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    Hi,

    I’m in 6.1 and have just started looking at Universities. I live in the Midlands and I’m hoping to attend one not too far away (within an hour and a half). I think I’d like to study Geography at the moment but I still have a while to decide so this is viable to change~

    So far I’ve looked at Birmingham, Nottingham and Loughborough which all have the same entry requirements (AAB) but Loughborough isn’t Russel Group. My college has been constantly pressuring us to attend Russel Group Universities, basically saying they make our degree more valuable but Loughborough is actually the highest in the league tables out of the three despite being the only non-RG. It’s also rated higher individually for Geography.

    I don’t know what to think? Should I listen to school or not?

    I like the look of Nottingham and Birmingham would be ideal distance wise but Loughborough just appeals more right now...

    I’ve signed up for open days to all three but I’d just appreciate some advice. Which would you pick? Or would you look elsewhere?

    Thanks 😊
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    (Original post by Megan.louiseee)
    Hi,

    I’m in 6.1 and have just started looking at Universities. I live in the Midlands and I’m hoping to attend one not too far away (within an hour and a half). I think I’d like to study Geography at the moment but I still have a while to decide so this is viable to change~

    So far I’ve looked at Birmingham, Nottingham and Loughborough which all have the same entry requirements (AAB) but Loughborough isn’t Russel Group. My college has been constantly pressuring us to attend Russel Group Universities, basically saying they make our degree more valuable but Loughborough is actually the highest in the league tables out of the three despite being the only non-RG. It’s also rated higher individually for Geography.

    I don’t know what to think? Should I listen to school or not?

    I like the look of Nottingham and Birmingham would be ideal distance wise but Loughborough just appeals more right now...

    I’ve signed up for open days to all three but I’d just appreciate some advice. Which would you pick? Or would you look elsewhere?

    Thanks 😊
    Membership of the RusseLL Group does not in itself make a degree more valuable. St Andrews, Bath and Lancaster, for example, are very good unis not in the RG. Your teachers are over-simplifying, probably so they can say 'Oh, 85% of our students got places at prestigious RG universities - aren't we great teachers?'

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    The consensus seems to state that the league tables are arbitrary and don't really hold much value beyond a general idea of whether the university is any good or not. They're not to be trusted for choosing between specific university courses.

    You really want to be looking at who it is who put the course together at the university, who's running it, what are their credentials, the content of the modules, the overall reputation of the university for the course you want to do, and so on.
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    I'm in a similar situation, I settled on Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester as the closest, half decent Russell Group universities near to me. I didn't like the look of Loughborough's Computer Science course, it looked far too business oriented and not theoretical enough for me considering I intend to go into research eventually.

    By the way, you do know that Russell Group universities are selected because of their strength in research right? I'm under the educated impression that their courses are often weighted to be more theoretical and their strengths can lie in their research output than as opposed to teaching you business relevant information, although of course there is a large cross-over there and I doubt any of said universities could ever be accused of not having strong ties to business.
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    (Original post by unicurse)
    I'm in a similar situation, I settled on Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester as the closest, half decent Russell Group universities near to me. I didn't like the look of Loughborough's Computer Science course, it looked far too business oriented and not theoretical enough for me considering I intend to go into research eventually.

    By the way, you do know that Russell Group universities are selected because of their strength in research right? I'm under the educated impression that their courses are often weighted to be more theoretical and their strengths can lie in their research output than as opposed to teaching you business relevant information, although of course there is a large cross-over there and I doubt any of said universities could ever be accused of not having strong ties to business.
    I have no intention of going into research, only of getting a decent graduate job. With that in mind, what would you recommend? X
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    I firmed Nottingham and I believe it to be better than Loughborough

    As for Nottingham and Birmingham, they're basically the same academically
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    (Original post by Megan.louiseee)
    Hi,

    I’m in 6.1 and have just started looking at Universities. I live in the Midlands and I’m hoping to attend one not too far away (within an hour and a half). I think I’d like to study Geography at the moment but I still have a while to decide so this is viable to change~

    So far I’ve looked at Birmingham, Nottingham and Loughborough which all have the same entry requirements (AAB) but Loughborough isn’t Russel Group. My college has been constantly pressuring us to attend Russel Group Universities, basically saying they make our degree more valuable but Loughborough is actually the highest in the league tables out of the three despite being the only non-RG. It’s also rated higher individually for Geography.

    I don’t know what to think? Should I listen to school or not?

    I like the look of Nottingham and Birmingham would be ideal distance wise but Loughborough just appeals more right now...

    I’ve signed up for open days to all three but I’d just appreciate some advice. Which would you pick? Or would you look elsewhere?

    Thanks 😊

    First, when you read ranking table, you need to read the methodology. It shows how the ranking was made.

    Second, as far as I know Loughborough only rank higher in ranking table which mainly calculate staff ratio, teaching ratio and student sanctification.

    Third, if you are looking for academic reputation and employer reputation, QS is the most accurate one.

    But generally speaking, for Geography Nottingham/Birmingham> Loughborough
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    I'm not an expert, but I've researched this a fair bit and feel like I've had some good advice, but as always take my opinion with a grain of salt

    I think going to a Russell Group university, if you have the opportunity to, is only going to enhance your employability. For a start, whether we like it or not, there's a certain prestige attached to the red bricks and the Russell Group. If you're going to spend three or four years of your life studying for a piece of paper, you want the best piece of paper you can get right? Also we live in a society that, again like it or not, and for right or wrong, values status (at least in the higher echelons of business) so you're likely to find that you're going to command a better wage with more extensive opportunities if you've gotten a degree from a well respected university like that. In the past I did a foundation year at one of the East Midlands less well reputed universities, and I have to say that I don't really want to repeat the experience: it wasn't that bad but you're getting a different kind of student there. If you're serious about studying and learning, you'll find a more serious and committed kind of student at a Russell Group uni, who're there because they want to learn and not because they feel they kinda should and mum will be upset if they don't.

    Check Nottingham out if you get the chance, the campus is absolutely beautiful, and the university has a sterling reputation. Nottingham ain't a bad city all in all despite what you might hear. Sheffield is also a very good university by most accounts and Sheffield is a really awesome city (it pips Nottingham by miles if you ask me).

    Nottingham Trent is also a good university, it's not on quite the same level as the others you've discussed perhaps but it's one of the best ex-polytechnics in the country and it excels in the arts, so it's humanities are likely to be good too. They might be a worthwhile backup choice in case you have problems with grades (which I'm sure you won't, naturally )
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    (Original post by unicurse)
    I'm not an expert, but I've researched this a fair bit and feel like I've had some good advice, but as always take my opinion with a grain of salt

    I think going to a Russell Group university, if you have the opportunity to, is only going to enhance your employability. For a start, whether we like it or not, there's a certain prestige attached to the red bricks and the Russell Group. If you're going to spend three or four years of your life studying for a piece of paper, you want the best piece of paper you can get right? Also we live in a society that, again like it or not, and for right or wrong, values status (at least in the higher echelons of business) so you're likely to find that you're going to command a better wage with more extensive opportunities if you've gotten a degree from a well respected university like that. In the past I did a foundation year at one of the East Midlands less well reputed universities, and I have to say that I don't really want to repeat the experience: it wasn't that bad but you're getting a different kind of student there. If you're serious about studying and learning, you'll find a more serious and committed kind of student at a Russell Group uni, who're there because they want to learn and not because they feel they kinda should and mum will be upset if they don't.

    Check Nottingham out if you get the chance, the campus is absolutely beautiful, and the university has a sterling reputation. Nottingham ain't a bad city all in all despite what you might hear. Sheffield is also a very good university by most accounts and Sheffield is a really awesome city (it pips Nottingham by miles if you ask me).

    Nottingham Trent is also a good university, it's not on quite the same level as the others you've discussed perhaps but it's one of the best ex-polytechnics in the country and it excels in the arts, so it's humanities are likely to be good too. They might be a worthwhile backup choice in case you have problems with grades (which I'm sure you won't, naturally )
    Thankyou 😊
    I’ve booked an open day for Nottingham too so I guess I’ll just see which I prefer. It’s strange that all the grade requirements are the same though, you’d think that with Nottingham being more prestigious, the grade requirements would be higher than Loughborough for example 🤔
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    I think it depends on what course you do at Nottingham. I found the grade requirements for my Computer Science with AI course were about the same as the other Russell Group universities although they dropped the maths GCSE grade requirements for me for some reason, I suspect because I've worked in Industry in a vaguely related subject.

    Loughborough is a good university for certain subjects. If you're doing sports science, it's probably the best in the country. So with regards to that course, some people might consider it on a par with Oxbridge. So it depends on many factors I guess.

    I've not made my mind up yet but I live close to Nottingham and the site is absolutely gorgeous which might swing it for me if there are no more important considerations. There aren't many universities in the world that can boast an environment like that

    Also, it's worth noting that the entry requirements will change dependent upon many factors, and they'll even raise or lower it during the course of a year if they have more or less interest than they were expecting. I think this is less likely with the larger universities but I'm just guessing at that.
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    (Original post by ageshallnot)
    Membership of the RusseLL Group does not in itself make a degree more valuable. St Andrews, Bath and Lancaster, for example, are very good unis not in the RG. Your teachers are over-simplifying, probably so they can say 'Oh, 85% of our students got places at prestigious RG universities - aren't we great teachers?'

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    I think this last point is very likely true!
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    (Original post by unicurse)
    I think this last point is very likely true!
    I've seen several schools use such wording on their websites. They are just propagating a myth for their own ends.

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    Although these points have variously been suggested above, it bears reiterating that:

    The Russell Group is a research consortium and has only the most tenuous link to undergraduate course content and teaching - it's primarily relevant for graduate students.

    Loughborough is and has been for many years, and excellent and highly regarded university by both academics and employers (for many subjects besides sports science - it's engineering and visual arts courses are quite well regarded in particular). I personally know an executive at IBM who did his undergrad there, many years ago. Going to Loughborough isn't going to damage your possible employability prospects.

    Beyond both of those points, league tables are usually not very useful as they tend to only speak to the biases of the creator of the methodology used to rank them - and as is often discussed, these methodologies frequently have a very tenuous relationship with reality and are easily skewed.
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    (Original post by unicurse)
    I think it depends on what course you do at Nottingham. I found the grade requirements for my Computer Science with AI course were about the same as the other Russell Group universities although they dropped the maths GCSE grade requirements for me for some reason, I suspect because I've worked in Industry in a vaguely related subject.

    Loughborough is a good university for certain subjects. If you're doing sports science, it's probably the best in the country. So with regards to that course, some people might consider it on a par with Oxbridge. So it depends on many factors I guess.

    I've not made my mind up yet but I live close to Nottingham and the site is absolutely gorgeous which might swing it for me if there are no more important considerations. There aren't many universities in the world that can boast an environment like that

    Also, it's worth noting that the entry requirements will change dependent upon many factors, and they'll even raise or lower it during the course of a year if they have more or less interest than they were expecting. I think this is less likely with the larger universities but I'm just guessing at that.
    I still have ages to decide so I’m not rushed 😅
    I’d like to study Geography I think, for which Loughborough is ranked higher (although I’ve been told not to look at league tables). Nottingham has a beautiful campus but I think I’d prefer the smaller community at Loughborough, I’m not one for partying so the small town wouldn’t bother me...

    Regardless, it’s months before I even write my UCAS application so I’ll probably change my mind 50x over haha
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    Nottingham isn't great for partying unless you want to brave the zombie apocalypse it becomes on a Friday/Saturday night anyway

    Good luck! I'm sure you'll figure out what you want to do and I hope you enjoy it!
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    (Original post by unicurse)
    Nottingham isn't great for partying unless you want to brave the zombie apocalypse it becomes on a Friday/Saturday night anyway

    Good luck! I'm sure you'll figure out what you want to do and I hope you enjoy it!
    Thanks! I’m not big on partying so I don’t suppose that would bother me 😅 x
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    Although these points have variously been suggested above, it bears reiterating that:

    The Russell Group is a research consortium and has only the most tenuous link to undergraduate course content and teaching - it's primarily relevant for graduate students.

    Loughborough is and has been for many years, and excellent and highly regarded university by both academics and employers (for many subjects besides sports science - it's engineering and visual arts courses are quite well regarded in particular). I personally know an executive at IBM who did his undergrad there, many years ago. Going to Loughborough isn't going to damage your possible employability prospects.

    Beyond both of those points, league tables are usually not very useful as they tend to only speak to the biases of the creator of the methodology used to rank them - and as is often discussed, these methodologies frequently have a very tenuous relationship with reality and are easily skewed.
    Thank you! I’m gonna visit the universities on open days and just go with whichever one I like the most and can see myself being happiest at
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    (Original post by ageshallnot)
    I've seen several schools use such wording on their websites. They are just propagating a myth for their own ends.

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    My school is exactly like that! I happen to attend a top U.K school/sixth form that continually boasts about its amazing GCSE results (my year ruined it lol) and football achievements... I can see why they’d be pushing me to Russel Group despite where I might be better suited to x
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    I took a module in the Geography department at Nottingham and the teaching was really good.

    I'd say Nottingham and Birmingham have a slight advantage in general for reputation but in reality your job prospects are unlikely to be dissimilar wherever you go. Even the most competitive careers in IB and consulting have representatives from them.

    See which you prefer on the open days.
 
 
 

University open days

  1. Loughborough University
    General Open Day Undergraduate
    Fri, 21 Sep '18
  2. University of Cambridge
    Churchill College Undergraduate
    Fri, 21 Sep '18
  3. Richmond, The American International University in London
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Fri, 21 Sep '18
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