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UCL vs. X official question thread

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    (Original post by sundogs)
    I feel I can comment as I go to UCL and my boyfriend is at durham.
    We're both very suited to our universities, I feel. I couldn't go to durham and he'd hate to be at UCL.

    UCL Pros:
    -it's in central london and has lots of important and interesting landmarks on its doorstep. Camden Market, Oxford Street, the British Museum, Tottenham Court Road and Covent Garden are within walking distance
    -it's a very well equipped university whilst still being quite traditional. There are 16 libraries and then an extra arts and humanities one at Senate House.
    -We kind of get 'double facilities' as we've got our own union and then ULU (the university of London union)
    -Lots of opportunities to work part time at the university or in nearby cafes, pubs and shops.
    -Most programmes are very well taught and we're highly regarded
    -If you're after networking or getting a job in law, media, finance and business then you're in the centre of it all.

    UCL Cons:
    -It's expensive to live in London and you have to balance your time very well to have time for a part time job to offset some of this cost
    -There may be too much to do and it may mean you get distracted
    -Some may say it's more difficult to make friends (although I've never experienced this, nor do I know anybody with no friends) as we're not forced together in a collegiate setting.
    -It's busy. There are 25000 students and it makes it a pain getting a computer at lunch time or queuing up to get food or whatever. Have fun trying to get a seat in the library during exam time unless you arrive before 8am.
    -From my experience, it can be a bit lefty and overly political. Not everybody is like this (by any stretch) but our union has a history of strong political activism and they can be really annoying (have a look at my blogpost in my sig for more info)


    I absolutely love it at UCL and I've really enjoyed my time here.
    Here are some pros and cons about durham I can think of:

    Pros
    -Cheaper to live
    -More of a community feel as you have the college system
    -If you like the 'bubble' feel then you'll durham as it is very small and you'll probably regularly bump into somebody you know
    -parts of it are very pretty

    Cons
    -Quite a big drinking culture (though this may be a pro for you) and a lot of people don't do anything in their spare time apart from go to Klute or get pissed.
    -It's tiny (this is a big con for me), for me it's very claustrophobic - you can't escape the university as most of the town is the university.
    -some departments aren't as strong
    -less opportunities to work part time as it is so small.
    -The closest big city is newcastle, you're cut off from a lot of the UK when you compare it to london.
    Thank you, that's some really helpful information! I come from a small town in the North, so Durham feels familiar to me, but sometimes I just feel like I need that massive change. A big worry of mine was if I'd struggle making good friends in such a big place.. so thanks for putting my mind at rest a bit My boyfriend will hopefully be going to Birmingham so I guess London's a bit handier for that too..
    Ahhhhh decisions xD
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    (Original post by Lamb.)
    Thank you, that's some really helpful information! I come from a small town in the North, so Durham feels familiar to me, but sometimes I just feel like I need that massive change. A big worry of mine was if I'd struggle making good friends in such a big place.. so thanks for putting my mind at rest a bit My boyfriend will hopefully be going to Birmingham so I guess London's a bit handier for that too..
    Ahhhhh decisions xD
    If you're in halls and know how to introduce yourself to strangers and join societies then you'll definitely make friends Would not recommend the Birmingham - Durham long distance thing. Have been doing the London Durham one for nearly 2 years now and it's so painfully expensive (73 return with a railcard) , we only see each other ever 3 or 4 weeks most of the time.

    Birmingham to London can be done for about £8-12 return (I live in Birmingham and I come home regularly)
    What's your course?
    Just seen you're doing Earth Sciences - I don't know how the departments and rankings work but I have 2 friends who dropped out of Durham (Grey College for both i think) to go to UCL...obviously it depends on the person but it says something I guess.
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    (Original post by sundogs)
    If you're in halls and know how to introduce yourself to strangers and join societies then you'll definitely make friends Would not recommend the Birmingham - Durham long distance thing. Have been doing the London Durham one for nearly 2 years now and it's so painfully expensive (73 return with a railcard) , we only see each other ever 3 or 4 weeks most of the time.

    Birmingham to London can be done for about £8-12 return (I live in Birmingham and I come home regularly)
    What's your course?
    Just seen you're doing Earth Sciences - I don't know how the departments and rankings work but I have 2 friends who dropped out of Durham (Grey College for both i think) to go to UCL...obviously it depends on the person but it says something I guess.
    Ooh that's not too bad at all.. We're planning to make that trip every 2/3 weeks so really couldn't afford the Durham-Birmingham journey.. :/
    Yeah its Earth Sciences (with a year abroad in Austrailia/USA if I choose UCL ).. both places are pretty much equal in terms of league tables, and the courses seem faaaairly similar.. but the fact that people have left Durham is interesting... hmmm. Thanks a lot for your help
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    UCL has it's own character (traditional yet modern and secular, and in a huge city) whereas Durham is an unashamed Oxbridge copy. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this but I couldn't be able to live with the fact that I go to "a pale Oxbridge copy" Better to go somewhere completely alternative yet still academically rigorous if you don't get into Oxbridge.


    Also UCL is much more well known and more highly ranked than Durham.
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    (Original post by sexbo)
    UCL has it's own character (traditional yet modern and secular, and in a huge city) whereas Durham is an unashamed Oxbridge copy. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this but I couldn't be able to live with the fact that I go to "a pale Oxbridge copy" Better to go somewhere completely alternative yet still academically rigorous if you don't get into Oxbridge.


    Also UCL is much more well known and more highly ranked than Durham.
    Not all of us are Oxbridge rejects lolz
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    Depends on the course you are doing, but generally UCL is more favoured.
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    UCL.
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    probably should have placed this in general uni discussion not the ucl forum as you may well get a bit of a biassed responce .. :P
    none the less personally id firm ucl its an excellent uni and since its in london the social life will be a lot bigger [probably better] than durham .. i mean theres what over 100,000 students in uoL to meet :P
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    (Original post by calumsteele1)
    probably should have placed this in general uni discussion not the ucl forum as you may well get a bit of a biassed responce .. :P
    none the less personally id firm ucl its an excellent uni and since its in london the social life will be a lot bigger [probably better] than durham .. i mean theres what over 100,000 students in uoL to meet :P
    hahaaa whoops :P ah well, i'm definitely swaying towards UCL so maybe it was a good mistake so now I'm just being reassured UCL is the right place
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    (Original post by Lamb.)
    hahaaa whoops :P ah well, i'm definitely swaying towards UCL so maybe it was a good mistake so now I'm just being reassured UCL is the right place
    aha :P well good luck with your choice! may i ask what subject youve got offers for ?
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    Thank you! I've applied for Earth Sciences at UCL (or Geology/Environmental Geoscience at some of my other choices)
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    (Original post by Lamb.)
    Thank you! I've applied for Earth Sciences at UCL (or Geology/Environmental Geoscience at some of my other choices)
    I clever person would have mentioned this at the very beginning before asking what people think because if you just ask which is better , people get confused for which course ? Now that we know it helps and because i have no clue about that course , i cant comment but if it was econ , it would have been a pleasure .
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    (Original post by Investment Banker)
    I clever person would have mentioned this at the very beginning before asking what people think because if you just ask which is better , people get confused for which course ? Now that we know it helps and because i have no clue about that course , i cant comment but if it was econ , it would have been a pleasure .
    As I mentioned earlier the two courses are very similar; I'm more interested in the differences between the two unis, and how student life at each uni differs, I didn't feel it necessary to mention my subject tbh
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    (Original post by Lamb.)
    As I mentioned earlier the two courses are very similar; I'm more interested in the differences between the two unis, and how student life at each uni differs, I didn't feel it necessary to mention my subject tbh
    Fair enough but not being biased , UCL all day , not just its a top 20 World renowned uni but the quality of services students receive is fantastic . Its surrounded by everything a city can offer , lots of variety etc , people from all walks of life and you get to know more out of this , not to say you cant at Durham but its London we are talking of . I would choose UCL in my sleep tbh as i did when i got an offer for econ from Durham ! It didnt take me 5 seconds to choose .
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    This basically turned in a Dual Degree offer holders thread, but still... any opinions?
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    (Original post by NeoXerxes)
    I am an American postgraduate student holding offers from both King's College London (MA War Studies) and University College London (MSc Security Studies).

    From what I hear, the War Studies Department at KCL is quite prestigious, but I would like information on the Department of Political Science at UCL. Does anyone have any information on the reputation of this department or the program that I have selected (Security Studies)?

    I welcome your advice on which program to choose . It's a difficult decision and I'm completely torn between the two options.
    i'm an american who actually received offers to the same programs as you too i chose UCL because after speaking with some of the members of the department, i felt like i was making the best choice for myself but it was tough because KCL is renowned for their war studies dept. anyway, let me know if you select UCL because then we'll be in the same program -brittany
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    I accepted my offer to study the MSc Security Studies program at UCL for September 2012...is anyone else on here going to be taking it with me?
    -Brittany
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    I am struggling if I should put UCL or Warwick as my firm.

    I know the reputation of maths in Warwick is really good, but I scare of a campus life. UCL has a better international ranking, but the ranking of its maths department is not that good. So, I am just wondering should I change my course from maths to maths and stats to increase my employability...

    Does it really make a big difference in my job prospect if I choose UCL over Warwick?
    How is the maths course in UCL?
    What do people usually do after they graduate?

    Any information will be helpful. I have been struggling for quite a long time.

    Thanks a lot.
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    'Bad' is a wrong word to use mate , you might have asked if Maths was as competitive as economics , law , medicine or english and i can say ,aybe not much but very good nevertheless . Picking maths at UCL is just good but have heard Warwick Maths is strong , however , whether you choose Warwick or UCL there wont be much difference anyway regardless of the league tables . These two are just as good as each other , so don't change modules because you think its not gonna land you a top job , that's not true . Employers are not going to look and check what the league tables say , what they will know is you are at a top top uni which is very selective and with a well regarded reputation , so you must have some qualities and they will consider you based on your CV , grades etc . Don't stress over this , pick whichever your gut is pulling you towards and that's the right choice .
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    There's an abbreviation for the top 4 universities for maths famously called COWI (cambridge, oxford, warwick and imperial). These universities arguably have the most rigorous maths degree in the UK.

    However, UCL is also a world class university even though it's not famous for it's maths department. It is important to have at the back of your mind that UCL is a top 10 world university. So going to UCL isn't in no way going to affect your job/future prospects.

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