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    Just wondering if there are any imperial or Cambridge students that could offer any other advice or information?
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    I'm in my second year of Aeronautical Enginnering at Imperial now, I'll try to give you an overview of how are things here but if you have any specific questions feel free to ask!

    First year is not too bad, there is plenty of time to have fun (whether that means getting drunk in clubs or getting involved in many societies :P ) and the workload isn't too bad. The deadlines are quite well distributed and the content of the course isn't that difficult to understand - first year is mostly for getting people to the same level. You will live in halls in your first year but which hall you get is a question of how much you are willing to spend and how lucky you are. Luck-wise it got worse last year as there is quite a chance you will end up in Acton but people who live there don't seem to be that unhappy.

    Second year is where it gets worse. :P At times the workload is insane, especially in March when all the reports deadlines are piling up. The content gets harder and you are expected to do a lot of self-study. Having said that I think it's no different in Cambridge. The major difference is that at Imperial no one checks whether you've done your tutorial sheets and it's entirely up to you to do them (it has its pros and cons, currently I sorta regret not doing them 'on time' lol) although there are tutorial sessions when the lecturers will go through difficult parts; but then you will have to work quite a bit on your lab reports (which are not as important in Cambridge from what I've heard - someone from Cambridge can confirm?). You can try to get a place in halls by either being a hall senior or applying for non-first year halls (a new addition for next year) but living out is not that bad (both budget- and distance-wise) if you plan wisely and choose good flatmates.

    The higher the year the more emphasis is placed on coursework and less on exams. You can find the details about grading, modules etc. in the student handbook on the departamental website, it's quite useful.

    On the academic side you will get both excellent and terrible lecturers, sometimes the courses will not have a very good structure but from what I understand the department reviews them on a yearly basis based on feedback from students and they really do change things. You also get a personal tutor, with whom you meet weekly in 1st year and twice a term in 2nd year. They are your first point of contact in college related problems and are usually very nice. They are supposed to do Maths tutorials with you every other week in Year 1 but since Maths wasn't too difficult for my tutorial group our tutor just showed us some interesting problems and told us about his research. There is also a senior tutor but didn't have much experience with talking to him. The teaching office will sometimes be helpful, sometimes not. :P

    What Imperial does have a problem with is mental health support from what people say, mostly regarding stress resulting from the workload. I never felt the need to go through counselling but people complain a lot about the availability etc. I don't want to scare you off but sometimes you need to be a tough cookie to go through busy periods here (again, I guess it's the same in Cambridge) but it is manageable as long as you unwind from time to time and work smart.
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    (Original post by ounce)
    I'm in my second year of Aeronautical Enginnering at Imperial now, I'll try to give you an overview of how are things here but if you have any specific questions feel free to ask!

    First year is not too bad, there is plenty of time to have fun (whether that means getting drunk in clubs or getting involved in many societies :P ) and the workload isn't too bad. The deadlines are quite well distributed and the content of the course isn't that difficult to understand - first year is mostly for getting people to the same level. You will live in halls in your first year but which hall you get is a question of how much you are willing to spend and how lucky you are. Luck-wise it got worse last year as there is quite a chance you will end up in Acton but people who live there don't seem to be that unhappy.

    Second year is where it gets worse. :P At times the workload is insane, especially in March when all the reports deadlines are piling up. The content gets harder and you are expected to do a lot of self-study. Having said that I think it's no different in Cambridge. The major difference is that at Imperial no one checks whether you've done your tutorial sheets and it's entirely up to you to do them (it has its pros and cons, currently I sorta regret not doing them 'on time' lol) although there are tutorial sessions when the lecturers will go through difficult parts; but then you will have to work quite a bit on your lab reports (which are not as important in Cambridge from what I've heard - someone from Cambridge can confirm?). You can try to get a place in halls by either being a hall senior or applying for non-first year halls (a new addition for next year) but living out is not that bad (both budget- and distance-wise) if you plan wisely and choose good flatmates.

    The higher the year the more emphasis is placed on coursework and less on exams. You can find the details about grading, modules etc. in the student handbook on the departamental website, it's quite useful.

    On the academic side you will get both excellent and terrible lecturers, sometimes the courses will not have a very good structure but from what I understand the department reviews them on a yearly basis based on feedback from students and they really do change things. You also get a personal tutor, with whom you meet weekly in 1st year and twice a term in 2nd year. They are your first point of contact in college related problems and are usually very nice. They are supposed to do Maths tutorials with you every other week in Year 1 but since Maths wasn't too difficult for my tutorial group our tutor just showed us some interesting problems and told us about his research. There is also a senior tutor but didn't have much experience with talking to him. The teaching office will sometimes be helpful, sometimes not. :P

    What Imperial does have a problem with is mental health support from what people say, mostly regarding stress resulting from the workload. I never felt the need to go through counselling but people complain a lot about the availability etc. I don't want to scare you off but sometimes you need to be a tough cookie to go through busy periods here (again, I guess it's the same in Cambridge) but it is manageable as long as you unwind from time to time and work smart.
    Thanks so much for the reply! It seems as though the workload at both universities is similar but there is slightly more support at Cambridge because of the supervision system. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the imperial statistics guide said that almost 60% of aero students get a first and only 5% get a II.ii or below so I can't really see why students at imperial are so much more successful at achieving high grades!

    Just one quick question, you said that living outside of halls isn't too bad financially... Do you have any idea of how much yearly rent costs are, considering it's unlikely that you would be able to stay in halls beyond the first year?
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    (Original post by RyanW97)
    Thanks so much for the reply! It seems as though the workload at both universities is similar but there is slightly more support at Cambridge because of the supervision system. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the imperial statistics guide said that almost 60% of aero students get a first and only 5% get a II.ii or below so I can't really see why students at imperial are so much more successful at achieving high grades!

    Just one quick question, you said that living outside of halls isn't too bad financially... Do you have any idea of how much yearly rent costs are, considering it's unlikely that you would be able to stay in halls beyond the first year?
    Regarding the percentage of firsts I have as much info as you tbh, never bothered to dig deeper into that topic. :P There are a few possible reasons for this: the department has a lot of highly motivated overseas students who probably bump the percentage up, every year about 10% of the year fails the year and they either retake or transfer and those who manage to stay are just good...? I'd say you just have to grit your teeth, persevere and there is a good chance you will get a first. It's true that you will probably get to see an academic personally more often in Cambridge - but as at any other uni at Imperial you can see any lecturer (and especially your personal tutor) if you schedule a meeting or come to their office hour, they are always happy to see you.

    I also forgot to mention that there is a possibility of taking the modules from Business School in Years 3 and 4 but idk how good they are (Aero Department has its own business/management modules in Year 1 and 2 but they are utter crap and the exams are essay based). Also you can take a foreign language free of charge via Horizons (regardless of your level) and if you're not going for a year abroad it will not affect your course average (so I recommend it, it's a useful skill to have and you suffer no consequences if you fail by any chance).

    Whether living out is good or bad financially depends on your situation obviously. I pay 165 GBP per week (+ about 10 GBP of utilities) for my room within 40 min (30 min if you're late lol) walk to college which is quite a good deal considering how nice the flat (shared between three people) and the landlord is. Of course you can find cheaper/more expensive flats within varying distance but I'd say what I pay is typical.
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    (Original post by ounce)
    Whether living out is good or bad financially depends on your situation obviously. I pay 165 GBP per week (+ about 10 GBP of utilities) for my room within 40 min (30 min if you're late lol) walk to college which is quite a good deal considering how nice the flat (shared between three people) and the landlord is. Of course you can find cheaper/more expensive flats within varying distance but I'd say what I pay is typical.
    For how many weeks?

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    (Original post by jneill)
    For how many weeks?

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    For the entire year, most contracts will be run like that with varying start months (contracts usually start in July, August or September).
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    (Original post by ounce)
    For the entire year, most contracts will be run like that with varying start months (contracts usually start in July, August or September).
    So that's a rather significant cost difference. That's approx 8500 for the (52 week) year, versus approx 4000 for Cambridge (short terms)....

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    (Original post by jneill)
    So that's a rather significant cost difference. That's approx 8500 for the (52 week) year, versus approx 4000 for Cambridge (short terms)....

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    Well I never claimed otherwise! Sorry if this was unclear but what I mean is living out in London doesn't have to be more expensive than living in Imperial halls (particularly single rooms in South Kensington halls). While my current rent is higher than the cheapest halls rooms you can definitely find something around 140 GBP per week, which isn't too bad for central London. Having said that, accommodation in Cambridge is definitely cheaper, although it comes with its own disadvantages such as (correct me if I'm wrong?) having to move all your stuff out for breaks.
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    (Original post by ounce)
    Well I never claimed otherwise! Sorry if this was unclear but what I mean is living out in London doesn't have to be more expensive than living in Imperial halls (particularly single rooms in South Kensington halls). While my current rent is higher than the cheapest halls rooms you can definitely find something around 140 GBP per week, which isn't too bad for central London. Having said that, accommodation in Cambridge is definitely cheaper, although it comes with its own disadvantages such as (correct me if I'm wrong?) having to move all your stuff out for breaks.
    No, no - I know you didn't say it was cheaper. I was just making it clear to others reading the thread And yes you usually have to clear out during vacations, but some colleges might let you keep stuff in storage during the Christmas / Easter holidays.
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    (Original post by ounce)
    Regarding the percentage of firsts I have as much info as you tbh, never bothered to dig deeper into that topic. :P There are a few possible reasons for this: the department has a lot of highly motivated overseas students who probably bump the percentage up, every year about 10% of the year fails the year and they either retake or transfer and those who manage to stay are just good...? I'd say you just have to grit your teeth, persevere and there is a good chance you will get a first. It's true that you will probably get to see an academic personally more often in Cambridge - but as at any other uni at Imperial you can see any lecturer (and especially your personal tutor) if you schedule a meeting or come to their office hour, they are always happy to see you.

    I also forgot to mention that there is a possibility of taking the modules from Business School in Years 3 and 4 but idk how good they are (Aero Department has its own business/management modules in Year 1 and 2 but they are utter crap and the exams are essay based). Also you can take a foreign language free of charge via Horizons (regardless of your level) and if you're not going for a year abroad it will not affect your course average (so I recommend it, it's a useful skill to have and you suffer no consequences if you fail by any chance).

    Whether living out is good or bad financially depends on your situation obviously. I pay 165 GBP per week (+ about 10 GBP of utilities) for my room within 40 min (30 min if you're late lol) walk to college which is quite a good deal considering how nice the flat (shared between three people) and the landlord is. Of course you can find cheaper/more expensive flats within varying distance but I'd say what I pay is typical.
    That's really helpful, thanks! I didn't realise that you could just arrange to meet a lecturer if you need help so I guess the support you get would actually be similar. The only difference would be that you're forced to work at Cambridge and success at Imperial is much more dependent on your own motivation to study.

    I have looked into learning a language through horizons and I probably would take a course there if I go to Imperial because it's unlikely that you'd get another chance to learn a language for free after university!

    It seems like living in London is cheaper than I was expecting, although living 40 minutes away probably wouldn't be worthwhile for me because it only takes about an hour to get to South Kensington by train from where I live anyway. I assume that it's more expensive to live closer to the college but a lot of the rooms in halls are more than £165 a week...
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    (Original post by RyanW97)
    It seems like living in London is cheaper than I was expecting, although living 40 minutes away probably wouldn't be worthwhile for me because it only takes about an hour to get to South Kensington by train from where I live anyway. I assume that it's more expensive to live closer to the college but a lot of the rooms in halls are more than £165 a week...
    Check out the bursaries at Imperial and Cambridge too. Imperial is quite generous, but Cambridge living costs are lower anyway...

    https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/...erial-bursary/

    http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/cambridgebursary/
    (also some colleges may have some small bursaries too).
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Check out the bursaries at Imperial and Cambridge too. Imperial is quite generous, but Cambridge living costs are lower anyway...

    https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/...erial-bursary/

    http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/cambridgebursary/
    (also some colleges may have some small bursaries too).
    Thank you! I've looked into this already and although I wouldn't get a bursary at Cambridge, I would get a sizeable bursary from imperial. Also, as you know, maintainence loans are larger for students studying in London so (if anything) it would probably be easier for me to manage financially at imperial.

    Having said that, it isn't clear which university would offer the best long term benefit with regards to salary etc. So that only makes the decision more difficult!
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    (Original post by RyanW97)
    Thank you! I've looked into this already and although I wouldn't get a bursary at Cambridge, I would get a sizeable bursary from imperial. Also, as you know, maintainence loans are larger for students studying in London so (if anything) it would probably be easier for me to manage financially at imperial.

    Having said that, it isn't clear which university would offer the best long term benefit with regards to salary etc. So that only makes the decision more difficult!
    Salary-wise, there's literally nothing in it. Imperial has a higher graduate salary but obviously it's skewed because of it only doing STEM subjects. Imperial grads don't face extra difficulty getting the most competitive positions as opposed to Cam and are viewed pretty much the same for Engineering if you want to go into that.
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    Imperial is better
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    (Original post by RyanW97)
    Having said that, it isn't clear which university would offer the best long term benefit with regards to salary etc. So that only makes the decision more difficult!
    That's because you have to get your own salary and forge your own career. There aren't really any "long-term benefits" of attending any particular university. I think that the advice offered in this thread by various posters has generally been good, and should help with your decision.
 
 
 
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