I hope someone could help me out with my question here. I would like to do a master's degree in Psychology and I have applied for three universities. More specifically, I would like to do Occupational Psychology and this is the point when I run into a problem.
I have checked the Guardian and the Complete University Guide rankings and I can only check the rankings for Psychology (not Occupational) as a subject or overall uni rankings. For instance, if I select to rank the universities by subject (just Psychology), the university, which scores the lowest in the overall rankings scores the highest here in comparison to other two unis I am applying.
My question is: if I want to do Occupational Psychology, should I look at the overall rankings or it is fine to select my subject as Psychology and view rankings just for the subject?
I am only confused because I am not going to do just Psychology but a specific area of Psychology, and therefore I do not now, how should I view the rankings.
Any help will be appreciated! If there are any fellow psychology students here, did you judge which uni to select for your masters by any of these rankings?
Confusion with University Rankings Watch
- Thread Starter
Last edited by Cllarissa; 16-07-2014 at 22:52. Reason: add some info
- 16-07-2014 22:38
- 17-07-2014 14:27
These anomalies show you just how unreliable and ultimately daft these 'rankings' are.
You really shouldn't use this to select a University - always go for more meaningful criteria like 'has the specific course modules that really interest me' or 'there are particular academics there whose work really interests me'. Its these things that will give you a worthwhile Masters - not some league table that was designed to sell newspapers.
- 17-07-2014 15:55
As returnmigrant says, the rankings tables are unreliable. However, I would argue that reputation is important, particularly if you are going on to do a PhD, although also if you want to go straight into a career. Some departments in universities that aren't well rated have a great reputation. Equally, some universities have a great reputation, whilst specific departments aren't rated that highly. The best way to find out a department's reputation is by asking around. Your undergrad professors should have some idea of how good a department's reputation is, whether the department is expanding, working in the same kind of area as you want to, etc. Another way would be to flick through some journals. Take a note of where the professors who are writing articles that you like are from.
- 17-07-2014 21:49
I would say there are more important factors than a position in league tables, such as facilities (labs, libraries) or student:staff ratio, although these can be taken into account when compiling a ranking.
OP, if there's a breakdown of data on which the ranking is based, have a look at it and then decide if this is what you want.