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Other sources of UK postgraduate rankings data
Where else is better to find information about a postgraduate course than a university’s own website? All UK universities have their own websites and these provide a wealth of information about the postgraduate courses that they offer. All of this information is readily available for free, you just have to go out and look for it. There will be a number of different ways that the information for a postgraduate course will be presented. Usually there is some written information about all the postgraduate courses the university offers that has been supplied by the university. This information is useful as it tends to be very detailed and will contain essential information such as entrance requirements, teaching staff ratios, the number of contact hours, etc.
However you should always be a little cautious when reading material written by a university as they are always going to portray themselves in the best way they can.
Video footage and student opinion
There may also be some video material on a university's website that contains some information on a course or maybe some interviews or student case studies with postgraduate students. Interviews are always good as you can find out what other students think about the course. Again you should be a little cautious because the university is only going to put videos on their site that help build a good picture of the institution.
However the views expressed by the students will always be their own, so they are still extremely useful. The majority of pages about postgraduate courses on university websites will contain various other useful links for you to use. There may be links to other external forms of ranking data or reports that can help you find out more about the university – so make sure you click through to these.
The information provided on a university’s website will most likely just be orientated towards what the university itself has to offer in terms of quality of teaching and what courses are available. These websites aren’t the best place to go for building up an overall picture of what life at the university is going to be like.
But be wary!
A university is always going to portray itself in the best possible light, and is never really going to highlight its weaknesses and flaws. Their goal is to sell themselves to you, which means that if you try to work out whether a university is the ideal place for you to study your postgraduate programme from the website alone, you are going to get an extremely biased view. Because of this you should always look at a number of different sources and just use their website as a starting point for your search.
Another problem with just going to a university’s website directly is that it makes it extremely difficult for comparison with other universities. The only way you could do it is to have a number of different tabs open, which could lead to confusion pretty quickly!
On the whole, using the university websites is a good thing to do as they provide a lot of useful information that can aid you in making a decision on where to go to study your postgraduate degree. However you always need to bear in mind that the university has provided the content themselves so it is going to be biased.
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