gnomgnomuch
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Hey everyone.

So, I'm lucky enough to be offered a chance to do a masters in public policy at either UCL or Edinburgh. I'm in a pickle... I'm a US student so I can't visit either of them, and I've got to deposit relatively soon.

Can anyone comment on the two schools, whether UCL is worth about 7thousand more dollars than Edinburgh, whether landing an internship and then full time work from UCL wil be easier than from Edinburgh (Edin comes with a 3 month internship placement).

I'm ok with taking on more loans, if my career prospects come out better than if I had taken out less loans.

So 55k loans at UCL is preferable from 45k at Edinburgh, if I can get a job out of UCL but not out of Edinburgh.

Thanks in advance for the help...

Best,

-Gnomgnouch.
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cambio wechsel
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(Original post by gnomgnomuch)
Hey
I cannot imagine why you would come from the US to do that degree in the UK at that cost. The only sensible rationale for it would be to make a competitive application for a doctoral program at a fancypants American grad school, but the people who do that all go to the LSE.

The finding work afterward thing is as well mystifying: are you eligible to work in the UK?
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gnomgnomuch
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(Original post by cambio wechsel)
I cannot imagine why you would come from the US to do that degree in the UK at that cost. The only sensible rationale for it would be to make a competitive application for a doctoral program at a fancypants American grad school, but the people who do that all go to the LSE.

The finding work afterward thing is as well mystifying: are you eligible to work in the UK?
Plenty of reasons...
1) I'm not choosing awful schools, I'm choosing those at the top of the world...
2) I want that experience of living in another country, I studied in the UK before, loved it and wanted to return.
3) The same program at comparable universities in the US are 2-3x as expensive and I'd like to do another degree after a few years of working, and twice as long.
4) I am eligible to work
5) Why do students who have the opportunity to attend UCL/LSE/Kings/Imperial attend schools in the US like Cornell or Upenn?
6) I'm waitlisted for political economics at LSE and still waiting on comparative political economics there. If I get in, I'm going.

Plus, in the event I decide to do a doctorate, having an elite masters can only help me in my application. Plus, the masters will help me zero in on what type of work I want to do...
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cambio wechsel
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(Original post by gnomgnomuch)
Plenty of reasons...
okay. The person on this board who I think knows the most about this kind of thing is War and Peace
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Okorange
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(Original post by gnomgnomuch)
Plenty of reasons...
1) I'm not choosing awful schools, I'm choosing those at the top of the world...
2) I want that experience of living in another country, I studied in the UK before, loved it and wanted to return.
3) The same program at comparable universities in the US are 2-3x as expensive and I'd like to do another degree after a few years of working, and twice as long.
4) I am eligible to work
5) Why do students who have the opportunity to attend UCL/LSE/Kings/Imperial attend schools in the US like Cornell or Upenn?
6) I'm waitlisted for political economics at LSE and still waiting on comparative political economics there. If I get in, I'm going.

Plus, in the event I decide to do a doctorate, having an elite masters can only help me in my application. Plus, the masters will help me zero in on what type of work I want to do...
Cornell and Penn are still much better than UCL/LSE/Kings/Imperial.
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gnomgnomuch
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(Original post by Okorange)
Cornell and Penn are still much better than UCL/LSE/Kings/Imperial.
...I'm not arguing that they aren't elite schools, but to say that Cornell and Penn are MUCH better is stupid. They might be marginally better, but not MUCH better.

Cornell = 19th in the world.
UPenn - 16th in the world.

UCL is 21st and Edin is 36th. However, Imperial is 9th.

So they're all on roughly the same level of university. With a slight lead to Cornell/Upenn for UCL and a larger one for Edinburgh, though UCL>Edinburgh.

Not to mention that if I went to those schools for my MPP, I'd take out 130k or so of debt, compared to roughly 45k of debt, 2 years versus 1 year. That "marginal" level of prestige isn't worth that much money to me.
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Okorange
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(Original post by gnomgnomuch)
...I'm not arguing that they aren't elite schools, but to say that Cornell and Penn are MUCH better is stupid. They might be marginally better, but not MUCH better.

Cornell = 19th in the world.
UPenn - 16th in the world.

UCL is 21st and Edin is 36th. However, Imperial is 9th.

So they're all on roughly the same level of university. With a slight lead to Cornell/Upenn for UCL and a larger one for Edinburgh, though UCL>Edinburgh.

Not to mention that if I went to those schools for my MPP, I'd take out 130k or so of debt, compared to roughly 45k of debt, 2 years versus 1 year. That "marginal" level of prestige isn't worth that much money to me.
Don't use world rankings to judge. Penn and Cornell are just harder to get in, wealthier and all around better unis. Imperial is probably on the same level but definitely not UCL and Edin.

Especially for your subject, as an American you at least must know that its harder to get into Penn and Cornell than UCL and Edin.

Your best reason for the UK is that you want to study here. The US has an amazing educational system, you don't leave it unless you want an international experience.
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ComputerMaths97
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If you were definitely coming to UK, UCL is just an already outstanding University in my opinion, didn't like the feel of Edinburgh. UCL open campus feel is the best
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gnomgnomuch
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(Original post by Okorange)
Don't use world rankings to judge. Penn and Cornell are just harder to get in, wealthier and all around better unis. Imperial is probably on the same level but definitely not UCL and Edin.

Especially for your subject, as an American you at least must know that its harder to get into Penn and Cornell than UCL and Edin.

Your best reason for the UK is that you want to study here. The US has an amazing educational system, you don't leave it unless you want an international experience.
First off, it's not exactly "easy" to get into UCL and Edinburgh. Next, Reason number 2 on my list was "I want that experience of living in another country, I studied in the UK before, loved it and wanted to return." Third acceptance rates are not the end all, be all for universities. I actually got into northwestern - one of the best in the US - for undergrad, but didn't get into the honors program at the University I ended up going to. I want to minimize debt since I'm most likely going to do another degree afterwards.

Next, Cornell - 14% acceptance rate. LSE- 7.2. UPenn - 10.4, Edinburgh - 10.7%. They're again, ROUGHLY the same. I couldn't find UCL, but IIRC it's somewhere around the 13% mark.

I fully understand that I'd be better off by getting my MPP at HKS or SAIS/SIPA or Goldman. However, my desire to minimize debt and allow myself to attend another masters/phd program when I'm like 25/27 means that I won't attend those schools because they are much more expensive and take an extra year.

You're arguing against something THAT I ALREADY AGREE WITH.

If you're not going to offer insight between UCL and Edinburgh, than at the very least stop trying to convince me to do a degree that I don't want to do in the U.S. I thought long and hard before settling on the UK.

I'm also not looking to go into an insanely prestigious job. I'd like to be a legislative analyst or a think-tank policy researcher. I wouldn't mind being an adjunct either. If I were trying to get into Brookings or something, I'd be waiting for next application cycle and studying for the GRE.
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Okorange
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(Original post by gnomgnomuch)
First off, it's not exactly "easy" to get into UCL and Edinburgh. Next, Reason number 2 on my list was "I want that experience of living in another country, I studied in the UK before, loved it and wanted to return." Third acceptance rates are not the end all, be all for universities. I actually got into northwestern - one of the best in the US - for undergrad, but didn't get into the honors program at the University I ended up going to. I want to minimize debt since I'm most likely going to do another degree afterwards.

Next, Cornell - 14% acceptance rate. LSE- 7.2. UPenn - 10.4, Edinburgh - 10.7%. They're again, ROUGHLY the same. I couldn't find UCL, but IIRC it's somewhere around the 13% mark.

I fully understand that I'd be better off by getting my MPP at HKS or SAIS/SIPA or Goldman. However, my desire to minimize debt and allow myself to attend another masters/phd program when I'm like 25/27 means that I won't attend those schools because they are much more expensive and take an extra year.

You're arguing against something THAT I ALREADY AGREE WITH.

If you're not going to offer insight between UCL and Edinburgh, than at the very least stop trying to convince me to do a degree that I don't want to do in the U.S. I thought long and hard before settling on the UK.

I'm also not looking to go into an insanely prestigious job. I'd like to be a legislative analyst or a think-tank policy researcher. I wouldn't mind being an adjunct either. If I were trying to get into Brookings or something, I'd be waiting for next application cycle and studying for the GRE.
Ah i see, but just to let you know the Edinburgh 10.7% acceptance rate isn't the same as Cornell's. Its 10.7% application to place ratio. Edinburgh's actual acceptance rate depends on faculty but is actually 37.3% http://www.ed.ac.uk/files/imports/fi...0for%20web.pdf Of course, you also have to note that you can only apply to 5 places in the UK which does increase the acceptance rate a bit, since people apply strategically rather than hopefully like in the US.

I understand, but it looks like you already have plenty of insight into Edinburgh and UCL.
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Hopefulbunny
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(Original post by gnomgnomuch)
Hey everyone.

So, I'm lucky enough to be offered a chance to do a masters in public policy at either UCL or Edinburgh. I'm in a pickle... I'm a US student so I can't visit either of them, and I've got to deposit relatively soon.

Can anyone comment on the two schools, whether UCL is worth about 7thousand more dollars than Edinburgh, whether landing an internship and then full time work from UCL wil be easier than from Edinburgh (Edin comes with a 3 month internship placement).

I'm ok with taking on more loans, if my career prospects come out better than if I had taken out less loans.

So 55k loans at UCL is preferable from 45k at Edinburgh, if I can get a job out of UCL but not out of Edinburgh.

Thanks in advance for the help...

Best,

-Gnomgnouch.
Maybe you don't realise how much cheaper and easier it is to live in Edinburgh than in London. Unless a degree from ucl is recognized as being way better than the same degree from Edinburgh, then Edinburgh wins on cost and quality of life. I did a degree in Edinburgh and taught there. I now live and work next to LSE and Kings. Trust me. Edinburgh wins the game every time.
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gnomgnomuch
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(Original post by Hopefulbunny)
Maybe you don't realise how much cheaper and easier it is to live in Edinburgh than in London. Unless a degree from ucl is recognized as being way better than the same degree from Edinburgh, then Edinburgh wins on cost and quality of life. I did a degree in Edinburgh and taught there. I now live and work next to LSE and Kings. Trust me. Edinburgh wins the game every time.
can you comment more on this? What makes quality of life better at Edinburgh? I've lived in NY most of my life... Thanks so much for replying!
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gnomgnomuch
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(Original post by Okorange)
Ah i see, but just to let you know the Edinburgh 10.7% acceptance rate isn't the same as Cornell's. Its 10.7% application to place ratio. Edinburgh's actual acceptance rate depends on faculty but is actually 37.3% http://www.ed.ac.uk/files/imports/fi...0for%20web.pdf Of course, you also have to note that you can only apply to 5 places in the UK which does increase the acceptance rate a bit, since people apply strategically rather than hopefully like in the US.

I understand, but it looks like you already have plenty of insight into Edinburgh and UCL.
You can only apply to 5 in the UK!? WOW. I applied to 8 uni's for my undergrad, and most of my friends were doing about 15-20.

Really, that 10.7 was what google popped up with, so my bad on that. BUT, politics - my field has a 13.6% rate, so again, still quiet comparable.

I have internet insight, i'm trying to find insight of personal experiences lol. Like the below poster, whose actually attended and taught at those schools.
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Okorange
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(Original post by gnomgnomuch)
You can only apply to 5 in the UK!? WOW. I applied to 8 uni's for my undergrad, and most of my friends were doing about 15-20.

Really, that 10.7 was what google popped up with, so my bad on that. BUT, politics - my field has a 13.6% rate, so again, still quiet comparable.

I have internet insight, i'm trying to find insight of personal experiences lol. Like the below poster, whose actually attended and taught at those schools.
I have some experience with Edinburgh, as a I have an offer for clinical medicine there. My guess is if you want a job in London, UCL is your best bet, but Edinburgh is likely a more affordable and better city to live in.
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Gridiron-Gangster
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(Original post by Okorange)
Don't use world rankings to judge. Penn and Cornell are just harder to get in, wealthier and all around better unis. Imperial is probably on the same level but definitely not UCL and Edin.

Especially for your subject, as an American you at least must know that its harder to get into Penn and Cornell than UCL and Edin.

Your best reason for the UK is that you want to study here. The US has an amazing educational system, you don't leave it unless you want an international experience.
Using your post to stress a point to the OP about reputation.

Rankings should only ever used with a pinch of salt but I would agree that I would not view UCL and Edinburgh exactly on the same level as Penn and Cornell. The latter are big brand name universities which for most degree programmes they offer, are very competitive to gain entry to. There are very few colleges like that in the world. UCL and Edinburgh are not quite on that level in terms of selectivity unless for say Medicine, VetSci etc.

Even in the UK the only universities I would say that are competitive across all subject areas are Oxbridge, LSE and Imperial. If you're coming to the UK given the cost etc it should really only be for one of those four.

Similarly I would only have gone to do postgrad in the US if it was at one of the Ivies, MIT, Stanford, Caltech or Chicago (not Berkeley though) given the cost and time commitment etc and only then it would have been if I failed to get into Oxbridge.
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gnomgnomuch
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(Original post by Gridiron-Gangster)
Using your post to stress a point to the OP about reputation.

Rankings should only ever used with a pinch of salt but I would agree that I would not view UCL and Edinburgh exactly on the same level as Penn and Cornell. The latter are big brand name universities which for most degree programmes they offer, are very competitive to gain entry to. There are very few colleges like that in the world. UCL and Edinburgh are not quite on that level in terms of selectivity unless for say Medicine, VetSci etc.

Even in the UK the only universities I would say that are competitive across all subject areas are Oxbridge, LSE and Imperial. If you're coming to the UK given the cost etc it should really only be for one of those four.

Similarly I would only have gone to do postgrad in the US if it was at one of the Ivies, MIT, Stanford, Caltech or Chicago (not Berkeley though) given the cost and time commitment etc and only then it would have been if I failed to get into Oxbridge.
Thats a bit silly though. Brown isn't near the level that the others are. Yet, you leave of UMich, Duke, Vanderbilt, UVirginia.... Again, I realize that there is a difference between UCL/Edin and the ivies and elites of the U.S. However, I don't think that the difference justifies an extra 2 years of my life. 1 year because of the wait for the next application cycle, and another because the degree is 2 years rather than 1. In addition, the programs at these schools cost roughly 35k a year + 20k a year on living. Thats about 110k+interest. On the other hand, doing UCL will cost me about 50k and Edin will cost even less.

My ideal choice is LSE. If I get in, i'm going. I didn't get into Oxford, but even if I did get in, it would be tough to justify going there for the 80 thousand + price tag it came with.

I'm trying to do a few things with this degree:
1) Get a job at a think-tank or in local government, I'd think a UCL degree would get me there easier than Edinburgh, but that both would suffice.
2) Remain flexible financially for when I decide to do my J.D, Ph.D or another masters.
3) Doing a degree at an amazing - if not quite the best of the best - university will also help me narrow down what I want to do later on in my life. Do I want to enter the policy sphere long term, or do I want to transition into something closely related, but not quiet the same thing.

My primary concern is this: Can a degree from UCL get me a job better than Edinburgh. Is that worth the extra 5-8 thousand.

I have more than just academic reasons for attending school in the UK.

Finally - UCL is no slouch. Everywhere I look, UCL comes up at roughly the top 20-25th in the world. It's not like i'm attending a no-name school that has no respect....
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Gridiron-Gangster
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(Original post by gnomgnomuch)
Thats a bit silly though. Brown isn't near the level that the others are. Yet, you leave of UMich, Duke, Vanderbilt, UVirginia.... Again, I realize that there is a difference between UCL/Edin and the ivies and elites of the U.S. However, I don't think that the difference justifies an extra 2 years of my life. 1 year because of the wait for the next application cycle, and another because the degree is 2 years rather than 1. In addition, the programs at these schools cost roughly 35k a year + 20k a year on living. Thats about 110k+interest. On the other hand, doing UCL will cost me about 50k and Edin will cost even less.

My ideal choice is LSE. If I get in, i'm going. I didn't get into Oxford, but even if I did get in, it would be tough to justify going there for the 80 thousand + price tag it came with.

I'm trying to do a few things with this degree:
1) Get a job at a think-tank or in local government, I'd think a UCL degree would get me there easier than Edinburgh, but that both would suffice.
2) Remain flexible financially for when I decide to do my J.D, Ph.D or another masters.
3) Doing a degree at an amazing - if not quite the best of the best - university will also help me narrow down what I want to do later on in my life. Do I want to enter the policy sphere long term, or do I want to transition into something closely related, but not quiet the same thing.

My primary concern is this: Can a degree from UCL get me a job better than Edinburgh. Is that worth the extra 5-8 thousand.

I have more than just academic reasons for attending school in the UK.

Finally - UCL is no slouch. Everywhere I look, UCL comes up at roughly the top 20-25th in the world. It's not like i'm attending a no-name school that has no respect....

Brown the Ivy League tag whether rightly or wrongly and even though traditionally it was/is a sports league, it has become synonymous with academic selectivity and rigour and prestige etc.

It's just me but I'd have gone to Brown or Dartmouth over any of the traditional "redbrick" universities. Even if they are not say the equivalent of Princeton or Harvard, what I find about the big name universities is that they've been able to forge their own identities and prestige.

Finding it difficult to explain the point I'm trying to make.

OK put this way take any of the Ivies and they would be considered prestigious, elite, world-class etc. I would not however extend that same notion to each and every one of the Russell Group Universities i.e. nobody would consider Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle, QUB, Glasgow, Cardiff to be on par with the Ivies or even the best RG universities.

Whilst each of the Ivies could hold their own (despite Brown and Dartmouth's poor global rankings due to the size of their grad schools and research output), I wouldn't feel people considered Liverpool or Sheffield to be a bastion of academic excellence or prestige.
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Gridiron-Gangster
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(Original post by gnomgnomuch)
Thats a bit silly though. Brown isn't near the level that the others are. Yet, you leave of UMich, Duke, Vanderbilt, UVirginia...............


Finally - UCL is no slouch. Everywhere I look, UCL comes up at roughly the top 20-25th in the world. It's not like i'm attending a no-name school that has no respect....
All good schools but with the exception of Michigan, they don't really have that truly global brand. Duke might argue it does but beyond basketball.


Never said UCL was a bad university, it isn't. One of the best in the UK top 10 probably top 5. It's just not one of those truly world-class brands that people would give up their right arm just to attend and UCL from a "cultural" and "social" perspective never really had the impact say Oxbridge and LSE have. Indeed I would say Edinburgh beats UCL in that respect but it's location far from any meaningful centre of finance and culture etc means it loses out.
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Hopefulbunny
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(Original post by Gridiron-Gangster)
..... Indeed I would say Edinburgh beats UCL in that respect but it's location far from any meaningful centre of finance and culture etc means it loses out.
You wouldn't say that if you knew Edinburgh. I speak as a Scot now living in WC2, the heart of London's culture. Edinburgh has a lot of advantages which make it a great place to live.
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Gridiron-Gangster
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(Original post by Hopefulbunny)
You wouldn't say that if you knew Edinburgh. I speak as a Scot now living in WC2, the heart of London's culture. Edinburgh has a lot of advantages which make it a great place to live.
Edinburgh is hardly the financial hub of Europe though and the networking opportunities are limited compared to London.
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