University reputation or department reputation ?

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richardsmith
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I know UCL usually beats KCL in the rankings, but I am planning on studying IR, and KCL’s Politics/War Studies department seems to be better than UCL’s one. Morevoer, as an International student, KCL has an incredible reputation here, second only to Oxbridge and even better than Imperial or LSE.
So, do you think that university reputation in general matters more than department reputation?? Also, does anybody have any idea if UCL is also renown for social sciences or is it mostly strong in STEM?
It really boils down to prestige and fame at this point as they are both in London so for the rest they are the same to me. Any advice will be greatly appreciated !
Thanks in advance!
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Snufkin
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(Original post by richardsmith)
I know UCL usually beats KCL in the rankings, but I am planning on studying IR, and KCL’s Politics/War Studies department seems to be better than UCL’s one. Morevoer, as an International student, KCL has an incredible reputation here, second only to Oxbridge and even better than Imperial or LSE.
So, do you think that university reputation in general matters more than department reputation?? Also, does anybody have any idea if UCL is also renown for social sciences or is it mostly strong in STEM?
It really boils down to prestige and fame at this point as they are both in London so for the rest they are the same to me. Any advice will be greatly appreciated !
Thanks in advance!
If you want to go into academia then departmental reputation is far more important, but otherwise overall uni rep is more important. That said, KCL is a strong uni and War Studies is very famous - so imo you can hardly go wrong with either, pick whichever course you like best.
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richardsmith
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(Original post by Snufkin)
If you want to go into academia then departmental reputation is far more important, but otherwise overall uni rep is more important. That said, KCL is a strong uni and War Studies is very famous - so imo you can hardly go wrong with either, pick whichever course you like best.
Hi! Thank you so much ! Do you think that UCL also has a strong reputation for social sciences like politics? Or is it mainly science. Also my degree would be new so I would be in the first cohort of applicants so I don’t know if that makes it more or less competitive..
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A02ft1
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(Original post by richardsmith)
I know UCL usually beats KCL in the rankings, but I am planning on studying IR, and KCL’s Politics/War Studies department seems to be better than UCL’s one. Morevoer, as an International student, KCL has an incredible reputation here, second only to Oxbridge and even better than Imperial or LSE.
So, do you think that university reputation in general matters more than department reputation?? Also, does anybody have any idea if UCL is also renown for social sciences or is it mostly strong in STEM?
It really boils down to prestige and fame at this point as they are both in London so for the rest they are the same to me. Any advice will be greatly appreciated !
Thanks in advance!
I study abroad but I’m originally from the UK. It is true that KCL has a great reputation abroad, but as a Brit I will never understand this unfounded KCL prestige.

Domestically, I would say KCL is a 4th tier university; it only ranks 30-40 in the domestic rankings.

UCL, I would place in the 2nd tier along with Durham, St. Andrews, LSE, and Imperial. That is, behind Oxbridge (1st tier), but better than the likes of Manchester, Exeter, Bristol, Bath, and Edinburgh (3rd tier universities), and substantially better than KCL.

Personally I would say that university reputation matters more than department, unless you want a career in academia. Internationally wise, I would still argue UCL has a better reputation than KCL. Domestically, UCL is clearly more prestigious.

Have you considered Oxbridge. They’re extremely prestigious both in the UK and abroad.

And if you’re considering working in the UK, you should also consider Durham and St. Andrews, which are both marginally more prestigious that UCL.
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richardsmith
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(Original post by A02ft1)
I study abroad but I’m originally from the UK. It is true that KCL has a great reputation abroad, but as a Brit I will never understand this unfounded KCL prestige.

Domestically, I would say KCL is a 4th tier university; it only ranks 30-40 in the domestic rankings.

UCL, I would place in the 2nd tier along with Durham, St. Andrews, LSE, and Imperial. That is, behind Oxbridge (1st tier), but better than the likes of Manchester, Exeter, Bristol, Bath, and Edinburgh (3rd tier universities), and substantially better than KCL.

Personally I would say that university reputation matters more than department, unless you want a career in academia. Internationally wise, I would still argue UCL has a better reputation than KCL. Domestically, UCL is clearly more prestigious.

Have you considered Oxbridge. They’re extremely prestigious both in the UK and abroad.

And if you’re considering working in the UK, you should also consider Durham and St. Andrews, which are both marginally more prestigious that UCL.
Hi, thank you so much for your advice !! Hahaha as an international student it is really mind blowing that one can think of KCL as 4th tier uni because where I live it is basically accepted as the best after Oxbridge. Also, I know Oxbridge is really prestigious but I dont think I would stand a chance, especially with the interview and admission test.
I am not 100% sure if I want to work in the UK, but are Durham and St Andrews really considered to be more prestigious than UCL? Consider that in world rankings UCL is top 10 in the world whereas St Andrews and Durham are like 80 or 100
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CompSci16
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(Original post by richardsmith)
Hi, thank you so much for your advice !! Hahaha as an international student it is really mind blowing that one can think of KCL as 4th tier uni because where I live it is basically accepted as the best after Oxbridge. Also, I know Oxbridge is really prestigious but I dont think I would stand a chance, especially with the interview and admission test.
I am not 100% sure if I want to work in the UK, but are Durham and St Andrews really considered to be more prestigious than UCL? Consider that in world rankings UCL is top 10 in the world whereas St Andrews and Durham are like 80 or 100
Yeh I don't know how King's has been able to get such a good rep abroad, but it's not seen as a particularly good university domestically. I reckon people from abroad hear that it has 'King's' and 'London' in its name and automatically think it's amazing.
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A02ft1
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(Original post by richardsmith)
Hi, thank you so much for your advice !! Hahaha as an international student it is really mind blowing that one can think of KCL as 4th tier uni because where I live it is basically accepted as the best after Oxbridge. Also, I know Oxbridge is really prestigious but I dont think I would stand a chance, especially with the interview and admission test.
I am not 100% sure if I want to work in the UK, but are Durham and St Andrews really considered to be more prestigious than UCL? Consider that in world rankings UCL is top 10 in the world whereas St Andrews and Durham are like 80 or 100
The international rankings are heavily focused on research output. The London universities all get an inflated international ranking score because they combine their publishing output under the “University of London” name. Essentially their score is as if the group was one enormous research university.

The domestic rankings look more at entry criteria, good honours (GPA), quality of teaching. In all of the domestic rankings Durham and St Andrews rank better than UCL. The Times publishes a “table of tables” ranking that blends the major ranking tables into one. According to their latest ranking the best UK universities are as follows: 1st Cambridge, 2nd Oxford, 3rd St. Andrews, 4th Durham,... 7th UCL,... 28th KCL.

But if where you’re from UCL and KCL have a better reputation than St. Andrews or Durham, that’s ideal because they’re easier to get into.
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mnot
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(Original post by richardsmith)
I know UCL usually beats KCL in the rankings, but I am planning on studying IR, and KCL’s Politics/War Studies department seems to be better than UCL’s one. Morevoer, as an International student, KCL has an incredible reputation here, second only to Oxbridge and even better than Imperial or LSE.
So, do you think that university reputation in general matters more than department reputation?? Also, does anybody have any idea if UCL is also renown for social sciences or is it mostly strong in STEM?
It really boils down to prestige and fame at this point as they are both in London so for the rest they are the same to me. Any advice will be greatly appreciated !
Thanks in advance!
UCL reputation is way way bigger. UCL is just behind Oxbridge alongside imperial maybe durham.
KCL is fairly average in my opinion, i think KCL does have a large international reputation than most UK unis but i dont think its special at all. I view manchester, bristol, nottingham, warwick etc.. as all being better than KCL
I am an engineering graduate and don't think either are top UK STEM unis, the top STEM uni is definitely Imperial. But Southampton, Nottingham, Loughborough, Oxbridge, bristol, leeds are all better STEM unis (at least engineering wise) in my opinion.

I have also always respected UCL in social sciences, UCL is defo elite World standard, KCL is defo not
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