(Original post by thalliday93)
I understand that natural sciences is very flexible but I know that I want to do biology so I'm not particularly worried about that. What bothers me is that at Cambridge you choose 3 options from a list of very broad sounding modules, whereas at Exeter (and at most other universities) I think it's 6 or 7 options from a list of more specific modules which would allow me to study specifically what I find most interesting. Plus Exeter has an awesome sounding coral reef field course in second year
Thanks to everyone for the advice, does anyone know just how much of an advantage a Cambridge degree would be in comparison to one from a good university like Exeter? I'm fairly sure I don't want an academic career and I do think I'd be more likely to get good honours in a place where I'm happy.
Hard decision but the coral reef thing swings it for me... Exeter.
You can always apply for post grad at Cambridge if you really want it on your CV. As for advantage... mmmm, they say it confers a great advantage and top employers do recruit at Oxbridge... however you'd need to check specifically because the sweeping, general stats don't always tell the whole story. Exeter might have tie ups with organisations you are specifically interested in..... or their course may be famous for some reason. ie. if I wanted to be a forensic anthropologist I would choose Bournemouth over Oxbridge because of their rep. in this area and the fact they have famous tutors. Or perhaps the Oxbridge stats are distorted because of the social profile of its graduates. So Oxbridge recruit people from backgrounds with connections and money who are invariably going to have an immediate 'leg up' afterwards and this affects Oxbridge's apparent success in employment rates and creates a nice, self-perpetuating myth that the same magical employability will be conferred on everyone attending. (though I hope I'm wrong and everyone without connections and money who go to Oxbridge do have great opportunties afterwards!)
Secondly Exeter has a good internship scheme you could look into for later, the university is ploughing money into new developments etc and is zooming up the tables pretty smartly. So a place with lots of energy and forward looking. Friendly and relaxed.
Third: I know people who have graduated from all over the country. Oxbridge is not a GUARANTEE of success and neither are the rest necessarily a disadvantage in the long run. My friends from Oxbridge range from the very succesful to the definitely not and likewise with other universities. So some friends from Oxbridge have been less succesful than those from other uni's have been.
Last: happiness is key. Follow your instinct. I once obtained a very sought after job with a well known organisation. Everyone was over the moon for me and very impressed, As the day drew near for starting I just knew it was all wrong. However, like you with Cambridge such a feeling seemed silly as everyone agreed this was such an opportunity etc. I went to the job and spent two very, very unhappy years before I finally left. I should have just trusted my intuition in the first place! I think learning to say, 'this feels right for me and that doesn't' is a great skill in life.
Last edited by catoswyn; 07-02-2012 at 03:09.