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    I've heard that Cambridge is better than Oxford if you're looking to do science or engineering - what do you think?

    I think I'd end up applying to Oxford because although I consider Cambridge to be better, I actually live in Cambridge already and that would be way too close for comfort to my family - one of the things I'm looking forward to the most about uni is that I can move away from my family and be independent so if I ended up at Cambridge I would definitely bump into family quite a lot! It's a bummer really as it's such a great uni and the city is really lovely (small, but it's grown on me over the years).
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    Marginal difference. Look at other aspects of admission instead - Oxford tend to look at GCSE grades more, and they both have slightly difference "versions" of particular sciences (e.g. Biological v Physical Natural Sciences at Cambridge) etc.

    Also look at location (which you have done) and other factors aside from academics. They are virtually equal in prestige - whilst Cambridge, traditionally, is seen as a more science-centred, it's not really anything huge.
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    In terms of facilities and research output, I'd frankly consider Cambridge to far outstrip Oxford in this regard. The west site is huge, and continuing to expand rapidly - which hugely benefits physical science and engineering researchers. Downing is pretty full, but they use the space well (read: it's buildings or car parking beyond the main archway entrance green space), and they have a large number of very specific bioscience departments there covering virtually every aspect of modern bioscience.

    This is of marginal benefit for an undergraduate however (arguably it's slightly inconvenient for physical scientists, and some engineers, if you're not at Churchill as it's a longer walk/cycle in to labs/lectures later in the course ), and both would be suitable for building up a core foundation in the subject. I would argue Oxford's Engineering course is slightly "nicer" in terms of structure, while Cambridge's Natural Science course is better for scientists (except arguably physicists, although you could just do Maths with Physics or Computer Science with Physics Part IA then if you like the experimental side, continue to NatSci IB and do Physics A/B and Maths then on as usual).

    However Oxford has the option to do Physics and Philosophy as a joint course which may be of interest. They also have Human Sciences, which offers a slightly more interdisciplinary approach to biosciences. Maths at Cambridge is the major exception - as it has an unusually strong history in the subject and in particular a focus on undergraduate mathematics education.

    They're pretty much equal from an undergraduates point of view (excepting Maths), but for postgrad work I'd really put Cambridge several pegs ahead of Oxford.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I've heard that Cambridge is better than Oxford if you're looking to do science or engineering - what do you think?

    That's a tired old adage and I'm not sure how true it ever was. There are certainly differences enough to have reason for choosing one over the other if you'd prefer natural sciences to single discipline science. There are also a few joint schools at Oxford not available at Cambridge.

    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    In terms of facilities and research output, I'd frankly consider Cambridge to far outstrip Oxford in this regard.
    This seems pretty biased and unsubstantiated. Certainly the last REF doesn't paint any such picture. I dug out most of the relevant data for Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial in this post.

    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...2#post70991960

    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    Maths at Cambridge is the major exception - as it has an unusually strong history in the subject and in particular a focus on undergraduate mathematics education. They're pretty much equal from an undergraduates point of view (excepting Maths), but for postgrad work I'd really put Cambridge several pegs ahead of Oxford.
    Maths at Cambridge certainly has the longer, more noteworthy history, but during the last two decades Oxford has surpassed Cambridge in its research. This is not to belittle the Cambridge departments and one might of course argue as to how much of a difference this makes to an undergraduate. But if you look at the undergraduate courses then they are a lot more alike than different. If you're interested in pure maths, then you can progress faster in the Oxford degree; if you're interested in theoretical physics the reverse is true.

    This is discussed in detail in this post and thread
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...3#post67319718

    As long as I've been aware Oxford has had the greater number of graduates when it comes to maths. I'd welcome seeing any evidence"for postgrad work I'd really put Cambridge several pegs ahead of Oxford" whether you're referring to maths or science generally. In fact I've heard the reverse said more often, but again people don't usually link to any evidence.
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    (Original post by RichE)
    ...
    My commentary on postgraduate study was presented to contextualize the comments on the undergraduate courses, which is the primary focus of this thread.

    Brushing aside the hypocrisy of demanding data supported comments only when you have provided no such background for your own assertions, other than vaguely referring to a heavily criticized metric which is more likely to benefit Oxford in any case due to the methodologies used:

    As I indicated, apparently not obviously enough, either university is more than suitable for undergraduate study in these areas. If OP wishes to benefit from the perception, deserved or not, that Cambridge is superior in these areas, they can always apply for postgrad study there while enjoying their UG away from the family.
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    Brushing aside the hypocrisy of demanding data supported comments only when you have provided no such background for your own assertions, other than vaguely referring to a heavily criticized metric which is more likely to benefit Oxford in any case due to the methodologies used
    .
    What hypocrisy? I provided two links to data/evidence in my post. Whatever you think of the REF, it paints a significantly different picture to your anecdotes.
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    (Original post by RichE)
    What hypocrisy? I provided two links to data/evidence in my post. Whatever you think of the REF, it paints a significantly different picture to your anecdotes.
    Neither of the comments linked provide any data. I don't really see the point in entertaining a rebuttal which is entirely based on "provide data, here are my own subjective opinions on why you're wrong with no data to back it up but I expect you to do all the legwork for me in this circumstance".

    The only references you provide are to a non-functioning link to a 7 page thread I have no intention of reading completely to find a single comment, and the second reference to an ostensibly "detailed discussion" of the matter links to a two sentence comment in an even longer thread (and the only other comments on the page link by yourself are similarly...terse, and most of the page is dominated by discussions of a particular mathematical problem). As these have no basis other than opinion which is the exact criticism you have levied at me, I find this rather a pointless exercise

    What I, and others, think of the REF is relevant as a university with an extensive "arts" faculty who are more like to write books on their subject, who are more economically incentivized personally to do so and less constrained by research funding in the process of doing so, gets the same benefit at lesser opportunity cost than a university with prolific journal publication. Since this is a major criticism of the methodology, and not the only one at that, it is relevant since bad data is worse than no data as it necessarily contaminates any conclusion drawn from that data.
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    Neither of the comments linked provide any data.
    This is untrue, the first one did.

    The only references you provide are to a non-functioning link to a 7 page thread I have no intention of reading completely to find a single comment,
    Both links still work fine for me, and are to single posts, not threads, with the second being to Shamika's detailed post, not to one of my own.

    What I, and others, think of the REF is relevant as a university with an extensive "arts" faculty who are more like to write books on their subject, who are more economically incentivized personally to do so and less constrained by research funding in the process of doing so, gets the same benefit at lesser opportunity cost than a university with prolific journal publication. Since this is a major criticism of the methodology, and not the only one at that, it is relevant since bad data is worse than no data as it necessarily contaminates any conclusion drawn from that data.
    I am having real trouble making any sense of this as Oxford has the larger arts faculty but also did better in the REF on journal submissions in some of the sciences including maths.
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    (Original post by RichE)
    Both links still work fine for me, and are to single posts, not threads, with the second being to Shamika's detailed post, not to one of my own.
    Nope your links are broken.

    Edit: do you mean:
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...0&postcount=55
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    (Original post by RichE)
    This is untrue, the first one did.


    Both links still work fine for me, and are to single posts, not threads, with the second being to Shamika's detailed post, not to one of my own.



    I am having real trouble making any sense of this as Oxford has the larger arts faculty but also did better in the REF on journal submissions in some of the sciences including maths.
    I'll take this opportunity to highlight the fact that your continual derailing of threads in defence of Oxford reflects rather poorly on that university. As stated the links do not link correctly for me, and you have still not provided any information, which is for an irrelevant discussion to this thread at this point now anyway.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Nope your links are broken.
    How weird - they continue to work for me.

    Thanks - yes, that goes to the same place.
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    I'll take this opportunity to highlight the fact that your continual derailing of threads in defence of Oxford reflects rather poorly on that university. As stated the links do not link correctly for me, and you have still not provided any information, which is for an irrelevant discussion to this thread at this point now anyway.
    This is like blaming the victim for the crime. If you think manifestly untrue statements like for science research output, Cambridge far outstrips Oxford should just be allowed to stand, then yes I suppose I am to blame for derailling this thread.
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    (Original post by RichE)
    This is like blaming the victim for the crime. If you think manifestly untrue statements like for science research output, Cambridge far outstrips Oxford should just be allowed to stand, then yes I suppose I am to blame for derailling this thread.
    Perhaps you need to accept that Oxford is not the be all and end all and get over it.

    At the end of the day, a balanced presentation of the relevant material was provided, and support for the broader issue in favour of the widely accepted position based on decades of excellence in the area and not a single year of data from a debatable ranking system which has yet to be provided.

    From the OPs point of view, who may decide based on their singular experience of yourself that people who go to or favour Oxford are similarly insufferable, which is certainly not the case but as noted you're making a terrible example of yourself in this instance.

    Once again I will highlght that you STILL have yet to actually contribute to the thread as your incessant focus on harassing anyone you perceive as slighting the university of your preference has stood in the way of actually just responding to the OP saying "I disagree with that comment, here is some evidence directly provided to support my position".
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    Have a look at Unistats as well - they've got a lot of detailed data on student satisfaction for different courses, and sometimes it can reveal stark differences between Oxford and Cambridge (for example, for my course - music - Oxford had an overall satisfaction rate of 97%, compared to 53% for Cambridge!). They also have data in student employment after finishing their course, but I doubt that will vary much between the two universities.
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    (Original post by Beth_H)
    They also have data in student employment after finishing their course, but I doubt that will vary much between the two universities.
    Music:
    Cambridge £24k
    Oxford £20k

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    (Original post by Beth_H)
    Have a look at Unistats as well - they've got a lot of detailed data on student satisfaction for different courses, and sometimes it can reveal stark differences between Oxford and Cambridge (for example, for my course - music - Oxford had an overall satisfaction rate of 97%, compared to 53% for Cambridge!). They also have data in student employment after finishing their course, but I doubt that will vary much between the two universities.
    This is a more useful metric for you OP, as course satisfaction is more likely to be relevant in your considerations.

    I'd also note that in the case of the REF, the only areas Oxford exceeds Cambridge are by 1-3 points with the surprising exception of Maths, whereas the several areas Cambridge exceeds Oxford are in excess of 6 points on their scale. They are also represented in more areas due to more departments offering more and varied courses in the STEM subjects.

    But regardless, applying to Oxford instead of Cambridge is unlikely to have any measurable effect on your long term prospects regardless of subject.
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    Perhaps you need to accept that Oxford is not the be all and end all and get over it.
    I haven't vaguely claimed this, and have only argued for proportionate comparison of the two universities.

    At the end of the day, a balanced presentation of the relevant material was provided...
    Hardly, as you claimed Cambridge far outstripped Oxford without any sense of data backing this up. Regarding any data, Doonesbury has since provided an amended link.

    From the OPs point of view, who may decide based on their singular experience of yourself that people who go to or favour Oxford are similarly insufferable...
    This line is unbelievable.You might also note that the previous thread linked to was by someone else at Cambridge making untrue claims of the maths degree which various people refuted and provided links to synopses by way of justification.

    Once again I will highlight that you STILL have yet to actually contribute to the thread as your incessant focus on harassing anyone you perceive as slighting the university of your preference has stood in the way of actually just responding to the OP saying "I disagree with that comment, here is some evidence directly provided to support my position".
    I have no issue with people thinking Cambridge is better than Oxford; they are welcome to that view. I don't see why I should let outlandish claims though stand. And I don't see that calling your post "biased" is harassment.
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    I must have accidentally ticked the anonymous box in case it isn't clear the above post is from me.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    ...
    That claim was clearly stated to be restricted to the topic of PG study and not UG, which was presented in a balanced fashion and is the relevant part of the thread.

    Derailing multiple threads (as can be plainly seen by your posting history) is a pattern of harassing anyone that doesn't subscribe your viewpoint.

    Not to mention that once again you still are failing to contribute to the thread in your dogged attempts to claim the superiority of your preferred institution.
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    The two universities have a long-standing and entirely unwritten accord not to directly compete with each other, at a strategic level. It is better for both that they both retain their national and international research and teaching standing. Direct competition between the two would ultimately be harmful to both. Therefore, over and above the ripples of league tables and the REF, Cambridge is broadly considered stronger than Oxford on Engineering, Economics, History, Maths and Oxford stronger on the social sciences, politics, IR etc. It's the reason Oxford offers joint course options and Cambridge hasn't in the past, why Oxford does PPE and Cambridge doesn't - it could, but there is no advantage in opening direct competition. Courses adapt and evolve, so Cambridge has introduced a few joint courses recently, but that is because the wider market has the demand, it's not to compete with Oxford. It doesn't really matter who is number 1 in any subject, as the other one is likely to be number 2 or thereabouts.
 
 
 
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