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Uni for Physics/Astronomy- Durham/Bristol/Warwick/Edinburgh/St Andrew's/Other? watch

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    (Original post by Hoofbeat)

    However, regarding, Exeter, I still stand by my statement. It is not a "top" university for Physics. Indeed it might still be good, but as the initial poster wanted to know the "best" that were available to her/him, then I stand by my statement. We could go on all day listing all the good universities, but that won't help the initial poster!
    It's as good as Durham and Warwick, so why not list it with them?
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    It's as good as Durham and Warwick, so why not list it with them?
    IMO the department may be but the calbre of the students that exeter admits is far bellow that of durham
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    (Original post by Incomplete)
    IMO the department may be but the calbre of the students that exeter admits is far bellow that of durham
    No, their grades can be lower that a) doesn't mean they are, b) doesn't mean they are of lower calibre. Admissions do not equate to quality of degree - you are on a hiding to nothing by trying to show that degree quality is related to the A-level grades set as admission requirements (this merely shows popularity). Exeter is really struggling to fill its requirements (and it seems that many members of this board seem to have an inexplicably low opinion of the institution - maybe why they are struggling) and that is why it has low requirements. True they maybe a greater percentage of students that drop out from the course, but that has no effect on the standard of the degree, which is very well respected.
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    (Original post by Hoofbeat)
    Just because I wasn't aware that Scottish Universities were well renowned for Physics there's no need to be so rude:
    Really? You insuate that this fine institutions aren't up to scratch and you expect us to be nice about it?

    My lack of knowledge of top scottish unis is probably hampered by the fact that I primarily applied to Uni's in the South of England.
    Well bully for you that you disregarded some of the top instutions in the country because of their location. That is possibly the crappest excuse for ignorance I have heard.

    Hopefully when you get to uni you might get a clue as to the world you live in. If you want to be a physicist I suggest you put down your Feynman books and start looking around you. You are however going to Oxford, so the chances of you actually having a clue when you graduate are quite slim.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    No, their grades can be lower that a) doesn't mean they are, b) doesn't mean they are of lower calibre. Admissions do not equate to quality of degree - you are on a hiding to nothing by trying to show that degree quality is related to the A-level grades set as admission requirements (this merely shows popularity). Exeter is really struggling to fill its requirements (and it seems that many members of this board seem to have an inexplicably low opinion of the institution - maybe why they are struggling) and that is why it has low requirements. True they maybe a greater percentage of students that drop out from the course, but that has no effect on the standard of the degree, which is very well respected.
    A relative was given a offer of BBB there and manged to get in despite dropping 3 grades in relavent subjects. I am sure that you would not be allowed to do a similar thing at durham.
    And I did not mention what i thought of the quality of the degree in that post. I do not think that the a levels is related to degree quality as i did not mention degree quality at all in that post.
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    (Original post by Incomplete)
    A relative was given a offer of BBB there and manged to get in despite dropping 3 grades in relavent subjects. I am sure that you would not be allowed to do a similar thing at durham.
    And I did not mention what i thought of the quality of the degree in that post. I do not think that the a levels is related to degree quality as i did not mention degree quality at all in that post.
    Then your point is what?
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    Then your point is what?
    the cabre of students going to exeter is lower, one reason why IMO it is at a lower standard than a uni like durham
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    (Original post by Incomplete)
    the cabre of students going to exeter is lower, one reason why IMO it is at a lower standard than a uni like durham
    So you are saying that the entrance requirements do affect the quality of the degree?

    Exeter is a much less popular university than durham and thus has a lot more places available on it's physics course than durham and thus the entrance requirements are lower (i.e. Exeter struggles to fill its threshold to keep the course viable). However I see no connection between this and the quality of graduates produce, nor the standard of the department at Exeter which is on a par with that of Durham. Surely these things are more important markers of a department's ability than the grades you have to get to get in there?
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    So you are saying that the entrance requirements do affect the quality of the degree?

    Exeter is a much less popular university than durham and thus has a lot more places available on it's physics course than durham and thus the entrance requirements are lower (i.e. Exeter struggles to fill its threshold to keep the course viable). However I see no connection between this and the quality of graduates produce, nor the standard of the department at Exeter which is on a par with that of Durham. Surely these things are more important markers of a department's ability than the grades you have to get to get in there?
    Why in your opinion is Exeter is alot less popular? The cities are very similar in nature and exeter does not have a problem finding the numbers on other courses.

    No, i imagine the number of people achiving a first is probably alot less at Exeter and hence as a department there is not going ot be the same spark. I imagine its equally hard to achieve a first at either uni but I imagine if you are admitting candidates with lower qualicaitions on to your course in general that is going to lead to canidates on average leaving with a lower class of degree. Of course all of this speculation on my part as i do not have access to that facts needed to prove this but I have shown my reasoning for my views here.
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    (Original post by Incomplete)
    Why in your opinion is Exeter is alot less popular?
    I don't know but it is.

    The cities are very similar in nature and exeter does not have a problem finding the numbers on other courses.
    Physics is unpopular anyway.

    No, i imagine the number of people achiving a first is probably alot less at Exeter and hence as a department there is not going ot be the same spark.
    I don't see any reason why there should be less people acheiving firsts.

    I imagine its equally hard to achieve a first at either uni but I imagine if you are admitting candidates with lower qualicaitions on to your course in general that is going to lead to canidates on average leaving with a lower class of degree.
    Not really. A-Level results don't tend to correlate that well with degree classifications.

    Of course all of this speculation on my part as i do not have access to that facts needed to prove this but I have shown my reasoning for my views here.
    Yes but you reasoning is based on speculations and assumptions that are incorrect. The fact remains that physics graduates from exeter graduate from an RAE 5 department with 2 FRS's on staff - that's as good as most non-oxbridge/imperial universities if not better.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    I don't know but it is.

    Physics is unpopular anyway.
    and? its not like we are comparing different subjects here, History at durham and exeter is popular and requires high grades. Physics is according to you of a similar level at both institutions yet one requires lower grades and is unpopular. I would suggest that the latter is because the Uni is simpely not as good for physics.
    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    I don't see any reason why there should be less people acheiving firsts.

    Not really. A-Level results don't tend to correlate that well with degree classifications.

    Yes but you reasoning is based on speculations and assumptions that are incorrect. The fact remains that physics graduates from exeter graduate from an RAE 5 department with 2 FRS's on staff - that's as good as most non-oxbridge/imperial universities if not better.
    Its not based on speculations or assumptions that are incorrect. Surely if you deparment is good for physics you can attract the top a level students. yet the top a level students prefer to got to durham. Is that because durham also has a 5 for thier research rating (it might be worht noting that sussex also has a 5 rating for physics)
    teaching qulaity (admitadly not great but something worth considering even so) exeter 22, durham 24
    gurdain league table durham 17, exeter 38
    times league table durham 1 exeter 27
    durham also has the Institute for Computational Cosmology and the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology.
    This on top of a higher standard required for entrance leads me to my decision.
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    (Original post by Incomplete)
    and? its not like we are comparing different subjects here, History at durham and exeter is popular and requires high grades. Physics is according to you of a similar level at both institutions yet one requires lower grades and is unpopular. I would suggest that the latter is because the Uni is simpely not as good for physics.
    Which goes against the evidence supplied by the RAE conducted by leading lights in the field, who are you to say they are incorrect? The department also contains two FRS's (compared to durham's one) how do you think they got this prestigious title without being good at physics?

    Surely if you deparment is good for physics you can attract the top a level students.
    Not neccessarily.

    yet the top a level students prefer to got to durham.
    Wrong, they prefer to go to Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial.

    Is that because durham also has a 5 for thier research rating (it might be worht noting that sussex also has a 5 rating for physics)
    Are you suggesting that Sussex Physics department is poor?

    durham also has the Institute for Computational Cosmology and the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology.
    Do you think that Durham is alone in having such institutes?

    This on top of a higher standard required for entrance leads me to my decision.
    Well you are wrong, but I can't be bothered arguing the toss anymore, it's not even as if I owe exeter anything anyway! It is clear to me that many users on these forums are far too easily swayed by admissions offers and league table placings (which is to be expected I suppose). However, as a researcher, I have had the great privilege to get up on the helicopter and see who is doing what in physics (and chemistry). There seem to me to be a lot of very good departments that suffer due to foundless prejudice by prospective students, which is a great shame, especially as we are in danger of losing even more physics and chemistry departments in the UK.
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    (Original post by Chemistboy)
    Well you are wrong, but I can't be bothered arguing the toss anymore
    if that is your attitude there is little point replying to your post
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    (Original post by Incomplete)
    if that is your attitude there is little point replying to your post
    Yep, just take bits of my post out of context - are you training to be a journalist?
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    Yep, just take bits of my post out of context - are you training to be a journalist?
    oh so you are still interested in this debate?
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    (Original post by Incomplete)
    oh so you are still interested in this debate?
    No, just don't like it when people do that. Next time you get neg repped.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    No, just don't like it when people do that. Next time you get neg repped.
    Oh i am scared, you cannot say someone is wrong when the view you are expressing is an opinion. That also annoys me if we are going to get into this.
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    (Original post by Incomplete)
    Oh i am scared, you cannot say someone is wrong when the view you are expressing is an opinion. That also annoys me if we are going to get into this.
    Yes I can, because it is my opinion that you are wrong - also supported by the opinions of my colleagues who are researchers in physics.
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    I think what incomplete is getting at is not that he suggests anything about the standard of the degree, but at the standard going in. These are not really related, but perhaps if u have brighter students going in then perhaps u can push them further.

    I chose to go to Durham to study physics, after seeing how in tune with their students needs they are, the fact they have brilliant particle physics links and simply because they have a rather big building that looks nice. Durham is a top institute, and as bad as it is its a name which will always fit well with Joe bloggs.

    Also, I dont think you can criticse students too much for going on rankings and entry requirements, its a difficult choice and its difficult to discriminate, most of the prospectuses sound the same. League tables are useful, even if u dont like them ureself they can at least give an estimation to the top and bottom institutes....
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    (Original post by Lydiamonds)
    I think what incomplete is getting at is not that he suggests anything about the standard of the degree, but at the standard going in. These are not really related, but perhaps if u have brighter students going in then perhaps u can push them further.
    Not really, I don't think a Durham or Warwick physics degree pushes students 'further' than an Exeter degree, if such an inequality existed Exter students would be at a disadvantage to Durham and Warwick students when applying for research degrees, this is not the case as far as I am aware.

    I chose to go to Durham to study physics, after seeing how in tune with their students needs they are, the fact they have brilliant particle physics links and simply because they have a rather big building that looks nice. Durham is a top institute, and as bad as it is its a name which will always fit well with Joe bloggs.
    Durham is an excellent place to study physics, I'm not saying it isn't, just that Exeter is too.

    Also, I dont think you can criticse students too much for going on rankings and entry requirements, its a difficult choice and its difficult to discriminate, most of the prospectuses sound the same. League tables are useful, even if u dont like them ureself they can at least give an estimation to the top and bottom institutes....
    I don't criticise students for picking universities based on these criteria, I am merely offering an opinion from some members of the academic community in physics, which is that Exter should be considered as a good place to study physics along with the likes of Durham and Warwick. People on here disagree with that opinion, well fair enough, however I'd argue that the opinion of those in the field does carry a fair amount of weight.
 
 
 
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