Rejecting UCL for Edinburgh? Comp sci Watch

Anonymous #1
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I am fortunate enough to receive an offer from both unis. Recently checked the rankings for Comp Sci and Edinburgh seem to consistently be 4th in the UK, after Oxbridge and ICL. I also really like the whole scenic atmosphere of Edinburgh, though I haven't visited the open days.

On the other hand, UCL boasts among top 10 in the world overall, but is right after Edinburgh for Comp Sci specifically. The fact that it's in London might make internships prospects easier? Then there's the fact that it feels more exclusive in terms of its conditional offer of A*A*A, whereas Edinburgh is AAA.

For some reason I feel like Edinburgh would be more enjoyable, yet UCL may offer better prospects?

Any advice? Any thoughts?
Thanks,
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HoldThisL
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ucl and ucl computer science are better. don't be drawn in by a ranking

but if you like edinburgh, consider it seriously
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by HoldThisL)
ucl and ucl computer science are better. don't be drawn in by a ranking

but if you like edinburgh, consider it seriously
Do you reckon that it's considerably better? In terms of, just purely basing the decision on general university outlook rather than personal preference of location?
Also, I understand this was posted in the UCL forums, so will take it with a pinch of salt, but appreciate your opinions.
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HoldThisL
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Do you reckon that it's considerably better? In terms of, just purely basing the decision on general university outlook rather than personal preference of location?
Also, I understand this was posted in the UCL forums, so will take it with a pinch of salt, but appreciate your opinions.
yes i reckon it's considerably better

bro this is tsr no one checks the subforum you posted it in. we almost certainly see it under the 'Latest' section that appears on the right hand side of your screen if you're on a pc

i wasn't just hanging around the UCL forum waiting for someone to give me an opportunity to big up a university i don't go to lmao
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artful_lounger
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Hi, as this thread is more of a comparative one, I've moved it to the CS university courses from the UCL forum

Blue_Cow might be able to give some perspectives on Edinburgh. I'm skeptical that your prospects would be very different between them. My impression also was that in academia (i.e. in terms of research) Edinburgh was the stronger of the two, although that may simply speak to my own biases in what areas of research I think are interesting...

That said, looking at unistats it looks as though students are considerably more positive about the MInf course at Edinburgh compared to MEng at UCL. Interestingly though the BSc course at UCL was more favourably received than the MEng there, while the BSc at Edinburgh was considered worse by their students than the MInf on those respective courses. Not too sure what conclusions to draw from that...

UCL grads have a slightly higher post-graduation salary average, however this is likely reflective of the probability that more UCL students will stay in London whereas some at Edinburgh may stay there to work after graduating or perhaps be more likely to go elsewhere outside of London. Roles in London normally have slightly higher salaries than average to reflect the higher cost of living in London. In real terms, they are probably about equivalent if that assumption is true (or the UCL grads may be slightly worse off even, potentially).

Notably though, 95% of students from Edinburgh were in employment or further study after the course, and 100% of those working were in managerial or professional roles. At UCL, only 84% went to further work or study, with 97% of those working being in professional or managerial roles. In view of this and the above, I'd consider them certainly at least equal in terms of "prospects", and I think you could well argue Edinburgh were at an advantage in fact.
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I am fortunate enough to receive an offer from both unis. Recently checked the rankings for Comp Sci and Edinburgh seem to consistently be 4th in the UK, after Oxbridge and ICL. I also really like the whole scenic atmosphere of Edinburgh, though I haven't visited the open days.

On the other hand, UCL boasts among top 10 in the world overall, but is right after Edinburgh for Comp Sci specifically. The fact that it's in London might make internships prospects easier? Then there's the fact that it feels more exclusive in terms of its conditional offer of A*A*A, whereas Edinburgh is AAA.

For some reason I feel like Edinburgh would be more enjoyable, yet UCL may offer better prospects?

Any advice? Any thoughts?
Thanks,
I wouldn't look at rankings too much.

Regarding internships, you *might* be right. However, there are LOTS of technology firms around here. Rockstar North, Amazon Development Centre Scotland, Skyscanner, JP Morgan & Chase Co's Glasgow Technology Centre, Morgan Stanley in Glasgow etc.

These firms are expanding too. Morgan Stanley moved into a bigger office last year, and JPMC is looking to do the same, despite having two sites already.

Also, there's nothing stopping you from applying to locations in London/elsewhere. Us STEM students are fortunate - internships in our sector pay reasonably well. You can easily break even at the very least even after factoring in relocation costs for the summer.

It really depends on what you want to do with your CS degree. If it's software engineering, then there are plenty of opportunities.
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by Martin2343)
Yeah, thanks for the detailed response. Ultimately after weeks of contemplating I came to the conclusion that they probably do in fact have similar "prospects", however UCL may have slightly better international outreach?
I'm leaning more towards Edinburgh, as a second year entry to their 4 year course, which would require A*AA.
I guess it's just the fact that Edinburgh was very quick to reply to my application, and UCL took a lot of time and has higher requirements that just makes it feel more "exclusive" in some sense.
Also, in terms of masters, what would you advice? I was thinking of applying to ICL for a masters and settling in London from there, which could save me the cost of living there with a bachelors too; though the idea seems slightly far fetched.
I can't comment on the exclusivity. Psychologically, it does seem like UCL is more appealing, but you might be making a mistake if you put a lot of weight on the response times of universities into your final decision.

Regarding masters, it depends entirely on what you wish to specialise in. If it's AI/ML, then Edinburgh would be the stronger option.
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Martin2343
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
I wouldn't look at rankings too much.

Regarding internships, you *might* be right. However, there are LOTS of technology firms around here. Rockstar North, Amazon Development Centre Scotland, Skyscanner, JP Morgan & Chase Co's Glasgow Technology Centre, Morgan Stanley in Glasgow etc.

These firms are expanding too. Morgan Stanley moved into a bigger office last year, and JPMC is looking to do the same, despite having two sites already.

Also, there's nothing stopping you from applying to locations in London/elsewhere. Us STEM students are fortunate - internships in our sector pay reasonably well. You can easily break even at the very least even after factoring in relocation costs for the summer.

It really depends on what you want to do with your CS degree. If it's software engineering, then there are plenty of opportunities.
(Original post by artful_lounger)
Hi, as this thread is more of a comparative one, I've moved it to the CS university courses from the UCL forum

Blue_Cow might be able to give some perspectives on Edinburgh. I'm skeptical that your prospects would be very different between them. My impression also was that in academia (i.e. in terms of research) Edinburgh was the stronger of the two, although that may simply speak to my own biases in what areas of research I think are interesting...

That said, looking at unistats it looks as though students are considerably more positive about the MInf course at Edinburgh compared to MEng at UCL. Interestingly though the BSc course at UCL was more favourably received than the MEng there, while the BSc at Edinburgh was considered worse by their students than the MInf on those respective courses. Not too sure what conclusions to draw from that...

UCL grads have a slightly higher post-graduation salary average, however this is likely reflective of the probability that more UCL students will stay in London whereas some at Edinburgh may stay there to work after graduating or perhaps be more likely to go elsewhere outside of London. Roles in London normally have slightly higher salaries than average to reflect the higher cost of living in London. In real terms, they are probably about equivalent if that assumption is true (or the UCL grads may be slightly worse off even, potentially).

Notably though, 95% of students from Edinburgh were in employment or further study after the course, and 100% of those working were in managerial or professional roles. At UCL, only 84% went to further work or study, with 97% of those working being in professional or managerial roles. In view of this and the above, I'd consider them certainly at least equal in terms of "prospects", and I think you could well argue Edinburgh were at an advantage in fact.
Yeah, thanks for the detailed response. Ultimately after weeks of contemplating I came to the conclusion that they probably do in fact have similar "prospects", however UCL may have slightly better international outreach?
I'm leaning more towards Edinburgh, as a second year entry to their 4 year course, which would require A*AA.
I guess it's just the fact that Edinburgh was very quick to reply to my application, and UCL took a lot of time and has higher requirements that just makes it feel more "exclusive" in some sense.
Also, in terms of masters, what would you advice? I was thinking of applying to ICL for a masters and settling in London from there, which could save me the cost of living there with a bachelors too; though the idea seems slightly far fetched.

EDIT: Oops, moved forums, guess it's not so anonymous anymore
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Martin2343
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
I can't comment on the exclusivity. Psychologically, it does seem like UCL is more appealing, but you might be making a mistake if you put a lot of weight on the response times of universities into your final decision.

Regarding masters, it depends entirely on what you wish to specialise in. If it's AI/ML, then Edinburgh would be the stronger option.
At this stage i'm not too sure of what I would want to specialise in. I guess I'll wait out on that till I get a firm grip of the course itself. The only reason i'm hesitant to firming Edinburgh at the moment is due to those entry requirements and offer rates. I saw some FOI requests that showed UCL has an 18% offer rate for the MEng course, and Edinburgh has around 50%. Though this might be to do with the 4 year course. But similarly, Manchester required A*A*A, yet they don't appear to be in the top 100. Sorry, im just trying to convince myself at this point xD
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by Martin2343)
At this stage i'm not too sure of what I would want to specialise in. The only reason i'm hesitant to firming Edinburgh at the moment is due to those entry requirements and offer rates. I saw some FOI requests that showed UCL has an 18% offer rate for the MEng course, and Edinburgh has around 50%. Though this might be to do with the 4 year course.
I'm afraid there's not much me or others can say to help you see through those figures. It's up to you how much you care about offer rates. I do understand your concerns though.

It does sound like you prefer UCL more.
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by Martin2343)
At this stage i'm not too sure of what I would want to specialise in. I guess I'll wait out on that till I get a firm grip of the course itself. The only reason i'm hesitant to firming Edinburgh at the moment is due to those entry requirements and offer rates. I saw some FOI requests that showed UCL has an 18% offer rate for the MEng course, and Edinburgh has around 50%. Though this might be to do with the 4 year course. But similarly, Manchester required A*A*A, yet they don't appear to be in the top 100. Sorry, im just trying to convince myself at this point xD
Just further to the above:

Manchester is a fantastic uni, I really wouldn't worry too much about the international rankings. The metrics they use seldom matter to undergraduates.

I would do this

- Look at the modules again for all of the universities you are considering. The universities you've chosen are high-calibre unis, so they will have a good amount of mathematics, but there will be differences.

- Visit all of the locations. Do you want to live in London?

- Consider living costs
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Martin2343
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Just further to the above:

Manchester is a fantastic uni, I really wouldn't worry too much about the international rankings. The metrics they use seldom matter to undergraduates.

I would do this

- Look at the modules again for all of the universities you are considering. The universities you've chosen are high-calibre unis, so they will have a good amount of mathematics, but there will be differences.

- Visit all of the locations. Do you want to live in London?

- Consider living costs
Originally I intended to go to ICL, but was rejected. Nonetheless, I really don’t like the atmosphere of London, and applied solely because of its general outlook. I know, I’m mad about the numbers, but it’s the only competitive measure I have to compare with. But I am leaning more towards Edinburgh though, and I also appreciate their modules in which you can choose from a different “house?”. Their courses seem similar though Edinburgh seems more diverse. It seems like I reach a different conclusion every night xD
If they’re similarly reputable enough that it ultimately boils down to location preference then Edinburgh is the winner for me.
Thanks
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Molseh
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If you can, try and evaluate them independently of reputation as I would argue there is little difference between them.

Edinburgh is a lovely city, although not much cheaper than London. I will be moving there myself this September to study and was convinced after visiting it for the first time a few months back.
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Martin2343
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(Original post by Molseh)
If you can, try and evaluate them independently of reputation as I would argue there is little difference between them.

Edinburgh is a lovely city, although not much cheaper than London. I will be moving there myself this September to study and was convinced after visiting it for the first time a few months back.
Nice, are you taking comp sci too? Where else did you apply, and what made you choose Edinburgh out of those? Also, are you RUK? I’m not sure how many RUK applicants there are, especially taking a second year entry
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Molseh
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I am moving to Edinburgh to study Computer Science, just at a different University. I am nowhere near academic enough for Edinburgh Uni! I was just commenting on the city itself, sorry for the confusion.
(Original post by Martin2343)
Nice, are you taking comp sci too? Where else did you apply, and what made you choose Edinburgh out of those? Also, are you RUK? I’m not sure how many RUK applicants there are, especially taking a second year entry
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Evonium
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Just further to the above:

Manchester is a fantastic uni, I really wouldn't worry too much about the international rankings. The metrics they use seldom matter to undergraduates.

I would do this

- Look at the modules again for all of the universities you are considering. The universities you've chosen are high-calibre unis, so they will have a good amount of mathematics, but there will be differences.

- Visit all of the locations. Do you want to live in London?

- Consider living costs

How do you feel about the course structure for Edinburgh's Computer Science course? I've looked over the modules and it seems VERY theoretical, even for a CS course. I know Edinburgh has a reputation in the UK for having one of the most theoretical computer science departments... I have the opportunity to possibly study computer science next year, but I'm slightly worried about the maths component. Maths can really bore me to death sometimes and I have to admit that practical programming, as opposed to computation theory, is really what I'm interested in.

It's kind of a weird thing with computer science/software engineering, but it seems like that lower-ranked, "worse" universities seem to have more interesting courses, which is slightly odd.
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Arisapo
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I think you’re right about internships possibly being easier in London but I wouldn’t dwell on rankings too much.

They’re both top universities; graduating with a degree from either will put you in good stead so base it on the course and what kind of uni experience you’d rather have.

They’re both pretty different and London is pretty polarising for student life — it isn’t something I’d personally want but it’s your own preference.

If you feel you’d enjoy Edinburgh more, then go there. It’s still a fantastic city and uni.
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by Evonium)
How do you feel about the course structure for Edinburgh's Computer Science course? I've looked over the modules and it seems VERY theoretical, even for a CS course. I know Edinburgh has a reputation in the UK for having one of the most theoretical computer science departments... I have the opportunity to possibly study computer science next year, but I'm slightly worried about the maths component. Maths can really bore me to death sometimes and I have to admit that practical programming, as opposed to computation theory, is really what I'm interested in.

It's kind of a weird thing with computer science/software engineering, but it seems like that lower-ranked, "worse" universities seem to have more interesting courses, which is slightly odd.
If maths bothers you, then I strongly suggest going elsewhere. For the first two years at least, you will be bombarded with maths.

The "lower ranked" universities do tend to focus more on practical skills (but it often means they're teaching outdated things, and glossing over the actual fundamentals of CS, which is never a good thing).

I think the course structure is fine, if maths and proper textbook theory is your thing.
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Martin2343
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Looking through the maths at first year, it seems to overlap a lot with the further maths a level. I had a question regarding second year entry, currently my offer is for first year, am I guaranteed a second year placement on request, given that I am able to achieve A*AA?
I believe I have the subjects required: Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Computer Science
Blue_Cow
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(Original post by Martin2343)
Looking through the maths at first year, it seems to overlap a lot with the further maths a level. I had a question regarding second year entry, currently my offer is for first year, am I guaranteed a second year placement on request, given that I am able to achieve A*AA?
I believe I have the subjects required: Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Computer Science
Blue_Cow
If you meet the requirements, you should be able to, yes.
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