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    Hi there, I will be starting a degree in Physics in a few months but Ive yet to decide where. Being an international student the deadline for choosing is July 1st......but I really want to make the decision this week......

    Durham has been my number one choice all along.....nice place, good focus on research....great reputation....the institute for computational cosmology....and number one in the times...seems like a great place to study and ponder....

    But then just last weekend I visited manchester......and was really impressed. The city was class, the physics department seemed excellent (i liked the fact that they had active research groups in practically all areas), the opportunity to study at california in third year also sounds great.......

    My main interest is theoretical physics and astrophysics (.....cosmology....)....but which ever I choose Im sure the education will be top notch.....

    One of my worries about durham was that it might get a bit claustrophobic.....having only the same few pubs to look at...

    So help! please tell me something (good or bad) I dont know....im completely lost to choose. :eek:

    BTW my other choices were Warwick, Queens & St Andrews

    Cheers,
    Kieran
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    all ur schoool are decent.So did u meet the condition for all of them?
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    yup got offers from all of them.........maybe its because im a mature student (weeeell 23) so didnt really have any exam grades to get :rolleyes:
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    i will say warwick has a very good overall rept..durham is pretty famous too.Manchester is not as well known as the 2 but it is decent and the nightlife will be better.Personally i will choose warwick due to its overall rept follow by durham by this is seriouly up to u.U will have to rank to see what do u really want.rept, job prospect, lifestyle.Although the league tables have to be taken with a pinch of salt perhaps u can check it out..Times,sunday times and guardian are all pretty informative..
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    yup ive been looking at the league tables (its mainly what I based my application on) and I think they're all up there (top 10)........

    I visited warwick some time ago but the area & the campus didnt appeal to me.....they also seemed IMO to have much more of a focus on industry and enterprise rather than research for the sake of it...

    Manchester is not as well known
    when you say manchester is not as well known do you mean the physics department or just the 'name' factor.....eg I graduated from Princeton mwaaaahhh
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    i study physics at Durham, so my opinion will be biased but.....

    There really is more to do in Durham than people think. Obviously it des not compare to a big city like manchester but it is by no means quite if that what your looking for.

    The course at durham is excellent, the astronomy department is pretty world renowned from a research standpoint. In fact a team from durham just made the news with a new discovery recently, the head of that team lectured me in cosmology.

    The best advice i got from my teachers at sixth form was this. Sack league tables, they are pants, go where you feel most comfortable. So that's what i did, its what you should do to wherever that may be. So many people go to a place they hate just because its reputation is good and end up dropping out because they hate it.

    If you have any questions about the course or perhaps about your college just ask.
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    Thanks Itchynscratchy, I also visited Durham and really liked the place....but its a very different place from manchester. I have to say all the staff I met in both places though were really nice and seemed really approachable and friendly......

    If you have any questions about the course or perhaps about your college just ask.
    Cheers! I have a few questions for you....

    is durham primarily focused on astronomy? or are there other very active research groups? (there are a few on the website I know....but)......say theoretical, nuclear, particle...

    how involved do the students get with the actual research groups....probably none till later years right?

    what are the oppurtunities like for studying abroad for a year in durham....?

    what are oppurtunities like for summer work....ie does durham have good links with physics bodies (CERN etc) and industry???

    anything that you found weak or lacking in the course/college?

    whats the classs size like?



    A load of questions I know....but you did ask...................Thanks.... ... :confused: mybe I'll be a little bit clearer afterwards
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    (Original post by clouds)
    Manchester is not as well known as the 2
    Machester isn't as well known as Warwick and Durham for physics? You're having a laugh aren't you?

    Manchester has had at least 4 physics nobel laureates (researchers): William Bragg, Hans Bethe, Niels Bohr and Ernest Rutherford. The physics department is responsible for administering Jodrell bank and was instrumental in the creation of the first ever Synchrotron Radiation Source (at Daresbury in Cheshire). Basically many of the great breakthroughs in British 20th century physics have been done under the auspices of the University of Manchester.

    Historically the reputation of Manchester for physics is far greater than Durham or Warwick, however these departments all have excellent current research reputations.

    on another note:

    St Andrews tends to focus on Astronomy and Photonics.
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    (Original post by kieranom)

    is durham primarily focused on astronomy? or are there other very active research groups? (there are a few on the website I know....but)......say theoretical, nuclear, particle...
    As far as i am aware postgrad study can be performed in 3 different areas, astronomy and astrophysics, condensed matter physics (that is, physics of liquids and solids) and one other area which slips my mind now, think it might be photonics. Astronomy at durham is the main area of research i believe but it is not the only one.

    how involved do the students get with the actual research groups....probably none till later years right?
    right, everyone at durham does a lab project in their final year (whether that be the 3rd or 4th year) there is really not much opportunity before then, but i would imagine that is the same everywhere.

    what are the oppurtunities like for studying abroad for a year in durham....?
    Dont really know to be honest, you could consult the website (www.dur.ac.uk) or the undergrad prospectus. I guess that if it is available you would have to do a 3-year course

    what are oppurtunities like for summer work....ie does durham have good links with physics bodies (CERN etc) and industry???
    there is plenty of opportunity for summer work, where exactly i don't know but i do know my e-mail box is constantly clogged with messages from the physics department about summer work unfortunaetly i have deleted most of the messages

    anything that you found weak or lacking in the course/college?
    not really to be honest, the college food is shocking and labs are a pain but apart from that i have really enjoyed being here

    whats the class size like?
    Typical lecture size is about 200, tutorials range from around 4 or 5 to around 15. Labs have around 15 people in each group as well
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    yeah manchester has loads of fit people and great parties also the uni has a good rep.
    whereas durham is very quiet but is supposed to be v.good.
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    Theres lots of shops, not that you'll have much of an opportunity to buy anything but;

    Durham; Next, Etam, Topshop, Burton, Miss Selfridges,View, Verge, Van Mildert, River Island, Monsoon, New Look, Principles,JJB Sports, All Sports, Sports Division, at least 5 small designer shops, Designer Row on Elvet Bridge for people with more money than sense, although theres not much choice here.

    pubs;O'Neills, fighting cocks, Coach and Eight, The Swan, Scruffy Murphys,the Big Jug, walkabout and café rock, chase,<------amongst the best. Lots of crap, rough ones in the same area, so you know where not to go.

    Other than that Sunderland's closer than Newcastle and although not as big as Newcastle still provides a great night out.

    Sunderland; Im tired off searching the web for shops, but it has a debenhams, H&M, Gap and a fairly large indoor shopping centre, you should avoid greggs bakeries (there are 4!) full to the brim of pond life throughout the day.

    theres a lot more pubs and bigger nightclubs than in durham if ya go with 3 or 4 mates, taxi fare will cost you 3 or 4 quid back to durham. (assuming you don't get a rip off mercheant driver! )
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    (Original post by kieranom)
    yup ive been looking at the league tables (its mainly what I based my application on) and I think they're all up there (top 10)........

    I visited warwick some time ago but the area & the campus didnt appeal to me.....they also seemed IMO to have much more of a focus on industry and enterprise rather than research for the sake of it...



    when you say manchester is not as well known do you mean the physics department or just the 'name' factor.....eg I graduated from Princeton mwaaaahhh
    Is that an example or did u really grad from princeton
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    Machester isn't as well known as Warwick and Durham for physics? You're having a laugh aren't you?

    Manchester has had at least 4 physics nobel laureates (researchers): William Bragg, Hans Bethe, Niels Bohr and Ernest Rutherford. The physics department is responsible for administering Jodrell bank and was instrumental in the creation of the first ever Synchrotron Radiation Source (at Daresbury in Cheshire). Basically many of the great breakthroughs in British 20th century physics have been done under the auspices of the University of Manchester.

    Historically the reputation of Manchester for physics is far greater than Durham or Warwick, however these departments all have excellent current research reputations.

    on another note:

    St Andrews tends to focus on Astronomy and Photonics.

    i meant overall rept
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    (Original post by clouds)
    Manchester is not as well known as the 2 but it is decent and the nightlife will be better.
    and you would know how? I suspect you are going on univ guide rankings and we all know how missleading they are....
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    (Original post by durhamlad1)
    Theres lots of shops, not that you'll have much of an opportunity to buy anything but;

    Durham; Next, Etam, Topshop, Burton, Miss Selfridges,View, Verge, Van Mildert, River Island, Monsoon, New Look, Principles,JJB Sports, All Sports, Sports Division, at least 5 small designer shops, Designer Row on Elvet Bridge for people with more money than sense, although theres not much choice here.

    pubs;O'Neills, fighting cocks, Coach and Eight, The Swan, Scruffy Murphys,the Big Jug, walkabout and café rock, chase,<------amongst the best. Lots of crap, rough ones in the same area, so you know where not to go.

    Other than that Sunderland's closer than Newcastle and although not as big as Newcastle still provides a great night out.

    Sunderland; Im tired off searching the web for shops, but it has a debenhams, H&M, Gap and a fairly large indoor shopping centre, you should avoid greggs bakeries (there are 4!) full to the brim of pond life throughout the day.

    theres a lot more pubs and bigger nightclubs than in durham if ya go with 3 or 4 mates, taxi fare will cost you 3 or 4 quid back to durham. (assuming you don't get a rip off mercheant driver! )
    The fact you can list all the attractions in Durham in one post says alot about the University. I think Manchester city centre has something like 600 liscenced premises... obviously someone these are awful as I am sure some of the places in Durham are but there are just so many decent places to go to its stupid. The city centre isn't just good for drinking as there are loads of cheap cinemas (with full student discounts it can cost as much as £2 to go to the cinema), art galleries, muesums ect if the cultured arty thing floats your boat.

    I am at the university of Manchester studying physics at the moment, and I would say the first year there has been simply awesome. The physics is of a good standard and if you want to go hardcore you can pick the courses to do that in your free option. The astronomy deptartment is excellent and Jodell bank is something every physics student should see. If you havent seen the photos, make an effort to look them out.

    If you have any questions do not hestiate to ask me.
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    (Original post by clouds)
    i meant overall rept
    Manchester's new chancellor wants to make Manchester (one of the biggest uni's in Europe) one of the best 25 research universities in the world. He also wants 5 current Nobel prize winners at the University. All this by 2015. We are currently in the times world ranking about 44 I think where as Durham were 150 something.....

    If you think Durham has a greater overall reputation then you are miss guided.
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    (Original post by material breach)
    Manchester's new chancellor wants to make Manchester (one of the biggest uni's in Europe) one of the best 15 universities in the world. He also wants 5 current Nobel prize winners at the University. All this by 2015. We are currently in the times world ranking about 44 I think where as Durham were 150 something.....

    If you think Durham has a greater overall reputation then you are miss guided.
    I completely agree. One has to bear in mind that the current university of manchester is an amalgamation of two top class universities (The Victoria University of Manchester, a.k.a the old University of Manchester and UMIST). It's massive and will probably start dominating in quite a few research areas.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    I completely agree. One has to bear in mind that the current university of manchester is an amalgamation of two top class universities (The Victoria University of Manchester, a.k.a the old University of Manchester and UMIST). It's massive and will probably start dominating in quite a few research areas.
    Certainly recently there was an article talking about the state of physics in Britain and saying the large departments like Manchester were starting to suck funds away from small departments with lower research ratings and that this might well led to greater specailisation among alot of departments.
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    thanks for all the replies guys......its getting lively in here.......

    Manchester's new chancellor wants to make Manchester (one of the biggest uni's in Europe) one of the best 15 universities in the world. He also wants 5 current Nobel prize winners at the University. All this by 2015.
    There was also a lot of talk about 300 mill they have to invest in the uni......the place is HUGE though......35000 students!


    If you have any questions do not hestiate to ask me.
    So, material breach cheers for all the info.......just one qs for you.....did you find anything weak or lacking in the college/course?????

    what physics option are you doing by the way?.......im thinking of heading down the theoretical path.....
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    (Original post by kieranom)
    thanks for all the replies guys......its getting lively in here.......

    There was also a lot of talk about 300 mill they have to invest in the uni......the place is HUGE though......35000 students!

    So, material breach cheers for all the info.......just one qs for you.....did you find anything weak or lacking in the college/course?????

    what physics option are you doing by the way?.......im thinking of heading down the theoretical path.....
    We have had one really bad lecturer this year and the whole year has suffered from it, this guy was apparently one of the cleverest people in the department but is just useless at explaining things. Its just meant we've had to do abit more work outside of lectures.

    If you do theorectical you avoid doing as much lab which can be abit of good thing as its quite hard to adjust to compared to the experiements you do at school. I have done random processes and advance dynamics, two of the harder courses this year which if you did theorectical you would have to do. They require more work than some of the other courses offered but are immencely satifisfying. Don't worry about your options to much as its very easy to switch between most of them.
 
 
 
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