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    I am thinking of applying to StAndrews for a masters in maths...
    After researching many universities ranking tables for maths, I am confused with the strength of the respective department in comparison to many departments which have a more consistent rank...For expample, Imperial, Warwick, Bristol and Edinburgh..

    For example, StAndrews is first in the list "University guide 2015" and 5th in the respective list 0f 2016.. On the other hand, in the lists of QS, Shanghai Rankings and USNews the university is not included.. Can you explain why this happens??
    Which factors should I consider so to reach a safe conclusion ?
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    (Original post by v2gls)
    I am thinking of applying to StAndrews for a masters in maths...
    After researching many universities ranking tables for maths, I am confused with the strength of the respective department in comparison to many departments which have a more consistent rank...For expample, Imperial, Warwick, Bristol and Edinburgh..

    For example, StAndrews is first in the list "University guide 2015" and 5th in the respective list 0f 2016.. On the other hand, in the lists of QS, Shanghai Rankings and USNews the university is not included.. Can you explain why this happens??
    Which factors should I consider so to reach a safe conclusion ?
    Shanghai is a useless ranking because it is mainly based on how many nobel prize winners you have, and this has nothing to do with the quality of teaching.

    World rankings (like QS and THE) tend to favour larger institutions because they look at research output and impact. The bigger you are, the easier it is to get better scored in those areas.

    Domestic league tables look more towards the undergraduate and teaching experience. If you are looking to do an MSc here, then you will be being taught by the same staff that teach the undergrads, so the teaching ratings in the domestic tables will reflect the quality of teaching you will receive.

    What I suggest you consider more than the league tables is whether the research (and therefore teaching) focusses match your interests. St Andrews maths is well known for solar theory, group theory and ecological modelling.
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    In general I consider rankings as one of the factors which could help me find the right university for me.. But of course, as you mentioned, it should not be the most important.. How can I find which departments present notable research work on the fields that I am interested in? (beyond top 3-4, since I imagine these univ are strong enough in the most fields of mathematics) For example, I would like to find which univ are strong in applied probability and operations research. Also, in theoritical probablities and stochastic calculus..
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    (Original post by v2gls)
    In general I consider rankings as one of the factors which could help me find the right university for me.. But of course, as you mentioned, it should not be the most important.. How can I find which departments present notable research work on the fields that I am interested in? (beyond top 3-4, since I imagine these univ are strong enough in the most fields of mathematics) For example, I would like to find which univ are strong in applied probability and operations research. Also, in theoritical probablities and stochastic calculus..
    If you're interested in comparing research strength between UK insitutions, the best source would be the latest Research Excellence Framework. Times Higher Education produced a subject-by-subject table:
    https://www.timeshighereducation.co..../sub-14-01.pdf
    And you can always look at each university department's research page and staff profiles, e.g.
    http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/maths/research/
    International rankings are plagued by flawed methodologies and gaming,
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    Ok thanks a lot!!
 
 
 
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