Short and Sweet is KCL Prestigious or not? Watch

JaqenH'gar
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#1
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So I have been on open days to KCL, looks awesome (apart from the Library preferred it to LSE, UCL and QMUL). Their European politics course looks great and is something that really interests me. I really want to study there. My parents believe KCL is really really good and want me to go there over LSE, UCL etc. And lets be honest, who doesn't want their parents to be proud of them as they spend 3 years being unemployed and drinking.

However, I have some reservations from browsing TSR.

The Guardian ranks KCL at 39???? And the complete uni guide rates it at 21 below loughborough and Lancaster which seems absurd to me. Yet QS uni rankings rank it 21st in the World and 6th in the UK. I honestly do not understand the massive differences here.

Second from browsing TSR posts there are also clashes of opinions of its prestige. I quote someone called it the 'polytechnic on the strand'. People have said it used to be incredible as one of the oldest unis in the UK but has somehow declined, and is merely propped up by its NHS graduate employment programmes. Others say its still amazingly valued by employers and that it has global recognition.

About the course I want to apply to EU politics (AAB). Some have said this is a farcical course. A useless degree. Others have said that the fact that its from kings and also the usefulness of it means you can get jobs in civil service, the city and in general opens up a lot of avenues. I have also seen the acceptance rate is 90%. Which is REALLY worrying to me as it indicates a rubbish course due to lack of competition.

I have also heard that a politics degree is heavily reliant on a uni's reputation i.e. if you want to go anywhere with one you need to go to a pretty good uni and not a 'meh' one. Additionally have heard most politics grads have to do a masters after to find work.

What do employers think of KCL? Is it that good? What jobs should I expect at the end of a EU politics degree and is it even that goods?
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Snufkin
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(Original post by JaqenH'gar)
So I have been on open days to KCL, looks awesome (apart from the Library preferred it to LSE, UCL and QMUL). Their European politics course looks great and is something that really interests me. I really want to study there. My parents believe KCL is really really good and want me to go there over LSE, UCL etc. And lets be honest, who doesn't want their parents to be proud of them as they spend 3 years being unemployed and drinking.

However, I have some reservations from browsing TSR.

The Guardian ranks KCL at 39???? And the complete uni guide rates it at 21 below loughborough and Lancaster which seems absurd to me. Yet QS uni rankings rank it 21st in the World and 6th in the UK. I honestly do not understand the massive differences here.

Second from browsing TSR posts there are also clashes of opinions of its prestige. I quote someone called it the 'polytechnic on the strand'. People have said it used to be incredible as one of the oldest unis in the UK but has somehow declined, and is merely propped up by its NHS graduate employment programmes. Others say its still amazingly valued by employers and that it has global recognition.

About the course I want to apply to EU politics (AAB). Some have said this is a farcical course. A useless degree. Others have said that the fact that its from kings and also the usefulness of it means you can get jobs in civil service, the city and in general opens up a lot of avenues. I have also seen the acceptance rate is 90%. Which is REALLY worrying to me as it indicates a rubbish course due to lack of competition.

I have also heard that a politics degree is heavily reliant on a uni's reputation i.e. if you want to go anywhere with one you need to go to a pretty good uni and not a 'meh' one. Additionally have heard most politics grads have to do a masters after to find work.

What do employers think of KCL? Is it that good? What jobs should I expect at the end of a EU politics degree and is it even that goods?
It's quite prestigious, yes. I think a couple of other London universities are more prestigious, but that's just me. Anyway, university prestige does not get you a job these days, your grades, skills and work experience are much more important. If you prefer KCL's course then you should do it. Ignore rankings, especially the Guardian's. No sane person takes it seriously.

UCL students always call KCL 'Stand Polytechnic', it's just friendly rivalry (KCL students call UCL 'the Godless Scum of Gower Street' :lol:). Don't take it seriously.

KCL is a solid university, pay no attention to people on the internet who say it has declined - these are sixth form students, they don't know anything about anything.

The vast majority of graduate jobs are open to anyone with a degree, they don't care what you studied. You can pretty much do anything with a European Politics degree other than jobs which require a background in science.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by JaqenH'gar)
So I have been on open days to KCL, looks awesome (apart from the Library preferred it to LSE, UCL and QMUL). Their European politics course looks great and is something that really interests me. I really want to study there. My parents believe KCL is really really good and want me to go there over LSE, UCL etc. And lets be honest, who doesn't want their parents to be proud of them as they spend 3 years being unemployed and drinking.

However, I have some reservations from browsing TSR.

The Guardian ranks KCL at 39???? And the complete uni guide rates it at 21 below loughborough and Lancaster which seems absurd to me. Yet QS uni rankings rank it 21st in the World and 6th in the UK. I honestly do not understand the massive differences here.

Second from browsing TSR posts there are also clashes of opinions of its prestige. I quote someone called it the 'polytechnic on the strand'. People have said it used to be incredible as one of the oldest unis in the UK but has somehow declined, and is merely propped up by its NHS graduate employment programmes. Others say its still amazingly valued by employers and that it has global recognition.

About the course I want to apply to EU politics (AAB). Some have said this is a farcical course. A useless degree. Others have said that the fact that its from kings and also the usefulness of it means you can get jobs in civil service, the city and in general opens up a lot of avenues. I have also seen the acceptance rate is 90%. Which is REALLY worrying to me as it indicates a rubbish course due to lack of competition.

I have also heard that a politics degree is heavily reliant on a uni's reputation i.e. if you want to go anywhere with one you need to go to a pretty good uni and not a 'meh' one. Additionally have heard most politics grads have to do a masters after to find work.

What do employers think of KCL? Is it that good? What jobs should I expect at the end of a EU politics degree and is it even that goods?
Your analysis rests on two observations: league tables and TSR. Let me disabuse you of both.

League tables are fairly useless. They all disagree as to what is 'best', and they all are very much subject to their methodologies, which vary quite markedly. At the very best, they can give you a rough guide. The majority of them consider KCL to be 'good'. That's about the best granularity you're going to get.

TSR. Please remember that TSR is possibly not the most representative sample of students you would wish to use in any analysis. Of course some people call it 'The polytechnic on the Strand'. There's people here who think doing only 5 A levels will be insufficient to give them a realistic chance of a place at universities, those who think 14 (yes, 14) A* at GCSE are a 'pre-requisite' for Cambridge, and than any subject other than Maths or Physics will mean you end up on the tills at Tesco for the rest of your life.
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Bobjim12
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The reason why the Guardian league tables are so inaccurate is that they place a huge weighting on student satisfaction, which KCL's is one of the worst in the country.

I'll give you an example of the Guardian's tables being ridiculously inaccurate, Coventry University is 2nd on the Mechanical Engineering table, 2nd! Whilst Coventry isn't a bad uni, I can think of about 25 unis that are better.

KCL succeeds in aspects that QS rankings consider most important (prospects, research, standards) and less on what domestic rankings emphasise (student satisfaction), and because KCL's entry standards aren't crazy high like LSE (who also have a terrible satisfaction score), it will always slump down the tables.
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