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University College London, University of London
University College London
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English at UCL vs KCL

Hi everyone. So I got offers from both for English BA, and I'm torn on which to pick! I've looked at both of the courses and King's seems more varied and freeing, and I love that you either do 8 modules or 6 + dissertation in your final year - UCL has quite fixed modules (from what I've read) but there is the one to one tutor thing which is highly regarded. But UCL's location is said to be better, and the general rep for English is supposedly better too.

Any thoughts? Would love to hear from anyone going to either unis and studying English!
Original post by thatbooknerd
Hi everyone. So I got offers from both for English BA, and I'm torn on which to pick! I've looked at both of the courses and King's seems more varied and freeing, and I love that you either do 8 modules or 6 + dissertation in your final year - UCL has quite fixed modules (from what I've read) but there is the one to one tutor thing which is highly regarded. But UCL's location is said to be better, and the general rep for English is supposedly better too.

Any thoughts? Would love to hear from anyone going to either unis and studying English!

Hi! First of all, Congratulations on both of your offers! That's a huge achievement!

So I have an offer from Kings and I'm still waiting to hear back from UCL, but I get why you feel torn

I think I'd choose Kings. As you said, the course is much freer and I feel, personally, that the modules are generally more appealing and would provide a greater sense of gratification.

However, there is obviously the appeal of UCL for the prestige. Previously, this did make me feel like UCL would be a better choice but, honestly, a lot of people have told me that both universities hold the same level of recognition (this includes internationally)

Have you tried looking around the campuses? You can always do an online tour but I've heard looking around helps you get a better sense of how you'd fit within the institution. Another helpful difference is looking at what each uni actively offers while you're studying there. For example, if you take the Shakespeare module in the third year at KCL you'd actually be studying his works at the globe, I don't know if you get that same opportunity at UCL. Ultimately the decision depends on whatever you feel would satisfy you most, but these are a few things to consider.

p.s. KCL also provides a personal tutor
University College London, University of London
University College London
London
Really depends how you feel about Oxbridge style tutorials/supervisions, which is what UCL basically runs for its English students I gather. Some people like that environment, others don't.

Looking at the course descriptions in the handbook, it looks that the papers are similar to Oxford (and maybe Cambridge) in that while there aren't a huge array of options, they are very broad ranging and allow you a great deal of leeway in studying a range of texts within the broad period/genre of the paper, alongside some set texts. So it's really up to the student to forge their interests through the modules, while they also cover some basic "core" texts.

Essentially the UCL course just seems less subdivided which in turn does allow a fair bit of flexibility for the student. You could also focus on particular thematic interests across different modules in different time periods perhaps more easily as a result.
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by TheeGodfather
Hi! First of all, Congratulations on both of your offers! That's a huge achievement!

So I have an offer from Kings and I'm still waiting to hear back from UCL, but I get why you feel torn

I think I'd choose Kings. As you said, the course is much freer and I feel, personally, that the modules are generally more appealing and would provide a greater sense of gratification.

However, there is obviously the appeal of UCL for the prestige. Previously, this did make me feel like UCL would be a better choice but, honestly, a lot of people have told me that both universities hold the same level of recognition (this includes internationally)

Have you tried looking around the campuses? You can always do an online tour but I've heard looking around helps you get a better sense of how you'd fit within the institution. Another helpful difference is looking at what each uni actively offers while you're studying there. For example, if you take the Shakespeare module in the third year at KCL you'd actually be studying his works at the globe, I don't know if you get that same opportunity at UCL. Ultimately the decision depends on whatever you feel would satisfy you most, but these are a few things to consider.

p.s. KCL also provides a personal tutor

Thank you!! I agree, UCL does seem more prestigious. I did go to an open day for both and loved UCL more - I could just see myself studying there, you know?
Original post by artful_lounger
Really depends how you feel about Oxbridge style tutorials/supervisions, which is what UCL basically runs for its English students I gather. Some people like that environment, others don't.

Looking at the course descriptions in the handbook, it looks that the papers are similar to Oxford (and maybe Cambridge) in that while there aren't a huge array of options, they are very broad ranging and allow you a great deal of leeway in studying a range of texts within the broad period/genre of the paper, alongside some set texts. So it's really up to the student to forge their interests through the modules, while they also cover some basic "core" texts.

Essentially the UCL course just seems less subdivided which in turn does allow a fair bit of flexibility for the student. You could also focus on particular thematic interests across different modules in different time periods perhaps more easily as a result.

Thanks for the reply! Yeah I do love the options they offer, and I actually prefer being able to choose what I want to study throughout modules. This was so helpful, thank you! Deffo leaning towards UCL :smile:
Original post by thatbooknerd
Thanks for the reply! Yeah I do love the options they offer, and I actually prefer being able to choose what I want to study throughout modules. This was so helpful, thank you! Deffo leaning towards UCL :smile:


Also as an aside, while I'm not too familiar with KCL's offerings, if you're particularly interested in medieval studies/literature UCL has quite a lot of options in that area (including offering Old Norse for example). I only mention it because while usually you will get some middle English options (and sometimes old English options) at other unis, it's less common to find extensive offerings in that area. Of course, if that's not an area of particular interest then it's irrelevant (other than observing you must do Chaucer plus one term of Old and Middle English no matter what there, so if you really have no interest in medieval literature that may be unappealing).
Original post by artful_lounger
Also as an aside, while I'm not too familiar with KCL's offerings, if you're particularly interested in medieval studies/literature UCL has quite a lot of options in that area (including offering Old Norse for example). I only mention it because while usually you will get some middle English options (and sometimes old English options) at other unis, it's less common to find extensive offerings in that area. Of course, if that's not an area of particular interest then it's irrelevant (other than observing you must do Chaucer plus one term of Old and Middle English no matter what there, so if you really have no interest in medieval literature that may be unappealing).

I'm not a huge fan of it, so I'd probably stick to the compulsory modules and then branch out for the Optional. Thank you!
Original post by TheeGodfather
Hi! First of all, Congratulations on both of your offers! That's a huge achievement!

So I have an offer from Kings and I'm still waiting to hear back from UCL, but I get why you feel torn

I think I'd choose Kings. As you said, the course is much freer and I feel, personally, that the modules are generally more appealing and would provide a greater sense of gratification.

However, there is obviously the appeal of UCL for the prestige. Previously, this did make me feel like UCL would be a better choice but, honestly, a lot of people have told me that both universities hold the same level of recognition (this includes internationally)

Have you tried looking around the campuses? You can always do an online tour but I've heard looking around helps you get a better sense of how you'd fit within the institution. Another helpful difference is looking at what each uni actively offers while you're studying there. For example, if you take the Shakespeare module in the third year at KCL you'd actually be studying his works at the globe, I don't know if you get that same opportunity at UCL. Ultimately the decision depends on whatever you feel would satisfy you most, but these are a few things to consider.

p.s. KCL also provides a personal tutor

I've done a deep dive into both courses/locations/teaching... and KCL seems better to me? 😂
Literally did a whole 180! They just have such a range of modules and themes which I love, whereas UCL does seem a little more boring (they have wayyyy too much old english and medieval lit for me lmao).
Reply 8
Hi @thatbooknerd, just wondered what your final decision was. Was it KCL?

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