Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    I'm currently studying a physics foundation year at Manchester. I may be staying here next year, but I may be switching university's. I'm in the extremely lucky position of having offers from both Edinburgh (unconditional) and Bristol (conditional) to study physics. I'm having a hard time deciding where to go with them though, and I'd appreciate some help.

    In terms of location, I feel I would enjoy Bristol more. However, the academics concern me slightly. It doesn't seem to have as wide an array of later year options as Edinburgh, and I'm worried that the physics education won't be as thorough or as academically rigorous. Part of this concern comes - perhaps foolishly - from the fact that the typical offer for Physics is relatively low compared to other university's of similar calibre.

    Prestige etc. isn't an issue (I'm not interested in finance or anything like that).

    If anyone could advise on this matter I'd hugely appreciate it
    • Community Assistant
    • CV Helper
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    CV Helper
    (Original post by JuliusDS92)
    .................
    I can't imagine for a moment that the physics course at Bristol lacks academic rigour!

    What offer did you get, if you are doing a Foundation degree? Could you have been given a contextual offer of some sort?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    I can't imagine for a moment that the physics course at Bristol lacks academic rigour!

    What offer did you get, if you are doing a Foundation degree? Could you have been given a contextual offer of some sort?
    My offer is to pass the year with 65%. To stay in Manchester, I need 75% (distributed in a specific away across all 12 units).
    • Community Assistant
    • CV Helper
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    CV Helper
    (Original post by JuliusDS92)
    My offer is to pass the year with 65%. To stay in Manchester, I need 75% (distributed in a specific away across all 12 units).
    I can't be sure, but I suspect you've got a contextual offer from Bristol, because you have a non-traditional background, come from a poor performing school or similar. I'd snap them up on a bargain of an offer!

    It is pretty foolish to worry about getting a low offer - your first graduate position will be based in part on the university you went to and your degree class, not the offer you were made on entry!
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    *subscribes to thread*
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    I can't be sure, but I suspect you've got a contextual offer from Bristol, because you have a non-traditional background, come from a poor performing school or similar. I'd snap them up on a bargain of an offer!

    It is pretty foolish to worry about getting a low offer - your first graduate position will be based in part on the university you went to and your degree class, not the offer you were made on entry!
    Not to go completely off topic, but I was referring more to the typical A-level offer - i.e. AAB/ABB.
    • Community Assistant
    • CV Helper
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    CV Helper
    (Original post by JuliusDS92)
    Not to go completely off topic, but I was referring more to the typical A-level offer - i.e. AAB/ABB.
    I wouldn't worry about it, the differences are very minor, what there's less than one A level grade on average between Edinburgh offers and Bristol offers (Complete University Guide subject rankings - not saying they are the best, but it's a data point)?

    Take a look at the careers that people go on to after their degree and see if those are places you'd like to work in, look at the options and see if they are options you'd like to take, look at the department research specialisms and see if they are things you'd like to be close to and learn more about, take a look at the city and whether it is a place you'd like to live etc.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Bristol seems to have less options than Edinburgh though, and I'm not keen on the emphasis on labs.

    So academically I'm leaning towards Edinburgh - can anyone make a case for Bristol?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    The lab work in the Bristol curriculum only accounts for a small percentage of the credits, there was a post somewhere on here recently where someone posted the student handbook they are given when they start the course with all the details about the modules and credits etc.

    EDIT: Actiually I just double checked it, its actually 1/3 of the mark, at least for Core Physics A anyway, I assume it would be similar for the others.

    How much lab work is done in Edinburgh?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JuliusDS92)
    Bristol seems to have less options than Edinburgh though, and I'm not keen on the emphasis on labs.

    So academically I'm leaning towards Edinburgh - can anyone make a case for Bristol?
    I'm not sure if Bristol emphasise Lab work more than other departments, it's just Bristol assess it and use it as a contribution to your grade; I believe that's the only difference. Like Faradai said, it counts as 1/3 of Core Physics A as they call it. There is also Core Physics C, maths and a further 40 credits of options so it's not worth a massive proportion of the grade for the first year. I stand to be corrected
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by FaraDai)
    The lab work in the Bristol curriculum only accounts for a small percentage of the credits, there was a post somewhere on here recently where someone posted the student handbook they are given when they start the course with all the details about the modules and credits etc.

    EDIT: Actiually I just double checked it, its actually 1/3 of the mark, at least for Core Physics A anyway, I assume it would be similar for the others.

    How much lab work is done in Edinburgh?
    Not sure how much is done in Edinburgh, actually.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    First year labs account for 10/120 credit points, you'll have labs from 12-5 (with an hour for lunch) every week. So it's basically one afternoon a week spent on labs, second year that only increases to being from 10-5, which means it's one day a week of labs, 4 days of lectures.

    As for Edinburgh requiring higher grades to get it, it's maybe better worth looking at the average UCAS points of people who accept the offer and get in, rather than the offer itself. When it comes to that (for 2013 according to the Guardian), Edinburgh has 514 v 498 for Bristol, so on average there is less than a grade between any given physics student at either university.

    As for options, first year in bristol has 50 open credit points of your choice, second year is entirely closed with no options, third year you choose either 5 or 6 courses depending on if you are BSc or Msci respectively. These come from a list of about 12-15 different options, and constitute either 50 or 60 credit points total, with the remaining points being compulsory modules.

    edit: If I missed anything, please let me know!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rubgish)
    First year labs account for 10/120 credit points, you'll have labs from 12-5 (with an hour for lunch) every week. So it's basically one afternoon a week spent on labs, second year that only increases to being from 10-5, which means it's one day a week of labs, 4 days of lectures.

    As for Edinburgh requiring higher grades to get it, it's maybe better worth looking at the average UCAS points of people who accept the offer and get in, rather than the offer itself. When it comes to that (for 2013 according to the Guardian), Edinburgh has 514 v 498 for Bristol, so on average there is less than a grade between any given physics student at either university.

    As for options, first year in bristol has 50 open credit points of your choice, second year is entirely closed with no options, third year you choose either 5 or 6 courses depending on if you are BSc or Msci respectively. These come from a list of about 12-15 different options, and constitute either 50 or 60 credit points total, with the remaining points being compulsory modules.

    edit: If I missed anything, please let me know!
    How rigorous an education would you say the Bristol course provides? Graduating from Bristol, would you say that one would have an equal knowledge/understanding of physics as from places like Edinburgh/UCL/KCL/Manchester/other places of a similar calibre? I know this might be impossible to answer, but I'm just interested in what your sense is.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JuliusDS92)
    How rigorous an education would you say the Bristol course provides? Graduating from Bristol, would you say that one would have an equal knowledge/understanding of physics as from places like Edinburgh/UCL/KCL/Manchester/other places of a similar calibre? I know this might be impossible to answer, but I'm just interested in what your sense is.

    I'd definitely say it's just as rigorous as any of those places, it's certainly not an easy course and it covers a significant amount of material in a good level of depth, I don't think you'd find anyone here who is not satisfied with the level of rigor in the course itself.

    I do not know if this is true for you, but I feel it is likely true in general, that people have this sort of worry about Bristol as it tends to do quite poorly in levels of student satisfaction in the league tables. Now, I can't say exactly why this is, but speaking to friends at other universities who have much higher student satisfaction ratings, they seem to have exactly the same opinions as me. What this leads me to believe is that it's not that Bristol is worse than other places, it's that the students here expect more.

    Now to explain why I think that, It is that Bristol generally speaking has a very high % of private & grammar school pupils who are used to working in very small classes with lots of input and guidance. This isn't what happens at Bristol (and all universities in general), so they feel like they aren't getting the level of input and attention they deserve. So I don't feel this should be taken as a representation of the level of the course, or of the quality of teaching, more so that it is heavily weighted by the pupils expectations.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rubgish)
    First year labs account for 10/120 credit points, you'll have labs from 12-5 (with an hour for lunch) every week. So it's basically one afternoon a week spent on labs, second year that only increases to being from 10-5, which means it's one day a week of labs, 4 days of lectures.

    As for Edinburgh requiring higher grades to get it, it's maybe better worth looking at the average UCAS points of people who accept the offer and get in, rather than the offer itself. When it comes to that (for 2013 according to the Guardian), Edinburgh has 514 v 498 for Bristol, so on average there is less than a grade between any given physics student at either university.

    As for options, first year in bristol has 50 open credit points of your choice, second year is entirely closed with no options, third year you choose either 5 or 6 courses depending on if you are BSc or Msci respectively. These come from a list of about 12-15 different options, and constitute either 50 or 60 credit points total, with the remaining points being compulsory modules.

    edit: If I missed anything, please let me know!
    Hi, I didnt really want to start a new thread about this but can I ask how easy is it to speak to lecturers outside of lectures to ask questions etc please?. Ive heard some uni's have "open door" policies where it can be pretty easy to speak to someone, even at odd hours and then others such as Edinburgh (that someone on another thread just mentioned) can be quite difficult to get to see anyone sometimes.

    Thanks.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by FaraDai)
    Hi, I didnt really want to start a new thread about this but can I ask how easy is it to speak to lecturers outside of lectures to ask questions etc please?. Ive heard some uni's have "open door" policies where it can be pretty easy to speak to someone, even at odd hours and then others such as Edinburgh (that someone on another thread just mentioned) can be quite difficult to get to see anyone sometimes.

    Thanks.
    I'm not exactly sure what the universities policy on it is, but for the most part, lecturers will hang around for a little while after lectures to answer any immediate questions, and will also specifically set aside an hour or two a week where you can go and talk to them/ask any questions.

    You can also just hit them up with an email, they'll let you know when they are free so you can go and talk to them. You can always just try going to their office, but quite often either a) they won't be there, or b) they'll be busy and sort out a time when they are free. It does depend on who the lecturer is really, more than anything else.

    ((note my experience of this is limited as i've never felt the need to ask any questions outside of lectures, with the exception of a couple at the end of lectures, so this is just my impression and from having spoke to people who do go and see lecturers))
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rubgish)
    I'm not exactly sure what the universities policy on it is, but for the most part, lecturers will hang around for a little while after lectures to answer any immediate questions, and will also specifically set aside an hour or two a week where you can go and talk to them/ask any questions.

    You can also just hit them up with an email, they'll let you know when they are free so you can go and talk to them. You can always just try going to their office, but quite often either a) they won't be there, or b) they'll be busy and sort out a time when they are free. It does depend on who the lecturer is really, more than anything else.

    ((note my experience of this is limited as i've never felt the need to ask any questions outside of lectures, with the exception of a couple at the end of lectures, so this is just my impression and from having spoke to people who do go and see lecturers))
    OK, thanks
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Brexit voters: Do you stand by your vote?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Write a reply...
    Reply
    Hide
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.