Borhap
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Hey all, considering politics and history from soas or asia pacific studies and politics from leeds, any ideas? I like both of them! (Maybe more for soas but im kinda afraid that I couldn’t find a job later cuz leeds’ reputation seems to be better?) many thanks!
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Surubi
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If you're completely tied between the courses, try looking at the cities too. There's a lot more going on in London, but the cost of living is a lot higher. Would you be happier with a smaller, but cheaper city?
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laurence_tho
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Yeah Leeds might be superficially better because it's in the Russell Group, but city and course matter most, with reputation of the uni a distant third I'd say. As long as you personally don't feel like you're underselling yourself, go for the one you like the most.
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hotchocolate66
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(Original post by Borhap)
Hey all, considering politics and history from soas or asia pacific studies and politics from leeds, any ideas? I like both of them! (Maybe more for soas but im kinda afraid that I couldn’t find a job later cuz leeds’ reputation seems to be better?) many thanks!
Soas isnt good.
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ohnoitssophie
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(Original post by Surubi)
If you're completely tied between the courses, try looking at the cities too. There's a lot more going on in London, but the cost of living is a lot higher. Would you be happier with a smaller, but cheaper city?
As a student living in London, the cost of living here is craaaazy, it's definitely a major factor to studying here - make sure you can afford it. The cheapest place I found to live for what I wanted is in Zone 3 and it takes half an hour to get to uni (my uni is next door to SOAS). Since I'm 23 I don't mind it, but I know a lot of people who'd hate that and rather live a lot nearer to uni/on campus. Bear in mind SOAS don't own their own halls like Leeds do and share accommodation with other UoL universities.

Another potential factor to think about are the campuses. SOAS is TINY, Leeds is huge (I visited last year for an open day). If you think you'd like more a community feel, Leeds would probably be the winner there.

I agree with laurence_tho that reputation doesn't really matter, a degree is a degree at the end of the day. Definitely go with the course that fit with your interests best
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Borhap
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May i know how’s the reputation of soas in general? Since im from a big city overseas haha. I did consider about the cities and since im a quite resilient person, im fine w both of them! May i know why hotchoco thinks that soas is not good? I hope to be a civil servant or work in international organisations after graduation of ug or even a master.
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gjd800
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SOAS is good for some stuff and not so good for others. Particular strengths in religion and languages
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Borhap
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And yes i found that leeds course is more easy for me... like i have learnt them in my country’s high school, so it might be easier for me to get a nice grade. For soas, the courses are more challenging to me and those are questions that i always think about, I hope to solve these difficulties in my mind but im not confident in myself. So i afraid that i’ll get a worser grade haha. Should i choose a course that could get better grades or more challenging ones? Thanks!
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Borhap
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(Original post by gjd800)
SOAS is good for some stuff and not so good for others. Particular strengths in religion and languages
I guess history and politics will be fine? Im fond of politics n history in east and southeast asia
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Borhap
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(Original post by hotchocolate66)
Soas isnt good.
May i know why?
Last edited by Borhap; 2 months ago
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YasudaSayo
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I'm also trying to pick between leeds and soas atm, but for Japanese
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Quick-use
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(Original post by YasudaSayo)
I'm also trying to pick between leeds and soas atm, but for Japanese
Are you applying this year or you've already applied?
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YasudaSayo
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(Original post by Quick-use)
Are you applying this year or you've already applied?
Applying for 2020 entry. I honestly have 0 clue which one I'm going to pick. Leeds seems to be the obvious answer because it's Russell group, but I would feel more comfortable going to SOAS and living in London because it's quite near to home, whereas Leeds is so far away. Also the size of the unis/campuses, I would feel more comfortable with a smaller one (SOAS) because I have terrible anxiety. But I guess the course is the most important thing and I shouldn't play into my anxieties. Do you know which course is more language-based? That's the aspect I'm most interested in.
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umbrellala
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(Original post by Borhap)
Hey all, considering politics and history from soas or asia pacific studies and politics from leeds, any ideas? I like both of them! (Maybe more for soas but im kinda afraid that I couldn’t find a job later cuz leeds’ reputation seems to be better?) many thanks!
SOAS is suited best for people who want to go into quite a niche area of study, so if you're looking for a general degree then it wouldn't be the best choice for you. Leeds is better known more broadly, so if you're planning on applying for a 'standard' graduate job then go for Leeds. SOAS isn't as broadly known, but in its areas of focus it is very well regarded, so if you're looking to specialise in Asian politics and history (or preferably something even more specific than that) then it's probably the better choice.
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YasudaSayo
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(Original post by umbrellala)
SOAS is suited best for people who want to go into quite a niche area of study, so if you're looking for a general degree then it wouldn't be the best choice for you. Leeds is better known more broadly, so if you're planning on applying for a 'standard' graduate job then go for Leeds. SOAS isn't as broadly known, but in its areas of focus it is very well regarded, so if you're looking to specialise in Asian politics and history (or preferably something even more specific than that) then it's probably the better choice.
If I'm doing Japanese but thinking about doing things unrelated to that in the future (eg primary education PGCE, civil service etc), is it better for me to go to Leeds?
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Quick-use
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(Original post by YasudaSayo)
Applying for 2020 entry. I honestly have 0 clue which one I'm going to pick. Leeds seems to be the obvious answer because it's Russell group, but I would feel more comfortable going to SOAS and living in London because it's quite near to home, whereas Leeds is so far away. Also the size of the unis/campuses, I would feel more comfortable with a smaller one (SOAS) because I have terrible anxiety. But I guess the course is the most important thing and I shouldn't play into my anxieties. Do you know which course is more language-based? That's the aspect I'm most interested in.
I wouldn't worry about what's Russel group and what's not when it comes to languages. SOAS is renowned for producing exceptional linguists; it's perhaps one of the best, if not the best, universities you can go to for language-learning. The only problem I've heard (from various sources of both former and current students) is that the Japanese department/faculty(?) can be extremely cut-throat (every student for themselves) and that there are a lot of internal issues owing to politics among the departmental staff / academics.

Completely up to you - if you want incredibly intensive Japanese-language classes close to home, then go for SOAS. If you want a somewhat more chill experience that's also very valuable, then go for Leeds.

As an aside, are you thinking of applying for straight Japanese or another subject alongside it?
Last edited by Quick-use; 2 months ago
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Quick-use
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(Original post by YasudaSayo)
If I'm doing Japanese but thinking about doing things unrelated to that in the future (eg primary education PGCE, civil service etc), is it better for me to go to Leeds?
Not directed at me but I can say with 100% certainty: definitely not! :fluffy:
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umbrellala
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(Original post by YasudaSayo)
If I'm doing Japanese but thinking about doing things unrelated to that in the future (eg primary education PGCE, civil service etc), is it better for me to go to Leeds?
No, not necessarily. For languages it works a little differently since SOAS is a specialist university and has the best expertise in East Asia outside of Oxbridge. For Japanese specifically, SOAS has the highest concentration of Japan specialists outside of Japan so they're obviously very well-equipped and well-respected when it comes to its specialist languages. Essentially, a specialist (ie. in direct relation to Asia, Africa, or the Middle East) degree from SOAS will be very well-respected regardless of which type of job you're applying to and what I was saying in reply to OP was in relation to its non-specialist subjects only.
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umbrellala
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(Original post by Quick-use)
I wouldn't worry about what's Russel group and what's not when it comes to languages. SOAS is renowned for producing exceptional linguists; it's perhaps one of the best, if not the best, universities you can go to for language-learning. The only problem I've heard (from various sources of both former and current students) is that the Japanese department/faculty(?) can be extremely cut-throat (every student for themselves) and that there are a lot of internal issues owing to politics among the departmental staff / academics.

Completely up to you - if you want incredibly intensive Japanese-language classes close to home, then go for SOAS. If you want a somewhat more chill experience that's also very valuable, then go for Leeds.

As an aside, are you thinking of applying for straight Japanese or another subject alongside it?
I would agree with this! I'm part of the Japan and Korea department at SOAS, but doing Korean. The department is very cut-throat, there is a lot of competition between students to the extent that everyone knows each other's marks for every test (across the whole course, not just your class) since we're in direct competition for year abroad places. Students will frequently be disappointed about not getting a first in mid-terms and end of semester exams. The lecturers will not hesitate to kick you off the course if you are underperforming, and 4 people left our small 15-person class within the first semester. That being said, we are very supportive of each other since we're all in the same boat and the language students tend to be very tight-knit. It definitely won't be a laid-back experience but I guess it depends whether you want something really rigorous and intense or something more chilled out. There are definitely political issues regarding the relationship between academics and higher up managerial staff which does occasionally cause hiccups with organisation but I wouldn't say there's a massive impact on students, at least not in my experience.
(Also sorry to OP for hijacking this thread a little!)
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YasudaSayo
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Thank you both! I guess I'll make my decision after visiting both of them on the open days, but I'm leaning more towards SOAS now I think. :yum:
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