Why does Kings College London have such a bad reputation?

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Jamii
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Hi!

I got an offer from Kings to study history which I was really excited about but I've been looking on here and most people seem to say how awful it is and that it's not well respected. It seems to be high in the league tables but I'm worried now that it's not as good of a university as I thought..
Would it be better to take a gap year and reapply to other universities?

Thank you very much for you help x
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Harold98
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It's not that bad. It's just that compared to LSE, Imperial and UCL it gets made fun of a bit. If you like KCL you should go to it, don't worry about reputation too much, especially when KCL's reputation is more good than bad
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Jamii)
Hi!

I got an offer from Kings to study history which I was really excited about but I've been looking on here and most people seem to say how awful it is and that it's not well respected. It seems to be high in the league tables but I'm worried now that it's not as good of a university as I thought..
Would it be better to take a gap year and reapply to other universities?

Thank you very much for you help x
It's a very good university and history is one of its better departments.

Posted from TSR Mobile
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JustPadz
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I want to know where you heard KCL isn't any good. Anyone with that kind of chat likely goes to UCL ( if you weren't aware UCL and KCL have a huge rivalry). According to QS rankings KCL is 21(worldwide) and Times higher ed ranking its 27(worldwide).

While KCL is below the likes of Oxbridge, Imperial,LSE and dare I say it UCL, there's not many others that are seen as being better than it.
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Edulcorante
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I heard King's cares more about research than teaching so undergraduates tend to have a bad time there.

Also I've seen people say the entry standards are low compared to comparable universities like Nottingham and Bristol.
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JustPadz
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I'm studying science at kings and I can definitely say that's not true. There appears to be a divide between academics, there are those that teach you loads and organise the modules, take workshops, take practicals etc, apparently these academics rarely do any research and mostly teach.

In comparison there are academics that maybe take 1 or 2 lectures a year, and mostly research but are experts in their field.

Obviously I can only tell you for my field which is biomedical science.

Kings is also 5th in the uk for employability graduate wise, and in terms of reputation and ranking is miles above Nottingham and Bristol.
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Edulcorante
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Thanks for the input, JustPadz. I have similar concerns to the OP so I'm very interested in this thread.

One thing I have to say is that I think you're unduly harsh on Nottingham and Bristol. They're both great universities that at least hold their own against unis of a similar level like King's, Exeter and Manchester.

I'm interested in the employability survey you mention. Do you have a link? The best, most up-to-date and detailed data I've found for employment prospects of unis so far is the High Fliers survey.

Nottingham and Bristol are actually both really high on the ranking of unis targeted by the most top employers on page 33.

http://www.highfliers.co.uk/download...GMReport16.pdf
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JustPadz
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Apologies, it appears it is 6th in the UK for undergraduate employment.

https://www.timeshighereducation.com...nked-employers


And 7th in the UK for reputation
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...?frame=3140956

I may be ignorant, but who are highfliers?
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ThePricklyOne
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(Original post by Edulcorante)
I heard King's cares more about research than teaching so undergraduates tend to have a bad time there.

Also I've seen people say the entry standards are low compared to comparable universities like Nottingham and Bristol.
All of the RG universities care more about research than teaching, because they are the UK's biggest research universities and that's where most of their funding comes from.

That shouldn't stop you going there, though...
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Edulcorante
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JustPadz: Thanks for the links. I like that the Times one has a UK ranking as well as a global one.

That said, I'm actually really sceptical about global rankings these days (particularly ones that focus on reputation) as most UK unis plunged in the rankings after the Brexit vote on concerns that they would be less competitive, even though nothing changed at the unis themselves! It made me realise the rankings are closer to opinion polls than data that would be of use to applicants.

The High Flyers report is produced by an independent market research firm. I actually found it when someone posted the link on a different thread somewhere on TSR. I really like it as it goes into real detail about the employers surveyed and gives hard data like the number of employers visiting unis - whereas the global employer rankings are always quite vague on who they survey and have that opinion poll sense to them
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Edulcorante
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(Original post by ThePricklyOne)
All of the RG universities care more about research than teaching, because they are the UK's biggest research universities and that's where most of their funding comes from.

That shouldn't stop you going there, though...
The thing that concerns me about KCL is that it seems far more the case there than at other places. It's third bottom for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide! Places like Nottingham, Bristol and Exeter are all much higher and presumably they're pulling in a similar calibre of student and making them work just as hard.

Other unis seem to get a better balance between providing a good environment to study in and producing research. I often think people on here forget the importance of studying in an environment you like and get too preoccupied with vague notions of prestige.
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JustPadz
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Does student satisfaction really mean anything at the end of the day though? Could it not just reflect how much going out and getting drunk people are doing? Imagine, if you're attending a top university, you're likely to be doing a lot of work, a lesser known one, much less so.
Surely if you're going by that guide the likes of KCL, UCL and LSE are rubbish in comparison to Buckingham, Surrey and Keele.

In reality everyone knows its the other way around.

The thing is, KCL has the wow factor attached to it and the world brand, when I went on study abroad, everyone knew KCL. Can the same be said for nottingham university?
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Marco7602s
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KCL is absolutely an excellent university. I am studying maths there and it is impressive the amount of support given to students. The department is great and King's research is highly recognised all over the world. Don't listen to all those frustrated guys who don't even know what they are speaking about
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Leeholl
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Dear,

Where on the earth have you heard of King's has bad reputation?

King's is highly regarded internationally. Among the British Universities, just Oxbridge, UCL, Imperial, LSE, King's and Edinburgh tops the 50 best positions in the most reputable international rankings (QS, THE, Shanghai and U.S. Global Universities).

Even good UK unis as Manchester, Warwick, LSE, Durham etc. do not get be ranked in top 50 in all those four most prestigious rankings.

So who dare say King's is bad, have to face all those international rankings, with different methodologies!
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A02ft1
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Kings is by no means a bad university, but it does have a much lower domestic reputation than international.

Internationally, people have this perception that KCL is one of the best universities in the UK, but domestically it’s very “Meh”. It seems counterintuitive that KCL could be ranked 23rd in the World by QS but then doesn’t break the top 25 in any of the national rankings.

UK students would probably consider universities like Durham, St Andrews or Warick as much better than KCL. That said, people outside the UK are more likely to recognise KCL as a brand name.
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Leeholl
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(Original post by A02ft1)
Kings is by no means a bad university, but it does have a much lower domestic reputation than international.

Internationally, people have this perception that KCL is one of the best universities in the UK, but domestically it’s very “Meh”. It seems counterintuitive that KCL could be ranked 23rd in the World by QS but then doesn’t break the top 25 in any of the national rankings.

UK students would probably consider universities like Durham, St Andrews or Warick as much better than KCL. That said, people outside the UK are more likely to recognise KCL as a brand name.
Yes, exactly!

You have international experience, don't you?

Someone realises how strong is internationally King's brand (maybe the most famous out Oxbridge and along with UCL or Imperial) just when goes outside the UK.

Some of my friends from Warwick, LSE and Durham told me awkward situations abroad when they mention their unis and no one known whatah*** would be LSE or Durham... and afterwards: "oh... in London I just know King's College" or "UCL/Imperial...

As I said before, international rankings reflect (in some extent) the international vision about UK unis...
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tnr14
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(Original post by Leeholl)
Yes, exactly!

You have international experience, don't you?

Someone realises how strong is internationally King's brand (maybe the most famous out Oxbridge and along with UCL or Imperial) just when goes outside the UK.

Some of my friends from Warwick, LSE and Durham told me awkward situations abroad when they mention their unis and no one known whatah*** would be LSE or Durham... and afterwards: "oh... in London I just know King's College" or "UCL/Imperial...

As I said before, international rankings reflect (in some extent) the international vision about UK unis...
As an international student, I don't think this is really true, as far as lay people prestige goes.

In North America, to be quite honest, the only UK unis that are known internationally are Oxbridge. Some people will know LSE (even then, most people will think it only teaches economics, rather than a complete social science institute). Most people haven't heard about UCL, Kings, or Imperial.

When I did a term at UCL, most people I talked to had no idea it was a thing. They thought I was referring to UCLA. I usually just flat out said university college london to avoid that.
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Leeholl
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(Original post by tnr14)
As an international student, I don't think this is really true, as far as lay people prestige goes.

In North America, to be quite honest, the only UK unis that are known internationally are Oxbridge. Some people will know LSE (even then, most people will think it only teaches economics, rather than a complete social science institute). Most people haven't heard about UCL, Kings, or Imperial.

When I did a term at UCL, most people I talked to had no idea it was a thing. They thought I was referring to UCLA. I usually just flat out said university college london to avoid that.
I don't know where are you from, but in American forums, American say different things:

https://www.quora.com/Which-are-the-...ies-in-America

To be fair, what my North-American friends tell me is, indeed, Oxbridge are the only known for everyone... After that, people with more interest in UK know King's and LSE or in lesser extent Aberdeen and St Andrews (in USA) or mostly King's and LSE (In Canada).

In Latin America and Asia things are completely different: out of business-related courses or Medicine, nobody knowns what what is LSE or Aberdeen or St Andrews... Beyond Oxbridge, people in Latin America and Asia (with more interest in UK) mostly know UCL or King's and, sometimes, Imperial.
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AKingsScholar
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Leeholl has no clue you can look at some of his other posts to gauge that. I am not wasting my time debating with him.


Domestically it’s well known, internationally it’s meh compared to other London unis (imperial, ucl, lse) Still not bad like top 30 globally I think but still not mind blowing.

Genuinely the a lot of students are treated like trash by the uni once they’ve got your money. Especially on the social sciences sides of things.
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