Alicecollins22
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I am thinking of applying to one of these for one of my 5 options but I am stuck on which one to choose. At Edinburgh I would do ‘Ecological and Environmental sciences ‘ whereas at St Andrews I would do ‘Sustainable Develoment’. For reference I am from South England so both are fairly far away, but I am unsure which one would be better to apply to? I get the impression that St Andrews is much smaller but also has high prestige, whereas Edinburgh is larger and potentially a more rounded uni experience. Does anyone have any advice on this?
Thanks
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justlearning1469
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(Original post by Alicecollins22)
I am thinking of applying to one of these for one of my 5 options but I am stuck on which one to choose. At Edinburgh I would do ‘Ecological and Environmental sciences ‘ whereas at St Andrews I would do ‘Sustainable Develoment’. For reference I am from South England so both are fairly far away, but I am unsure which one would be better to apply to? I get the impression that St Andrews is much smaller but also has high prestige, whereas Edinburgh is larger and potentially a more rounded uni experience. Does anyone have any advice on this?
Thanks
I'd choose Edinburgh, its rank is 16 in QS 2022 compared to 91 for St Andrews.

St Andrews is a lot smaller than Edinburgh, less facilities, and quite a bit less research. Edinburgh is a research powerhouse, and is also a great student city for various reasons, including it being just large enough for numerous things to do while being small enough to get around. The amount of people there will allow for a wide network while not being too wide.
Last edited by justlearning1469; 3 weeks ago
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Callicious
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They're both rivals, at least that seems to be the hot take on it.

As far as courses go I can't say anything. But there's a few boons I can offer (biased for Edinburgh) that make it a bit more convenient for lifestyle or exploration.

- if you're poor they give a good 5k bonus to you (hehe)
- good rail links to Glasgow and hence the rest of Scotland, at least better than St Andrews which doesn't even have a station and needs a bus to one nearby
- lots and lots of hills nearby (borders, Pentlands, via rather fast bus access)
- very good birding opportunities nearby (which Andrews also has to the east: Fife coast is great for this mind you) in east Lothian, which also has many great beaches. The difference personally is that ours are more accessible by bicycle
- Arthur's Seat (I like the subsidiaries, not the seat itself. Don't see an extinct volcano in Andrews do you?)
- the Edinburgh natural history society (which organizes trips to see sights as far as St Andrews anyway)
- idk if you'd care but, London is fairly accessible via LNER or Avanti. Lumo is also coming soon which will make it even cheaper to get to London, faster too.

Anyway this is the biased nature-oriented view... But yeah, I'd take Edinburgh over Andrews any day. (oh you can also get super cheap tickets to Berwick and walk to Holy Island. Picture it.. Holy Island. Quite a nice ring to it, eh?)
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justlearning1469
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(Original post by Callicious)
They're both rivals, at least that seems to be the hot take on it.

As far as courses go I can't say anything. But there's a few boons I can offer (biased for Edinburgh) that make it a bit more convenient for lifestyle or exploration.

- if you're poor they give a good 5k bonus to you (hehe)
- good rail links to Glasgow and hence the rest of Scotland, at least better than St Andrews which doesn't even have a station and needs a bus to one nearby
- lots and lots of hills nearby (borders, Pentlands, via rather fast bus access)
- very good birding opportunities nearby (which Andrews also has to the east: Fife coast is great for this mind you) in east Lothian, which also has many great beaches. The difference personally is that ours are more accessible by bicycle
- Arthur's Seat (I like the subsidiaries, not the seat itself. Don't see an extinct volcano in Andrews do you?)
- the Edinburgh natural history society (which organizes trips to see sights as far as St Andrews anyway)
- idk if you'd care but, London is fairly accessible via LNER or Avanti. Lumo is also coming soon which will make it even cheaper to get to London, faster too.

Anyway this is the biased nature-oriented view... But yeah, I'd take Edinburgh over Andrews any day. (oh you can also get super cheap tickets to Berwick and walk to Holy Island. Picture it.. Holy Island. Quite a nice ring to it, eh?)
'They're both rivals, at least that seems to be the hot take on it.'
I mean St Andrews is on the low end of top 100 (91) while Edinburgh is top 20 (16) so it's more like Edinburgh being better though not that much better.

'As far as courses go I can't say anything.'
Well if difficulty of courses are the same for both universities, at least the research is a decent bit better in Edinburgh.

'if you're poor they give a good 5k bonus to you'
Also boosts social mobility, which might be why Edinburgh does surprisingly well social mobility wise.

'good rail links to Glasgow and hence the rest of Scotland, at least better than St Andrews which doesn't even have a station and needs a bus to one nearby'
If the OP wants to widen his network in Glasgow, he can.

' I'd take Edinburgh over Andrews any day.'
For me it's most of the time but I still agree with you.
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oppiwall
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Doubtless someone from St Andrews would point you to the Times Uni rankings,love the fact that you think the ability to get to Glasgow or see birds is likely to influence someones Uni decision..now the availibility of hills on the other hand...
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Callicious
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(Original post by justlearning1469)
'They're both rivals, at least that seems to be the hot take on it.'
I mean St Andrews is on the low end of top 100 (91) while Edinburgh is top 20 (16) so it's more like Edinburgh being better though not that much better.

'As far as courses go I can't say anything.'
Well if difficulty of courses are the same for both universities, at least the research is a decent bit better in Edinburgh.

'if you're poor they give a good 5k bonus to you'
Also boosts social mobility, which might be why Edinburgh does surprisingly well social mobility wise.

'good rail links to Glasgow and hence the rest of Scotland, at least better than St Andrews which doesn't even have a station and needs a bus to one nearby'
If the OP wants to widen his network in Glasgow, he can.

' I'd take Edinburgh over Andrews any day.'
For me it's most of the time but I still agree with you.
If I ever meet you I'll get you a drink for cleaning up my rambles xD
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Callicious
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(Original post by oppiwall)
Doubtless someone from St Andrews would point you to the Times Uni rankings,love the fact that you think the ability to get to Glasgow or see birds is likely to influence someones Uni decision..now the availibility of hills on the other hand...
I picked Edinburgh for the money, the birds/nature, and those sweet hills nearby!
(I joined when it was £7,250 a year for free to those from poorer backgrounds. Jesus... IT'S LIKE BEING A KING! T_T)
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SpaceLover29
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St Andrews does better in national rankings, Edinburgh does better in global. Global tends to favour larger universities with a greater range of subjects and with a greater focus on research. National rankings tend to focus more on student satisfaction and teaching, which are normally more important for students.
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oppiwall
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(Original post by Callicious)
I picked Edinburgh for the money, the birds/nature, and those sweet hills nearby!
(I joined when it was £7,250 a year for free to those from poorer backgrounds. Jesus... IT'S LIKE BEING A KING! T_T)
Your choice,Im picking on Academics..
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Callicious
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(Original post by oppiwall)
Your choice,Im picking on Academics..
Aye, most folks care more about that side of things. In any case, at the end of the day if you're picking from decent Uni's my two cents is to pick the one that you'd feel more "at home" in. An MSc from Andrews or Edinburgh are going to be virtually the same, but your experiences may be different.

That being said, check the course options (not just the ranking for a course.)

Edinburgh doubtlessly has a much wider variety of academics available, which inevitably leads to a much wider variety of options (guessing?) dependent on the course you pick.

Name:  Courselist.PNG
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LEFT = SEM 1, RIGHT = SEM 2, SPREAD = OVER TWO SEMESTERS... the MPhys isn't shown here (cropmaster I am) but it's 40 credits. The presentation is 10. On average you should get around 120 credits to spend a year, but I know sometimes that changes.

Doing my MPhys atm, just to give perspective into the spread I'm afforded. If you're opting to specialize in something esoteric, like Galactic Dynamics for example (hopefully...), you'll want to make sure that your choice has a... Galactic Dynamicist? Whatever the heck you call someone who specializes in Galactic Dynamics.

Anyway, contacting the Uni will let you learn of your options on this specifically. Alternatively they might have a drps page available (like this one) which lists all courses and associated requirements.

But yeah, if you're picking between Andrews or Edinburgh, and want to consider academics, just consider your advanced options for your course. The degrees are virtually equivalent in standing (though like others have said, maybe not exactly equivalent. At the end of the day, not miles apart.)
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artful_lounger
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The two courses are very different; sustainable development will be more of a social sciences course focusing on development and approaches to conservation, with maybe some scientific underpinning. The Edinburgh course will be a fairly typical science degree. Do you want to do a science degree or not, is the question really.
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Alicecollins22
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(Original post by justlearning1469)
I'd choose Edinburgh, its rank is 16 in QS 2022 compared to 91 for St Andrews.

St Andrews is a lot smaller than Edinburgh, less facilities, and quite a bit less research. Edinburgh is a research powerhouse, and is also a great student city for various reasons, including it being just large enough for numerous things to do while being small enough to get around. The amount of people there will allow for a wide network while not being too wide.
Thank you, are you currently studying at Edi?
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Alicecollins22
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(Original post by Callicious)
They're both rivals, at least that seems to be the hot take on it.

As far as courses go I can't say anything. But there's a few boons I can offer (biased for Edinburgh) that make it a bit more convenient for lifestyle or exploration.

- if you're poor they give a good 5k bonus to you (hehe)
- good rail links to Glasgow and hence the rest of Scotland, at least better than St Andrews which doesn't even have a station and needs a bus to one nearby
- lots and lots of hills nearby (borders, Pentlands, via rather fast bus access)
- very good birding opportunities nearby (which Andrews also has to the east: Fife coast is great for this mind you) in east Lothian, which also has many great beaches. The difference personally is that ours are more accessible by bicycle
- Arthur's Seat (I like the subsidiaries, not the seat itself. Don't see an extinct volcano in Andrews do you?)
- the Edinburgh natural history society (which organizes trips to see sights as far as St Andrews anyway)
- idk if you'd care but, London is fairly accessible via LNER or Avanti. Lumo is also coming soon which will make it even cheaper to get to London, faster too.

Anyway this is the biased nature-oriented view... But yeah, I'd take Edinburgh over Andrews any day. (oh you can also get super cheap tickets to Berwick and walk to Holy Island. Picture it.. Holy Island. Quite a nice ring to it, eh?
thank you! I’ve visited Edinburgh before and really loved the city. I’m from southern England so it’s pretty different but I like how it’s also pretty coastal. I’m guessing you would recommend it as a place to live then?
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Alicecollins22
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
The two courses are very different; sustainable development will be more of a social sciences course focusing on development and approaches to conservation, with maybe some scientific underpinning. The Edinburgh course will be a fairly typical science degree. Do you want to do a science degree or not, is the question really.
Yeh I’ve looked into the courses a bit more and have discovered a sustainable Development course at Edinburgh too as I think I would prefer that sort of approach. However it says it is a MA which I assume is masters rather than bachelors? Although it also says it is 4 years which would be the same as a bachelors?
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Alicecollins22
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(Original post by oppiwall)
Doubtless someone from St Andrews would point you to the Times Uni rankings,love the fact that you think the ability to get to Glasgow or see birds is likely to influence someones Uni decision..now the availibility of hills on the other hand...
Do you think the ranking means a lot or not really? I know they’re both really good unis but unsure of how much difference their rankings will make in terms of employment after graduation?
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Alicecollins22
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(Original post by SpaceLover29)
St Andrews does better in national rankings, Edinburgh does better in global. Global tends to favour larger universities with a greater range of subjects and with a greater focus on research. National rankings tend to focus more on student satisfaction and teaching, which are normally more important for students.
Do you reckon St Andrews would be better for employment opportunities in the U.K. or would it not make much difference?
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Alicecollins22
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(Original post by justlearning1469)
I'd choose Edinburgh, its rank is 16 in QS 2022 compared to 91 for St Andrews.

St Andrews is a lot smaller than Edinburgh, less facilities, and quite a bit less research. Edinburgh is a research powerhouse, and is also a great student city for various reasons, including it being just large enough for numerous things to do while being small enough to get around. The amount of people there will allow for a wide network while not being too wide.
Yes I seem to get the idea that edi is a bigger uni experience in terms of size and things to do, whereas St. Andrews is smaller but maybe has more of a community because of this?
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Callicious
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(Original post by Alicecollins22)
thank you! I’ve visited Edinburgh before and really loved the city. I’m from southern England so it’s pretty different but I like how it’s also pretty coastal. I’m guessing you would recommend it as a place to live then?
Has everything you could want.

Want hills? Live in Penicuik/Roslin/South Midlothian/Balerno
Want access to beaches, birds and more? Musselburgh/East Lothian
Want forests and other rural woodlands/ponds/etc? Corstorphine/West Lothian or Balerno/Midlothian
Want the big central city life with all the social/student stuff, while needing ~1 hour cycles to get the above? Central Edinburgh.

That's just my personal experience, though. Naturally I don't live in Central anymore since I'm not a social guy, but yeah.

Note that not all the above are mutually exclusive.
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Alicecollins22
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(Original post by Callicious)
Has everything you could want.

Want hills? Live in Penicuik/Roslin/South Midlothian/Balerno
Want access to beaches, birds and more? Musselburgh/East Lothian
Want forests and other rural woodlands/ponds/etc? Corstorphine/West Lothian or Balerno/Midlothian
Want the big central city life with all the social/student stuff, while needing ~1 hour cycles to get the above? Central Edinburgh.

That's just my personal experience, though. Naturally I don't live in Central anymore since I'm not a social guy, but yeah.

Note that not all the above are mutually exclusive.
Thanks, do you know where the halls are located for first years? Also do people tend to go all over the place for 2nd-4th years?
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Callicious
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(Original post by Alicecollins22)
Thanks, do you know where the halls are located for first years? Also do people tend to go all over the place for 2nd-4th years?
I lived in Riego Street (Fountainbridge) but there are halls literally all over the city. In general they're all within a brief walk of the central campus. The richies generally live at Pollock Halls, which is a bit further from central than I would prefer (see: a good walk.)

Most later-year students seem to favour Marchmont, or at least that was what I pulled from all the people who lived at Riego. They absolutely flocked there! But yeah, generally everywhere.

It' worth noting that Edinburgh is a very expensive place to live and the rental crisis has exacerbated costs, especially recently. That might be worth factoring in to your considerations on Uni (idk about Andrews, might be cheaper?)
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