The Student Room Group

UCL vs Edinburgh for Biological Sciences?

I have an offer from Oxford, UCL and Edinburgh. I am putting Oxford as my firm, but am not confident I will achieve the grades needed to go and so my insurance choice will be important. Both insurance choices have the same grade requirements. I cannot decide between UCL vs Edinburgh! TLDR at the bottom.

I have lived in London my whole life, and attended school in central London for the past 7 years, so I know the area very well!

Pros For UCL:
It is highly ranked overall and for Biological Sciences, and I really like the course. There are many modules and options to specify or do work abroad or do 3 or 4 years, so it has good flexibility. It has many good researchers and career opportunities for Biology, and will likely set me up well initially for a career in research. It's my favourite of the two for the course.
I have lived in London for so long, and university is an opportunity for change and new environments that I wouldn't get in staying in London. I know the area so well, have been to all the parks, museums, libraries, cafes you name it. Also, my family would be just 30 minutes away. In addition, UCL has a reputation of being very studious and potentially unsociable. Also, london can be expensive and isolating, and UCL is not much of a campus uni.

Pros For Edinburgh:
It's a beautiful city, also cheaper than London. It has a very good course as well and ranks close after UCL for Biology in the UK and not so far further down in world rankings. The city is far from home, a good change, and would provide a sense of independence and novelty. I know little about the area, and its something to explore. The city seems to have good student community and social life that is important to me.
Edinburgh is far away, takes long to get to and is cold and rainy. It is not ranked as highly as UCL and doesn't have quite the same level of prestige in science research, or career opportunities. The course is mandatory 4 years but is equivalent to 3 years in how it's awarded.* I would be far from my family and lifelong friends, I don't know anyone in the area.

TLDR: As you can see, the decision hinges around how much I want to prioritise the better course at UCL, vs the change of city and difference in student life at Edinburgh (something that's hard to predict the effect of). I currently have no idea how i might struggle with or enjoy moving so far away vs enduring the same city, and i don't know if the stereotypes of antisocial studious UCL vs fun campus Edinburgh are true.

If anyone can enlighten me as to their experiences or knowledge of these aspects and suggest anything I should consider (ASAP eek), I would greatly appreciate it!

London Unis are not all they are cracked up to be, its an expensieve place to live and does not give you any graduate advantage.
UCL is not 'better'. There will always be a demand for BioSci grads and your career opportunities will not be impacted by Uni choice at this level of Uni.
See -
Hopefully you will get into Oxford! Go with UCL because Edinburgh is far away and if you are close to friends and family in London you will not be able to 'pop' home to visit - its an 8 hour train journey.

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