Would it be a bad decision to choose Essex over Bristol? Watch

angelinahx
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i'm applying for sociology and politics for the 2020 cycle and i've already done my a-levels, i meet the entry req's for both courses so hopefully i'll receive an unconditional offer from both universities but i'm really torn between the two.

pros of essex:
- top 40 in the world for my course - bristol ranks 100-150 (QS)
- i LOVE the modules at essex - literally everything fascinates me whereas a lot of bristol modules bore me - they seem really dry and dull
- i can study abroad for an entire year - bristol only allows me to study abroad for 5 months
- it's a campus uni

cons of essex:
- in the middle of,,, nowhere (but relatively close to london)
- probably considered an average uni in general so an employer won't have that initial "wow" reaction if i tell them i went to a russell group uni
- ????

pros of bristol:
- fun city
- russell group, employers/future grad schools may be more impressed
- ????

cons of bristol:
- a lot of the modules are really boring
- the mental health department at bristol is sh*t (theyve had so many suicides) and i struggle with anxiety
- i can only study abroad for 5 months

would it be horrible to not choose bristol just bc it's a russell group university?
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squeakysquirrel
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(Original post by angelinahx)
i'm applying for sociology and politics for the 2020 cycle and i've already done my a-levels, i meet the entry req's for both courses so hopefully i'll receive an unconditional offer from both universities but i'm really torn between the two.

pros of essex:
- top 40 in the world for my course - bristol ranks 100-150 (QS)
- i LOVE the modules at essex - literally everything fascinates me whereas a lot of bristol modules bore me - they seem really dry and dull
- i can study abroad for an entire year - bristol only allows me to study abroad for 5 months
- it's a campus uni

cons of essex:
- in the middle of,,, nowhere (but relatively close to london)
- probably considered an average uni in general so an employer won't have that initial "wow" reaction if i tell them i went to a russell group uni
- ????

pros of bristol:
- fun city
- russell group, employers/future grad schools may be more impressed
- ????

cons of bristol:
- a lot of the modules are really boring
- the mental health department at bristol is sh*t (theyve had so many suicides) and i struggle with anxiety
- i can only study abroad for 5 months

would it be horrible to not choose bristol just bc it's a russell group university?
I think you have answered your question already. You are just looking for validation. If you like Essex then go there. University is not just about the place. It is about all the add-ons. So network. Join clubs. Write for the university rag. Write for national newspapers.

Nobody I guarantee goes into an interview saying oh I went to a Russell group university.

Years ago I would have sneered at Essex but not now. You go there and make the most of it
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Anonymous #1
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I agree with the above post. It's very clear that you are more drawn to the course at Essex, so I would suggest you go there. You will probably do better at Essex as you find the modules more interesting there then at Bristol. Remember, you have to study this course for 3/4 years.

I don't know why people make such a big deal out of RG universities. I really think it is about the experiences and skills you gain from your degree, not what university you go to (for the most part) rather than where you got your degree from.
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angelinahx
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(Original post by squeakysquirrel)
Years ago I would have sneered at Essex but not now
Why is that?
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ltsmith
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employers don't have a wow reaction to even Russell group universities.

maybe they have a wow reaction to somewhere like Harvard or MIT
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Notoriety
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(Original post by ltsmith)
employers don't have a wow reaction to even Russell group universities.
I have had people say it to me in interviews.
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angelinahx
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(Original post by ltsmith)
employers don't have a wow reaction to even Russell group universities.

maybe they have a wow reaction to somewhere like Harvard or MIT
i'm not british but i literally thought you were ****ed if you didn't go to a rg uni. i really want to work in political journalism & media when i finish (like bbc/the guardian) and idk if i would still be as competitive if i went to essex than if i had a bristol degree
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ltsmith
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(Original post by Notoriety)
I have had people say it to me in interviews.
I've never had anyone say it to me in interviews, but maybe law is different to tech in that regards.
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ltsmith
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(Original post by angelinahx)
i'm not british but i literally thought you were ****ed if you didn't go to a rg uni. i really want to work in political journalism & media when i finish (like bbc/the guardian) and idk if i would still be as competitive if i went to essex than if i had a bristol degree
didn't you make the thread 'it doesn't matter what university you go to'?

lol
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Anonymous #2
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I have never been to essex uni but when I went to the Bristol uni open day I hated it so much that I left before by subject talk at midday. I looked around alot of unis and this was the only one I left early from as there seemed to be no sense of community and I think it would be easier at Bristol - at least more so than other unis - to feel really lonely and isolated. I know this is only one persons opinion but my gut feeling when I went there was that the city was gorg but the uni experience could end up being a lot worse than somewhere else.
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Scotney
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Have you visited these unis. Without doubt it is the best way to work out where you will feel happiest. Also why are you only considering these two as neither seem to tick all your boxes.?
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Notoriety
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(Original post by ltsmith)
I've never had anyone say it to me in interviews, but maybe law is different to tech in that regards.
It's not a clinching factor, but I reject the idea that no employer has heard of RG nor would any employer be impressed (I should add, I think naively) that you attended RG.

The issue with Essex and Bristol does not really come down to RG or not. It comes down to the brand of Essex compared to the brand of Bristol. I won't pretend to know the quality of sociology at either uni, but if there is a distinct difference between the two courses, it would make sense that specialist employers would know the difference. Generalist employers are simply going off the overall reputation of the uni; if they allow that to influence their decision at all (even the CBI says around 13-17% of employers think the name of the uni is one of the most important features of an app), then OP could struggle.


Spoiler:
Show


It should be noted it is not clear what percentage of employers think uni name is important but falls short of being most important.




But who knows. Maybe OP will be the next Speaker of the House of Commons.
Last edited by Notoriety; 4 weeks ago
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Scotney
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I have never been to essex uni but when I went to the Bristol uni open day I hated it so much that I left before by subject talk at midday. I looked around alot of unis and this was the only one I left early from as there seemed to be no sense of community and I think it would be easier at Bristol - at least more so than other unis - to feel really lonely and isolated. I know this is only one persons opinion but my gut feeling when I went there was that the city was gorg but the uni experience could end up being a lot worse than somewhere else.
Weirdly felt exactly the same when visiting with son 5years ago. And that was before all the sad MH stories.
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angelinahx
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(Original post by ltsmith)
didn't you make the thread 'it doesn't matter what university you go to'?

lol
i did! like 9 months ago! i'm glad you remember. and i'm not from the uk, but from sweden, which ranks at the bottom of the oecd list for countries where higher education pays off. there's an incredible little difference between people who study here and people who don't in the context of financial class and the prestige of a university doesn't matter because nobody cares. i came in with that mindset because, living here, i've seen a kind of frenzied panic in teenagers at my school to get those grades and get in to a high-quality institutions which simply doesn't exist where i'm from. people regularly take 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 gap years. it's standard to go to university at 25. similarly, i met people in london who worked in high positions without university degrees - and people who worked as bankers in canary wharf with a degree from sheffield, a mid-tier rg (rather than oxbridge) and people with ucl degrees working as baristas.
so i assumed your university didn't matter. makes sense, right?

it was primarily generalization and hasty ethnocentrism.
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Jang Gwangnam
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(Original post by angelinahx)
i'm applying for sociology and politics for the 2020 cycle and i've already done my a-levels, i meet the entry req's for both courses so hopefully i'll receive an unconditional offer from both universities but i'm really torn between the two.

pros of essex:
- top 40 in the world for my course - bristol ranks 100-150 (QS)
- i LOVE the modules at essex - literally everything fascinates me whereas a lot of bristol modules bore me - they seem really dry and dull
- i can study abroad for an entire year - bristol only allows me to study abroad for 5 months
- it's a campus uni

cons of essex:
- in the middle of,,, nowhere (but relatively close to london)
- probably considered an average uni in general so an employer won't have that initial "wow" reaction if i tell them i went to a russell group uni
- ????

pros of bristol:
- fun city
- russell group, employers/future grad schools may be more impressed
- ????

cons of bristol:
- a lot of the modules are really boring
- the mental health department at bristol is sh*t (theyve had so many suicides) and i struggle with anxiety
- i can only study abroad for 5 months

would it be horrible to not choose bristol just bc it's a russell group university?
My opinion might sound irrelevant as I'm going to a no-name uni myself but it's all about whether you'll be able to hack 3-4 years of studying at Bristol. If you can't hack it then Essex is the best choice.
Last edited by Jang Gwangnam; 4 weeks ago
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angelinahx
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(Original post by Notoriety)
It's not a clinching factor, but I think the idea that no employer has heard of RG nor would any employer be impressed (I should add, I think naively) that you attended RG.

The issue with Essex and Bristol does not really come down to RG or not. It comes down to the brand of Essex compared to the brand of Bristol. I won't pretend to know the quality of sociology at either uni, but if there is a distinct difference between the two courses, it would make sense that specialist employers would know the difference. Generalist employers are simply going off the overall reputation of the uni; if they allow that to influence their decision at all (even the CBI says around 13-17% of employers think the name of the uni is one of the most important features of an app), then OP could struggle.


Spoiler:
Show


It should be noted it is not clear what percentage of employers think uni name is important but falls short of being most important.




But who knows. Maybe OP will be the next Speaker of the House of Commons.
I'm primarily going into media which isn't specialist within my field to begin with, and if you look at Linkedin for BBC/The Guardian/CNN, most journalists have a RG university degree. Also, this graph is significant because like you said, this only measures the perceived most significant factor. Just because an employer believes attitude for work is the most significant factor, doesn't mean they wouldn't choose a Bristol grad over an Essex grad any day of the week. So do you think a Bristol degree is better in general than a degree from Essex?
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Notoriety
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I don't know anything about sociology or journalism, so can't really say.

I am not really sure why I clicked on this thread if I am honest with myself.
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angelinahx
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(Original post by Scotney)
why are you only considering these two as neither seem to tick all your boxes
to cut a long story short, i got sick and apathetic towards the final months of my a-levels, stopped caring/going to revision sessions and started studying the night before some of my exams (for the rest i didn't study at all/studied in the exam room whilst the invigilator was out getting extra papers he'd forgotten) and ended up with BBB. i could've easily done better than that but based of my grades, bristol is probably the best i can do and essex is top 40 worldwide for my course.
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Scotney
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(Original post by Notoriety)
I don't know anything about sociology or journalism, so can't really say.

I am not really sure why I clicked on this thread if I am honest with myself.
Lord a moment of self doubt! May have to screen shot it.
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yaboy75
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This is one of those situations where you don't follow your heart and follow your head.

go to Bristol.
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