Which is better? University of Edinburgh, Bristol or Durham?

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flamesniper
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I wonder which university is good in terms of academic reputation because I need atleast 3 universities. I have considered one already and now I want to know from experienced people which is better among the three I mentioned. Thank you.
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BoringComputerGuy
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They're all good in terms of academic reputation, what will you be studying?

Here are some league tables, they aren't 100% reliable but they give you an idea:

http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...ables/rankings

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...gue-table-2012
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jjmo
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Durham - My dad works there.
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EssayNinja
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As BoringComputerGuy said, it depends primarily on what you are studying. However, as a general rule of thumb, I would rank them (from highest to lowest) Durham, Bristol, Edinburgh. Bristol and Edinburgh could change places on that list, but Durham is generally considered to be the best of the three.

For many courses, Durham will also be the most demanding to get into, usually wanting AAA. You are more likely to see some Bs on Edinburgh and Bristol's requirements, though Edinburgh has upped its requirements recently.

However, in terms of general reputation, you may like to consider that Bristol and Edinburgh are both prestigious Russell Group universities. Durham is not, though this is only because of its small size.

The differences between them are not colossal, however - any one of the three you mention would be an excellent university to attend and provide ample academic reputation which any half-decent employer will be aware of.
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TheSmithsIndeed
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What subject will you be studying?

It might be worth considering their international reputation, in which case Edinburgh trumps the other two (though I may be bias).
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flamesniper
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(Original post by TheSmithsIndeed)
What subject will you be studying?

It might be worth considering their international reputation, in which case Edinburgh trumps the other two (though I may be bias).
I'm going to take up International Relations... any idea which one is good at this? considering the academic reputation worldwide as well?
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flamesniper
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(Original post by EssayNinja)

However, in terms of general reputation, you may like to consider that Bristol and Edinburgh are both prestigious Russell Group universities. Durham is not, though this is only because of its small size.

The differences between them are not colossal, however - any one of the three you mention would be an excellent university to attend and provide ample academic reputation which any half-decent employer will be aware of.

What is the benefit of being a member of the Russell Group?
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flamesniper
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(Original post by TheSmithsIndeed)
What subject will you be studying?

It might be worth considering their international reputation, in which case Edinburgh trumps the other two (though I may be bias).
On international reputation i agree with you. Edinburgh is 22nd in the world. If I am taking up International Relations will it be a good University to consider? How strong is it?
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rach8 :)
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I applied to all 3 (and have ended up that im not going to any of them)! Grades wise my offer was highest and edinburgh(AAA) then bristol(AAB) then durham(ABB) but this was for biology and its unusual at durham that the standard offer is ABB I think most courses are AAB or AAA. They are all pretty reputable and its probably just as important to visit them and see which you like best as they are all fairly different eg. Durham has the collegiate system.
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flamesniper
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(Original post by rach8 :))
I applied to all 3 (and have ended up that im not going to any of them)! Grades wise my offer was highest and edinburgh(AAA) then bristol(AAB) then durham(ABB) but this was for biology and its unusual at durham that the standard offer is ABB I think most courses are AAB or AAA. They are all pretty reputable and its probably just as important to visit them and see which you like best as they are all fairly different eg. Durham has the collegiate system.

so edinburgh is quite stiff lol 'AAA' I might not see the sun rise and set because my face will be towards the books. because of what you said I might consider Bristol.
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flamesniper
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(Original post by jjmo)
Durham - My dad works there.
haha don't you think that is a bit biased? lol

but seriously what is the disadvantages and advantages of a university belonging to and not belonging to the Russell Group?
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Tasha1986
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(Original post by flamesniper)
haha don't you think that is a bit biased? lol

but seriously what is the disadvantages and advantages of a university belonging to and not belonging to the Russell Group?
As far as I am aware the Russell Group is essentially a lobbying group for better funding for the universities in the group. Same with the 1994 Group (of which Durham is a part).
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River85
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(Original post by EssayNinja)
For many courses, Durham will also be the most demanding to get into, usually wanting AAA. You are more likely to see some Bs on Edinburgh and Bristol's requirements, though Edinburgh has upped its requirements recently.
The OP is applying for a postgraduate programme (MPhil).

However, in terms of general reputation, you may like to consider that Bristol and Edinburgh are both prestigious Russell Group universities. Durham is not, though this is only because of its small size.
No, it's only a "prestigious" 1994 Group university.

Durham is smaller (not really "small"), without the significant income a large medical school can generate. But it stands as having the highest research income of all 1994 Group universities, not a significant distance between RG universities.

That it isn't in the Russell Group doesn't affect its reputation at all.


(Original post by flamesniper)
so edinburgh is quite stiff lol 'AAA' I might not see the sun rise and set because my face will be towards the books. because of what you said I might consider Bristol.
This member was referring to her undergradaute application (biology). This has no relevance to your postgrad application (in International Relations).

Turning to your choices, none of those three are considered to be the amongst the leading few IR schools in the country. Durham is fast-growing as a centre for IR but is still relatively modest compared to St Andrews, for example.

Durham's School of Government in general does have significant expertise in the Middle East (as well as the Far East). It being split between the Institute of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and Politics. If IR and politics of the Middle East, particularly the Arab Gulf, then Durham is certainly worth looking at. Christopher Davidson, one of the leading scholars in the politics of the United Arab Emirates, is based at Durham.

But the School of Government in general is known as not being one of the strongest departments in the university. It does have poor organisation at times.
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River85
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(Original post by flamesniper)
haha don't you think that is a bit biased? lol

but seriously what is the disadvantages and advantages of a university belonging to and not belonging to the Russell Group?
The Russell Group contains twenty of the largest, research intensive universities in the UK with the highest research income. This does, in theory, provide a well established and supportive research environment. It is likely that many of the leading academics will be based in Russell Group universities and you'll find good library facilities (though there are, of course, some leading departments and academics at non-Russell Group/1994 Group universities)

There is also the 1994 Group of which Durham is a member. The Russell and 1994 Groups are lobbying groups of research intensive universities. The difference being that the Russell Group is of larger universities, the 1994 Group was established by smaller research intensive universities in response to the Russell Group.

There is no strict advantage of attending a RG university over a non-RG university, now when this non-RG is Durham (a member of the similar 1994 Group).

I hope this doesn't confuse you further.

As mentioned, Durham's research centres largely on the politics and international relations of the Arab Gulf (including Iran). Edinburgh also have strength in the International Relations of the Middle East (Edinburgh and Durham actually offer a joint masters programme in the study of the Arab World. The Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World is consortium of Durham, Edinburgh (and Manchester). I'm not as familiar with Bristol.
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flamesniper
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(Original post by River85)
The Russell Group contains twenty of the largest, research intensive universities in the UK with the highest research income. This does, in theory, provide a well established and supportive research environment. It is likely that many of the leading academics will be based in Russell Group universities and you'll find good library facilities (though there are, of course, some leading departments and academics at non-Russell Group/1994 Group universities)

There is also the 1994 Group of which Durham is a member. The Russell and 1994 Groups are lobbying groups of research intensive universities. The difference being that the Russell Group is of larger universities, the 1994 Group was established by smaller research intensive universities in response to the Russell Group.

There is no strict advantage of attending a RG university over a non-RG university, now when this non-RG is Durham (a member of the similar 1994 Group).

I hope this doesn't confuse you further.

As mentioned, Durham's research centres largely on the politics and international relations of the Arab Gulf (including Iran). Edinburgh also have strength in the International Relations of the Middle East (Edinburgh and Durham actually offer a joint masters programme in the study of the Arab World. The Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World is consortium of Durham, Edinburgh (and Manchester). I'm not as familiar with Bristol.
Now I'm clear. BUT which is best among the three in this discipline? considering which will give me a better chance for employment for NGOs, University reputation internationally, and which holds the strongest place for IR that is competitive worldwide. I heard that even Cambridge is not as strong as Oxford on this.
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Tasha1986
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(Original post by flamesniper)
Now I'm clear. BUT which is best among the three in this discipline? considering which will give me a better chance for employment for NGOs, University reputation internationally, and which holds the strongest place for IR that is competitive worldwide. I heard that even Cambridge is not as strong as Oxford on this.
IR is a huge area. What specifically are you interested in? Durham would be the best of the 3 to go to if your interest is in the Middle East and Arab World, Edinburgh has a strong all-round department and the university as a whole has a good reputation internationally. I haven't really heard Bristol mentioned with regards to IR to be honest, so I wouldn't be able to advise you on that. I do IR at St Andrews.
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flamesniper
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(Original post by River85)


This member was referring to her undergradaute application (biology). This has no relevance to your postgrad application (in International Relations).

.
Yup was just assuming that if they do require that in undergrad it must be the same or more strict in the graduate degree. =)
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flamesniper
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(Original post by Tasha1986)
IR is a huge area. What specifically are you interested in? Durham would be the best of the 3 to go to if your interest is in the Middle East and Arab World, Edinburgh has a strong all-round department and the university as a whole has a good reputation internationally. I haven't really heard Bristol mentioned with regards to IR to be honest, so I wouldn't be able to advise you on that. I do IR at St Andrews.
Honestly I didnt have a particular area because the only uni i researched about which needs the most recent prospectus is cam uni. even on this i have not fully decided which area until i see the prospectus so i can fix the puzzle. you mentioned Middle East, that's great, Africa sound interesting too.
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flamesniper
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I guess St. Andrew's is too expensive for me.
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Tasha1986
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(Original post by flamesniper)
I guess St. Andrew's is too expensive for me.
how come?
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