Prestigious uni versus modern uni? Watch

mediclyfe
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I hold offers for both Edinburgh university and Dundee university. I really loved visiting Dundee, the atmosphere was great and the applicant day was far more welcoming. It wasn't rushed and we got to meet other students and speak to loads of people. The course however isn't up my street, it's for biomedical sciences and it's very biochemistry based from what I've seen. It's what alot of people call a very underrated uni as it isn't red brick and is quiet modern. Their science department is so advanced though and ranked very highly.

But, although I very much like the course content of Edinburgh more (Medical Sciences), I found the applicant day very rushed. There was minimal time to ask questions about the course or speak to faculty and students. In fact, there were 0 students and only 1 lecturer who gave us a 1 hour talk and didn't really engage in much conversation with anyone after that. The whole day just felt a bit unorganised and it didn't seem very welcoming. I've also heard that Edinburgh has awful course organisation and their feedback is always late and nonexistent. They just don't seem as supportive as Dundee. However, the uni is very prestigious and I know people say that shouldn't matter but after just mentioning my offer from them passively at networking events, people were very keen for me to attend Edinburgh and said it would do wonders for my CV.

So I guess my dilemma is: go to a university which isn't prestigious but I loved attending, are far more supportive and has better student satisfaction while doing a course that I don't like or won't enjoy as much. OR go to a very prestigious university that will look attractive on my CV, that offers a course that I think I will enjoy more but seems very negligent of students, very passive and unsupportive and with very low student satisfaction and is very disorganized.

Basically : good uni but dislike course or bad uni but like course.

Help please?? Sorry if it's super long I'm having so much trouble articulating how I feel right now and I have 2 weeks to reply!

Also if anyone is at either uni and can offer any insight I'd really appreciate it!
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by mediclyfe)
I hold offers for both Edinburgh university and Dundee university. I really loved visiting Dundee, the atmosphere was great and the applicant day was far more welcoming. It wasn't rushed and we got to meet other students and speak to loads of people. The course however isn't up my street, it's for biomedical sciences and it's very biochemistry based from what I've seen. It's what alot of people call a very underrated uni as it isn't red brick and is quiet modern. Their science department is so advanced though and ranked very highly.

But, although I very much like the course content of Edinburgh more (Medical Sciences), I found the applicant day very rushed. There was minimal time to ask questions about the course or speak to faculty and students. In fact, there were 0 students and only 1 lecturer who gave us a 1 hour talk and didn't really engage in much conversation with anyone after that. The whole day just felt a bit unorganised and it didn't seem very welcoming. I've also heard that Edinburgh has awful course organisation and their feedback is always late and nonexistent. They just don't seem as supportive as Dundee. However, the uni is very prestigious and I know people say that shouldn't matter but after just mentioning my offer from them passively at networking events, people were very keen for me to attend Edinburgh and said it would do wonders for my CV.

So I guess my dilemma is: go to a university which isn't prestigious but I loved attending, are far more supportive and has better student satisfaction while doing a course that I don't like or won't enjoy as much. OR go to a very prestigious university that will look attractive on my CV, that offers a course that I think I will enjoy more but seems very negligent of students, very passive and unsupportive and with very low student satisfaction and is very disorganized.

Basically : good uni but dislike course or bad uni but like course.

Help please?? Sorry if it's super long I'm having so much trouble articulating how I feel right now and I have 2 weeks to reply!

Also if anyone is at either uni and can offer any insight I'd really appreciate it!
The course is the most important aspect in this case, IMO. You have some concerns over the organisational side at Edinburgh, but it would, IMO, be odd to select Dundee when you don't like the course.

Have you tried talking to current students on the Edinburgh course?
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FishLover
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Prioritise the contents of the course. Even with all the support and good atmosphere, it would be hard to study something you don't really enjoy (would be for me anyway). Also important to consider where you want to be career wise and do the course that would lead to your goals.

Also I do think that going to a prestige university is overrated. Better to focus on how well they're ranked on individual subjects and student experience. The important thing at uni is to build a good network, do well and also try to get as much hands on experience as possible. I think that counts more when applying for jobs.
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lconlon13
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Dundee is a dump
Edinburgh is the nicest city in the uk
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Quick-use
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(Original post by mediclyfe)
I hold offers for both Edinburgh university and Dundee university. I really loved visiting Dundee, the atmosphere was great and the applicant day was far more welcoming. It wasn't rushed and we got to meet other students and speak to loads of people. The course however isn't up my street, it's for biomedical sciences and it's very biochemistry based from what I've seen. It's what alot of people call a very underrated uni as it isn't red brick and is quiet modern. Their science department is so advanced though and ranked very highly.

But, although I very much like the course content of Edinburgh more (Medical Sciences), I found the applicant day very rushed. There was minimal time to ask questions about the course or speak to faculty and students. In fact, there were 0 students and only 1 lecturer who gave us a 1 hour talk and didn't really engage in much conversation with anyone after that. The whole day just felt a bit unorganised and it didn't seem very welcoming. I've also heard that Edinburgh has awful course organisation and their feedback is always late and nonexistent. They just don't seem as supportive as Dundee. However, the uni is very prestigious and I know people say that shouldn't matter but after just mentioning my offer from them passively at networking events, people were very keen for me to attend Edinburgh and said it would do wonders for my CV.

So I guess my dilemma is: go to a university which isn't prestigious but I loved attending, are far more supportive and has better student satisfaction while doing a course that I don't like or won't enjoy as much. OR go to a very prestigious university that will look attractive on my CV, that offers a course that I think I will enjoy more but seems very negligent of students, very passive and unsupportive and with very low student satisfaction and is very disorganized.

Basically : good uni but dislike course or bad uni but like course.

Help please?? Sorry if it's super long I'm having so much trouble articulating how I feel right now and I have 2 weeks to reply!

Also if anyone is at either uni and can offer any insight I'd really appreciate it!
Just so you know, I wouldn't wholly judge your potential 4 year degree experience by an open day. I studied at Edinburgh and for my courses (languages) the information session + Q&A were pretty boring and this trend continued even when I attended as a student volunteer during my studies. That having been said, I had an absolutely wonderful experience at Edinburgh and I can't recommend it enough! :fluffy:
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Yeh go for the one with the better course
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mediclyfe
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(Original post by RogerOxon)
The course is the most important aspect in this case, IMO. You have some concerns over the organisational side at Edinburgh, but it would, IMO, be odd to select Dundee when you don't like the course.

Have you tried talking to current students on the Edinburgh course?
Yes I have over this, alot of them have highlighted how disorganised it is etc and how minimal support with the course they've received. I don't know, I guess even if I liked the course, would the minimal support mean I end up doing worse at it rather than going to Dundee doing a course I don't enjoy as much but excelling at because of how well supported I'd be.
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mediclyfe
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(Original post by FishLover)
Prioritise the contents of the course. Even with all the support and good atmosphere, it would be hard to study something you don't really enjoy (would be for me anyway). Also important to consider where you want to be career wise and do the course that would lead to your goals.

Also I do think that going to a prestige university is overrated. Better to focus on how well they're ranked on individual subjects and student experience. The important thing at uni is to build a good network, do well and also try to get as much hands on experience as possible. I think that counts more when applying for jobs.
Definitely, Dundee ranks far higher than Edinburgh in life sciences as they offer the best department in Scotland. They also have better student satisfaction than Edinburgh and tbh I'm not very worried about prestige attached. It's just hard because as you said focus on how well the uni ranks and the overall student experience which Dundee takes lead on but then I need to prioritize course content which Edinburgh takes. It's just hard to find that balance
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mediclyfe
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(Original post by lconlon13)
Dundee is a dump
Edinburgh is the nicest city in the uk
I'd disagree to be honest. Dundee was lovely, it was definitely smaller and wasn't much to see but the community was much more lovely and welcoming. It's by the river and the unis life sciences department is so well funded and definitely outranks Edinburgh in terms of research and lab equipment. Edinburgh is definitely beautiful once you're in the centre but it's so dull and grey and everyone just seemed so rude and weren't very friendly at all.
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FishLover
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Honestly don't think that you can truly judge the student experience based on applicant day. Have you spoken to any current students? I honestly don't believe the student experience at any uni is unbearably bad. Some academic staff can be a little socially awkward themselves hehe
(Original post by mediclyfe)
Definitely, Dundee ranks far higher than Edinburgh in life sciences as they offer the best department in Scotland. They also have better student satisfaction than Edinburgh and tbh I'm not very worried about prestige attached. It's just hard because as you said focus on how well the uni ranks and the overall student experience which Dundee takes lead on but then I need to prioritize course content which Edinburgh takes. It's just hard to find that balance
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mediclyfe
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(Original post by Quick-use)
Just so you know, I wouldn't wholly judge your potential 4 year degree experience by an open day. I studied at Edinburgh and for my courses (languages) the information session + Q&A were pretty boring and this trend continued even when I attended as a student volunteer during my studies. That having been said, I had an absolutely wonderful experience at Edinburgh and I can't recommend it enough! :fluffy:
I guess so, I've just been more worried because before I attended, some students had said it was very unsupportive and the atmosphere seemed very unwelcoming and rushed. So when I visited and I did experience how passive it was it made me worry that they're also right about how bad the support from lecturers as a student is and how bad the feedback and course management is. Would you say you found something similar?
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lconlon13
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(Original post by mediclyfe)
I'd disagree to be honest. Dundee was lovely, it was definitely smaller and wasn't much to see but the community was much more lovely and welcoming. It's by the river and the unis life sciences department is so well funded and definitely outranks Edinburgh in terms of research and lab equipment. Edinburgh is definitely beautiful once you're in the centre but it's so dull and grey and everyone just seemed so rude and weren't very friendly at all.
It's an opinion your entitled to, but it's a wrong one
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Arisapo
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Edinburgh isn’t a bad uni at all — it’s in a beautiful city and a prestigious university. It could just have been rushed because of more applicants/it being more popular?

If you prefer the course, that’s even more reason to go as that’s the key thing when deciding really.
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mediclyfe
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(Original post by lconlon13)
It's an opinion your entitled to, but it's a wrong one
Well so was calling Dundee a dump? The city doesn't have much to offer compared to Edinburgh yes that's true, but Dundees science department far exceeds that of Edinburgh uni. It's a catch 22.
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lconlon13
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(Original post by mediclyfe)
Well so was calling Dundee a dump? The city doesn't have much to offer compared to Edinburgh yes that's true, but Dundees science department far exceeds that of Edinburgh uni. It's a catch 22.
Eh your choice but edinburghs a) a nicer place and b) a better uni
Regardless of how good the science building is at Dundee, Edinburgh is better for your cv. And Edinburgh being more gray and dull than dundee is a laugh.
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mediclyfe
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(Original post by FishLover)
Honestly don't think that you can truly judge the student experience based on applicant day. Have you spoken to any current students? I honestly don't believe the student experience at any uni is unbearably bad. Some academic staff can be a little socially awkward themselves hehe
I have done lots of research so my reasons aren't wholly based on my own experience during the visit. Dundee has a higher student satisfaction than Edinburgh. They offer more student support services whereas Edinburgh's funding for student services is very minimal. Edinburghs student satisfaction has consistently been a hot topic, just this year a student vocalised how the nonexistent support from the uni after her father's death meant she could no longer continue and ended up transferring to Napier instead. It's the little things like that, that I think matter. It's also a recurring theme for them too and noone can really offer much explanation apart from minimal funding, unsupportive faculty and mismanaged courses.
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Arisapo
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(Original post by mediclyfe)
I have done lots of research so my reasons aren't wholly based on my own experience during the visit. Dundee has a higher student satisfaction than Edinburgh. They offer more student support services whereas Edinburgh's funding for student services is very minimal. Edinburghs student satisfaction has consistently been a hot topic, just this year a student vocalised how the nonexistent support from the uni after her father's death meant she could no longer continue and ended up transferring to Napier instead. It's the little things like that, that I think matter. It's also a recurring theme for them too and noone can really offer much explanation apart from minimal funding, unsupportive faculty and mismanaged courses.
Honestly, it sounds like you’ve already formulated a negative idea of Edinburgh in your head and your gut wants to go to Dundee.

If you feel you’ll be happier there, go there. Dundee certainly isn’t a bad university.
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LuigiMario
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You are very lucky to get an offer from Edinburgh, quite a few well scored friends have failed in their applications over recent years.

You have to simply choose the course that you will enjoy doing, as I had one friend who went to a top international prestigious uni doing a course he wasn’t that keen on (it was a ‘sensible’ course that would lead to a good job) and he inevitably crashed out at end of first year.

If you choose to study in the bijou capital city of Scotland, and their top uni fails you in some organisational way, can’t you as a paying guest raise seven shades of hell with their customer relations management team?
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Quick-use
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(Original post by mediclyfe)
I guess so, I've just been more worried because before I attended, some students had said it was very unsupportive and the atmosphere seemed very unwelcoming and rushed. So when I visited and I did experience how passive it was it made me worry that they're also right about how bad the support from lecturers as a student is and how bad the feedback and course management is. Would you say you found something similar?
I think the thing is that Edinburgh is a huge university so compared to other universities, some things might not be as organised as well as they could be. Moreover, smaller universities have the luxury of being more intimate and homely.

It depends on the departments more than anything. The Japanese department at Edinburgh was overwhelmingly supportive and welcoming. I have nothing but praise for the Hispanic department as well. The French department could've been organised better, but they were supportive nonetheless.

At the end of the day, it's up to you. Edinburgh was actually my last choice - I'm from Edinburgh and wanted to move away. For various reasons, I went with Edinburgh and although I was very sad to go there, I tried to keep an open mind and I'm very glad that I did because my experience was amazing and I received a world class education.
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aineoneill
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(Original post by mediclyfe)
I hold offers for both Edinburgh university and Dundee university. I really loved visiting Dundee, the atmosphere was great and the applicant day was far more welcoming. It wasn't rushed and we got to meet other students and speak to loads of people. The course however isn't up my street, it's for biomedical sciences and it's very biochemistry based from what I've seen. It's what alot of people call a very underrated uni as it isn't red brick and is quiet modern. Their science department is so advanced though and ranked very highly.

But, although I very much like the course content of Edinburgh more (Medical Sciences), I found the applicant day very rushed. There was minimal time to ask questions about the course or speak to faculty and students. In fact, there were 0 students and only 1 lecturer who gave us a 1 hour talk and didn't really engage in much conversation with anyone after that. The whole day just felt a bit unorganised and it didn't seem very welcoming. I've also heard that Edinburgh has awful course organisation and their feedback is always late and nonexistent. They just don't seem as supportive as Dundee. However, the uni is very prestigious and I know people say that shouldn't matter but after just mentioning my offer from them passively at networking events, people were very keen for me to attend Edinburgh and said it would do wonders for my CV.

So I guess my dilemma is: go to a university which isn't prestigious but I loved attending, are far more supportive and has better student satisfaction while doing a course that I don't like or won't enjoy as much. OR go to a very prestigious university that will look attractive on my CV, that offers a course that I think I will enjoy more but seems very negligent of students, very passive and unsupportive and with very low student satisfaction and is very disorganized.

Basically : good uni but dislike course or bad uni but like course.

Help please?? Sorry if it's super long I'm having so much trouble articulating how I feel right now and I have 2 weeks to reply!

Also if anyone is at either uni and can offer any insight I'd really appreciate it!
(I currently attend Dundee uni in the school of life sciences so I may be a bit biased)
What aspect of the courses are you looking for most? Because I’m not sure if it’s the same for Edinburgh university but at Dundee everyone studying in the school of life sciences study the same thing and only specialise in 3rd year, meaning the course you applied for doesn’t really matter as everyone’s studying the exact same thing.

Maybe then taking a look at the descriptions for the other life science degrees at dundee include may make give you a broader idea of what dundee uni has to offer.
If it’s the same for Edinburgh then that goes for that uni as well.

Personally I have found the support here at Dundee has been good (I decided I wanted to move my degree course to mathematical biology as I missed maths and the process has been super easy) and there’s a real sense of community with the students.

Hope this makes sense
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