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    It's been widely accepted that for sciences Cambridge tops it in the UK, no questions asked. The prestige that Oxford 'had' was that it 'was' good in the humanities aspect, however, with subjects such as Law/Economics/History/English, its also accepted that Cambridge is better. Is Oxford lagging behind?

    I guess the one good course that Oxford can boast about is PPE, but having one course that stands out doesn't cut it.

    Also, with Imperial on the rise, they are definitely giving Cambridge a run for their money and it looks like they've exceeded Oxford already.
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    I wouldn't say theyre lagging behind tbh, league tables arent that accurate.
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    Be interested to hear who these mysterious people are that have decided these things! Who is it "widely accepted" by? Are you taking this from league tables or something/somewhere else?
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    Depends what you care about in a university. In terms of reputation, prestige, history and above all employability its as good as ever. 95% of the population has no idea there is any real difference between oxford and cambridge anyway.

    Very few people care about disparities in league tables, and oxford is still excellent for job prospects which is the main point of uni



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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Be interested to hear who these mysterious people are that have decided these things! Who is it "widely accepted" by? Are you taking this from league tables or something/somewhere else?
    If you ask most people (that know what they're talking about), they would say Cambridge beats them in the academic subjects such as:

    Maths (this is a no brainer)
    Medicine
    Engineering (as is this)
    Sciences
    Law
    Economics
    History
    English

    (Original post by averyc)
    Depends what you care about in a university. In terms of reputation, prestige, history and above all employability its as good as ever. 95% of the population has no idea there is any real difference between oxford and cambridge anyway.

    Very few people care about disparities in league tables, and oxford is still excellent for job prospects which is the main point of uni



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    I'm not saying Oxford is bad, I guess I should have clarified it from the start, I'm saying that Oxford is lagging behind Cambridge.
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    (Original post by Kabulkid)
    If you ask most people (that know what they're talking about), they would say Cambridge beats them in the academic subjects such as:

    Maths (this is a no brainer)
    Medicine
    Engineering (as is this)
    Sciences
    Law
    Economics
    History
    English


    I'm not saying Oxford is bad, I guess I should have clarified it from the start, I'm saying that Oxford is lagging behind Cambridge.
    Never personally heard of Cambridge being more prestigious for those last four. I guess we must hang around in different circles?!

    So why is Cambridge English better than Oxford English, or Cambridge History supposedly superior to Oxford History? I don't know much about Cambridge and the differences between it and Oxford other than for music...
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Never personally heard of Cambridge being more prestigious for those last four. I guess we must hang around in different circles?!

    So why is Cambridge English better than Oxford English, or Cambridge History supposedly superior to Oxford History? I don't know much about Cambridge and the differences between it and Oxford other than for music...
    In general, Cambridge is regarded as harder to get an offer from. If you look at the past 10 years or so, in nearly all subjects, Cambridge's entry reqs have been higher (in some subjects, significantly) in almost all years. One implication of this is that brighter students tend to attend Cambridge.
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Never personally heard of Cambridge being more prestigious for those last four. I guess we must hang around in different circles?!

    So why is Cambridge English better than Oxford English, or Cambridge History supposedly superior to Oxford History? I don't know much about Cambridge and the differences between it and Oxford other than for music...
    The history lecture halls at cambridge are nicer and newer than the oxford ones. And the course is a little nicer (Purely subjective :P). The difference at that level could be considered quite minimal really
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    (Original post by Kabulkid)
    If you ask most people (that know what they're talking about), they would say Cambridge beats them in the academic subjects such as:

    Maths (this is a no brainer)
    Medicine
    Engineering (as is this)
    Sciences
    Law
    Economics
    History
    English


    I'm not saying Oxford is bad, I guess I should have clarified it from the start, I'm saying that Oxford is lagging behind Cambridge.
    It isn't a no brainer. Cambridge's course is superior solely on the basis of Part III... which the majority of Cambridge maths students aren't allowed to progress onto. Not to mention If someone is interested in pure mathematics, Oxford's course can be a lot more interesting in my opinion.
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    (Original post by Kabulkid)
    If you ask most people (that know what they're talking about), they would say Cambridge beats them in the academic subjects such as:

    Maths (this is a no brainer)
    Medicine
    Engineering (as is this)
    Sciences
    Law
    Economics
    History
    English


    I'm not saying Oxford is bad, I guess I should have clarified it from the start, I'm saying that Oxford is lagging behind Cambridge.
    Medicine at Oxford and Cambridge is about the same to be honest (although Addenbrooke's is probably the better hospital). Not that prestige actually matters in medicine.
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    (Original post by Kabulkid)
    Is Oxford lagging behind?
    Always.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    It isn't a no brainer. Cambridge's course is superior solely on the basis of Part III... which the majority of Cambridge maths students aren't allowed to progress onto. Not to mention If someone is interested in pure mathematics, Oxford's course can be a lot more interesting in my opinion.
    Cambridge's course is far more rigorous, let me explain.

    With all Cambridge 1st years, the level of problem solving they have is of a much higher standard to Oxford 1st years, this is purely because of STEP. So before both courses start, Cambridge undergrads are far better equipped.

    Once the courses so start, Cambridge can afford to just go crazy on their students whereas with Oxford that isn't the case.

    In essence I'm saying that in general, a Cambridge Mathmo is of a higher calibre than an Oxford one and therefore Cambridge have the luxury of having a more rigorous course than Oxfords.
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    (Original post by Kabulkid)
    In general, Cambridge is regarded as harder to get an offer from. If you look at the past 10 years or so, in nearly all subjects, Cambridge's entry reqs have been higher (in some subjects, significantly) in almost all years. One implication of this is that brighter students tend to attend Cambridge.
    That's basically just coz they started using the A* grade as soon as it was available, whereas Oxford chose not to. I don't think - in many cases - that the use of A*s in its offers is a good indicator that Cambridge is superior :dontknow:
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    (Original post by Kabulkid)
    Cambridge's course is far more rigorous, let me explain.

    With all Cambridge 1st years, the level of problem solving they have is of a much higher standard to Oxford 1st years, this is purely because of STEP. So before both courses start, Cambridge undergrads are far better equipped.

    Once the courses so start, Cambridge can afford to just go crazy on their students whereas with Oxford that isn't the case.

    In essence I'm saying that in general, a Cambridge Mathmo is of a higher calibre than an Oxford one and therefore Cambridge have the luxury of having a more rigorous course than Oxfords.
    Not exactly.

    While I agree Cambridge students start better prepared because of STEP, all this means is that they have less of a jump going to undergrad mathematics; while I know TSR loves to make STEP out to be the créme de la créme of mathematical exams, it's still by and large completely irrelevant to the type of mathematics you do as an undergraduate. From having taken advantage of Cambridge's lecture notes, problem sheets and exam papers over the last three years, it certainly isn't the case that they have a more difficult course before Part III. The real difference between Oxford and Cambridge's courses in the first three years arises from the fact there's a fundamental difference in the number of lectures for each course - as a result, at Cambridge you tend to study 'less mathematics' but more of each topic, whereas at Oxford you end up studying less of more topics, which makes the two courses pretty difficult to compare and certainly from the outset makes it look like Oxford's course is 'less rigorous' if you compare course for course (without respecting the fact you'd end up studying more courses at Oxford).
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    That's basically just coz they started using the A* grade as soon as it was available, whereas Oxford chose not to. I don't think - in many cases - that the use of A*s in its offers is a good indicator that Cambridge is superior :dontknow:
    ..... What? Oh sorry, I meant that the average UCAS points that a Cambridge undergrad has is better than Oxfords.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    Not exactly.

    While I agree Cambridge students start better prepared because of STEP, all this means is that they have less of a jump going to undergrad mathematics; while I know TSR loves to make STEP out to be the créme de la créme of mathematical exams, it's still by and large completely irrelevant to the type of mathematics you do as an undergraduate. From having taken advantage of Cambridge's lecture notes, problem sheets and exam papers over the last three years, it certainly isn't the case that they have a more difficult course before Part III. The real difference between Oxford and Cambridge's courses in the first three years arises from the fact there's a fundamental difference in the number of lectures for each course - as a result, at Cambridge you tend to study 'less mathematics' but more of each topic, whereas at Oxford you end up studying less of more topics, which makes the two courses pretty difficult to compare and certainly from the outset makes it look like Oxford's course is 'less rigorous' if you compare course for course (without respecting the fact you'd end up studying more courses at Oxford).
    I see, thanks for that piece of information. Nonetheless, I'd say that the level of problem solving of someone going to study Maths @ Cambridge is greater (in general) than someone going to study Maths @ Oxford but you make some sound points.

    I know you study Maths at Oxford so without bias, which course do you think is more intellectually challenging?
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    (Original post by Kabulkid)
    I see, thanks for that piece of information. Nonetheless, I'd say that the level of problem solving of someone going to study Maths @ Cambridge is greater (in general) than someone going to study Maths @ Oxford but you make some sound points.

    I know you study Maths at Oxford so without bias, which course do you think is more intellectually challenging?
    If we talk about someone doing the full four years at Cambridge vs someone doing four at Oxford, the former is definitely doing a more intellectually challenging course. Part III is insane, because it's designed to be. Removing Part III from the equation it becomes quite difficult to compare the difficulty between the two courses. One of the nice things about Cambridge is if you really excel in one area and know you're going to do well on that exam, you can afford to pay less attention to other areas due to the way the alpha/beta system works, and because courses tend to be more in-depth you have more flexibility in regards to picking the options you know you'll be good at and being able to compose your degree primarily from these options. You don't have this luxury at Oxford, you have to do (at least) a certain number of options and even in the third year you can't specialise really beyond 'pure' and 'applied' - meaning a lot of people are forced to do options they know they'll struggle with and have a hard time doing well in, but enjoy nonetheless. They're just two very different courses in the way they're structured, making it difficult to accurately compare.
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    (Original post by Kabulkid)
    Medicine
    What do you base that on?

    Medicine has the luxury of uniform postgraduate exams. The below all allow comparison between Oxford graduates and Cambridge graduates

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/6/5
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24742473
    http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advic...ml?id=20006643

    Also higher marks in the SJT and prescribing skills exam (national exams taken at the end of med school).
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Be interested to hear who these mysterious people are that have decided these things! Who is it "widely accepted" by? Are you taking this from league tables or something/somewhere else?
    Oxford was actually above Cambridge in the QS ratings in some recent years. It slipped back this last few years. However, QS has a bias towards science teaching.

    These things are pretty subjective in reality and vary a lot by course and are different for undergrads and grads as well. Rankings have lots of fairly arbitrary weightings and value judgments built into them, some of which don't have much to do with the sort of thing degree applicants are interested in.
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    (Original post by Kabulkid)
    If you ask most people (that know what they're talking about), they would say Cambridge beats them in the academic subjects such as:

    Maths (this is a no brainer)
    Oxford has considerably more research output in maths than Cambridge

    Medicine - UCL > Oxford > Cambridge

    Engineering (as is this) - Yes, Cambridge quite a way ahead of Oxford in this

    Sciences
    Law
    Economics
    History
    English

    Feel free to look up the rest yourself. But I would not say that Oxford is really lagging behind Cambridge as a research university.
 
 
 
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