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Opinions on UK schools

10KNelson10KNelson Posts: 1Registered User New Member
edited December 2012 in United Kingdom
Hello there,
I am looking to transfer to the UK to obtain my English degree. I have been looking at school, but I learned long ago that the school sponsored websites only give you so much. What is the general UK opinion of the University of Exeter, The University of York, Edinburgh University, and Durham University? Also, what's the general opinion of an English degree there? For instance here in the US a Psychology degree is considered a backup or a "lazy" degree for some students and it doesn't translate well to employment. (no offense intended for Psychology majors!)
Thanks
Katie
Post edited by 10KNelson on

Replies to: Opinions on UK schools

  • boomtingboomting Posts: 689Registered User Member
    Exeter, York, Edinburgh and Durham are all very well respected universities.

    English (literature, I presume) is fairly well regarded, although it doesn't have the same prospects as, say, STEM subjects. There are far more English graduates than anyone really knows what to do with, so for the most part English students go into jobs that simply ask for "a degree". It's known for being quite a competitive degree to apply for though.

    Don't plan on staying in the UK after graduation though - it's very hard if you're not an EU citizen, highly skilled (an English degree won't cut it!) or married to a Briton.
  • LaylahLaylah Posts: 441Registered User Member
    When you say 'transfer to the UK' do you mean you have already started your degree? If so you should be aware that very few UK universities permit transfers. If you want to study in the UK you will need to start in year 1 of the degree course.

    All of the universities you mention are well-regarded. I would say that Edinburgh is the odd one out on the list; not because it is in any way inferior, but because all the others are based in small cathedral towns and Edinburgh is a big city! Edinburgh has a different feel to the others (plus obviously it's in Scotland and the Scottish educational system is slightly different to the English system).

    English Literature is (IMO!) more highly regarded than, say, Creative Writing or Media Studies at the undergraduate level. Not necessarily at the graduate level though. As an arts degree it obviously doesn't translate into a set career path, as boomting says.
  • TheRealKEVPTheRealKEVP Posts: 986- Member
    A general rule of thumb is that the British in general regard older universities as more prestigious than newer universities. On your list, the University of Edinburgh was founded in the 16th century, the University of Durham in the 19th, and the other two in the 20th. So, generally, the University of Edinburgh would be the best-regarded. But all four are understood to be very good.

    The British generally have more respect for all college degrees than Americans do. Because in the UK, degrees have never been "dumbed down" like they have in the US, in the UK it still takes a great deal of work to get a degree in ANY subject. The "lazy" students don't graduate, don't recieve a degree. There's also much less anti-intellectualism in the UK. You won't get folks saying "What are you going to with an English degree?" when you tell them you are studying English.

    But I think boomting is correct when he says it is very difficult now for foreigners from outside the EU to find work in Britain.

    KEVP
  • boomtingboomting Posts: 689Registered User Member
  • ariadne1ariadne1 Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    Durham is definitely considered more prestigious than Edinburgh in the UK but they are both very good unis.
  • boomtingboomting Posts: 689Registered User Member
    Durham and Edinburgh are on a par with each other in terms of prestige within the UK . . . . there's no clear cut divide on this one at all.

    UCL vs London Met this is not!
  • highland_poppyhighland_poppy Posts: 497Registered User Member
    Might I add that York and Exeter are campus universities while Edinburgh is spread around the city and Durham is around a town/city. Both York and Durham have residential colleges like Oxford and Cambridge. Depends on your own preferences as to the best one for you.

    SHAMELESS PLUG

    I went to York many moons ago and LOVED it. It was small, very friendly, lots of clubs and sports (just got a new sports centre) and we bonded over complaining about the accommodation and food :) The campus is expanding east and (gasp) there are now med students!!!! Its also good for travel- 2.5 hours to Edinburgh, 2 hours to London, 30 mins to Leeds although you'll never need to leave York if you want. The BA (Hons) English students I knew were heavily involved in drama, journalism, student tv and film. You might like that or not. Ah, happy days...
  • cupcakecupcake Posts: 1,509Registered User Senior Member
    I was at York for a year and loathed it in every way. The city is lovely but the uni experience was just terrible. The college system is nothing like Durham or Oxbridge.
  • POmaniPOmani Posts: 453Registered User Member
    Nah, Durham's better.
  • somemomsomemom Posts: 9,188Registered User Senior Member
    You never answered the transfer question, but if you have been attending university in the US, it is likely that none of that will be counted by the UK school. Instead you would be starting over.
  • kilojoulekilojoule Posts: 66Registered User Junior Member
    Edinburgh itself is a prestigious university, and is very famous for English, other languages and literature, and it is in an amazing cultural city. But my friends there tell me the English program there is quite tough, plus the educational system there is quite different from what you may be used to in the States.
  • cupcakecupcake Posts: 1,509Registered User Senior Member
    Most UK unis have no concept of transfer so almost certainly you will start over in the first year with no transfer of anything.
  • lemming101lemming101 Posts: 330Registered User Member
    Durham is considered excellent :) it is really hard to get into though - some may say harder than Oxford/Cambridge
    just bear that in mind!
    English though is definitely respected
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