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UCL or Imperial for Biochemistry Watch

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    I currently have offers from both Imperial and UCL (biochemistry at imp and natural sciences at ucl). I really don't know which to put as my firm choice and my dilemma is the balance between the slightly more reputed (imperial) vs. the slightly more social (UCL). To what side should I tilt? Any suggestions/comments would be much appreciated. Thank you
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    I'm in a nearly identical situation. I have offers from both Imperial College London and University College London for a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry. For me, the offer to Imperial College London comes with easier conditions than that of University College London. I'm almost decidedly going to respond with firm to Imperial College London.

    In doing quite a bit of research on and off the Internet, I've decided to go with Imperial College London for the career aspects of graduating from there. They're not different at all in terms of their teaching quality (as far as I can ascertain), but Imperial College London offers courses that align more properly with my research interests. Moreover, I feel Imperial College London has a bit of a reputation for superb science degrees, which could be reflected in your jobs searches after graduating.

    There's also something to be said for what you'd like to do after you graduate with your Bachelor of Science degree. If you're considering postgraduate study in pursuit of an advanced degree, you may wish to shoot for one over the other depending on their research interests. Though you may not research as an undergraduate, being in an environment in which resources are available to you on specific topics is overwhelmingly helpful. Imperial has more of a focus on quantitative aspects of biochemistry, along with a strong representation from biophysicists and neurobiochemists. UCL has a focus on genetics and cell regulation. At Imperial, you also have access to more renoun mathematics and physics courses, which may be taken in the second and possibly final years. At UCL, you have the same options plus additional options for a wide range of subject areas.

    In terms of social life, I think it is true that it would be harder to find a social niche intracourse within Imperial. That is, the social life within Imperial are probably more lackluster than within UCL. They both have about the same number of clubs and societies (approximately 300). Always remember that either way, you'll be in the heart of London, in which there is always something to do or someone to see.

    My recommendation is to look indepth at their webpages about such areas as postgraduate research interests, course module descriptions, structure of teaching, student life, accomodation, reading lists and syllabi, and then e-mail course coordinators if you have more questions. I bombarded them with my queries.

    Finally, I suggest watching some things from both universities on iTunes U. This may give you an idea of the quality of lectures, though it must be taken with a grain of salt as they are respresentative of special lectures. Overall, both universities are world-renound (literally!) and have amazing teaching quality. If this analogy helps at all, it's like the difference between Yale and MIT in the USA: Yale is a large university that strives towards excellence in all subject areas, whereas MIT is focused on sciences. I view UCL as being a world-class university for almost any subject, while I value Imperial's reputation as a powerhouse of research in sciences and mathematics.

    Think about what it is you really want. If you're looking to work a bit harder, but have a slightly better prestige attached to your degree because of it, go for Imperial. If you're looking to socialize a bit more and with a larger diversity of people, but don't mind that you won't be surrounded by the scientific specialty for which Imperial is known, go for UCL.
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    Thank you for that detailed reply. I tried to look into specific fields of biochemistry that both universities specialise in but I was rather unsuccessful. You mentioned that UCL has a focus of genetics and cell regulation, so rather on the biological side, whilst Imperial focuses more biophysics and neurobiochemistry. I am sure those are only a few domains of many, but where do you get these facts from? Obviously I have found the university internet sites for each department but I can't quite seem to find where they mention that a particular field is worthy of more focus, more investment and time. I would really appreciate if you could post any useful URL's for this query. Thank you.
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    (Original post by BSKneisel)
    I'm in a nearly identical situation. I have offers from both Imperial College London and University College London for a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry. For me, the offer to Imperial College London comes with easier conditions than that of University College London. I'm almost decidedly going to respond with firm to Imperial College London.

    In doing quite a bit of research on and off the Internet, I've decided to go with Imperial College London for the career aspects of graduating from there. They're not different at all in terms of their teaching quality (as far as I can ascertain), but Imperial College London offers courses that align more properly with my research interests. Moreover, I feel Imperial College London has a bit of a reputation for superb science degrees, which could be reflected in your jobs searches after graduating.

    There's also something to be said for what you'd like to do after you graduate with your Bachelor of Science degree. If you're considering postgraduate study in pursuit of an advanced degree, you may wish to shoot for one over the other depending on their research interests. Though you may not research as an undergraduate, being in an environment in which resources are available to you on specific topics is overwhelmingly helpful. Imperial has more of a focus on quantitative aspects of biochemistry, along with a strong representation from biophysicists and neurobiochemists. UCL has a focus on genetics and cell regulation. At Imperial, you also have access to more renoun mathematics and physics courses, which may be taken in the second and possibly final years. At UCL, you have the same options plus additional options for a wide range of subject areas.

    In terms of social life, I think it is true that it would be harder to find a social niche intracourse within Imperial. That is, the social life within Imperial are probably more lackluster than within UCL. They both have about the same number of clubs and societies (approximately 300). Always remember that either way, you'll be in the heart of London, in which there is always something to do or someone to see.

    My recommendation is to look indepth at their webpages about such areas as postgraduate research interests, course module descriptions, structure of teaching, student life, accomodation, reading lists and syllabi, and then e-mail course coordinators if you have more questions. I bombarded them with my queries.

    Finally, I suggest watching some things from both universities on iTunes U. This may give you an idea of the quality of lectures, though it must be taken with a grain of salt as they are respresentative of special lectures. Overall, both universities are world-renound (literally!) and have amazing teaching quality. If this analogy helps at all, it's like the difference between Yale and MIT in the USA: Yale is a large university that strives towards excellence in all subject areas, whereas MIT is focused on sciences. I view UCL as being a world-class university for almost any subject, while I value Imperial's reputation as a powerhouse of research in sciences and mathematics.

    Think about what it is you really want. If you're looking to work a bit harder, but have a slightly better prestige attached to your degree because of it, go for Imperial. If you're looking to socialize a bit more and with a larger diversity of people, but don't mind that you won't be surrounded by the scientific specialty for which Imperial is known, go for UCL.
    Thank you for that detailed reply. I tried to look into specific fields of biochemistry that both universities specialise in but I was rather unsuccessful. You mentioned that UCL has a focus of genetics and cell regulation, so rather on the biological side, whilst Imperial focuses more biophysics and neurobiochemistry. I am sure those are only a few domains of many, but where do you get these facts from? Obviously I have found the university internet sites for each department but I can't quite seem to find where they mention that a particular field is worthy of more focus, more investment and time. I would really appreciate if you could post any useful URL's for this query. Thank you.
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    (Original post by scalf)
    I currently have offers from both Imperial and UCL (biochemistry at imp and natural sciences at ucl). I really don't know which to put as my firm choice and my dilemma is the balance between the slightly more reputed (imperial) vs. the slightly more social (UCL). To what side should I tilt? Any suggestions/comments would be much appreciated. Thank you
    SAME! AAB Imperial, AAA UCL

    I decided to pick UCL:
    -Natural Science is broader and I can pick which modules interest me exactly (Some of the Biochem modules seem boring). I'm not sure what I want to get into but organic chemistry + brain behaviour and cognition at UCL is what I want to pick
    -I know Imperial has better career prospects
    -UCL course was MSci and Imperial coures was BSc (so if I wanted to do MSci at Imperial after, I'd have the 9k fees) - this is minor I know but I was taking everything into consideration

    I thought I would enjoy UCL Nat Sci more so I picked that
 
 
 
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