English Literature at the University of Edinburgh and a couple of questions :) Watch

Filippo T
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Hello everybody,
I'm a possible future fresher at the Uni of Edinburgh, holding offers also from Glasgow and St Andrews.
I've got a couple of questions for you, hope you can help
1) How is the course? Being from Italy, not only I care about the general quality of teaching, but also about how much you're listened to, and supported and involved.
2) Being so interested as I am in other cultures, I applied for Comparative Literature and English at both Glasgow and St Andrews, but not at Edinburgh, where such course does not exist. Would it still be possible for me do something similar to Comp Lit at Edin? Maybe taking up some specific classes? Any ideas?
3) I'm probably not going to decide until mid-April. Would it be too late to find a cheap and affordable accomodation offered by the University? Being from Italy, I won't be able to get a loan, unfortunately, so I'm slightly worried about how expensive accomodations seem to be.
Thank you all
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jazhiggs1997
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(Original post by Filippo T)
Hello everybody,
I'm a possible future fresher at the Uni of Edinburgh, holding offers also from Glasgow and St Andrews.
I've got a couple of questions for you, hope you can help
1) How is the course? Being from Italy, not only I care about the general quality of teaching, but also about how much you're listened to, and supported and involved.
2) Being so interested as I am in other cultures, I applied for Comparative Literature and English at both Glasgow and St Andrews, but not at Edinburgh, where such course does not exist. Would it still be possible for me do something similar to Comp Lit at Edin? Maybe taking up some specific classes? Any ideas?
3) I'm probably not going to decide until mid-April. Would it be too late to find a cheap and affordable accomodation offered by the University? Being from Italy, I won't be able to get a loan, unfortunately, so I'm slightly worried about how expensive accomodations seem to be.
Thank you all
Hello! Congratulations on your offer- I got one from Edinburgh for English Literature too!
1) I've been told the course is very, very good by my English Literature teachers, who have been teaching for over 20 years. It seems to score highly on student satisfaction polls too.
2) Edinburgh, like other scottish universities, gives you the option to study two outside subjects with your degree for two years. I'm sure there'd be plenty of modules which you could combine. I'd have a look at other subjects such as Spanish or Russian (examples only!) and see whether they have literature modules you could take. It's always worth emailing the head of your subject.
3) Edinburgh has some amazingly cheap accommodation for such an expensive city. For example:
· Mansion Fountainbridge- £4,221.70 for single room, shared bathroom
· Warrander Park Crescent- £4,320 for large single room, shared bathroom
· Warrander Park- £3,923 for a single room, shared bathroom
· Deaconess- £5,148 for single ensuite
· Abbeyhill- £5,000 for large single ensuite
These are not the cheapest, either! Have a look here: http://www.accom.ed.ac.uk/accommodat...dation-search/
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Jada23
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So basically I really like the Scottish system because the course is so flexible. I am really into Modern history but am also into International Relations and Geography so the Scottish Universities allow me to take all of the three modules in the first 2 years I believe.

So anyways I am slightly torn between Edinburgh and St. Andrews because I feel St. Andrews is perhaps more academic and prestigious, yet I feel I would enjoy a bigger city with a bigger social life and more diversity like Edinburgh.
Also if I were to complete the degree in Modern history, how different would you say Edinburgh and St Andrew were in terms of employability and how well it would be regarded?

At St Andrews the accommodation seemed to have a really nice community atmosphere and I was wondering if Edinburgh was like this too or not?

Does anyone have any insights into these universities and what they are actually like?

Any help would be greatly appreciated
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andica
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Hey! So I was in the exact same position a couple of years ago when I was deciding between Edinburgh and St Andrews, although for Arabic and International Relations. I felt the same, that St Andrews has a slightly more prestigious academic environment and reputation, which I do still think. However, I wanted to be in a bigger city, with more to do, and a more multicultural atmosphere. I chose Edinburgh, and I have to say that I am really glad I did. I am so happy here, and although the academics might have been a bit better at St Andrews, I think the balance between academics and other aspects of uni was most important for me in my decision. Edinburgh is definitely more diverse, and a lot bigger so you always meet new people.

Edinburgh's accommodation in first year is less close-knit than St Andrews seems to me, but I enjoyed living in halls, and you can live in self-catered flats as well, so it's really up to you how it goes! After first year everyone lives in shared private flats for the most part, spread across the city but concentrated in a few student-y areas.

As I'm still a student I can't speak too much to employability, but from what I have heard, both unis are very successful in this area. In the end, both Edinburgh and St Andrews are great universities in all areas, and I think it comes down to personal choices more than anything!

Let me know if you have any more questions, I'm happy to help!
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Okorange
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(Original post by Jada23)
So basically I really like the Scottish system because the course is so flexible. I am really into Modern history but am also into International Relations and Geography so the Scottish Universities allow me to take all of the three modules in the first 2 years I believe.

So anyways I am slightly torn between Edinburgh and St. Andrews because I feel St. Andrews is perhaps more academic and prestigious, yet I feel I would enjoy a bigger city with a bigger social life and more diversity like Edinburgh.
Also if I were to complete the degree in Modern history, how different would you say Edinburgh and St Andrew were in terms of employability and how well it would be regarded?

At St Andrews the accommodation seemed to have a really nice community atmosphere and I was wondering if Edinburgh was like this too or not?

Does anyone have any insights into these universities and what they are actually like?

Any help would be greatly appreciated
I am at St Andrews and will be going next year to Edinburgh. I can tell you that both unis are basically equally well regarded. I think St Andrews is probably better for someone who likes drinking and house parties and hanging out with friends. Its small enough that people are not very far away, making it easy to make new friends and you will constantly throughout your 4 years here.

Edinburgh might be better for someone who would miss things available in the big city that are not in a smaller town. Edinburgh housing is also cheaper and easier to find than St Andrews.
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Ambry
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(Original post by Jada23)
So basically I really like the Scottish system because the course is so flexible. I am really into Modern history but am also into International Relations and Geography so the Scottish Universities allow me to take all of the three modules in the first 2 years I believe.

So anyways I am slightly torn between Edinburgh and St. Andrews because I feel St. Andrews is perhaps more academic and prestigious, yet I feel I would enjoy a bigger city with a bigger social life and more diversity like Edinburgh.
Also if I were to complete the degree in Modern history, how different would you say Edinburgh and St Andrew were in terms of employability and how well it would be regarded?

At St Andrews the accommodation seemed to have a really nice community atmosphere and I was wondering if Edinburgh was like this too or not?

Does anyone have any insights into these universities and what they are actually like?

Any help would be greatly appreciated
I wouldn't say St Andrews is more prestigious than Edinburgh - I'd probably put them about equal, both really good universities. Going to one or the other wouldn't disadvantage you in terms of how people regard your degree. Both are employable. Speaking for Edinburgh, employability is pretty good - our careers service is awesome, there are a lot of societies to involve yourself in to make you stand out (MUN, Debate, student politics is strong here, etc). I'm sure St Andrews is good there too, however.

Honestly I think it comes down to where you see yourself living. I personally don't think I would have liked living in St Andrews because of its size, I prefer the city of Edinburgh because I always lived in a really crappy small town and I love the fact I am walking distance from lots of clubs, grocery shops, cinemas, nature, museums, etc and I will never run out of stuff to do here. St Andrews will be far more close knit and maybe less options for nightlife, but it will have a strong student community and probably more house parties. It is also a beautiful town!

If you want to look at specific modules and things you might study, you can go here, click on the specific degree you are doing (I can't find modern history, I'm sorry!) http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/undergr..._xml=index.php Then where it says about this programme, click on programme structure and you can see what you will study. I'm sure St Andrews do a similar thing This is one way that I chose Edinburgh because in my degree (law) Edinburgh offers a really huge range of honours courses and you can really specialise - I felt other law schools didn't have that same variety or let you focus on honours only right from 3rd year.
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Jada23
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(Original post by Ambry)
I wouldn't say St Andrews is more prestigious than Edinburgh - I'd probably put them about equal, both really good universities. Going to one or the other wouldn't disadvantage you in terms of how people regard your degree. Both are employable. Speaking for Edinburgh, employability is pretty good - our careers service is awesome, there are a lot of societies to involve yourself in to make you stand out (MUN, Debate, student politics is strong here, etc). I'm sure St Andrews is good there too, however.

Honestly I think it comes down to where you see yourself living. I personally don't think I would have liked living in St Andrews because of its size, I prefer the city of Edinburgh because I always lived in a really crappy small town and I love the fact I am walking distance from lots of clubs, grocery shops, cinemas, nature, museums, etc and I will never run out of stuff to do here. St Andrews will be far more close knit and maybe less options for nightlife, but it will have a strong student community and probably more house parties. It is also a beautiful town!

If you want to look at specific modules and things you might study, you can go here, click on the specific degree you are doing (I can't find modern history, I'm sorry!) http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/undergr..._xml=index.php Then where it says about this programme, click on programme structure and you can see what you will study. I'm sure St Andrews do a similar thing This is one way that I chose Edinburgh because in my degree (law) Edinburgh offers a really huge range of honours courses and you can really specialise - I felt other law schools didn't have that same variety or let you focus on honours only right from 3rd year.
Oh okay cool thank you so so much! Is the nightlife quite good in Edinburgh then?

Been researching Edinburgh Uni and everything and the student satisfaction on the teaching seems like really low, whats the teaching like there and is it all only taught in really big lecture halls with loads of students or are there smaller seminars too?

Was also wondering if you knew at all how easy/hard it was to get a year abroad placement in the 3rd year because i'd be really interested in going to the USA for a year or something like that
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andica
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(Original post by Jada23)
Oh okay cool thank you so so much! Is the nightlife quite good in Edinburgh then?

Been researching Edinburgh Uni and everything and the student satisfaction on the teaching seems like really low, whats the teaching like there and is it all only taught in really big lecture halls with loads of students or are there smaller seminars too?

Was also wondering if you knew at all how easy/hard it was to get a year abroad placement in the 3rd year because i'd be really interested in going to the USA for a year or something like that
Nightlife in Edinburgh is great! There's loads of nightclubs/bars/pubs to choose from, and there's really something for everyone (in cost, atmosphere, etc).

Student satisfaction with teaching has been quite low in general. I can only speak for my two departments (Arabic and Politics). Arabic I've found to be fantastic, with lots of small group classes and individual time, as well as teachers who are generally always available for questions etc. Politics is quite different, as it's a much bigger school. Most classes are large lectures (first and second years were usually 300-400 people per lecture. Although each course has one tutorial every week (which typically have 8-12 students), in which you can discuss anything from the lectures, and there is set reading material as well, sometimes with projects/presentations depending on the course. I'm on my year abroad right now so I don't really know what third year courses are like at Edinburgh in politics, but they do get smaller as the years progress and people stop taking outside courses, as well as increased choice in courses within the department.

My year abroad placement is mandatory (as I'm doing a language), so I also don't know how difficult it is to get a placement, but I know quite a few people on placement in Canada/USA currently. And if you don't get a spot on one of those placements, there's always Erasmus in Europe!
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HollsAmber345
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I'm also thinking about doing History at Edinburgh, does anyone know if the department/teaching is good there for history?
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Okorange
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(Original post by HollsAmber345)
I'm also thinking about doing History at Edinburgh, does anyone know if the department/teaching is good there for history?
In the REF, Edinburgh came 3rd in the UK.
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Lorem Ipsum
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People say that St. Andrews just has three streets. I went on a MUN conference there last year, and proved this to be correct.

But really, from my brief time there I struggled to see many advantages over Edinburgh. The 'tight-knit' community thing rather seemed to me because of it's very small size, as well as the fact that there are no clubs (or certainly not any you would want to go to), so people just end up hanging around with each other more. That is not to say that Edinburgh does not have flat parties too though. As long as you engage with a few societies you will be fine. On average during term time this year I have been invited to two-three house parties a week, which has been pretty fun. St. Andrews' Students' Union is slightly cheaper than Edinburgh's but the fact that it is the only viable nightlife spot undermines the importance of that, as well as the fact that Edinburgh has two such buildings, one of which is literally a castle. Edinburgh also has The Hive, which is quite special.

Also as a History student Edinburgh has the advantage of being right next to the National Library of Scotland, a copyright library, which I have found vital. Too often the books I've needed have not been in the Main Library and I have had to go there; that's partly Edinburgh's fault for not having enough copies, but at the same time there's never going to be enough of everything on any popular course. Academically Edinburgh is fine, there's a lot of courses which will suit all interests. Most lecturers are very good. Essays take three weeks to be returned, which is pain but you get used to it. Feedback is sometimes average, but mostly informative even if brief. From what I have heard I think this really sharpens/improves in Honours years, but I am only in second year so cannot personally testify. Tutorials are normally good as long as you do the reading, to get the most out of them you have to do the work, but that's quite obvious. They are a maximum of 12 people I believe, and are taken by an even mix of doctoral students and faculty members, which is good.

In terms of St. Andrew's history and places of interest, I learned the same, and more about it in a day than my friend who had studied there for a year. There's just not that much there. In Edinburgh it is possible to discover entirely new parts of the city almost every day, while exploring. St. Andrews is certainly pleasant, but really only for a day trip or weekend. Also unless you are coming from Fife it is a big pain to get to due to the non-presence of a train station.

Halls in Edinburgh are fine, I would advise living in Pollock Halls though because it's a nice mini-campus environment. Edinburgh flats after first year are pretty cool but can be bad/expensive. Students live around the city but it is still small enough to walk anywhere so there are flat parties all the time. Marchmont and Newington are probably the most 'studenty', but I definitely want to live in Tollcross in 4th year because of its great location, and I will not be getting drunk so much.

My degree course is quite similar to what you will be doing, so if you have any more questions academically or otherwise about Edinburgh let me know.
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Okorange
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The advantage of St Andrews is that its a small town and all the subjects and faculties are very close to each other. Students from all faculties truly interact with each other on a daily basis. Edinburgh Uni is spread out over multiple campuses. The arts students are mainly in the center of town, the science and engineering is in the king's buildings and vet med is at easter bush. This means there is going to be less of a community feel at Edinburgh, of course this is probably the norm but think about that as well.

I do think that Edinburgh overall though would have more to do than St Andrews especially if you are going to spend 4 years there.
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Filippo T
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Personally, I'm not going to study History but English Literature, but I'm finding it very hard to decide between Edinburgh and St Andrews too. I was quite sure about Edinburgh (bigger city, more diversity, less posh, cheaper), but then I found this ranking on the web which made me feel far less confident about it.
http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...ables/rankings
It basically says that St Andrews would be equal/better than Oxford as far as English is concerned, even though I've always heard people say Edinburgh (which appears to be 19th, whereas it was 10th last year) was great for the Arts. I don't want my choice to depend on abstract criteria, but I'm very interested in an academic career path, so I'm questioning whether I should pick a more prestigious university as St Andrews seems to be. Any advice? Is St Andrews really that good?
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Filippo T
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(Original post by jazhiggs1997)
Hello! Congratulations on your offer- I got one from Edinburgh for English Literature too!
1) I've been told the course is very, very good by my English Literature teachers, who have been teaching for over 20 years. It seems to score highly on student satisfaction polls too.
2) Edinburgh, like other scottish universities, gives you the option to study two outside subjects with your degree for two years. I'm sure there'd be plenty of modules which you could combine. I'd have a look at other subjects such as Spanish or Russian (examples only!) and see whether they have literature modules you could take. It's always worth emailing the head of your subject.
3) Edinburgh has some amazingly cheap accommodation for such an expensive city. For example:
· Mansion Fountainbridge- £4,221.70 for single room, shared bathroom
· Warrander Park Crescent- £4,320 for large single room, shared bathroom
· Warrander Park- £3,923 for a single room, shared bathroom
· Deaconess- £5,148 for single ensuite
· Abbeyhill- £5,000 for large single ensuite
These are not the cheapest, either! Have a look here: http://www.accom.ed.ac.uk/accommodat...dation-search/
Thank you for the information, I found it very useful
Now I'm still kinda undecided, especially after I bumped into this ranking which seems to show St Andrews at an even higher position than Oxford as far as English Literature is concerned.
http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...ables/rankings
Knowing I should not base my decision on abstract criteria, and considering I know Edinburgh to be a lovely city (much less posh, bigger, more things going on, more diversity, cheaper etc...), I'm not really sure what I will pick eventually. They both made Unconditional Offers, so the one I firm is bound to be the one I will be studying at next year. Wish I could see into the future!!!
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Okorange
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(Original post by Filippo T)
Thank you for the information, I found it very useful
Now I'm still kinda undecided, especially after I bumped into this ranking which seems to show St Andrews at an even higher position than Oxford as far as English Literature is concerned.
http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...ables/rankings
Knowing I should not base my decision on abstract criteria, and considering I know Edinburgh to be a lovely city (much less posh, bigger, more things going on, more diversity, cheaper etc...), I'm not really sure what I will pick eventually. They both made Unconditional Offers, so the one I firm is bound to be the one I will be studying at next year. Wish I could see into the future!!!
Don't trust those rankings. Honestly do you think English at Oxford is worse than St Andrews? I think Edinburgh is a great place, and i've heard it has a great rep in English Lit. St Andrews is just generally good at all things Arts but i've never heard anything special about their English program.
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jazhiggs1997
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(Original post by Okorange)
Don't trust those rankings. Honestly do you think English at Oxford is worse than St Andrews? I think Edinburgh is a great place, and i've heard it has a great rep in English Lit. St Andrews is just generally good at all things Arts but i've never heard anything special about their English program.
I agree. Rankings are misleading. Yes, St Andrews is higher than Oxford here, but next year it might be 5 under it!
I have heard people rave about the Ed literature program but I've never heard anything about the St Andrews one: Edinburgh is a UNECO City of Literature, has a permanent writer in residence, and has huge links to literature via it's alumni.
Also, if you're into that type of thing, they invite their undergrads to go to research seminars from postgrads so that they can be involved in the whole department AND get to see what postgrad literature is like, as well as widening the undergrads interests.
The variety at Edinburgh is outstanding, too!
And if you're looking at rankings, look at QS: Edinburgh for English Lit http://www.topuniversities.com/unive...=false+search= I would trust QS more.
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jazhiggs1997
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Also look by faculty!

http://www.topuniversities.com/unive...=false+search=
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Filippo T
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(Original post by jazhiggs1997)
I agree. Rankings are misleading. Yes, St Andrews is higher than Oxford here, but next year it might be 5 under it!
I have heard people rave about the Ed literature program but I've never heard anything about the St Andrews one: Edinburgh is a UNECO City of Literature, has a permanent writer in residence, and has huge links to literature via it's alumni.
Also, if you're into that type of thing, they invite their undergrads to go to research seminars from postgrads so that they can be involved in the whole department AND get to see what postgrad literature is like, as well as widening the undergrads interests.
The variety at Edinburgh is outstanding, too!
And if you're looking at rankings, look at QS: Edinburgh for English Lit http://www.topuniversities.com/unive...=false+search= I would trust QS more.
Yeah, I see. Thank you for opening my eyes
As for what you say about undergrads researching postgrads seminars, is it something that even a fresher could do? Who will give me information about that at uni?
Last question: what about summer interships? Would they be possible for a first-year student too? Is it easy to get in one?
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Filippo T
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What about the University of Glasgow?
I have an offer from them too, and seeing I could also study Comparative Literature there (as I could at St Andrews, if it wasn't for how tiny the place is) I'm kind of thinking of that possibility as well. Is Edinburgh much better than Glasgow as far as the universities are concerned?

I'm not even sure how serious a course on Comparative Literature is, seeing that it's not very popular. Any advice?
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Okorange
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(Original post by Filippo T)
What about the University of Glasgow?
I have an offer from them too, and seeing I could also study Comparative Literature there (as I could at St Andrews, if it wasn't for how tiny the place is) I'm kind of thinking of that possibility as well. Is Edinburgh much better than Glasgow as far as the universities are concerned?

I'm not even sure how serious a course on Comparative Literature is, seeing that it's not very popular. Any advice?
Edinburgh is considered to be better than Glasgow in general and especially for English Lit.
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