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    I'm trying to decide principally between Durham or Edinburgh for politics and philosophy. I really like Durham, but it seems to fall short on research compared to Edinburgh and other top universities. Also, even though it's much higher than Edinburgh in UK tables, in international rankings Edinburgh is way ahead. I'm wondering if Durham is actually bad at research, and does this matter for an undergraduate? Is Edinburgh a better choice for me, especially since I'm an international student (from the US)?
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    Research quality has nothing to do with undergraduate experience. If you want to do a PhD then it will matter, but you can apply to any other university for a PhD so that won't be a problem.

    I highly doubt Durham is "bad" at research, given that a) they've got a good reputation, and b) they're a member of the Russell Group, an elite collection of the most research-intensive universities in the country. Edinburgh is also a RG member and so probably just has some better researchers than Durham - it doesn't make Durham bad it just means Edinburgh is really good (at research).
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    (Original post by TimGB)
    Research quality has nothing to do with undergraduate experience. If you want to do a PhD then it will matter, but you can apply to any other university for a PhD so that won't be a problem.
    Well, that's arguable. It's always nice to have lecturers who actually know what they are talking about from first hand experience. Some of my lecturers literally wrote the book on the subject they were teaching. I definitely found that lecturers who were not experts in the subject they were teaching were not really 'teaching', their lectures were effectively just guided reading. You don't have to be a world-renowned researcher on a subject to be an expert in it but it certainly helps, seeing as how even undergraduate courses, especially in a subject like politics, are constantly updated to fit changes and advances in the field.

    I highly doubt Durham is "bad" at research, given that a) they've got a good reputation, and b) they're a member of the Russell Group, an elite collection of the most research-intensive universities in the country. Edinburgh is also a RG member and so probably just has some better researchers than Durham - it doesn't make Durham bad it just means Edinburgh is really good (at research).
    Russell Group unis are billed as 'elite', but let's be honest, for an international student with top grades that is a meaningless word. They are only 'elite' by British domestic standards, in that they are better than the majority of British unis, which are vocational former-polys. Plus the Russell Group doesn't include St Andrews or Bath.
 
 
 
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