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What's St Andrews like? (prospective Physics student)

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    I'll be applying to physics/astrophysics courses next year, and I've been considering Scotland for a while.

    I've considered Edinburgh, but apparently it's not so good, and students aren't very satisfied with it.

    Then there's St Andrews. What's it like? What's it like to study Physics here? What's the town like? How small and what can you actually do there? And is it a campus uni?

    Thanks in advance.
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    St.Andrews is a fair sized town, with about 15,000 residents, which balloons when all the students get here.

    Its quite diverse really, all the societies can provide almost any hobbie/sport that comes to mind, not to mention it is the home of golf, has tennis courts and all that.

    If you mean more of a nightlife, then we have literally tons of pubs. Its the highest pub to person ratio in the country, and the city of Dundee, where the larger nightclubs are, is easy and affordable to get to and from. (There's sometimes bus deals and splitting a cab with mates is cheap)

    One thing you'll notice if you decide to come here, is that people very quickly call St.Andrews "home" It really is amazing, peaceful yet vibrant, and very very little crime.

    Ah, Physics, simply amazing. Im currently a 2nd year in my MPhys course and i couldnt be happier, tutorials are very small, 7 or so in 1st, and 5 in 2nd. Lectures are abotu 90 strong, so plenty of time for interaction.

    Its also the 2nd best for physics, usually, in the UK and is brilliant, in course/research quality and student satisfaction.

    The department is well kitted out, with the latest machines and research. Most of the lectureers also do research, so youll hear about cutting edge stuff all the time. You tutors even more so. (My fisrt year tutor got in the new for making an invisibility cloak for a specific wavelength range, while i was in his class)

    Ive personally enjoyed every minute of it.

    I am also a local resident of the town, ive grown up here, and now go to uni here. So you couldnt get better info abotu life here!

    If you have any more questions about the course structure or the application process, just drop a pm
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    (Original post by Fleming92)
    St.Andrews is a fair sized town, with about 15,000 residents, which balloons when all the students get here.

    Its quite diverse really, all the societies can provide almost any hobbie/sport that comes to mind, not to mention it is the home of golf, has tennis courts and all that.

    If you mean more of a nightlife, then we have literally tons of pubs. Its the highest pub to person ratio in the country, and the city of Dundee, where the larger nightclubs are, is easy and affordable to get to and from. (There's sometimes bus deals and splitting a cab with mates is cheap)

    One thing you'll notice if you decide to come here, is that people very quickly call St.Andrews "home" It really is amazing, peaceful yet vibrant, and very very little crime.

    Ah, Physics, simply amazing. Im currently a 2nd year in my MPhys course and i couldnt be happier, tutorials are very small, 7 or so in 1st, and 5 in 2nd. Lectures are abotu 90 strong, so plenty of time for interaction.

    Its also the 2nd best for physics, usually, in the UK and is brilliant, in course/research quality and student satisfaction.

    The department is well kitted out, with the latest machines and research. Most of the lectureers also do research, so youll hear about cutting edge stuff all the time. You tutors even more so. (My fisrt year tutor got in the new for making an invisibility cloak for a specific wavelength range, while i was in his class)

    Ive personally enjoyed every minute of it.

    I am also a local resident of the town, ive grown up here, and now go to uni here. So you couldnt get better info abotu life here!

    If you have any more questions about the course structure or the application process, just drop a pm
    I heard somewhere that the population is 7,000 locally and it grows to 15,000 during term-time?

    Whats it like? Small, peaceful and old. On the weekends it tends to be quite loud and lively in the town centre. A lot of locals from surrounding smaller villages come in to St. Andrews for a "night out". Architecturally it is very similar to Edinburgh.

    It is very diverse, you'll find all sorts of people here.

    I've heard the Physics department is very good personally from people that study there.
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    Yeah, its definately about that amount of people, and inflates to well over 20,000 during term time.
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    I did Physics at Edin and I'm a bit of a special case as I stayed at home, and feel it really effected my experience. Having said that, the teaching is OKAY at Edinburgh. You get some fantastic lecturers, and you get some crap ones. Hit or miss.

    Can't comment on St Andrews apart from a friend who loved it. But he said it is all about live music in pubs, bonfires on the beach and house parties/countryside. Not ideal for clubbing... That is all social side. I believe St Andrews has really good teaching, and it is a 'name', like Edinburgh.

    Edinburgh is a fantastic city btw. Very nice, historic. But it is really spread around the city. As I said, my first degree did not go well so a little bit against Edin!
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    Thanks, guys. I'm still unsure, but I'll have to consider other options, too. I'm not particular about the clubbing, but the fact that it's a small town really puts me off, since I come from a big city but have had to endure life in a fairly small town for the past 10 years, and I feel that St. Andrews might not be for me because of that.

    Suppose I'll have to visit it to find out.

    (Original post by KCoyote)
    I did Physics at Edin and I'm a bit of a special case as I stayed at home, and feel it really effected my experience. Having said that, the teaching is OKAY at Edinburgh. You get some fantastic lecturers, and you get some crap ones. Hit or miss.
    So, Edinburgh isn't so good? That's what I heard, too, which is a shame, because the city seems fantastic.

    What about Glasgow? Anybody know anything about the University of Glasgow?
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    It's a name - looks good on CV. My director of studies was a really great guy - helped me out loads, so I cannot criticize that.

    I just found that some lecturers sucked. They would just write notes on the blackboard, you would copy, then they hand out printed ones at the end. What was the point!?

    Like I say, had a fairly average time at uni, but it was my own fault (staying at home). Im sure some people love it.
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    (Original post by KCoyote)
    It's a name - looks good on CV. My director of studies was a really great guy - helped me out loads, so I cannot criticize that.

    I just found that some lecturers sucked. They would just write notes on the blackboard, you would copy, then they hand out printed ones at the end. What was the point!?

    Like I say, had a fairly average time at uni, but it was my own fault (staying at home). Im sure some people love it.
    Thanks, I'll definitely take that into consideration, and I'll do some more research on it; hopefully will help if I ask some of my teachers, too.
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    for your information:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...-guide-physics
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    (Original post by audacious-ant)
    Thanks, guys. I'm still unsure, but I'll have to consider other options, too. I'm not particular about the clubbing, but the fact that it's a small town really puts me off, since I come from a big city but have had to endure life in a fairly small town for the past 10 years, and I feel that St. Andrews might not be for me because of that.

    Suppose I'll have to visit it to find out.
    I'm moreless in the same situation as you, enjoying big cities, but have been living in a small town most of my life, but I am currently studying in Vienna, which I'd describe as a middle sized city? Anyways, I've discovered that for studying I definitely don't want to be in a big city and that Vienna is pushing it a bit (although I love it!).
    So yeah, I reckon you should visit and see!

    Just thought I'd chip in with my 2 cents!
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    It's a great uni academically, but due to its size and the way the halls are set out I found it very difficult to make friends
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    (Original post by audacious-ant)
    I'll be applying to physics/astrophysics courses next year, and I've been considering Scotland for a while.

    I've considered Edinburgh, but apparently it's not so good, and students aren't very satisfied with it.

    Then there's St Andrews. What's it like? What's it like to study Physics here? What's the town like? How small and what can you actually do there? And is it a campus uni?

    Thanks in advance.
    ...I'm a Londoner, I just inboxed you...please read xxxx
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    (Original post by Oxy)
    Whats it like? Small, peaceful and old. On the weekends it tends to be quite loud and lively in the town centre. A lot of locals from surrounding smaller villages come in to St. Andrews for a "night out". Architecturally it is very similar to Edinburgh.
    I think that "quite loud" and "very similar to Edinburgh" are slight overstatements.
    Yes it can be loud...ish but only in comparison to how it is the rest of the time. There is 1 club (which is very small with a tiny dance floor) though there are a fair amount of pubs.
    Yes architecturally it is similar to Edinburgh, but you need to scale it down a lot!

    Another thing to consider is that St Andrews is pretty expensive. For everything. It is a very nice town, but I know from growing up near it that there aren't many activities for if you are there for more than a holiday. Dundee is a good place to go for cheaper fun things.

    Beaches are really nice.
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    (Original post by ralexander)
    I think that "quite loud" and "very similar to Edinburgh" are slight overstatements.
    Yes it can be loud...ish but only in comparison to how it is the rest of the time. There is 1 club (which is very small with a tiny dance floor) though there are a fair amount of pubs.
    Yes architecturally it is similar to Edinburgh, but you need to scale it down a lot!

    Another thing to consider is that St Andrews is pretty expensive. For everything. It is a very nice town, but I know from growing up near it that there aren't many activities for if you are there for more than a holiday. Dundee is a good place to go for cheaper fun things.

    Beaches are really nice.
    Take it as you will, I do work in the town every night and I come from a city so I do have ground to compare. It only tends to be loud around the vic/union area and the lizard maybe. The rest of the town is dead.

    I second the expensiveness too.

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Updated: March 24, 2012
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