Durham or Bristol? Watch

CWINJUN
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Hi everyone , I am from China.
I have received offers both from Bristol (Msc Public Policy, School of Policy Studies) and Durham (Msc Public Policy and global health, School of Medcine), am really in choice phobia disorder now...DONT KNOW WHICH ONE SHOULD I TAKE??

I understand Durham City is relatively small, I don't mind at all to live and study in a quiet place for one year. But my department isn't even in the main campus, it is in Queen's Campus (School of Medicine), to be honestly the Queen Campus looks less charming to me and I am a bit worried about living there as well...

Bristol has good reputation on Public Policy area, but the overall ranking is far behind Durham.

PLS PLS give me some advices. Thank you in advance!!
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Little Jules
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What you should be thinking about, particularly at masters level, is the courses offered by each department, and what best suits your interests. As one includes global health and one doesn't they could be quite different.
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Origami Bullets
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There really isn't any difference between the overall reputation of the two universities.

I would suggest that you go and have a look at the modules that are on offer. These will vary wildly between the two universities, and you should choose the one you think you enjoy most.

You're right that Stockton isn't as nice as Durham itself, nor as nice as Bristol, but this shouldn't be your overriding concern.
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polscistudent88
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I would say that it also depends on what you want to do afterwards. Durham's MSc seems more specialized and focused on health policy, while Bristol's more generally concerned over public policy. This means that Durham's has an advantage for possible employers in the field, but if you are not so interested in health policy this might run against you.
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CWINJUN
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Thank you all for nice suggestions!!!

Yes I have been thinking of courses, modules, and future career for a long time---both unis have advantages and disadvantages. Although look quite differently, Health Policy shares some core modules with Public Policy like quantitative and qualitative analysis method, also some key issues like management and leaderships.

To dedicate in health policy in the future is not my only pursuing; actually my current work is about public health and I hope to somehow increase my career chances in public sector after one year's study. But in another way, module in Durham seems to have a more concentrated and in-depth design. I probably will accept better academical training there.

So, really hard decisions. And now I got an conditional offer from KCL---MA Public Policy, which makes the decision even more difficult....ha.

But thanks anyway! and wishing you a relaxing holidays!
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Tcannon
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(Original post by CWINJUN)
Thank you all for nice suggestions!!!

Yes I have been thinking of courses, modules, and future career for a long time---both unis have advantages and disadvantages. Although look quite differently, Health Policy shares some core modules with Public Policy like quantitative and qualitative analysis method, also some key issues like management and leaderships.

To dedicate in health policy in the future is not my only pursuing; actually my current work is about public health and I hope to somehow increase my career chances in public sector after one year's study. But in another way, module in Durham seems to have a more concentrated and in-depth design. I probably will accept better academical training there.

So, really hard decisions. And now I got an conditional offer from KCL---MA Public Policy, which makes the decision even more difficult....ha.

But thanks anyway! and wishing you a relaxing holidays!
Are you home or international student? Do you have the opp to visit both MPPs? I heard that there is a difference in class profiles. What do you mean that Bristol's 'overall ranking is far behind Durham'? The parent uni or the MPP programme? This actually would contradict with my findings, what methodology do you use?
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CWINJUN
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(Original post by Tcannon)
Are you home or international student? Do you have the opp to visit both MPPs? I heard that there is a difference in class profiles. What do you mean that Bristol's 'overall ranking is far behind Durham'? The parent uni or the MPP programme? This actually would contradict with my findings, what methodology do you use?
No, I mean the Times uni ranking 2014 (Durham is 6 while Bristol is 30). Don't take it wrong, the ranking is just one of the indicators when I am making decisions. I know Bristol has very high academical reputations, just like Durham, and in terms of the Public Policies, Bristol even has much stronger capacities. But like I mentioned before, I also have other concerns.

And I am international student, so I cannot take both courses...although I would really love to.
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polscistudent88
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(Original post by CWINJUN)
No, I mean the Times uni ranking 2014 (Durham is 6 while Bristol is 30). Don't take it wrong, the ranking is just one of the indicators when I am making decisions. I know Bristol has very high academical reputations, just like Durham, and in terms of the Public Policies, Bristol even has much stronger capacities. But like I mentioned before, I also have other concerns.

And I am international student, so I cannot take both courses...although I would really love to.
They are for sure very good universities. As I mentioned before, the two courses are indeed different (despite being both in the field of PP). So the 'ranking' or 'reputation' thinking loses importance. If you already have experience studying health issues, and you would like to work in health policy, then Durham has certainly an advantage.

About the campus... True that the old campus in Durham is indeed charming... But Queen's is a campus as well. It is not like being in a single building somewhere far away. So you will have access to facilities, student life, and so on... The main difference is that Queen's is more modern (but you are free to go to Durham when you feel like). And the MSc is a one-year program, so... But obviously this is my opinion. If you really dislike being in a modern campus (or you specifically don't like Queen's campus), then it might be a more decisive factor than if I was deciding...

EDIT: Also consider that when you study for a masters, you will spend much time within the uni: library, department, accommodation, and so on...
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CWINJUN
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(Original post by polscistudent88)
They are for sure very good universities. As I mentioned before, the two courses are indeed different (despite being both in the field of PP). So the 'ranking' or 'reputation' thinking loses importance. If you already have experience studying health issues, and you would like to work in health policy, then Durham has certainly an advantage.

About the campus... True that the old campus in Durham is indeed charming... But Queen's is a campus as well. It is not like being in a single building somewhere far away. So you will have access to facilities, student life, and so on... The main difference is that Queen's is more modern (but you are free to go to Durham when you feel like). And the MSc is a one-year program, so... But obviously this is my opinion. If you really dislike being in a modern campus (or you specifically don't like Queen's campus), then it might be a more decisive factor than if I was deciding...

EDIT: Also consider that when you study for a masters, you will spend much time within the uni: library, department, accommodation, and so on...
Thank you! really are good points~
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Tcannon
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If your post MSc goal is to work in health policy related career, then Durham would offer you more exposure and concentration. It is also affiliated to the School of Medicine. Whereas Bristol is more general MPP linked to Politics like most MPPs.

One think you need to know is that Durham's MPP is almost exclusively internationals. You will struggle to find any home students in the class room. Interestingly, home students attend other MPPs or public health courses at other UK unis. I posted a number of questions to the Durham programme manager on its MPP, she has not replied to any of my queries. This was a red flag for me.
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CWINJUN
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(Original post by Tcannon)
If your post MSc goal is to work in health policy related career, then Durham would offer you more exposure and concentration. It is also affiliated to the School of Medicine. Whereas Bristol is more general MPP linked to Politics like most MPPs.

One think you need to know is that Durham's MPP is almost exclusively internationals. You will struggle to find any home students in the class room. Interestingly, home students attend other MPPs or public health courses at other UK unis. I posted a number of questions to the Durham programme manager on its MPP, she has not replied to any of my queries. This was a red flag for me.
Really?? That is NOT a very good news.... Thank you for reminding. Are you applying this course as well? (MSc Public Policy and Global Health)
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Tcannon
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It really happened though my queries were quite in-depth (career support, learning platform & objectives, faculty background from health sector, financial aid) following her offer for queries. She totally ignored them and I never heard from her back. The other warning is that home student don't enroll in this course. You may find them at other MSc public health and some courses have lower tuition (for home students) than Durham and have more brand recognition among health professionals. The degree may piggy back on parent uni's brand.

My conclusion: It is a new course to get it off the ground, aimed mostly at internationals as they pay higher tuition. Home students prefer other established public health or MPP. You may find the situation that the Durham class has majority of Chinese students.

My philosophy is to do my due diligence before making a decision and it is a massive investment in terms of money and time.

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CWINJUN
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(Original post by Tcannon)
It really happened though my queries were quite in-depth (career support, learning platform & objectives, faculty background from health sector, financial aid) following her offer for queries. She totally ignored them and I never heard from her back. The other warning is that home student don't enroll in this course. You may find them at other MSc public health and some courses have lower tuition (for home students) than Durham and have more brand recognition among health professionals. The degree may piggy back on parent uni's brand.

My conclusion: It is a new course to get it off the ground, aimed mostly at internationals as they pay higher tuition. Home students prefer other established public health or MPP. You may find the situation that the Durham class has majority of Chinese students.

My philosophy is to do my due diligence before making a decision and it is a massive investment in terms of money and time.

Yes. This a new course that the School of Medicine just started. I've read that from their website, including the faculty background and other issues. But I DO NOT know that only international students were enrolled. If so that isn't really worth to spending so much money and time there. MSc is not Durham's advantages, Durham is very strong in its MA courses, this is actually my other big concern when I received the offer.

Thank you again for this information, v useful.
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Tcannon
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Do you have offers from other MPP apart from Bristol? It is not too late to apply for more MPP or MPHealth.
Also: Some UK people say do not attend a new course in its first 3 years as disadvantages outweigh: Teaching don't align, coordination problems, slow customer service to complaints, no alumni network or recruiters don't know this new degree. This argument makes sense to me.
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CWINJUN
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(Original post by Tcannon)
It really happened though my queries were quite in-depth (career support, learning platform & objectives, faculty background from health sector, financial aid) following her offer for queries. She totally ignored them and I never heard from her back. The other warning is that home student don't enroll in this course. You may find them at other MSc public health and some courses have lower tuition (for home students) than Durham and have more brand recognition among health professionals. The degree may piggy back on parent uni's brand.

My conclusion: It is a new course to get it off the ground, aimed mostly at internationals as they pay higher tuition. Home students prefer other established public health or MPP. You may find the situation that the Durham class has majority of Chinese students.

My philosophy is to do my due diligence before making a decision and it is a massive investment in terms of money and time.

Do you have any insights or comments re. KCL's MA on public policy? (The course module is similar with Bristol's, and I know the location and expenses of KCL is obviously more fancy).
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CWINJUN
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(Original post by Tcannon)
Do you have offers from other MPP apart from Bristol? It is not too late to apply for more MPP or MPHealth.
Also: Some UK people say do not attend a new course in its first 3 years as disadvantages outweigh: Teaching don't align, coordination problems, slow customer service to complaints, no alumni network or recruiters don't know this new degree. This argument makes sense to me.
I have a conditional offer from KCL, and an uncon from Nottingham. That's all. Very sad that I was rejected by LSE and UCL...
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Tcannon
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I was going to say LSE/UCL are good MPP programmes. KCL MPP is somewhat overshadowed by its London peers LSE, UCL and LSHTM.
Nott has actually a good reputation in politics and social sciences, tuition is more reasonable. It gets decent student satisfaction.

Congrats, you have a few good choices. Good luck
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CWINJUN
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(Original post by Tcannon)
I was going to say LSE/UCL are good MPP programmes. KCL MPP is somewhat overshadowed by its London peers LSE, UCL and LSHTM.
Nott has actually a good reputation in politics and social sciences, tuition is more reasonable. It gets decent student satisfaction.

Congrats, you have a few good choices. Good luck
Thanks! Good luck to you too! I think I will pass Nottingham if compare with Bristol...

Very nice talking to you!
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