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    Is it a complete waste of £9000 a year? Should I resit and try to get into a RG uni?
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    Anyone have an opinion or any experience with this?
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
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    What do you want from your experience? Have you been to visit the department?

    I'd basically think about:
    - quality of their facilities (mainly the labs and equipment)
    - your intentions afterwards (chemical research, other industries, non-research chemical industry)
    - likelihood of other opportunities (internships and placements, predominantly)

    The main difference with an RG university is the research funding they get. As an undergraduate you may not see much difference for the first couple of years. It will become a factor if you become active in research at any point, like an MChem project. However, whether that will make any difference to your life will then depend on what you intend to do after.

    If you want to do a PhD then i'd be inclined to lean towards trying to get into an RG university. My experience of an RG university was that all the external PhD students had come from other RG universities, aside from the international candidates. It's where all the research money is and the established professors.

    If you don't think research is for you then I personally think it's far less of a factor. Many jobs feature a technical interview which is effectively where you can demonstrate your knowledge - that's ultimately what they're looking for rather than a name, because a name doesn't contribute anything to their business but you will. This is also where looking in lab equipment comes in because the more skills you can amass at university the wider the pool of opportunities at the end. Analytical equipment is a very good thing to have a grounding in because entry level QA/QC roles is a way into the industry for many. 6 months doing that then onto something they actually perhaps want to do more.

    Some non-RG universities offer more applied courses which can be useful and sometimes involve more industry links. If this means you're more likely to do a placement or an internship somewhere then don't write it off. I had several offers before I finished university and i'm pretty damn sure that's because of my placement year and not the university name. Anything you can do to better yourself as an individual candidate is what counts.

    It probably depends a little bit on the university in question here also. There will be some decent departments that aren't in RG universities, and others I wouldn't bother with.
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    (Original post by Nymthae)
    What do you want from your experience? Have you been to visit the department?

    I'd basically think about:
    - quality of their facilities (mainly the labs and equipment)
    - your intentions afterwards (chemical research, other industries, non-research chemical industry)
    - likelihood of other opportunities (internships and placements, predominantly)

    The main difference with an RG university is the research funding they get. As an undergraduate you may not see much difference for the first couple of years. It will become a factor if you become active in research at any point, like an MChem project. However, whether that will make any difference to your life will then depend on what you intend to do after.

    If you want to do a PhD then i'd be inclined to lean towards trying to get into an RG university. My experience of an RG university was that all the external PhD students had come from other RG universities, aside from the international candidates. It's where all the research money is and the established professors.

    If you don't think research is for you then I personally think it's far less of a factor. Many jobs feature a technical interview which is effectively where you can demonstrate your knowledge - that's ultimately what they're looking for rather than a name, because a name doesn't contribute anything to their business but you will. This is also where looking in lab equipment comes in because the more skills you can amass at university the wider the pool of opportunities at the end. Analytical equipment is a very good thing to have a grounding in because entry level QA/QC roles is a way into the industry for many. 6 months doing that then onto something they actually perhaps want to do more.

    Some non-RG universities offer more applied courses which can be useful and sometimes involve more industry links. If this means you're more likely to do a placement or an internship somewhere then don't write it off. I had several offers before I finished university and i'm pretty damn sure that's because of my placement year and not the university name. Anything you can do to better yourself as an individual candidate is what counts.

    It probably depends a little bit on the university in question here also. There will be some decent departments that aren't in RG universities, and others I wouldn't bother with.
    I'm hoping to do graduate medicine after so instead of straight chemistry I'm really thinking of doing Medicinal chemistry. Obviously only RG uni's offer graduate medicine so I'd be worried about my first Uni being less competitive relative to other applicants.
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    (Original post by Nymthae)
    What do you want from your experience? Have you been to visit the department?

    I'd basically think about:
    - quality of their facilities (mainly the labs and equipment)
    - your intentions afterwards (chemical research, other industries, non-research chemical industry)
    - likelihood of other opportunities (internships and placements, predominantly)

    The main difference with an RG university is the research funding they get. As an undergraduate you may not see much difference for the first couple of years. It will become a factor if you become active in research at any point, like an MChem project. However, whether that will make any difference to your life will then depend on what you intend to do after.

    If you want to do a PhD then i'd be inclined to lean towards trying to get into an RG university. My experience of an RG university was that all the external PhD students had come from other RG universities, aside from the international candidates. It's where all the research money is and the established professors.

    If you don't think research is for you then I personally think it's far less of a factor. Many jobs feature a technical interview which is effectively where you can demonstrate your knowledge - that's ultimately what they're looking for rather than a name, because a name doesn't contribute anything to their business but you will. This is also where looking in lab equipment comes in because the more skills you can amass at university the wider the pool of opportunities at the end. Analytical equipment is a very good thing to have a grounding in because entry level QA/QC roles is a way into the industry for many. 6 months doing that then onto something they actually perhaps want to do more.

    Some non-RG universities offer more applied courses which can be useful and sometimes involve more industry links. If this means you're more likely to do a placement or an internship somewhere then don't write it off. I had several offers before I finished university and i'm pretty damn sure that's because of my placement year and not the university name. Anything you can do to better yourself as an individual candidate is what counts.

    It probably depends a little bit on the university in question here also. There will be some decent departments that aren't in RG universities, and others I wouldn't bother with.
    if someone didn't go to an RG uni but wanted to do a PhD afterwards is that still possible?


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    There are some good non-RG universities for chemistry, such as Bath (I applied to Bath) and St.Andrew's.
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    (Original post by bubblegumcat)
    if someone didn't go to an RG uni but wanted to do a PhD afterwards is that still possible?


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    Of course. RG unis arent the be all end all, but are universities that are reseach intensive (and are generally large) and receive a lot of funding . Many students from non RG do manage to do their PhD at RG uni and vise versa (e.g. one of the PhD Maths student at Reading has a masters from Oxford).

    Each uni specialises in different topic in each subject
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    .
    I'd investigate over in the medicine forum about the backgrounds of candidates and see if you can find anything much about intake outside of RG universities. My personal expectation and view is that the admissions teams are not stupid and they recognise good candidates. The other thing to keep in mind is not all medical schools come under the RG umbrella so it's not like they only take from their own. There's a lot more they will be looking at before the university name (your attainment, for a start) - mainly your work experience and what you've taken from that. I can't really see you gaining much from an RG university in exchange for a year of your life here (assuming you'd be taking a gap year).

    (Original post by bubblegumcat)
    if someone didn't go to an RG uni but wanted to do a PhD afterwards is that still possible?
    Of course. Getting accepted onto a PhD (or some sort of CDT/DTC) is much less clear cut than undergraduate admissions. You need to perform well at undergraduate, and ideally do your best to swing your undergraduate research to whatever you want to pursue. Do research projects over the summer etc. to build that experience. There's a much more personal aspect to the process which the bottom line is: the academic needs to like you/your application. It's very individual. Some of them are going to be snobs, and others are far more receptive to potential. You'll need a minimum 2:1, but on track for a first would definitely help.

    Universities will target those that are of a similar standard to themselves because they're aware of the standard of training. Professors within the same fields know each other. It can be difficult going from an outside university as you may not get so much exposure to research - i.e. all the staff are typically research active in an RG department and you will probably research within one of their groups as a final year undergraduate, and they also teach modules related to their research. There's a lot you can do as an individual though to make yourself an attractive candidate. I'm thinking places like Sussex, Strathclyde etc. are fine here. You'll probably struggle if you're really stuck for choice as many ex-polytechnics are not exactly known for their research efforts.

    If it fills you with any confidence: Reader in Chemistry at Manchester with an undergraduate degree and PhD from UEA.
    Undergrad from Kent, PhD from UEA
    Professor at Liverpool, undergrad+PhD from Sussex
    and i'm sure there are others holding similar positions elsewhere from non-RG universities.
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    (Original post by Nymthae)
    I'd investigate over in the medicine forum about the backgrounds of candidates and see if you can find anything much about intake outside of RG universities. My personal expectation and view is that the admissions teams are not stupid and they recognise good candidates. The other thing to keep in mind is not all medical schools come under the RG umbrella so it's not like they only take from their own. There's a lot more they will be looking at before the university name (your attainment, for a start) - mainly your work experience and what you've taken from that. I can't really see you gaining much from an RG university in exchange for a year of your life here (assuming you'd be taking a gap year).



    Of course. Getting accepted onto a PhD (or some sort of CDT/DTC) is much less clear cut than undergraduate admissions. You need to perform well at undergraduate, and ideally do your best to swing your undergraduate research to whatever you want to pursue. Do research projects over the summer etc. to build that experience. There's a much more personal aspect to the process which the bottom line is: the academic needs to like you/your application. It's very individual. Some of them are going to be snobs, and others are far more receptive to potential. You'll need a minimum 2:1, but on track for a first would definitely help.

    Universities will target those that are of a similar standard to themselves because they're aware of the standard of training. Professors within the same fields know each other. It can be difficult going from an outside university as you may not get so much exposure to research - i.e. all the staff are typically research active in an RG department and you will probably research within one of their groups as a final year undergraduate, and they also teach modules related to their research. There's a lot you can do as an individual though to make yourself an attractive candidate. I'm thinking places like Sussex, Strathclyde etc. are fine here. You'll probably struggle if you're really stuck for choice as many ex-polytechnics are not exactly known for their research efforts.

    If it fills you with any confidence: Reader in Chemistry at Manchester with an undergraduate degree and PhD from UEA.
    Undergrad from Kent, PhD from UEA
    Professor at Liverpool, undergrad+PhD from Sussex
    and i'm sure there are others holding similar positions elsewhere from non-RG universities.
    thanks! I'm not actually planning on doing a PhD but when I go to uni I would like to do more research projects to gain experience, where do I look into doing those?


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    (Original post by bubblegumcat)
    thanks! I'm not actually planning on doing a PhD but when I go to uni I would like to do more research projects to gain experience, where do I look into doing those?


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    Your main source of opportunity will be within your department so speak to any supervisors and see if they can accommodate you over the summer. Otherwise, applying for any major internship schemes (usually take place after you've completed second or third year) or contact local companies to see if they will take you for work experience. It's sometimes a bit of a long shot but occasionally you can find something.
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    (Original post by Nymthae)
    I'd investigate over in the medicine forum about the backgrounds of candidates and see if you can find anything much about intake outside of RG universities. My personal expectation and view is that the admissions teams are not stupid and they recognise good candidates. The other thing to keep in mind is not all medical schools come under the RG umbrella so it's not like they only take from their own. There's a lot more they will be looking at before the university name (your attainment, for a start) - mainly your work experience and what you've taken from that. I can't really see you gaining much from an RG university in exchange for a year of your life here (assuming you'd be taking a gap year). .
    Thanks but my logic was, in addition, I would gain a first degree that maybe could be more competitive in its own right in case the whole medicine thing didn't work out. I figured a degree from a RG uni would be more competitive in the work place aswell than a degree from a non-redbrick. I see what you're saying about work experience and the like, and obviously I will endeavour to do well in that respect.

    That and tbh I'm getting a lot of pressure from my own mother who did her degree at a redbrick (Manchester) and I feel like I'm letting the family down a bit by doing a Chemistry degree at an ex-polytechnic. There are loads of people on here who have had experiences at both types of universities and they always say RG's offer better experiences so I might aswell do it anyway.

    I know Theology and Chemistry are not remotely comparable but I just want the best for myself and my family to be proud of me.

    I'm only doing it because I asked one of my lecturers during first year if I would be able to do it if I didn't go to a non RG Uni and he said no.
 
 
 
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