Machester or Warwick for Computer Science Watch

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Icarus
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#21
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#21
(Original post by Leekey)
In addition to this they have the brand spanking new campus with purpose built comp sci centre which should ensure a good spending rating (= good for Times rating).

Im not trying to say ignore the statistics, but try and be aware of how misleading they can be (particularly the old ones)!!!
Dang, I never had a look at Nottingham and therefore notice it had a brand spanking new campus. It's rather poor working in labs that stink (though apparently the pipes have been fixed now :rolleyes: ), when the building next to us is the mighty Manchester Business School with its comtemporary design. Bah
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J.S.
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#22
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There are of course many things to consider. However, at Warwick the average A level grades are 28.5 points, which is amonst the highest in the country. Manhcester is far too low with 24.4. The difference is too great, I wouldn't take any department too seriously with an average below 26, ideal would be 28 or above. If you want to go to university and be socialising amongt serious people then I would not go to Manchester University. Trust me, this is a huge difference, 24 points of thereabouts is pretty much what you associate with Manchester Uni., that's about the general university standard-and it's is unimpressive. There's no point drooling over the research ratings either, you're not going there for a doctorate, they're helpful but I don't think it's as critical as the A level average, after all much of your learning will take place via interaction with your fellow students.

Although, as an insurance Manchester Computing is certainly a far safer bet. With Warwick as your insurance, if you were to slip up it could lead to a rejection from both. With Manchester as insurance, you're pretty much guaranteed a place, just think about it with an average of 24 points you'd really have to screw up pretty bad to not get in-I think if you go beyond writing your name on the exam paper, you're in. Think about what the a/v means, for such a lower average it's as though for every AAA student there is somebody there with CCC.
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Icarus
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#23
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Hmmm, I've yet to know anybody that has had CCC for A Levels.
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J.S.
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#24
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(Original post by Icarus)
Hmmm, I've yet to know anybody that has had CCC for A Levels.

Which would suggest that there is a lack of people with AAA then, simple as that. Although of course you do not know the grades of everyone there, and there's likely to a fair few from both.

I think putting Manchester over Warwick for academic reasons would be absurd. Think about it, 24 point average, the IT/Comp market isn't even hot anymore...I bet Manchester's Computing dept. is one of those places where they have a ton of places available at clearing and allow anybody entry, asking your grades only in passing; I mean they let Amazingtrade in, oh wait, that's Salford, I think I'm getting my apples n pears mixed up...

The idea of an insurance is that in the event of a rejection from your firm choice, that the latter is a viable alternative. I think if you go to Manchester after rejection from Imperial, you may do yourself immense psychological damage-seriously you may never recover.
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Icarus
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#25
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Yeah, I agree with that; Warwick is known to be academically better than Manchester. But with most of us, it's not all about going to the uni based entirely on its A Level result intake. There are far too many factors to mention, but I went for Manchester because of its job prospects (having the best career centre in the UK) and its reputation, which I'm sre you'll agree is quite different from Warwick's.
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J.S.
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#26
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(Original post by Icarus)
Yeah, I agree with that; Warwick is known to be academically better than Manchester. But with most of us, it's not all about going to the uni based entirely on its A Level result intake. There are far too many factors to mention, but I went for Manchester because of its job prospects (having the best career centre in the UK) and its reputation, which I'm sre you'll agree is quite different from Warwick's.
lol, much of what I was saying was semi-serious. Although, how does the reputation and job prospects differ? For the latter, between these two universities, in computing (or even Imperial or elsewhere) providing you had sufficient marks you would set a set of interviews, from where you'd be on your own anyway.
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Icarus
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#27
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It's not about the marks they differ; more to do with an employer's perception of a particular uni. For example, and this is obviously a generalisation, but Warwick is more snobbish compared to Manchester's "cooler" image. Do you see? It's why I picked Manc instead of Warwick, actually. A crazy reason indeed if there ever was one.
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Leekey
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#28
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(Original post by J.S.)
There are of course many things to consider. However, at Warwick the average A level grades are 28.5 points, which is amonst the highest in the country. Manhcester is far too low with 24.4. The difference is too great, I wouldn't take any department too seriously with an average below 26, ideal would be 28 or above. If you want to go to university and be socialising amongt serious people then I would not go to Manchester University. Trust me, this is a huge difference, 24 points of thereabouts is pretty much what you associate with Manchester Uni., that's about the general university standard-and it's is unimpressive. There's no point drooling over the research ratings either, you're not going there for a doctorate, they're helpful but I don't think it's as critical as the A level average, after all much of your learning will take place via interaction with your fellow students.
I think you are putting WAY too much importance on the average grades for entry. These can be skewed by a great many factors. For starters, if a uni has a generally good average (e.g. 24-25) then it is difficult for any department at that uni to ask for wildly different A-level points because the candidate will not take them seriously. This is not the fault of the department or the course, but of the uni as a whole being unable sustain a good average across the board, despite what could be an exceptional department. I agree that A-level averages are a very good long-term indicator for the uni as a whole but I would not use them in the context of individual departments. For example KCL have an A-level average of about 25 for comp sci (if memory serves ) but almost any objective person with knowledge of comp sci departments will confirm that their course is inferior to that of Manchester. It works the other way too, for example Kent (know to produce VERY good comp sci grads) has an average of about 20 (again my memory could be screwing my viewpoint here ) which is criminally low for that course. Other notable variations in A-level averages include Durham UCL and UEA. In my opinion the average A-level's for entry can only give you an idea about the quality of the department, they are much more useful when you look at the overall picture of a university's standing. In the case of deciding on a course, I find it much more useful to visit the uni and actually get a feel for how the department operates and research the graduate jobs that previous years have gone into.

PS- A good idea for the original poster would be to call Warwick and Manchester and ask for the destinations details w/ job titles and company names for previous graduates. This should help you get an idea of the various professions that both courses seem to lead to. Doing this should confirm that Wariwck grads tend to end up in more applied professions as opposed to thos edirectly related to computing.
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xaxa
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#29
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Thanks everyone, that's been very worthwhile. I hadn't noticed the average point score of the students in the university before, that's definately something important to consider.

I'm tending towards Warwick as the insurance offer now, in part because of what J.S. said:
(Original post by J.S.)
I think putting Manchester over Warwick for academic reasons would be absurd. Think about it, 24 point average, the IT/Comp market isn't even hot anymore...I bet Manchester's Computing dept. is one of those places where they have a ton of places available at clearing and allow anybody entry, asking your grades only in passing
Unless something goes drastically wrong, I should manage Warwick's offer.

I'm also not too bothered about the nightlife aspect of Manchester, I'm not much of an extrovert ;-)

Thanks everyone
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fishpaste
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#30
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(Original post by J.S.)
There are of course many things to consider. However, at Warwick the average A level grades are 28.5 points, which is amonst the highest in the country. Manhcester is far too low with 24.4. The difference is too great, I wouldn't take any department too seriously with an average below 26, ideal would be 28 or above. If you want to go to university and be socialising amongt serious people then I would not go to Manchester University. Trust me, this is a huge difference, 24 points of thereabouts is pretty much what you associate with Manchester Uni., that's about the general university standard-and it's is unimpressive. There's no point drooling over the research ratings either, you're not going there for a doctorate, they're helpful but I don't think it's as critical as the A level average, after all much of your learning will take place via interaction with your fellow students.

Although, as an insurance Manchester Computing is certainly a far safer bet. With Warwick as your insurance, if you were to slip up it could lead to a rejection from both. With Manchester as insurance, you're pretty much guaranteed a place, just think about it with an average of 24 points you'd really have to screw up pretty bad to not get in-I think if you go beyond writing your name on the exam paper, you're in. Think about what the a/v means, for such a lower average it's as though for every AAA student there is somebody there with CCC.
I think that's quite a fallacy, Manchester is not absolutely obsessed with getting the 4 A candidates, but that isn't to say they don't get them. Speaking from experience, the university came in to my college around UCAS application time, and distributed photocopies of different applications they'd received the year before (obviously with personal details blanked out). The majority of their students were predicted 4 As, especially for certain courses (not just Law and Medicine). They easily had the privelidge of ignoring grades, and judged based on personal statements, outside achievements etc. Often in the cases where predicted grades were in the AAB range, the departments had chosen the AAB candidate over the AAAA candidate.

Having said all this, I think Manchester might change that policy with the introduction of the new principal, I'm sure I read that one of the objectives of the new guy is to accelerate up the league tables by increasing funding by taking on lots of commercial links, and improve their intake.

As for the original question, this is one of the very few situations where I'd say turn Manchester down and go for Warwick. I feel compsci is going to be a strength of theirs, and Warwick are already very academically strong, obviously.
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fishpaste
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#31
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(Original post by chaoscomplex)
I'm also not too bothered about the nightlife aspect of Manchester, I'm not much of an extrovert ;-)
Manchester life isn't just about raving drunkards. Being in such a large, dynamic city is pretty awesome in my experience. Just the things you can see, the people you meet, the way you can carry yourself without the judgement of others, means I wouldn't want to live outside a large city in my life ever again.
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AT82
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#32
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The entry grades are over rated there are far to many factors that are used to determine them. For example my department is a 5* one but has low entry requirements because its in Salford and cannot compete with Manchester as a city or its reputation. It dosn't mean the degree is crap just because its 220 points for entry.

I'm also amazed that people only seem to care about rankings. You will be living there for 3 years so you have like the place and can imagine living there. This one reason why threads such as Warwick V Manchester are daft because the areas are very different.

The league tables are worthless when it comes to Manchester anyway because of the merger. There is a reason why UMIST and Manchester both have great job prespects.

People just place to much impheasis on the elite of the elite universities.
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J.S.
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#33
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(Original post by fishpaste)
I think that's quite a fallacy, Manchester is not absolutely obsessed with getting the 4 A candidates, but that isn't to say they don't get them. Speaking from experience, the university came in to my college around UCAS application time, and distributed photocopies of different applications they'd received the year before (obviously with personal details blanked out). The majority of their students were predicted 4 As, especially for certain courses (not just Law and Medicine). They easily had the privelidge of ignoring grades, and judged based on personal statements, outside achievements etc. Often in the cases where predicted grades were in the AAB range, the departments had chosen the AAB candidate over the AAAA candidate.

Having said all this, I think Manchester might change that policy with the introduction of the new principal, I'm sure I read that one of the objectives of the new guy is to accelerate up the league tables by increasing funding by taking on lots of commercial links, and improve their intake.

As for the original question, this is one of the very few situations where I'd say turn Manchester down and go for Warwick. I feel compsci is going to be a strength of theirs, and Warwick are already very academically strong, obviously.

Ahhh but that doesn't matter! Of course in certain instances it may prefer applicants with slightly lower grades on the strength of the personal statement, as would any other university. However, overall there is no massive campaign at the university to recruit students with lower grades.

This also applies to Leeky, I just think the bottom line is that if you're a serious academic student and are going to accept an offer on a course where the a/v is around 24 points, you will very seriously suffer. This is far too low, if given the choice, I would never recommend going for such a department/university. Naturally any department at a traditional university is going to attract straight A students, but don't you see if this were to be true of a university with a low average overall then that just means those with even lower than the average are also being accepted?

Personally, I can understand how you think that I am overstating the case here for a/v grades, but once you're at university perhaps you'll see why I have been doing this. The gap between Warwick and Manchester is just too much to ignore...and not only for Computing but for pretty much everything else.
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AT82
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#34
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Its all a load of crap if you ask me. I know plenty of Salford graduates with very good jobs. I hardly think its going to matter too much if your degree is from Manchester or Warick, its not like Manchester is TVU.
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J.S.
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#35
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(Original post by amazingtrade)
The entry grades are over rated there are far to many factors that are used to determine them. For example my department is a 5* one but has low entry requirements because its in Salford and cannot compete with Manchester as a city or its reputation. It dosn't mean the degree is crap just because its 220 points for entry.
They are determined by factors which are relevant to almost any aspiring student. Lets see what a high a/v score tells us, broadly speaking it means that there is great demand for the course. How does this arise, well, through much of what you've been referring to, research reputation, employment prospects, the environment and the like. These are entirely relevant concerns.


I'm also amazed that people only seem to care about rankings. You will be living there for 3 years so you have like the place and can imagine living there. This one reason why threads such as Warwick V Manchester are daft because the areas are very different.
Regarding your first sentence, yes you will be living there but usually people on UKL are discussing primarily their academic concerns. This is not to say that there are no other factors to be taken into account, there are, and they can also be taken into account in addition to, rather than instead of.

As for the second sentence, well it's because of these differences that people are asking for comparison, had the two been intentical in every regard then one could just choose randomly, could toss a coin over the matter! They differ, which is why people are asking for opinions regarding these differences in order to make a better informed judgement.


The league tables are worthless when it comes to Manchester anyway because of the merger. There is a reason why UMIST and Manchester both have great job prespects.
That's crazy! Firstly I don't think anyone is quoting the league tables without any qualification. I was merely looking at the a/v A level performance. I don't think this is irrelevant, not if one is looking for intellectual stimulation whilst at university.

As for job prospects, these depend on the individual. An individual has good/bad prospects, not the university, after all, it's not the university which is going to be looking for work. If the university is highly regarded, it will help secure you an interview, particularly if you have impressive pre university grades-then you are on your own.

People just place to much impheasis on the elite of the elite universities.
That's because they have ambition. What should they be doing instead?
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J.S.
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#36
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(Original post by amazingtrade)
Its all a load of crap if you ask me. I know plenty of Salford graduates with very good jobs. I hardly think its going to matter too much if your degree is from Manchester or Warick, its not like Manchester is TVU.
In all honesty, I cannot quite see where that reply came from. My overall point was that if you're concerned about intellectual stimulation, then I would opt for a university with a higher A level grade average. As for employment prospects, it's rather more complicated.

Also, I know you love Salford, even though you think it's crap....but please, try not to bring it into every conversation on absolutely any given topic. I bet if some fit gal were to ask you for dinner, you'd manage to bring Salford University and something about its research or its employment prospects into the reply - I don't know how you do it. Ah well if it works for you, then who am I to deny you this right...
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AT82
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#37
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You sound so arrogant in your writing and you seem to dismiss the fact that a lot of people cannot go to the elite universities for many valid reasons. There are lot of people who have worked damn hard getting their 4 A's to get into Manchester and then they read threads saying Warwick is much better when its not.

I'm not dismissing Warwick in anyway I'm sure its a great univeristy but I cannot imagine Warwick being much better than Manchester like you made out.

There is nothing wrong with people wanting to well and go to a good university but that dosn't mean the lesser universities are not as good just because they have lower entry requirments.
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Leekey
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#38
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(Original post by J.S.)

This also applies to Leeky, I just think the bottom line is that if you're a serious academic student and are going to accept an offer on a course where the a/v is around 24 points, you will very seriously suffer. This is far too low, if given the choice, I would never recommend going for such a department/university. Naturally any department at a traditional university is going to attract straight A students, but don't you see if this were to be true of a university with a low average overall then that just means those with even lower than the average are also being accepted?
I still feel that the quality of teaching is more important, perticularly with subjects such an engineering, computing or other "vocationally academic" (hope that makes sense ) subject. Admittely for subjects such as Hitory, English etc... it will be better to be surrounded by students of the same academic calibre because the importance of others input in developing your own ideas is key. However in computing there is only a limited scope for such things, therefore the importance of being surrounded by people with equivalent grades is reduced and the significance of the teaching quality is greatly enhanced.

Surely you must acknowledge that there are cases where the A-Level avearge is a very poor indicator?!? Take Durham for example who have an average of about Durham (probably based on popularity with unsuccessful oxbridge applicants) and are in no way known for thier comp sci course. If asked to chose between Manchester and Durham, which would you pick?!?

I would also like to remind you that the average points score is based not only on the comp sci course that Manchester offer, but all of the other computing related (by that I mean crappy I.T ) courses a well.

(Original post by J.S.)
Personally, I can understand how you think that I am overstating the case here for a/v grades, but once you're at university perhaps you'll see why I have been doing this. The gap between Warwick and Manchester is just too much to ignore...and not only for Computing but for pretty much everything else.
Manchester does have a long way to go before it catches up with Warwick, York, Notts etc... overall but it does have a very good computing department. I think we should probably stop talking about 24 as a bad score to get at A-Level as well, the average is about 13 for the country so student who achieve 24 are still doing very well. On a side note...Manchester is still the most popular comp sci department (not sure ofr informatics, I.T etc..) in the country in terms of applicants so it is clearly doing something right!!!
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J.S.
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#39
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(Original post by amazingtrade)
You sound so arrogant in your writing and you seem to dismiss the fact that a lot of people cannot go to the elite universities for many valid reasons.
DOhhhh! That's the whole point, that's why they're considered elite universities. lol.

There are lot of people who have worked damn hard getting their 4 A's to get into Manchester and then they read threads saying Warwick is much better when its not.
That's like saying that India ought not to be referred to as a poor country on the grounds that some multi billionaire resident there may well be offended by the assessment. Also, I'm not saying it's 'much better', all I said was that there was a very considerable difference in the A level a/v. It's quite simple what this means, no? On a/v those at Warwick have performed better on their pre university exams, I am of the view that interaction amongst such people is likely to lead to greater intellectual stimulation. You seem as though you disagree, although there has been no reason forthcoming as to why.


There is nothing wrong with people wanting to well and go to a good university but that dosn't mean the lesser universities are not as good just because they have lower entry requirments.

Mate, read that out aloud. In particular the "it doesn't mean the lesser universities are not as good" comment.
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Leekey
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#40
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(Original post by J.S.)
DOhhhh! That's the whole point, that's why they're considered elite universities. lol.
I think he meant none-academic reasons...
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