I'm kinda new around here :$...
I was wondering if you are able to access the UK university ranking tables for postgraduate studies? kinda like how you can with the undergraduate degrees on 'The Times' websites?
Because I was curious to see which university was best to study postgrad social sciences...unless one of you guys can tell me..?!..
Hope you know what I mean, thx in advance :)
There are loads of threads on this, if you use the search function on the front page? I'm afraid I can't remember any websites off the top of my head, but you should be able to find the last RAE results somewhere, which are by Department. Also think about your potential supervisor, and facilities...
I think that you will find ranking tables here http://www.hero.ac.uk/, but be aware that the RAE was last published in 2001 and there is a new one due out sometime soon for 2008 so the university rankings are likely to change.
Rankings are one thing but like the previous post says you have to think about supervisors etc., I would also suggest looking into student satsifaction surveys to see what the universities are like in terms of facilities, support etc.
Kipo - that ranking is a load of c*ck as it will not tell you the main things i.e. what is your supervisor like to work with, what the area is like etc. Not saying it is an entirely bad thing but personally, I would start emailing the universities where you would like to be located and then work from there. Being happy in your location is worth much more than going to a top notch college who focus on getting publications rather than actual research and getting PhD's done.
It might sound as if I am lazy, but these rankings don't tell the whole story. Looking for the right place demands a bit of hard work and actually contacting potential supervisors in person. A few searches of websites and a few diplomatically worded emails works wonders. You will have to do a bit of travelling to see the potential campuses (think of yourself as being a young soccer player considering the big move to the new club ... something akin to Julio Geordio from the fast show :p
It really does come back to what you want and realistically most colleges will deliver what you want. Remember - you will probably be stuck in your PhD for 4 years, so ya gotta get the important things right. I would use the ranking to eliminate colleges at the bottom end, but bear in mind, many colleges are branching out into new areas so would have a low ranking anyways. These colleges may have enthusiastic staff which is priceless and more enjoyable to work in.
A few people may disagree with me, but that is the nature of the forum I suppose. Good luck with the searching and don't let the ramblings of a bitter ol' man put you off - I just think that basing your decision on the rankings is not advisable.
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Rankings are generally rubbish and just loosely reflect the general traditional hierarchy of universities. Kipo, I wouldn't overly concern yourself with them. Universities may move up and down the tables, but generally the status quo remains.
The new RAE ranking will be an interesting read as they will break down the quality of research in every department on a proportional basis, and not just give a blanket 5* or whatever. Now we'll know that while half of a department is 5* quality, the other half is complete crap etc. Of course from a student point of view, this is helpful...if I were a faculty member, I'd very concerned about this.
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The actual percentages of postgrad students giving feedback at our uni have been so small that they are statistically rather unrepresentative. As new students keep on applying, they presumably base their decisions on factors other than league tables and student surveys.
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