Aleandra
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Hello,

A couple of the universities I am looking at are not members of the Russell Group, which rightly or wrongly appears to be synonymous with prestige. I assumed that as I am intending to pursue English, the research output of my chosen university is of less importance than if I were to pursue a science subject for example. My parents are fairly insistent on a Russell Group choice to maximise employability, but several universities such as St Andrews and Lancaster rank higher than some Russell Group universities, such as Liverpool, for my subject. I was also attracted to the aforementioned non-Russell Group universities for their modules and scholarship opportunities respectively, but of course I'd rather somewhere the most respected by employers. Is there a general consensus on this?
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stereotypeasian
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I would think that getting a 3rd class degree affects your employability more than your uni name (as most postgrad schemes want a 2.1 or a 1st class honours)
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Aleandra
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(Original post by stereotypeasian)
I would think that getting a 3rd class degree affects your employability more than your uni name (as most postgrad schemes want a 2.1 or a 1st class honours)
I achieved A*A*A*AC at A level so I do already have some demonstrable work ethic, although I appreciate a degree is rather different. Ought I look for universities whose graduates get a higher proportion of 2.1s or above?
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emiloujess
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(Original post by Aleandra)
Hello,

A couple of the universities I am looking at are not members of the Russell Group, which rightly or wrongly appears to be synonymous with prestige. I assumed that as I am intending to pursue English, the research output of my chosen university is of less importance than if I were to pursue a science subject for example. My parents are fairly insistent on a Russell Group choice to maximise employability, but several universities such as St Andrews and Lancaster rank higher than some Russell Group universities, such as Liverpool, for my subject. I was also attracted to the aforementioned non-Russell Group universities for their modules and scholarship opportunities respectively, but of course I'd rather somewhere the most respected by employers. Is there a general consensus on this?
I went to a uni that is relatively low down on league tables for my undergrad (Bournemouth), and honestly I think I did better there than I would have anywhere else. I got a two month placement out of it in a field exactly related to my future career, which my teacher 'fought' for me to keep even through Covid (I did it virtually in the end). I strongly believe, especially in fields not law or medicine, that it's not about the standing of the uni but how many opportunities there are and how much you chase said opportunities.
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mnot
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(Original post by Aleandra)
Hello,

A couple of the universities I am looking at are not members of the Russell Group, which rightly or wrongly appears to be synonymous with prestige. I assumed that as I am intending to pursue English, the research output of my chosen university is of less importance than if I were to pursue a science subject for example. My parents are fairly insistent on a Russell Group choice to maximise employability, but several universities such as St Andrews and Lancaster rank higher than some Russell Group universities, such as Liverpool, for my subject. I was also attracted to the aforementioned non-Russell Group universities for their modules and scholarship opportunities respectively, but of course I'd rather somewhere the most respected by employers. Is there a general consensus on this?
The Russell Group is a lobby group for research funding, nothing more nothing less.
Yes, lots of the constituent members are older universities, many are prestigious and well regarded.
But NOT being a Russell Group does not mean a uni doesnt have these things.
Their are lots of excellent non-RG unis Bath, Loughborough, lancaster, St Andrews spring to mind

And past a superficial level once you look at a specific subject you get more variation, RVC isnt in the Russell Group yet is one of the most prestigious veterinary schools in the world. ST Georges medical school isnt 'RG' but are people really going to ignore it...

If you find a great course that offers what you want you should look beyond is it a Russell Group.
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stereotypeasian
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(Original post by Aleandra)
I achieved A*A*A*AC at A level so I do already have some demonstrable work ethic, although I appreciate a degree is rather different. Ought I look for universities whose graduates get a higher proportion of 2.1s or above?
imo don't look at that because unless you know there is someone who is in the exactly same position as you and wants to what you exactly want to do afterwards

I would say look at modules/city vs campus uni/ England vs Scotland vs Wales vs Ireland etc. since I'm guessing you meet the entry requirements as I do think we humans work better when we're motivated and do what we like/enjoy and this can be achieved by joining societies that are in our interests , we do need a work-life balance, and studying what we want where we want to without the looming guilt of upholding your school's reputation of getting 90% of people in RG unis or the "prestige"

RG = research which is more to do with postgrad rather than undergrad anyways
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Aleandra
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(Original post by emiloujess)
I went to a uni that is relatively low down on league tables for my undergrad (Bournemouth), and honestly I think I did better there than I would have anywhere else. I got a two month placement out of it in a field exactly related to my future career, which my teacher 'fought' for me to keep even through Covid (I did it virtually in the end). I strongly believe, especially in fields not law or medicine, that it's not about the standing of the uni but how many opportunities there are and how much you chase said opportunities.
I'm glad your experience was useful. I think I may be the school and family disappointment, as well as to myself, if I didn't go somehwere at least top twenty - I didn't put the work it to get my grades for a BCC course for instance - but I appreciate opportunities do vary wildly. Presumably some "top" universities also have employment links? I have heard this for Lancaster at least. If not, would doing a placement year or a year abroad in my degree be helpful? Thank you for your insight.
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Aleandra
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(Original post by mnot)
The Russell Group is a lobby group for research funding, nothing more nothing less.
Yes, lots of the constituent members are older universities, many are prestigious and well regarded.
But NOT being a Russell Group does not mean a uni doesnt have these things.
Their are lots of excellent non-RG unis Bath, Loughborough, lancaster, St Andrews spring to mind

And past a superficial level once you look at a specific subject you get more variation, RVC isnt in the Russell Group yet is one of the most prestigious veterinary schools in the world. ST Georges medical school isnt 'RG' but are people really going to ignore it...

If you find a great course that offers what you want you should look beyond is it a Russell Group.
Thank you. I do like the looks of Lancaster and St Andrews for English so I assume these would still be good options?
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Aleandra
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(Original post by stereotypeasian)
imo don't look at that because unless you know there is someone who is in the exactly same position as you and wants to what you exactly want to do afterwards

I would say look at modules/city vs campus uni/ England vs Scotland vs Wales vs Ireland etc. since I'm guessing you meet the entry requirements as I do think we humans work better when we're motivated and do what we like/enjoy and this can be achieved by joining societies that are in our interests , we do need a work-life balance, and studying what we want where we want to without the looming guilt of upholding your school's reputation of getting 90% of people in RG unis or the "prestige"

RG = research which is more to do with postgrad rather than undergrad anyways
Thank you. I also rather ambiverted so population and campus vs city do not bother me particularly but my tastes in content are rather traditional so I am focussing on universities that offer this. If I did my undergraduate studies at say, Lancaster, would I still be able to pursue postgraduate at Oxbridge?
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mnot
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(Original post by Aleandra)
Thank you. I do like the looks of Lancaster and St Andrews for English so I assume these would still be good options?
I dont know much about English literature specifically at university but both St Andrews & Lancaster have excellent reputations.
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mnot
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(Original post by Aleandra)
If I did my undergraduate studies at say, Lancaster, would I still be able to pursue postgraduate at Oxbridge?
Yes
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emiloujess
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(Original post by Aleandra)
I'm glad your experience was useful. I think I may be the school and family disappointment, as well as to myself, if I didn't go somehwere at least top twenty - I didn't put the work it to get my grades for a BCC course for instance - but I appreciate opportunities do vary wildly. Presumably some "top" universities also have employment links? I have heard this for Lancaster at least. If not, would doing a placement year or a year abroad in my degree be helpful? Thank you for your insight.
All universities can have employment links, some definitely better than others but I wouldn't say it's due to league table ranking. Both a placement year and a year/semester abroad would be extremely useful - arguably the placement year more so if you can get one in your desired industry. I really wanted to do a semester abroad but sadly the countries my uni sent students to weren't interesting to me.
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Aleandra
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(Original post by mnot)
I dont know much about English literature specifically at university but both St Andrews & Lancaster have excellent reputations.
Okay, I shall look into them more, thank you. Would you say I have a reasonable chance of getting an offer?
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Aleandra
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(Original post by emiloujess)
All universities can have employment links, some definitely better than others but I wouldn't say it's due to league table ranking. Both a placement year and a year/semester abroad would be extremely useful - arguably the placement year more so if you can get one in your desired industry. I really wanted to do a semester abroad but sadly the countries my uni sent students to weren't interesting to me.
Okay, thank you. Presumably the two are not mutually exclusive? For instance, Exeter offers a three year English degree with the second year spent in the US; would this be useful? Conversely, Lancaster, as a non-Russell Group, allows for a placement year to be taken in third year.
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LStsr
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Make sure you do what is best for you and your course.
The Russell Group Universities are in reality just a research group that everyone holds to a high standard because they rank highly in some courses. If a university isn't in the Russell Group it doesn't mean it is any worse. The main things you need to look at when you consider a University is; where it stands in relation to your specific course and whether you feel like you can fit in with the environment and structure of the uni. When in school there is often a pressure to go to a Russell Group Uni but honestly it's so much more important to do what's best for you, whether it's Russell Group or not!
Good Luck with your applications!
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mnot
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(Original post by Aleandra)
Okay, I shall look into them more, thank you. Would you say I have a reasonable chance of getting an offer?
As long as: A*A*A*AC at A level, is in appropriate subjects then yes you would have an excellent shot at any university.
I would say its more probable then not you get into Lancaster & St Andrews
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Aleandra
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(Original post by mnot)
Yes
Thank you.

(Original post by LStsr)
Make sure you do what is best for you and your course.
The Russell Group Universities are in reality just a research group that everyone holds to a high standard because they rank highly in some courses. If a university isn't in the Russell Group it doesn't mean it is any worse. The main things you need to look at when you consider a University is; where it stands in relation to your specific course and whether you feel like you can fit in with the environment and structure of the uni. When in school there is often a pressure to go to a Russell Group Uni but honestly it's so much more important to do what's best for you, whether it's Russell Group or not!
Good Luck with your applications!
Okay, thank you!
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Aleandra
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(Original post by mnot)
As long as: A*A*A*AC at A level, is in appropriate subjects then yes you would have an excellent shot at any university.
I would say its more probable then not you get into Lancaster & St Andrews
I believe they are and as the C is in the EPQ (which we had to complete in two days when it became apparent schools would be closed), I hope this won't be too much of a problem. Thank you.
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swanseajack1
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Russell Group actually means nothing. It is a body set up to represent a group of universities who feared losing their funding and is nothing to do with the quality of the university.

Going back to the turn to the early 1900s there were relatively few universities. In the 1950s and 60s the government decided to open up new universities and a whole new group of universities were formed including Exeter, Bath, Lancaster, Warwick, York and East Anglia.

They also set up what were known as polytechnics which largely concentrated on Business and Engineering. These werent able to apply for research funding. In the early 1990s the government decide to allow these polys and others to apply to become universities and therefore the traditional universities feared losing their very lucrative research funding.

As a result of this a number of traditional universities in large cities got together and formed the Russell Group to represent them. It was so named after the hotel in Bloomsbury where they met.

The newer universities and those in smaller cities then met and formed another group called the 1994 group to protect their interest and included St Andrews, Durham, Bath, Exeter, York, Lancaster and several others.

In 2011 Exeter, York, Durham and Queen Mary left the 1994 group to join the Russell Group.

These are the same universities no better or worse for joining the RG group and the ones who didnt join including Lancaster, Bath and St Andrews were no worse for not joining.

I hope this has given you some understanding of what the Russell Group is. It is a very successful marketing group protecting a group of universities. Whether a university belongs or not has no impact at all on how good the university is.
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Aleandra
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
Russell Group actually means nothing. It is a body set up to represent a group of universities who feared losing their funding and is nothing to do with the quality of the university.

Going back to the turn to the early 1900s there were relatively few universities. In the 1950s and 60s the government decided to open up new universities and a whole new group of universities were formed including Exeter, Bath, Lancaster, Warwick, York and East Anglia.

They also set up what were known as polytechnics which largely concentrated on Business and Engineering. These werent able to apply for research funding. In the early 1990s the government decide to allow these polys and others to apply to become universities and therefore the traditional universities feared losing their very lucrative research funding.

As a result of this a number of traditional universities in large cities got together and formed the Russell Group to represent them. It was so named after the hotel in Bloomsbury where they met.

The newer universities and those in smaller cities then met and formed another group called the 1994 group to protect their interest and included St Andrews, Durham, Bath, Exeter, York, Lancaster and several others.

In 2011 Exeter, York, Durham and Queen Mary left the 1994 group to join the Russell Group.

These are the same universities no better or worse for joining the RG group and the ones who didnt join including Lancaster, Bath and St Andrews were no worse for not joining.

I hope this has given you some understanding of what the Russell Group is. It is a very successful marketing group protecting a group of universities. Whether a university belongs or not has no impact at all on how good the university is.
This is incredibly helpful, thank you very much.
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