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    Hi, I've applied to Exeter, UEA, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, Reading. Got offers from all except Exeter.

    Whilst Exeter is top of the bunch in terms of Subject and overall tables, there are discrepant rankings for all the others. I need help.

    Considering i don't get an Exeter offer, I need to make a descision regarding the others. Which of the other 4 would you say has the best politics and philosophy course. this would be excluding any other factors (campus etc), just standard of the course.
    UEA has a surprisingly low ranking in terms of politics despite it's overall high ranking. (20th overall, 42th politics)

    Royal Holloway is ranked 24 overall, 35th for politics (Times Uni Rankings)

    Reading is ranked 25th overall and 37th politics.

    Queen Mary is ranked 42 overall and 25th for politics!
    Not to mention other league tables (guardian for example) seem to mess up this order subjectwise, with Reading being ahead of UEA with RHUL after that.

    HELP!

    And a final little question, i understand that AAB is the advertised offer for PolPhil at Exeter, but what's the real offer? I heard AAA which is fairly heartbreaking.
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    What rankings put QMUL in at 42 ? it's 37 on the Times GUG and 28 for politics, although I should mention look out for it jumping up the rankings next year, after the new RAE results factor in, the vice chancellor expects it to crack the 20's at least, and possibly even 19/18th, a lot has changed at that uni since 2001 when the last RAE's were done. It's department of Arts has also been rated highly, and it's politics department got 24/25 in it's last review. I can't speak about the course itself though.

    Also, I know you said you wanted solely academic advice but really if you want a social life, don't go to RHUL :P
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    Thank you for your reply, what is your opinion about UEA compared to RHUL?

    Why is UEA so low in league tables? I was under the impression it was fairly decent to study politics and philosophy at, and had a decent PPE course.
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    I'd go for Reading. It's strong in both politics and (applied) philosophy.
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    would you say it trumps RHUL, QM and UEA?
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    (Original post by GlassVase)
    would you say it trumps RHUL, QM and UEA?
    Personally, yes, with qmul a close second.
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    Thanks for the advice, i'll give reading a closer look.

    This is so confusing, because according to Times Uni 2009 tables, UEA seems to ahead of all the rest at 27, even QM in the Politics league tables. For the philosophy tables, reading is 18th and UEA at 24. In the overall tables UEA again comes out tops over the rest at 23.

    Is there any merit to these league tables? because compared to the Times GUG 2008 Politics subject tables, UEAs shot up a good 20 places! How does it all factor in?
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    (Original post by GlassVase)
    Thanks for the advice, i'll give reading a closer look.

    This is so confusing, because according to Times Uni 2009 tables, UEA seems to ahead of all the rest at 27, even QM in the Politics league tables. For the philosophy tables, reading is 18th and UEA at 24. In the overall tables UEA again comes out tops over the rest at 23.

    Is there any merit to these league tables
    ? because compared to the Times GUG 2008 Politics subject tables, UEAs shot up a good 20 places! How does it all factor in?
    In terms of the variables they use, yes. In terms of actually measuring quality, not in the slightest. They're worth using to check out average entry scores, staff/student ratio, satisfaction etc. For anything else they're roughly on a par with a chocolate fireguard.

    My advice would be to ignore the league tables completely, go and visit the universities, speak to the academics and see how you feel about the places. You'll be bloody miserable for three years if you pick a university on the basis that it's 5 places higher on a league table.

    (Original post by river85)
    x
    I'll get River in here, he talks sense and is a phil pol student.
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    (Original post by IlexAquifolium)
    I'd go for Reading. It's strong in both politics and (applied) philosophy.
    :ditto: Quite a pleasent campus too (although I know we are supposed to mention the campus).

    Ilex is probably more of an expert than I am in politics (I would have gone with Reading for politics but wasn't too sure how much stronger it was compared in QM for politics). Reading has, in my opinion, a great little philosophy department. It's good for applied philosophy and particularly strong in philosophy of mind and modern philosophy. They do have John Cottingham, after all. They also have Prof Dancy.

    But I do feel you're taking league table positions too literally. Use them as a rough guide at best. I wouldn't really take much notice of student satisfaction scores (maybe that's just me, but some unis have been accused of inflating them or putting pressure on students to rate them highly) and possibly research (out of date and, in my opinion, only of limited relevance to an undergrad). Student staff ratio has some use, as does facility spend (but remember that it's how effectively money is spent, not how much is spent). Also, the Guardian rankings do have a "value added" score and this can skew things a bit. So don't get too obsessed about them.

    League tables are fairly young (fifteen years old?). People were chosing unis for many years before their creation. It would be ideal if you are able to visit all the unis then you can make more of an informed decision.

    But, I'd certainly go with Reading as top (after Exeter) then UEA over QM as UEA has a stronger philosophy department, the politics departments at both are fairly strong.
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    (Original post by River85)
    But, I'd certainly go with Reading as top (after Exeter) then UEA over QM as UEA has a stronger philosophy department, the politics departments at both are fairly strong.
    Thanks for your reply, thats helped me a lot. I take it RHUL is a no-go, I heard that the social life and course isn't that brilliant.

    Last question, and this may seem to be a repeat of the above, but it isn't. What is Reading and UEA's reputation like compared to all the universities above it? Are they known as relatively strong/good/middle of the road/weak universities in the field of politics and philosophy across the board?

    I ask this because, and i know this is rather early to be getting into, but I'd like to know the range of universities open to me for postgrad study. I guess this would be a hard question to ask tutors at individual unis because they'd be somewhat biased.
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    (Original post by GlassVase)
    Thanks for your reply, thats helped me a lot. I take it RHUL is a no-go, I heard that the social life and course isn't that brilliant.

    Last question, and this may seem to be a repeat of the above, but it isn't. What is Reading and UEA's reputation like compared to all the universities above it? Are they known as relatively strong/good/middle of the road/weak universities in the field of politics and philosophy across the board?

    I ask this because, and i know this is rather early to be getting into, but I'd like to know the range of universities open to me for postgrad study. I guess this would be a hard question to ask tutors at individual unis because they'd be somewhat biased.
    Where you can go for postgrad isn't affected by your undergrad university in the least, I promise If you do well (a high 2.1 or a first) you'll stand a very good chance of being able to go wherever you like. Oxbridge courses usually require a 67 or above, regardless of where you did your undergrad.

    I regard Reading pretty well, I have to say. Their philosophy department is excellent and their politics department is strong - I would say UEA is slightly less strong in politics (but not massively), and philosophy I can't comment on. If you're interested in Reading, though, Nina's the one to speak to, since she's hoping to go there for her postgrad philosophy.

    (Original post by Nina)
    Reading!
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    (Original post by GlassVase)
    Thanks for your reply, thats helped me a lot. I take it RHUL is a no-go, I heard that the social life and course isn't that brilliant.
    I wouldn't go so far as saying it's a "no go area". I don't know a great deal about it apart from its fantastic main building. Much of what here is your usual UoL (well, UCL, LSE etc.) snobbery. I'm sure it has some value. It's just that you are applying to stronger unis, in the case of Reading and UEA significantly.

    (Original post by GlassVase)
    What is Reading and UEA's reputation like compared to all the universities above it? Are they known as relatively strong/good/middle of the road/weak universities in the field of politics and philosophy across the board?
    Oh, fairly good. Certainly not middle of the road or weak. Actually, I don't really think there's a great difference between those two and some of the redbricks.

    (Original post by GlassVase)
    I ask this because, and i know this is rather early to be getting into, but I'd like to know the range of universities open to me for postgrad study. I guess this would be a hard question to ask tutors at individual unis because they'd be somewhat biased.
    Hmm...I'm no expert on this matter (I'm still an undergrad, after four years :p: ) but I wouldn't get too concerned about this. As far as I know, university reputation isn't that big a deal when it comes to postgrad study (or, for that matter, many areas of employment). Your academic record will be far more important (at least a 2:1, ideally with consistant performance throughout your degree). You get graduates from ex-polys going to some of our leading unis as postgrads so I don't think you'll be limiting yourself by going to Reading and UEA. They are good unis. Just concentrate on your academic achievement once there.

    Edit: -

    (Original post by IlexAquifolium)
    I regard Reading pretty well, I have to say. Their philosophy department is excellent.
    Got there before me! :p:

    Anyway, yup, once again, Prof Cottingham Mmmmm.... (I don't know why I have this obsession with the guy, our areas don't even match) :p: "Reason, Will and Sensation: Studies in Descartes Metaphysics" I do have that to look forward to later this week. Then onto Leibniz, unfortunately....
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    Cheers Ilex. I applied for philosophy and politics back in the day, but ended up taking straight philosophy as the one I eventually went for doesn't offer joint degrees.

    I highly recommend Reading and UEA out of those, although personally I would say Reading is the best. I applied to Reading and UEA for PolPhil, but I do think Reading has the edge, both in terms of reputation, course, and general university life.

    I would generally ignore league tables, I don't trust them. For example, Oxford is/was top for philosophy, yet you are unable to take a single honours philosophy degree. I've always found that odd.



    For post grad, it is much more about your academics that where you went to uni, similarly, where you apply will not necessarily be based on reputation but on specialisms and supervisors. I'm at Cambridge now for undergrad, but am hoping to leave and go to Reading for postgrad, but they are real specialists in applied philosophy, and that's where my interests lie.
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    (Original post by Nina)
    For example, Oxford is/was top for philosophy, yet you are unable to take a single honours philosophy degree. I've always found that odd.
    :laugh: That's nothing. I suppose it's because they still have a philosophy department.

    Imperial were ranked third for general engineering until last year (they do not offer a general engineering degree). The Guardian's subject tables sometimes include unis who don't even offer the degree (some because the department was shut down six years ago).
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    I can't speak about it's academic features but I can speak about the location as I live about 20 miles away from Exeter in Torquay, and it's location is really good in my opinion, Exeter is a nice small city, it's big enough that it's not stifling but it's also not got the hustle and bustle of a London or a Birmingham and all the bad things that come with that. The campus is gorgeous and if you like going out and about, Dartmoor is right on your doorstep for countryside stuff or Torquay is a 45 minute (inc transfers) train ride if you like beaches and clubbing (Torquay's clubbing scene is much better than Exeter's). Although it's in the South West it's not that inaccesible, and Bristol and Cardiff are only short journeys away, and London's only about 2 and a half to 3 hrs by train, and Exeter's full of history dating back to the Roman times if you're interested in that aswell. All in all it's a great city, it speaks volumes when the Met office polled it's employees on where to move when it grew out of it's offices in Berkshire and the staff chose Exeter.
 
 
 
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