Are the level of courses harder for different universities? Watch

wawa9320
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For example: Is a Maths course at one uni a lot harder than a maths course at another?
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kastiel
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Yes, depending on weather the course is a standardized one with all of the same modules and source material, or one where you can choose your electives, such as all stats, or all pure, or all core.

Have a good look through all of the course details before applying to see if it is right for you! The prestigious-ness of the college can also affect the difficulty of the course. For example, a Russel Group uni may have to meet higher standards than a non, and thus make the exams harder so they can get the most out of their students .
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vhowkins
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The answer above has a good point.

Those universities in the Russell Group would have a harder maths course than a non-Russell Group uni.

For me, a degree is a degree, just make sure the uni and course is not right at the bottom of the league tables.
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cole-slaw
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They're not meant to be very different, but there is always going to be some variation.

To start with, they're all slightly different in content and focus so depending on what you find easy, one person might find course X harder whereas someone else might find course Y harder.
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cole-slaw
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(Original post by vhowkins)

Those universities in the Russell Group would have a harder maths course than a non-Russell Group uni.
So for example you can say for certain that the BSc Maths course at the University of Bath is significantly easier than the BSc Maths course at the University of Birmingham?
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Advice Guru
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(Original post by cole-slaw)
So for example you can say for certain that the BSc Maths course at the University of Bath is significantly easier than the BSc Maths course at the University of Birmingham?
Maths at any university is hard, it's the nature of the subject.
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M1011
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Yes - clearly there is variation between top and bottom universities.

However the mindless Russell Group fixation that some of the above posters have shown is nonsense.
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M1011
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(Original post by Advice Guru)
Maths at any university is hard, it's the nature of the subject.
What a stupid comment. You don't think there can be varying degrees of difficulty? "Hard" is subjective.
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Advice Guru
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(Original post by M1011)
What a stupid comment. You don't think there can be varying degrees of difficulty? "Hard" is subjective.
I'm reporting you to the mods for abuse.
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ChaoticButterfly
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There is normally some organization such as the institute of physics (IOP) that will assess a universities course to ensure it is up to a certain standard. So when applying for a uni just make sure it has passed this. Although if you are applying for a Russel group it will probably be fine.

Of course the universities specialties in your subject can dictate the sort of courses on offer but at undergrad level it will all be the core stuff.
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M1011
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(Original post by Advice Guru)
I'm reporting you to the mods for abuse.
Congratulations, would you like a round of applause?
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Advice Guru
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(Original post by M1011)
Congratulations, would you like a round of applause?
Why are you so angry today? Exams? Relationship problems? Money problems?
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M1011
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(Original post by Advice Guru)
Why are you so angry today? Exams? Relationship problems? Money problems?
"I'm reporting you to the mods for abuse."
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Advice Guru
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(Original post by M1011)
"I'm reporting you to the mods for abuse."
No I mean your initial comment.
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M1011
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(Original post by Advice Guru)
No I mean your initial comment.
I see the sarcasm was lost on you... that was a response.

I'm not angry. You made a stupid comment, I called you out on it. You're the one that got all touchy about it.
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russellsteapot
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Nobody really knows. There are no objective studies of course difficulty and it'd be near-impossible to conduct one. I'm sure there will be the odd difference, but there's no guarantee it follows any kind of correlation with university rankings, nor Russell Group membership or anything else. Obviously if you have 100s of academics setting 100s of modules, there'll be some variation. But nobody (aside from external examiners, who can only comment on a handful of courses) can actually tell you.

If anyone claims to know how difficult one course is compared to another, they either studied them both at the same time (rather difficult), or are making unsubstantiated claims which you should probably ignore.
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M1011
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(Original post by russellsteapot)
Nobody really knows. There are no objective studies of course difficulty and it'd be near-impossible to conduct one. I'm sure there will be the odd difference, but there's no guarantee it follows any kind of correlation with university rankings, nor Russell Group membership or anything else. Obviously if you have 100s of academics setting 100s of modules, there'll be some variation. But nobody (aside from external examiners, who can only comment on a handful of courses) can actually tell you.

If anyone claims to know how difficult one course is compared to another, they either studied them both at the same time (rather difficult), or are making unsubstantiated claims which you should probably ignore.
At a high level I think results alone speak for themselves in determining that difficulty levels vary widely by university. Else why don't we see masses of first coming out of top ranked unis and masses of thirds coming out of bottom ranked unis? This would seem logical if difficulty was standardised given that entry in to these universities is merit based.

Of course there is the question of different unis offering different courses etc, but I think that's just quibbling around the real difference to be honest. This isn't academic snobbery, my degree wasn't from a top ranking university.
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cole-slaw
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(Original post by M1011)
At a high level I think results alone speak for themselves in determining that difficulty levels vary widely by university. Else why don't we see masses of first coming out of top ranked unis and masses of thirds coming out of bottom ranked unis? This would seem logical if difficulty was standardised given that entry in to these universities is merit based.

Of course there is the question of different unis offering different courses etc, but I think that's just quibbling around the real difference to be honest. This isn't academic snobbery, my degree wasn't from a top ranking university.

errrr.. on average we do. Some lower ranked unis see ~5% 1sts, some top ranked ones hand out ~40%. Obviously it varies from year to year but this is the general trend.


Also ask yourself how good is success at A-levels as a predictor at success at university? Not very is the answer.
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russellsteapot
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(Original post by M1011)
At a high level I think results alone speak for themselves in determining that difficulty levels vary widely by university. Else why don't we see masses of first coming out of top ranked unis and masses of thirds coming out of bottom ranked unis? This would seem logical if difficulty was standardised given that entry in to these universities is merit based.

Of course there is the question of different unis offering different courses etc, but I think that's just quibbling around the real difference to be honest. This isn't academic snobbery, my degree wasn't from a top ranking university.
To an extent, we do. 91.5% of Oxford graduates leave with a 2.1 or above. 88.6% at Cambridge, down to 80% at York, 66.7% at Hull, 60% at Huddersfield, 51.3% at London Met, etc. The 'Good Honours' list correlates very well with league tables.

But there's also the fact that the university you go to depends on your A level results, which are far more heavily influenced by other factors than your innate ability. The skills required at university are different to those required at A level.

I'm sure there are some differences in course difficulty. My point is simply that it's not currently possible to prove, beyond the comments of individual external examiners, and that people shouldn't present guesswork and assumptions as facts.
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vhowkins
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(Original post by cole-slaw)
So for example you can say for certain that the BSc Maths course at the University of Bath is significantly easier than the BSc Maths course at the University of Birmingham?
No, I did not say that. I never said one is significantly easier. I'm saying that Unis with higher entry requirements tend to have courses which might be more difficult as they are 'respected universities' which is apparently what employers like.

Maths is difficult at university, of course it is. But there will be variation as there are different modules at different universities.
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