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    I am just doing some clearing research for my daughter as she is in a place where she is not going to make her Firm offer grades. (ABB at Sussex for Theoretical)

    Does anyone have any thoughts about universities such as Hull, Nottingham Trent, De Monfort, Dundee (Year 1 entry) & Portsmouth for physics. Would it be a decent expereince and degree or frankly terrible

    Most of these are 260-280 UCAS points (which may include C grade AS in chemistry and probably a C grade in general studies)

    These aren't exhaustive but I would like to know if anyone has experience of them (Or others) to suggest what the difference would be with a higher ranked uni.

    I know resits would be an option but just considering all basis (She might consider a genetics degree if she does OK in her biology A-Level too)

    Thanks
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    (Original post by Colinj451)
    I am just doing some clearing research for my daughter as she is in a place where she is not going to make her Firm offer grades. (ABB at Sussex for Theoretical)

    Does anyone have any thoughts about universities such as Hull, Nottingham Trent, De Monfort, Dundee (Year 1 entry) & Portsmouth for physics. Would it be a decent experience and degree or frankly terrible

    Most of these are 260-280 UCAS points (which may include C grade AS in chemistry and probably a C grade in general studies)

    These aren't exhaustive but I would like to know if anyone has experience of them (Or others) to suggest what the difference would be with a higher ranked uni.

    I know resits would be an option but just considering all basis (She might consider a genetics degree if she does OK in her biology A-Level too)

    Thanks
    Hi Colinj451,

    It's really good that you are doing this research before clearing begins. You definitely don't want your daughter to be making any hasty decisions on the day.

    Can I ask - are you and your daughter both looking at this together? It is really important that your daughter is looking at these universities and making her own opinions of them, as she is the one that could be spending potentially 3 to 4 years of her life there, and she doesn't want to be at a university studying a course she doesn't enjoy.

    I would recommend to keep doing what you are doing and researching. Look at the course information on the websites with your module, does the modules sound like something your daughter would like to do?

    I would also look at the universities as a whole, for example what campus is physics taught at, what are the facilities like, what is the surrounding city like (especially if your daughter hasn't been there before). As the place she is studying is going to be just as important as what she is studying.

    I hope everything goes well, and good luck to your daughter for her exams. If you have any questions about Nottingham Trent and our Physics course, please don't hesitate to ask, I would be happy to help

    Thanks,

    Ellen
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    (Original post by Nottingham Trent University)
    Hi Colinj451,

    It's really good that you are doing this research before clearing begins. You definitely don't want your daughter to be making any hasty decisions on the day.

    Can I ask - are you and your daughter both looking at this together? It is really important that your daughter is looking at these universities and making her own opinions of them, as she is the one that could be spending potentially 3 to 4 years of her life there, and she doesn't want to be at a university studying a course she doesn't enjoy.

    I would recommend to keep doing what you are doing and researching. Look at the course information on the websites with your module, does the modules sound like something your daughter would like to do?

    I would also look at the universities as a whole, for example what campus is physics taught at, what are the facilities like, what is the surrounding city like (especially if your daughter hasn't been there before). As the place she is studying is going to be just as important as what she is studying.

    I hope everything goes well, and good luck to your daughter for her exams. If you have any questions about Nottingham Trent and our Physics course, please don't hesitate to ask, I would be happy to help

    Thanks,

    Ellen
    Hi, Thanks for the reply, I just do the initial research for options if the "worst" happens. The decision will entirely be hers. I came up with a number last year to look at, but all the entry requirements were AAA, which were her predicted grades (Maths, Physics, Biology, plus GS)
    I'm really hoping these aren't needed (no offence) as she really liked Sussex and Lancaster.
    She visited Hull, liked it but dropped it from her 5 choices.

    She isn't keen on labs so why she was leaning more towards theoretical, but the courses are delivered quite differently across universities. The thing is that physics and maths are quite theory intensive so resources etc aren't necessarily as important unless you want to astro or cutting edge research that need heavy investment, and the lack of this reasearch can be the reason that the the courses aren't high on the rankings.
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    (Original post by Colinj451)
    I am just doing some clearing research for my daughter as she is in a place where she is not going to make her Firm offer grades. (ABB at Sussex for Theoretical)

    Does anyone have any thoughts about universities such as Hull, Nottingham Trent, De Monfort, Dundee (Year 1 entry) & Portsmouth for physics. Would it be a decent expereince and degree or frankly terrible

    Most of these are 260-280 UCAS points (which may include C grade AS in chemistry and probably a C grade in general studies)

    These aren't exhaustive but I would like to know if anyone has experience of them (Or others) to suggest what the difference would be with a higher ranked uni.

    I know resits would be an option but just considering all basis (She might consider a genetics degree if she does OK in her biology A-Level too)

    Thanks
    It wouldn't be terrible, they wouldn't have a degree program if they were. note that very few unis have mostly great lecturers, knowing people at others unis I can say that all of us in my friend group found that roughly 50% of the lecturers were good to amazing and 50% were bland to awful.

    As for the difference in high vs low ranked uns, it is just the research impact a uni has really, no relation to teaching etc. The only difference I noticed was in the 3rd and 4th year super hard topics didnt tend to be covered such as general relativity, quantum field theory at 'lower ranked' universities

    As someone who studies theoretical physics I just have a bit of advice when looking (you may already know it but thought I would mention it just in case as a lot of parents dont)

    As your daughter is applying for theory you need to consider the following

    1. Does she want to do lab in first year to give her the chance to change to straight physics if she decides at uni she likes lab (lab at uni is nothing like lab at a-level)

    2. What modules is she interested in for later years? as these vary wildly across different unis (example I chose my uni as they offered advanced maths, advanced quantum mechanics, QTF, GR, biophyiscs and quantum information theory in the final 2 years) but plenty of unis dont offer these options and focus on more applied areas (though my uni offers these too so I get the best of both worlds for options aha)

    3. Is your daughter taking theoretical to get away from lab or to do more maths? Some unis just give you more physics options instead of lab but then others allow you to take advanced maths in place of labs (I take 2 pure maths modules and 1 applied maths module in place of my labs and I wanted to learn more advanced maths rather than 'just get away from lab' but some people dont want this)

    Last bit is physics is a fairly unpopular subject so is under-subscribed at a fair few places so if she misses by 1 grade I would bet money she would still get in (assuming she doesnt miss the grade in maths! as thats the most important A-evel)
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    Thanks, she was looking at a MPhys so if she couldn't do that then another option would be a BSc and then specialise into a MSci later.
    It is a good point, the feel of the campus and department of Sussex rather than actually knowing the quality of the teaching as that is truly unquantifible and has been a real gut feeling for her
    She really would prefer not to do labs if possible, she says she is a disaster area, although I reckon she'd be fine at it but....
    She would prefer to look at quantum tech and particle physics (its what drew her to Sussex), although I think also biophysics might be an option too.

    The higher ranking unis seem massively over subscribed (5applications to each place)
    I am hoping the same, although obviously it depending on her maths, she is struggling with C3&C4, as well as exam timings for S1&D1
    I am hopeful, I think the whole exam season is getting to her but she is determined and focussed. (I wish she would ask for help more, such as posting past paper questions she's struggling with on here for example)
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    (Original post by Colinj451)
    Thanks, she was looking at a MPhys so if she couldn't do that then another option would be a BSc and then specialise into a MSci later.
    It is a good point, the feel of the campus and department of Sussex rather than actually knowing the quality of the teaching as that is truly unquantifible and has been a real gut feeling for her
    She really would prefer not to do labs if possible, she says she is a disaster area, although I reckon she'd be fine at it but....
    She would prefer to look at quantum tech and particle physics (its what drew her to Sussex), although I think also biophysics might be an option too.

    The higher ranking unis seem massively over subscribed (5applications to each place)
    I am hoping the same, although obviously it depending on her maths, she is struggling with C3&C4, as well as exam timings for S1&D1
    I am hopeful, I think the whole exam season is getting to her but she is determined and focussed. (I wish she would ask for help more, such as posting past paper questions she's struggling with on here for example)
    The good news is most places offer particle physics in third year and what do you mean by quantum tech? as in quantum mechanics (the theory) or things like quantum optics, quantum computing etc?

    Dont forgot when looking at the amount of people applying to a course, students tend to apply to 5 places, so of those 5 applicants per place only 1-2 will intend on taking it up/firming it outside of say the top 8ish physics departments

    As for struggling with C3 and 4, she needs to find a way of improving her maths revision and learning (as you mentioned tsr is a good place to get help, as is 'thephysicsforum,com') because taking theoretical physics means she will have to be better at maths than people taking straight physics due to taking more advanced maths, in 2nd year especially.

    I think thats something some people dont understand, theoretical physics isnt 'getting away from lab' its about learning advanced maths and how to model systems in some cases
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    The main difference I noticed looking at courses in lower ranked unis is that they might leak some basic topics (ie. what would be first year at most Russell group unis) into the second year and introduce advanced topics later or not at all. Conversely they might actually start some advanced topics fairly early but cover less content overall regardless. Optional modules may tend to be more engineering-focused than theoretical. Out of all of those, Dundee is the highest up the league tables by far (mostly due to entry standards), followed by Hull, and finally Nottingham Trent, De Montfort and Portsmouth are right at the bottom. De Montfort has loads of optional modules related to electronics and robotics to the point you could practically make it into an engineering degree. Neither Portsmouth nor De Montfort have achieved IoP accreditation (basically meaning they aren't proper physics degrees). Nottingham Trent and Hull are accredited, although are fairly basic and lack options. Dundee's course looks the most stimulating to me, but for some reason its employment stats on unistats look comparable to Hull (high ratio of graduates in non-professional occupations). Although that website uses small sample sizes it's probably something worth looking into. Maybe it's a prestige issue? Dundee would also be a five year degree as she'd be entering the foundation level. I don't think there's any question of it being a decent experience, as the satisfaction ratings are fairly reasonable. In my opinion the biggest potential issue is taking a course that doesn't really stretch you. It can weigh down on you when you feel capable of doing more.

    As for study habits, I can only think of a few quick fixes. I take it examination season is underway, so asking on forums about past paper questions might be a bit too long-cycle if you catch my drift. When I was studying for A levels I found the best thing was to simply look at the specification; that outlines the key knowledge you need to know and it usually isn't that long. If you focus on the key concepts you can then ingrain them by drilling past papers. Getting lost in overly-large textbooks is probably not productive at this stage. Revision guides are much better.
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    (Original post by Colinj451)
    Hi, Thanks for the reply, I just do the initial research for options if the "worst" happens. The decision will entirely be hers. I came up with a number last year to look at, but all the entry requirements were AAA, which were her predicted grades (Maths, Physics, Biology, plus GS)
    I'm really hoping these aren't needed (no offence) as she really liked Sussex and Lancaster.
    She visited Hull, liked it but dropped it from her 5 choices.

    She isn't keen on labs so why she was leaning more towards theoretical, but the courses are delivered quite differently across universities. The thing is that physics and maths are quite theory intensive so resources etc aren't necessarily as important unless you want to astro or cutting edge research that need heavy investment, and the lack of this reasearch can be the reason that the the courses aren't high on the rankings.
    Hi Colinj451,

    None taken, I really hope she gets into her firm choice too! I think if she has already visited one of her back-up universities, and liked the look of it, and she sounds like she really seems to know what she is looking for in a course/university, then she is already in a really good position for results day.

    Results day can be really overwhelming, with a whole array of emotions going through your head, so making a back-up plan and preparing for the day before the emotions kick in is a really good idea!

    I hope your search goes well (and I hope it was never needed!)

    Thanks,

    Ellen
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    Thank you for all the replies.
    I think the consideration of the more "applied" physics courses is a consideration. I have noticed the modules covered do seem to start the students at a lower base (more introductory elements in year 1 etc)
    The accreditation is something I hadn't picked up on though so thank you for that too, although it doesn't help that the IOP website is hopelessly out of date (revised Jan16) regarding the more recent courses, and some show that they are accredited to 2015 and is only updated yearly. Surely it could have a realtime website rather than a PDF file?

    I think that there are such variations with information between university websites for modules covered that trying to make an informed decision in a lot of cases is nigh on impossible

    I am hopeful that now she has hit her study leave program that she will be able to focus more on the parts that she needs to get her head round. For instance she was complaining that a past C4 paper had thrown a "sec" into a question that she didn't understand (Can you hear the whoosing as it went straight over my head)

    What has put my mind at rest is that a degree that she will enjoy and will provide a building block to a future career isn't out of the question. She is very much of the opinion that she doesn't want to resit so it is good to know that there are options that can be considered for her.

    Now, whether a foundation at a higher level university such as Manchester or Nottingham would be a better option is another question altogether
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    (Original post by Colinj451)
    Thank you for all the replies.
    I think the consideration of the more "applied" physics courses is a consideration. I have noticed the modules covered do seem to start the students at a lower base (more introductory elements in year 1 etc)
    The accreditation is something I hadn't picked up on though so thank you for that too, although it doesn't help that the IOP website is hopelessly out of date (revised Jan16) regarding the more recent courses, and some show that they are accredited to 2015 and is only updated yearly. Surely it could have a realtime website rather than a PDF file?

    I think that there are such variations with information between university websites for modules covered that trying to make an informed decision in a lot of cases is nigh on impossible

    I am hopeful that now she has hit her study leave program that she will be able to focus more on the parts that she needs to get her head round. For instance she was complaining that a past C4 paper had thrown a "sec" into a question that she didn't understand (Can you hear the whoosing as it went straight over my head)

    What has put my mind at rest is that a degree that she will enjoy and will provide a building block to a future career isn't out of the question. She is very much of the opinion that she doesn't want to resit so it is good to know that there are options that can be considered for her.

    Now, whether a foundation at a higher level university such as Manchester or Nottingham would be a better option is another question altogether
    I think with the starting students at a lower base, the reason for this is because the students still need to know the maths taught at a-level so if they take students will a lower grade, they need to bring them up from a lower level so need to teach the content not understood well as a-level before moving onto new content

    Quick note on the foundation year part, I did one myself (didnt have a-level maths) and even though it could benefit her if she gets a lower math grade she should know she still needs to get up to a high standard of maths so the foundation year isnt a way of skipping the higher entry requirements.

    Also the big thing before mentioning them to her, know that the foundation year would recover the same content (+ some more) that is covered at A-level so if she doesnt want to resit A-levels because of the content being repeated then a foundation year might not be for her

    I wish her luck in her exams and hope she gets into sussex
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    Tbh I am not sure why she is struggling now, she has told me that stuff she was fine with earlier in the year isn't translating into grades in past papers (E/U grades) but she has had some issues within the family (its not been the best year tbh) so I think if she didn't get straight onto a BSc then recapping with an integrated foundation wouldn't be a major issue, as her Maths tuition has been quite variable at her 6th form & especially as her view is that she will never pay back her full student finance loans (Think positive eh)

    In some ways she is too self reliant and feels she should be able to figure this all out by herself, but I've told her to go back to basics, recap and figure what she needs to concentrate on to bump her grades up.
    Realistically with her AS grades then I still think B/Cs are feasible which should give her options in clearing if she doesn't get into Sussex (chooses to turn down the likely offer of a foundation from them if she got C's in Maths and Physics)

    Thanks again
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    (Original post by Colinj451)
    Tbh I am not sure why she is struggling now, she has told me that stuff she was fine with earlier in the year isn't translating into grades in past papers (E/U grades) but she has had some issues within the family (its not been the best year tbh) so I think if she didn't get straight onto a BSc then recapping with an integrated foundation wouldn't be a major issue, as her Maths tuition has been quite variable at her 6th form & especially as her view is that she will never pay back her full student finance loans (Think positive eh)

    In some ways she is too self reliant and feels she should be able to figure this all out by herself, but I've told her to go back to basics, recap and figure what she needs to concentrate on to bump her grades up.
    Realistically with her AS grades then I still think B/Cs are feasible which should give her options in clearing if she doesn't get into Sussex (chooses to turn down the likely offer of a foundation from them if she got C's in Maths and Physics)

    Thanks again
    Worth a look at Surrey. Although their Bsc offer is AAB, in reality they are much more flexible ( they usually accept 1/2 grade slips and look at overall UCAS points, so the AS and Gen Studs A2 will both help). They are normally in clearing so worth approaching them - I think with most unis bar the top ones, deals are to be done in clearing.
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    Sussex has been VERY flexible with missed grades the last couple of years.
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    (Original post by Glenbard)
    Sussex has been VERY flexible with missed grades the last couple of years.
    Fingers crossed!!

    TBH the one thing I am most worried about with clearing is lack of available accomodation, having to make a decision on a suitable university is one thing as the degree course , trying to find her somewhere to live if halls aren't available (even to a point of trying to arrange a house share) is another from a parents perspective.

    Thanks
 
 
 
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