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    Hi!
    I'm a Belgian Student and I have an offer from SOAS for the Msc VIOLENCE, CONFLICT AND DEVELOPMENT and one from Sussex for the MA war, Violence and Security. I'm not sure what to choose... I know I'm on the sussex forum so I can guess what you guys would recommend so I'll just ask: Why would you recommend Sussex over Soas?

    thanks:-)
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    I don't know anything about SOAS, so I wouldn't.

    Is there anything specific you want to know? A flick back a few pages usually reveals a few nuggets.
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    I would say definitely SOAS, much higher in ranking and reputation
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    Well I know it has a higher ranking, but I'm not sure how much that matters?
    I've heard a lot about both unis and I was told Sussex had a much more personal approach? and I've heard a lot about SOAS being quite intolerant (the student body) but I'm not really sure I should believe all the negative comments cause maybe the people where just bitter for some reason.
    Do you like the atmosphere in general at sussex? Good for a MA?
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    My department!

    And you're right to suspect that, with this kind of programme, reputation doesn't really matter. If you're looking at a job in this kind of specialist field, the kinds of employers will have a far more detailed knowledge of the various educational pathways that people have taken. Here, the reputational difference between Sussex and SOAS is irrelevant. Both have human-centred, holistic, critically-minded approaches. Sussex's might be a bit more 'joined up', in that the degree you're looking at is offered by the International Relations department, rather than having modules drawn from all over the place. Still, very similar kind of vibe, both in terms of content, atmosphere, and attitude.

    If you wanted to put the emphasis more on the security side of things (terrorism, AIDS, warfare, ethnic violence) then Sussex would be better, if you'd rather emphasize development (reconstruction, civil society, peace processes, microfinance, political economy), then you might have more in common with the SOAS programme.

    Ultimately, it's worth looking at the choice of option modules (Sussex and SOAS), and seeing whether there's anything there that really stands out for you. Although not all options will be running each year, it's a good way of getting an overview of staff interests, and it shows how much you could customize the degree to your own interests.

    I certainly vouch for the enthusiasm and general awesomeness of Sussex's staff associated with this programme, although I will comment that there's something of a structural reshuffle in the works, with the university management planning to make 'Security' an overarching research theme. This means that there's a lot of naive student resistance to what they see as research into terrorism and strategy in the service of British government objectives. Actually, Sussex's approach is always going to be more critical and creative, so what this means for you is that there'll be a lot of navel-gazing about what the study of conflict security means and should mean in a contemporary context.

    Might be risky, but could be an interesting kind of situation to throw yourself into, depending on how you feel about academic politics.

    Oh, and consider whether you'd rather be living in Brighton or London. That might have some bearing on your ultimate decision.
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    I'd say SOAS, purely because I absolutely loathed my time at Sussex and got very little out of it. You just can't beat London as a city to live in. Brighton's lovely but Sussex ISN'T Brighton, it's Falmer. SOAS really is London.
    xx
    ps, that's purely based on general experience, and nothing to do with the course or department.
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    (Original post by bkcr20)
    I'd say SOAS, purely because I absolutely loathed my time at Sussex and got very little out of it. You just can't beat London as a city to live in. Brighton's lovely but Sussex ISN'T Brighton, it's Falmer. SOAS really is London.
    xx
    ps, that's purely based on general experience, and nothing to do with the course or department.
    great results and offers! What course are u applying for?
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    This year? I'm applying for French. But last year when I was at Sussex, I was taking American Studies, so I've had quite a turnaround!!
    xx
 
 
 
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