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Thread: Westminster University vs UCL Bartlett School

  1. #1
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    Westminster University vs UCL Bartlett School

    Hi all

    I am a student from Spain and recently applied for my masters studies in 3 different universities of London. I have been accepted at Westminster University, Soutbank and will receive very soon a response from UCL Barlett which is obviously miles ahead of the first two. At Barlett I intend to take the Diploma as I am very aware of the standards and difficulty of the program so that might be more convenient for me to take the two years path to obtain the masters certificate. And here is where my concerns are and would appreciate very much any advice. I donít feel 100% confident of taking the Barlett offer, if i had the honour to receive it. The courses at Westminster or Southbank are one year long and would take me two years to obtain it at Barlett. Also, as the majority of students, have to keep working and might not be in a financial position of working just part time for that long.... Would love to go to Barlett but, if not, are Westminster or Southbank universities to be trusted from a proffesional point of view? Are they trusted by the UK Planning community? It seems to be that they are not at all. Or another option, is better just the Barlett diploma than the MA certificate of Westminster in practical terms?


    Thanks so much to all of you and I am open to any kind of advice

    Sandoca
    a guy who loves London

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    Come on people!! I would love to start hearing some voices here!!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
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    As i posted in the the thread a few down.
    Try: http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/tol_...rsityguide.php

    The planning courses may not relate to the overall league table, but they are there somewhere, UCAS or whoever accredits them.

    A list of accredicted courses: http://www.rtpi.org.uk/item/178/23/5/3
    I see your problem, but as you said, UCL is miles ahead of Westminster and Southbank. Southbank especially does have a good reputation. But after your first job your experience will count for more than the qualification.

    The DipTP is as good as an MA if you aim to practice in the UK. If you get the UCL offer, you have to take it! I would have loved to have had the opportunity of UCL

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    Thanks very much b3nr. Yeah, I've finally received the UCL offer and definitely will take it! I have been reading a couple of articules and researches done by the Uni for the RTPI and they look extremely well done. As you said MA or Diploma are just titles and better to have a good preparation for the future experience. Thanks a lot again for your advice and wish me luck.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by b3nr View post
    I see your problem, but as you said, UCL is miles ahead of Westminster and Southbank. Southbank especially does have a good reputation.
    Oops meant to read "does NOT have a good reputation" of course!

    Congratulations and good luck. Pleas do tell us about any interesting assignments or studies you do!

  6. #6
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    I have to declare an interest as I work at Westminster. MA and diploma are not just titles - i think you will find a big difference in job market.

    If seeking jobs in UK I do not think that Westminster/ UCL makes a difference (I have worked in public sector practice). UCL does have a better research profile among staff. probably fair to say that Westminster more focussed on planning work in UK and UCL more on theory.

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Moderator note:
    Moved to the Student Lounge, where most of the university vs university threads are now located. Thanks!
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  8. #8
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    UCL Planning

    Quote Originally posted by sandoca View post
    Thanks very much b3nr. Yeah, I've finally received the UCL offer and definitely will take it! I have been reading a couple of articules and researches done by the Uni for the RTPI and they look extremely well done. As you said MA or Diploma are just titles and better to have a good preparation for the future experience. Thanks a lot again for your advice and wish me luck.
    Hello Sandoca, I would like to know how you've found the course at UCL, as I hold offers from both UCL and LSE and would like to take an informed decision. By the way, I'm also a Spaniard with a background in architecture, so it could actually be extremely helpful if you got in touch with me via this forum.

    Salud!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    I have been an exchange student at UCL for one year. It definitely is the UK's No 1 program in planning, with the big names teaching there. My experiences have been very good there in terms of support and intelectual challenge. I found it to be rather policy oriented, though plenty design courses were offered.

    Edit: Actually, why LSE? The program seems to be more of an appendix of their Geography program and it is not accredited by the RTPI.

  10. #10
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    Hi Geograph,

    Thanks for responding. Out of curiosity, did you study at Dortmund? I have seen that UCL has exchange links with that Uni and since you seem to be based in Germany perhaps that was your mother institution.

    What you say about UCL is exactly what I was hoping to hear. I had a meeting with an alumnus and he also spoke very well of the programme in terms of it being intellectually challenging and very well taught. I suppose that the reason why people consider LSE (at least that's my reason) is because of LSE's reputation as a leading institution, but coming to think about it, UCL usually ranks higher than LSE and everybody knows that the Bartlett and UCL in general is a world leader. And yes, as you have also pointed out, LSE's programme not being RTPI accredited should give an idea of what type of content and teaching one can expect to gain from the course. This is not to say that it's not going to be useful or interesting, but if a Planning course lacks RTPI accreditation then it definitely must be missing on something very important that anyone who would like to go into Planning shouldn't miss.

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