SOAS vs. Durham vs. Nottingham vs. Manchester for Law?? Watch

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sentax
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Hello,
I am an international applicant from the USA who applied to study LLB Law here in the UK. When I was filling out my application to UCAS, I was very thrilled with the idea of studying Law outside of the US, an option unavailable to students here as undergraduates. When my top choice was rejected however, things got confusing; a "sticky wicket" you might say

Back when I was filling out my application, I just put down the next five schools in the Times Ranking for Law, hoping Oxford would take me. Fast forward several months later. No love from Oxford, but I have unconditional offers from SOAS, Durham, Nottingham, and Manchester, and a conditional offer from LSE. At this point, LSE is my firm choice, but I am worried about the grades and can't decide on an insurance choice.

I visited LSE a few weeks ago, and I really liked the school and central London. In hindsight, I wish I had also applied to UCL for Law. SOAS didn't appeal to me too much during my visit, as I'm not too thrilled with the tiny campus or their focus on Middle Eastern and Asian countries (not to mention the campus reeked of pot). I was unable to visit Durham, Nottingham, and Manchester, and it's the reason I am turning to this forum for help.

Prestige-wise, from a US standpoint, I think all these schools garner much the same respect, so that does not concern me as much as location, student life, course quality, etc. do. I would prefer a more urban setting, or a school with an urban environment nearby. I'm hoping students that are enrolled or familiar with some of the universities might chime in so I have an idea of what each is like, and any help is greatly appreciated in advance. I also understand that I'm very fortunate to be able to be making this choice, as I now understand entry requirements for these unis can be just as tough as Oxbridge. This really is a tough decision for me, as I am certain I want to study abroad, and I just dont know where to go :P

So which offer would you pick and why?
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sentax
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One more note:
One thing that really attracts me to LSE/Kings/UCL is the joint degree LLB/JD, since I would eventually like to return to the US to practice. I am also considering taking a gap year and reapplying next year for entrance in 2005. Thanks again
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Mysticmin
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Nottingham, as nottingham is notoriously hard to get in for law. It's also, very good for law
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rah
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Durham or Nottingham if you are hoping to get a job in the uk after graduation or if you are staying in the US perhaps manchester purely for its international reputation as a city. Not SOAS.

Are you hoping for a big city with great nightlife or a small but very attractive provencial town? that should decide Notts or Durham for you
kingslaw
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Durham, Nottingham and Manchester are all pretty much equals. However, SOAS is not as good as the other three, so avoid that one.
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young_free
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Im just saying what I would do in your position so this is not really advice, but you said you're worrying about grades, I would SO pick one of the unconditionals (either Durham or Nottingham for me) and then, personally, id have the other one as my insurance, or kings. Yes avoid SOAS. Plus, if ur looking into the JD programme, id suggest u put kings in there somewhere.
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sentax
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Thanks for all the great replies. SOAS is definitely out of the question now, fortunately all of the schools except LSE are unconditional. Now the question is, what distinguishes Durham and Nottingham? rah mentioned big city vs. small provencial town, and I think I would definitely have to pick the big city urban environment, seeing as I was so attracted to LSE and central london. So Nottingham is the big city with a great nightlife? or the other way around?

Also, do you think it would be foolish of me to give up offers to study Law at Nottingham or Durham and reapply to LSE and Oxbridge the following year?
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sentax
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Not to mention the rumoured 7:1 ratio of girls to guys at Notts
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Elle
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Hey Sentax,

In my opinion- yeah it would. Oxbridge and LSE are excellent Universities but not worth taking a year out to try and get into.. especially if you already have offers from 2 equally excellent Uni's.

So if it is out of Durham and Nottingham, I would def choose Nottingham. Mainly for the fact that it's a gorgeous city and that Durham is quite isolated-also my experience has been that (many but not all) students in Durham are quite narrow minded and arragont. I'm sure that this is the case in all Uni's, but it seems to be more of a problem in Durham.

Good luck with your choice
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sisyphus
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To actually try and answer your question.

Manchester University is a very large university sited mainly within the city centre in what is a large, lively, attractive city.

Nottingham is a pleasant, extremely green campus university situated a short bus ride away from the city centre. As a city Nottingham is pleasant, and has everything in terms of shops, bars, clubs and amenities that one might wish for, but it is not as attractive or exciting a city as is Manchester.

Durham, by contrast, is a small, very beautiful town (well, strictly speaking it may be a city, but it is tiny) which is famed for being an attractive place. One of the university's colleges (halls of residence) is in a castle. It is quite different to the other two universities in being so much smaller (Manchester and Nottingham are amongst the two biggest universities in the country and are both huge), and in being in a much smaller community (albeit one with access to other larger cities nearby).

I suggest that you look closely at the three universities websites and also take a look at other sites about these cities. You may find the below (particularly the 360 deg webcams) useful for getting a feel for these places.

www.bbc.co.uk/manchester
www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham
www.bbc.co.uk/wear
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Dr. Blazed
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You applied to SOAS but you're put off by its focus on Eastern and Asian studies ? :rolleyes:
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young_free
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(Original post by sentax)
Thanks for all the great replies. SOAS is definitely out of the question now, fortunately all of the schools except LSE are unconditional. Now the question is, what distinguishes Durham and Nottingham? rah mentioned big city vs. small provencial town, and I think I would definitely have to pick the big city urban environment, seeing as I was so attracted to LSE and central london. So Nottingham is the big city with a great nightlife? or the other way around?

Also, do you think it would be foolish of me to give up offers to study Law at Nottingham or Durham and reapply to LSE and Oxbridge the following year?

Id say that was a stupid idea, but that's just personal opinion.
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kingslaw
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(Original post by sentax)
Thanks for all the great replies. SOAS is definitely out of the question now, fortunately all of the schools except LSE are unconditional. Now the question is, what distinguishes Durham and Nottingham? rah mentioned big city vs. small provencial town, and I think I would definitely have to pick the big city urban environment, seeing as I was so attracted to LSE and central london. So Nottingham is the big city with a great nightlife? or the other way around?

Also, do you think it would be foolish of me to give up offers to study Law at Nottingham or Durham and reapply to LSE and Oxbridge the following year?
It would be foolish. Unless your one of these Oxbridge obsessives who thinks life begins and ends with and Oxbridge degree, it would be a waste of time. If your looking for a job in law, no-one is going to give you preferential treatment for getting a degree from LSE as opposed to Nottingham or Durham, as there is very little to choose between them.
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nunoid
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Choose Nottingham. Aside from the reputation and all that, the most obvious reason would be...

BECAUSE I'LL BE THERE :cool:

ho ho.

But seriously, I would seriously consider LSE as well.
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mjf
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For what its worth I would say to consider Durham as it is a beautiful city and if you liked Oxford the collegiate system might be for you. You have Newcastle not that far away if you want to get into a larger city. As the others have said, Notts is reknowned as being difficult to get into for Law and so has a good reputation...
Its a difficult decision to make and really it would be an idea to have a look round. If not contact the admissions tutor by email and ask if you could be put in touch with some people who have just completed their first year. Hopefully they can tell you exactly what they think of the course and university as a whole.
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EPD
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EDIT: Thought I'd best delete this post, don't want to feed the trolls
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sentax
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I went to bed last night and I think I have finally come to a decision. Nottingham will make a great insurance choice if anything because of the "well-roundedness" of the city & university. In every post or website I read about Notts, it came across as a very cosmopolitan city with a great reputation, where a night-in to study or a night-out on the town are both very doable prospects. The sports facilities and the well-known law department all pushed me to Nottingham. While Durham certainly may have many of these same attributes, it does resemble the collegiate system of Oxford, which I can live without. It's tough saying no to all the pretty architecture in Durham, but I'm not sure that the buildings alone could keep me satisfied for 3 years. Nottingham is a bigger city and that's definitely what I'm looking for. My first choice is LSE, and i'm patiently (read: anxiously) waiting for exam results to be published in early July.

Thanks for all the great help this forum has provided
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sentax
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Just out of curiosity, what would happen if I asked for a deferral of entry for my insurance choice, and reapplied to several different schools through UCAS during the interim gap year??

And what if, come September/October, I chose not to attend my insurance choice (assuming my conditional offer was not met)?
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rah
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(Original post by sentax)
Just out of curiosity, what would happen if I asked for a deferral of entry for my insurance choice, and reapplied to several different schools through UCAS during the interim gap year??

And what if, come September/October, I chose not to attend my insurance choice (assuming my conditional offer was not met)?
hmm your best bet would be to contact ucas/notts law admissions department if you wish to defer. as to whether or not you can apply for other uni's i dont believe its possible through ucas, you may potentially be able to apply independently but in general its not done.

if you dont want to attend your insurance you have to pull out of ucas altogether which is quite easy, but i have a feeling you arent allowed to apply through clearing and have to wait until the next session to reapply.

and ignore andy, notts nightlife is fab, this coming from a london girl as well.i find the compactness of the city makes it a far better night out, £2 for a taxi as opposed to £10 gah
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