Should I apply to Physics or 'Materials Science and Engineering'?

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    My life plan is to basically do a degree for the experience and get out of the house and then make a living doing TEFL (teach English as a foreign language). My problem is I don't really know what degree to do. I'm stuck between physics and materials science. At least with physics I could pretty much move to any part of the country I want to and that's really cool. With materials science I'm restricted to about 7 universities. I guess I quite like Chester's, "Physics and Material science" but I don't want to be forced to go somewhere I rather not like London or somewhere. I would have liked to go somewhere little quiet in the countryside, but there's 2 materials science courses just in London. It's so restrictive.
    Also I'm really good at mechanics and maths and stuff, I'm not really fond of particle physics and "quantum mechanics", I don't really enjoy waves either. I don't mind it but I wouldn't do it optionally. I feel like if this was the bulk of my degree I'd flunk it but then again it wouldn't matter because I doubt I'll use my degree. However if I'm going to do a degree I might as well do it well and have something I can use just in case I decide to get a science-based job. We have to apply next month and I'm really quite stuck. Is it easy to change universities once I'm at my first year? I don't know if I'm into physics really....its fun at A-Level but it might be too hard for me to care at degree level. I feel like materials science isn't too hard. And I can always do physics degree materials masters or materials and then a physics masters. Advice?
    I feel as though at the end of the day, if I chose a degree and decided I wanted to read up on some physics topic I always could and vice versa. So I really don't know.
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    (Original post by Paisley99)
    My life plan is to basically do a degree for the experience and get out of the house and then make a living doing TEFL (teach English as a foreign language). My problem is I don't really know what degree to do. I'm stuck between physics and materials science. At least with physics I could pretty much move to any part of the country I want to and that's really cool. With materials science I'm restricted to about 7 universities. I guess I quite like Chester's, "Physics and Material science" but I don't want to be forced to go somewhere I rather not like London or somewhere. I would have liked to go somewhere little quiet in the countryside, but there's 2 materials science courses just in London. It's so restrictive.
    Also I'm really good at mechanics and maths and stuff, I'm not really fond of particle physics and "quantum mechanics", I don't really enjoy waves either. I don't mind it but I wouldn't do it optionally. I feel like if this was the bulk of my degree I'd flunk it but then again it wouldn't matter because I doubt I'll use my degree. However if I'm going to do a degree I might as well do it well and have something I can use just in case I decide to get a science-based job. We have to apply next month and I'm really quite stuck. Is it easy to change universities once I'm at my first year? I don't know if I'm into physics really....its fun at A-Level but it might be too hard for me to care at degree level. I feel like materials science isn't too hard. And I can always do physics degree materials masters or materials and then a physics masters. Advice?
    I feel as though at the end of the day, if I chose a degree and decided I wanted to read up on some physics topic I always could and vice versa. So I really don't know.
    What you need to do is properly look through the modules offered by the degrees you're looking at and do some proper reading about topics outside the curriculum. It's really not possible to make an informed decision about a physics or materials degree on the basis of A Level physics because the type of work is totally different. Physics at university is much more mathematical and deeper than A Levels. Various universities have reading lists for prospective undergraduates (Oxford and Cambridge generally have very good reading lists) so have a look at those and read some books. One thing I definitely would say is that Materials Science isn't an "easy" version of Physics. Both are hard sciences.

    I definitely wouldn't encourage the attitude that your choice of degree isn't of huge importance because you want to do TEFL afterwards. You're going to be spending 3, probably 4 years of your life studying this subject and presumably you want to come out of your degree (1) with a good degree and (2) feeling satisfied that you've not wasted the past few years so it is important to make the right choice. It is possible to chance universities after your first year but it's not recommendable.

    If you still feel completely indecisive then perhaps look at Scottish universities which allow you to try out multiple subjects in Year 1 or UK universities with flexible Natural Sciences courses.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    What you need to do is properly look through the modules offered by the degrees you're looking at and do some proper reading about topics outside the curriculum. It's really not possible to make an informed decision about a physics or materials degree on the basis of A Level physics because the type of work is totally different. Physics at university is much more mathematical and deeper than A Levels. Various universities have reading lists for prospective undergraduates (Oxford and Cambridge generally have very good reading lists) so have a look at those and read some books. One thing I definitely would say is that Materials Science isn't an "easy" version of Physics. Both are hard sciences.

    I definitely wouldn't encourage the attitude that your choice of degree isn't of huge importance because you want to do TEFL afterwards. You're going to be spending 3, probably 4 years of your life studying this subject and presumably you want to come out of your degree (1) with a good degree and (2) feeling satisfied that you've not wasted the past few years so it is important to make the right choice. It is possible to chance universities after your first year but it's not recommendable.

    If you still feel completely indecisive then perhaps look at Scottish universities which allow you to try out multiple subjects in Year 1 or UK universities with flexible Natural Sciences courses.
    Thank you, yes natural sciences is an option and I didn't know Scottish unis did that! No Scottish uni does materials though so if I did that it would just be physics or physics lol. I should read some books, though I don't have much time. I've had a look at so manyyyy course contents. What topic do I start with though ? I thought physics is a lot harder conceptually whereas materials isn't.
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    Also my school reckons that if we all send our personal statements by October, the school deadline, the people who look at personal statements will have less to do and basically it's just better apparently. Do you think it's worth me applying in December? I'll be able to actually read books by then it gives me more time to decide.
 
 
 
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