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Birkbeck, University of London
Birkbeck College
London

Is studying at Birkbeck worth it?

Well I am an ambitious EU student wanting to pursue a career in investment banking and I’m not just another kid clueless about what it really is solely attracted to the money but rather because I find it really interesting and it is the only thing I could ever imagine doing everyday especially in the long term. Unfortunately, when I was younger during my A levels I didn’t know what I wanted to do about my life and I didn’t like to study either, I was out of place and as a result I got bad grades that have bitten me in the ass ever since. I managed to get a place at Birkbeck and I am studying Economics with Business. I’m having second thoughts about whether this university is worth my time and my money especially considering the career I want to pursue. I know Birkbeck obviously doesn’t compete against the likes of institutions like UCL, LSE, Imperial and even QMUL but I want to know how well it is regarded in London and how employable it is compared to the aforementioned institutions. Also I’d like to know what my chances will be on pursuing the career I intend and on gaining admissions at top UK institutions (oxford, cambridge, lse etc) taking into account it is very likely I will be graduating with a 1st. I view myself as a knowledgeable person but would’ve been quite helpful and enlightening to get opinions from others
Bump
Birkbeck, University of London
Birkbeck College
London
You are right to be doubtful about the reputation of Birkbeck, but if this is the only institution you could get into for your chosen subject, then you don`t have much of a choice. If you are planning to get a first degree, then you should be able to gain postgraduate access to other universities, which are likely to be far better than Birkbeck, your grade will be fundamental. For other students reading this post, experiencing a similar issue, I also recommend looking into the Open University, their education material are some of the best in the world, and they are far cheaper than brick universities. An alternative is to study Maths,Stats, Economics for a year to show that you can study successfully at an undergraduate level. Upon completion of this, you may be in the position to apply for better universities than Birkbeck. Good luck.
Original post by Anonyhummus
You are right to be doubtful about the reputation of Birkbeck, but if this is the only institution you could get into for your chosen subject, then you don`t have much of a choice. If you are planning to get a first degree, then you should be able to gain postgraduate access to other universities, which are likely to be far better than Birkbeck, your grade will be fundamental. For other students reading this post, experiencing a similar issue, I also recommend looking into the Open University, their education material are some of the best in the world, and they are far cheaper than brick universities. An alternative is to study Maths,Stats, Economics for a year to show that you can study successfully at an undergraduate level. Upon completion of this, you may be in the position to apply for better universities than Birkbeck. Good luck.

Right to be doubtful? Birkbeck is accredited by the University of London, meaning that their degrees are of a high standard. You cannot just download a newspaper league table and write off an excellent university. Birkbeck and UCL work closely together for some courses, and a lot of academics have switched between these institutions.
It's a very good institution, especially for mature students or those without standard qualifications.
I very much disagree with the good comments - assuming that Birkbeck College is of high-standards just because is legally part of the University of London is somewhat similar to say that anything picked from the food aisle in Waitrose is inherently good just because it is in Waitrose. One of the reasons why Birkbeck had to become part of the University of London is to be able to award degrees, because, being a College, it has no awarding powers - let is not forget this. Whereas it is fair to say that Birkbeck is a valid options for mature students (and those with low grades), there are a far better options for most students out there. As a former unhappy student myself, I can genuinely say that the course was badly organised, and many other students were very unhappy about it too. But, sadly, once you have committed to over £16,000 for a year as an international student, you have no choice but to bite your nails and carry on. On top of everything else, I would be careful of their students` satisfaction surveys, as they are notably unreliable. They are completed at the end of the lectures` period, whereas in fact most of the issues occur in the period between end of lectures and assignment submission - so they are totally biased, especially when students are asked to fill them out them out in class! For a college that prides itself in being at the forefront of the mathematical sciences, they should know better about biased sampling, what a joke. This institution is far from being wonderful, unfortunately.
(edited 3 years ago)
I think they are good at being an option for people who have to also work so need evening lectures etc.
I’d go elsewhere if you don’t need this ability.
(Friends have done degrees there, after work and liked it)
Reply 7
I have an offer with them but I am already having such a hard time communicating with them that I may change to another university. I joined a union and applied for the union discount. Didn't hear back from birkbeck so cancelled my union membership to be told recently that I will not get a discount because I cancelled. No communication from them on how it works etc. Then I try to call them and they never answer. I really do not need this added stress. They have not even emailed about the timetables or how the term will be structured. Just a waste of time really. Apply to a more organised University.
I'd like to be more focusing to TS's perspective, but I find there are two questions in the OP actually. If TS is comparing Birkbeck to LSE/UCL..., it's easy to answer: no, they are not in the same batch. If TS is keen to join LSE/UCL, my advice is, no offence but you may not like to listen, work harder to get a better academic result and then try again.

If TS is also comparing Birkbeck to other institutions in London, can U be more specific? Regent? Ravensbourne? UWL? UEL? Westminster? Middlesex? Roehampton? London Met? Buck New? South Bank? Or what else? Absolutely no offence to anyone aforementioned. Every institution has its strengths and weaknesses. However, after read lots venting about personal frustration with Birkbeck, would TS be advised which one he/she should go after giving up Birkbeck? TS is asking a question in comparative approach. Can TS be advised which one aforementioned is much stronger than Birkbeck?
(edited 1 year ago)
Bit of advice stay away from Birkbeck. I had a terrible experience with some of the lecturers, pretty much disgraceful attitude towards me.
I ended up going to another University to study
(edited 1 year ago)
My buddy is a Year 2 student in Birkbeck. Recently the department's tutor arranges quite a few voluntary work opportunities in the professional field for them, which are practically useful for equipping themselves for future career development. All classmates are encouraged and grateful for the department's good will.

Also, he just received papers submitted in last term, returned from lecturers. Every piece is marked with detailed and reasonable comment on it.

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