The Student Room Group

How do I choose a Uni

Hi all,
This is gonna be long, sorry....
I'm currently pursuing a UG degree and will be graduating May 2023.
So here's the thing, I've decided to do an MSc in Finance(Sep 23) and am yet to narrow down my choices. I've seen rankings but they really aren't the most reliable sources. I'm from India and will be paying the international fees, so I'm not sure about which Uni will give me my best ROI and at the same time will be intellectually stimulating. I want to work in the UK for a couple of years before heading back home and for this employability is a priority.
So to simplify:
i) How do I know which Uni is the best fit for me?
ii) How do I verify the employability of a potential Uni?
iii) What are your recommendations for me?
Thanks
Original post by NotRed
Hi all,
This is gonna be long, sorry....
I'm currently pursuing a UG degree and will be graduating May 2023.
So here's the thing, I've decided to do an MSc in Finance(Sep 23) and am yet to narrow down my choices. I've seen rankings but they really aren't the most reliable sources. I'm from India and will be paying the international fees, so I'm not sure about which Uni will give me my best ROI and at the same time will be intellectually stimulating. I want to work in the UK for a couple of years before heading back home and for this employability is a priority.
So to simplify:
i) How do I know which Uni is the best fit for me?
ii) How do I verify the employability of a potential Uni?
iii) What are your recommendations for me?
Thanks


i) Look up other student's reviews of the uni - they can tell you about the location, the teaching methods, accommodation, etc, that you probably won't find in as much detail on the uni's website. Open days are also very valuable - you can meet students and lecturers, and get a feel of the city that you'll be studying and maybe living in. If you can't go in person, there are virtual open days offered as well, so you can check what your desired uni offers. Look closely at the course content too - different universities will focus on different aspects of a subject, so pick one that covers content that you're interested in

ii) Sites like https://www.whatuni.com/, or https://www.theuniguide.co.uk/ have sections that look at the earnings of previous students, and it can help give an idea. This is one "official" list (https://www.academiceducation.co.uk/graduate-employability/) but honestly it probably won't matter as much as you think it does. There's plenty of other things to make you stand out as an employee though - your skills, attitude, experience, ability to work in a team, etc, so don't worry too much?

iii) I don't take anything related to finance so I don't think I'll be able to help much with the recommendations ... Maybe ask other students from your course/uni? Or you could try asking around on other sites like quora, or looking up videos about the best finance courses?
Reply 2
Thank You Cassielle.
I'm currently considering Bath but the reviews are mixed and the rankings are all over the place. Does the Russell Group tag really matter ?
Thanks again
Original post by NotRed
Thank You Cassielle.
I'm currently considering Bath but the reviews are mixed and the rankings are all over the place. Does the Russell Group tag really matter ?
Thanks again

Rankings will probably look at different things - undergraduate, graduate, facilities, funding, etc, and reviews will be the same. Maybe try looking for the aspects of the university that will affect you? Since you're doing a masters, for example, the undergraduate rankings won't matter much.

As for Russell Group unis, I'm not too sure about them myself, but I think they're famous for producing a lot of research, so they receive a lot of grant money for that. Statistically I think their graduates make up a big portion of jobs that require a degree as well
But Russell Group unis aren't judged by an external factor (they're self-proclaimed, basically) and there are lots of universities that rank really highly (higher than some Russell Group ones) but aren't a part of the group. Moreover, they'll specialise in different subject areas - a non-Russell Group uni might have better lecturers and more focus on your subject than a Russell one. So when it comes down to the specifics, I think you should focus on the quality of the course rather than the quality of the university as a whole?
Reply 4
Thanks for taking the time to answer, helped me a lot. Appreciate it.
Original post by NotRed
Thanks for taking the time to answer, helped me a lot. Appreciate it.


no problem! hope your uni application goes well ^^
Hey, I am in a partly similar situation so just curious what you ended up picking and why? Also, would appreciate if you could share your findings. Thanks!
Original post by NotRed
Hi all,
This is gonna be long, sorry....
I'm currently pursuing a UG degree and will be graduating May 2023.
So here's the thing, I've decided to do an MSc in Finance(Sep 23) and am yet to narrow down my choices. I've seen rankings but they really aren't the most reliable sources. I'm from India and will be paying the international fees, so I'm not sure about which Uni will give me my best ROI and at the same time will be intellectually stimulating. I want to work in the UK for a couple of years before heading back home and for this employability is a priority.
So to simplify:
i) How do I know which Uni is the best fit for me?
ii) How do I verify the employability of a potential Uni?
iii) What are your recommendations for me?
Thanks.

i) Ultimately you can't really, you just have to make the most educated guess you can. Personally I would base it off the reputation of the MSc Finance itself (and by implication the career prospects) as well as how the modules on offer fit your interests (e.g. some courses have a lot more modules in corporate finance stuff than asset pricing for example, other have it tilted the other way, others are more evenly split).

ii) Again, it's difficult. Personally I would recommend using LinkedIn and looking for students who've studied the course at that uni in the last 3yrs, see whether the sort of places they end up fit with where you want to go in your career, or not. Often courses will have a careers section that will show the companies graduates of the course end up, but I would take this with a big pinch of salt as they're trying to look good so sometimes just pick the destinations of the very top students. Whereas the median graduate destination is a much better predictor of course quality.

iii) This is just my personal opinion. If you're going to be paying international fees, it's going to be expensive wherever you go, therefore you may as well try for the very good MSc Finance courses to get the best ROI. The top unis will be more expensive than lower ones for international students, but the difference in quality is much larger than the difference in price imo. For example, the top unis for finance like LSE, LBS, Imperial, Oxford, Cambridge, UCL and Warwick aren't much more expensive than lower unis like Cass/Bayes, Bristol, Nottingham, Exeter, Durham, etc.

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