I don't understand universities

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Levi.-
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Going to UCL this autumn but there's something about uni courses that has always confused me. Let's say you want to do comp sci, the entry requirements at imperial are A*A*A but at somewhere else it could be BBC. Both universities need to teach roughly the same stuff right but how can students with poorer A-levels successfully complete the degree to a high standard and how can employers trust that a degree from x is the same as y? I understand some students get much better at uni so perform better post A-levels but still.
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RANKINGS?
not sure
depends on prestige etc
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Levi.-
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(Original post by Anonymous)
RANKINGS?
not sure
depends on prestige etc
yeah i get that, i mean in terms of content actually taught and how much students understand it. Doubt employers use rankings
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The thing is, the course is not necessarily the same. Some degrees are genuinely easier than others. Some universities may also be more lenient with how they grade degrees (not in terms of %s but exams or how things are weighted just may be "easier"). Therefore a degree from X is not always the same as a degree from Y. This is why a person at Imperial might have more prospects than a person at a uni with lower grade boundaries (in the field of study).
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(Original post by Levi.-)
yeah i get that, i mean in terms of content actually taught and how much students understand it. Doubt employers use rankings
thing where better uni gurantees better quality of students so better quality of workers
i mean all unis cost the same in england
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Copasetic
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The courses are definitely not the same. It’s not like A levels. Therefore, you would need to get a 1st at a lesser ranking uni to stand out. A 2.2 for Oxford could rate the same as a 2.1 or 1st from Oxford Brooks for example. There is obviously nothing wrong with Oxford Brooks but the content of the degree would be harder at Uni of Oxford and better grades harder to achieve.
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PQ
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(Original post by Levi.-)
Going to UCL this autumn but there's something about uni courses that has always confused me. Let's say you want to do comp sci, the entry requirements at imperial are A*A*A but at somewhere else it could be BBC. Both universities need to teach roughly the same stuff right but how can students with poorer A-levels successfully complete the degree to a high standard and how can employers trust that a degree from x is the same as y? I understand some students get much better at uni so perform better post A-levels but still.
Universities with BBC entry grades generally award fewer first and 2:1 degrees 3/4 years later compared to universities with A*A*A requirements.

On top of that universities with lower requirements generally have a higher focus on TEACHING whereas Imperial and similar employ academic staff almost entirely on their research skills. That means research intensive universities require students to study more independently - hence the high requirements. The BBC university will generally have a lot more support and feedback, particularly during the first few years.

Universities design their own degrees and benchmark standards for the course content and marking against national subject benchmarks set by the QAA (produced by a collection of academics across the sector). They approve their own courses but with input from an external examiner from another university who will require changes if the course content is lacking or concerning to them.

Then each year marks and awards for the course will be finalised by the university exam board (a committee - usually within a faculty or school). The exam board will again include information and feedback on the comparability of the marking from external examiners from other universities (usually 2 for each course/course group). The external examiners will have access to the results and marks as well as a sampling of work.

There are variations but the quality standards across uk universities are actually a lot more standardised than most countries (even though they seem much more varied than students familiar with national exams like A levels expect). It’s a delicate balance between maintaining university independence in setting their own curriculum and maintaining quality standards.

And it’s not something employers generally give a **** about. Universities in most industries don’t differentiate between universities. They may look for specific topics or accreditation but employers don’t know enough about degree content and standards to discriminate between a 2:1 from 2 different UK universities.
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Levi.-
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(Original post by PQ)
Universities with BBC entry grades generally award fewer first and 2:1 degrees 3/4 years later compared to universities with A*A*A requirements.

On top of that universities with lower requirements generally have a higher focus on TEACHING whereas Imperial and similar employ academic staff almost entirely on their research skills. That means research intensive universities require students to study more independently - hence the high requirements. The BBC university will generally have a lot more support and feedback, particularly during the first few years.

Universities design their own degrees and benchmark standards for the course content and marking against national subject benchmarks set by the QAA (produced by a collection of academics across the sector). They approve their own courses but with input from an external examiner from another university who will require changes if the course content is lacking or concerning to them.

Then each year marks and awards for the course will be finalised by the university exam board (a committee - usually within a faculty or school). The exam board will again include information and feedback on the comparability of the marking from external examiners from other universities (usually 2 for each course/course group). The external examiners will have access to the results and marks as well as a sampling of work.

There are variations but the quality standards across uk universities are actually a lot more standardised than most countries (even though they seem much more varied than students familiar with national exams like A levels expect). It’s a delicate balance between maintaining university independence in setting their own curriculum and maintaining quality standards.

And it’s not something employers generally give a **** about. Universities in most industries don’t differentiate between universities. They may look for specific topics or accreditation but employers don’t know enough about degree content and standards to discriminate between a 2:1 from 2 different UK universities.
when does university choice actually matter then?
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PQ
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(Original post by Levi.-)
when does university choice actually matter then?
Because where you will thrive and the course that matches your academic interests isn’t the same as where someone else will thrive.
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Levi.-
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(Original post by PQ)
Because where you will thrive and the course that matches your academic interests isn’t the same as where someone else will thrive.
Ah yes, I meant in terms of employability.
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Mastermind_3
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Imperial teach better than other Unis. Think of imperial like a grammar or private school compared to state schools(other unis).
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PQ
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(Original post by Mastermind_3)
Imperial teach better than other Unis. Think of imperial like a grammar or private school compared to state schools(other unis).
The teaching quality at imperial varies hugely between courses. It’s not comparable to the spoon feeding and coaching available in schools in any way.
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PQ
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(Original post by Levi.-)
Ah yes, I meant in terms of employability.
Employers employ people not their qualifications. Your degree classification and the other activities and work you do alongside your studies will have more impact on your employability than the university that issued your certificate.
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Levi.-
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(Original post by PQ)
Employers employ people not their qualifications. Your degree classification and the other activities and work you do alongside your studies will have more impact on your employability than the university that issued your certificate.
What about fields like IB which have specific target unis, wouldn't that be advantageous (obvs you'd need to do everything else too) but a part of getting a job at IBs is the spring weeks and internships and what uni you go to can add massively to your CV
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PQ
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(Original post by Levi.-)
What about fields like IB which have specific target unis, wouldn't that be advantageous (obvs you'd need to do everything else too) but a part of getting a job at IBs is the spring weeks and internships and what uni you go to can add massively to your CV
Something that makes up less than 1% of graduate jobs is a niche thing not the norm.

And last I heard a lot of IB firms are moving to university blind recruitment. But you’d have to ask those companies directly. Even for them a 2:2 or a 3rd because the teaching style didn’t suit you or you were miserable is going to be less use than a 2:1 or a 1st from a non-target university.
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(Original post by Levi.-)
What about fields like IB which have specific target unis, wouldn't that be advantageous (obvs you'd need to do everything else too) but a part of getting a job at IBs is the spring weeks and internships and what uni you go to can add massively to your CV
UCL is a great university and is definitely up there with the top but for IB you have to remember you will be in interview rooms with people from Oxbridge/LSE/Imperial/Warwick who will have no less than all 9/8's at GCSE and straight A*'s at A level, so the university you go to only takes you up there, nothing more. Everything else is on you.
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Levi.-
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(Original post by Anonymous)
UCL is a great university and is definitely up there with the top but for IB you have to remember you will be in interview rooms with people from Oxbridge/LSE/Imperial/Warwick who will have no less than all 9/8's at GCSE and straight A*'s at A level, so the university you go to only takes you up there, nothing more. Everything else is on you.
yeah that's my point the university doesn't get you the job but gives you an initial discernable advantage, especially for spring weeks nd such.
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Levi.-
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(Original post by PQ)
Something that makes up less than 1% of graduate jobs is a niche thing not the norm.

And last I heard a lot of IB firms are moving to university blind recruitment. But you’d have to ask those companies directly. Even for them a 2:2 or a 3rd because the teaching style didn’t suit you or you were miserable is going to be less use than a 2:1 or a 1st from a non-target university.
I haven't heard of any bulge brackets or elite boutiques doing so but I'll look it up; I meant generally for high finance roles like consultancy, IB prop trading etc. Aside from that does the uni rep not affect employment (I mean for high paying competitive jobs I really should've emphasised this like magic circle law firms etc.)
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PQ
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(Original post by Levi.-)
I haven't heard of any bulge brackets or elite boutiques doing so but I'll look it up; I meant generally for high finance roles like consultancy, IB prop trading etc. Aside from that does the uni rep not affect employment (I mean for high paying competitive jobs I really should've emphasised this like magic circle law firms etc.)
Your first question was about comparability between degrees.

Now you keep asking the same question about the opinions of a tiny minority of employers.

I’m not interested enough in magic circle law firms to research their recruitment criteria. If that’s something you’re interested in then you’ll have to do that research yourself. Asking me the same question over and over again isn’t going to change my answer. Employers employ people not the organisation that issued their certificates.
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Levi.-
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(Original post by PQ)
Your first question was about comparability between degrees.

Now you keep asking the same question about the opinions of a tiny minority of employers.

I’m not interested enough in magic circle law firms to research their recruitment criteria. If that’s something you’re interested in then you’ll have to do that research yourself. Asking me the same question over and over again isn’t going to change my answer. Employers employ people not the organisation that issued their certificates.
Yes I'm asking you the same question about the opinions of a tiny minority of employers since they're the only relevant ones to me personally. The conversation has progressed, I could just make a new post with this though but I was more replying to you saying employers won't care about the uni you go to and then I wanted to ask about specific ones that are relevant to me and what other employers will care. Not into law either but I know they tend to care and I'm just not sure who else would. I'll make a new post.
I agree that those employers are a tiny minority but on the TSR we have alot of people aiming to get into those professions so I assumed when talking about employers everyone has those fields in the back of their mind its my bad g.
Don't need to change your answer I agree employers employ people not the uni, I have a mate who's got an offer to study Esports at falmouth and biology at oxford so I'll forward this info to him to help him decide if that's ok? Think he wants to work in consultancy but really likes video games lol but i think if he gets the work ex he should be fine.
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