MinnieD
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So I applied way back in October when I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to study for:

Oxford-Biomedical sciences (rejected)
Bath-natural sciences/year abroad
Lancaster-natural science/year abroad/integrated masters
Exeter(Cornwall campus)-animal behaviour
St. Andrews-neuroscience

I visited very few open days and so based my decisions on the courses. However, I now know that I want to study neuroscience which leaves me with only one option - St. Andrews. I visited on Wednesday for the first time and, as lovely as it is and as much as I love the beach, I came away with the gut feeling that I was making a huge mistake. It just didn't feel very "me". (I actually cried on the drive home.) The biggest thing was the atmosphere of the place - it's a seaside town with not much going on. No music scene (I'm into indie/alternative music and gigs and clubbing and art galleries etc.) Not much shopping-wise (NO TOPSHOP!) I'm now seriously questioning if I should go there and I need major advice!!!

So I have found that Leeds have a neuroscience/integrated masters course on UCAS Extra. The idea of Leeds excites me unlike St. Andrews - the nightlife, social scene, shopping, music and art are exactly what I picture when I think about uni but is it worth rejecting 4 good offers and gambling on just one course? Or is it stupid to reject an offer from such a prestigious uni? (uni experience is more important to me than prestige btw) Or will I enjoy university wherever I am? Any advice would be muchly appreciated!!


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ElizabethRG
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(Original post by MinnieD)
So I applied way back in October when I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to study for:

Oxford-Biomedical sciences (rejected)
Bath-natural sciences/year abroad
Lancaster-natural science/year abroad/integrated masters
Exeter(Cornwall campus)-animal behaviour
St. Andrews-neuroscience

I visited very few open days and so based my decisions on the courses. However, I now know that I want to study neuroscience which leaves me with only one option - St. Andrews. I visited on Wednesday for the first time and, as lovely as it is and as much as I love the beach, I came away with the gut feeling that I was making a huge mistake. It just didn't feel very "me". (I actually cried on the drive home.) The biggest thing was the atmosphere of the place - it's a seaside town with not much going on. No music scene (I'm into indie/alternative music and gigs and clubbing and art galleries etc.) Not much shopping-wise (NO TOPSHOP!) I'm now seriously questioning if I should go there and I need major advice!!!

So I have found that Leeds have a neuroscience/integrated masters course on UCAS Extra. The idea of Leeds excites me unlike St. Andrews - the nightlife, social scene, shopping, music and art are exactly what I picture when I think about uni but is it worth rejecting 4 good offers and gambling on just one course? Or is it stupid to reject an offer from such a prestigious uni? (uni experience is more important to me than prestige btw) Or will I enjoy university wherever I am? Any advice would be muchly appreciated!!


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If St Andrews doesn't feel right for you, don't go. You'll be upset with yourself if you're miserable, and while you might come to enjoy it, you're better off going for what you want as opposed to what's logical. If you don't get into Leeds, you can take a gap year, get some more experience in the field, and apply next year.
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JTR__
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From what you've said, I would suggest looking more into the Leeds course. You're obviously not going to be 100% happy with St Andrews, and although you may love it when you arrive, I wouldn't take the risk. Is there an open day coming up that you could possibly attend? If the nightlife is what you care more about, then it may be more for you.

However, if you are interested in a course that ranks between the two, you may be better off taking a gap year, to assess your priorities and apply to different universities. You could use the year to gain work experience, travel and try new things. Considering St Andrews has accepted you, you must be quite intelligent, so there may be universities out there that give you the best of both worlds.

A third option would be to contact your other universities. I'm not sure whether or not they offer neuroscience, but if they do, they may be willing to switch you onto that course, in which case I would call them up as soon as possible. As they are all biological-science related, it would most likely be within the same department- it's not as if you're asking to go from Russian to neuroscience!

Anyway, I can't think of anything else to add, so all the best, and good luck regardless of what course you choose to do! xx
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MinnieD
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Thanks for your opinions! Unfortunately none of them do do neuroscience which is a bummer and I can't really afford a gap year and I'm really excited about moving to university! I'm just not sure if St. Andrews excites me that much :L loads of people say you will enjoy uni wherever you go but it seems that for lots of people on here at St. Andrews that's really not the case. I think both of you go and I just wonder - does it offer the stereotypical student lifestyle?


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nml181
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(Original post by MinnieD)
So I applied way back in October when I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to study for:

Oxford-Biomedical sciences (rejected)
Bath-natural sciences/year abroad
Lancaster-natural science/year abroad/integrated masters
Exeter(Cornwall campus)-animal behaviour
St. Andrews-neuroscience

I visited very few open days and so based my decisions on the courses. However, I now know that I want to study neuroscience which leaves me with only one option - St. Andrews. I visited on Wednesday for the first time and, as lovely as it is and as much as I love the beach, I came away with the gut feeling that I was making a huge mistake. It just didn't feel very "me". (I actually cried on the drive home.) The biggest thing was the atmosphere of the place - it's a seaside town with not much going on. No music scene (I'm into indie/alternative music and gigs and clubbing and art galleries etc.) Not much shopping-wise (NO TOPSHOP!) I'm now seriously questioning if I should go there and I need major advice!!!

So I have found that Leeds have a neuroscience/integrated masters course on UCAS Extra. The idea of Leeds excites me unlike St. Andrews - the nightlife, social scene, shopping, music and art are exactly what I picture when I think about uni but is it worth rejecting 4 good offers and gambling on just one course? Or is it stupid to reject an offer from such a prestigious uni? (uni experience is more important to me than prestige btw) Or will I enjoy university wherever I am? Any advice would be muchly appreciated!!

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Sorry you don't think St. A's is a good fit. Could you possibly do one year there and transfer? That way you can sample student life (you could realize that you make your own fun - and Dundee and Edinburgh are not far away if you need Topshop etc) and minimize the risk. BTW, check out St Andrews's student radio (loads of indie and alternative music - Star radio).
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MinnieD
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(Original post by nml181)
Sorry you don't think St. A's is a good fit. Could you possibly do one year there and transfer? That way you can sample student life (you could realize that you make your own fun - and Dundee and Edinburgh are not far away if you need Topshop etc) and minimize the risk. BTW, check out St Andrews's student radio (loads of indie and alternative music - Star radio).
Yeah I have considered all of this but do people actually regularly go to Dundee and Edinburgh? I didn't really get that impression on the open day...



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Carnationlilyrose
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Have you checked with Leeds that this course is actually available in Extra? The lists are not always up to date. Ucas puts all courses in as a default and it's up to the universities to take them out if they aren't available, which is rarely one of their priorities. Don't do anything without calling Leeds first.
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MinnieD
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(Original post by carnationlilyrose)
Have you checked with Leeds that this course is actually available in Extra? The lists are not always up to date. Ucas puts all courses in as a default and it's up to the universities to take them out if they aren't available, which is rarely one of their priorities. Don't do anything without calling Leeds first.
Oh of course I won't! Too risky haha! It does say it's available on extra but I'll definitely ring and ask whether they would consider my application first I really did have my heart set on St. Andrews though... I just keep trying to convince myself that I would be happy there but I'm just so indecisive


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Crumpet1
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Phone Leeds before you reject anywhere. If you were holding both a Leeds offer and a St Andrews offer (I know it's not possible, but just imagine) which would you choose, and how easy would the decision be?
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LemonLizards
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I've heard problems about St.Andrews in terms of there being not much to do.

I'm a bit confused why you said you can't afford a gap year. If you have a gap year, you'll stay at home (which will be cheaper than halls) or even get a job which will help pay for university. Often maintenance loans do not cover your living expenses alone at university, especially if your household income is more than £50,000 (that's the figure I believe?) and you get minimum loan grant as a result (where it's nigh impossible to cover costs without parents support).

I wouldn't do one year and transfer. You'll miss the friends you made at the other university, and the whole freshers experience at your favored uni is lost. Plus no guarantee you'll be able to switch.

If you want to go to uni this year, I'd reject St.Andrews and take a chance on Leeds. You'll most likely get in if it's available given you got into the rest of your choices. I don't think Prestige will matter too much, Leeds is a very good uni too.

Having said that, if you've decided to go for neuroscience, maybe looking into more unis, and applying next year is a better option. Then you'll be able to pick the uni you truly want to go for. I mean you say you want lots of stuff to do, so you might want to give places like UCL a shot who have an excellent neuroscience course, and in London there's far more to do than anywhere else.

Regardless, OP I would also email courses/admissions of neuroscience courses you want to go to, even if they don't appear in extra. No harm can come of it, just explain your decision, and tell they you have the grades/predicted grades. Some uni courses might not bother to put their courses in extra, or a space has suddenly freed up that they can give to you.
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MinnieD
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(Original post by Crumpet1)
Phone Leeds before you reject anywhere. If you were holding both a Leeds offer and a St Andrews offer (I know it's not possible, but just imagine) which would you choose, and how easy would the decision be?
I think I would choose leeds... I think


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MinnieD
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(Original post by LemonLizards)
I've heard problems about St.Andrews in terms of there being not much to do.

I'm a bit confused why you said you can't afford a gap year. If you have a gap year, you'll stay at home (which will be cheaper than halls) or even get a job which will help pay for university. Often maintenance loans do not cover your living expenses alone at university, especially if your household income is more than £50,000 (that's the figure I believe?) and you get minimum loan grant as a result (where it's nigh impossible to cover costs without parents support).

I wouldn't do one year and transfer. You'll miss the friends you made at the other university, and the whole freshers experience at your favored uni is lost. Plus no guarantee you'll be able to switch.

If you want to go to uni this year, I'd reject St.Andrews and take a chance on Leeds. You'll most likely get in if it's available given you got into the rest of your choices. I don't think Prestige will matter too much, Leeds is a very good uni too.

Having said that, if you've decided to go for neuroscience, maybe looking into more unis, and applying next year is a better option. Then you'll be able to pick the uni you truly want to go for. I mean you say you want lots of stuff to do, so you might want to give places like UCL a shot who have an excellent neuroscience course, and in London there's far more to do than anywhere else.

Regardless, OP I would also email courses/admissions of neuroscience courses you want to go to, even if they don't appear in extra. No harm can come of it, just explain your decision, and tell they you have the grades/predicted grades. Some uni courses might not bother to put their courses in extra, or a space has suddenly freed up that they can give to you.
What I meant was I couldn't afford an interesting gap year I would just have to get a job for a year because my parents won't support me for another year and I would much rather just go to uni!

If I were to apply again I'm pretty sure my choice would still be between these two - I really like both but they are complete opposites! I LOVE the beach but I want the full student experience and I'm just concerned about if St. Andrews can offer that


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LemonLizards
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(Original post by MinnieD)
What I meant was I couldn't afford an interesting gap year I would just have to get a job for a year because my parents won't support me for another year and I would much rather just go to uni!

If I were to apply again I'm pretty sure my choice would still be between these two - I really like both but they are complete opposites! I LOVE the beach but I want the full student experience and I'm just concerned about if St. Andrews can offer that


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You said you cried on the way back home :eek:

I assure you, you'll like more universities that do neuroscience than just Leeds and St.Andrews. You just haven't seen what's to offer yet. If you really don't like the social aspect of St.Andrews, I sincerely doubt it will be in your top two choices (if you could apply everywhere). The student experience is one of the most important things, and if it fails on those grounds for you there's a problem. Some people very much like a more secluded, quiet experience, but from your post looks like that clearly isn't for you. There will be more unis out there which will be similar to Leeds.

As for the beach, UK weather is terrible most of the year, it's not going to be great to use most of the time. Afterall when it gets really sunny, you'll be doing exams, and then breaking up for holidays! A lot of students (particularly female students) tend to organise trips to the beach in the vacation time, and you could do that regardless of where you are at uni. It's a way for them to meet up when they're missing each other over the holidays.

It all comes down to if you can take the risk of not going to uni this year. I mean surely your parents will let you stay there, as long as you're trying to get a job? It's not as if you'll be kicked out with nowhere to go?

Phone Leeds. If the place is available in UCAS extra, it is very likely that as long as you fulfill the grades you'll get in. Cos either they've rejected too many people already and not given out enough offers or they're an unsubscribed course who are struggling to get in the numbers. You can try explaining your situation to them, and see perhaps if they'll agree to give you a place without going through UCAS first (and once they've agreed, then you're free to reject St. Andrews and go through UCAS extra knowing you'll get a place). It is unlikely they'll allow that, but there's a chance.

I'd talk to your parents a bit about it and see what they think too. If they know your situation, might be a bit more understanding in terms of supporting you for a gap year, or might have some cool ideas for a gap year. You needn't travel to have a fun gap year, there's all sorts of interesting volunteer experiences you could try out and enjoy and make new friends.
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MinnieD
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(Original post by LemonLizards)
You said you cried on the way back home :eek:

I assure you, you'll like more universities that do neuroscience than just Leeds and St.Andrews. You just haven't seen what's to offer yet. If you really don't like the social aspect of St.Andrews, I sincerely doubt it will be in your top two choices (if you could apply everywhere). The student experience is one of the most important things, and if it fails on those grounds for you there's a problem. Some people very much like a more secluded, quiet experience, but from your post looks like that clearly isn't for you. There will be more unis out there which will be similar to Leeds.

As for the beach, UK weather is terrible most of the year, it's not going to be great to use most of the time. Afterall when it gets really sunny, you'll be doing exams, and then breaking up for holidays! A lot of students (particularly female students) tend to organise trips to the beach in the vacation time, and you could do that regardless of where you are at uni. It's a way for them to meet up when they're missing each other over the holidays.

It all comes down to if you can take the risk of not going to uni this year. I mean surely your parents will let you stay there, as long as you're trying to get a job? It's not as if you'll be kicked out with nowhere to go?

Phone Leeds. If the place is available in UCAS extra, it is very likely that as long as you fulfill the grades you'll get in. Cos either they've rejected too many people already and not given out enough offers or they're an unsubscribed course who are struggling to get in the numbers. You can try explaining your situation to them, and see perhaps if they'll agree to give you a place without going through UCAS first (and once they've agreed, then you're free to reject St. Andrews and go through UCAS extra knowing you'll get a place). It is unlikely they'll allow that, but there's a chance.

I'd talk to your parents a bit about it and see what they think too. If they know your situation, might be a bit more understanding in terms of supporting you for a gap year, or might have some cool ideas for a gap year. You needn't travel to have a fun gap year, there's all sorts of interesting volunteer experiences you could try out and enjoy and make new friends.
Thank you for all your advice! I felt stupid for considering rejecting such a good offer but now I feel like I should definitely try for Leeds I actually thought (seeing as this post is in the St. Andrews section) everyone would be like 'uni is what you make of it' and 'st Andrews is unique' and all that you see in nearly every other post on here but I really appreciate everyone's honesty!

Just curious, of those of you who do study there - will I really not find what I'm looking for in St. Andrews?


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gabriellakenton
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Leeds is a lovely university and I've visited twice - it has absolutely everything that you want! Hope everything works out and maybe see you in September
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LemonLizards
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(Original post by MinnieD)
Thank you for all your advice! I felt stupid for considering rejecting such a good offer but now I feel like I should definitely try for Leeds I actually thought (seeing as this post is in the St. Andrews section) everyone would be like 'uni is what you make of it' and 'st Andrews is unique' and all that you see in nearly every other post on here but I really appreciate everyone's honesty!

Just curious, of those of you who do study there - will I really not find what I'm looking for in St. Andrews?


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Don't study at St Andrews, but I study at Bath, but looks like you won't be going there lol! . Bath's nice, it's got stuff to do there in town, shops and clubs but it's not too big. Lots of ducks and squirrels wondering about at the uni. Sports good. Is a pain getting to uni everyday if you don't live in halls/on campus. As it's right on top of the hill (and it's impossible to get outside accommodation from where you can walk to uni).

Hope someone from St.Andrews posts on here, though there's probably stuff about it in the St.Andrews forum part of TSR when looking up past threads.
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MinnieD
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(Original post by gabriellakenton)
Leeds is a lovely university and I've visited twice - it has absolutely everything that you want! Hope everything works out and maybe see you in September
Yeah it really does seem like the place for me so maybe I will haha


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MinnieD
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(Original post by LemonLizards)
Don't study at St Andrews, but I study at Bath, but looks like you won't be going there lol! . Bath's nice, it's got stuff to do there in town, shops and clubs but it's not too big. Lots of ducks and squirrels wondering about at the uni. Sports good. Is a pain getting to uni everyday if you don't live in halls/on campus. As it's right on top of the hill (and it's impossible to get outside accommodation from where you can walk to uni).

Hope someone from St.Andrews posts on here, though there's probably stuff about it in the St.Andrews forum part of TSR when looking up past threads.
No I really don't like the course unfortunately (and I'm bad at all sports!)

Just wish I had figured out what I wanted to study before I applied!


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bramley
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I know nothing about Leeds but I went to St Andrews even though I completely didn't want to, and I ended up leaving. My reasons were similar to yours. In my experience, based on my friends too, you really should go somewhere you want to, and it seems like that's Leeds or somewhere else for you.

Edit: Also, don't feel obliged to go because you got an offer and it's a 'great' university to get into, I and other people I know have made this mistake, and whilst I'm sure it works out for some people, there are a lot of other things to take into consideration.
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Carnationlilyrose
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(Original post by bramley)
I know nothing about Leeds but I went to St Andrews even though I completely didn't want to, and I ended up leaving. My reasons were similar to yours. In my experience, based on my friends too, you really should go somewhere you want to, and it seems like that's Leeds or somewhere else for you.

Edit: Also, don't feel obliged to go because you got an offer and it's a 'great' university to get into, I and other people I know have made this mistake, and whilst I'm sure it works out for some people, there are a lot of other things to take into consideration.
You are very wise, and it's one reason why league tables are a whole heap of trouble (as well as wildly inaccurate and usually irrelevant.)
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