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Feel pretentious but want to switch to a better uni for maths Watch

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    This is going to be a long post, sorry...

    Hellooooo, I'm currently going through a very stressful period of my life and feel that my judgement is too clouded by too many factors to do this alone so I thought I'd post my situation for people to take a stab at helping out with. I've already spoken to my respective tutors, careers service at my uni and many more people but I feel that asking on tsr will also be useful. I'm quite a naive person so I have the tendency to be quite irrational at times. Any advice, tips, warnings etc would be massively appreciated!

    I'm currently doing my first year in Maths and Physics at Manchester but I'm not really enjoying the physics side of things (coursework and lab reports are really not my thing). I'm hesitant to switch to straight maths at Manchester as:

    a) I really want to move out and make a new circle of friends, get the whole moving out experience ect.

    b) (As much as I hate to look at leaderboards) Maths at Manchester is around the 20s and I want to push myself as much as I can at uni to compensate for the fact I have no idea what to do career wise. I feel like if I can build on as many skills as possible it'll help make up for the ambivalence

    Considering this I'm thinking of applying for first year entry to Warwick for straight maths. Here is a list of pros and cons that I think might apply:


    Pros:
    • Moving out - Will help me become more independent and responsible. I'll also meet a new group of people. I've lived in the same place for 10 years. I'm itching for a change. I currently do no house chores, all my meals are made for me and I get a lift to practically anywhere. As a result I've become quite lazy so I also want to move out to force that out of me
    • Well respected degree at a well respected uni - If I can get a first from Warwick it'll open more doors (arguably) than a first at Manchester for maths. I'm worried if I stay at Manchester and 2 years down the line decide I want to do e.g. investment banking, it'll be harder to get in as Manchester is not as well renowned as Warwick for its Mathematics
    • Tough degree - The workload I hear is immense (5-12 hours per problem sheet, 3/5 sheets per week). As I am that workload would probably kill me but that makes me want to do it so I learn to become efficient enough to handle that kind of pressure. I feel that I'll have to adapt to the tougher environment which will help me grow faster than at Manchester
    • Language course - I want to learn German and I can't do it at an introductory level at Manchester. Going to Warwick will allow me to do this
    • Experience advantage - Now that I've started uni I know exactly how I'd approach it if I could start again. This way I can better learn first year topics that are built on in later years and be more likely to stay on top of things
    • Fear - If I switch I won't be able to do it again with funding from student finance. Also there'll be pressure on me to get it right this time round as there's no third chance in a sense. I definitely think these two factors will push me to work harder
    Cons:
    • Moving out - My social skills aren't bad but they aren't great either. If I am generally disliked by my flat it'll really make my uni experience a little miserable. Also I'll lose a lot of time cooking, cleaning, washing up and doing laundry - yet another factor that will demand more efficiency
    • I'll lose a year of study - Doing an extra year means this whole year of expenditure and loans went to waste in a way. I feel like this isn't that important since I'll only pay some of it back and in the long run it won't matter too much considering the potential gain
    • Tough degree - I'm worried that I'll go to Warwick only to realise that the only way I could personally get a first is by studying all the time and having no social life. I think around 30% get a first and considering the high entry requirements it seems like you'd have to either have incredible raw mathematical ability or work all the time. I feel like I don't have the former so I'm worried I'll have to resort to the latter to compensate. I'm under the assumption that this would make for a weak CV since you've not done anything else with your time at uni. Also, University is said to be some of your best years. I enjoy maths but I wouldn't curb my uni experience for the sake of maths because I haven't really been having a lot of fun these past few years (long story) and I don't want that to repeat at uni as well
    • No going back - Since student finance offer one year extra funding I'm ok to change now but if I go to Warwick and end up finding it too hard I won't be able to change again, not sure about transfers into second year though
    I feel like most of what I'm saying is just assumptions and stereotypes and I'm afraid of making the wrong decision again. £9000 is a lot of money. 1 year is a lot of time

    If there is anything you want clarifying/explaining or you want some details about my course or me that you think will be useful don't hesitate! (bank details don't count. I'm not THAT naive)

    Thanks for reading
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    I would say go for it if you can. A year is not a long time in the grand scheme of things.

    Even though the Warwick course will probably be harder (The maths department has an excellent reputation), you will have had a year of uni level maths to get you ahead of the pack.


    But on the other hand, I wouldn't worry if you stay at manchester. It's still a great uni and you're still doing a great degree.


    Best of luck with what you decide.

    SS
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    How well are you doing in the maths part of the course at Manchester? Switching from a 2:1 at Manchester to a 2:1 at Warwick is possibly somewhat pointless: there isn't that much difference in prestige between them (especially internationally, where Manchester is very well recognized). Switching from a 2:1 at Manchester to a 2:2 at Warwick (or from a 1st to a 2:1) would definitely be pointless. On the other hand, if you are on track for a 1st at Manchester, and feel you would benefit from being stretched at Warwick (but still get a 1st) then there is more reason to switch.
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    (Original post by SolitaryRS)

    Thanks for reading
    Do you actually have the grades to be admitted to Warwick? I personally think this is an ill-advised thing to do as there is nothing wrong with Manchester's course and the only thing that matters is that you don't enjoy the one you are on now, but it would be supremely ill-advised if you set your heart on going to Warwick without the entry qualifications. Warwick maths admissions tutors are in the very fortunate position of being able to pick the very best and they don't have to be kind and generous to anyone who doesn't make the cut. One of my tutees had a clean sweep of A*s at CGSE, As at AS and went on to get A*A*A* at A2, but missed his firm Warwick offer through messing up STEP. If you have the results and think it would make a difference, then make enquiries, but it won't make very much difference in the long run. Beware of thinking that all your troubles will be solved merely by moving them to a different place.
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    (Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
    Do you actually have the grades to be admitted to Warwick? I personally think this is an ill-advised thing to do as there is nothing wrong with Manchester's course and the only thing that matters is that you don't enjoy the one you are on now, but it would be supremely ill-advised if you set your heart on going to Warwick without the entry qualifications. Warwick maths admissions tutors are in the very fortunate position of being able to pick the very best and they don't have to be kind and generous to anyone who doesn't make the cut. One of my tutees had a clean sweep of A*s at CGSE, As at AS and went on to get A*A*A* at A2, but missed his firm Warwick offer through messing up STEP. If you have the results and think it would make a difference, then make enquiries, but it won't make very much difference in the long run. Beware of thinking that all your troubles will be solved merely by moving them to a different place.
    I see what you're saying. Sorry, I'm wasn't trying to say that the maths course at Manchester is not good but that I want to push myself academically as much as I can. I'm paying £9K each year independent of the institution so why not go to the hardest place I think I can manage. That way I get to also move out ect

    I haven't taken STEP but I've been told that if they give me the standard offer instead of an offer based on my first year uni grades I can simply take the exam. I didn't get an A* at A2 Further Maths (simply didn't revise even a fraction of the amount at AS) but I feel that I could make the STEP requirements with hard work
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    (Original post by SolitaryRS)
    I see what you're saying. Sorry, I'm wasn't trying to say that the maths course at Manchester is not good but that I want to push myself academically as much as I can. I'm paying £9K each year independent of the institution so why not go to the hardest place I think I can manage. That way I get to also move out ect

    I haven't taken STEP but I've been told that if they give me the standard offer instead of an offer based on my first year uni grades I can simply take the exam. I didn't get an A* at A2 Further Maths (simply didn't revise even a fraction of the amount at AS) but I feel that I could make the STEP requirements with hard work
    Is this a conversation you have had with Warwick? I don't think they will be happy with no A* in FM, but you will obviously want to hear this from them.
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    (Original post by Supersaps)
    I would say go for it if you can. A year is not a long time in the grand scheme of things.

    Even though the Warwick course will probably be harder (The maths department has an excellent reputation), you will have had a year of uni level maths to get you ahead of the pack.


    But on the other hand, I wouldn't worry if you stay at manchester. It's still a great uni and you're still doing a great degree. I'll phone Warwick admissions on Monday. I've just been hesitant to do so before I get my head straight on what I'm doing


    Best of luck with what you decide.

    SS
    Thanks. What makes you say go for it instead of staying in Manchester?

    (Original post by sweeneyrod)
    How well are you doing in the maths part of the course at Manchester? Switching from a 2:1 at Manchester to a 2:1 at Warwick is possibly somewhat pointless: there isn't that much difference in prestige between them (especially internationally, where Manchester is very well recognized). Switching from a 2:1 at Manchester to a 2:2 at Warwick (or from a 1st to a 2:1) would definitely be pointless. On the other hand, if you are on track for a 1st at Manchester, and feel you would benefit from being stretched at Warwick (but still get a 1st) then there is more reason to switch.
    I'm not sure what I'm on track for in the Maths side of my degree. The only examined papers we've done were the midterm exams for calculus and vectors, and sets, numbers and functions. I got 40/40 and 24/30 respectively. The end of semester exams were quite easy as well. I'd predict marks around the 90% region.

    (Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
    Is this a conversation you have had with Warwick? I don't think they will be happy with no A* in FM, but you will obviously want to hear this from them.
    This was a conversation with a maths teacher who'd dealt with this kind of thing before. On the Warwick site they state that a potential offer is A*AA with 1 in any STEP
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    (Original post by SolitaryRS)
    This was a conversation with a maths teacher who'd dealt with this kind of thing before. On the Warwick site they state that a potential offer is A*AA with 1 in any STEP
    You will find reliable answers to transfer questions in here:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1781424
    Most maths teachers will not have had dealings with a very large number of students wanting to transfer from Manchester to Warwick, and the only people who can tell you with any authority about your chances will be admissions tutors at Warwick, so you should make contact with them and ask them. Clearly you have made up your mind.
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    Well, you seem somewhat unhappy at your current course and the benefits may just be worth 9k and a year of your life.
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    Responses below in blue

    (Original post by SolitaryRS)
    This is going to be a long post, sorry...

    Hellooooo, I'm currently going through a very stressful period of my life and feel that my judgement is too clouded by too many factors to do this alone so I thought I'd post my situation for people to take a stab at helping out with. I've already spoken to my respective tutors, careers service at my uni and many more people but I feel that asking on tsr will also be useful. I'm quite a naive person so I have the tendency to be quite irrational at times. That's an impressive level of self awareness, and I'm really impressed that you've already gone to speak to tutors and the careers service Any advice, tips, warnings etc would be massively appreciated!

    I'm currently doing my first year in Maths and Physics at Manchester but I'm not really enjoying the physics side of things (coursework and lab reports are really not my thing). I'm hesitant to switch to straight maths at Manchester as:

    a) I really want to move out and make a new circle of friends, get the whole moving out experience ect.

    Have you considered moving into UoM halls for second year? It's not guaranteed, and the application deadline is 12th February, but it may be an option that works out quite well for you - the best of both worlds so to speak http://www.accommodation.manchester.ac. uk/applications/ If you wanted to move out more rapidly, then I would bet by bottom dollar that there are spaces available in halls for you to move into immediately if you wanted (there are always drop outs at Christmas)

    The moving out experience is hugely valuable IMO. If you don't fancy going into halls, have you considered living with friends in a house in Fallowfield or one or the surrounding areas?

    b) (As much as I hate to look at leaderboards) Maths at Manchester is around the 20s and I want to push myself as much as I can at uni to compensate for the fact I have no idea what to do career wise. I feel like if I can build on as many skills as possible it'll help make up for the ambivalence

    I'll be honest. League tables are one of my pet hates. They are put together by journalists with the intention of selling more newspapers / driving more traffic to their website. They are not motivated by providing good advice to students. Be very sure that you know what league tables show - it is most certainly not prestige. Have a look at this http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1096372

    Considering this I'm thinking of applying for first year entry to Warwick for straight maths.
    Given that we are now past the 15th January deadline for equal consideration, have you contacted Warwick to ask if they will consider late applications? Even if they will consider late applications, you need a plan B for if you don't get in - like switching to straight maths.

    Here is a list of pros and cons that I think might apply:


    Pros:
    • Moving out - Will help me become more independent and responsible. I'll also meet a new group of people. I've lived in the same place for 10 years. I'm itching for a change. I currently do no house chores, all my meals are made for me and I get a lift to practically anywhere. As a result I've become quite lazy so I also want to move out to force that out of me
    I agree with the principle entirely - but as above you could achieve that by going into halls / shared house within Manchester.
    • Well respected degree at a well respected uni - If I can get a first from Warwick it'll open more doors (arguably) than a first at Manchester for maths. I'm worried if I stay at Manchester and 2 years down the line decide I want to do e.g. investment banking, it'll be harder to get in as Manchester is not as well renowned as Warwick for its Mathematics
    I think this is highly questionable - they are both very good universities, and typically graduate employers will spend far more time looking at things like summer internships than the precise nuances of which uni you went to (I would not be saying this if we were talking about the difference between MMU and Warwick).. If I were you I would drop an email to the grad recruitment team at a couple of IB banks and ask their opinion. Do it under a false name if you wish.

    On a related note, if you are still in Manchester come the autumn, then I would suggest going along to this http://www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/events/businessfinanceandmanagementfair/ (or the equivalent elsewhere)
    • Tough degree - The workload I hear is immense (5-12 hours per problem sheet, 3/5 sheets per week). As I am that workload would probably kill me but that makes me want to do it so I learn to become efficient enough to handle that kind of pressure. I feel that I'll have to adapt to the tougher environment which will help me grow faster than at Manchester
    You've currently only experienced first semester of first year at Manchester. That is never particularly hard. I can assure you that the workload will increase enormously as you enter second, and particularly third / fourth year.
    • Language course - I want to learn German and I can't do it at an introductory level at Manchester. Going to Warwick will allow me to do this
    Yes you can - either through LEAP (so you can either do it as a free choice module or in your spare time) http://www.langcent.manchester.ac.uk/languages/leap/german/ or through the International Society (white building opposite the SU and next to KroBar) http://internationalsociety.org.uk/class-timetable/
    • Experience advantage - Now that I've started uni I know exactly how I'd approach it if I could start again. This way I can better learn first year topics that are built on in later years and be more likely to stay on top of things
    There's really no reason why you can't apply the lessons of first semester to your second semester onwards at Manchester - particularly given that we've identified ways in which improvements to your experience at Manchester could be made.
    • Fear - If I switch I won't be able to do it again with funding from student finance. Also there'll be pressure on me to get it right this time round as there's no third chance in a sense. I definitely think these two factors will push me to work harder
    Cons:
    • Moving out - My social skills aren't bad but they aren't great either. If I am generally disliked by my flat it'll really make my uni experience a little miserable. Also I'll lose a lot of time cooking, cleaning, washing up and doing laundry - yet another factor that will demand more efficiency
    I think this is a pretty common fear of a lot of students who are looking to move out for the first time. In reality, it is very rare that you will dislike all your flat. I've only kept in touch with one person who I was in halls with, but he's my best friend, we lived together for four years and we still see each other now we have graduated and live in different cities.

    With regards to the practicalities of independent living, I can assure you that it is easier to learn these skills at uni when you have more time on your hands and when the people around you are also typically learning as they go along, so you can always ask 'silly' questions without it sounding silly, and you don't have to balance the demands of learning how to mash potato with long days at the office (I say this as a graduate who spends long days in the office myself!)
    • I'll lose a year of study - Doing an extra year means this whole year of expenditure and loans went to waste in a way. I feel like this isn't that important since I'll only pay some of it back and in the long run it won't matter too much considering the potential gain
    I'll agree that a year isn't that important in the grand scheme of things.
    • Tough degree - I'm worried that I'll go to Warwick only to realise that the only way I could personally get a first is by studying all the time and having no social life. I think around 30% get a first and considering the high entry requirements it seems like you'd have to either have incredible raw mathematical ability or work all the time. I feel like I don't have the former so I'm worried I'll have to resort to the latter to compensate. I'm under the assumption that this would make for a weak CV since you've not done anything else with your time at uni. Also, University is said to be some of your best years. I enjoy maths but I wouldn't curb my uni experience for the sake of maths because I haven't really been having a lot of fun these past few years (long story) and I don't want that to repeat at uni as well
    I think it's important to remember that university is about far more than just grades. All the research shows that getting work experience, for instance, is far more important than your final degree grade, and even the investment banks themselves typically state on their websites that they want to see you have maintained a suitable work-life balance at uni e.g. playing sports.

    Do the investment banks actually state that they require a first? If not, they don't. I work in a completely different industry, but I took the view that I would much rather get a 2:1 and enjoy my time at uni - and it paid off. I got a dream job offer before I graduated, and I wouldn't have got that if I hadn't done things outside my degree (namely part time work)
    • No going back - Since student finance offer one year extra funding I'm ok to change now but if I go to Warwick and end up finding it too hard I won't be able to change again, not sure about transfers into second year though
    The rules about SF are
    Number of years of your new course
    Plus one 'gift' year
    Minus any previous years of study
    = remaining student finance entitlement

    A transfer into second year at Warwick would not affect your SF entitlement (or your 'gift' year) at all. However, if you were to restart in fisrt year and then wanted to transfer to second year, then I would suggest that you had a very long, hard think about what it was that you were actually hoping to achieve - you would either (a) be starting your third maths course at a third uni, or (b) be transferring to a course so different that a second year transfer would be irrelevant.

    I feel like most of what I'm saying is just assumptions and stereotypes and I'm afraid of making the wrong decision again. £9000 is a lot of money. 1 year is a lot of time

    If there is anything you want clarifying/explaining or you want some details about my course or me that you think will be useful don't hesitate! (bank details don't count. I'm not THAT naive) Shame! If only I had a pound for each post I make on TSR... :moon:

    Thanks for reading
    Also, have a read of this http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1781424
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    What do you want to do afterwards? If you're looking at finance, it might be a smart decision.
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    I know nothing about mathematics at University however I study Computer Science. My university is within a 30 minute drive from my house... YET I still moved out... I think its a very good decision to get your own independence, have your own flat, make new friends.

    The most important tip:

    Move out.

    Pick a degree that is suitable for you.

    and make friends!
 
 
 
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