Lancaster Uni or Uni of Manchester with foundation

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JustforAma
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Hello everyone, I have some choices and need some help.

Firstly i got A*AB in Maths, physics and further maths respectively.

My wish was to go to uni of man to study physics, but since i didnt make the grades, i was given the option of going to my insurance (lancaster) or doing a foundation year at manchester, then going into the actual course.
If i go manchester, id take the train (20 mins), but i'd have to move if im going lancaster. I want to go into physics research after uni.

Things important to me:
Graduate prospects - since manchester is russell, i assume its prospects would be better, along with its already strong status and high position, right?

cost: since i'd be doing 1 extra year at manchester, would the debt i'd be in, be much greater than if i went lancaster?

convenience: Im pretty lazy. During the next 4/5 years how important is it to actually be in uni, or would i be able to just do most my studying from home? As i said above, itll take 20 mins to get to manchester, compared to a couple mins at lancaster.

fact that ill be 1 year behind: My maths and physics knowledge is quite strong, and ive heard that first year uni of physics isnt quite a large jump, meaning in 2 years ill be making very small progress if i go manchester. And the foundation year is aimed at lower ability, people averaging ABB, which might be a little issue.

Commitments: I also have some commitments at home like sports etc, which means if i move out, itll be quite difficult to sort, but itll be possible to arrange.

Finally, people that have done physics at uni of man/lancaster, how happy are you with your uni, in terms of teaching quality, environment. Also people that have done foundation year, how has this affected you, if any? Do you have any regrets? I know

Im not really bothered about things like night life, or shops etc. and the quality of my hall isnt a major problem either.


I know i put out a lot of concerns, but i thought itll be easier to get them all out now. Please reply to any parts you can.

Appreciate any replies!
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thatapanydude
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(Original post by JustforAma)
Hello everyone, I have some choices and need some help.

Firstly i got A*AB in Maths, physics and further maths respectively.

My wish was to go to uni of man to study physics, but since i didnt make the grades, i was given the option of going to my insurance (lancaster) or doing a foundation year at manchester, then going into the actual course.
If i go manchester, id take the train (20 mins), but i'd have to move if im going lancaster. I want to go into physics research after uni.

Things important to me:
Graduate prospects - since manchester is russell, i assume its prospects would be better, along with its already strong status and high position, right?

cost: since i'd be doing 1 extra year at manchester, would the debt i'd be in, be much greater than if i went lancaster?

convenience: Im pretty lazy. During the next 4/5 years how important is it to actually be in uni, or would i be able to just do most my studying from home? As i said above, itll take 20 mins to get to manchester, compared to a couple mins at lancaster.

fact that ill be 1 year behind: My maths and physics knowledge is quite strong, and ive heard that first year uni of physics isnt quite a large jump, meaning in 2 years ill be making very small progress if i go manchester. And the foundation year is aimed at lower ability, people averaging ABB, which might be a little issue.

Commitments: I also have some commitments at home like sports etc, which means if i move out, itll be quite difficult to sort, but itll be possible to arrange.

Finally, people that have done physics at uni of man/lancaster, how happy are you with your uni, in terms of teaching quality, environment. Also people that have done foundation year, how has this affected you, if any? Do you have any regrets? I know

Im not really bothered about things like night life, or shops etc. and the quality of my hall isnt a major problem either.


I know i put out a lot of concerns, but i thought itll be easier to get them all out now. Please reply to any parts you can.

Appreciate any replies!
Manchester is a top uni for physics mate, so I would take the foundation year with them. That being said, I can't believe you didn't get in with A*AB. I know a lad last year with the same results who was accepted.

Also try looking at other RG unis etc Notts who I think have spaces. Lancaster while high on the rankings isn't great to be honest.
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JustforAma
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(Original post by thatapanydude)
Manchester is a top uni for physics mate, so I would take the foundation year with them. That being said, I can't believe you didn't get in with A*AB. I know a lad last year with the same results who was accepted.

Also try looking at other RG unis etc Notts who I think have spaces. Lancaster while high on the rankings isn't great to be honest.
Do you go uni of man studying physics?
Also why do you say lancaster isnt great?
Thanks for the reply!

Also im only 4 ums of an A in further maths, but they denied because of 'an apparent large increase in applications'
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thatapanydude
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(Original post by JustforAma)
Do you go uni of man studying physics?
Also why do you say lancaster isnt great?
Thanks for the reply!

Also im only 4 ums of an A in further maths, but they denied because of 'an apparent large increase in applications'
No I don't study at UoM, only giving you my opinion.
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artful_lounger
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Having an excellent foundation in maths is really the main concern for future physicists - going over the A-level maths content in a year (and probably some FM content) in the foundation isn't a downside, in this respect. They're requiring the foundation year because they don't believe you are at a level where you could start on their course and complete it satisfactorily. The foundation is merely a way to get you to that level.

It's worth noting as the birthplace of graphene (well, sort of) and also having the (arguably unfortunate) presence of Brian Cox, Manchester is very much at the forefront of physics, at least as the rest of the world is concerned - beyond these specific things, it's long been a strong physics teaching and research location, dating back to the UMIST days. Doing your undergraduate here would have more opportunities to engage in high level research than other locations may, which is a huge benefit for PhD applications (which is of course a necessity to be a "physicist" realistically - although not necessarily to do physics related work in industry).

Is there a particular reason you're not planning on living on campus during the foundation year, and beyond? It's unusual not to, and as someone who did a science foundation living at home and commuting (although, I had no intention of not attending at any point due to this...) it's a great drain, both financially and mentally. I wouldn't recommend it, and you haven't indicated there is a particular need to stay at home except due to familiarity. In terms of cost overall (i.e. 4 vs 3 years), you'll normally want to be on the MPhys anyway, which is a year longer in both cases, and realistically you're going to paying off your student loan...forever. Or at least, for a good portion of your career - it just comes out as ~10-15% of your wages, like a small tax. It's not really noticeable and it doesn't have any real long term effect, as when you turn 65 it's written off if you haven't paid it yet, and if you have you've been earning enough that it doesn't make a difference (and you don't start paying until you're above a certain threshold - £21k I believe - which is enough to make a living on at the start of your career even if you are paying out 10% of that as well as other taxes and so on).

Regarding others on the course being "lower ability", that's really rather elitist of you to suggest, given they either achieved their offers for the foundation, and possibly exceeded them, doing potentially unrelated subjects but wishing a change, or are in your boat and are exactly as "able" as you are. Which, according to the University of Manchester, is not enough at the very least.

As for Lancaster, I can't really say. I have little knowledge of it, and I wasn't even aware it offered a physics course. Read into this what you will.
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jelly1000
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(Original post by JustforAma)
Hello everyone, I have some choices and need some help.

Firstly i got A*AB in Maths, physics and further maths respectively.

My wish was to go to uni of man to study physics, but since i didnt make the grades, i was given the option of going to my insurance (lancaster) or doing a foundation year at manchester, then going into the actual course.
If i go manchester, id take the train (20 mins), but i'd have to move if im going lancaster. I want to go into physics research after uni.

Things important to me:
Graduate prospects - since manchester is russell, i assume its prospects would be better, along with its already strong status and high position, right?

cost: since i'd be doing 1 extra year at manchester, would the debt i'd be in, be much greater than if i went lancaster?

convenience: Im pretty lazy. During the next 4/5 years how important is it to actually be in uni, or would i be able to just do most my studying from home? As i said above, itll take 20 mins to get to manchester, compared to a couple mins at lancaster.

fact that ill be 1 year behind: My maths and physics knowledge is quite strong, and ive heard that first year uni of physics isnt quite a large jump, meaning in 2 years ill be making very small progress if i go manchester. And the foundation year is aimed at lower ability, people averaging ABB, which might be a little issue.

Commitments: I also have some commitments at home like sports etc, which means if i move out, itll be quite difficult to sort, but itll be possible to arrange.

Finally, people that have done physics at uni of man/lancaster, how happy are you with your uni, in terms of teaching quality, environment. Also people that have done foundation year, how has this affected you, if any? Do you have any regrets? I know

Im not really bothered about things like night life, or shops etc. and the quality of my hall isnt a major problem either.


I know i put out a lot of concerns, but i thought itll be easier to get them all out now. Please reply to any parts you can.

Appreciate any replies!
You sound very snobby, ABB are still very good grades and exam grades don't always equal intelligence or how well someone will do at university.

With physics it's almost essential to be at university as you do lab work. With lectures/seminars some universities are more fussy than others re attendance, you don't know til you get there.
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Joe1000000
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
As for Lancaster, I can't really say. I have little knowledge of it, and I wasn't even aware it offered a physics course. Read into this what you will.
Your lack of knowledge doesn't mean it's not good. Lancaster is currently around 10th in the country for Physics according to most league tables.
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Dot.Cotton
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Manchester by a country mile.

The foundation year may be a slog, but it'll be worth it in the end.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Joe1000000)
Your lack of knowledge doesn't mean it's not good. Lancaster is currently around 10th in the country for Physics according to most league tables.
League tables, a metric devised by newspapers to sell copies (or services) to students and their parents.

I'm not aware of it because I've never heard of any major research associated with it. This is telling, unlike Manchester who everyone has heard of thanks to the discovery of graphene, and it's subsequent Nobel Prize (also the insufferable Brian Cox).
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JustforAma
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Having an excellent foundation in maths is really the main concern for future physicists - going over the A-level maths content in a year (and probably some FM content) in the foundation isn't a downside, in this respect. They're requiring the foundation year because they don't believe you are at a level where you could start on their course and complete it satisfactorily. The foundation is merely a way to get you to that level.

It's worth noting as the birthplace of graphene (well, sort of) and also having the (arguably unfortunate) presence of Brian Cox, Manchester is very much at the forefront of physics, at least as the rest of the world is concerned - beyond these specific things, it's long been a strong physics teaching and research location, dating back to the UMIST days. Doing your undergraduate here would have more opportunities to engage in high level research than other locations may, which is a huge benefit for PhD applications (which is of course a necessity to be a "physicist" realistically - although not necessarily to do physics related work in industry).

Is there a particular reason you're not planning on living on campus during the foundation year, and beyond? It's unusual not to, and as someone who did a science foundation living at home and commuting (although, I had no intention of not attending at any point due to this...) it's a great drain, both financially and mentally. I wouldn't recommend it, and you haven't indicated there is a particular need to stay at home except due to familiarity. In terms of cost overall (i.e. 4 vs 3 years), you'll normally want to be on the MPhys anyway, which is a year longer in both cases, and realistically you're going to paying off your student loan...forever. Or at least, for a good portion of your career - it just comes out as ~10-15% of your wages, like a small tax. It's not really noticeable and it doesn't have any real long term effect, as when you turn 65 it's written off if you haven't paid it yet, and if you have you've been earning enough that it doesn't make a difference (and you don't start paying until you're above a certain threshold - £21k I believe - which is enough to make a living on at the start of your career even if you are paying out 10% of that as well as other taxes and so on).

Regarding others on the course being "lower ability", that's really rather elitist of you to suggest, given they either achieved their offers for the foundation, and possibly exceeded them, doing potentially unrelated subjects but wishing a change, or are in your boat and are exactly as "able" as you are. Which, according to the University of Manchester, is not enough at the very least.

As for Lancaster, I can't really say. I have little knowledge of it, and I wasn't even aware it offered a physics course. Read into this what you will.
I feel quite confident with maths that I could hold up in 1st year, and although a foundation would be beneficial, i think it would be more beneficial to go further. Also, I don't want to live in Manchester because I've got a couple of commitments right where I live, perhaps in the later years I could consider moving.

And about the lower ability bit, sorry I didn't mean it like that, I just realized. I was just thinking maybe I could push myself more. Thanks a lot for the reply
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JustforAma
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(Original post by jelly1000)
You sound very snobby, ABB are still very good grades and exam grades don't always equal intelligence or how well someone will do at university.

With physics it's almost essential to be at university as you do lab work. With lectures/seminars some universities are more fussy than others re attendance, you don't know til you get there.
Sorry, I don't at all think ABB are low. In fact my grades are equivalent if I lost like 3 marks. I chose theoretical phys, and they've told me several times that a lot of my lab work will be replaced with lectures, but your point still stands. Thanks for the reply!
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