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    How are the law schools currently ranked? I know the favourite most people seem to aspire to is Edinburgh but how do the others compare? I think it's a given that Glasgow and Aberdeen are well up the leaderboard but what about Strathclyde and Dundee? Between the latter two which would anyone recommend? I've read various things suggesting these both have excellent research ratings and possibly not much between them and the others.

    What is the law student's experience within either of these unis? I'd really like to know because I have offers for both and when all my choices have responded I'd like to be able to make an informed choice. Out with study I'm quite sporty, not much of a drinker (still 17) though I like parties etc with my friends and I may look to keep up with my violin too. I drive so parking would also be a consideration.

    Any feedback welcome
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    (Original post by DougallnDougall)
    How are the law schools currently ranked? I know the favourite most people seem to aspire to is Edinburgh but how do the others compare? I think it's a given that Glasgow and Aberdeen are well up the leaderboard but what about Strathclyde and Dundee? Between the latter two which would anyone recommend? I've read various things suggesting these both have excellent research ratings and possibly not much between them and the others.

    What is the law student's experience within either of these unis? I'd really like to know because I have offers for both and when all my choices have responded I'd like to be able to make an informed choice. Out with study I'm quite sporty, not much of a drinker (still 17) though I like parties etc with my friends and I may look to keep up with my violin too. I drive so parking would also be a consideration.

    Any feedback welcome
    The current CUG rankings are here:
    http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...scotland&s=Law
    Obviously, league tables being what they are need to be taken with a pinch of salt but this one by and large reflects my personal perceptions & experience. That said, I'd have expected RGU & Stirling to be the other way around but the rest of it is pretty accurate.

    As I am at the same stage of the process as you, I can't give any opinion on actual student experience but I don't think there's much to pick and choose between Dundee & Strathclyde in terms of either quality or prestige.
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    Thanks. I was quite intrigued because I came across an article yesterday which had Strathclyde second to Edinburgh - this was based on research at the unis though it was based on stats from 2008. the article mentioned Glasgow and Aberdeen too but it was the comments about Dundee and Strathclyde that stopped me in my tracks.
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    (Original post by DougallnDougall)
    Thanks. I was quite intrigued because I came across an article yesterday which had Strathclyde second to Edinburgh - this was based on research at the unis though it was based on stats from 2008. the article mentioned Glasgow and Aberdeen too but it was the comments about Dundee and Strathclyde that stopped me in my tracks.
    Interesting. Was the article specific to Law? I know Aberdeen's law school is one of the departments which is rated more highly than the university is as a whole.

    One of the lawyers I met during work experience said that when he's looking at graduates from any of the top five (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Strathclyde) the quality of the degree is always more influential than the university where it was achieved.

    Something I saw you you say on another thread about your doing your best work out with the exam room made me think ... http://www.whatuni.com gives a breakdown of how students are evaluated & assessed.

    Edinburgh is 64% exam, 36% coursework

    Glasgow is 75%exam, 26?% coursework

    Aberdeen is 76% exam, 20% coursework & 4% practical

    Dundee is 60% exam, 40% coursework

    Strathclyde is 42% exam, 58% coursework

    I don't know if that helps or not but if you prefer coursework to exams then Strathclyde may be more attractive to you?
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    (Original post by MsTabitha)
    Interesting. Was the article specific to Law? I know Aberdeen's law school is one of the departments which is rated more highly than the university is as a whole.

    One of the lawyers I met during work experience said that when he's looking at graduates from any of the top five (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Strathclyde) the quality of the degree is always more influential than the university where it was achieved.

    Something I saw you you say on another thread about your doing your best work out with the exam room made me think ... http://www.whatuni.com gives a breakdown of how students are evaluated & assessed.

    Edinburgh is 64% exam, 36% coursework

    Glasgow is 75%exam, 26?% coursework

    Aberdeen is 76% exam, 20% coursework & 4% practical

    Dundee is 60% exam, 40% coursework

    Strathclyde is 42% exam, 58% coursework

    I don't know if that helps or not but if you prefer coursework to exams then Strathclyde may be more attractive to you?

    Yes it was specific to law. I've looked at the various tables which some regard as irrelevant or inaccurate. It was the fact that this article put Strath and Dundee ahead of Glasgow and Aberdeen that made me look twice. But of course research isn't really going to have any impact on undergrads so lots of other things to be considered too. I definitely do much better with coursework. Exams make me nervous. In our mocks one of my teachers laughed at me for being the only student he's ever known to do their best handwriting in an exam. He said never mind the handwriting -speed over style! Lol I felt a bit of a goose! But looking at the marking schedules Strath looks mighty inviting to me.
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    I only discovered a few weeks ago that the reason St Andrews doesn't have a law faculty is because when Dundee broke away from it to become a uni in its own right that it took the law school with it. It puzzled me as to why the oldest uni in Scotland didn't study law. I hadn't known either that Dundee had been part of St Andrews.
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    If you get nervy in exams, a course which places greater emphasis on coursework has got to be appealing!

    I did know about St Andrew's. I think I'm right in saying that it's not just law they don't do; accountancy, engineering & dentistry aren't on offer there either. I only know though because my mun's told be about it. When she went to university (20 odd years ago) there was no such thing as the Russell Group but instead there was a lot of judging around the various merits, or otherwise, of ancient/red brick/polytechnic institutions. Things move on & people quickly forget how they were before.
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    (Original post by MsTabitha)
    If you get nervy in exams, a course which places greater emphasis on coursework has got to be appealing!

    I did know about St Andrew's. I think I'm right in saying that it's not just law they don't do; accountancy, engineering & dentistry aren't on offer there either. I only know though because my mun's told be about it. When she went to university (20 odd years ago) there was no such thing as the Russell Group but instead there was a lot of judging around the various merits, or otherwise, of ancient/red brick/polytechnic institutions. Things move on & people quickly forget how they were before.
    i didn't have a clue. Parents are Ab and Ed grads. Dad in particular is a bit disparaging about St Andrews. I know it's a bit prejudiced but he said since the royals went their it's become a finishing school for upper class Tory t.....s. He's old so a bit set in his thinking. Would take a mountain to change his viewpoint. But I'm sure a degree from there is no handicap!
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    If you do not like final exams then frankly law is not the degree for you. Edinburgh, despite whatever that table said, is primarily 100% final exam for the majority of the courses in the first two years.
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    (Original post by Ziri)
    If you do not like final exams then frankly law is not the degree for you. Edinburgh, despite whatever that table said, is primarily 100% final exam for the majority of the courses in the first two years.
    I don't like exams but I don't do disastrously in them 4A 4Bs at Nat 5 and A and 4B at higher is OK surely? I've been predicted A (H) and AAB (AH) and got 4As in mocks so even if I don't do brilliantly it's still respectable?
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    As a current law student at the University of Aberdeen I may be biased, but I would thoroughly recommend studying here. Returning as a mature student after working for almost 10 years (which I do believe was a contributing factor to me being accepted), I got in with 2 As and 3 Bs at Higher level. I can't say if that would have cut it without my years of experience working in a heavily regulated industry (financial services) which requires a decent understanding of law or at the very least the regulatory framework in which the industry operates (for a lay person).

    Before coming to Aberdeen I started my legal studies at the University of Strathclyde so I will share my personal experience of both. Perhaps it was because my course was part-time (i.e. evening classes twice a week with Saturday morning tutorials 4 times a semester), but I really found Strathclyde to be an awful experience. Some lecturers were excellent; others seemed totally disengaged with us as students. Bear in mind that when I started the part-time fee grant from SAAS was only £500 towards a course fee of approximately £2,600 per year (for the 5 year LLB with which you do not get Honours) and some of the lecturers gave the impression that they would rather be anywhere else than teaching the class we were paying a lot of money for. Others seemed only interested in pushing their own academic works at approximately £60 for the textbook (and I quote: 'I will expect that you have read my book for the exam'. This is fine if you literally wrote the book on a subject, but in a heavily case-based subject (Delict) this was not so. Strathclyde are also (in my experience) most unwilling to assist their students through difficult times. I actually ended up being asked to withdraw (despite consistently obtaining grades higher than most of my classmates) because the death of a very close family member interrupted my studies for a short period of time. I received no support through this time and when I tried to turn in my coursework (albeit after the deadline) I was told that it would not be accepted. They will argue that I did not follow the correct procedures but your mind does not always operate rationally when you lose a loved one and I did seek help, despite perhaps not getting the formalities correct.

    Aberdeen, on the other hand, has been an amazing experience. I started studying here in September 2015 and despite my setback to entering as a first-year undergraduate (now studying Law with English Law as a dual-qualifying degree), the difference has been like night and day. I have found the information given to students at Aberdeen to be extremely helpful: everything from settling in at University, financial advice, housing advice, careers advice to research guidance and improving your overall academic writing and performance. As a law school Aberdeen has its own dedicated law library with experienced and knowledgeable staff on hand to assist you with anything you need. All of your course books can be found in the heavy demand section of the library for those who do not have sufficient finances to buy 2 or 3 expensive textbooks per class. I am only part-way through my second semester and have already attended careers fairs, presentations from the Law Society of Scotland and networking events with current trainees, qualified solicitors, advocates and even Sheriffs. There is also a new course for this year entirely dedicated to effective legal research and use of legal resources such as Westlaw, Lexis Nexis and foreign databases such as HeinOnline. Your choices at Aberdeen are pretty much unlimited with options to study English law, European legal studies and the laws of many continental countries (possibly others too). You can even take non-law courses of interest to make up your credits (obviously like all law schools you must sit certain prescribed courses for entry into the profession). There are also a multitude of societies both law-related and non-law for a great student experience. The opportunity to take part in things like mooting and the Law Project (which other universities also provide) are excellent.

    Also, if you are considering what your prospects might be with a degree from Aberdeen, consider this: the current Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC obtained his LLB and Diploma from Aberdeen. If he can reach the highest legal office in Scotland with a degree from Aberdeen then you can too.

    Now for the others...

    Glasgow is still widely considered the best Scottish law school, but their entry requirements are also the most stringent. When I did my UCAS application last year Glasgow were looking for 5 As at Higher level (I think - might have been 4 As and 1 B). Glasgow also required a satisfactory LNAT score before you even think of applying. If you don't have the LNAT at the time of your application you will automatically be rejected.

    Edinburgh is (from what I've heard) considered on par (perhaps slightly below) Glasgow. I have also heard tittle-tattle that in the Edinburgh market, a degree from Edinburgh is considered above all others and some firms will not even consider other universities. Like I say, this is hearsay so please don't attack me if you know it to be untrue. Their entry requirements are strict, but not as much so as Glasgow (I got rejected).

    Dundee are a little more relaxed on entry qualifications and also offer the dual-qualifying degree of Scots and English law. I can't say much more about their law school as I know very little about it. Dundee as a university overall though is quite good and it is a good student city (not much else going for it though IMHO).

    Here are the links to two separate university tables (one of which has already been posted):

    http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...rankings?s=law

    http://www.theguardian.com/education...-table-for-law

    You will see that Aberdeen ranks 11th (for the whole UK) on both, with Glasgow and Edinburgh ranking higher in one table and only Edinburgh ranking higher in the latter. This puts it at the third-best or second-best law school in Scotland depending on which table you use.

    If you dissect how they come up with these ratings you will see that entry standards are a significant point which will push Glasgow and Edinburgh further up. Looking at student satisfaction alone, however, you will notice that only Cambridge, Oxford and Nottingham rank higher in this area (Durham receiving the same score) in the CUG table. In The Guardian table only Cambridge, Oxford and UEA beat Aberdeen in the 'satisfied with course' category and in the 'satisfied with teaching' category Aberdeen is slightly lower (Cambridge, Oxford, Queen Mary, Durham, UEA, Edinburgh and York are ahead).

    ***Please note I have only mentioned schools ranked higher than Aberdeen overall in the tables so while, you may scroll down and argue that there are other schools with a higher level of student satisfaction I have not included the entire list of results***

    Taking out the English institutions this puts Aberdeen at the top of the table for student satisfaction in the CUG table and The Guardian table in the 'satisfied with course' category.

    Whist these tables may not carry great weight in the real world and their results are likely to be skewed by the editor's personal opinion (the Guardian states that it attributes its own ranking to some elements), the student satisfaction figures are taken from the National Student Survey.

    Tl;dr - boo Strathclyde, yay Aberdeen. Glasgow and Edinburgh are still well-respected but are harder to get into.

    Feel free to PM me with any queries about this or studying law in general. Just don't expect me to reply quickly during exam-season.
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    That is a very detailed & helpful post, thanks so much for taking the time to write it!

    I'm still waiting to hear from Edinburgh but have an unconditional from Aberdeen. You have confirmed my initial impression that Aberdeen Uni. really cares about its students & offers excellent support to them. I have been very impressed with their communications thus far as well.

    It's really good & hugely helpful to hear from a current student who has first hand experience, thank you.
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    (Original post by 185418)
    St Andrews or Glasgow
    St Andrews doesn't offer Law.
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    (Original post by RCLaw)
    As a current law student at the University of Aberdeen I may be biased, but I would thoroughly recommend studying here. Returning as a mature student after working for almost 10 years (which I do believe was a contributing factor to me being accepted), I got in with 2 As and 3 Bs at Higher level. I can't say if that would have cut it without my years of experience working in a heavily regulated industry (financial services) which requires a decent understanding of law or at the very least the regulatory framework in which the industry operates (for a lay person).

    Before coming to Aberdeen I started my legal studies at the University of Strathclyde so I will share my personal experience of both. Perhaps it was because my course was part-time (i.e. evening classes twice a week with Saturday morning tutorials 4 times a semester), but I really found Strathclyde to be an awful experience. Some lecturers were excellent; others seemed totally disengaged with us as students. Bear in mind that when I started the part-time fee grant from SAAS was only £500 towards a course fee of approximately £2,600 per year (for the 5 year LLB with which you do not get Honours) and some of the lecturers gave the impression that they would rather be anywhere else than teaching the class we were paying a lot of money for. Others seemed only interested in pushing their own academic works at approximately £60 for the textbook (and I quote: 'I will expect that you have read my book for the exam'. This is fine if you literally wrote the book on a subject, but in a heavily case-based subject (Delict) this was not so. Strathclyde are also (in my experience) most unwilling to assist their students through difficult times. I actually ended up being asked to withdraw (despite consistently obtaining grades higher than most of my classmates) because the death of a very close family member interrupted my studies for a short period of time. I received no support through this time and when I tried to turn in my coursework (albeit after the deadline) I was told that it would not be accepted. They will argue that I did not follow the correct procedures but your mind does not always operate rationally when you lose a loved one and I did seek help, despite perhaps not getting the formalities correct.

    Aberdeen, on the other hand, has been an amazing experience. I started studying here in September 2015 and despite my setback to entering as a first-year undergraduate (now studying Law with English Law as a dual-qualifying degree), the difference has been like night and day. I have found the information given to students at Aberdeen to be extremely helpful: everything from settling in at University, financial advice, housing advice, careers advice to research guidance and improving your overall academic writing and performance. As a law school Aberdeen has its own dedicated law library with experienced and knowledgeable staff on hand to assist you with anything you need. All of your course books can be found in the heavy demand section of the library for those who do not have sufficient finances to buy 2 or 3 expensive textbooks per class. I am only part-way through my second semester and have already attended careers fairs, presentations from the Law Society of Scotland and networking events with current trainees, qualified solicitors, advocates and even Sheriffs. There is also a new course for this year entirely dedicated to effective legal research and use of legal resources such as Westlaw, Lexis Nexis and foreign databases such as HeinOnline. Your choices at Aberdeen are pretty much unlimited with options to study English law, European legal studies and the laws of many continental countries (possibly others too). You can even take non-law courses of interest to make up your credits (obviously like all law schools you must sit certain prescribed courses for entry into the profession). There are also a multitude of societies both law-related and non-law for a great student experience. The opportunity to take part in things like mooting and the Law Project (which other universities also provide) are excellent.

    Also, if you are considering what your prospects might be with a degree from Aberdeen, consider this: the current Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland QC obtained his LLB and Diploma from Aberdeen. If he can reach the highest legal office in Scotland with a degree from Aberdeen then you can too.

    Now for the others...

    Glasgow is still widely considered the best Scottish law school, but their entry requirements are also the most stringent. When I did my UCAS application last year Glasgow were looking for 5 As at Higher level (I think - might have been 4 As and 1 B). Glasgow also required a satisfactory LNAT score before you even think of applying. If you don't have the LNAT at the time of your application you will automatically be rejected.

    Edinburgh is (from what I've heard) considered on par (perhaps slightly below) Glasgow. I have also heard tittle-tattle that in the Edinburgh market, a degree from Edinburgh is considered above all others and some firms will not even consider other universities. Like I say, this is hearsay so please don't attack me if you know it to be untrue. Their entry requirements are strict, but not as much so as Glasgow (I got rejected).

    Dundee are a little more relaxed on entry qualifications and also offer the dual-qualifying degree of Scots and English law. I can't say much more about their law school as I know very little about it. Dundee as a university overall though is quite good and it is a good student city (not much else going for it though IMHO).

    Here are the links to two separate university tables (one of which has already been posted):

    http://www.thecompleteuniversityguid...rankings?s=law

    http://www.theguardian.com/education...-table-for-law

    You will see that Aberdeen ranks 11th (for the whole UK) on both, with Glasgow and Edinburgh ranking higher in one table and only Edinburgh ranking higher in the latter. This puts it at the third-best or second-best law school in Scotland depending on which table you use.

    If you dissect how they come up with these ratings you will see that entry standards are a significant point which will push Glasgow and Edinburgh further up. Looking at student satisfaction alone, however, you will notice that only Cambridge, Oxford and Nottingham rank higher in this area (Durham receiving the same score) in the CUG table. In The Guardian table only Cambridge, Oxford and UEA beat Aberdeen in the 'satisfied with course' category and in the 'satisfied with teaching' category Aberdeen is slightly lower (Cambridge, Oxford, Queen Mary, Durham, UEA, Edinburgh and York are ahead).

    ***Please note I have only mentioned schools ranked higher than Aberdeen overall in the tables so while, you may scroll down and argue that there are other schools with a higher level of student satisfaction I have not included the entire list of results***

    Taking out the English institutions this puts Aberdeen at the top of the table for student satisfaction in the CUG table and The Guardian table in the 'satisfied with course' category.

    Whist these tables may not carry great weight in the real world and their results are likely to be skewed by the editor's personal opinion (the Guardian states that it attributes its own ranking to some elements), the student satisfaction figures are taken from the National Student Survey.

    Tl;dr - boo Strathclyde, yay Aberdeen. Glasgow and Edinburgh are still well-respected but are harder to get into.

    Feel free to PM me with any queries about this or studying law in general. Just don't expect me to reply quickly during exam-season.


    Thank you for your experience. Just one point I'd like to ask you, how long is it since you started at Strathclyde ?

    According to rankings by quality of research the articles I've looked at placed Scottish unis as Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Dundee, Glasgow in that order. Aberdeen was mentioned but unplaced. The quality rankings also mentioned that Dundee law school is the only one with 100% of its research deemed to be of an international standard. How relevant are these rankings for new students. From elsewhere on the TSR I've got the impression that the two different university rankings you mentioned are not particularly well regarded?
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    (Original post by DougallnDougall)
    Thank you for your experience. Just one point I'd like to ask you, how long is it since you started at Strathclyde ?

    According to rankings by quality of research the articles I've looked at placed Scottish unis as Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Dundee, Glasgow in that order. Aberdeen was mentioned but unplaced. The quality rankings also mentioned that Dundee law school is the only one with 100% of its research deemed to be of an international standard. How relevant are these rankings for new students. From elsewhere on the TSR I've got the impression that the two different university rankings you mentioned are not particularly well regarded?
    Are you doing a PhD? Nope. Research rankings are barely relevant for you.

    The Guardian rankings comes in for stick on TSR because Oxbridge and the usual suspects often lose out. Doesn't mean it's wrong...
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Are you doing a PhD? Nope. Research rankings are barely relevant for you.

    The Guardian rankings comes in for stick on TSR because Oxbridge and the usual suspects often lose out. Doesn't mean it's wrong...
    No I'm, or rather will be, undergrad. I just wondered if the quality of research impacted positively on undergrad teaching and such like. I realise that of course dismissal of certain rankings are subjective. I ask these things because I want to have as full a picture of the various law schools before I make what really is going to be one of the most important decisions of my life. Knowledge is power!
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    In Scotland, I would say that Glasgow is the best for Law.

    We are highest on the league tables in Scotland, and have the best employability rates in the whole of the UK (we beat Oxbridge !).

    Again, I might be biased here, as I am a current law student at Glasgow, but we have an incredible teaching staff and campus.
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    (Original post by DougallnDougall)
    No I'm, or rather will be, undergrad. I just wondered if the quality of research impacted positively on undergrad teaching and such like. I realise that of course dismissal of certain rankings are subjective. I ask these things because I want to have as full a picture of the various law schools before I make what really is going to be one of the most important decisions of my life. Knowledge is power!
    I don't have concrete evidence on this, but I'm pretty sure the rankings will have components related to quality of teaching as well. Better research quality may well contribute to better teaching, but those effects will likely still be recorded in the rankings.
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    (Original post by evalilyXOX)
    In Scotland, I would say that Glasgow is the best for Law.

    We are highest on the league tables in Scotland, and have the best employability rates in the whole of the UK (we beat Oxbridge !).

    Again, I might be biased here, as I am a current law student at Glasgow, but we have an incredible teaching staff and campus.
    I read that elsewhere about Glasgow. Tbh I didn't apply there because I didn't think I'd have the slightest chance of being accepted.
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    (Original post by DougallnDougall)
    Thank you for your experience. Just one point I'd like to ask you, how long is it since you started at Strathclyde ?

    According to rankings by quality of research the articles I've looked at placed Scottish unis as Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Dundee, Glasgow in that order. Aberdeen was mentioned but unplaced. The quality rankings also mentioned that Dundee law school is the only one with 100% of its research deemed to be of an international standard. How relevant are these rankings for new students. From elsewhere on the TSR I've got the impression that the two different university rankings you mentioned are not particularly well regarded?
    You're most welcome. To answer your question I started my studies at Strathclyde in 2012, so not that long ago but things may have still changed.

    I agree with jneill. Quality of research is really irrelevant to you as an undergraduate. Certainly in first and second year you will only be expected to develop an understanding of the law as it currently stands. Yes, you may be asked to critically analyse evidence and areas of the law but you will not be expected to produce hitherto unseen, ground-breaking research on a subject.

    I really have no idea how relevant the league tables I listed are in terms of real experience but in terms of student satisfaction, the results are taken from the National Student Survey, so I can only presume they reflect the general consensus at each of the universities listed. Everyone has a different experience at university so I think the only way you can put weight behind any league table is to break it down and analyse how the results are achieved for yourself. This might be the biggest decision of your life so far so it's worth it (IMO).
 
 
 
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