29yo, been out of education for while, don't know how to choose a uni Watch

foofoochate
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Hi all. Want to do a degree in maths. I have no previous degree. I will be applying with my record and reference from taking OU modules.

I'm led to believe that any university is possible if i do well enough in the ou modules, but I *think* the most competitive universities will take me a little longer as they might not accept credit transfer, or might ask me to take more OU modules to get in.

My priorities - teaching quality, friendly and down to earth atmosphere, at least a few other mature students, opportunity to get involved with research (or at least to meet people involved with research)

Not important- prestige, league tables, nightlife, links to high powered careers

Look, I am aware that reverse snobbery is a thing, and something I may be susceptible to given my experiences, but I really want to avoid phonies, sycophants, prestige whores, nepotism, gossip kings and queens and social climbers. If I am wrong to think that the most prestigious universities will have too many of those types, then I am happy to be told I'm wrong.

Longer term I'm interested in using applied maths possibly to research fields in life sciences, rather than researching pure maths.

I have half an eye on Dundee (heard about small class sizes and highly regarded for life sciences) and Lancaster (seems "nice" and friendly).

Thanks
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foofoochate
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And sorry the long post!

Oh and I'm new here so I'm not fully sure where is the best place to post this.
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Toki the Dumdum
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(Original post by foofoochate)
Hi all. Want to do a degree in maths. I have no previous degree. I will be applying with my record and reference from taking OU modules.

I'm led to believe that any university is possible if i do well enough in the ou modules, but I *think* the most competitive universities will take me a little longer as they might not accept credit transfer, or might ask me to take more OU modules to get in.

My priorities - teaching quality, friendly and down to earth atmosphere, at least a few other mature students, opportunity to get involved with research (or at least to meet people involved with research)

Not important- prestige, league tables, nightlife, links to high powered careers

Look, I am aware that reverse snobbery is a thing, and something I may be susceptible to given my experiences, but I really want to avoid phonies, sycophants, prestige whores, nepotism, gossip kings and queens and social climbers. If I am wrong to think that the most prestigious universities will have too many of those types, then I am happy to be told I'm wrong.

Longer term I'm interested in using applied maths possibly to research fields in life sciences, rather than researching pure maths.

I have half an eye on Dundee (heard about small class sizes and highly regarded for life sciences) and Lancaster (seems "nice" and friendly).

Thanks
You did post in correct subforum. I'd advise against replying to your own thread though as it appears as though it has been answered and won't appear in a pile of unanswered threads that some people look through. In future, you can edit your OP if you want to add something.

Anyways, welcome to the forum. I think a lot of the critera you mention it's hard to measure. The most important thing for me would be getting the right course and department. You seem to have a clear idea of the path within maths that you'd like to take so I'd consider the module makeup of the degree (right availability of modules you want to take in later years) and also, as you mention, the right sort of research areas covered within the department. Beyond that it's difficult to narrow down imo but I have some thoughts...

Are you restricted to any particular area of the country? (Needing to stay near or get away from family) I think also it would be good to go to a univesity that is a similar level to you academically so that you're not either, i) way out of your depth or ii) completely coasting. Considering those two things might help narrow down the choices.

Other things you mention:
Teaching quality - I'm not sure how you can measure this in a meaningful way. Some lecturers will be engaging and some will not (and it'll vary on the student being asked!).
Friendly and down to earth atmosphere - very much a personal thing that would change depending on the recipient?
Mature students - I don't know how matures distribute themselves over the universities? There might be some statistics out there that indicate patterns but I don't know what they are.
Research - not something I'm interested in and so it's not something I've looked into.
"Frauds" - I think your probably right in that these types are more prevalent at 'prestigious' unis but they must be avoidable? Maybe discount oxbridge and the five or so 'oxbridge rejects' unis but ultimately there'll be ********s everywhere.

To finish, I think you're correct in that no university is out of your range, it's just a case of whether you're required to jump through the hoops that they require of you. And the best way to find out what they want is to contact their admissions individually. Just for reference of some of the things I was asked for: I had sat three FM modules the summer prior to applying and one university wanted me to sit TUMA, one invited me to an interview and 'in-house' test, one accepted me straight away, one rejected me because I only had a work refererence not an academic one... It's all a bit variable depending on the institution.

Best of luck with it all :yy:
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foofoochate
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Hi and thanks for that useful reply. Looking back at my post it does seem neurotically judgemental lol. But as you rightly say there will be people who I get along with well and less well at every place. And yes lol I did consider avoiding the oxbridge reject unis. But the problem with doing that is that I would be avoiding lots of intelligent students who are perfectly decent people. So I do not want to be on a high horse about this. I will stay open minded at least until I've been to open days.

As for going to a university that is a similar level to me, I would have thought that anywhere where I would be out of my depth would reject me.

Thanks though that does help me narrow it down. Oh and there is one thing I'm trying to figure out, which is how I can be in a place that is relatively sunny. I do not do well without sunlight. There is Sussex and Southampton on the south coast. Not sure what theyre like for maths. Exeter is quite far south but I don't know if it's sunny and again that would be another place where I'm not sure if I would fit in.
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by foofoochate)
Hi and thanks for that useful reply. Looking back at my post it does seem neurotically judgemental lol. But as you rightly say there will be people who I get along with well and less well at every place. And yes lol I did consider avoiding the oxbridge reject unis. But the problem with doing that is that I would be avoiding lots of intelligent students who are perfectly decent people. So I do not want to be on a high horse about this. I will stay open minded at least until I've been to open days.

As for going to a university that is a similar level to me, I would have thought that anywhere where I would be out of my depth would reject me.

Thanks though that does help me narrow it down. Oh and there is one thing I'm trying to figure out, which is how I can be in a place that is relatively sunny. I do not do well without sunlight. There is Sussex and Southampton on the south coast. Not sure what theyre like for maths. Exeter is quite far south but I don't know if it's sunny and again that would be another place where I'm not sure if I would fit in.
Exeter is one of the rainiest cities in the UK. If you are looking for sunnier cilmes look at the east side. Have you looked at East Anglia. Exeter is a gorgeous campus but dont expect it to be sunny.
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foofoochate
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
Exeter is one of the rainiest cities in the UK. If you are looking for sunnier cilmes look at the east side. Have you looked at East Anglia. Exeter is a gorgeous campus but dont expect it to be sunny.
That's interesting actually. Never considered east anglia. Always been a city person but very open minded about going to a place that's different to what I'm used to.
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Toki the Dumdum
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(Original post by foofoochate)
Hi and thanks for that useful reply. Looking back at my post it does seem neurotically judgemental lol. But as you rightly say there will be people who I get along with well and less well at every place. And yes lol I did consider avoiding the oxbridge reject unis. But the problem with doing that is that I would be avoiding lots of intelligent students who are perfectly decent people. So I do not want to be on a high horse about this. I will stay open minded at least until I've been to open days.

As for going to a university that is a similar level to me, I would have thought that anywhere where I would be out of my depth would reject me.

Thanks though that does help me narrow it down. Oh and there is one thing I'm trying to figure out, which is how I can be in a place that is relatively sunny. I do not do well without sunlight. There is Sussex and Southampton on the south coast. Not sure what theyre like for maths. Exeter is quite far south but I don't know if it's sunny and again that would be another place where I'm not sure if I would fit in.
Portsmouth, Brighton, Surrey, Canterbury? Would Bristol and Bath be sunny? Reading? London unis? I would've thought generally further south and further east you get sunnier but there might be some surprises in there.
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swanseajack1
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i think there are many good choices but you will need to do your research. The further west the wetter the climate is. the further north the colder. Exeter is a lovely place. Swansea is another but wet. Lancaster but it will be colder. Reading Royal Holloway and Kent might be other options. You also need to check the content fits what you want.
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Doones
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
Exeter is one of the rainiest cities in the UK. If you are looking for sunnier cilmes look at the east side. Have you looked at East Anglia. Exeter is a gorgeous campus but dont expect it to be sunny.
Goz Unlimited


Norwich isn't that much sunnier than Exeter.

Name:  Screenshot 2018-12-01 at 19.37.46.jpg
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And Norwich is only relatively drier in winter. But actually cooler than Exeter on average.
https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/...mate/gcj2x8gt4
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