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    So everyone knows that Oxbridge undergrad degrees are by far the most prestigious undergrad degrees in the UK.

    Can the same be said for postgrad?

    I've seen a couple people on TSR talk about how postgrad degrees at Oxbridge aren't nearly as academically rigorous or respected as its undergrad degrees.
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    (Original post by anonwinner)
    ...............
    It's like comparing apples and apple pips - they aren't quite the same things.

    At postgrad you are taught by and work with the same academics as at undergrad level, you have the same facilities (or better) and access to libraries, resources etc, so fundamentally, they operate at the same outstanding level of academia.

    People often misunderstand the dynamics of the application process. Undergrad courses, by and large have a universal funding system ie everyone can get funding, so the offer/accept process is not mediated by funding. At postgrad level there is no universal funding available, each individual has to find their own solution and therefore offer rates are much higher, per place. However, the competition for places at postgrad level at Oxford and Cambridge becomes truly international, nearly 50% of postgrads are non UK - that doesn't happen if there isn't international value to their degrees.

    Then there is the issue of specialisation - undergrad degrees are, even within their subject areas, generalist degrees, most postgrad degrees are specialist. Therefore the nuances of where excellence lies is much more detailed. Data from exercises like the REF will demonstrate that while the highest proportions of excellence lie in Oxford and Cambridge, that by no means precludes excellence in other institutions. So while on aggregate Oxford and Cambridge are usually the best places, at postgrad people tend to study a very specific thing and for a specific piece of advanced study, excellence can be found in places other than Oxford or Cambridge.

    So yes, in general, as all the data repeatedly shows, Oxford and Cambridge are the best. In the specifics, which is what postgrad study is about, they may not be the best for an individual in for their specific area of study.

    As to 'prestige' - prestige usually tracks the evidence pretty closely, but like all human achievements, a t**t with a Masters from Cambridge is still a t**t, but a great person with a Masters from Cambridge - it's up to you to judge if that makes them even greater!
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    Prestige is, by its very definition, subjective. And as threeportdrift says above, a postgrad course at Oxbridge might not be the best option for everyone.
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    Oxbridge will have prestige, especially for a general public audience, but there will be many other universities who are just as prestigious - or even more so - in their own specialised field. LSHTM, SOAS, Courtauld Institute etc.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
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    (Original post by Duncan2012)
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    (Original post by spacepirate-James)
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    Looking at well-known politicians, journalists, and even comedians/actors, many of them have undergrad degrees at Oxbridge, and sometimes postgrad degrees at LSE or a top US university like Harvard. But I rarely see any of these people (politicians, journalists etc.) who did their undergrad somewhere else followed by a Masters at Oxbridge.
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    (Original post by anonwinner)
    ..................
    Probably because either a) they are older graduates when taking a Masters wasn't nearly as popular or b) their career plans didn't require a Masters. Or maybe, a quick scan of a few politicians', journalists' and comedians' careers does not measure 'prestige' anyway!
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    At postgrad, a lot rests with the specialism of the department. You wouldn't want to try and do a postgrad at Cambridge in my corner of archaeology - UCL would be better for the subject. Prestige can be a red herring.
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    (Original post by anonwinner)
    Looking at well-known politicians, journalists, and even comedians/actors, many of them have undergrad degrees at Oxbridge, and sometimes postgrad degrees at LSE or a top US university like Harvard. But I rarely see any of these people (politicians, journalists etc.) who did their undergrad somewhere else followed by a Masters at Oxbridge.
    There was a time not so long ago when gentlemen didn't even need an undergraduate degree to get their start in the City, the Army, or managing their father's estates.
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    (Original post by anonwinner)
    Looking at well-known politicians, journalists, and even comedians/actors, many of them have undergrad degrees at Oxbridge, and sometimes postgrad degrees at LSE or a top US university like Harvard. But I rarely see any of these people (politicians, journalists etc.) who did their undergrad somewhere else followed by a Masters at Oxbridge.
    Yes because the world is only made up of politicians, journalists and comedians.
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    (Original post by spacepirate-James)
    Yes because the world is only made up of politicians, journalists and comedians.
    No, they just happen to be the people with detailed wikipedia pages so it's easy to see where they went to university...

    Thanks for the great input though
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    At postgrad, a lot rests with the specialism of the department. You wouldn't want to try and do a postgrad at Cambridge in my corner of archaeology - UCL would be better for the subject. Prestige can be a red herring.
    What do you specialise in?

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    I'm doing a doctorate at Cambridge.

    In my academic field, people say 'with your specialism, why aren't you at Bath?'
    In my professional field, people say 'wow you're at Cambridge'

    I won't be going into academia, so……



    (the actual reason? I liked the department and course structure at Cambridge, and the family didn't want to move to Bath. Practicalities more important than prestige)

    I would seriously dispute the lack of academic rigour though, it's testing and challenging every last step of the way
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    If academic rigour was lacking at undergrad vs postgrad, then anyone who graduated undergrad should be able to get accepted at postgrad. This is very far from reality.
    Also, just as an example, who do you think all of those Nobel-prize winning academics spend their time working with - undergrads or postgrads?
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    (Original post by sj27)
    If academic rigour was lacking at undergrad vs postgrad, then anyone who graduated undergrad should be able to get accepted at postgrad. This is very far from reality.
    Also, just as an example, who do you think all of those Nobel-prize winning academics spend their time working with - undergrads or postgrads?
    One of the things Oxford and Cambridge are famous for are their tutorial/supervision systems. As far as I know, these are exclusively for undergrad students. So undergrad students will have 2 to 1 or even 1 to 1 sessions with professors.
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    (Original post by Jantaculum)
    I'm doing a doctorate at Cambridge.

    In my academic field, people say 'with your specialism, why aren't you at Bath?'
    In my professional field, people say 'wow you're at Cambridge'

    I won't be going into academia, so……



    (the actual reason? I liked the department and course structure at Cambridge, and the family didn't want to move to Bath. Practicalities more important than prestige)

    I would seriously dispute the lack of academic rigour though, it's testing and challenging every last step of the way
    I saw someone on TSR saying that specfically the Oxford Bachelor of Civil Law postgrad degree had significantly less academic rigour compared with the Oxford Jurisprudence undergrad degree
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    (Original post by anonwinner)
    One of the things Oxford and Cambridge are famous for are their tutorial/supervision systems. As far as I know, these are exclusively for undergrad students. So undergrad students will have 2 to 1 or even 1 to 1 sessions with professors.
    You do realise PhD students often teach those tutorials. At postgraduate, you are pioneering research, that's the point of a PhD, you are no longer 'taught'. Indeed, you are encouraged to teach.

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    (Original post by anonwinner)
    One of the things Oxford and Cambridge are famous for are their tutorial/supervision systems. As far as I know, these are exclusively for undergrad students. So undergrad students will have 2 to 1 or even 1 to 1 sessions with professors.
    Not professors for most subjects. Teaching staff can be anyone including quite junior staff. I have a relative who's been holding tutorials at Oxford since they were a lowly post-doctoral researcher. Plus tutorials are held in groups. Whilst these are small, you'll rarely get a 1- or 2-1 ratio.
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    In my faculty, 1st year PhDs teach courses like HSPS tutes.

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    (Original post by anonwinner)
    One of the things Oxford and Cambridge are famous for are their tutorial/supervision systems. As far as I know, these are exclusively for undergrad students. So undergrad students will have 2 to 1 or even 1 to 1 sessions with professors.
    Not always professors. Tutors. Sometimes professors, more often
    PhD students. Compare to actually working on a research project with a Nobel-prize winning professor...which is what the postgrads do.
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    (Original post by anonwinner)
    I saw someone on TSR saying that specfically the Oxford Bachelor of Civil Law postgrad degree had significantly less academic rigour compared with the Oxford Jurisprudence undergrad degree
    Lol. Can you come up with something better than "I saw someone on TSR say...."?
 
 
 
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