Medieval Studies - UCL vs. YorkWatch
1. It's in London (I currently live in LA and I am definitely a city girl);
2. It has an excellent reputation internationally which would bolster my CV for PhD applications back here in the States;
3. I know that UCL will give me all the skills I need to move on to an excellent PhD program; and
3. The access I would have to other scholars, museums, conferences, lectures, etc, is unbeatable.
1. The program is a little less interesting to me, although there are classes I think I would enjoy;
2. There aren't any scholars there that stick out immediately as potential research supervisors, although there are a few I can see as possibilities; and
3. The university and the city are more expensive.
York - Pros
1. This program is the more interesting one - I would definitely have a hard time picking classes because there are so many that appeal to me;
2. There are scholars who would be natural choices as research supervisors;
3. It's slightly cheaper; and
4. They obviously have a lot of fun with their program (lots of clubs, groups, etc).
York - Cons
1. It's in York, which seems like a small town. I'm worried I would be bored after a month;
2. I would have less access to conferences, lectures, etc; and
3. It's less prestigious than UCL.
Al of these conclusions are based on conversations with friends currently in England and the ever-helpful Internet. If I'm jumping to conclusions, please feel free to correct me. Your help is much appreciated!
Anyway both places are very different. I have applied at both UCL and York so I'll tell you what I know.
After visiting both places I realized that I love the idea of living on a campus and having all of your friends close to me.
UCL advantages -
-"Prestigious" university, However there isn't a huge difference between York and UCL in terms of prestige.
In London. So there is always something to do.
-In London. This is both a positive and a negative. The first year will be great because you are going to live in halls and with your friends, However the second and third year you may live about an hour away from your friends. London is a very spread out city and it does consume a fair bit of time traveling from one area to the other. It is quite unlikely that you will be living in the centre of London as it is fairly expensive.
You have to choose a course that you will enjoy for 3/4 years so I would always choose the course you like the most.
-UCL is also a very big university in terms of student body size and sometimes you may be lost in the crowd so if you like 1-1 with mentors than that is sometimes a huge disadvantage with going to a big university.
York Pros -
-Highly regarded university especially in terms of the History course.
-York is a really nice city and even though it is fairly small, I've been told there is always something to do. Larger cities are not that far away, Leeds is only 20 minutes away on train. Even if you want to go to London it only takes around 2 hours. So you could easily do a day trip.
-There are lots of student societies where you can meet new people and have a good time with.
-If you want to do a PHD afterwards I know a lot of people who have gone onto Oxford and Cambridge after doing their undergrad at York.
- I'm gonna start there next year
-All of your friends will be very close together even in your 2nd 3rd and 4th years.
-You can also cycle around the city very easily as well.
Both universities are awesome. You will do great at either. Sorry for the really long post
If you have questions just ask