Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

England vs. Ireland

schooldudeschooldude Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
edited November 2012 in Study Abroad
So I'll be studying for my graduate degree abroad. I want to know which school would offer me the best options. I'm torn between the two. I'll be studying my Masters in political science.

University of Manchester, England
University College Dublin, Ireland

If anyone could provide me with pros and cons of each university, or even personal experience that would be so very helpful! I would be living there for a year, so I don't want to make any mistakes on which school I choose.

Thanks so much in advance.
Post edited by schooldude on

Replies to: England vs. Ireland

  • boomtingboomting Registered User Posts: 716 Member
    Personal experience coming right up . . . I'm a politics undergrad at the University of Manchester!

    I'm in my second year, and I have always been very happy with the department (teaching etc.) and facilities. There's a limit to how much I can comment on the MA course, but as a lot of the same people will be teaching you, I'm happy to recommend it.

    The university is the largest single-site university in Europe. That means that there is
    - a lot of funding (and so lots of new buildings, like the recently opening Learning Commons, and the plan to spend £1bn ($1.6bn) moving the North Campus closer to the main campus)
    - the largest non-legal deposit academic library in the UK with lots of computers and study spaces.
    - the widest range of electronic resources of any UK academic library
    - a large students union
    - employers like to target it because it's well regarded and they can reach a huge number of students in one day
    - a large variety of modules available for you to take, because the numbers make it viable (certainly this is the case at UG level, please check about PG!)
    - an incredible variety of sports and societies on campus - everything from football (soccer) to rowing to religious societies to the baking society.

    The city itself is great too - the nightlife is some of the best outside London, quite student orientated and cheap. There's lots of shopping, and great transport links to other cities and the rest of Europe (I know a lot of international students like to travel whilst they're here!). It's 2 hours by train to London, for instance, and there's a local bus that takes you to Manchester International Airport from the university & halls of residence.

    The city is very multicultural - around 25% of the students and staff are from outside the UK, and the local area has a large Asian population (which is great - lots of options for curry and falafel, and I'm currently sat eating some baklava - yum!)

    If you want to live in university owned accommodation (halls of residence) whilst you're here, then Manchester guarantees that you will get a place, unlike most other universities. Alternatively, you could choose to share a house with other students.

    If you're planning on working whilst you're here then Manchester has a lot of employment opportunities. During my time here, I've applied for four jobs, and got three of them (and the one that I didn't was a speculative application anyway). The university offers quite a few different employment opportunities - everything from showing prospective students around the university to working in one of the on-campus bars and cafés. You can expect to be paid £6.19-£7ph for the sort of unskilled work that students normally do. In contrast, Dublin is still struggling to recover from the recession and so jobs are much harder to come by.

    I have to admit that I don't know much about TC Dublin, but if you have any more questions about Manchester then I'll be happy to answer them :)
  • keepittoyourselfkeepittoyourself Registered User Posts: 1,540 Senior Member
    Neither is a top university, though they're both very good. Cost of living probably much lower in Manchester.
  • schooldudeschooldude Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
    Thanks very much for your input. Well I'm in no way looking at a Tier 1 university just because of the expense. But I know know these two are very good. I keep hearing that you can't go wrong in both cities. I'm not going to be working while living there, so at least I won't have to worry about finding a job.
  • boomtingboomting Registered User Posts: 716 Member
    Not really sure what keepittoyourself means about them not being top universities - TC Dublin is recognised as being Ireland's best university, and Manchester is a part of the Russell Group. The Russell Group is a group of universities which are the most prestigious universities (like the Ivy League in the US) which are large and research intensive (like the Association of American Universities).

    In terms of reputation, you can't go wrong with either.
  • keepittoyourselfkeepittoyourself Registered User Posts: 1,540 Senior Member
    TCD may be the best in Ireland, but that's a very small pond. There are only 3 or 4 (maybe only 2) 'top' universities in the UK, especially from an American perspective.
  • boomtingboomting Registered User Posts: 716 Member
    And from a British point of view, only Harvard is a 'top' university - and few people have heard of anything outside the Ivy League ;) I presume, however, that you wouldn't counsel against a UK student attending Duke, Brown or Dartmouth? Yet, if you say that you're going to Dartmouth to a British person, then they'll assume that you're going for a nice holiday by the seaside in Devon, not a prestigious US university.

    Within the UK, and with international academia, however, people have a much better idea of which UK unis are reputable (FYI, there are about 120 universities in the UK, and a host more institutions which aren't universities but still teach degrees) and which are less so.
  • keepittoyourselfkeepittoyourself Registered User Posts: 1,540 Senior Member
    If it was a British person who wanted to return to the UK and work, I would counsel them against Duke, Brown, or Dartmouth.

    I think you're wrong about British people by the way -- most will at least have heard of Harvard Yale Princeton MIT and Stanford. Most people will have heard of them as 'top' universities, from consuming American media if nothing else.
  • cupcakecupcake Registered User Posts: 1,703 Senior Member
    In my experience the average person in the UK has gained their knowledge of US colleges from movies such as Legally Blonde... In the same way many people in the US think Hogwarts is an average example of a UK high school.
  • keepittoyourselfkeepittoyourself Registered User Posts: 1,540 Senior Member
    ^ And that the LSE and St Andrews are on a par with Oxbridge!
  • meerkat6meerkat6 Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
    Having visited and seen both countries and schools, I would choose Dublin if I had the chance. It's basically in the heart of the city, and I personally like Dublin much better than Manchester as an area. Plus it's an incredible school- so if you're looking for a great education and a fantastic time I would choose Dublin!
  • IrishdoctorIrishdoctor Registered User Posts: 168 Junior Member
    UCD (University College Dublin), which the OP identified as one of the two choices, is not in the Dublin city centre but in Belfield, a suburb. TCD (Trinity College Dublin) is centrally located.
  • schooldudeschooldude Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
    Thanks for everyone's input. Greatly appreciated and I will take all into account!
This discussion has been closed.