BP_Tranquility
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I'll be applying for physics this september (or physics with astrophysics at some unis) but need some advice. I will be applying to Cambridge (A*A*A for natural sciences) as well as Durham (A*AA) so I need to decide on the other three which I need help with. I've provided the A level entry requirements next to them.

Manchester- A*A*A
-Rankings suggest that the UK reputation isn't as good compared to the unis below, while worldwide reputation is brilliant- can someone tell me how Manchester's reputation compares with the unis below in the UK and worldwide?
-Can do a year abroad in Canada/USA, large library, astrophysics modules

Imperial- A*A*A
-Great reputation
-gender ratio poor
-the thing I dislike the most is the fact that there is no year abroad in USA/Canada for physics
-very expensive living costs in London


UCL- AAA
-The reputation seems to be good
-I have this impression that this uni doesn't give you as much independence as it tracks if you miss any lectures/tutorials etc
-the "communication studies" aspect of the physics course is quite unappealing- I don't think any of the other unis have it
-very expensive living costs in London

Bristol-AAA/AAB
-Not sure about its reputation in the UK and worldwide- can someone shed light?
-Would it be a good idea to apply here due to the lower entry requirements (since the above unis have fairly similar ones)?
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William Turtle
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If you're not entirely confident about getting at least AAA, by all means pick a uni with lower entry requirements.

The thing is, I doubt Bristol is. If it says AAA-AAB, then the AAB is likely a 'contextual offer' given to people going to bad schools or with other difficult circumstances. Basically, unless you fulfil such criteria, your offer would be AAA

Personally, I'd pick the unis I like most, rather than having an insurance. You need to weigh up how likely you feel you are to achieve the grades you'd need.


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squeakysquirrel
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(Original post by BP_Tranquility)
I'll be applying for physics this september (or physics with astrophysics at some unis) but need some advice. I will be applying to Cambridge (A*A*A for natural sciences) as well as Durham (A*AA) so I need to decide on the other three which I need help with. I've provided the A level entry requirements next to them.

Manchester- A*A*A
-Rankings suggest that the UK reputation isn't as good compared to the unis below, while worldwide reputation is brilliant- can someone tell me how Manchester's reputation compares with the unis below in the UK and worldwide?
-Can do a year abroad in Canada/USA, large library, astrophysics modules

Imperial- A*A*A
-Great reputation
-gender ratio poor
-the thing I dislike the most is the fact that there is no year abroad in USA/Canada for physics
-very expensive living costs in London


UCL- AAA
-The reputation seems to be good
-I have this impression that this uni doesn't give you as much independence as it tracks if you miss any lectures/tutorials etc
-the "communication studies" aspect of the physics course is quite unappealing- I don't think any of the other unis have it
-very expensive living costs in London

Bristol-AAA/AAB
-Not sure about its reputation in the UK and worldwide- can someone shed light?
-Would it be a good idea to apply here due to the lower entry requirements (since the above unis have fairly similar ones)?
quite frankly if you graduate from any of these unis with a degree in astrophysics/physics - whatever - you will have no problem getting jobs etc. Don't get too hung up on rankings - a science degree from virtually any uni is respected. All the unis you have picked are very highly regarded.

Also don't think that it is just London that is expensive - everywhere is expensive. You can find cheaper pockets in most cities, but I am not sure I would want to live in some of them.
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username1022388
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(Original post by BP_Tranquility)
I'll be applying for physics this september (or physics with astrophysics at some unis) but need some advice. I will be applying to Cambridge (A*A*A for natural sciences) as well as Durham (A*AA) so I need to decide on the other three which I need help with. I've provided the A level entry requirements next to them.

Manchester- A*A*A
-Rankings suggest that the UK reputation isn't as good compared to the unis below, while worldwide reputation is brilliant- can someone tell me how Manchester's reputation compares with the unis below in the UK and worldwide?
-Can do a year abroad in Canada/USA, large library, astrophysics modules

Imperial- A*A*A
-Great reputation
-gender ratio poor
-the thing I dislike the most is the fact that there is no year abroad in USA/Canada for physics
-very expensive living costs in London


UCL- AAA
-The reputation seems to be good
-I have this impression that this uni doesn't give you as much independence as it tracks if you miss any lectures/tutorials etc
-the "communication studies" aspect of the physics course is quite unappealing- I don't think any of the other unis have it
-very expensive living costs in London

Bristol-AAA/AAB
-Not sure about its reputation in the UK and worldwide- can someone shed light?
-Would it be a good idea to apply here due to the lower entry requirements (since the above unis have fairly similar ones)?
hi, last year I was in a very similar position. eventually I applied to Cambridge, Manchester , Birmingham, Imperial and Bristol. I got offers from Machester, Bristol and Birmingham. My firm choice was Machester but I'm going to be studying at Bristol, my insurance choice, starting this September. All of those unis are great for physics, and you should definitely visit them and see which city you like to live in. I absolutely loved manchester when I went there, but my parents didn't. Manchester does a lot of astrophysics and particle physics research, if that's what you're interested it.
London is very much more expensive than other cities. I have a friend who's accommodation is over £200 a week, while mine in bristol will be about £120 a week. then again London is a very nice city and it's all about getting a feel for the campus and the uni itself.
another thing is you have to realistically consider what grades you're able to get. In the end I'm so glad I put bristol as my insurance, sot hat i'm going somewhere :P it's definitely nice to have a lower insurance offer to fall back on. it seems surprising to me that Bristol's offer is so low compared to the rest - mine was AAB- because the uni itself has a really good reputation.
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Schadenfreude65
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London accommodation is very expensive, but you get an extra £2200-ish student loan if you are at a London university, so I wouldn't let that put you off.
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Nymthae
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Make a decision on whether you can and want to live in London, but as above, I don't think you can go wrong with any of those places. "Reputation" isn't really all that important here, because it's a technical subject, so employers and academics will test you technically when applying for jobs etc. so it's much more up to you to shine through. I'd prioritise where you'll be most pleased with course content and living factors. I don't know how much "communication studies" is part of the course, but if it's only a little 10 credit module in first year then it's not worth writing off the whole department on.

League tables all focus on different aspects, so it would be wise to look at the metrics of why ones rank above others. Research can be weighted more heavily with some tables, which isn't necessarily that important for undergrad. It will play a part in your final year, if you're on an undergraduate Master's, and somewhat with a BSc but much less so.

Insurance options and grade choices depend entirely on yourself. Are you happy taking a gap year if you miss it? Would you prefer having an insurance instead of taking something from clearing that you may not have visited? Worst case scenario, how badly is it going to go? Bristol is a fine choice, whether you want to consider it as an insurance or not.
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BP_Tranquility
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Thanks for the help guys. Do you all think I should take into consideration other aspects of university such as the possibility to study year abroad, number of clubs/sports, library etc or just focus on the course and cost of living?

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shahbaz
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London isnt soo bad im paying 118 pound a week in KCL halls doing Theoretical Physcis.
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AnharM
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I would say Bristol's reputation is better than Manchester's imo...

Also note the cities you'll be living in. Durham is very different to Manchester and London.
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username1501635
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Hey dude,

I've just finished my second year at Imperial. While it's great for job prospects and reputation, the teaching itself is not that good. Students are literally the last thing on the minds of the staff. For our year so far, they have set exams that were undoable on purpose (Lecturer went on some sort of Ego trip), and last year they screwed up the timetable so that our exams were literally the week after we finished learning the material...

There are other universities such as Manchester like you said which have a great standard of living, an amazing nightlife, a solid reputation in physics, and good student services and teaching. Personally I, as would many people in my year, would say don't go to a uni simply because the reputation is good or you're more likely to get a job afterwards. That's what I did, and I chose Imperial over Durham which is in fact not that much different at all. I would have been much happier at Durham since it's quieter and closer to home, but frankly, when choosing my future I stupidly didnt take that into account. Good luck with your studies and I hope you make the decision which is best for you as a whole.
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BP_Tranquility
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(Original post by Marzipan_spliff)
Hey dude,

I've just finished my second year at Imperial. While it's great for job prospects and reputation, the teaching itself is not that good. Students are literally the last thing on the minds of the staff. For our year so far, they have set exams that were undoable on purpose (Lecturer went on some sort of Ego trip), and last year they screwed up the timetable so that our exams were literally the week after we finished learning the material...

There are other universities such as Manchester like you said which have a great standard of living, an amazing nightlife, a solid reputation in physics, and good student services and teaching. Personally I, as would many people in my year, would say don't go to a uni simply because the reputation is good or you're more likely to get a job afterwards. That's what I did, and I chose Imperial over Durham which is in fact not that much different at all. I would have been much happier at Durham since it's quieter and closer to home, but frankly, when choosing my future I stupidly didnt take that into account. Good luck with your studies and I hope you make the decision which is best for you as a whole.
Hi there,
Thanks for the advice . Quick question but since imperial seems to rank so highly in world/employer rankings, do you think they are inaccurate because since I haven't gone to any of those unis, they're the only source I have to see if they're good or not?

Also, would you say UCL would be better than imperial or about the same since from you've said, imperial doesn't seem to be as good as I thought ?



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username1501635
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(Original post by BP_Tranquility)
Hi there,
Thanks for the advice . Quick question but since imperial seems to rank so highly in world/employer rankings, do you think they are inaccurate because since I haven't gone to any of those unis, they're the only source I have to see if they're good or not?

Also, would you say UCL would be better than imperial or about the same since from you've said, imperial doesn't seem to be as good as I thought ?



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No worries I know for a fact they're very well connected, since last year nearly every other fortnight there is some company (Bank, Tech co. etc) that hold large events to entice students to work for them after graduating. Imperial is a very useful name to throw around when applying to internships too so I've found. So personally I think it's good in that respect.

I applied to UCL and got invited to look around, I wasn't amazingly impressed with the facilities nor the structure of the course, maybe since I'd been for a look round Imperial for my interview a few days before. However, unlike Imperial, I got a good impression that UCL take care of their students, and they seem to work to make the students shine and NOT the uni, like the narcissistic Imperial does.

Right now I'm deciding whether to venture into a research career or not. I really enjoy the process of research projects and the line of work greatly appeals to me (Just finished a research summer placement at uni) but Imperial seem to give the impression that majority of Physicists are selfish ***** who crave recognition above their peers. I'm not saying I think of Physicists like that in general, just the mentality of Imperial staff seems to speak that to me. Hopefully that insight may help.
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