all-apologies
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Hi guys,

I'm still considering my options, having achieved A*A*A* at A level (only 9999866644 at GCSE oops) - I hope to study English and would like to mostly apply to "aspirational" unis, seeing as my grades are already achieved, but I would still like some realistic options. Could you please help rank them in terms of prestige/reputation/employability?

Cambridge
Lancaster
Edinburgh
St Andrews
York
Leeds
Manchester
UCL
Birmingham
Warwick

Thank you 🙂
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McGinger
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Please explain 1) what you mean by 'reputation and prestige', 2) exactly how you measure either of those.
Or are you just trying to show off?
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lizzie.zipmouth
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cambridge, ucl, edinburgh, warwick, st. andrews, lancaster, york, lmanchester, leeds, birmingham

that's only my opinion though, i can't back it up with evidence
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all-apologies
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(Original post by lizzie.zipmouth)
cambridge, ucl, edinburgh, warwick, st. andrews, lancaster, york, lmanchester, leeds, birmingham

that's only my opinion though, i can't back it up with evidence
Hahaha that's similar to what I thought, I'm thinking of applying to Cambridge, UCL, Edinburgh, St Andrews and either Warwick or Lancaster but I can't decide :/ thank you though! 🙂
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all-apologies
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Hi guys,

I'm still considering my options, having achieved A*A*A* at A level (only 9999866644 at GCSE oops) - I hope to study English and would like to mostly apply to "aspirational" unis, seeing as my grades are already achieved, but I would still like some realistic options. Could you please help rank them in terms of prestige/reputation/employability?

Cambridge
Lancaster
Edinburgh
St Andrews
York
Leeds
Manchester
UCL
Birmingham
Warwick

Thank you 🙂
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Eaphysics
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Well done excellent grades. All great unis the choice is yours. Uni is an experience so do research around each one and the areas etc and the pros and cons and choose from there
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all-apologies
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(Original post by Eaphysics)
Well done excellent grades. All great unis the choice is yours. Uni is an experience so do research around each one and the areas etc and the pros and cons and choose from there
Thank you 🙂 I've already done that and drawn up a likely list - I just wanted to know others' opinions on essentially where would get me furthest after graduation
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Eaphysics
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Apart from Oxford and Cambridge the other top 20 or so unis carry the same weight. You’ll get just as far no matter which one you go to. Also you can check the unis websites which usually have employment stats and there’s some websites that compare them. But generally you’ll make it far whichever one you pick. Go with the one that suits you most
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all-apologies
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(Original post by Eaphysics)
Apart from Oxford and Cambridge the other top 20 or so unis carry the same weight. You’ll get just as far no matter which one you go to. Also you can check the unis websites which usually have employment stats and there’s some websites that compare them. But generally you’ll make it far whichever one you pick. Go with the one that suits you most
Okay, thank you - I was just aware of quite large differences in average salary after five years or whatever e.g. 31k from St Andrews vs 22k from York and what this might suggest about employability
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Eaphysics
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In that case search up the unis on here to see graduates experiences after each uni. In general if you have the degree employment should be fine but definitely look into that
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all-apologies
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(Original post by Eaphysics)
In that case search up the unis on here to see graduates experiences after each uni. In general if you have the degree employment should be fine but definitely look into that
Okay thank you 🙂 Out of interest how would you order these (or even top 5) based on what you know of them?
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nathan1403
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(Original post by all-apologies)
Hi guys,

I'm still considering my options, having achieved A*A*A* at A level (only 9999866644 at GCSE oops) - I hope to study English and would like to mostly apply to "aspirational" unis, seeing as my grades are already achieved, but I would still like some realistic options. Could you please help rank them in terms of prestige/reputation/employability?

Cambridge
Lancaster
Edinburgh
St Andrews
York
Leeds
Manchester
UCL
Birmingham
Warwick

Thank you 🙂
These are all great unis and you have fantastic grades, so depending on your extracurriculars I think you could get into any of these!

Cambridge is the only one that really sticks out I guess, all the other unis you've listed are good unis. They're all very different though, do you not have any preferences when it comes to city size, budget, campus/city uni, course content, etc? I can't imagine someone happy at UCL would also be happy at St Andrews and vice versa
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all-apologies
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(Original post by nathan1403)
These are all great unis and you have fantastic grades, so depending on your extracurriculars I think you could get into any of these!

Cambridge is the only one that really sticks out I guess, all the other unis you've listed are good unis. They're all very different though, do you not have any preferences when it comes to city size, budget, campus/city uni, course content, etc? I can't imagine someone happy at UCL would also be happy at St Andrews and vice versa
Okay, thank you 🙂

I like the course content of all of them pretty much equally (standouts being Lancaster, Birmingham, St Andrews and Edinburgh) but I do ultimately want the most highly respected uni with the best employability prospects. I would probably prefer somewhere a bit smaller and campus based, but again I'm willing to forego this if somewhere has a better reputation.
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ghjajkfa
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Unless the graduation salary is specifically linked to the course then I would be quite wary of considering this. It is massively dependant on the range of courses a university offers - if one of your university choices has more drs or engineers graduating then it would inflate the average salary as opposed to a university with a greater arts offering.

3 years is a long time to spend when you are 18-22. Make sure you chose a uni also on the lifestyle that you want. Consider looking at the extra-curriculars and see whether the uni offers these. Also, what do you want to do when you finish? Which location is going to offer the best work experience opportunities alongside your course? Do you need a job and which uni is best placed in the current job market?

There is so much more to consider than the end salary. People prioritise different things but you need to also enjoy your life and realise that your course only gets your application past a very small hurdle and there is far more that is needed beyond that.
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all-apologies
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(Original post by ghjajkfa)
Unless the graduation salary is specifically linked to the course then I would be quite wary of considering this. It is massively dependant on the range of courses a university offers - if one of your university choices has more drs or engineers graduating then it would inflate the average salary as opposed to a university with a greater arts offering.

3 years is a long time to spend when you are 18-22. Make sure you chose a uni also on the lifestyle that you want. Consider looking at the extra-curriculars and see whether the uni offers these. Also, what do you want to do when you finish? Which location is going to offer the best work experience opportunities alongside your course? Do you need a job and which uni is best placed in the current job market?

There is so much more to consider than the end salary. People prioritise different things but you need to also enjoy your life and realise that your course only gets your application past a very small hurdle and there is far more that is needed beyond that.
The salaries I've found range from 22k to 37k after five years, which are all for graduates specifically from each English course.

I did consider this - particularly for Scottish universities and having to spend 4 years there and graduate at 23, which would put me behind other people who may well already have masters' - but figured a career would last far longer than a few years studying so ultimately the former would be more important to me. I come from a very rural area - which would make somewhere like St Andrews less out of my comfort zone - but if somewhere like UCL seemed to be vastly more respected then I would go there. As for extra curriculars, I don't really engage with any aside from theatre, which they all offer. Job wise academia would be the ideal but is obviously difficult to get into (and I assume would be helped by going to a more prestigious university? The Victorian literature masters at Oxford appeals but would this be harder to get onto from Lancaster, for instance?) but I would also like to keep options open for law or journalism (as such I assume a bigger city would be better?)
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historynerd47
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Cambridge, UCL, and then I'm really surprised you don't have Exeter? When I was at a top grammar school for sixth form a couple years ago, lots of people applying for English had Oxbridge as their aspirational and Exeter as their insurance over most of the others listed. Anyway, after Exeter, Edinburgh, St Andrews, and then York/Birmingham/Warwick, then Manchester/Lancaster/Leeds
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by all-apologies)
The salaries I've found range from 22k to 37k after five years, which are all for graduates specifically from each English course.

I did consider this - particularly for Scottish universities and having to spend 4 years there and graduate at 23, which would put me behind other people who may well already have masters' - but figured a career would last far longer than a few years studying so ultimately the former would be more important to me. I come from a very rural area - which would make somewhere like St Andrews less out of my comfort zone - but if somewhere like UCL seemed to be vastly more respected then I would go there. As for extra curriculars, I don't really engage with any aside from theatre, which they all offer. Job wise academia would be the ideal but is obviously difficult to get into (and I assume would be helped by going to a more prestigious university? The Victorian literature masters at Oxford appeals but would this be harder to get onto from Lancaster, for instance?) but I would also like to keep options open for law or journalism (as such I assume a bigger city would be better?)
i am a graduate and have been in work for a few years now and i can tell you that apart from Oxbridge, your employability depends 95% on your work experience and 5% on uni
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all-apologies
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(Original post by historynerd47)
Cambridge, UCL, and then I'm really surprised you don't have Exeter? When I was at a top grammar school for sixth form a couple years ago, lots of people applying for English had Oxbridge as their aspirational and Exeter as their insurance over most of the others listed. Anyway, after Exeter, Edinburgh, St Andrews, and then York/Birmingham/Warwick, then Manchester/Lancaster/Leeds
Thanks 🙂 I visited Exeter but just really didn't like it or the course...
Would a sensible be strategy to choose a couple from each of the first two "sets" you've listed then one from the last to ensure I have at least one offer?
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historynerd47
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(Original post by all-apologies)
Thanks 🙂 I visited Exeter but just really didn't like it or the course...
Would a sensible be strategy to choose a couple from each of the first two "sets" you've listed then one from the last to ensure I have at least one offer?
Ah fair enough on Exeter, no worries. You could do but I'm not sure grades requirements wise what the difference is- lancaster used to have the lowest requirements but it has improved massively in the last few years. Definitely ensure you have a mixture of grade requirements just in case you don't get the grades on the day
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all-apologies
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(Original post by historynerd47)
Ah fair enough on Exeter, no worries. You could do but I'm not sure grades requirements wise what the difference is- lancaster used to have the lowest requirements but it has improved massively in the last few years. Definitely ensure you have a mixture of grade requirements just in case you don't get the grades on the day
The highest is Cambridge at A*AA and the lowest are Lancaster/Birmingham/Leeds/Manchester at AAB, although I already have achieved my A levels at grades of A*A*A* 🙂
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