sam2302
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Hi there! I've applied and gotten offers from UCL (BSc Politics and International Relations), KCL (BA International Relations), and Edinburgh (BA International Relations). I'm applying undergrad from the US and was wondering if anybody could give me some insight as to how these universities compare in the social sciences/IR field. (and yeah, I applied to LSE too but took a solid L on that one)

I've searched a bit already but can't seem to find a concrete answer that 100% applies to my question.

Solely based on the universities' strengths or weaknesses in undergraduate study in IR, what would y'all recommend I do?

Thank you!
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lizlemonprotege
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Can't really offer advice since I'm literally in the same exact situation- same courses, from US. Are you waiting to hear back from any US schools?
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sam2302
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Yeah, still waiting on Georgetown, but my odds there are looking pretty grim lol. Are you leaning toward staying in the US or going abroad?
(Original post by lizlemonprotege)
Can't really offer advice since I'm literally in the same exact situation- same courses, from US. Are you waiting to hear back from any US schools?
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lizlemonprotege
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(Original post by sam2302)
Yeah, still waiting on Georgetown, but my odds there are looking pretty grim lol. Are you leaning toward staying in the US or going abroad?
Georgetown and Tufts. But odds are also not good there. Also waiting to hear back from NYU abu dhabi. Right now I'll probably go abroad since that's where I have the best opportunities- also its cheaper tuition and the drinking age in the uk is 18 so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Have you narrowed down your thinking in the uk at all? My vibe is that UCL is definitely the most prestigious overall, but the fact that the course is brand new is a double edged sword. Kings and Edinburgh at least have more modules and established study abroad for the course.
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jufloriane
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(Original post by sam2302)
Hi there! I've applied and gotten offers from UCL (BSc Politics and International Relations), KCL (BA International Relations), and Edinburgh (BA International Relations). I'm applying undergrad from the US and was wondering if anybody could give me some insight as to how these universities compare in the social sciences/IR field. (and yeah, I applied to LSE too but took a solid L on that one)

I've searched a bit already but can't seem to find a concrete answer that 100% applies to my question.

Solely based on the universities' strengths or weaknesses in undergraduate study in IR, what would y'all recommend I do?

Thank you!
Hey!

I can't really speak for UCL or KCL, but I'm currently in my first year studying politics (and econ) at Edinburgh!
Thus far, I really liked the modules of my politics course (which I'm pretty sure are the same ones for IR). Since it takes four years to get a degree at Edinburgh, you'll have a lot of optional modules in the later years and in general, the program structure is quite flexible and you can try different course options in the first year. In terms of general international reputation, Edinburgh ranks really well and as well as leading in certain research areas in IR, but overall suffering from low student satisfaction that pulls down the rankings (which is in my opinion due to the lack of support especially in mental health and other student support, but not for academic reasons)
Also, Edinburgh is great for international students!

hope that helps a bit
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sam2302
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(Original post by jufloriane)
Hey!

I can't really speak for UCL or KCL, but I'm currently in my first year studying politics (and econ) at Edinburgh!
Thus far, I really liked the modules of my politics course (which I'm pretty sure are the same ones for IR). Since it takes four years to get a degree at Edinburgh, you'll have a lot of optional modules in the later years and in general, the program structure is quite flexible and you can try different course options in the first year. In terms of general international reputation, Edinburgh ranks really well and as well as leading in certain research areas in IR, but overall suffering from low student satisfaction that pulls down the rankings (which is in my opinion due to the lack of support especially in mental health and other student support, but not for academic reasons)
Also, Edinburgh is great for international students!

hope that helps a bit
Thank you so much for your reply! I'd definitely been worried about (and confused by) the student satisfaction rating, though a lot of top UK schools seem to suffer in that arena. I believe even UCL and KCL are ranked somewhere in the 100s out of 150ish as well. Good to know it's not because of failing academics though.

It's so hard to choose between unis when you can't visit them all yourself, and it doesn't help that the three are all fairly closely ranked both globally and regionally! You've definitely helped a lot though, thanks again!
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sam2302
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(Original post by lizlemonprotege)
Georgetown and Tufts. But odds are also not good there. Also waiting to hear back from NYU abu dhabi. Right now I'll probably go abroad since that's where I have the best opportunities- also its cheaper tuition and the drinking age in the uk is 18 so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Have you narrowed down your thinking in the uk at all? My vibe is that UCL is definitely the most prestigious overall, but the fact that the course is brand new is a double edged sword. Kings and Edinburgh at least have more modules and established study abroad for the course.
Ha! The drinking age sure is a nice bonus. Right now I'd say I'm between UCL and Edinburgh... leaning toward UCL because of its ranking and the fact that the course is 3 years rather than 4. I love the vibe/atmosphere of the city of Edinburgh though, and I like the more relaxed structure of the first couple of years of study versus UCL and King's. If I had to rule one out rn, it'd be King's.

But yeah. It looks like there's a 99% chance I'll end up in the UK. Where in the UK, though, I'm still super conflicted abt. I believe we have until June 6 to decide (that's what my UCAS says) so we have time to figure it all out, but there's a LOT to consider :/
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ACherry
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KCL - The IR degree is run by the world-renowned War Studies department, and has a pretty damn incredible list of modules. You have all the pros and cons of living in London.

UCL - Politics & IR is a broader degree than straight IR, and UCL has a considerably higher starting salary than KCL. UCL overall is considered to be a better uni in terms of facilities, support, and outreach. Only issue is that Pol & IR is a brand new course at UCL, and they are very heavy on compulsory research modules, which (for me at least) looks boring as hell. The course just isn't tried and tested.

Personally, I'd go with UCL overall, but KCL is really great too.
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