Jewagent
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#1
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
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TL;DR - What has Bristol got to recommend it, and what has Birmingham got to recommend it, for the maths department. Like what difference does funding actually make in maths.

I've scanned through all the league tables and everything and all the statistics and everyone's opinions and not a single person has laid out clearly as to why they wrote what they wrote.
Everyone ranks Bristol as a top university, basically what you go for if Oxbridge don't like you, and not once in Birmingham put in that sacred ring, but conversely, I've seen the two unis - Bristol looks like ****, with the accommodation even worse, while Birmingham looks friggin' beautiful, with actual toilets. Real, honest to god toilets. And the accommodation didn't smell.
Bristol is consistently listed as one of the best universities, with excellent research ties and funding, but the maths building is cramped, holding twice as many people as it should, and is waiting on a hand-me-down from the biology department after they go into their new building, which won't be open till my 2nd year. Birmingham managed to achieve 'university of the year' from The Times, this very year, but not a single person I've talked to has listed it as something to be impressed by.
The students in Bristol seemed both bored and bothered by being there, whereas Birmingham they seemed like they actually enjoyed their time there.
Everything I've seen has lead me to believe that Bristol is not only bad, but Birmingham is excellent. Bristol is old and has nothing really devoted to the maths department, whereas Birmingham is new and seems to actually like its students, but once again, everyone SAYS that Bristol is in another league above Birmingham.
And please, please, please don't say that it's up to me what I want. What I want is a god damn university education that can land me a job better than someone else, while actually letting me enjoy the experience.

Side note - Bristol's typical offer is AAA (for further maths students), while mine is AAB (crappy college), and Birmingham's is AAB.
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L4L4
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As a Master's student at Birmingham who's Master's incorporates modules which are all fully from the year 3 BSc or the year 4 of MSci courses, I would give the follow advice.
Do not choose Birmingham, they are extremely stuck in the past - about 20 years in the past at least. The lecturers do not take criticism well in the modular feedbacks, so will stay stuck in the rut they have got themselves into.
There is a significant lack of study space in the University in general. They are extremely good at selling themselves on open day, by telling you what you want to hear, ie I was told my course was a extremely Applied course aimed at teaching you techniques that can be used in industry and how to interpret them. I reality they are obsessed with theory even a module called applied statistics is more theory than applied. They do not deserve there good ranking position.
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Jewagent
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(Original post by L4L4)
As a Master's student at Birmingham who's Master's incorporates modules which are all fully from the year 3 BSc or the year 4 of MSci courses, I would give the follow advice.
Do not choose Birmingham, they are extremely stuck in the past - about 20 years in the past at least. The lecturers do not take criticism well in the modular feedbacks, so will stay stuck in the rut they have got themselves into.
There is a significant lack of study space in the University in general. They are extremely good at selling themselves on open day, by telling you what you want to hear, ie I was told my course was a extremely Applied course aimed at teaching you techniques that can be used in industry and how to interpret them. I reality they are obsessed with theory even a module called applied statistics is more theory than applied. They do not deserve there good ranking position.
You can't imagine how much I value this honest answer. It's nice to hear an actual reason for a not 'top' position. Conversely, I'm a real fan of theory based work, but then again the description you've given is still a sub-par picture.
Thanks.
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L4L4
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(Original post by Jewagent)
You can't imagine how much I value this honest answer. It's nice to hear an actual reason for a not 'top' position. Conversely, I'm a real fan of theory based work, but then again the description you've given is still a sub-par picture.
Thanks.
To be completely honest you can't really say if you will prefer theory or applied in the long run as I was much better at theory going into my undergrad however at undergrad I realised I was better at applied.
Also if you want to go down the theory route in the long run, that leads to PhD and working in a uni, most industries are much more interested in Applied.

The decision is yours to make, my biggest piece of advice is completely ignore all league tables and reputation as they do not guarantee a good degree. So ask as many questions as you can think of towards the students and lecturers at the Uni's you are interested in. And even though I have focused on academics, the social aspect is equally as important too, as if you are unhappy in your social life it will affect your performance in your degree.

Any other questions you want to ask me feel free to ask
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Jewagent
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(Original post by L4L4)
To be completely honest you can't really say if you will prefer theory or applied in the long run as I was much better at theory going into my undergrad however at undergrad I realised I was better at applied.
Also if you want to go down the theory route in the long run, that leads to PhD and working in a uni, most industries are much more interested in Applied.

The decision is yours to make, my biggest piece of advice is completely ignore all league tables and reputation as they do not guarantee a good degree. So ask as many questions as you can think of towards the students and lecturers at the Uni's you are interested in. And even though I have focused on academics, the social aspect is equally as important too, as if you are unhappy in your social life it will affect your performance in your degree.

Any other questions you want to ask me feel free to ask
now if only someone from bristol could say something in favour of it.
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