Jess_ter
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I'm not really sure why I'm posting this question, I guess it's just for advice because obviously it's something I need to decide for myself *but* I was wondering the extent to which applying to universities that aren't Russel Groups would be a waste of money/potential/too limiting when looking for a job.

I'm in year 12 at the moment and have visited 4 universities, of which my favourite wasn't a Russel Group (but ranked highly for biological sciences - my area of interest) and worst was a Russel Group. I already know that any in London I am ruling out because I don't want to live there, but my parents really want me to have a Russel Group uni as my first choice as they don't want me to regret my choice when applying for a job in the future (they aren't really pressuring me or anything, just trying to get the best for me ).

The reason I'm still so torn about it is because I want to study biochemistry, meaning good research is really important for a uni to have. Despite getting A*A*A* in my year 1 exams, I don't think it's likely that I'll do that well next year & am not really sure if I'd even be a competitive applicant as I don't have many extracurriculars (no clubs/instruments) for my personal statement and am so shy that my interviews can't go too well.


TLDR: don't know if I should apply to (high ranking) non-russel group uni as first choice or try to find a russel group uni that I & employers like
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by Jess_ter)
I'm not really sure why I'm posting this question, I guess it's just for advice because obviously it's something I need to decide for myself *but* I was wondering the extent to which applying to universities that aren't Russel Groups would be a waste of money/potential/too limiting when looking for a job.

I'm in year 12 at the moment and have visited 4 universities, of which my favourite wasn't a Russel Group (but ranked highly for biological sciences - my area of interest) and worst was a Russel Group. I already know that any in London I am ruling out because I don't want to live there, but my parents really want me to have a Russel Group uni as my first choice as they don't want me to regret my choice when applying for a job in the future (they aren't really pressuring me or anything, just trying to get the best for me ).

The reason I'm still so torn about it is because I want to study biochemistry, meaning good research is really important for a uni to have. Despite getting A*A*A* in my year 1 exams, I don't think it's likely that I'll do that well next year & am not really sure if I'd even be a competitive applicant as I don't have many extracurriculars (no clubs/instruments) for my personal statement and am so shy that my interviews can't go too well.


TLDR: don't know if I should apply to (high ranking) non-russel group uni as first choice or try to find a russel group uni that I & employers like
Find a university that you'll like.

With stellar grades like that, it's clear you're a driven individual and will succeed at any institution.

Whether or not you're proactive enough to seek work experience/internships during the Summer and Easter breaks are much bigger factors when it comes to securing a good graduate job rather than a uni being part of the RG non RG.
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Jess_ter
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also, not going to mention any of the unis I'm considering applying to for privacy reasons! (but the one I didn't like was Bristol)
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Jess_ter
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thank you so much that's an interesting point I didn't think about so will definitely look into how accessible internships & work experience are at the unis I've looked at
(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Find a university that you'll like.

With stellar grades like that, it's clear you're a driven individual and will succeed at any institution.

Whether or not you're proactive enough to seek work experience/internships during the Summer and Easter breaks are much bigger factors when it comes to securing a good graduate job rather than a uni being part of the RG non RG.
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mnot
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(Original post by Jess_ter)
I'm not really sure why I'm posting this question, I guess it's just for advice because obviously it's something I need to decide for myself *but* I was wondering the extent to which applying to universities that aren't Russel Groups would be a waste of money/potential/too limiting when looking for a job.

I'm in year 12 at the moment and have visited 4 universities, of which my favourite wasn't a Russel Group (but ranked highly for biological sciences - my area of interest) and worst was a Russel Group. I already know that any in London I am ruling out because I don't want to live there, but my parents really want me to have a Russel Group uni as my first choice as they don't want me to regret my choice when applying for a job in the future (they aren't really pressuring me or anything, just trying to get the best for me ).

The reason I'm still so torn about it is because I want to study biochemistry, meaning good research is really important for a uni to have. Despite getting A*A*A* in my year 1 exams, I don't think it's likely that I'll do that well next year & am not really sure if I'd even be a competitive applicant as I don't have many extracurriculars (no clubs/instruments) for my personal statement and am so shy that my interviews can't go too well.


TLDR: don't know if I should apply to (high ranking) non-russel group uni as first choice or try to find a russel group uni that I & employers like
RG is a research lobby group that has generally very little to do with undergraduate teaching.

That said RG unis (on average) are more prestigious, and open more doors in competitive job industries, and if your interested in research or academia as a career its highly recommended.

That said what course and what other Unis you pick also matter more, for example the Royal Vet College is not RG but is a world class institute and opens just as many doors as any other Vet degree. But if u said Bolton Uni, i would say your wasting time just looking at that Uni. Find somewhere that opens lots of doors for you in the future.

Also it doesn't matter what the Uni looks or feels like on an open day, open days just aren't representative of normal student life, i honestly think if you pick the right course any Uni can be the 'right' uni as its what you make of the experience not where you go!
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Jess_ter
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Ok thank you. I did fail to mention that there isn't anywhere I've looked at purely because it is a russel group uni, it had to rank well for biological sciences too.

I know that open days can't truly show what student life is like without exaggerating/embellishing features but do you really think what they look/feel like isn't useful if you have seen multiple unis? I found that by the 3rd open day there were more points for comparison so it was more indicative of what living there would be like (but obviously I don't know because I have no experience with uni life!)
(Original post by mnot)
RG is a research lobby group that has generally very little to do with undergraduate teaching.

That said RG unis (on average) are more prestigious, and open more doors in competitive job industries, and if your interested in research or academia as a career its highly recommended.

That said what course and what other Unis you pick also matter more, for example the Royal Vet College is not RG but is a world class institute and opens just as many doors as any other Vet degree. But if u said Bolton Uni, i would say your wasting time just looking at that Uni. Find somewhere that opens lots of doors for you in the future.

Also it doesn't matter what the Uni looks or feels like on an open day, open days just aren't representative of normal student life, i honestly think if you pick the right course any Uni can be the 'right' uni as its what you make of the experience not where you go!
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atiduy
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unpopular opinion on here but as someone who attended a RG uni, hated it and dropped out to be in a 'subpar'/ low ranked uni, the teaching isn't any different at RG/non-RG unis. the only benefit of RG unis is if you are particularly interested in research. employers can be poncy about it but really once you're in uni, achieving a good 2:1 or a 1st is what employers are really looking for. having a RG degree may give you a slight advantage but its the grade and what you learn there that really counts. my best advice is to go for a uni that really feels right when you visit there and to make sure the course hits all the marks on what you want to study. also, check how many teaching hours you get. research heavy universities sometimes have less teaching hours due to staff being heavily involved in research as their primary job at the institution with teaching being a secondary. especially with your grades you will definitely get into wherever you want and if that's a RG then all the better, but it really is not the be all and end all as some would make it out to be.
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iseesparksfly
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A uni being RG doesn't mean that much to be honest, the group is self-made and it's really just about research, there are a few unis ha aren't even that good that are RG. Definitely still go for applying to ones not within RG
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mnot
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(Original post by Jess_ter)
Ok thank you. I did fail to mention that there isn't anywhere I've looked at purely because it is a russel group uni, it had to rank well for biological sciences too.

I know that open days can't truly show what student life is like without exaggerating/embellishing features but do you really think what they look/feel like isn't useful if you have seen multiple unis? I found that by the 3rd open day there were more points for comparison so it was more indicative of what living there would be like (but obviously I don't know because I have no experience with uni life!)

I think it might be useful helping to decide if you want a campus or city uni and some other more trivial factors, but actually living somewhere is a different feeling, I would still say go to open days and pick your favourite as its all you can really do, but their walking round the uni in a tour is not the same as rushing about campus to get to lectures or doing an all night library slog once you actually become a student.

Also just personal opinion but don't put too much weight on the CUG or Guardian uni rankings their pretty poor & compiled to make money not perform an accurate evaluation. But i honestly think people should pick Unis based on the opportunities they provide, your paying the Uni £27K minimum, make sure you get a good return on the investment!
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harrysbar
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(Original post by Jess_ter)
also, not going to mention any of the unis I'm considering applying to for privacy reasons! (but the one I didn't like was Bristol)
RG isn't everything, but I would urge you to go make sure you go to a good uni with those predictions - unis will be a lot more excited by them than worried about your lack of extracurriculars, and most unis don't interview anyway for Biological Sciences.

You don't say what you didn't like about Bristol but maybe that will help you shortlist more suitable unis - like maybe you would prefer campus unis or unis in smaller cities?

You can list the unis you are considering if you want to on here btw - there are no privacy issues to worry about since we can't identify who you are anyway (and it wouldn't even matter if we did). It would help us to give better advice if you gave more details about the unis you are considering, but it's up to you
Last edited by harrysbar; 3 months ago
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e.m1002
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(Original post by Jess_ter)
I'm not really sure why I'm posting this question, I guess it's just for advice because obviously it's something I need to decide for myself *but* I was wondering the extent to which applying to universities that aren't Russel Groups would be a waste of money/potential/too limiting when looking for a job.

I'm in year 12 at the moment and have visited 4 universities, of which my favourite wasn't a Russel Group (but ranked highly for biological sciences - my area of interest) and worst was a Russel Group. I already know that any in London I am ruling out because I don't want to live there, but my parents really want me to have a Russel Group uni as my first choice as they don't want me to regret my choice when applying for a job in the future (they aren't really pressuring me or anything, just trying to get the best for me ).

The reason I'm still so torn about it is because I want to study biochemistry, meaning good research is really important for a uni to have. Despite getting A*A*A* in my year 1 exams, I don't think it's likely that I'll do that well next year & am not really sure if I'd even be a competitive applicant as I don't have many extracurriculars (no clubs/instruments) for my personal statement and am so shy that my interviews can't go too well.


TLDR: don't know if I should apply to (high ranking) non-russel group uni as first choice or try to find a russel group uni that I & employers like
It makes no difference. As long as you’ve got a degree in the subject you need, that’s all that matters. Employers don’t care whether it’s from a Russel Group uni or not!
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Jess_ter
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(Original post by harrysbar)
RG isn't everything, but I would urge you to go make sure you go to a good uni with those predictions - unis will be a lot more excited by them than worried about your lack of extracurriculars, and most unis don't interview anyway for Biological Sciences.

You don't say what you didn't like about Bristol but maybe that will help you shortlist more suitable unis - like maybe you would prefer campus unis or unis in smaller cities?

You can list the unis you are considering if you want to on here btw - there are no privacy issues to worry about since we can't identify who you are anyway (and it wouldn't even matter if we did). It would help us to give better advice if you gave more details about the unis you are considering, but it's up to you
I think it was the fact that Bristol is a busy city & city uni haha, the other 3 I saw were campus unis so I'm pretty sure that's my preference. It also (in my inexperienced opinion) didn't have much better science facilities despite being so much larger than the others.
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harrysbar
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(Original post by Jess_ter)
I think it was the fact that Bristol is a busy city & city uni haha, the other 3 I saw were campus unis so I'm pretty sure that's my preference. It also (in my inexperienced opinion) didn't have much better science facilities despite being so much larger than the others.
That is absolutely fair enough - lots of people love Bristol but I prefer campus unis too.

Do you mind saying where the others are that you are considering?
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swanseajack1
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It depends what universities you are looking at. The likes of St Andrews, Bath and Lancaster are as good as or even better than many RG universities. RG means very little. It was set up to protect a number of larger mainly older universities who feared losing their research funding. Go to the university you prefer and ignore whether it is RG or not. Try to go for one of the best universities you can but it needs to be somewhere you will be comfortable for 3 years. Durham, Lancaster, Bath and Exeter are all worth considering. The latter 3 are campus universities and Durham has the college system. All are fairly small cities.
(Original post by Jess_ter)
I think it was the fact that Bristol is a busy city & city uni haha, the other 3 I saw were campus unis so I'm pretty sure that's my preference. It also (in my inexperienced opinion) didn't have much better science facilities despite being so much larger than the others.
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Jess_ter
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I *really* appreciate the help but would still prefer not to mention the ones I'm considering. However despite my uncertainty on whether I should apply to Russel Groups as my first choices or not, I feel like I'm in a pretty good place where I am happy with the 3 I've seen and may not even attend any more open days
(Original post by harrysbar)
That is absolutely fair enough - lots of people love Bristol but I prefer campus unis too.

Do you mind saying where the others are that you are considering?
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swanseajack1
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The difficulty for anyone to be able to advise you properly they would need to know this but its your choice. The advice would be very different if you were say talking about Bath or say Bath Spa instead of Bristol.
(Original post by Jess_ter)
I *really* appreciate the help but would still prefer not to mention the ones I'm considering. However despite my uncertainty on whether I should apply to Russel Groups as my first choices or not, I feel like I'm in a pretty good place where I am happy with the 3 I've seen and may not even attend any more open days
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mnot
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(Original post by Jess_ter)
I *really* appreciate the help but would still prefer not to mention the ones I'm considering. However despite my uncertainty on whether I should apply to Russel Groups as my first choices or not, I feel like I'm in a pretty good place where I am happy with the 3 I've seen and may not even attend any more open days
then why ask for advice...

you mention you got A*A*A* want to study BioChem & research is important to you.
Well the reality is you dont actually seem to want advice, and what you say you want from a uni doesn't match up with what you've said in later posts. It's impossible for someone to provide any decent advice without a clearer picture of the situation.
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Cass911
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(Original post by iseesparksfly)
A uni being RG doesn't mean that much to be honest, the group is self-made and it's really just about research, there are a few unis ha aren't even that good that are RG. Definitely still go for applying to ones not within RG
This. The Russell Group tries to be the Ivy league of the UK even though in reality they don't really approach Ivy League level. It's deffo worth applying for universities not within the RG too.
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Jess_ter
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I understand that but nothing I've looked into ranks as badly as Bath Spa, and am not really in a position where I'm choosing between one russel group & one non-russel group uni.
(Original post by swanseajack1)
The difficulty for anyone to be able to advise you properly they would need to know this but its your choice. The advice would be very different if you were say talking about Bath or say Bath Spa instead of Bristol.
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Jess_ter
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I don't really see anything contradictory I've said. That being said, I wasn't asking for advice on what university to go to. I was just asking whether I should aim to apply to russel group unis despite my preferences not being russel groups at the moment (from open days).
(Original post by mnot)
then why ask for advice...

you mention you got A*A*A* want to study BioChem & research is important to you.
Well the reality is you dont actually seem to want advice, and what you say you want from a uni doesn't match up with what you've said in later posts. It's impossible for someone to provide any decent advice without a clearer picture of the situation.
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