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    Hi,

    Im a medical student at kcl and was thinking about applying for a iBSc at imperial. Just wondering if anyone could share their experiences of being an external candidate, because in some respects you may be placed at a disadvantage since everything is new and you have to start afresh. However, the reason why i was interested was becuase i want to experience another uni in london.

    Thanks.,
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    There are some external candidates on here that I'm sure will reply soon. In the meantime I'll offer my n=1 experience from the other side of the fence.

    In my year 'externals' integrated really well, performing in Imperial cultural shows and going out/even going on holiday with Imperial students. On the other hand, the year before us was notoriously antagonistic. Lots of that is inherent to that particular BSc*, and the others do have fewer external candidates. But like most things in life I suspect the experience is largely what you make of it.

    re. disadvantage, there's 300 of us (that's less the grads/Oxbridge students that don't intercalate with us), so it's not like we all know each other particularly well. And academically, save for some basic sciences overlap the subject matter is different to the first 3 years. Often the teaching sites (which are naturally situated away from the two 300 seater lecture theatres that we otherwise live in) are unfamiliar to us as well. So you're all in a not dissimilar boat.

    re. 'experiencing a different London uni', west London/London Bridge aside it's pretty much same **** different uni. Although we're apparently a lot more intense over here

    *doi: Management, albeit internal (which was about 50:50 Imperial/external [mostly King's, incidentally], and was all the better for it)
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    I intercalated at Imperial as an External student just this year. I'm not from a London uni so it was a bit of a change, but good overall.

    Good things: thorough induction week, made to feel very welcome by staff and students (found the Imperial students to be really nice), relatively modern facilities, excellent lecturers, course isn't too long, separated into separate taught modules with exams and then just project so you can focus easily without needing to revise when trying to complete your project write-up!

    Bad things: poor organisation with feedback (for my course anyway- I know this happens on most medical courses but it really was bad compared to my home medical school), not 100% clear what is wanted from you coursework/project write-up wise (but minor), you have to wait 4 months before you receive your exam module results (not necessarily an issue for some, but I was desperate to know and on the edge by June!), not much time for revision between finishing final module and exams (2 weeks, I think my friends at Kings said they got a month), a lot of travelling between campuses (but not dreadful), and although something being hard shouldn't necessarily deter you, the courses are generally HARD. And I mean really hard. I don't think my main medical degree was that easy but was in for a shock finding my intercalated BSc to be harder than my finals year! But saying that, it is probably just the way things were put to me when my school was "selling" intercalation. Yes, you are not in 9-5 on placement, but if you want to do well there is A LOT of self-directed study involved. Depending on what you choose, and chances are if it is any of the science ones, this means lots of detailed molecular biology (think Krebs cycle x 10). You can't rely on lecture slides!

    I hope that helps. Although I wouldn't want to do it again I don't regret intercalating and am glad that I did it at Imperial. Let me know if you want any other information.
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    Ok thank you very much for your inputs! I am slightly leaning towards studying it at Kings, because at the end of the day I want a first, which is much better than getting a 2.1 at imperial!
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    Well lots of people do get firsts at Imperial. There was a rumour going round that it was "easier" to get a first at King's, but of course the Imperial students would say that! Do you know which course you are interested in? Some courses are harder than others. I would say it is going to be hard to get a 1st anywhere though.
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    (Original post by master y)
    Ok thank you very much for your inputs! I am slightly leaning towards studying it at Kings, because at the end of the day I want a first, which is much better than getting a 2.1 at imperial!
    I applied and got a place for S&A at Imperial, so I might be able to help with regards to the application process. (not that there is that much to it).

    But I decided not to go to Impy so I will have no idea what the course is like.


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