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    I am currently in a gap year and wish to pursue a degree in physics with a high emphasis on astrophysics. However, there are various factors that are important to me in making my choices.

    Firstly, I'm looking for a university with the best available facilities and reputation for astrophysics/astronomy. By this I mean, a good telescope to which I can maybe get some access (I know this is rare for undergrad). Also one with a really solid programme in physics.

    Secondly, international connections with American and German universities are quite important to me. The more exchange programmes and year abroad opportunities, the better for me. Two of my choices include a year abroad: Exeter in the US and Nottingham in Germany. I want to go to grad school in the US at an Ivy League or equivalent uni. Therefore, it is important that the university has recognition.

    Thirdly, cost. I imagine Glasgow would be cheapest for rent and living costs. However, from what I've heard, the bachelors degree takes four years and therefore would require an extra year of payment. I want to reduce the amount I have to pay off after university.

    Fourthly, the campus, its history and surrounding city/town. I would prefer a grand and historic campus with a lot going on around it. It is not the most important factor obviously but seen as I will be spending three/four years of my life there, it is a factor to consider.

    Last of all, I will probably need to get a 1st or a 2:1 in my degree to do what I want to do. In high ranking universities where there is more competition, I imagine this would be a lot harder. There has to be a reasonable percentage of students achieving those grades.

    Out of Glasgow, Nottingham, UCL and Exeter, which would you guys say is the best compromise out of all those factors?

    So far, I have unconditionals from Glasgow and Exeter and am expecting conditionals from Nottingham and UCL.
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