Sustainable development at St Andrews Vs UCL BASc

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concepht
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Hi all, I’m having a lot of mixed feelings regarding which Uni to go to. I’ve applied to St Andrews for Sustainable development, and to UCL for the Arts & Sciences. Might be worth noting that I also applied to Bio at Edinburgh which I regret doing and should have choses Sustainable Development there too.

I feel as though Sustainable Development is a much more interesting course for me, as it feels focused and purposeful, whereas the UCL BASc I might start to feel aimless, especially with the heavy amount of core subjects (and the language I have to learn). Despite this I feel that going to St Andrews is a bit safe, and might bore me. I’ve lived in a quiet area my whole life and i feel I will grow less as a person at St A. At the same time though London is fairly scary...

Additionally I’m not sure how to weigh up the quality of teaching/prestige between the universities - St A is 2nd in the UK on the national charts but far lower globally (~200), even when you filter by UK only. UCL is consistently high on both, and I’m not really sure what gives. It appears that St Andrews is only prestigious because of the rich/royal/old factors, but I’m not sure if this is true.

Any guiding words would be greatly appreciated, I know it’s a bit of a lengthy and individual question so sorry about that 😭
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Cuckcoo
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Global rankings are often based on the number of academic citations which St Andrews, being a much smaller Uni than UCL is always going to position lower. I would advise looking at student satisfaction and where you can really see yourself spending 3/4 years. From what you've said it seems you prefer the St Andrews course over the UCL course, so I suppose it depends what is more important to you, the course or the area. (Also St Andrews is an easy bus/train from Dundee and Edinburgh if you want a bit more entertainment)
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artful_lounger
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League tables aren't really very useful metrics most of the time, and employers don't know or care about your university's ranking on any given league table so it's irrelevant as far as that goes. Don't focus too much on those.

I would recommend you focus on the course you are most interested in. Considering the environment you will be living in is also important, however in that frame it is still better to go with the "safe" option of an environment you are confident you'll be comfortable in, than one you aren't sure about and may end up very unhappy in. For your sake this sounds like St Andrews may be a better option.

If you have an offer from Edinbrugh for biology you could always contact them and ask if they'd consider you instead for sustainable development. They aren't obligated to, but they won't retract your current offer for asking. Bear in mind also at Edinburgh the structure of the course means it may be easier to change between different programmes during the first two years (pre-honours) anyway.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by concepht)
Hi all, I’m having a lot of mixed feelings regarding which Uni to go to. I’ve applied to St Andrews for Sustainable development, and to UCL for the Arts & Sciences. Might be worth noting that I also applied to Bio at Edinburgh which I regret doing and should have choses Sustainable Development there too.

I feel as though Sustainable Development is a much more interesting course for me, as it feels focused and purposeful, whereas the UCL BASc I might start to feel aimless, especially with the heavy amount of core subjects (and the language I have to learn). Despite this I feel that going to St Andrews is a bit safe, and might bore me. I’ve lived in a quiet area my whole life and i feel I will grow less as a person at St A. At the same time though London is fairly scary...

Additionally I’m not sure how to weigh up the quality of teaching/prestige between the universities - St A is 2nd in the UK on the national charts but far lower globally (~200), even when you filter by UK only. UCL is consistently high on both, and I’m not really sure what gives. It appears that St Andrews is only prestigious because of the rich/royal/old factors, but I’m not sure if this is true.

Any guiding words would be greatly appreciated, I know it’s a bit of a lengthy and individual question so sorry about that 😭
St Andrews is small but not quiet, it's actually very busy during term time with 10,000 students packed into a town with 10,000 residents! there are literally 100 shops, cafes and restaurants, both independent and chain. but it will feel a bit confined if you don't take regular trips outside ( Edinburgh is just over 1 hour away by train)

don't look at the rankings of league tables - look at the criteria that make them up and decide what criteria is important to you
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