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    So from 5 is now down to two for my daughter.
    We live in Yorkshire so Lancaster is a lot closer (2hours by car, 90mins by train) but Sussex has offered a lower Firm offer of ABB rather than AAA for Lancaster.
    Lancaster has better and cheaper accomodation by far, it also seems a quieter place with a better SU. Sussex however offset that by giving a £2,000 higher bursary in the first year.

    I preferred the physics & maths dept at Sussex, far more friendly, including the students, whereas I appreciate that Lancaster is being refurbed but I worry that if it isn't ultra low temp research that its not given much consideration.

    The course at Sussex seems to be more suited to her as well, given that she is into Particle and quantum physics, but Lancaster doesn't seem to have given much detail about their other research, altho she did have a good interview there at her applicant day.

    So can anyone offer any additional info that may help regarding her choice (what to check or other pros and cons)

    Anything is appreciated, I am aware I don't have a say really, but she seems really quite torn.
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    (Original post by Colinj451)
    So from 5 is now down to two for my daughter.
    We live in Yorkshire so Lancaster is a lot closer (2hours by car, 90mins by train) but Sussex has offered a lower Firm offer of ABB rather than AAA for Lancaster.
    Lancaster has better and cheaper accomodation by far, it also seems a quieter place with a better SU. Sussex however offset that by giving a £2,000 higher bursary in the first year.

    I preferred the physics & maths dept at Sussex, far more friendly, including the students, whereas I appreciate that Lancaster is being refurbed but I worry that if it isn't ultra low temp research that its not given much consideration.

    The course at Sussex seems to be more suited to her as well, given that she is into Particle and quantum physics, but Lancaster doesn't seem to have given much detail about their other research, altho she did have a good interview there at her applicant day.

    So can anyone offer any additional info that may help regarding her choice (what to check or other pros and cons)

    Anything is appreciated, I am aware I don't have a say really, but she seems really quite torn.
    Please don't pick a university based on their research, you will only be effected by this your final year for the project you do no other time normally

    Most people think their interests are in particle physics, quantum mechanics etc but she won't really know what she will enjoy until she starts doing her degree. The reason is because everyone reads popular science on it but it is very different at university level

    Try not to let the not very friendly students bother you too much, its only if the lecturers were, I would be concerned.

    With uni accommodation you're only there for 9 months so its doesn't matter too much and shouldn't be taken into account when picking the university

    try pick the university based on
    1. which one has the best range of modules (though having a brief look they pretty much cover the similarish content in the later years just different names)

    2. Which place did she like most (not you) so the department, the study areas, the city/town/area, the societies that they su offer and the feel of the whole place

    Also if I am honest, in this case your opinion doesn't matter and you shouldn't give it too much as you're not the one studying there for 3/4 years, your daughter is so it's her that needs to have liked the place etc

    With the offer thing, does your daughter actually think she can get AAA? they will most likely let you in missing a grade or two but don't count on this
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    Thanks for the insight, the Lancaster website just gives a range of modules rather than being specific for the course. She would prefer not to do a full year of labs, so that is a plus at Sussex, each have their pros and cons and I am trying to get her to quantify those.

    As for her grades 3As is what she is predicted, but her lack of revision this last week isn't a good sign TBH either.

    I think overall she prefers Lancaster campus and Sussex physics dept & course but will she what decides.

    Thanks again
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    (Original post by Colinj451)
    Thanks for the insight, the Lancaster website just gives a range of modules rather than being specific for the course. She would prefer not to do a full year of labs, so that is a plus at Sussex, each have their pros and cons and I am trying to get her to quantify those.

    As for her grades 3As is what she is predicted, but her lack of revision this last week isn't a good sign TBH either.

    I think overall she prefers Lancaster campus and Sussex physics dept & course but will she what decides.

    Thanks again
    Having a brief look at the modules
    1. first 2 years are similar content wise apart from the labs in first year lancaster
    2. 3rd year is again similar except maybe lancaster has a bit focus on maths of groups and symmetries (needed in things like particle theory) and sussex cover a bit more other aspects of maths useful like and intro to perturbation theory (basically approximating equations for uses where exact solutions have not been found). Physics wise is similar
    4. 4th year a bit different, sussexs looking more into branches of maths and particle physics but then lancaster looks more into black holes, gravity and electrodynamics etc

    You can't really gp wrong with either course, both can lead you into the same phd as they are mostly similar, different named modules dont mean different physics covered

    May I ask why she doesn't want to do lab? If it is because of what she has done during A-level (Mine were called isa's a couple of years ago) then I would maybe consider choosing the lancaster course as labs at first year uni imo are very different to labs at A-level, you use much more 'exciting' techniques and equipment (not sure what word to use lol) which would give her a much more informed decision on whether to stick with theory or not.

    I am for example a first year theoretical physics student (though not at lancaster) but have to take first year lab and I have seen it giving me two benefits

    1. Lets me see more into what uni labs and experimental physics is like (each experiment actually has a real point unlike at A-level)
    2. Allows me to change to straight physics if I want to at the end of the year.

    After hating lab at A-level I must say I have actually quite enjoyed labs so far and I would consider swapping to straight physics at the end of the year (because one of my interests that is developing is biophysics and because I can still go into a theory phd without closing the doors into biophysics and solid state physics, interests I did not know I had until this year)

    The point on experiments is just something she should consider as before I started at uni I was dead set against experimental physics
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    Thank you for looking at those, a lot of it is over my head, but with regards to labs she has always been clumsy and accident prone so although it is almost a standing joke with her she doesn't have much confidence in it either. For instance she is having to retake her AS EMPA as it didn't go well, mainly due to having an issue with a vernier scale.

    Given that she has managed to whittle out Leeds (too close to home) and York and Nottingham (poorly organised applicant days and interviews) but they all gave her their standard offers I am hoping that she can now objectively decide which to firm, even though it is likely she will be left without an insurance as all the courses she applied for had offers at AAA I think. If she misses the grades then it will be probably mean a hard rethink for clearing, but I would rather not think negatively.

    All I know is that she won't be applying to Salford :unimpressed:

    Thank you for your input and hope you do well with your studies
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    (Original post by Colinj451)
    Thank you for looking at those, a lot of it is over my head, but with regards to labs she has always been clumsy and accident prone so although it is almost a standing joke with her she doesn't have much confidence in it either. For instance she is having to retake her AS EMPA as it didn't go well, mainly due to having an issue with a vernier scale.

    Given that she has managed to whittle out Leeds (too close to home) and York and Nottingham (poorly organised applicant days and interviews) but they all gave her their standard offers I am hoping that she can now objectively decide which to firm, even though it is likely she will be left without an insurance as all the courses she applied for had offers at AAA I think. If she misses the grades then it will be probably mean a hard rethink for clearing, but I would rather not think negatively.

    All I know is that she won't be applying to Salford :unimpressed:

    Thank you for your input and hope you do well with your studies
    She should choose leeds but maybe I'm slightly biased haha :P

    hmm that was a bit silly but I guess the sliver lining is most physics courses are undersubscribed so do take slightly lower offers sometimes (I know people who got in with ABB at leeds)


    just another thing to mention in my practical exam at A-level, I got a D in AS and a E/U in A2 practical exa, (cant remember which) but got a first in labs for semester 1 this year, it is okay to be clumsy/useless (I was definitely useless) but with the 1 phd to 4 students we had it made me improve within about 6 weeks to first class level for that module. She shouldnt be worried at doing poorly at first in labs, most people were in my lab group aha

    My last words on it all: I would go for lancaster as with similar modules at each and the ability to change between straight physics and theory for the first year it leaves almost all areas of physics open for at least the first year (also allowing her to gain some knowledge about the labs and almost as importantly skills during the first year labs). Also if shes if dead set on theory make sure she learns how to code well, as a lot of the jobs she would be looking at will involve this (both academic and non-academic)
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    Leeds was very much on her list, and we attended a number of events (she did the summer school there) and had a strong course.
    I just think universities shoot themselves in the foot with an across the board of AAA or the like, meaning that it takes that out of decision making equation.
    Its things like the ratio of students in labs, programming languages (York do Fortran, Notts use Matlab, Sussex use Python etc) that almost has to be teased out but in fact makes as much as a difference as contact hours with a tutor and the much lauded open door policy (don't they all have this?)
    If she misses her grades then maybe she'll see you next year via clearing, as we only live 20miles away so a short transition would be more manageable

    Thanks again for all your input
 
 
 
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