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Is there any postgraduate league table? watch

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    I am just wondering is there any postgraduate league table for Computer Science? It there anything similar to those Good univeristy Guides? Thank you very much.

    Actually, I have done the research i.e. speaking to the admission tutor, reasearched area, projects, staff, google,etc..and I have selected the uni that I would like to choose. As I am an international student, I just want to know more information about other universities and courses in the UK and obviously I am not using it as an indicator to choose for a postgraduate course. Furthermore, the reason for writing this thread is just to find some tables or figures to show my parents as they kept on asking me for a league table or some sort.
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    (Original post by euniceeee)
    I am just wondering is there any postgraduate league table for Computer Science? It there anything similar to those Good univeristy Guides? Thank you very much.
    No unfortunately although there are tables for research quality etc.
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    Nope
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    :lies: There is but its crap.

    Guardian Postgrad League Tables 08/09

    Don't know when a more recent version will be available. I found the table a bit annoying to use, and it seemed to compile loads of factors I didn't care about. So instead I looked at the 2008 RAE results for my subject, and then looked at the regular Times League table 2010, entering my subject and ordering the institutions according to the 'research quality' field. I chose institutions which both of these sources cohered upon.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    :lies: There is but its crap.

    Guardian Postgrad League Tables 08/09

    That Guardian one is dire. Looking at geography, Durham and Bristol (the two best human geography place sin the country) don't exist and nor does Cambridge.
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    I seem to remember someone posting some sort of table on here a while back, but I seem to recall it being ****, and shockingly incomplete
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    (Original post by arkbar)
    That Guardian one is dire. Looking at geography, Durham and Bristol (the two best human geography place sin the country) don't exist and nor does Cambridge.
    I was completely confused the first time I saw it. I wasn't sure whether it just started in some arbitrary random order (which seems plausible as its ordered by these average points made up of all the other variables they chose to include) - and then you tweak each of the fields before you can expect it to represent anything... but meh. I couldn't be bothered :dontknow: RAE+Times worked just fine :p:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    RAE+Times worked just fine :p:
    Not for postgrad they won't and even the RAE is skewed because the smaller departments just cannot compete however good they are, with the big boys.

    Once you get to PG level you should be looking and this is for all subject - where the research is coming out of, who you want to work with and where they are based (not every top flight academic is found in the "top 10" unis, far from it), location, resources and where the funding is.

    League tables should never ever come into selection of a uni for postgrad education.
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    Not for postgrad they won't and even the RAE is skewed because the smaller departments just cannot compete however good they are, with the big boys.

    Once you get to PG level you should be looking and this is for all subject - where the research is coming out of, who you want to work with and where they are based (not every top flight academic is found in the "top 10" unis, far from it), location, resources and where the funding is.

    League tables should never ever come into selection of a uni for postgrad education.
    I only used the tables as the starting point for narrowing down which departments I'd pick. I chose about 20 using each and then browsed details of courses, funding and the research focus of people in the departments to narrow it down further. So thanks, but you didn't know what I meant it was "working just fine" for exactly.

    My posts in this thread were only related to the question of a postgrad league table. I don't see league tables as particularly representative or useful as a rule, but that wasn't the question of the OP. On the other hand, if you don't have any idea at all where to begin with finding a good department, then looking at the RAE will help you to begin the process of narrowing it down without having to look at every University in the country.
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    (Original post by arkbar)
    That Guardian one is dire. Looking at geography, Durham and Bristol (the two best human geography place sin the country) don't exist and nor does Cambridge.
    I just had a look at that and the only thing I can say is wow. As much as I don't rate Cambridge as a (human) geography department, I still acknowledge it. And I would certainly have Bristol, Durham, Glasgow and Sheffield in there.

    (Original post by apotoftea)
    Not for postgrad they won't and even the RAE is skewed because the smaller departments just cannot compete however good they are, with the big boys.

    Once you get to PG level you should be looking and this is for all subject - where the research is coming out of, who you want to work with and where they are based (not every top flight academic is found in the "top 10" unis, far from it), location, resources and where the funding is.

    League tables should never ever come into selection of a uni for postgrad education.
    Well said as always.
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    (Original post by TheOneWho)
    I just had a look at that and the only thing I can say is wow. As much as I don't rate Cambridge as a (human) geography department, I still acknowledge it. And I would certainly have Bristol, Durham, Glasgow and Sheffield in there.
    No, I don't rate Cambridge much on the human side of things, they're abit behind the times with cultural geog stuff. Durham and Bristol are both way ahead, I'm sure Cambs physical stuff is good though. God only knows why none of those depts are listed though.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    On the other hand, if you don't have any idea at all where to begin with finding a good department
    If someone can't do that by the end of your third year, they shouldn't be going onto PG in the first place. Any conscientious student should be well aware of the departments producing the research on their own subject - heck journal articles tell you where the authors are based.

    Again if you know your subject well enough, you'll also be able to spot a good amount of resources from a bad amount; google the predominant names in your field and you can guarantee one of the first five hits on google will be a university website address etc etc. Personal recommendations from people in your own department which means you're getting good pointers from people actually in the know and know other people at other unis - the academic world is VERY small these days. Only a small minority of people would be happy to go to ANYWHERE in the country location wise, so I doubt very much someone would be searching every uni website in the country.

    League tables should be the bottom of everyone's priorities when it comes to choosing postgrad courses and location. And once again, the RAE is not the be all and end of postgrad education. It should be a side factor prised in at a later date when you're looking at funding issues.
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    If someone can't do that by the end of your third year, they shouldn't be going onto PG in the first place. Any conscientious student should be well aware of the departments producing the research on their own subject - heck journal articles tell you where the authors are based.
    Lol! Well thanks for the sober warning. I have no idea about the thread starter, but I just finished my second year
    (Original post by apotoftea)

    Again if you know your subject well enough, you'll also be able to spot a good amount of resources from a bad amount; google the predominant names in your field and you can guarantee one of the first five hits on google will be a university website address etc etc.
    Personal recommendations from people in your own department which means you're getting good pointers from people actually in the know and know other people at other unis - the academic world is VERY small these days. Only a small minority of people would be happy to go to ANYWHERE in the country location wise, so I doubt very much someone would be searching every uni website in the country.
    Lets hope the thread starter isn't in that situation, or she might not want to ask any further questions for fear of being labelled 'unconscientious' or ignorant of her subject :p:
    (Original post by apotoftea)
    League tables should be the bottom of everyone's priorities when it comes to choosing postgrad courses and location. And once again, the RAE is not the be all and end of postgrad education. It should be a side factor prised in at a later date when you're looking at funding issues.
    Thanks for your opinion, but as I said I found it quite useful for making a start. The department I'm currently in is extremely good, and I have no wish to leave it - particularly in the case of a one year MPhil: it seems pointless to move and adjust to a different city only to (possibly) leave again a year later. So I'll be staying if I can, but obviously am applying to a few backups just in case. As for knowing which are the other good places for your topic, many of the obvious candidates in my case don't offer courses that I like enough to apply for, which obviously changes things. Once I'm applying for my PhD then I will go where the good supervisor is - but for a taught Masters or MPhil the course structure is also a major priority for me. Selecting 20 from the RAE gave me a shortlist to scan through for course details, department research foci and so on. I will, as you suggested, be speaking to my supervisor about these options before making my final decision :cool:
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Lol! Well thanks for the sober warning. I have no idea about the thread starter, but I just finished my second year
    Lets hope the thread starter isn't in that situation, or she might not want to ask any further questions for fear of being labelled 'unconscientious' or ignorant of her subject :p:

    Thanks for your opinion, but as I said I found it quite useful for making a start. The department I'm currently in is extremely good, and I have no wish to leave it - particularly in the case of a one year MPhil: it seems pointless to move and adjust to a different city only to (possibly) leave again a year later. So I'll be staying if I can, but obviously am applying to a few backups just in case. As for knowing which are the other good places for your topic, many of the obvious candidates in my case don't offer courses that I like enough to apply for, which obviously changes things. Once I'm applying for my PhD then I will go where the good supervisor is - but for a taught Masters or MPhil the course structure is also a major priority for me. Selecting 20 from the RAE gave me a shortlist to scan through for course details, department research foci and so on. I will, as you suggested, be speaking to my supervisor about these options before making my final decision :cool:
    All I'm saying that league tables arn't the best way to go as they don't offer the most useful information when it comes to postgrad. There much better and more informed ways, that's all. But then I don't think many people can actually understand that unless they've experienced the extremes that go to show league table position means sweet FA.

    I'm not going to argue though - do what you want how you want but don't immediately throw out and ignore the advice from those who have been through the application process more than once
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    You're really missing the point arn't you? All that advice - I'd give to anyone that I know considering postgrad for whatever subject. Plus if you spoke to the other postgrads on here, they'd all offer the roughly the same advice but better worded.
    ...and less confrontational. Yes, I know. I've been doing alot of reading over the past few weeks, and I've spoken to several other postgraduates on here (in addition to my Director of Studies and supervisor) :shifty:

    My objection was that you missed the point. You jumped to large conclusions about how I was going about finding institutions, and delivered a massive dismissive lecture.
    I haven't contradicted the sensible advice of looking for institutions according to where the academics best in your specialism are based, or of asking people in your undergrad department for suggestions. However using the RAEs as a starting point doesn't mean failing to do all of those things. And if you are doing all of those things then I fail to see how starting very broadly with such a tool is going to doom you to making a poor decision :lolwut:

    Also I obviously disagree with your blanket statement that anybody who doesn't already know where the other good institutions are is 'unconscientious' and unworthy of postgrad :rolleyes:

    (Original post by apotoftea)
    I'm not going to argue though - do what you want how you want but don't immediately throw out and ignore the advice from those who have been through the application process more than once
    I've found the advice from people on TSR really helpful, but in this instance you seemed more keen on putting down than helping.


    In response to the new edited version:

    (Original post by apotoftea)
    All I'm saying that league tables arn't the best way to go as they don't offer the most useful information when it comes to postgrad
    In that case we agreed from the start. However, you interpreted my posts as lauding league tables as 'the way to go', where (as I immediately pointed out) I in fact suggested they could be useful at the start of a detailed searching process in which all the other useful information you've referred to would later be located.
    (Original post by apotoftea)
    But then I don't think many people can actually understand that unless they've experienced the extremes that go to show league table position means sweet FA.
    I disagree. I think that most intelligent people know that league tables don't tell you very much just by virtue of being able to think. This was something I took as read in the first posts of the thread.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    ]I disagree. I think that most intelligent people know that league tables don't tell you very much just by virtue of being able to think. This was something I took as read in the first posts of the thread.
    Then why do so many people use them then? The two don't correlate and with the ability to think, you'd ignore them straight away.

    My ref to people not going onto postgrad was not meant to be as serious as you've taken it. Plus having spent a year with people who are exactly like that and have no idea about where are the best places for their own research and expect everything on their MA to arrive in plate form with spoon it's worrying. Hence why I really do think people should do their homework before even thinking about postgrad as otherwise the experience won't be a positive one
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    Then why do so many people use them then? The two don't correlate and with the ability to think, you'd ignore them straight away.
    Because they provide a relatively comprehensive list of universities which you can then check for suitable MA courses?:dontknow:
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    Because they provide a relatively comprehensive list of universities which you can then check for suitable MA courses?:dontknow:
    I guess so. Just to me it seems weird that you need to use a table to find other unis that teach your subject, that's all :dontknow: International students fair enough, how else would they know? But for UK students, I'm not convinced. Also what about the unis that are left off league tables for whatever reason? The ones that don't appear on a list may well offer the course structure and topics most suited to the person looking at the league table in the first place.

    But hey a lot of it will depend on what sort of 'career' advice you get on your UG course and other bits of knowledge relating to subject specialties
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    Then why do so many people use them then? The two don't correlate and with the ability to think, you'd ignore them straight away.
    Because its possible to refer to a league table without simultaneously believing that its the rosetta stone. Before you start comparing details about course content, funding, resources and research output and staff, there isn't any harm in having a look to see which 20 or so departments scored highly in the RAE. If you know that this is a crude measure which gives you only a rough sketch, then you'll simply see that as provisional picture of the lay of the land to be accompanied by the other vital information that you also look up, as I argued above. Recognising that league tables are only tentatively representative doesn't necessitate marking them out as the root of all evil. Its obvious that they're not likely to corrupt a person's reasoning capacities if they've taken due caution to think about what the most important factors are and to attach appropriate weight to these.

    I think alot of people use the tables simply because people like the easy option out. They're lazy and don't want to go to all the trouble, and leap at some sort of tool to simplify things. They usually speak to all their friends/tutors and so on as well just to suss out the general prejudices going around. Also departments proudly list their RAE awards on their websites which gives the table a subconscious impression of credibility :p: In the light of this I agree with your energetic dismissal of the league tables, and emphasis on more important details which require a bit of proactivity to find out - obviously taking the lazy route is very silly. However I'm just pointing out that having a look at the RAE rankings doesn't instantly brand you as un-proactive, ignorant and stupid, as they can be considered without overemphasising their real use.

    FYI a few of the postgrads I've discussed this with on TSR also used RAE initially to locate 20 or so Universities before they started to look at staff/funding/research foci. I shan't mention any names lest I oust them as ignorant and destroy their credibility on the forum :dry:

    (Original post by apotoftea)
    My ref to people not going onto postgrad was not meant to be as serious as you've taken it. Plus having spent a year with people who are exactly like that and have no idea about where are the best places for their own research and expect everything on their MA to arrive in plate form with spoon it's worrying. Hence why I really do think people should do their homework before even thinking about postgrad as otherwise the experience won't be a positive one
    Sure I agree people should be proactive and shouldn't expect having everything packaged up with ribbons for them (I wish them luck when it comes to PhD) That's one of the annoying things about the education system here I think. I just don't agree that a person having a look at a league table is a surefire way to diagnose students as holding that particular attitude or outlook.
 
 
 
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