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I don't know which choice to make!

I have applied to University to study Psychology as a mature student living in London. I received acceptances from both the University of Surrey and City, University of London. Surrey sits considerably higher on the rankings than City. However, my work life which is important to keep up whilst studying is based in London. Commuting to Surrey from London would be expensive, and exhausting and would include uplifting my already established life. How important is going to a top-ranked uni? Am I limiting my chances of good employment by going to a lesser good uni?
(edited 8 months ago)
Original post by tomacita
I have applied to University to study Psychology as a mature student living in London. I received acceptances from both the University of Surrey and City, University of London. Surrey is a Russel group uni which sits considerably higher on the rankings than City. However, my work life which is important to keep up whilst studying is based in London. Commuting to Surrey from London would be expensive, and exhausting and would include uplifting my already established life. How important is going to a top-ranked uni? Am I limiting my chances of good employment by going to a lesser good uni?

This is something you will need to weigh up. Often, which uni you get your degree from does not matter very much, so you just need to choose the best uni for you.
(edited 8 months ago)
Original post by tomacita
I have applied to University to study Psychology as a mature student living in London. I received acceptances from both the University of Surrey and City, University of London. Surrey is a Russel group uni which sits considerably higher on the rankings than City. However, my work life which is important to keep up whilst studying is based in London. Commuting to Surrey from London would be expensive, and exhausting and would include uplifting my already established life. How important is going to a top-ranked uni? Am I limiting my chances of good employment by going to a lesser good uni?


As someone with a Psychology degree from a non Russell group university, I have had a lot more opportunities than my friends who did the same at Russell group unis...obviously this varies for everyone though.

If you have a specific research area in mind and want to go down that route then it's worth looking into who could potentially supervise your final year project and influence you throughout your time there. I did this with my choice as the research area was super niche!

The work/life or study/life balance is always undervalued, in my opinion. Ensuring you get that balance right could be the difference between a 2:1 or 1st! Psychology courses which offer BPS accreditation (if it doesn't do this then seriously consider your options if you want to go further down the psych route!) are based around a set core modules they need to offer to meet that accreditation so there really is not that much difference :smile:
Original post by tomacita
I have applied to University to study Psychology as a mature student living in London. I received acceptances from both the University of Surrey and City, University of London. Surrey is a Russel group uni which sits considerably higher on the rankings than City. However, my work life which is important to keep up whilst studying is based in London. Commuting to Surrey from London would be expensive, and exhausting and would include uplifting my already established life. How important is going to a top-ranked uni? Am I limiting my chances of good employment by going to a lesser good uni?


Hi @tomacita,

First of all, congratulations on your acceptances! As mentioned above, you have to do what is right for you - it is your future and your education. :smile:

Best of luck with everything!

Thanks,
Olivia
Original post by tomacita
I have applied to University to study Psychology as a mature student living in London. I received acceptances from both the University of Surrey and City, University of London. Surrey is a Russel group uni which sits considerably higher on the rankings than City. However, my work life which is important to keep up whilst studying is based in London. Commuting to Surrey from London would be expensive, and exhausting and would include uplifting my already established life. How important is going to a top-ranked uni? Am I limiting my chances of good employment by going to a lesser good uni?

Hello :smile:

Great question! I think this will help many other students considering this topic too.

From my experience, it is most important to choose the option that will work best around your lifestyle and allow you to continue working, and maintain a manageable and healthy work/life balance.

If you are happier and more able to engage in your university work, you are more likely to achieve higher grades. This factor will be more important than the university you studied at when applying for employment.

Hope this helps :smile:

Scarlett
Original post by tomacita
I have applied to University to study Psychology as a mature student living in London. I received acceptances from both the University of Surrey and City, University of London. Surrey sits considerably higher on the rankings than City. However, my work life which is important to keep up whilst studying is based in London. Commuting to Surrey from London would be expensive, and exhausting and would include uplifting my already established life. How important is going to a top-ranked uni? Am I limiting my chances of good employment by going to a lesser good uni?


Hello!

Congratulations on receiving multiple offers. Both universities have their own unique strengths and advantages, and your concerns about commuting and maintaining your work-life balance are completely valid.

I can only speak on behalf of the University of Surrey, but the Psychology department is great here. There are lots of research opportunities and labs to join, providing you with hands-on experience and a chance to delve deep into your chosen field. It's great for networking as our faculty comprises accomplished professionals who are dedicated to guiding and nurturing students on their academic journey.

The journey from Waterloo to Surrey takes just 34 minutes by train, making the commute manageable. Moreover, we offer dedicated support for mature and commuting students.

It really depends on your personal circumstances - you do not want to burn yourself out! Employers often value a combination of factors beyond just university rankings. These can include relevant work experience, networking opportunities, practical skills, and your ability to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios.

Best of luck with your decision, and please feel free to ask me any questions.

Thanks,
Sam (she/her)
MSc Psychology Student
(edited 7 months ago)
Original post by tomacita
I have applied to University to study Psychology as a mature student living in London. I received acceptances from both the University of Surrey and City, University of London. Surrey sits considerably higher on the rankings than City. However, my work life which is important to keep up whilst studying is based in London. Commuting to Surrey from London would be expensive, and exhausting and would include uplifting my already established life. How important is going to a top-ranked uni? Am I limiting my chances of good employment by going to a lesser good uni?


@tomacita
I did my degree, masters, PGCE and PGCSENDco at non-Russell Group Universities and have had a lot of opportunities, the key thing is to find a University where you will thrive...and that the Psychology program has been validated by the British Psychological Society. I would be tempted to go with a provider that does an MSc and or doctorate level study as many universities have a 'loyalty' discount for staying there and continuing study * based on certain criteria being achieved

Marc
Arden University Student Ambassador

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