The Student Room Group

LSE or Bristol Uni for History BA

I have offers from both unis and I am torn between them. Rank tables seem useless as they all say different things. LSE has better graduate prospects, is very international, which I like, and I can apply to do a whole year abroad in the second year. But, I have lived in london my whole life, it also seems to lack a community feel.Bristol also has a great name for itself but is not as prestigious it seems. The student experience seems more fun there as it has more societies etc and I would get to experience a whole new city (which is also slightly cheaper). But the course is less internationally focused and I would only be able to spend a semester abroad as opposed to a whole year.I would love to know any more pros/cons for either of these unis and what people think I should choose.
Original post by blalalabajal
I have offers from both unis and I am torn between them. Rank tables seem useless as they all say different things. LSE has better graduate prospects, is very international, which I like, and I can apply to do a whole year abroad in the second year. But, I have lived in london my whole life, it also seems to lack a community feel.Bristol also has a great name for itself but is not as prestigious it seems. The student experience seems more fun there as it has more societies etc and I would get to experience a whole new city (which is also slightly cheaper). But the course is less internationally focused and I would only be able to spend a semester abroad as opposed to a whole year.I would love to know any more pros/cons for either of these unis and what people think I should choose.

Hi!
You should also pay close attention to living costs of the two cities (i.e. cost of on/off campus accommodation, food, transportation, etc.)
Bristol is known as a cycling city, so a lot of people cycle, but Britain is notorious for its hate on cyclists, no matter the city. Rent is also substantially cheaper in Bristol. I live in a tiny suburban part of London but average rent for a 1 bed flat still hovers around the £1100 per month mark. Do you plan on staying with your parents or living alone?
Transportation can be a financial nightmare in London- I once paid £2.70 for a 2 stop ride on the District Line!
In terms of rankings, those only really matter depending on what you want to do with your life.
This is your choice entirely, but if I were you, I'd pick LSE due to its much more competitive nature and, like you mentioned, graduate prospects.
Thanks for the reply! Im not planning to stay at home but student finance actually gives more funding to students in London so I should be ok but if I still cant make rent then I can move back home if I go to LSE whereas I wouldnt be able to in Bristol (which obviously isnt as expensive so theres less chance that would even happen but Bristol does have increasing housing prices at the moment). I was in Bristol today and food actually was more expensive than what im used to in london (where I went at least - clothes shops were also more expensive too). Im leaning towards LSE at the moment for these reasons as well as the fact that the head of the History department in Bristol mentioned that he keeps his archival work at LSE ahaha
Reply 3
As someone who has lived in both cities, Bristol isn't that much cheaper than London. Ok, there is a difference in rent, but it's not as much as some would have you believe. Cost of renting has gone up since there was an exodus of renters from London during Covid. I lived in Bristol from the age of 17-19 and it is an exceptionally good place to be a student. The city has a definite identity and an openness toward progressive discussion and creativity, culminating in a really vibrant music and arts scene. Most of my friends went to London universities (inc. LSE) and they bemoan the lack of student experience offered by the universities and the cities' prohibitively expensive events circuit. Almost universally (whether it be LSE, UCL or Kings), they comment on the London uni environment being competitive rather than supportive. I would suggest there may be some truth that the more competitive universities require heavier reading, stringent concept-analysis and revision whereas Bristol/Manchester/Edinburgh etc would employ a more interactive approach.I was at one of the Bristol offer hold events recently and I think Bristol probably excels in developing a student-focused, discussion-based teaching environment. The facilities are new and the universities commitment to the department felt genuine and tangible. Important to note that you can do a year abroad (rather than just a semester as you suggested) although the course title is History BA with Study Abroad, rather than just History BA. It seemed that other prospective students hadn't made this distinction and applicants were advised to contact admissions to change courses.Having said all that, much of my research has led me to the conclusion that LSE is the most 'prestigious' choice for History outside of Oxbridge and its continuation statistics are fantastic. There would undoubtedly be a higher proportion of international students too which I feel is a major positive factor considering the nature of the subject. Ultimately, if you want a mix of good university and great student experience then Bristol should be considered, but if you are deciding purely on academic merit then LSE appears superior.

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