Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

1st from Birmingham City University Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I believe my 1st from BCU is worth the same as any other top uni because they're marked externally, so my capability is equal to that of someone from UCL, Birminghma, LSE, Nottingham, Bristol, Warwick etc

    Am I correct in believing this? - Our modules were proper hard and I think its quite easy to get a 2.1 from red bricks although people at red bricks don't get as much help.

    Jeyesh
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Well done on getting a 1st. I'm watching for answers aswell! Was Birmingham city a good uni? Social? facilities?
    • TSR Support Team
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    I think the consensus that getting a first from any university is a well deserved achievement.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Well done! Agreed, a 1st from any Uni is a great achievement. It's just too vague to compare though.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I disagree with this post and the other posts on here. External examiners only get to see a sample of the papers not all, each university have their own criteria, so the good universities/law schools will expect a higher level of work than those lower down.

    If we go with OP's argument then a 1st from Coventry in law is worth a 1st from Oxbridge, why not? - They're all marked "externally"!...This obviously is not true. A Bentley and a Nissan Micra are safety assessed but that doesn't mean that they are of equal value in price nor quality. Russell Group law schools and Oxbridge are much, much harder to get into. So in order to argue this, let's look at the input rather than the output. Would the OP have been at BCU had they gained good A-levels? - The answer is no, so once you have failed a hurdle you can't later come back and say my degree is of equal value to theirs because we're not under national curriculum like GCSE, A-level (even then going to grammar and private school meant a difference in quality of education, why not for law schools?).

    All in all, the answer is no you're wrong and you wouldn't be in this situation if you had made more effort during A-level, you mentioned you got BCC on another thread. Rather than be insecure why not look to the future and make up for what you lack? - A 1st from BCU is a good achievement but I would place it at a 2.2 at top Russell Group level (I have friends at the likes of BCU and Coventry, I know exactly what they were capable of during GCSE/A-level), because I have seen people from red bricks with 2.2 get into the likes of Wragge & Co, Eversheds, Pinsents, Irwin Mitchell but yet to see a 2.2/2.1 from BCU/Coventry/Aston et al at such firms. No matter what anyone says, Russell Group and Oxbridge degrees will always hold weight (primarily because of the fact that law is so competitive and you have consistency in grades, which you prove by getting into a prestigious university).

    Hope that clears it up for you.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I largely agree with younglawyer - A first from BCU simply isn't as highly regarded as one from Oxbridge/Russell Group.

    Saying it's equal to a 2.2 from 'top Russell Group level' Unis perhaps goes too far. However, you have to be aware of its limitations - It's not worth anyway near the same as a first from UCL, Bham, Warwick or any of the others you listed.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by younglawyer)
    I disagree with this post and the other posts on here. External examiners only get to see a sample of the papers not all, each university have their own criteria, so the good universities/law schools will expect a higher level of work than those lower down.

    If we go with OP's argument then a 1st from Coventry in law is worth a 1st from Oxbridge, why not? - They're all marked "externally"!...This obviously is not true. A Bentley and a Nissan Micra are safety assessed but that doesn't mean that they are of equal value in price nor quality. Russell Group law schools and Oxbridge are much, much harder to get into. So in order to argue this, let's look at the input rather than the output. Would the OP have been at BCU had they gained good A-levels? - The answer is no, so once you have failed a hurdle you can't later come back and say my degree is of equal value to theirs because we're not under national curriculum like GCSE, A-level (even then going to grammar and private school meant a difference in quality of education, why not for law schools?).

    All in all, the answer is no you're wrong and you wouldn't be in this situation if you had made more effort during A-level, you mentioned you got BCC on another thread. Rather than be insecure why not look to the future and make up for what you lack? - A 1st from BCU is a good achievement but I would place it at a 2.2 at top Russell Group level (I have friends at the likes of BCU and Coventry, I know exactly what they were capable of during GCSE/A-level), because I have seen people from red bricks with 2.2 get into the likes of Wragge & Co, Eversheds, Pinsents, Irwin Mitchell but yet to see a 2.2/2.1 from BCU/Coventry/Aston et al at such firms. No matter what anyone says, Russell Group and Oxbridge degrees will always hold weight (primarily because of the fact that law is so competitive and you have consistency in grades, which you prove by getting into a prestigious university).

    Hope that clears it up for you.
    The firms you mentioned that accepted 2.2s - did these people apply having graduated with 2.2s? Or were they given the TC before their final results, and it simply wasn't revoked when they got a 2.2?

    One of my mates has a 2.2 from MMU so I'm helping him look for places that will consider his TC application.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by toojazzy)
    I largely agree with younglawyer - A first from BCU simply isn't as highly regarded as one from Oxbridge/Russell Group.

    Saying it's equal to a 2.2 from 'top Russell Group level' Unis perhaps goes too far. However, you have to be aware of its limitations - It's not worth anyway near the same as a first from UCL, Bham, Warwick or any of the others you listed.
    The reason why I would say this is because the level of work done at these universities is nowhere near the level done at traditional Russell Group or indeed the top Russell Groups such as your Bristol's, Notts, Birmingham's and Manchester's etc...BCU has modules called library skills and one of their modules is with the CAB (where many come out with 80's, now you decide). Coventry have modules which require you to fill in the missing words and they are told what is going to come up in the exam, now if you're telling me that comes any where near the Russell Group degrees or Oxbridge my intelligence is being offended. This isn't me being a snob but it's just reality, the fact that you did not get good enough A-level grade should be more of a concern than whether your degree from an ex-poly is "worth" that of other very good law schools.

    Finally, the reason why I stated that it's equal to the value of 2.2 is because of employer perceptions. Not many from the likes of BCU and Coventry (I have friends at Coventry, majority go into High Street firm and the odd few who manage a good 1st may get a mid-range commercial firm if their CV is impressive) with 2.1/2.2 is seen at mid-range firms never mind the top tier firms, simply because the degree is not as rigorous and the lecturers aren't as good. My friend studies law at Coventry, he gained CCD at A-level after three years of trying, he gained 73 last year, I showed him the level of work I do, he admitted that a 2.2 would be his best bet (that's a person from an ex-poly saying it, not me!!).

    Also, another point to note to other people here who may be in a similar position, a Masters does not wipe away the first degree, you're still judged by the undergraduate degree unless it's the Oxbridge Masters due to A-level grades etc. So rather than spending another couple of thousands, it's best to gain legal experience or look in a different sector.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tony_ron)
    The firms you mentioned that accepted 2.2s - did these people apply having graduated with 2.2s? Or were they given the TC before their final results, and it simply wasn't revoked when they got a 2.2?

    One of my mates has a 2.2 from MMU so I'm helping him look for places that will consider his TC application.
    Well they're all top 20ish firms but they were all on a borderline 2.1, so they were on a 58 from either Birmingham or Warwick. You'd be surprised at how much weight a good law school 2.2 holds!!!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by younglawyer)
    Well they're all top 20ish firms but they were all on a borderline 2.1, so they were on a 58 from either Birmingham or Warwick. You'd be surprised at how much weight a good law school 2.2 holds!!!
    Cool - but they definitely got their final results before they got given the training contracts? As in, the final 2.2 was already on the application before they were called to interview?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by younglawyer)
    I disagree with this post and the other posts on here. External examiners only get to see a sample of the papers not all, each university have their own criteria, so the good universities/law schools will expect a higher level of work than those lower down.

    If we go with OP's argument then a 1st from Coventry in law is worth a 1st from Oxbridge, why not? - They're all marked "externally"!...This obviously is not true. A Bentley and a Nissan Micra are safety assessed but that doesn't mean that they are of equal value in price nor quality. Russell Group law schools and Oxbridge are much, much harder to get into. So in order to argue this, let's look at the input rather than the output. Would the OP have been at BCU had they gained good A-levels? - The answer is no, so once you have failed a hurdle you can't later come back and say my degree is of equal value to theirs because we're not under national curriculum like GCSE, A-level (even then going to grammar and private school meant a difference in quality of education, why not for law schools?).

    All in all, the answer is no you're wrong and you wouldn't be in this situation if you had made more effort during A-level, you mentioned you got BCC on another thread. Rather than be insecure why not look to the future and make up for what you lack? - A 1st from BCU is a good achievement but I would place it at a 2.2 at top Russell Group level (I have friends at the likes of BCU and Coventry, I know exactly what they were capable of during GCSE/A-level), because I have seen people from red bricks with 2.2 get into the likes of Wragge & Co, Eversheds, Pinsents, Irwin Mitchell but yet to see a 2.2/2.1 from BCU/Coventry/Aston et al at such firms. No matter what anyone says, Russell Group and Oxbridge degrees will always hold weight (primarily because of the fact that law is so competitive and you have consistency in grades, which you prove by getting into a prestigious university).

    Hope that clears it up for you.
    I agree with you.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    The OP is probably a troll. He or she joined TSR this summer and gave he or her age as 19. Therefore he or she will not already have a degree, first class or otherwise.

    There have been one or two stereotypical reactions to the post. A commons committee last year basically asked the same question, in respect of history rather than law, of the VCs of Oxford and Brookes and in an hour of questioning failed to get a straight answer.

    The dilemma is obvious.

    An Oxford education costs far more to provide than one at Brookes. Although there is a differential (not that great a differential) in the numbers achieving particular degree outcomes, there is also a substantially better intake at Oxford. Therefore unless an Oxford degree is a better degree than a Brookes degree, then it would appear that the cost of providing an Oxford degree represents poor value for money.

    But if degree standards are not comparable from one institution to another, what is the point of external examination? If there is no objective standard of quality, then all an external examiner is doing is confirming that Brookes is marking examinations to Brookes' standard. That is essentially trivial and not what Universities represent external examination to be.

    Therefore if the two VCs had said the standard was the same, Oxford's VC would be accused of wasting money on a pointless system of teaching and if they had admitted that they were different, then the whole system of external examination would have been attacked as worthless.

    So they both dissembled.

    Although the OP is a troll, the question is a valid one and younglawyer hasn't actually managed to answer it.

    The fact that an external examiner will only check a sample of papers doesn't of itself invalidate the external examination system. Any large scale examination system works on sampling. No one person can mark all the GCSE maths papers, so a sample of each marker's work is benchmarked against each other marker's work.

    Likewise the Bentley/Micro analogy doesn't work. People are satisfied that both the Bentley and the Micra have acceptable safety levels. The marginal difference in safety performance (and I don't actually know which is the safer) has no bearing on people deciding which is the better car. The perception of a difference in academic performance is central to the decision about which is the better university.

    Is there then an answer to the question? I think the answer is that higher education is like a town divided into a series of racial ghettos. No-one created the ghettos, no-one insists they remain but everyone feels more comfortable in their own ghetto. Each institution chooses as its external examiner, someone with a similar background to them. So, BCU's degree is validated against DMU and LJM, Birmingham's is validated against Manchester and Liverpool and Aston's is validated against Loughborough and Bath but no-one validates BCU's degree against Birmingham and Aston.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I doubt they are fully external. Where I study, an exam board is called in to mark out papers - they are independant from the university. The problem questions, modules, and, believe it or not, coursework is as anyone would expect - but still I wouldn't say it was as hard to get a first here as at anywhere else, because the external examiners may be awful......... just try your hardest
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by legaleye)
    I believe my 1st from BCU is worth the same as any other top uni because they're marked externally, so my capability is equal to that of someone from UCL, Birminghma, LSE, Nottingham, Bristol, Warwick etc

    Am I correct in believing this? - Our modules were proper hard and I think its quite easy to get a 2.1 from red bricks although people at red bricks don't get as much help.

    Jeyesh
    Well done on your First.

    However, although there is some external moderation of university grading it's important to remember that it's nothing like the oversight that A-levels or GCSEs get. Universities set their own standards and are their own awarding bodies; they normally strictly limit the number of papers that will be seen by external examiners, choose which papers will be sent and limit the powers given to those examiners. Furthermore the moderation isn't centralised, it's - or at least was, at my university - based on a reciprocal arrangement. The result is that if you go to a redbrick university the moderation will be done by other redbrick universities or Oxford/Cambridge and the like. Universities lower down the table compare themselves to one another, so if there is a difference in standards between leading universities and less prestigious institutions it will not be found out by external moderation.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by legaleye)
    Our modules were proper hard and I think its quite easy to get a 2.1 from red bricks although people at red bricks don't get as much help.
    I really don't mean to be as rude and patronising as this will sound, but if you don't know how to use apostrophes properly and use expressions like 'proper hard' either on applications or at interview, it won't matter where your degree comes from, because you probably won't get an offer. I realise that this is an internet forum and therefore you probably haven't spell checked it, but attention to detail is important in the legal field.
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    I am currently at mid-low ranked uni, aiming for a first, average-ish A-levels and average GCSEs.

    I will concede that a first from my Uni would not be anywhere near a first from a top ranked uni, but I wouldn't go as far as to say it is the equivalent of a 2.2 from the top Unis. I would say it is more near a mid-2.1 from what I have seen.

    I have looked at a lot of work/questions etc. from other universities ranked much higher than mine and I would say the difficulty was very similar. I don't doubt the above poster who mentioned some Unis have really easy assessments, but not all are like that.

    The reason I am saying it is equivalent to a 2.1 has more to do with perception by employers than difficulty alone, I think.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by *soph*)
    I really don't mean to be as rude and patronising as this will sound, but if you don't know how to use apostrophes properly and use expressions like 'proper hard' either on applications or at interview, it won't matter where your degree comes from, because you probably won't get an offer. I realise that this is an internet forum and therefore you probably haven't spell checked it, but attention to detail is important in the legal field.
    coming from someone who "studied" music at university...hmm..
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I will provide some input to this question. I have started a degree in Neuroscience at UCL and of course, its nothing like law, they are in two far apart fields so making a comparison between the two would be crude and unrealistic in terms of content. However, i can safely say the work at UCL is HARD!, i mean VERY hard! . In first year alone your bombarded with ample essays, tests, exams, projects, group work, and practicals. First year at UCL actually counts, and counts greatly.

    Getting a 2:1 in first year rather than a first at UCL in FIRST year is not uncommon. Most people say 'if you cant get a first in your first year, you stand no chance of pulling a first OVERALL'' - not true, but you do have to put in the extra work lower ranked uni's are not aquatinted with.

    I would most certainly say, getting a 1st at say 'Oxford brookes' would be equivalent to a '2:2 at UCL' - without doubt.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I agree that a first from any university is a fantastic achievement, so well done to the OP.

    However, in a nutshell, my personal view is that your exams being externally marked will not make it worth the same as a top uni. The marking of your exam is relative to the questions set and the syllabus you have studied. Receiving a first from BCU puts you at the top of your class at BCU, but not at the top of a class at a uni such as UCL or Oxford.

    I think the major thing here is this question... if you have the capability that students at Russell group unis have, why didn't you go to one? Birmingham has 3 universities, including Birmingham University, so you can hardly argue location, and the fees are all pretty much the same. I appreciate that A level grades can be misleading if you had issues etc, but mitigating circumstances are considered by top unis, and surely being bad at exams would also be a factor in uni exams?

    In the end, it makes no difference what we think though... it's what the employers think, and I think you'll find it hard to get into law with a degree from BCU. But I do wish you all the best and I hope that you do manage to be one of that small number that do break into the profession.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by becky139)
    coming from someone who "studied" music at university...hmm..
    The firm who offered me a training contract obviously don't seem to take as much issue with music as you do.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What newspaper do you read/prefer?
    Useful resources
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.