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    (Original post by Melthusa)
    Oh not you again.

    No, it isnt. There is no evidence, qualitative or factual to support your claim.
    :sigh: I am not out to "defend" Durham. All I'm doing is asking you to explain why you don't think Durham is one of the strongest physics departments as this might be useful to the OP who is asking for feedback about physics departments, isn't he? So what use is dismissing a department without providing any explanation as to why you don't think it is a strong department? How is this helpful to the OP?

    If you can provide some reasons then fine. As mentioned, I'm not out to defend it against all criticism, especially as I can be as critical of the place as anyone.

    I'd ask the same of someone who dismissed, say, Manchester without really providing any information and I frequently do. Far more than I "defend" Durham.

    Now...

    "Durham ranked Number One in Europe and fourth in the world for our research into Space Science (which covers research into astronomy and astrophysics) over the decade 1998-2008, according to a recent league table by Thomson Reuters ESI and published in the Times. "

    http://astro.dur.ac.uk/Cosmology/images/rankings.jpg

    Look, I know you probably go to Durham and rave to your friends about "Doxbridge!" but the idea that Durham is the "3rd best" in the country is simply ridiculous.
    Where on earth have I ever said Durham is the third best university in the country? That is ludicrous. Durham has no more claim to be the third "best" university in the country than any other Russell Group university (and a number of non-Russell Group universities).

    I'm not at Durham, although I am a graduate of the university.

    Doxbridge is a sporting tournament. The only time I've ever heard it used in an academic context is by an Oxford academic. It is frequently derided by Durham students, the vast majority them aren't under any impression that they are at some "Doxbridge".

    Now we've got that out of the way, care to explain why you don't think Durham is one of the strongest physics departments in the country?

    Astrophysics does not even stand out at Durham either
    See above. It's also been mentioned by current physics students that Durham is very strong indeed in astrophysics.

    Now please contribute constructively to the thread and engage with posts in both a positive as well as a mature manner.


    As for being a physics student, no I'm not. I'm not a physics student either. This doesn't mean that in the eight years I spent at Durham I didn't get to know the department well, I didn't attend lectures, I didn't have friends doing physics, I never interacted with academic staff. This is all things that you have failed to do, as I don't even think you're a university student yet.

    Edit: - I know you got rejected by Durham but please get over it. Just be pleased you got into a better university and let go. Going around the forum, making anti-Durham posts, is not just tiresome but also dangerous to applicants as you are giving them an incorrect impression.
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    (Original post by Melthusa)
    My friends who are first years at Cambridge call it "Rock Science", but yes, its actually called geology. I don't really get what you're trying to say here, can you actually get to the point a little quicker and not be so vague in your description?

    And I will forgive you for your general relativity error; Oxford is the only university to put it as a mandatory part of the course and not an option. It is optional at Imperial.

    Imperial and Oxford undergraduates begin day 1 specialising in physics; whilst Cambridge students do not. If you are trying to say that at the end of your degree you're on par with the physics and maths, then thats highly pretentious considering in your first year you've done subjects such as geology.
    Idiot. After four years of the Cambridge syllabus you're at least on par with Oxford and Imperial, and probably beyond it in many cases. Just look the syllabus for Cambridge physics. The Natural Sciences course moves at an astonishing rate and you get through a huge amount of material. Name one area that Oxford or Imperial cover that Cambridge does not.

    As for your other little anti-Durham rant, Durham is absolutely world class for physics, and it's research for condensed matter, particle physics and especially astrophysics is top notch. So stop being a brat.
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    (Original post by River85)
    :sigh: I am not out to "defend" Durham. All I'm doing is asking you to explain why you don't think Durham is one of the strongest physics departments as this might be useful to the OP who is asking for feedback about physics departments, isn't he? So what use is dismissing a department without providing any explanation as to why you don't think it is a strong department? How is this helpful to the OP?

    If you can provide some reasons then fine. As mentioned, I'm not out to defend it against all criticism, especially as I can be as critical of the place as anyone.

    I'd ask the same of someone who dismissed, say, Manchester without really providing any information and I frequently do. Far more than I "defend" Durham.

    Now...

    "Durham ranked Number One in Europe and fourth in the world for our research into Space Science (which covers research into astronomy and astrophysics) over the decade 1998-2008, according to a recent league table by Thomson Reuters ESI and published in the Times. "

    http://astro.dur.ac.uk/Cosmology/images/rankings.jpg



    Where on earth have I ever said Durham is the third best university in the country? That is ludicrous. Durham has no more claim to be the third "best" university in the country than any other Russell Group university (and a number of non-Russell Group universities).

    I'm not at Durham, although I am a graduate of the university.

    Doxbridge is a sporting tournament. The only time I've ever heard it used in an academic context is by an Oxford academic. It is frequently derided by Durham students, the vast majority them aren't under any impression that they are at some "Doxbridge".

    Now we've got that out of the way, care to explain why you don't think Durham is one of the strongest physics departments in the country?



    See above. It's also been mentioned by current physics students that Durham is very strong indeed in astrophysics.

    Now please contribute constructively to the thread and engage with posts in both a positive as well as a mature manner.


    As for being a physics student, no I'm not. I'm not a physics student either. This doesn't mean that in the eight years I spent at Durham I didn't get to know the department well, I didn't attend lectures, I didn't have friends doing physics, I never interacted with academic staff. This is all things that you have failed to do, as I don't even think you're a university student yet.

    Edit: - I know you got rejected by Durham but please get over it. Just be pleased you got into a better university and let go. Going around the forum, making anti-Durham posts, is not just tiresome but also dangerous to applicants as you are giving them an incorrect impression.
    So yes, although you haven't said anything useful here, you have just agreed with what I said.

    Only your semi-reputable point I will debate with; the rest is just nonsense.

    The link you quoted. No actual link to whether the university is actually any good at teaching Physics, nor actually any bearing on the university itself. No actual definition or reasoning as to what "space science" is here. Space Science can range from anything from the psychological effects on people in space, to the chemical imbalances in the body in space etc etc. This, quite clearly has no meaning directly (and one could argue indirectly too) on the physics dept at Durham. This is an incredibly narrow view to hold by the department and shows just how out of touch and needy Durham is. I may also say that actually there has been shown there is no link between the success of a university at Undergraduate compared to PHD level.

    I think what you're trying to be here is simply the big "YEAH DURHAM IS GREAT" spectacle that every other student in the UK has to listen to.
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    (Original post by Nichrome)
    Idiot. After four years of the Cambridge syllabus you're at least on par with Oxford and Imperial, and probably beyond it in many cases. Just look the syllabus for Cambridge physics. The Natural Sciences course moves at an astonishing rate and you get through a huge amount of material. Name one area that Oxford or Imperial cover that Cambridge does not.

    As for your other little anti-Durham rant, Durham is absolutely world class for physics, and it's research for condensed matter, particle physics and especially astrophysics is top notch. So stop being a brat.

    Totally wrong. What you are saying there is an insult to Oxford, Imperial and every other university out there. Oxbridge and Imperial students work just as hard as eachother. Clearly you have been to neither.

    No. Durham isn't "World Class". World class would imply that if you went abroad and said "hey I went to Durham" they'd say something like " Oh wow, yes! Thats a pretty good university, I'v heard of that!" Which you get with Oxford, UCL, Cambridge, LSE, Imperial. Durham is not included.
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    (Original post by Melthusa)
    So yes, although you haven't said anything useful here, you have just agreed with what I said.
    I haven't said anything useful? Have you?

    The link you quoted. No actual link to whether the university is actually any good at teaching Physics, nor actually any bearing on the university itself.
    It demonstrates Durham's research strength in astrophysics, which is something you clearly denied as being a strength of Durham. This table, the 2008 RAE, and worldwide peer rankings demonstrate that you are wrong.

    Research is one thing to consider when considering the academic quality of a university. Research can have relevance to undergraduates, particularly with research led teaching, and, besides, the OP didn't ask for "best departments for undergraduates", did he?

    As for teaching, although research led teaching can be a benefit, it isn't always the case that the best researchers are the best students, and students can suffer with inadequate contact hours. However, in my experience this is more common in the Humanities. If you think Durham's teaching is poor then what makes you think it is poor? Ultimately, we don't have much we can use to measure it. There are QAA teaching reports but these are out of date. Nevertheless in the last assessment I think Durham was ranked excellent (24/24).

    During my time at Durham I also got to know a few Physics students, both in person and on TSR. Some of these attended other universities before or after Durham, and can therefore compare. All broadly agree that teaching at Durham is no better (or worse) than the other departments mentioned in this thread.

    No actual definition or reasoning as to what "space science" is here. Space Science can range from anything from the psychological effects on people in space, to the chemical imbalances in the body in space etc etc. This, quite clearly has no meaning directly (and one could argue indirectly too) on the physics dept at Durham. This is an incredibly narrow view to hold by the department and shows just how out of touch and needy Durham is.
    And if you were informed you would know that Durham's research includes, but isn't limited to, the Physics of High-Redshift galaxies, the formation of galaxies, and work on the Atacama Large Millimeter Array and MIRI camera for the James Web space telescope.

    I may also say that actually there has been shown there is no link between the success of a university at Undergraduate compared to PHD level.
    Exactly and you're free to say Durham's a good place for a postgrad research student, especially one whose research interests overlap with Durham's, but it's not great for the undergraduate experience. But then I expect you to still be informed and explain what you mean by that. Again, you've failed to provide anything specific.

    I think what you're trying to be here is simply the big "YEAH DURHAM IS GREAT" spectacle that every other student in the UK has to listen to.
    Not at all. I am trying to generate discussion about departments. I welcome good and bad comments about all universities, including my alma mater. However, I expect these opinions to be informed.

    I frequently criticise Durham, specifically one of my old departments (SGIA, not physics) and advise students not to go there.

    The fact that you have posted this only serves to demonstrate your inability to take on board and understand what I am saying. You're either trolling (perhaps as a result of your rejection) or just blinded by your dislike of Durham. Either way, it's misleading applicants and you are only embarrassing yourself.

    Either way, I've had my say, not wasting any more of my time on you.
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    (Original post by Melthusa)
    Clearly you have been to neither.
    I would just like to say that I'm looking forward to the response of this line.
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    (Original post by River85)
    I haven't said anything useful? Have you?



    It demonstrates Durham's research strength in astrophysics, which is something you clearly denied as being a strength of Durham. This table, the 2008 RAE, and worldwide peer rankings demonstrate that you are wrong.

    Research is one thing to consider when considering the academic quality of a university. Research can have relevance to undergraduates, particularly with research led teaching, and, besides, the OP didn't ask for "best departments for undergraduates", did he?

    As for teaching, although research led teaching can be a benefit, it isn't always the case that the best researchers are the best students, and students can suffer with inadequate contact hours. However, in my experience this is more common in the Humanities. If you think Durham's teaching is poor then what makes you think it is poor? Ultimately, we don't have much we can use to measure it. There are QAA teaching reports but these are out of date. Nevertheless in the last assessment I think Durham was ranked excellent (24/24).

    During my time at Durham I also got to know a few Physics students, both in person and on TSR. Some of these attended other universities before or after Durham, and can therefore compare. All broadly agree that teaching at Durham is no better (or worse) than the other departments mentioned in this thread.



    And if you were informed you would know that Durham's research includes, but isn't limited to, the Physics of High-Redshift galaxies, the formation of galaxies, and work on the Atacama Large Millimeter Array and MIRI camera for the James Web space telescope.



    Exactly and you're free to say Durham's a good place for a postgrad research student, especially one whose research interests overlap with Durham's, but it's not great for the undergraduate experience. But then I expect you to still be informed and explain what you mean by that. Again, you've failed to provide anything specific.



    Not at all. I am trying to generate discussion about departments. I welcome good and bad comments about all universities, including my alma mater. However, I expect these opinions to be informed.

    I frequently criticise Durham, specifically one of my old departments (SGIA, not physics) and advise students not to go there.

    The fact that you have posted this only serves to demonstrate your inability to take on board and understand what I am saying. You're either trolling (perhaps as a result of your rejection) or just blinded by your dislike of Durham. Either way, it's misleading applicants and you are only embarrassing yourself.

    Either way, I've had my say, not wasting any more of my time on you.
    NOW you're just being a pretentious idiot. I won't bother you with my reply.
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    (Original post by Melthusa)
    No. Durham isn't "World Class". World class would imply that if you went abroad and said "hey I went to Durham" they'd say something like " Oh wow, yes! Thats a pretty good university, I'v heard of that!" Which you get with Oxford, UCL, Cambridge, LSE, Imperial. Durham is not included.
    Right, so what people on the street of another country think is what makes a university "world class" or not (note I am NOT saying Durham IS world class)?

    Durham is a medium size university in a small city. Oxford and Cambridge have centuries of history behind them, and are far larger research centres (generally speaking). The London three are also, who also happen to be in one of the best known cities in the world. Also, two of those are specialist institutions, so not multi-faculty universities. It's not a fair comparison.

    However, Durham's physics department certainly is well known among those in the know, and this is demonstrated by the international make up of its department. In fact, several PhD students I got to know, conducting research in astrophysics, (including one, Nicolas Tejos, who's mentioned here) spoke of how highly thought Durham is abroad, including South America and Asia.

    These are PhD students and Post-Docs from all corners of the world.

    And with that, I am leaving, as all this is turning into is some defence of Durham which really wasn't my intention. I wanted to know your reasons for dismissing Durham, hoping that they were informed criticisms, and would have been fully respectful of them. Unfortunately, you really don't seem informed.
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    (Original post by Melthusa)
    NOW you're just being a pretentious idiot. I won't bother you with my reply.
    How was what he said pretentious? Are you denying Durham is a very good research and teaching establishment?

    Also, what makes physics graduates attractive is their problem solving skills and inquisitive nature. It is pretty irrelevant in the real world that an Oxbridge or Imperial degree may be more rigorous. How often are you expecting to use lie algebras as an accountant/engineer/trader?
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    (Original post by swagadon)
    idk which to apply for, i dont really trust the rankings on the web because they all have different opinions, so can anyone tell me which are the best, and what undergraduates actually have said about them? thank you!
    Out of interest, why do you use text-speak?
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    (Original post by Melthusa)
    NOW you're just being a pretentious idiot. I won't bother you with my reply.
    JFC you're probably great at physics, but useless at life skills by the way you argue

    Edit: I would also like to point out it's this sort of arguing that really put me off applying for oxford when i was in 6th form (never considered cambridge as didn't like the idea of natsci). Say what you want about me never having a chance when you have no idea who i am, but it was seeing this sort of discussion from people on this board this time a year ago which made me think it didn't seem the place for me. I sort of think i should have applied, especially in hindsight that many of my good friends go there who aren't cretins, and love it and are supportive of people going every other university. It's a slight regret of mine not to apply, but i don't really care, I get on with my life at another good university. People who are so fierce in their arguing at oxbridge are the ONLY places to go generally need to look at their own personality. Ironically for a science board, it's the sort of arguing that i see in arguments about creation science.

    This whole thread has been more a matter of people arguing their own dogmatic beliefs than answering "what are the top 5 unis for physics"
 
 
 
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