out of all the uni's in scotland, where would St Andrews come?

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out of all the uni's in scotland, where would St Andrews come?

Postby sunsetpeach on Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:40 pm

hi there,

Im currently looking into St Andrews and and put it as my fist choice, i was just wondering how good the uni is academically? does it come near to Oxford and Cambridge? is it the best uni in Scotland?
please be honest in your reply.


Postby Allan on Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:21 pm

It depends on what you mean by the best university. If i were you, i wouldn't choose your university based on league tables. Have a look at the prospectus, come for the visiting day, decide if you like the town or not and if you like the look of the student lifestyle in St Andrews as it can, no doubt, be very different from that in a city.
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Postby nja on Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:14 pm

I know I'm not alone in admitting I had a bit of a shocker in first year finding myself stuck in a little town in the arse end of nowhere swamped by a load of yah twats.

But coming to the end of my 4 years here I genuinely have no regrets. I've had a great time, have great friends, love rolling out of bed at 10 minutes to the hour and still making it to class on time and there is something perversely amusing about hiding in Tesco on a Saturday morning from 3 people you know and really can't be bothered to stop and chat to.
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Postby ildivo on Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:20 pm

First in scotland, within the top ten in the Uk. i suppose it depends on your subject though...


Postby Pender Native on Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:29 pm

Some subjects it's really well known for like marine biology, pyschology, english... what are you studying


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Postby MadDog20/20 on Wed May 04, 2005 7:22 pm

It's very subjective.

Overall i would say Edinburgh and St Andrews are about equal in Scotland. But it depends on what you like. If you like lasers then St Andrews is the shiz, if you want particle physics then Edinburgh is where its at, and if you want to be involved in cancer research then undoubtedly Dundee is where you want to go in Scotland.

In terms of research Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial are the big three, with a large pack following close behind. this would include the likes of St Andrews, Durham, UCL, Edinburgh....

Oxford and Cambridge are not the be all and end all. In fact they are kind of shit if you compare their campuses and faculty to places like Stanford, Harvard or Berkeley.

Also the faculty at Oxford, in my experience, seem to have a real big opinion of themselves, wheras you dont tend to find that at the second tier UK schools, even though the faculty in question may be world class.
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Postby Philip on Thu May 05, 2005 12:45 pm


Leage tables can be found at The Times Good University Guide, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/section/0,,716,00.html and also the Guardian University guide, http://education.guardian.co.uk/univers ... 82,00.html.

Both of these Surveys place St Andrews among the top ten British Universities. The usefulness of the tables are questionable but they do give a good general indicator of a University's performance.

There is no doubt St Andrews University is a top class institution. It's also a very enjoyable place to study, something which is important but may easily be overlooked.


Postby Guest on Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:37 am

Firstly, I second the comment about league tables of all varities in this country to do with universities and colleges. You should ignore them utterly, and they should NOT be given even any marginal consideration when making your choice.

This means, yes, that top ten could easily mean something approaching worst ever, for you or even in a large part the place generally for all.

Someone visiting for a day or two may have published good things about your considered insitution, and this nearly totally on the basis of how the students did at school (yes at their schools, smiling "professors" perhaps best suited to another term accepting them with the reputation the students have already worked hard for and is unconnected with teaching to be taken), the amount of money they receive for private student research (a name-cum-tradition thing with surprises and often also to do with numbers of students), and whether or not the type of student going there averagely is one who is disaffected or completely job orientated. Some places are generally places where people go to who traditionally want to work in the UK and throughout the world (perhaps enough said) and rely on the reputation of around 100 years ago or before.

Largely the tables and assessments have nothing whatsoever, nothing whatsoever to do with the university. I really mean totally desregard them when making choices - don't even come to rest on the final assumption that "this one", for example, can't be utterly terrible because it is in the top ten or twenty of a well known companies' tables (even the governments), so even if not terribly good it can't be academic and some other type of existential partial suicide. It could very easily be.

Secondly, Edinburgh is probably a reasonable to rather decent university only for a small number of courses.

I have no idea what St. Andrews could be like, but if it is anything like Edinburgh, as someone above claims then, with most courses it should not be a good idea for most people.

But, that is just hearsay regardin the Fife university and I have no business wahtsoever comparing St. Andrews to Edinburgh, without a notion myself.

Finally, going back to the one or two day visit induced tables, the department where I studied of course swapped lectures for the visitors and put on a full show and no doubt the whole assesment results were based upon the meeting between assessers and brimming, enthusing, lying staff.

This was the Lothian institution.

I don't know what on earth the tables exercise actually is. What is it? Obviously the assessers know their own criteria I have described above bears very nearly no relevance to undergraduate teaching.

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