The Student Room Group

Does prestige really matter

My current goals are to become a physicist and do research in a field I find interesting, and currently I am in freshers week at Swansea.
Hypothetically, if I found myself competing with someone who went to a more prestigious university, such as UCL or Oxford, how much more of a advantage would the other person have?
Reply 1
I'm not involved in any sort of admissions, but here's my general viewpoint (small conclusion at the bottom :smile:):
I think that nowadays, employers of any sort are a lot fairer and have a lot of safeguards in place to prevent bias due to things like prestige and such.
Another positive view is that having any sort of degree, no matter the university, and especially postgraduate degrees for research based subjects (not sure if you're considering this?) is a great feather in your cap. From my experience, postgraduate degrees especially are less influenced by prestige, because you've got to be good to do them anyway.

On the other hand, there is a reason most of the time as to why these universities are so prestigious: they often have good teaching and resources, etc. Most importantly, their applications are really hard to get through: if you go through an interview and have to get 2 A*s or whatever, in order to be accepted. That can show a potential employer that you're good.

And yet to counter that again, all of this depends on what you get anyway. If you manage to do really well in your degree, that will rub off nicely on you: if you get a 1st, that shows you're really hard-working whatever the uni.

Obviously these are just my views mostly considering just how you'd general picture it, and hopefully some others can give more professional advice. In short, prestige is a factor, but much greater is the work you put in, and the links and such you gain: I would as a rule of thumb just say try your best, and try to ignore the uni.

Sorry for the long post haha. Hopefully this helped at least slightly! Best of luck wherever you go, and congratulations and good luck with your degree!

P.S. in a bit more on postgraduate degrees, it's worth noting of course that you can always switch unis for a master's and PhDs, and many do especially if you do well for your undergraduate. None of this is ever going to be a wall to what you want to do.
Reply 2
Once you enter a specific company, any university doesn’t matter at all. Knowledge and attitude would be your strongest shield. No unis would guarantee attitude, while working needs more that knowledge to implement.

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