Which is a better degree to have

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    Geology at Imperial or Natural Sciences at Durham?
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    (Original post by carolinehj)
    Geology at Imperial or Natural Sciences at Durham?
    To do what? Imperial certainly does seem to have an outstanding Earth Sciences department, I don't know about Durham.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    To do what? Imperial certainly does seem to have an outstanding Earth Sciences department, I don't know about Durham.
    It's just after the oil price thing I'm worried there are loads of geologists out there without jobs, whilst doing natural sciences would give me more flexibility to do other things like maths/physics etc
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    (Original post by carolinehj)
    It's just after the oil price thing I'm worried there are loads of geologists out there without jobs, whilst doing natural sciences would give me more flexibility to do other things like maths/physics etc
    The oil industry is most definitely not the only career path available to geologists. I also do not think there is a bright future ahead for people wanting to go into oil but career prospects for geoscientists graduating from good universities are still pretty good. Indeed, Imperial's Geology course had the highest average graduate salary out of any course in this country last year (if I had to guess, it's because of Imperial's strong links with the financial sector and industry).

    If you're concerned about a lack of maths and physics in Geology then have you perhaps looked at Geophysics?

    This is not to say that Durham's NatSci course isn't good, but if it's career prospects you're after, I don't think you can really beat Imperial.
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    Why dont you contact the geological sociey to see if you can get a mentor pr the mebers have any insight onto the graduate job market?
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    The oil industry is most definitely not the only career path available to geologists. I also do not think there is a bright future ahead for people wanting to go into oil but career prospects for geoscientists graduating from good universities are still pretty good. Indeed, Imperial's Geology course had the highest average graduate salary out of any course in this country last year (if I had to guess, it's because of Imperial's strong links with the financial sector and industry).

    If you're concerned about a lack of maths and physics in Geology then have you perhaps looked at Geophysics?

    This is not to say that Durham's NatSci course isn't good, but if it's career prospects you're after, I don't think you can really beat Imperial.
    Thanks so much for your help! I know that Durham is a very prestigious uni but I have no idea how their natural science course is viewed unfortunately, I just know it's really good for humanities/arts. But their natsci entry requirements is A*AA whilst the geology imperial entry requirement is only AAA, so I thought that might say something about how the courses are viewed, but I guess not?
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Why dont you contact the geological sociey to see if you can get a mentor pr the mebers have any insight onto the graduate job market?
    I'll definitely do that if I apply for geology, but right now I'm just trying to decide whether to apply for geology or natural sciences you see
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    (Original post by carolinehj)
    I'll definitely do that if I apply for geology, but right now I'm just trying to decide whether to apply for geology or natural sciences you see

    Sorry science isnt my area.

    Dont forget both degrees are from great unis, so it will place you in a good position for the many jobs on grad schemes that dont specify degree subject.
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    (Original post by carolinehj)
    Thanks so much for your help! I know that Durham is a very prestigious uni but I have no idea how their natural science course is viewed unfortunately, I just know it's really good for humanities/arts. But their natsci entry requirements is A*AA whilst the geology imperial entry requirement is only AAA, so I thought that might say something about how the courses are viewed, but I guess not?
    First of all, never use entry requirements as an indicator of course quality! A lot of universities increase their entry requirements to make themselves look more competitive and prestigious so entry requirements tell you very little. Secondly, Imperial pretty much never gives out AAA offers for their Earth Sciences courses, the grades given on their website are minimums (for instance my offer was A*AAA). Thirdly, geoscience offers are always going to be on the 'low' side because it simply isn't such an oversubscribed subject. That doesn't mean the courses are bad, it just means that there's less pressure for universities to push up entry requirements as a selection mechanism because there are fewer people applying.

    Really though, the factor that you should be using to decide which courses to apply for is which courses you think you'd enjoy the most - you're going to have good career prospects regardless of whether you're doing Geology at Imperial or NatSci at Durham. There are pretty major differences between the two courses - in Geology you'd be 'specialising' from the onset whereas you'd have the opportunity to do a larger range of subjects at Durham - which you may or may not like. They're also very different environments. Imperial is in the middle of a massive metropolis, Durham is a fairly quiet town from what I'm aware. These are all important factors!
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    Really though, the factor that you should be using to decide which courses to apply for is which courses you think you'd enjoy the most
    This.

    \thread
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    First of all, never use entry requirements as an indicator of course quality! A lot of universities increase their entry requirements to make themselves look more competitive and prestigious so entry requirements tell you very little. Secondly, Imperial pretty much never gives out AAA offers for their Earth Sciences courses, the grades given on their website are minimums (for instance my offer was A*AAA). Thirdly, geoscience offers are always going to be on the 'low' side because it simply isn't such an oversubscribed subject. That doesn't mean the courses are bad, it just means that there's less pressure for universities to push up entry requirements as a selection mechanism because there are fewer people applying.

    Really though, the factor that you should be using to decide which courses to apply for is which courses you think you'd enjoy the most - you're going to have good career prospects regardless of whether you're doing Geology at Imperial or NatSci at Durham. There are pretty major differences between the two courses - in Geology you'd be 'specialising' from the onset whereas you'd have the opportunity to do a larger range of subjects at Durham - which you may or may not like. They're also very different environments. Imperial is in the middle of a massive metropolis, Durham is a fairly quiet town from what I'm aware. These are all important factors!
    I know, tbh there's not much in it for me for the other factors, Durham may just have the edge location and vibe wise, but then again I wanted to know how much more prestigious the course is at Imperial because then Imperial might just have the edge. Ugh it's all so difficult.
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    (Original post by carolinehj)
    I know, tbh there's not much in it for me for the other factors, Durham may just have the edge location and vibe wise, but then again I wanted to know how much more prestigious the course is at Imperial because then Imperial might just have the edge. Ugh it's all so difficult.
    Have you looked through the possible modules offered by each course? Do you know which streams you would choose at Durham? From the sound of it I think you need to do a bit more reading around Geology because I don't get the impression (sorry if I'm wrong) that you sound huuugely committed to it. Imperial's career prospects are second to none, yes, but that's only true if you come out with a good degree and you're not going to come out with a good degree if you don't actually like the course.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    This.

    \thread
    How on earth is someone in my position meant to know which course we prefer. I've never studied earth sciences before, or geology. I know I like maths physics and chemistry and that's about it. I've looked up each course very thoroughly but all I know is which modules each does, and when some modules are titled things like 'An introduction to Earth Science' then how tf am I meant to know which one I prefer. So that's why I'm going to assume I'll like them both equally cus tbh there won't be much in it either way, which is why I'm basing which one to go for off other things like their reputation etc.
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    (Original post by carolinehj)
    How on earth is someone in my position meant to know which course we prefer. I've never studied earth sciences before, or geology. I know I like maths physics and chemistry and that's about it. I've looked up each course very thoroughly but all I know is which modules each does, and when some modules are titled things like 'An introduction to Earth Science' then how tf am I meant to know which one I prefer. So that's why I'm going to assume I'll like them both equally cus tbh there won't be much in it either way, which is why I'm basing which one to go for off other things like their reputation etc.
    I completely understand where you're coming from and to some extent you've got a point, however you can get a lot more certainty by reading around your subject. You might come across a book that suddenly absolutely inspires you and makes you realise, "Yep, this is flipping cool, I want to go into Geology". Of course this isn't a substitute for actually doing the course and there's no way of knowing for certain that you'll like a course before you actually study it, but there are still ways of getting more certainty.

    If it comes round to applying and you still genuinely haven't got a clue then to be honest, I'd say going with NatSci is a better bet. You'll have an opportunity to try different things and you've got less of a chance of ending up locked in a degree that you don't enjoy.
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    (Original post by carolinehj)
    Which is why I'm basing which one to go for off other things like their reputation etc.
    *shrugs* you'd be better off tossing a coin and picking a course that way than basing it off something as artificial as reputation.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    I completely understand where you're coming from and to some extent you've got a point, however you can get a lot more certainty by reading around your subject. You might come across a book that suddenly absolutely inspires you and makes you realise, "Yep, this is flipping cool, I want to go into Geology". Of course this isn't a substitute for actually doing the course and there's no way of knowing for certain that you'll like a course before you actually study it, but there are still ways of getting more certainty.

    If it comes round to applying and you still genuinely haven't got a clue then to be honest, I'd say going with NatSci is a better bet. You'll have an opportunity to try different things and you've got less of a chance of ending up locked in a degree that you don't enjoy.
    Thanks for your reply, sorry for my rant haha, just so frustrating how people my age are expected to know what they want to do, and I know so many people doing degrees that they're not truly that passionate about, cus they chose it when they were 17. I'm so frustrated because I have good qualifications and good grades just no idea what to do with them. I really like earth sciences and have watched lots of documentaries on it, I could still do it under the natural sciences durham course cus they offer to do earth sciences which is good. Tbh I'll probably just apply for both and if I get both offers, I'll just decide later once I've done more of my subjects and researched the area a bit more. Do you think Imperial would still consider me if my personal statement was more tailored to the natural science course? i.e. talking about maths, physcis and chemistry a lot?
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    (Original post by carolinehj)
    How on earth is someone in my position meant to know which course we prefer. I've never studied earth sciences before, or geology. I know I like maths physics and chemistry and that's about it. I've looked up each course very thoroughly but all I know is which modules each does, and when some modules are titled things like 'An introduction to Earth Science' then how tf am I meant to know which one I prefer. So that's why I'm going to assume I'll like them both equally cus tbh there won't be much in it either way, which is why I'm basing which one to go for off other things like their reputation etc.
    Have you been to the open days yet? Visiting a place and meeting the people might give you the gut instinct of which feels a better fit.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    *shrugs* you'd be better off tossing a coin and picking a course that way than basing it off something as artificial as reputation.
    I think reputation has a massive impact on job prospects tbh
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    (Original post by carolinehj)
    I think reputation has a massive impact on job prospects tbh
    lolwat
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Have you been to the open days yet? Visiting a place and meeting the people might give you the gut instinct of which feels a better fit.
    I don't live in the UK so it's pretty difficult for me, and I don't really know the uni vibes. In the summer I went to England but obvs the unis were in holidays then so they were all really empty. I've walked around some unis like Durham, and walked round lots of the l=London ones, but by 'walked round' I mean like outside to see the area, no one showed me around the departments or accomodation or anything.
 
 
 
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