Pierre Andros
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Dear all,

I am fortunate to have received offers for the MAst Applied Math (DAMTP) at Cambridge, the MSc in mathematical and theoretical physics at Oxford and the MSc in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces at Imperial. All of them look great. I am struggling to make a decision. So far I found that Oxford has been a lot better organised and more responsive. It is a relatively new course and is very selective. They offer it since 2014 I believe. The advantage is that one could do up to 9 modules. The exams are spread over the year which is more manageable. So I guess one could learn more content in a year. There is no proper thesis though.
Cambridge and Imperial look more disorganised. They struggle to answer to emails in a timely manner and it does not give a good first impression. Imperial's advantage for me is that it is in Central London and can be taken part time. There are more choices of modules at Oxford or Cambridge than Imperial. Imperial sounds more focused on particle physics/QFT/Strings and look like the programme has less depth in Cosmology than Cambridge. I would say content between the 3 courses look similar, but Cambridge looks like it has more depth in Cosmology/GR than Imperial, which looks to have more than Oxford's. Imperial is the only one to offer a real 3m thesis over the summer. Terms are longer at Imperial. There are classes 6days a week at Cambridge (including Saturdays!).
I would like to do a PhD in Theoretical Physics in either theoretical particle physics or theoretical cosmology. I guess any of them would give me that opportunity and I should choose the one that is more convenient for me and makes me feel better, but can you please help me make a well informed decision? I change my mind every day about the one to select.

Many thanks

Pierre
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exam freak
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(Original post by Pierre Andros)
Dear all,

I am fortunate to have received offers for the MAst Applied Math (DAMTP) at Cambridge, the MSc in mathematical and theoretical physics at Oxford and the MSc in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces at Imperial. All of them look great. I am struggling to make a decision. So far I found that Oxford has been a lot better organised and more responsive. It is a relatively new course and is very selective. They offer it since 2014 I believe. The advantage is that one could do up to 9 modules. The exams are spread over the year which is more manageable. So I guess one could learn more content in a year. There is no proper thesis though.
Cambridge and Imperial look more disorganised. They struggle to answer to emails in a timely manner and it does not give a good first impression. Imperial's advantage for me is that it is in Central London and can be taken part time. There are more choices of modules at Oxford or Cambridge than Imperial. Imperial sounds more focused on particle physics/QFT/Strings and look like the programme has less depth in Cosmology than Cambridge. I would say content between the 3 courses look similar, but Cambridge looks like it has more depth in Cosmology/GR than Imperial, which looks to have more than Oxford's. Imperial is the only one to offer a real 3m thesis over the summer. Terms are longer at Imperial. There are classes 6days a week at Cambridge (including Saturdays!).
I would like to do a PhD in Theoretical Physics in either theoretical particle physics or theoretical cosmology. I guess any of them would give me that opportunity and I should choose the one that is more convenient for me and makes me feel better, but can you please help me make a well informed decision? I change my mind every day about the one to select.

Many thanks

Pierre
Visit them and go with your gut. also look at the research specialities in each dept and go with the one that most aligns with your interest.
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qno2
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I guess the first thing to note would be that all 3 courses are good and would prepare you well for a PhD in theoretical physics so in that regard, I don’t think you can make a “bad” choice so to speak. I know quite a few people personally who have ended up on PhDs that are in different areas to their masters degrees such as going from a GR-focused masters to a PhD in quantum information or a particle physics masters into a condensed matter PhD. I think having previous experience of the area your PhD is in does help both your application and ensuring that you’ve made the right choice.

Since you’re not sure if you want to do particle or cosmology, I’d suggest one of the reasons to do a masters like this is so you can work out what area you’d like to specialise in for your PhD. In this regard, the Imperial course is probably least desirable though it’s been a while since I’ve looked at it and thus I’m not sure how much cosmology (or Astro in general) you can do on it. Cambridge Part III probably has the greatest amount of choice though how many of those you’ll actually want to do, I’m not sure since it includes pure maths and statistic too (not that those are bad things for a theoretical physicist). As far as I know, Oxfords course offers 3 “streams” of courses: particle, condensed matter and Astro. You can either focus on one completely or mix and match to suit your interests with a few limitations but I’m sure you could spend all your time doing particle and cosmology modules. Personally, I’d say go with Oxford but if doing it part time or living in London are particularly important then don’t think the going with imperial will cripple your future or anything.
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Silvia3544
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Hi Pierre,I'm pretty much in the same situation right now - I recieved an offer from Cambridge for Applied Mathematics and an offer from Oxford for MSc Mathematical and Theoretical Physics. It is really hard to decide… Which University have you finally chosen and why?
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Silvia3544
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Hi Pierre,I'm in almost the same situation right now - I have an offer from Cambridge for Applied Mathematics and an offer from Oxford for the MSc Mathematical and Theoretical Physics programme. It's really difficult to choose between these two options so therefore I would be very interested in your final decision last year and any further advise!
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Pierre Andros
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Sorry I just saw your message. I went for Oxford as the exams are more spread out and I felt like I could study more subjects. But there is no bad option between Cambridge and Oxford. Both are great programs. Best of luck!
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mathmo1
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(Original post by Pierre Andros)
Sorry I just saw your message. I went for Oxford as the exams are more spread out and I felt like I could study more subjects. But there is no bad option between Cambridge and Oxford. Both are great programs. Best of luck!
Hey, I am looking to apply to both of these courses for 2020 start, later this year. I was just wondering what your background is like and what the admissions procedure was like? Thanks.
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mathmo1
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(Original post by Silvia3544)
Hi Pierre,I'm in almost the same situation right now - I have an offer from Cambridge for Applied Mathematics and an offer from Oxford for the MSc Mathematical and Theoretical Physics programme. It's really difficult to choose between these two options so therefore I would be very interested in your final decision last year and any further advise!
Hey, I am looking to apply to both of these courses for 2020 start, later this year. I was just wondering what your background is like and what the admissions procedure was like? Thanks.
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MaksPM
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Hi,
could you tell me where you did your bsc? Thanks
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izzatzubir
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(Original post by MaksPM)
Hi,
could you tell me where you did your bsc? Thanks
I received an offer to study MSc. QFFF at Imperial. Currently on my final year in Universiti Sains Malaysia.
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MaksPM
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Ok, thanks, good luck then!
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