Midget princess
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Okay it goes like this;
I have been offered places at both UCL and Warwick and I don’t know where to go to!!!!
UCL - mathematics – conditional – IB Diploma 39 pts, 7 maths 6 physics and 6 chemistry
Warwick – mathematics and Philosophy - conditional – IB Diploma 36 pts 6 in maths
Well it is safer to accept Warwick but UCL has got a better reputation than Warwick in Korea and if I have to go back home after education it will be easier to get a job after going to UCL than Warwick… on the other hand there are posts saying that Warwick Maths is amazing and the reputation of UCL in Korea is worsening and it will be easier to get a job in UK if I go to Warwick… (personally I wanna stay in UK) Warwick is relatively cheaper and I really love its student societies (especially choir and dance) and the language centre (I really want to continue French and Spanish in college). but I mean UCL is in London and IT’S LONDON but on the other hand I am scared of racism in London… Coventy doesn’t seem too rural either, considering how I have stayed in boarding schools in India and easily stayed having no fast food whatsoever in like a month… and Birmingham apparently is quite close (I don’t plan to shop like everyday so it’s fine if I don’t live IN a city) and I really love geometry in Maths and Warwick has got this amazing maths professor… and in UCL I need to find a place to stay after 1st year…
I am so confused!!! I don’t even think I can visit these colleges before I accept them!!!
And yeah, I am still waiting for Imperial’s reply… and I don’t even wanna think about Oxford now…
HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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BillLionheart
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Warwick is one of the top four mathematics departments in the UK. UCL is.......not! It is a great university with a good maths department. With a place to do Maths and Philosophy at Warwick you are somehow sneaking past their more stringent entrance criteria. Mathematicians in Korea will certainly know about Warwick's reputation. You may be right that employers are ill informed!

But you are right that the biggest difference is the location. Warwick is out on the edge of the city, really a rural campus. UCL is right in the middle of the biggest city in Europe. And for all its benefits London is a much scarier city than Seoul. Fast food London wins hands down. But there is really good Indian food in Coventry.
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SmileyGurl13
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Warwick Ftw
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miml
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Warwick has one of the best departments in the country (arguably just behind Cambridge). UCL on the other hand has a small shoe box for a maths department.

Unless living in a city is really important to you I suggest Warwick.
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CondensedMilk
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There's a lot of students from East Asia at UCL, and London is extremely cosmopolitan. I'd honestly think racism would be worse in Warwick than London. UCL also has a language centre where you can do French and Spanish.
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cadaeibfeceh
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You also need to consider the benefits of living on a campus (Warwick) rather than in a city (UCL). UCL will say it has a good campus-y feel to it but...you know...
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QED
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(Original post by BillLionheart)
With a place to do Maths and Philosophy at Warwick you are somehow sneaking past their more stringent entrance criteria.
I've an offer for Maths & Phil which is the standard Maths offer, so I don't agree.
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Totally Tom
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agreed, that's a rather odd offer. you *should* have to do STEP.
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Midget princess
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Actually i have done STEP... the thing is, being as dumb as i am, i forgot the password so i need 2 go back 2 korea n visit british council to ask them if they can give it to me again... is there any way that warwick could have gotten my step results even if i dint give it to them? thats creepy
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tiny hobbit
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Quite a lot of students in the Maths department at Warwick are from south east asia.
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andy12691
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Warwick wins all the way !!!
The only good thing (don't even know if its good) about small Maths department at UCL is it's in LONDON. So if you don't mind living in a quiet area, I would go for Warwick.
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aspiringmathematician
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Wow, a lot of unfounded negative criticism going UCL's way.

I'm a current second-year mathematician here at UCL and believe that the only important criterion when evaluating a mathematics department as a potential undergraduate student are:

Standard of teaching from lecturers - how good their english is, whether they're available out of lectures and the resources they offer to accompany their course
Contact time - number of hours you're in lectures and tutorials
Tutorials - For help with problem sheets as well other non-uni issues
Ability to voice an opinion you have regarding the department

Having been here for over a year, I can safely say that UCL excels in these departments (except for a lecturer of one of the eight courses we did last year who was a shocker, but thankfully that has been rectified for this year so no-one will have to suffer his poor technique!).

Naturally I may have neglected other issues but these are the ones that are important to me, because a PhD is not on my mind at the moment (and if it is, I'd like to go to Oxbridge or an Ivy-league uni just for a change of scenery), so standard of research didn't come into it.

As far as reputation goes, I'm sure you know that UCL is currently fourth in the world, granted that fact may be worthless to most.

Also, UCL's mathematics department offers a reading week, which is a great way to catch up on work, go home or perhaps just enjoy London a bit more. It may not seem like much but when you're working so hard during term time, it's a great way to unwind.

I hope I've given an insight into the other side of the coin that is this debate.
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BillLionheart
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(Original post by Midget princess)
Actually i have done STEP... the thing is, being as dumb as i am, i forgot the password so i need 2 go back 2 korea n visit british council to ask them if they can give it go me again... is there any way that warwick could have gotten my step results even if i dint give it to them? thats creepy
If you got a decent result at step I think you'd find you are keener on maths and more able than a typical UCL maths student. That said some people prefer to be "big fish in small pond". At UCL you might be near the top of the class (and a smaller class) whereas at Warwick you will be just like the other student. Some people are very competitive and will not mind that. Others function better if they are in the top quartile.
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BillLionheart
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(Original post by aspiringmathematician)
I'm a current second-year mathematician here at UCL and believe that the only important criterion when evaluating a mathematics department as a potential undergraduate student are:

Standard of teaching from lecturers - how good their english is, whether they're available out of lectures and the resources they offer to accompany their course
Contact time - number of hours you're in lectures and tutorials
Tutorials - For help with problem sheets as well other non-uni issues
Ability to voice an opinion you have regarding the department
I don't think it is "negative unfounded criticism" of UCL. UCL is a great university, but its maths dept is not in the top half dozen in the UK. It is a reverse salient". In some ways that is good. You are right the things you list are important criteria. Unfortunately they are very hard to evaluate without studying both courses, and also quite subjective. And they are certainly not the only important criteria.

As an undergrad its hard to see part of the bigger picture. Actually even junior academics often don't grasp the economics! The money a department has to hire good academic staff and to make sure they have a low enough work load to have time for you depends on research income (RAE and grants) and overseas student fees. UCL has an advantage in attracting overseas students - as we see from the OPs perspective. Their weakness in research, relative to the average in UCL, may or may not be a problem for the department's viability. I would guess though that had they done better they would be nearer the top of the queue for a new building! My impression though is that the department is on the up.

Another important and often missed point is that the reputation of your department and university in the future is important. If people say they got a maths degree from Warwick, people who know about maths are impressed. Even if it was from decades ago when it was easier to get in. So an upward trajectory is important.
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aspiringmathematician
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(Original post by BillLionheart)
If you got a decent result at step I think you'd find you are keener on maths and more able than a typical UCL maths student. That said some people prefer to be "big fish in small pond". At UCL you might be near the top of the class (and a smaller class) whereas at Warwick you will be just like the other student. Some people are very competitive and will not mind that. Others function better if they are in the top quartile.
Steady on there, I got S,2 in STEP II & III (thereby missing my Cambridge offer) before I took a gap year and I'm only in the top 20 (as opposed to top 5 or something ludicrous) AND I love mathematics, needless to say UCL attracts a lot of intelligent students who feel that being in London and attending UCL will be beneficial for their job prospects. I picked UCL over Warwick because I wanted to enjoy my life for the first time, after years of studying. I wanted to succeed academically, feel good about being in the top 20 but still have an active social life and lots of free time to play PS3! I know if I'd gone to Warwick that that wouldn't have been the case. I would've been working pretty much all the time to be doing as well as I am now, with only the knowledge that I'm a better mathematician for it being a consolation. Yes I may not be as good as some people at Warwick having been at UCL for a year but how much of a difference in mathematical ability is going to make a difference in my life? Am I going to lose out on job interviews because of it? Don't think so. Yes if I was applying for the CASM at Cambridge, if I were against someone from Warwick with a first and myself also with a first, THEN it may pose a problem, but even then it's down to me and the work I've put in to know my stuff and convince interviewers, not the university. I know a lot of people who didn't even consider the maths department and simply applied to UCL because of its reputation in the City, because they knew they would get a good education regardless.

P.S. I haven't been to the building since March last year! All of my lectures are in nice big LTs whereas you only need visit the department building if you've got a personal tutorial.
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MrShifty
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I have to agree with the sentiments of aspiringmathematician's posts on this matter.

(Original post by BillLionheart)
As an undergrad its hard to see part of the bigger picture. Actually even junior academics often don't grasp the economics! The money a department has to hire good academic staff and to make sure they have a low enough work load to have time for you depends on research income (RAE and grants) and overseas student fees.
I don't think there's a correlation between this at all. I went from a very large and well funded department to a smaller, more modestly funded one and if anything access to academic staff and the sense of community was far greater at the latter (hell, when I was an undergraduate we had to have a PhD student teaching us a third year module because the guy who normally taught it had buggered off on a sabbatical and they couldn't find a suitable replacement). Sure, in theory grant money should result in some residual benefit to the students, but in practice I'd say it varies a hell of a lot and sometimes having a research intensive department with a large student body isn't necessarly a good thing (especially if they've overloaded themselves with undergraduates) as money and staff are torn between the two, with the former, since it generates more income often being a priority.

There's also a danger that certain rift appears between an anonymous mass of students and academic staff, with the two only ever coming together in the lecture hall and the occasional tutorial. Although I did have some amazing lecturers and a wonderful personal tutor, if I'm honest I still kind of resent that my undergraduate uni received ten grand a year from my attending when what it actually paid for was, in the main, limited to the opportunity to sit in on lectures that were often so oversubscribed and impersonal that I might as well have been doing a course with the OU, and a collection of lecture notes.

Another important and often missed point is that the reputation of your department and university in the future is important. If people say they got a maths degree from Warwick, people who know about maths are impressed.
Sure, but how many people know or care about maths to such an extent? My guess is that it's very few. To be honest, maths has a certain cachet anyway because it's seen as a difficult subject, and UCL is certainly well known in general. Given these factors, I do think that if someone really liked UCL and wanted to study there, to sacrifice that for a better but slightly obscure reputation in the maths world is over egging the pudding a bit.
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achard
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(Original post by aspiringmathematician)
Wow, a lot of unfounded negative criticism going UCL's way.

I'm a current second-year mathematician here at UCL and believe that the only important criterion when evaluating a mathematics department as a potential undergraduate student are:

Standard of teaching from lecturers - how good their english is, whether they're available out of lectures and the resources they offer to accompany their course
Contact time - number of hours you're in lectures and tutorials
Tutorials - For help with problem sheets as well other non-uni issues
Ability to voice an opinion you have regarding the department

Having been here for over a year, I can safely say that UCL excels in these departments (except for a lecturer of one of the eight courses we did last year who was a shocker, but thankfully that has been rectified for this year so no-one will have to suffer his poor technique!).

Naturally I may have neglected other issues but these are the ones that are important to me, because a PhD is not on my mind at the moment (and if it is, I'd like to go to Oxbridge or an Ivy-league uni just for a change of scenery), so standard of research didn't come into it.

As far as reputation goes, I'm sure you know that UCL is currently fourth in the world, granted that fact may be worthless to most.

Also, UCL's mathematics department offers a reading week, which is a great way to catch up on work, go home or perhaps just enjoy London a bit more. It may not seem like much but when you're working so hard during term time, it's a great way to unwind.

I hope I've given an insight into the other side of the coin that is this debate.

LOL please don't tell me you actually believe that.:eek3:
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Mr M
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Hi Midget,

I am in a good position to comment on this thread as I am a UCL graduate and my son is currently reading mathematics at Warwick. UCL has a greater worldwide reputation but Warwick has a more difficult mathematics course and turns out better mathematicians (their mathematics department is arguably now second only to Cambridge in the UK).

I wouldn't worry about experiencing racism in London, it truly is a cosmopolitian multi-racial city. Warwick is a campus university but has masses of international students so there is no reason to fear racism there either. They are very different places. UCL is right in the middle of the city and it can be difficult to maintain friendships and relationships in the second and third years of your degree if you and your friends are all living in different parts of London and commuting some distance to university. Warwick students tend to live within walking distance of the university.

Read Bill Lionheart's posts carefully. Bill is extremely well informed about these matters.

Mr M
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Midget princess
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thanx everyone!!! alot of help going on here. more advices are welcome, but i have another question; if i find mathematics and philosophy too demanding in my 1st year in warwick, do you think they will let me switch to just mathematics? i mean the requirements seem to be pretty much the same.
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silent ninja
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(Original post by CondensedMilk)
There's a lot of students from East Asia at UCL, and London is extremely cosmopolitan. I'd honestly think racism would be worse in Warwick than London. UCL also has a language centre where you can do French and Spanish.
London is cosmopolitan => racism is worse at Warwick? How did you come to that conclusion? There are lots of asians here (Chinese, Korean, Malaysian) and lots of Europeans too. I'd say it is very cosmopolitan.

Warwick has a language centre too and you can take a language for credit as part of your degree-- regardless if what degree you study. Warwick Maths is also known to be one of the most flexible courses around. That's a huge plus imo and something prospective students should take note of.

(Original post by aspiringmathematician)
Steady on there, I got S,2 in STEP II & III (thereby missing my Cambridge offer) before I took a gap year and I'm only in the top 20 (as opposed to top 5 or something ludicrous) AND I love mathematics, needless to say UCL attracts a lot of intelligent students who feel that being in London and attending UCL will be beneficial for their job prospects. I picked UCL over Warwick because I wanted to enjoy my life for the first time, after years of studying. I wanted to succeed academically, feel good about being in the top 20 but still have an active social life and lots of free time to play PS3! I know if I'd gone to Warwick that that wouldn't have been the case. I would've been working pretty much all the time to be doing as well as I am now, with only the knowledge that I'm a better mathematician for it being a consolation. Yes I may not be as good as some people at Warwick having been at UCL for a year but how much of a difference in mathematical ability is going to make a difference in my life?
Not sure how this makes sense. You were willing to work really hard at Cambridge, had you got in, but since you didn't, it was somehow a bad thing to be expected to work hard at Warwick?
Also, there are loads of students who enjoy a good social life and study hard. No need for generalisations!

I considered applying to UCL, which seemed to have a really good atmosphere. The Maths dept being in an obscure location above the SU, didn't give the best impression. It was quite run down too; it needs a revamp.
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