The Russell Group universities have some great choices of courses for postgraduate study and research, but are they the key to success?
Well, the short answer is ‘no’, you are in fact the key to your success. However undertaking your postgraduate studies at a Russell Group university will certainly help you on your way. Here’s how.
If you’re considering research in the form of an MRes or a PhD, then you can’t really go wrong by choosing a Russell Group university. The 24 members of the Russell Group have one main thing in common and that’s research quality. They dominate the academic research publications in the UK and if you think that being part of published academic work will be important for your future career – for example as a researcher or an academic – then you’ll want to be at a Russell Group university for your postgraduate research degree.
The Russell Group universities work together to connect and lobby the UK Government to ensure that their universities have the right conditions to work well. This means that the Russell Group has extensive contacts in government and across different industries. They also have amazing networking opportunities for their students. It’s not always about what you know, knowing and meeting the right people will always help, so get out and join those alumni clubs or networking sessions while you are studying.
Clubs & societies
The facilities available at the Russell Group universities are all considered excellent and this transfers across to the facilities available for student activities. Joining in with the associations and clubs both in conjunction with your course and those clubs that have nothing to do with your career will help you. We all know that taking some time away from your studies can be a valuable use of time and will help you to focus afterwards. So get out there and join some of the great clubs and societies on offer – it will broaden your mind and enhance your learning experience.
One big advantage to the Russell Group universities is funding. They have a great deal of negotiating power and links with the different UK Research Councils to get funding for their projects. This means that they are more likely to be able to offer postgraduate students positions like funding PhD studentships or offering scholarships and bursaries. It’s worth having a good look through their lists of scholarships while you are researching courses to see what is available.
Ranking lists can be a little tricky and confusing to interpret. Each list will use different data to rank the universities, but it’s safe to say that if a university is regularly in the top group of institutions across many different subject areas and rankings, then you know that it’s probably a well-respected choice. That’s the big benefit to studying a postgraduate course at a Russell Group university, they are all well-respected universities with excellent facilities and always perform well in league tables.
You’ll be in good company
Plenty of students choose to study at Russell Group universities. This table shows the numbers of postgraduate students who studied at some of the Russell Group universities in the academic year 2018/19.