UnknownDude
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Hey peeps,

I'm doing AS Maths, Further Maths, Physics & Computing and I've recently visited the University of Cambridge. To start with, I'm always aiming high and hoping to go to one of the best universities in the world. So once I look at the League Tables for the subject I want to study, Computer Science:


-Guardian League Tables, Computer Science 2015.


-thecompleteuniversityguide, Computer Science 2015.

Now looking at that table we see that Cambridge always tops the table but according to guardian, St Andrews, a univeristy that isn't even in the Russel Group is first. Now this thread is about Cambridge or Oxford but I don't mind going to any other university as long as they have some world-wide recognition, not only nation-wide.

Now then, I really wanted to go to Cambridge University since thats what everyone in the entire planet talks about and how you're a king if you went to Cambridge and almost automatically you get CEO of the best company of the world... blah blah blah (I know it's abit exaggerated ). However, on my two trips to Cambridge, I really didn't enjoy it. It was a very boring city with not much to do. As a muslim, I can't really go out clubbing or stuff but in London, there's loads to do (Not saying London is better or anything...).

So after trying to learn STEP and looking up Cambridge Universit millions of times, I finally just can't be bothered to bother with Cambridge anymore. It's just so boring. Like now I'm focused on Cambridge. I attend a State School so we get limited support on everything but I'm thankful of what I have . However, we have NO support for STEP. Thankfully, I got onto this STEP Correspondence Course where I do an Assignment that they have set and I send it to them. So far, the markings are terrible. Like when you're trying to teach someone something, you're supposed to tell them how to do it and then let them do a different example on their own. Now, I did the Assignment, and I eagerly awaited the marked work. I receieved it and I was devastated. All I got was some few "Well Dones", some "Questions" and finally the best one which was a question mark. Like this isn't a test. This is a course where I do work, I send it and If I get it wrong, they show me what to do. Anyways.. this just increases my feeling of Cambridge University being too 'Elite' for me. I mean some people know some things and others know other things but everyone has the right to knowledge. Anyways, I know there are some lovely Proffessors and Students at Cambridge but the 'Only The Rich' stereotype is somewhat true despite their constant denials.

Anyways, I'm not here to critisize Cambridge as surely they are an ocean of knowledge and they would destroy me in a debate. So, can you peeps, students or proffessors please tell me what University is the best for me an maybe try and convince me that Cambridge is better? I mean St Andrews is top but it isn't even Russel Group? Also, everyone in my school says Oxford is better... so please peeps... answer me.
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H0PEL3SS
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First thing you should know is that league tables aren't the end all university rankings. IMO, the guardian one isn't great, as it tends to give a higher weighting to student satisfaction than other tables IIRC, which would make it highly biased.
I'd suggest getting a tutor to help with STEP, if possible, or research other ways you could get help.

The only real way to know which unis would suit you is to go to open days. Go to as many as you can, at the unis that you think would suit you. It seems to me that you'd like a London uni over anywhere else, in which case, apply to Imperial, UCL, and other city unis like Bristol.
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UnknownDude
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(Original post by H0PEL3SS)
First thing you should know is that league tables aren't the end all university rankings. IMO, the guardian one isn't great, as it tends to give a higher weighting to student satisfaction than other tables IIRC, which would make it highly biased.
I'd suggest getting a tutor to help with STEP, if possible, or research other ways you could get help.

The only real way to know which unis would suit you is to go to open days. Go to as many as you can, at the unis that you think would suit you. It seems to me that you'd like a London uni over anywhere else, in which case, apply to Imperial, UCL, and other city unis like Bristol.
Firstly, thanks for the reply! (I thought nobody used this forum part...)

Thanks for the advice, now I know not to follow league tables anymore.

In terms of getting help for STEP, I'm not really sure if I should apply to Cambridge thus me not knowing whether or not to take STEP.

I'm in Year 12 btw and I'm finding my A-levels quite easy so I expect myself to get good grades (hopefully AAAA ) but since I'm in year 12, should I worry much about universities? I mean the only reason I started this is because of STEP vs MAT initially and if not some other university so I have to prepare early. Otherwise I'd probably worry about universities the day after I get my results.


My current University options are:

1. Oxford/Cambridge
2. Imperial
3. Another Top Uni for Computer Science
4. Another Top Uni for Computer Science
5. Kings College London - Backup
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H0PEL3SS
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It's worth checking the entry requirements for all of the universities that you're interested, so you know where to go for open days and any extra requirements beyond the 3 A levels.
It would have been good to check them before you even had started A levels, but that's purely for the subject. You already know that, so after your AS exams is the best time to start thinking hard about universities.
Preparation for both STEP and the MAT aren't a big worry for you now, your AS grades are more important.
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TVIO
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Most Cambridge colleges don't have STEP requirements unless you go for CS with maths. You're wrong about the only rich people, me and a friend (not rich at all, both been state schooled forever) got offers (CS w/maths and pure maths respectively). The majority (60%) are not private schooled at Cambridge. I'd personally say Cam>Imp>Ox for CS. Imperial's course is amazing, and I was certainly going to firm it but I just can't turn down Cambridge. St. Andrews does have a good CS dept. but the guardian gives unusually high weightage to student satisfaction results which aren't that reliable really, and the guardian's seems to disagree with most others. No way is St. Andrews' CS course better than Cambridge and Imperial.
London and Cambridge are very different cities, and as Imperial is pretty much as good as Cambridge for CS(though I'd personally say marginally worse) pick whichever you'd like, you won't miss out on much by going to the other. Though be aware Cambridge have lectures on Saturdays...
Also, be aware Imperial gave me a requirement of 1 in STEP II for their pure CS course, so don't think you'll necessarily be rid of STEP by not applying to Cambridge CS w/Maths.
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UnknownDude
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(Original post by H0PEL3SS)
It's worth checking the entry requirements for all of the universities that you're interested, so you know where to go for open days and any extra requirements beyond the 3 A levels.
It would have been good to check them before you even had started A levels, but that's purely for the subject. You already know that, so after your AS exams is the best time to start thinking hard about universities.
Preparation for both STEP and the MAT aren't a big worry for you now, your AS grades are more important.
Yeah, I thought about what A-Levels to pick by selecting the most preffered A-Level for Computer Science from a variety of Universities and I picked Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computing. I think I might as well just worry about AS Grades for now though.

(Original post by TVIO)
Most Cambridge colleges don't have STEP requirements unless you go for CS with maths. You're wrong about the only rich people, me and a friend (not rich at all, both been state schooled forever) got offers (CS w/maths and pure maths respectively). The majority (60%) are not private schooled at Cambridge. I'd personally say Cam>Imp>Ox for CS. Imperial's course is amazing, and I was certainly going to firm it but I just can't turn down Cambridge. St. Andrews does have a good CS dept. but the guardian gives unusually high weightage to student satisfaction results which aren't that reliable really, and the guardian's seems to disagree with most others. No way is St. Andrews' CS course better than Cambridge and Imperial.
London and Cambridge are very different cities, and as Imperial is pretty much as good as Cambridge for CS(though I'd personally say marginally worse) pick whichever you'd like, you won't miss out on much by going to the other. Though be aware Cambridge have lectures on Saturdays...
Also, be aware Imperial gave me a requirement of 1 in STEP II for their pure CS course, so don't think you'll necessarily be rid of STEP by not applying to Cambridge CS w/Maths.
Wow, thanks for the advice coming from a geniune Cambridge student. I never knew that you didn't have to do STEP?! Is the Computer Science with Maths course better than the Computer Science course? Like if I wanted to be all coding and all stuff related to computers, is it worth it to have Maths in my course too? This kinda changes my mind about Cambridge abit... but still more convincing to do..

Thanks guys for the replies!
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TVIO
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(Original post by UnknownDude)
Yeah, I thought about what A-Levels to pick by selecting the most preffered A-Level for Computer Science from a variety of Universities and I picked Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Computing. I think I might as well just worry about AS Grades for now though.



Wow, thanks for the advice coming from a geniune Cambridge student. I never knew that you didn't have to do STEP?! Is the Computer Science with Maths course better than the Computer Science course? Like if I wanted to be all coding and all stuff related to computers, is it worth it to have Maths in my course too? This kinda changes my mind about Cambridge abit... but still more convincing to do..

Thanks guys for the replies!
I'm not a student yet, merely an offer holder! With the Cambridge course, the first year is spent doing 50% CS, 25% maths and 25% of your choice (NatSci so physics usually, pyschology, or maths). If you choose the 50% maths choice, then you take half the Cambridge maths course in your first year, the rest of the time (2 or 3 years) is spent the same regardless of this initial choice. I like maths slightly more than physics, so I chose the with maths option, hopefully I can meet the STEP requirements for it.
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UnknownDude
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(Original post by TVIO)
I'm not a student yet, merely an offer holder! With the Cambridge course, the first year is spent doing 50% CS, 25% maths and 25% of your choice (NatSci so physics usually, pyschology, or maths). If you choose the 50% maths choice, then you take half the Cambridge maths course in your first year, the rest of the time (2 or 3 years) is spent the same regardless of this initial choice. I like maths slightly more than physics, so I chose the with maths option, hopefully I can meet the STEP requirements for it.
Woah wait... I don't get it because the Cambridge website doesn't explain it well.

There's Computer Science, then theres Computer Science with Maths. You don't need STEP for Computer Science but you need it for Computer Science with Maths? Right?

If so, whats in the Computer Science course alone and can you tell me if Computer Science with Maths is worth it? Thanks!
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TVIO
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(Original post by UnknownDude)
Woah wait... I don't get it because the Cambridge website doesn't explain it well.

There's Computer Science, then theres Computer Science with Maths. You don't need STEP for Computer Science but you need it for Computer Science with Maths? Right?

If so, whats in the Computer Science course alone and can you tell me if Computer Science with Maths is worth it? Thanks!
The computer science course is the same no matter what you take with it in years 2 and 3. The only time it's different is in year 1. All CS students do 50% CS in the first year, 25% maths and 25% something else. The 'with maths' refers to the last 25% also being maths and this DOES need STEP because then you've got 50% maths and you just take half of the pure maths course from the maths tripos. If you don't choose 'with maths' you take 25% maths from the Natural Science Tripos maths course B and another 25% in something else, like physics, biology, geology, whatever.
IDK if CS with maths is worth it, because my offer is very very tough to meet now. But I'd have regretted not going for it, I love maths. I thought 'if I'm going to get into my dream uni, might as well get my dream course'. Very all or nothing.
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Blazar
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St Andrews is basically the Scottish version of Oxbridge in terms of prestige. It's by no means a low-ranked university. It's just odd in that it happens not to have joined the Russel Group.
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TVIO
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(Original post by Blazar)
St Andrews is basically the Scottish version of Oxbridge in terms of prestige. It's by no means a low-ranked university. It's just odd in that it happens not to have joined the Russel Group.
Dunno, I'd personally put Edinburgh higher, especially for CS. Russell group doesn't have that much to do with quality of teaching so that's irrelevant
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UnknownDude
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(Original post by TVIO)
The computer science course is the same no matter what you take with it in years 2 and 3. The only time it's different is in year 1. All CS students do 50% CS in the first year, 25% maths and 25% something else. The 'with maths' refers to the last 25% also being maths and this DOES need STEP because then you've got 50% maths and you just take half of the pure maths course from the maths tripos. If you don't choose 'with maths' you take 25% maths from the Natural Science Tripos maths course B and another 25% in something else, like physics, biology, geology, whatever.
IDK if CS with maths is worth it, because my offer is very very tough to meet now. But I'd have regretted not going for it, I love maths. I thought 'if I'm going to get into my dream uni, might as well get my dream course'. Very all or nothing.
OMG thanks dude! So to clear up, does Computer Science without Mathematics requrie STEP?

(Original post by Blazar)
St Andrews is basically the Scottish version of Oxbridge in terms of prestige. It's by no means a low-ranked university. It's just odd in that it happens not to have joined the Russel Group.
Exactly what I thought!
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Blazar
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(Original post by TVIO)
Dunno, I'd personally put Edinburgh higher, especially for CS. Russell group doesn't have that much to do with quality of teaching so that's irrelevant
I don't know if you're Scottish, but St Andrews is generally regarded as more prestigious here. Edinburgh is a great university and of course it will be better regarded for some courses, but it doesn't have quite the same level of prestige associated with it.
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TVIO
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(Original post by Blazar)
I don't know if you're Scottish, but St Andrews is generally regarded as more prestigious here. Edinburgh is a great university and of course it will be better regarded for some courses, but it doesn't have quite the same level of prestige associated with it.
Nah, I'm english and unfamiliar with the Scottish unis so I'll take your word for it. We don't really hear about St Andrews here, more about Edinburgh.
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UnknownDude
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(Original post by Blazar)
I don't know if you're Scottish, but St Andrews is generally regarded as more prestigious here. Edinburgh is a great university and of course it will be better regarded for some courses, but it doesn't have quite the same level of prestige associated with it.
So is St Andrews better than Imperial/Cambridge/Oxford/UCL/Kings/Birmingham at Computer Science?
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TVIO
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(Original post by UnknownDude)
OMG thanks dude! So to clear up, does Computer Science without Mathematics requrie STEP?



Exactly what I thought!
CS without maths does NOT require STEP at MOST colleges in Cambridge, but check before you apply to see if yours does. I know Churchill (my college ) don't need it for CS without maths.
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UnknownDude
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(Original post by TVIO)
CS without maths does NOT require STEP at MOST colleges in Cambridge, but check before you apply to see if yours does. I know Churchill (my college ) don't need it for CS without maths.
YAY!!! And Good Luck for Cambridge! Hope ya get in! Also, do you have to take STEP when applyign Computer Science at Imperial?
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TVIO
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(Original post by UnknownDude)
So is St Andrews better than Imperial/Cambridge/Oxford/UCL/Kings/Birmingham at Computer Science?
Better than Kings/B'Ham? Quite possibly. Better than Oxbridge and Imperial...No.
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TVIO
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(Original post by UnknownDude)
YAY!!! And Good Luck for Cambridge! Hope ya get in! Also, do you have to take STEP when applyign Computer Science at Imperial?
Thanks Well, a lot of people this year have STEP offers for Comp Sci without maths this year for Imperial. Including my horrendous offer including a 1 in STEP II. Hate them for giving me this offer. And most of their CS with maths have STEP offers but interestingly, not all.
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(Original post by TVIO)
Thanks Well, a lot of people this year have STEP offers for Comp Sci without maths this year for Imperial. Including my horrendous offer including a 1 in STEP II. Hate them for giving me this offer. And most of their CS with maths have STEP offers but interestingly, not all.
No way! Mind me asking what you got for Maths and Further Maths AS?
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