employers discriminate in this way.

    I'd change the yes and no around.

    What you said isn;t really true eh
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    (Original post by SouthernFreerider)
    this absolutely has to be the case.

    anyone who thinks otherwise needs a reality check.
    Don't know - from what I heard universities check each other's markings so that a first granted to someone's coursework is agreed on by another institution. I know that my girlfriend's coursework mark (received at an ex-polytechnic) was sent away to be justified and then was agreed on by a tutor at Cardiff university.
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    (Original post by chap54)
    I think you should consider individual departments, not universities as a whole. I mean Ox / Cam will always be better considered, whether they should be or not is debatable. The fact is that comparable courses in terms of content, are no different in any university. I mean to what extent would you consider something to be better, how do you define what is better? Research? That's irrelevant to undergraduates. The teaching experiences of students vary a lot and also seem to be very unique. I'm sure many A grade students, such as myself apply to ex poly's based on their own views rather than that of an ill informed employer. But of course its still something which in reality should be considered.
    theoretically.
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    (Original post by f1 boss)
    Apparently, employers won't be able to know which university you went to
    I'm pretty sure that if you went to Oxbridge, you would definitely want your employer to know. It will be on your CV anyways.

    Depending on what you want to study, if you apply for internships or training contracts, this would be done whilst you are at university so they will know which uni you have come from.

    (Original post by f1 boss)
    does it actually matter if you get a first from Oxbridge or Essex Uni?
    Each university sets their own exams so I think it will make a difference. Oxbridge is the most prestigious but it shouldn't affect job opportunities if the uni has a good reputation.

    Employers aren't looking for people with firsts. It's better to have a 2:1 with lots of work experience, good communication skills, take part in sports pref team captain, show you have responsibility etc etc rather than get JUST get a first.
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    (Original post by vacuous)
    Don't know - from what I heard universities check each other's markings so that a first granted to someone's coursework is agreed on by another institution. I know that my girlfriend's coursework mark (received at an ex-polytechnic) was sent away to be justified and then was agreed on by a tutor at Cardiff university.
    I know I'm just an A Level student, but I simply cannot believe that that works fairly. I've seen complete geniuses from my school, get awards for being top in the country in A Levels etc etc, go to Cambridge and get a 2.1, and below average students go to ex-polys and get Firsts. After all, you are being compared against others in your university year. The less intelligent your year is, the easier it is to be placed near the top.
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    (Original post by f1 boss)
    Ok, now i've got your attention from title, i actually have an important question to ask.

    I've heard that it doesn't matter now which university you go to, just as long as you get a first. Apparently, employers won't be able to know which university you went to, so does it actually matter if you get a first from Oxbridge or Essex Uni?

    Secondly, this is with respect to my first question, I have 4 offers for my course, should I look at overall Uni or individually?

    Offers range from Notts to Durham.
    Employers do know though unless its somewhere with a commonly known reputation - Warwick, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Bristol etc - then usually they just check the class. Manchester has a great reputation.

    You should look at the faculty for the level of teaching youll be given and if you go into your chosen industry then employers are more likely to know whose better even if the overall university hasnt got as good a reputation.
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    (Original post by DaveJ)
    I know I'm just an A Level student, but I simply cannot believe that that works fairly. I've seen complete geniuses from my school, get awards for being top in the country in A Levels etc etc, go to Cambridge and get a 2.1, and below average students go to ex-polys and get Firsts. After all, you are being compared against others in your university year. The less intelligent your year is, the easier it is to be placed near the top.
    University marking does not work this way. There is no set minimum amount of firsts, 2.1's etc which must be given out each year. The marker looks at each piece of work and judges it on its merits.
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    (Original post by chap54)
    University marking does not work this way. There is no set minimum amount of firsts, 2.1's etc which must be given out each year. The marker looks at each piece of work and judges it on its merits.
    :yep: its a standard grading not on a curve.
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    (Original post by vacuous)
    Don't know - from what I heard universities check each other's markings so that a first granted to someone's coursework is agreed on by another institution. I know that my girlfriend's coursework mark (received at an ex-polytechnic) was sent away to be justified and then was agreed on by a tutor at Cardiff university.
    think about it though.

    (disclaimer: Im not going to talk about stuff I dont know, so I'll use the course I'm on as an example)

    I'm doing maths at cambridge. I have a rough idea of what it takes to get a first, and I genuinely doubt that I have the intellectual capacity to get one. I'm hoping I can, but only a 1/3 of student get it, and the level here is nuts.

    I got 95% UMS at A-level maths, further maths and physics without revising (granted I spent a year prepping for STEP).

    People doing maths at a one of the lowest ranked unis won't have more than a B or C or whatever at maths.

    If all firsts were equivalent, people who got much lower maths A-level grades as me, working no harder than me, would end up doing better than me in their final exams... with worse teaching too.

    it just doesn't add up. (no pun intended)
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    Employers do not start with whatever you perceive to be the best and work down, whether that's the Uni you go to or the grades you get.

    Being well rounded, having common sense or being a good team worker can and often does carry much greater weight.

    I've known plenty Oxbridge / Imperial grads and even Phd's who haven't even got into an interview because the employer just knows that they won't 'fit in'. The cookie crumbles in every direction.

    So go to whatever Uni you like best and make the most of it. It's the best time of your lives.
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    (Original post by SouthernFreerider)
    theoretically.
    What are trying to prove here? Do you think that certain universities withhold vital parts of subjects, so that so called lesser institutions cannot teach their undergraduates them?
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    It isn't just about whether or not employers view the university as being good, your academic experience is likely to be better at a better university, and this counts for more than your universities impact on job chances, in my opinion. I might be biased, because I have no interest in jobs, and am doing a postgrad course to put off having to find one, so my employability is not something I will ever worry about. I could not imagine having as good a time at uni as I did, if I had been to a university which wasn't as good as the one I went to for my undergraduate (Durham), or as good a time as I am now having doing postgrad (Cambridge). An ex-polytechnic university, based in a modern city would have been miserable for me. There is a lot more to consider than the universities effect on your employability. All degrees are not created equally. There isn't a choice between having a first from a lower ranked uni, or a 2.1 from a better one, because you will probably be doing only one undergrad degree, and you should aim to get into as good and prestigious university as possible, and also one that is suited to you in other aspects, whether you like the place or not. If you have an offer from Durham, and that is the best university that has given you an offer, then I would advise you to take the offer. Employers do look more favourably on Durham, and other top ten universities, but unless you're doing a degree solely to get a job, and don't care about the experience, then you should think about more than the perceived quality of your degree.
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    (Original post by chap54)
    University marking does not work this way. There is no set minimum amount of firsts, 2.1's etc which must be given out each year. The marker looks at each piece of work and judges it on its merits.
    Even still... when I see people who have got awards for being top in their country in A Levels, go to Cambridge, do 50 hours of work a week or whatever the ridiculous workload is, and come out with a 2.1. Then see a completely average student go to an ex-poly do a large amount of work, yes, but nothing compared to the Cambridge student, but get a First... I mean, such things cannot be proven properly, but it certainly seems like it would be harder to get Firsts at the top universities.

    I mean, to get into Oxbridge, Durham, LSE, etc, you have to be one of the top students anyway. And most of them get 2.1.s To get into an expoly, you don't exactly have to be as intelligent. And yet people there will get Firsts, despite probably the vast majority of the Oxbridge/Durham/LSE people being more intelligent than them. I'm aware intelligent people will go to ex-polys too, no shame in that. But not to the same level that intelligent people will go to the "top" universities.
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    (Original post by chap54)
    University marking does not work this way. There is no set minimum amount of firsts, 2.1's etc which must be given out each year. The marker looks at each piece of work and judges it on its merits.
    ermmmm, in way there is.

    well at least there is for my course. and I don't see why elsewhere would be any different. although there aren't any super hardcore amounts, the boundaries are adjusted until there are roughly 1/3 firsts, 3/8 2.1s, etc...
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    (Original post by SouthernFreerider)
    think about it though.

    (disclaimer: Im not going to talk about stuff I dont know, so I'll use the course I'm on as an example)

    I'm doing maths at cambridge. I have a rough idea of what it takes to get a first, and I genuinely doubt that I have the intellectual capacity to get one. I'm hoping I can, but only a 1/3 of student get it, and the level here is nuts.

    I got 95% UMS at A-level maths, further maths and physics without revising (granted I spent a year prepping for STEP).

    People doing maths at a one of the lowest ranked unis won't have more than a B or C or whatever at maths.

    If all firsts were equivalent, people who got much lower maths A-level grades as me, working no harder than me, would end up doing better than me in their final exams... with worse teaching too.

    it just doesn't add up. (no pun intended)
    1/3rd of students is a sick amount (inflated(?)) - in most ex-polys the statistic for passing with a 2:1 is a lot lower than for Oxbridge, and often only 1 or 2 students in the year will get a first - so it could add up.
 
 
 
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