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    I have offers from them all (except Bristol, still waiting ) to do a masters in computer science. I have no idea which I'll choose so was hoping I could get some advise. How would rate them for

    1)Reputation/Prestige
    2)Quality of city
    3)Living cost
    4)Global appeal (incase I pursue a PHD in the US)
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    Well the most important thing to do is to make sure you have visited them all... that's the only way you are going to be able to know you're making the right decision for what YOU want... By visiting you will be able to get a clear idea of what you really think of each of the uni's. So be sure to go visit...

    Personally, Glasgow is a top city, as is Newcastle... Birmingham and Bristol (as cities) wouldn't really rank it with me personally - but that's just my own personal opinion, I have no idea what their universities are like or what night life is like there...

    That's about all the help I can provide but hope it is useful..
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    When it comes to doing a Master's, the most important thing is the course content. Of course you've got to be happy where you're living and so on, but if you want to continue onto a PhD it's the course content that you've covered that will be most important in terms of specialising in a particular area. I'm not sure how much of these courses is research based but another thing to consider is, if you have to do a big project at some point in the year, you'll want to have the chance to pursue your interests so, again, the research focus of the department is important. In this sense, reputation, prestige and global appeal of the university as a whole doesn't really matter at postgrad- what matters is the department's reputation for work in a particular area (especially considering the difference in 'prestige' of these universities as whole entities is pretty much negligible anyway) and the work that you've been able to do in that year.
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    (Original post by llacerta)
    When it comes to doing a Master's, the most important thing is the course content. Of course you've got to be happy where you're living and so on, but if you want to continue onto a PhD it's the course content that you've covered that will be most important in terms of specialising in a particular area. I'm not sure how much of these courses is research based but another thing to consider is, if you have to do a big project at some point in the year, you'll want to have the chance to pursue your interests so, again, the research focus of the department is important. In this sense, reputation, prestige and global appeal of the university as a whole doesn't really matter at postgrad- what matters is the department's reputation for work in a particular area (especially considering the difference in 'prestige' of these universities as whole entities is pretty much negligible anyway) and the work that you've been able to do in that year.
    Great answer! I've been looking at rankings posted by thecompleteuniveristyguide in terms of computer science departments and Glasgow is currently ranked 4th, Bristol 5th, Birmingham 7th and Newcastle a bit below that. So it would appear that all of them, especially the first three have great departments. I'll have to carefully look at the course content of each and decide where my interests are.

    The reason I asked about global appeal is because I do have ambitions to study a PHD, perhaps in the US. I know there are quite a few requirements that need to be met when entering a US uni but I would have thought that having a masters from a prestigious UK uni would increase my chances of getting into a big US uni
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    (Original post by Sandman62)
    Great answer! I've been looking at rankings posted by thecompleteuniveristyguide in terms of computer science departments and Glasgow is currently ranked 4th, Bristol 5th, Birmingham 7th and Newcastle a bit below that. So it would appear that all of them, especially the first three have great departments. I'll have to carefully look at the course content of each and decide where my interests are.

    The reason I asked about global appeal is because I do have ambitions to study a PHD, perhaps in the US. I know there are quite a few requirements that need to be met when entering a US uni but I would have thought that having a masters from a prestigious UK uni would increase my chances of getting into a big US uni
    It sounds like you've chosen an excellent selection of universities for your subject! And yes, definitely worth checking out the course content- when I was deciding between offers, I realised that I wanted a lot of flexibility and breadth in my Master's so it really helped narrow down my choices as some of the courses on offer are surprisingly specific.

    I can definitely understand the logic behind the global appeal thing, but my point is that it's not the university which will be prestigious according to a US uni, but rather the department. So, for example, I know of someone from my current undergrad uni who studies for a Master's in Information Security and who went on to do a PhD at MIT; even though my uni is not prestigious at all, the Information Security Group here is well-known around the world and that's what matters. I say this especially because all of the universities you've applied to are probably equally 'prestigious' according to American eyes, but the departments might differ in prestige for whatever reason so that's what matters.

    I hope this makes sense! Don't get me wrong, I can understand why you're considering these factors- after all, when paying for a Master's you want to get value for money! But I really think if you want to go for a PhD in the US, it's the department and the course content that matters more than any over-arching university characteristics. For example, if you want to do a PhD in, say, artificial intelligence and machine learning or something, and you've worked with someone who's well-known in that field for your MSc, that will be more appealing to a US uni than the general prestige of your Master's university.
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    (Original post by llacerta)
    It sounds like you've chosen an excellent selection of universities for your subject! And yes, definitely worth checking out the course content- when I was deciding between offers, I realised that I wanted a lot of flexibility and breadth in my Master's so it really helped narrow down my choices as some of the courses on offer are surprisingly specific.

    I can definitely understand the logic behind the global appeal thing, but my point is that it's not the university which will be prestigious according to a US uni, but rather the department. So, for example, I know of someone from my current undergrad uni who studies for a Master's in Information Security and who went on to do a PhD at MIT; even though my uni is not prestigious at all, the Information Security Group here is well-known around the world and that's what matters. I say this especially because all of the universities you've applied to are probably equally 'prestigious' according to American eyes, but the departments might differ in prestige for whatever reason so that's what matters.

    I hope this makes sense! Don't get me wrong, I can understand why you're considering these factors- after all, when paying for a Master's you want to get value for money! But I really think if you want to go for a PhD in the US, it's the department and the course content that matters more than any over-arching university characteristics. For example, if you want to do a PhD in, say, artificial intelligence and machine learning or something, and you've worked with someone who's well-known in that field for your MSc, that will be more appealing to a US uni than the general prestige of your Master's university.
    Thanks! Yes that makes a lot of sense and has really helped me.
 
 
 
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