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    Hello! I will be applying in less than ten days to either one of Oxford or Cambridge and would like to hear some advice. My preferred course is Mathematics and Computer Science, a course which is only offered by the University of Oxford, but my preferred uni is Cambridge, as it is relatively more prestigious in the sciences and in mathematics. Also, Cambridge has higher grade requirements than Oxford (40-41/45 Cambridge - 38-40/45 Oxford) which I believe that I can attain (as my predicted grade is 45/45). Hence, I do not know whether I should give up my preferred uni to apply for Maths & CS at Oxford, or give up my preferred course and study Maths (only) at Cambridge. What do you think?
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    Go for the course you prefer.
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    Course first, university second is what essentially everyone says. There is only a minuscule difference between the two universities and applying to one because you perceive it to be more "prestigious" is just setting yourself up for a bad time at university if you can't do the course you really want to do.

    Incidentally, I'm applying for Maths and CS at Oxford (I had the same problem as you originally but eventually decided that I prefer Oxford to Cambridge anyway!) - maybe we will see each other at interview!

    Good luck with your application by the way.
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    (Original post by elefjohn)
    Hello! I will be applying in less than ten days to either one of Oxford or Cambridge and would like to hear some advice. My preferred course is Mathematics and Computer Science, a course which is only offered by the University of Oxford, but my preferred uni is Cambridge, as it relatively more prestigious in the sciences and in mathematics. Also, Cambridge has higher grade requirements than Oxford (40-41/45 Cambridge - 38-40/45 Oxford) which I believe that I can attain (as my predicted grade is 45/45). Hence, I do not know whether I should give up my preferred uni to apply for Maths & CS at Oxford, or give up my preferred course and study Maths (only) at Cambridge. What do you think?
    Cambridge has CompSci with Maths (not quite the same as it's not joint honours but just checking you are aware...)
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    Go to MIT instead.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Cambridge has CompSci with Maths (not quite the same as it's not joint honours but just checking you are aware...)
    Yes, I'm aware, but it's essentially a Computer Science course with some Math during the first year. Personally, I prefer Mathematics more than Computer Science.
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    (Original post by Magic Streets)
    Go to MIT instead.
    I would if I could. It's way too late to start SATs.
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    (Original post by elefjohn)
    What do you think?
    I don't think you should worry at all about the relative reputations of the two universities for undergraduate sciences. The two universities' courses have their own advantages and neither would be definitively better for students in general.

    The IB grade requirements are not something I think you should worry about from an admissions point of view. Take a look at the STEP papers you'd sit for Cambridge and the MAT for Oxford. Most people would say the MAT is more approachable but that probably just means you're expected to do rather better on it than you would be on the STEP papers. The most straightforward comparison for the two universities' maths admissions processes is as follows: it's hard to get an offer from Oxford but it's easy to meet the offer; at Cambridge, it's easy to get an offer but that offer is hard to meet. (For some sense of easy/hard.)

    Have a look at the course jneill mentioned. I agree with the previous posters that if you're trying to choose between a preferred course and preferred uni out of Oxford and Cambridge, go for the preferred course; there's more difference between individual Oxford colleges (or Cambridge colleges) than the two universities as a whole.
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    (Original post by elefjohn)
    Hello! I will be applying in less than ten days to either one of Oxford or Cambridge and would like to hear some advice. My preferred course is Mathematics and Computer Science, a course which is only offered by the University of Oxford, but my preferred uni is Cambridge, as it relatively more prestigious in the sciences and in mathematics. Also, Cambridge has higher grade requirements than Oxford (40-41/45 Cambridge - 38-40/45 Oxford) which I believe that I can attain (as my predicted grade is 45/45). Hence, I do not know whether I should give up my preferred uni to apply for Maths & CS at Oxford, or give up my preferred course and study Maths (only) at Cambridge. What do you think?
    I'd welcome knowing what you're basing this on - hearsay?
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    (Original post by elefjohn)
    Yes, I'm aware, but it's essentially a Computer Science course with some Math during the first year. Personally, I prefer Mathematics more than Computer Science.
    So do Maths then...

    And add some non-examinable CS courses on the side
    http://training.csx.cam.ac.uk/ucs/theme
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    (Original post by RichE)
    I'd welcome knowing what you're basing this on - hearsay?
    Mostly statistics and rankings...
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    (Original post by elefjohn)
    Mostly statistics and rankings...
    Do you know why those rankings are the way they are?
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    Oxford was recently ranked top in the world, so I wouldn't discredit that as less prestigious than Cambridge. In the end, both are considered equally good and you're much better off doing the course you really want to do!
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    (Original post by dfbenjamin)
    Do you know why those rankings are the way they are?
    Each university ranking organisation assesses universities based on different factors. The ones taken into account by most such organisations are academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, etc.
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    (Original post by elefjohn)
    Each university ranking organisation assesses universities based on different factors. The ones taken into account by most such organisations are academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, etc.
    So you think it'd be better to learn at Cambridge because it has more citations per faculty?
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    (Original post by elefjohn)
    Each university ranking organisation assesses universities based on different factors. The ones taken into account by most such organisations are academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, etc.
    If you're talking research, then the most recent REF (which has significant implications for a lot of funding as well) places Oxford well ahead of Cambridge in maths.

    http://results.ref.ac.uk/Results/ByUoa/10

    That's not to say Cambridge hasn't a brilliant maths department, I just find it spurious to suggest Cambridge has a clear edge in the prestige of its maths department.
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    (Original post by elefjohn)
    Hello! I will be applying in less than ten days to either one of Oxford or Cambridge and would like to hear some advice. My preferred course is Mathematics and Computer Science, a course which is only offered by the University of Oxford, but my preferred uni is Cambridge, as it is relatively more prestigious in the sciences and in mathematics. Also, Cambridge has higher grade requirements than Oxford (40-41/45 Cambridge - 38-40/45 Oxford) which I believe that I can attain (as my predicted grade is 45/45). Hence, I do not know whether I should give up my preferred uni to apply for Maths & CS at Oxford, or give up my preferred course and study Maths (only) at Cambridge. What do you think?
    Tbh your personal statement is already lacking.
    The thread title needs to be 'Cambridge or Oxford?'

    Not 'Oxford or Cambridge'. Flippin' commoners have no idea about our collegiate system that definitely no other universities have.

    Cambridge. Probs better if you can avoid the MAT.

    Have fun with STEP...
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    Course is more important for sure.

    What career is going to reject you because you only did maths at Oxford?
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    I'm pretty sure that Cambridge offers the opportunity to do a Maths and Computer Science course as well. Look on the Computer Science Undergraduate Course and go onto entrance requirements!
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    (Original post by Hectxrp)
    I'm pretty sure that Cambridge offers the opportunity to do a Maths and Computer Science course as well. Look on the Computer Science Undergraduate Course and go onto entrance requirements!
    It's only maths and computer science for the first year, then the rest is just computer science
 
 
 
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