Please help!!!: Deadline for choosing a university is tomorrow Watch

sara_white
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Hi,
I have to decide tomorrow on where to go.
I have been very torn between doing my PhD in English in Cardiff University
and University of Exeter-Penryn, Cornwall

Exeter has the strongest department in terms of ranking and reputation and if it weren't for the supervisor at Cardiff, I wouldn't even be considering Cardiff.

I made a pros and cons list and am really impressed by the supervisor at Cardiff who is a full professor and has more than 60 publications and is an editor of 4 books important in my field. She also is very impressed with my PhD project and is very keen on working with me and even mentioned a mentorship.
Cardiff also has better transportation links. The drawback to Cardiff is that it is fairly easy to get into to; it's about 23 places below Exeter, and is really not that well-known for its English department. Plus, sponsoring institution, where I work as a lecturer, is pushing me to go to Exeter, yet I can make an argument for Cardiff. I work in a very competitive academic department and most of my colleagues pursued their doctorate from top universities in English, such as UCL, Leeds, Nottingham, Newcastle Wisconsin-Madison. . . etc. This is why I feel a bit insecure about Cardiff and am afraid I might regret going there since it ranks way below these universities in most subject rankings. Getting a PhD from Exeter would make quite the impression in my workplace, Cardiff is considered a tier or 2 below Exeter.

As for Exeter, like I said, I'd choose it in a heartbeat if it weren't for the Cardiff supervisor. Other concerns is that I've been placed in the Penryn campus, which is where my assigned supervisor is, and I'm concerned about transportation to and from London and the main Exeter campus. I also wonder if the Penryn campus is of lesser quality than the Streatham campus in terms of facilities, events, and seminars.
My supervisor at Exeter is also fairly young early-career and has few publications. I would be her second research student, whereas the Cardiff supervisor has worked as an external examiner and has supervised more than 13 dissertations.
The Exeter supervisor is also not a specialist in my field, whereas the Cardiff supervisor has published a number of quality articles in my field. Both departments also provide a secondary supervisor, so should I not be placing too much emphasis on supervisors?

I am very torn and stressed. I have to make a decision soon and I know I can't ask people to make decisions for me, but I would extremely appreciate any advice and feedback to help arrive at an informed decision.

Thank you.
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Jenniferann232
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The supervisor at Cardiff seems more experienced and may open more doors for you. It’s difficult though I suppose because like you say, Exeter is the higher ranked university. I think the Cardiff supervisor will be better and I’d go for that personally. Where can you see yourself? Who will help you gain the most? How would you feel if someone said you can’t go to Exeter or then Cardiff, which would you miss most?
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sara_white
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(Original post by Jenniferann232)
The supervisor at Cardiff seems more experienced and may open more doors for you. It’s difficult though I suppose because like you say, Exeter is the higher ranked university. I think the Cardiff supervisor will be better and I’d go for that personally. Where can you see yourself? Who will help you gain the most? How would you feel if someone said you can’t go to Exeter or then Cardiff, which would you miss most?
In terms of gaining the most, it would definitely be from the supervisor at Cardiff. I know that studying at Exeter will be more difficult and I will have to depend a lot on myself, but it would be worth it in the end?
I am strong academically and so is my project and I feel like I can handle my project on my own, although having the more experienced supervisor is reassuring and will allow me to grow in other areas as well. But for repute and prestige, which is something my work culture places outmost importance on, going to Exeter will make me at the same level of my colleagues in terms of education; Cardiff, not so much and for some reason it is looked down upon among the Russell Group universities. I would not want to miss out on such highly regarded department at Exeter, at the same time I don't want to pass on the opportunities the Cardiff supervisor has already has in mind for me. She also provided me with a few comments on my project and they were very helpful which is why I'm afraid I would be making a mistake if don't work with her.
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Doones
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(Original post by sara_white)
Hi,
I have to decide tomorrow on where to go.
I have been very torn between doing my PhD in English in Cardiff University
and University of Exeter-Penryn, Cornwall

Exeter has the strongest department in terms of ranking and reputation and if it weren't for the supervisor at Cardiff, I wouldn't even be considering Cardiff.

I made a pros and cons list and am really impressed by the supervisor at Cardiff who is a full professor and has more than 60 publications and is an editor of 4 books important in my field. She also is very impressed with my PhD project and is very keen on working with me and even mentioned a mentorship.
Cardiff also has better transportation links. The drawback to Cardiff is that it is fairly easy to get into to; it's about 23 places below Exeter, and is really not that well-known for its English department. Plus, sponsoring institution, where I work as a lecturer, is pushing me to go to Exeter, yet I can make an argument for Cardiff. I work in a very competitive academic department and most of my colleagues pursued their doctorate from top universities in English, such as UCL, Leeds, Nottingham, Newcastle Wisconsin-Madison. . . etc. This is why I feel a bit insecure about Cardiff and am afraid I might regret going there since it ranks way below these universities in most subject rankings. Getting a PhD from Exeter would make quite the impression in my workplace, Cardiff is considered a tier or 2 below Exeter.

As for Exeter, like I said, I'd choose it in a heartbeat if it weren't for the Cardiff supervisor. Other concerns is that I've been placed in the Penryn campus, which is where my assigned supervisor is, and I'm concerned about transportation to and from London and the main Exeter campus. I also wonder if the Penryn campus is of lesser quality than the Streatham campus in terms of facilities, events, and seminars.
My supervisor at Exeter is also fairly young early-career and has few publications. I would be her second research student, whereas the Cardiff supervisor has worked as an external examiner and has supervised more than 13 dissertations.
The Exeter supervisor is also not a specialist in my field, whereas the Cardiff supervisor has published a number of quality articles in my field. Both departments also provide a secondary supervisor, so should I not be placing too much emphasis on supervisors?

I am very torn and stressed. I have to make a decision soon and I know I can't ask people to make decisions for me, but I would extremely appreciate any advice and feedback to help arrive at an informed decision.

Thank you.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by sara_white)
............
There is really not that much difference between Cardiff and Exeter, I think you are being swayed by localised preferences rather than general and genuine differences in quality. For PhDs and academic careers, the Supervisor is a vital component. From what you have said, Cardiff is the far better option.
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Notoriety
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For postgrad, you follow research specialism. True for master's and it's especially true for doctorates.

And Penryn is not true Exeter; it's even more in the middle of nowhere and how much access will you have to your supervisor; will they pop down twice a week, a month? A lot of people jump ship from there after a couple of years of living like a monk in solitude. The rep of the English department comes from the Exeter-based lot, not the Penryn ones. They're second-rate and often focussed on teaching.

Probably best you go with Cardiff.
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sara_white
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Thank you all for your feedback and advice. I chose to go with the best supervisor at Cardiff. In the end, I want to be a serious academic and make an impact in the field. Wish me luck.
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Jenniferann232
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(Original post by sara_white)
Thank you all for your feedback and advice. I chose to go with the best supervisor at Cardiff. In the end, I want to be a serious academic and make an impact in the field. Wish me luck.
Yay! Good luck! Think you’ve made the right decision there
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