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    I have offers for both Imperial College and St Andrew's, but am completely torn between which one to choose. Any advice or comments would be appreciated. Which would you choose and why?

    (Original post by medisam)
    I have offers for both Imperial College and St Andrew's, but am completely torn between which one to choose. Any advice or comments would be appreciated. Which would you choose and why?
    Here is a copy-paste of the response i gave a student who was deciding to go to either Imperial or UCL

    Firstly, well done on your offers, and i would say that Imperial College London would be my choice.

    I have to add that medicine anywhere is worthwhile, and St Andrews is a great medical school. However, here are a few reasons why I firmed Imperial:

    Excellent Course Structure:

    There is a mix of lectures (a lot but not too much),Laboratory work, full body dissections, PBL to build up skills , early contact with G.P's and patients in their homes.

    Imperial is a powerhouse for medical research. You're going to be taught by experts, and have a great chance to engage in medical research too.

    You have access to London’s Hospitals during your clinical years as well.

    Imperial allows you to under-take in independent medical research via the URPO, via summer schemes or doing term time. You can even get grants to do this. That speaks for itself.

    In addition, Imperial has an entire library floor in it's university library dedicated just to medical students.

    Course Structure:

    Years 1 and 2: focus on three core elements: the scientific basis of medicine; doctor and patient; and clinical experience.
    Year 3: three 10-week clinical attachments with a programme of live lectures and e-learning and a programme introducing clinical specialties.
    Year 4: working towards the BSc - undertaking a series of modules and a supervised research project or a specialist course giving you an opportunity to delve deeply into a subject that catches your interest.
    Year 5: a dedicated pathology course followed by six clinical specialities.
    Year 6: a range of clinical attachments and lecture courses designed to prepare you for your first job as a doctor, specialised study modules and private study periods.

    The BSC degree you do must be related to medicine in some way. (not sure if they allow you to go elsewhere. However, why do a degree in theology or arts ? The bonus is you’re doing a scientific degree , in a research powerhouse, where you are surrounded by world leading scientists.

    Great pastoral support and medical societies:

    In addition to getting support from lecturers, you also gain quite a lot of pastoral support from what i have gathered. Every student is assigned 'medic parents' who are there to support , help, and guide them, in addition to the obvious support by faculty staff ect. In addition imperial has quite amazing societies which enrich and support ones learning, which i don't think exist in the way they do else-where.

    Med-Ed society,

    Where you receive great pastoral support during clinical years (after year 1 and 2)


    Surgical Society,

    Open to all years, where you can gain skills in anatomy and go to conferences and other very exiting things.


    Neurological Society

    This is also open to all years, and all departments. Again, you get to be part of research, conferences, ect . You're learning from the best.


    Imperial College Horizons

    Aside from the fact Imperial College has a business school, you get a very unique opportunity to study a broad range of subjects along-side your degree at Imperial. It really is fantastic.

    With the Imperial College Horizons course, you can participate in http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/horizons

    This gives you the chance to take a language, or a humanities , or a business or humanities with science course alongside your degree. This really allows you to be much more well rounded and participate in your other areas of interest.

    Social-Life at Imperial is superb from what I have heard, and seen.

    Imperial college London have one of the largest student unions – a proper one.

    In addition, Imperial has over 300 societies from skydiving to water diving. From football to tennis. From philosophy to poetry. These are rigorous well run societies with chances to go abroad, ect.

    Take a look for yourself: https://www.imperialcollegeunion.org/activities

    To add to this, Imperial College London were voted for having one of the best first year accommodations in the country.

    The 'bad social life' myth probably comes from the fact there are quite a few more boys than girls at imperial(although it is close to even for medicine), or that less probably engage in drinking alcohol, getting intoxicated, and dancing awkwardly But you're in London. In addition, i am sure imperial has Bars (i have seen them) although it is not for me.



    Ethos is an absolutely fantastic Gym area at Imperial. Here are the main things it has.

    Brand new state of the art, expansive Gym:

    Large swimming pool:

    The cost for using a swimming pool and a state of the art gym for six years is £30. That is all you pay as a 6 year MBBS student.

    There are however, other services at ethos which may have an additional fee:

    Generous Financial Support

    Imperial give generous grants for students who have a household income of up to 60,001 pounds. If your parents earn a combined of 50,000 and less, you get 2400 pounds a year.

    To add, there are a number of scholarships up for grabs in the MMBS degree.

    + If you want to know why Imperial as an over-all university in London, here's a thread i made: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=2289964

    My gut-feeling on the atmosphere

    I think this is a subjective thing, and you will have to make your own decision. However, I personally really liked the tour. The tour guides were so down to earth, friendly, and welcoming.

    The students I was waiting with were incredibly polite and friendly – i.e applicants.

    In addition a few medical students actually spent half an hour helping me to find one of the medical tour guide organisers –or something they thought would know. These students were so welcoming and friendly.

    I loved South Kensington. The Natural History Museum is right at imperials door step, as well as other beautiful buildings.

    I also liked Imperial itself, from the laboratories, to the facilities and buildings which we were shown on the tour. The spirally-lecture theatre also seemed cool.

    To add, the lecturer interviewing me(the middle guy apparently was one of the main staff and chaired the interview) was so polite and friendly. You get what you give back. If you are diligent, friendly, down to earth but have emotional intelligence, most of the time you get the same respect back.

    I have no doubts there will be bad sides, but that's life, and no university is perfect. Whatever your choice, i posted this to allow you to make a more informed decision, and wish you and anyone else who reads this the best of luck getting into any medical school

    (Original post by medisam)
    I have offers for both Imperial College and St Andrew's, but am completely torn between which one to choose. Any advice or comments would be appreciated. Which would you choose and why?
    St Andrews has all the things that Imperial has with the exception of strong research. However, With St Andrews, you get to get your final degree from a different university and you spend 3 years in each place. Imagine how boring it would be to spend 6 years at Imperial in London. Its much better to spend 3 years in one place and 3 years in another, get 2 degrees from 2 universities and experience 2 different worlds. St Andrews will provide the university town, rural experience and your clinical school will provide the big city feel.

    Both schools will give you a BSc
    Both schools are 6 years
    Both schools have great societies
    Both schools are ranked well in the UK
    Both schools have full body dissection
    Both schools are well known internationally (albeit in different places, St Andrews is more well known in North America whereas Imperial is more well known in Europe and Asia)

    St Andrews is adding this year a Barts option meaning you can spend your final 3 years in London at Barts.

    Overall its Manchester, Barts, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee as choices. A few each year end up at Cambridge, Oxford or other London schools.

    St Andrews curriculum in 1st year is about 10-12 lectures per week, 1 CBL every 3 weeks, 1 or 2 dissections per week, 1 lab every 2 weeks, 1 comm skills every 2 weeks.

    In your final half of 3rd year you do a research dissertation and you do get 2.5 years of basic sciences which serves you well in clinical school.
Have you ever experienced racism/sexism at uni?

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