Picking the right university in the UK / Scotland Watch

eclectic-prawn
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I’m choosing and applying to unis for 2020 entry, and am leaning towards Business and Law courses. My grades are ABBCC (i did extra subjects to try). For now, I have seriously considered to apply to University of Edinburgh and University of Stirling as a back up choice, since its not the best but not the worst and I would probably get in (Requirements being BBB), however I don’t know which other unis would be suitable for me to chose. My brother finished his courses at UCL and is encouraging me to apply but requirements are all A*AA (Same as KCL). Other universities like Bath and Loughborough seem unfavourable because of the sporty reputation and I am very unsure about what universities I can seriously take into consideration. Money isn’t even an issue, I just want to have a good life and study at a good university with a decent reputation. all advice appreciated!
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random_matt
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There is something wrong with the thread title.
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eclectic-prawn
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Just asking for advice on picking the right uni How’s the title wrong?
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random_matt
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(Original post by eclectic-prawn)
Just asking for advice on picking the right uni How’s the title wrong?
Scotland is part of the UK.
Anyway, the usual universities that get mentioned are Exeter, Bristol and Nottingham aside from London.
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eclectic-prawn
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(Original post by random_matt)
Scotland is part of the UK.
Anyway, the usual universities that get mentioned are Exeter, Bristol and Nottingham aside from London.
Bristol and Exeter don’t really have a good reputation and i’ve never even heard about Nottingham? Whattt?
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by eclectic-prawn)
Bristol and Exeter don’t really have a good reputation and i’ve never even heard about Nottingham? Whattt?
Bristol and Exeter have excellent reputations as does Nottingham. Others worthy of consideration include Lancaster and if your grades are lower places like Reading, Kent, East Anglia, Royal Holloway and Sussex. All these universities are as good or better than Stirling or Edinburgh.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by eclectic-prawn)
Bristol and Exeter don’t really have a good reputation and i’ve never even heard about Nottingham? Whattt?
IMO, especially for Law, Bristol, Exeter and Nottingham all have a stronger reputation than Stirling. However, they're likely to want higher grades than you currently have.

I'd suggest having a look through the complete uni guide rankings here:
https://www.thecompleteuniversitygui...rankings?s=law

ETA: but I think if you want to practice in Scotland, you're better off studying there.
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
IMO, especially for Law, Bristol, Exeter and Nottingham all have a stronger reputation than Stirling. However, they're likely to want higher grades than you currently have.

I'd suggest having a look through the complete uni guide rankings here:
https://www.thecompleteuniversitygui...rankings?s=law

ETA: but I think if you want to practice in Scotland, you're better off studying there.
The guys on the law forum have submitted and received FOI requests which show that in past years Bristol accepted ABB and Exeter ABC for law so they are worth looking into. The published expected grades are often not adhered to by universities even for Law it seems. Bristol and I think Nottingham require LNAT whilst Exeter and some of the others mentioned dont. I agree with your last sentence
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artful_lounger
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Exeter in particular is notorious for giving offers well below the published entry criteria and/or being extremely "flexible" wrt to missed grades on results day. They really just inflate the published criteria significantly to give a sense of exclusivity and prestige since students assume if they have high entry criteria comparable to e.g. Oxbridge and popular London universities, they will be on par with them academically (which is not the case for most departments there, although law is one of the better departments at Exeter).
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
The guys on the law forum have submitted and received FOI requests which show that in past years Bristol accepted ABB and Exeter ABC for law so they are worth looking into. The published expected grades are often not adhered to by universities even for Law it seems. Bristol and I think Nottingham require LNAT whilst Exeter and some of the others mentioned dont. I agree with your last sentence
(Original post by artful_lounger)
Exeter in particular is notorious for giving offers well below the published entry criteria and/or being extremely "flexible" wrt to missed grades on results day. They really just inflate the published criteria significantly to give a sense of exclusivity and prestige since students assume if they have high entry criteria comparable to e.g. Oxbridge and popular London universities, they will be on par with them academically (which is not the case for most departments there, although law is one of the better departments at Exeter).
Well then, definitely worth OP taking a look at Exeter/Bristol if they're happy to study in England then.

I'm pretty sure OP is taking Scottish Highers though, so they're not 100% comparable with A-level grades.
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eclectic-prawn
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Well then, definitely worth OP taking a look at Exeter/Bristol if they're happy to study in England then.

I'm pretty sure OP is taking Scottish Highers though, so they're not 100% comparable with A-level grades.
actually i’m taking A-Levels and im partially British, with the passport and all, just studied in Malta in secondary and sixth form. I will definitely look into Exeter, Bristol and Nottingham, since it seems like I have a chance to get in. Not sure about other lower tier unis like Kent, Royal Holloway and others mentioned, i’m really not sure about them in terms of standards, life and overall experience.

Stirling is more like a backup option since I feel like it’s not challenging to get into with BBB Requirements and if worst comes to worst I won’t end up without an education.

Thank you for all the help guys
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by eclectic-prawn)
actually i’m taking A-Levels and im partially British, with the passport and all, just studied in Malta in secondary and sixth form. I will definitely look into Exeter, Bristol and Nottingham, since it seems like I have a chance to get in. Not sure about other lower tier unis like Kent, Royal Holloway and others mentioned, i’m really not sure about them in terms of standards, life and overall experience.

Stirling is more like a backup option since I feel like it’s not challenging to get into with BBB Requirements and if worst comes to worst I won’t end up without an education.

Thank you for all the help guys
Ah, I see.

Taking 5 A-levels is pretty unusual. I'd strongly suggest dropping down to your 3 best subjects next year and focus on getting the best grades possible for those subjects. You'll probably find that you'll get better grades in those three (maybe as high as AAA if you put the work in). You could then take a gap year and apply to unis with grades in hand. If you apply with AAA already, this would put you in a really strong position even for top unis.
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eclectic-prawn
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Thing is, i definitely can’t drop any subjects or even take a gap year because of my circumstances which don’t allow it.

I have an extra A level which is a breeze for me, i barely spend any time on it and am positive i’ll get an A since i’m already top of the class, since it’s easier for me.

the other A Level is art, which i absolutely adore but isn’t even accepted or considered in some universities, so it’s a gamble.

Therefore, doing all of my A levels together would be the only way and i just need to go to uni in 2020, there’s no exceptions really, even though my grades aren’t the best.
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swanseajack1
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You definitely would be best advised to stick to 3 A levels. Taking more risks dropping a grade hence why your grades are lower this year. Nearly all universities make offers based on 3 A levels including UCL, Bristol, Exeter and Nottingham. Top universities for law usually require LNAT although as your from abroad this might not apply but check this out with the universities themselves. Generally universities accept you with 2 preferred subjects and 1 non preferred .Often art is classed as a preferred subject anyway. Below is UCL list of preferred subjects

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-st...level-subjects

Birmingham university list

Preferred subjects:
We prefer applications from students offering at least two A levels from our list of preferred subjects:
Accounting, Ancient History, Anthropology, Archaeology, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Classical Civilisation, Computing, Drama and Theatre Studies, Economics, English Language, English Language and Literature, English Literature, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Further Mathematics, Geography, Geology, Government and Politics, History, History of Art, Human Biology, Law, Mathematics, Medieval History, Modern or Classical Languages, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Statistics, World Development
We are happy to accept any subject as the third A level (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking). If you are not studying an A level combination that includes two of these subjects, please contact the Law School.


It might be worth looking at a range of offers with different grades and looking at the likes of UCL, Bristol, Exeter, Lancaster and one of the lower expectation universities. The benefit of Scottish universities for EC students is financial as EC students pay no fees there but pay in English universities
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eclectic-prawn
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
You definitely would be best advised to stick to 3 A levels. Taking more risks dropping a grade hence why your grades are lower this year. Nearly all universities make offers based on 3 A levels including UCL, Bristol, Exeter and Nottingham. Top universities for law usually require LNAT although as your from abroad this might not apply but check this out with the universities themselves. Generally universities accept you with 2 preferred subjects and 1 non preferred .Often art is classed as a preferred subject anyway. Below is UCL list of preferred subjects

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-st...level-subjects

Birmingham university list

Preferred subjects:
We prefer applications from students offering at least two A levels from our list of preferred subjects:
Accounting, Ancient History, Anthropology, Archaeology, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Classical Civilisation, Computing, Drama and Theatre Studies, Economics, English Language, English Language and Literature, English Literature, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Further Mathematics, Geography, Geology, Government and Politics, History, History of Art, Human Biology, Law, Mathematics, Medieval History, Modern or Classical Languages, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Statistics, World Development
We are happy to accept any subject as the third A level (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking). If you are not studying an A level combination that includes two of these subjects, please contact the Law School.


It might be worth looking at a range of offers with different grades and looking at the likes of UCL, Bristol, Exeter, Lancaster and one of the lower expectation universities. The benefit of Scottish universities for EC students is financial as EC students pay no fees there but pay in English universities
I may definitely take my subjects into consideration now, my A Levels include English Language & Literature, Philosophy, Russian Language and Literature, Art (Practical Design + Art History) and Psychology.

Russian A Level I study once a week for 2 hours and it is my best grade, I will definitely get an A, and am always getting the best grades in class as it is.

Perhaps dropping psychology would be wise in my circumstances to up my other grades, since I don’t see it being as useful as English or Philosophy to get into Law..?

Art isn’t even mentioned in the preferred subjects for Birmingham uni and there are other universities which don’t accept it either which flustered me a little bit.

However, thank you for shedding some light on the subject, I might reconsider my subjects even though I doubt it will help me THAT much.

Will be applying to: University of Edinburgh, University of Bristol, University of Exeter, UCL, University of Stirling - I think. Still not solid on my choices but Edinburgh is a definite option for me, and am also leaning towards UCL since my brother went there and finished his degree, proving to be a good alumni, encouraging me to go there too.
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swanseajack1
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English Literature and Language and Philosophy will be accepted as your 2 preferred subjects. Art or your Russian subject will be fine as your 3rd unless the Russian is a native language. If that is the case you need to check whether that is acceptable to your universities. If you are considering Law check the law forum here as there are people there like Notoriety and JohanGRK who spcialise in the subject and might be able to give you better advice.
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=28
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6028740
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6072974

As far as business is concerned do not rule Bath out. It is far more than a sporting university and is well worth considering as there will be many there who are not sporty.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by eclectic-prawn)
I may definitely take my subjects into consideration now, my A Levels include English Language & Literature, Philosophy, Russian Language and Literature, Art (Practical Design + Art History) and Psychology.

Russian A Level I study once a week for 2 hours and it is my best grade, I will definitely get an A, and am always getting the best grades in class as it is.

Perhaps dropping psychology would be wise in my circumstances to up my other grades, since I don’t see it being as useful as English or Philosophy to get into Law..?

Art isn’t even mentioned in the preferred subjects for Birmingham uni and there are other universities which don’t accept it either which flustered me a little bit.

However, thank you for shedding some light on the subject, I might reconsider my subjects even though I doubt it will help me THAT much.

Will be applying to: University of Edinburgh, University of Bristol, University of Exeter, UCL, University of Stirling - I think. Still not solid on my choices but Edinburgh is a definite option for me, and am also leaning towards UCL since my brother went there and finished his degree, proving to be a good alumni, encouraging me to go there too.
That sounds like a good set of options for the moment, obviously you don't have to commit until you apply. Would you have the option to visit the UK and visit a few of your options?

It seems like you're taking a lot of A-levels and I'd definitely suggest thinking about dropping one or two. Art is a subject with a large workload too.

In the UK, the conventional wisdom is that taking over 4 A-levels is a huge workload and will have a significant impact on your grades, so honestly I do think dropping one or two will really help!
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StudentRep Annabel
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(Original post by eclectic-prawn)
actually i’m taking A-Levels and im partially British, with the passport and all, just studied in Malta in secondary and sixth form. I will definitely look into Exeter, Bristol and Nottingham, since it seems like I have a chance to get in. Not sure about other lower tier unis like Kent, Royal Holloway and others mentioned, i’m really not sure about them in terms of standards, life and overall experience.

Stirling is more like a backup option since I feel like it’s not challenging to get into with BBB Requirements and if worst comes to worst I won’t end up without an education.

Thank you for all the help guys
Hi there!
I'm a current student at Kent and I've really enjoyed studying there League table rankings are probably better at helping you see where universities rank academically but I personally think that university league table ranking doesn't really reflect student experience that well. I went to a high ranking Russell Group university for my first year, and purely went because of league table rankings, and I found the student experience to be honestly terrible and ending up moving universities because of it . I know that everyone will have a different experience but it made me think that life at university is quite hard to quantify on a league table because student life is largely what you make it! Also it's hard to put a number on something so personal like that. But that's just what I think

For me life at Kent has been great and honestly I'm so pleased that I changed universities and went to one that felt like it fit me better Kent still ranks in the top 20 for Law so you certainly wouldn't be compromising too much by applying. Choosing which university to go to is quite a personal decision but I thought I'd just share my experience in case it helps you at all Good luck with your applications!
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