David Gran
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Hi, I am applying from South Africa and am struggling to decide which unis I should to for physics. I have been predicted A*AAA in physics, maths, further maths, and chemistry. Also how much do the IGCSE's and personal statement count for the different unis.
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University of Bath
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(Original post by David Gran)
Hi, I am applying from South Africa and am struggling to decide which unis I should to for physics. I have been predicted A*AAA in physics, maths, further maths, and chemistry. Also how much do the IGCSE's and personal statement count for the different unis.
Hi there!

I'm assuming you're looking at universities in the UK? If that is the case, I'd definitely recommend University of Bath. I am a current student here and it's a wonderful university, especially for international students. You can find out more about the physics course here. As well as offering an amazing physics course, there is plenty of culture, history and just generally things to do (i.e. nightlife, shopping) in Bath. It is also only a 15 minute train from Bristol if you wanted to visit a bigger city. The campus is beautiful and there's plenty there, from a supermarket, to food outlets, a pub and a club!

University of Bath has an International students society so you can meet more international students, and they university really helps international students to settle in and feel at home.

At Bath you also have the option to do a study year abroad or a placement year in industry, which hugely increase your skills and employability and are an unmissable experience. Our placement's programme is one of, if not the best in the UK, with employers such as DSTL, GSK, L'Oreal and Pfizer. You can find out more about Bath's placement's programme here.

You mentioned you also take chemistry, maths and further maths. You might be interested in some of the other courses as well as pure physics that Bath offers:

- Physics
- Mathematics and physics
- Physics with astrophysics
- Natural sciences

Natural sciences is a good option as it allows you to study multiple sciences and give yourself a wider range of knowledge and skills, which is essential nowadays with the sciences being so interdisciplinary. For example, you could major in physics and take chemistry as a minor. I study natural sciences, so feel free to ask if you have any more questions about the course!

In terms of the importance of GCSE's and personal statements, I really can't say as universities don't often give information on this. Generally, it is essential that you have at least a C in GCSE maths and English language for any UK university. Personally, I would say personal statements are a really important part of your application. There'll be hundreds of students with A*AAA predicted grades, but it's your personal statement that makes you stand out. I'd definitely recommend making sure you have a good personal statement that reflects who you are as a person and a student.

I hope this has helped, and let me know if you have any other questions!
Eryn, a second year Natural Sciences student.
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David Gran
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(Original post by University of Bath)
Hi there!

I'm assuming you're looking at universities in the UK? If that is the case, I'd definitely recommend University of Bath. I am a current student here and it's a wonderful university, especially for international students. You can find out more about the physics course here. As well as offering an amazing physics course, there is plenty of culture, history and just generally things to do (i.e. nightlife, shopping) in Bath. It is also only a 15 minute train from Bristol if you wanted to visit a bigger city. The campus is beautiful and there's plenty there, from a supermarket, to food outlets, a pub and a club!

University of Bath has an International students society so you can meet more international students, and they university really helps international students to settle in and feel at home.

At Bath you also have the option to do a study year abroad or a placement year in industry, which hugely increase your skills and employability and are an unmissable experience. Our placement's programme is one of, if not the best in the UK, with employers such as DSTL, GSK, L'Oreal and Pfizer. You can find out more about Bath's placement's programme here.

You mentioned you also take chemistry, maths and further maths. You might be interested in some of the other courses as well as pure physics that Bath offers:

- Physics
- Mathematics and physics
- Physics with astrophysics
- Natural sciences

Natural sciences is a good option as it allows you to study multiple sciences and give yourself a wider range of knowledge and skills, which is essential nowadays with the sciences being so interdisciplinary. For example, you could major in physics and take chemistry as a minor. I study natural sciences, so feel free to ask if you have any more questions about the course!

In terms of the importance of GCSE's and personal statements, I really can't say as universities don't often give information on this. Generally, it is essential that you have at least a C in GCSE maths and English language for any UK university. Personally, I would say personal statements are a really important part of your application. There'll be hundreds of students with A*AAA predicted grades, but it's your personal statement that makes you stand out. I'd definitely recommend making sure you have a good personal statement that reflects who you are as a person and a student.

I hope this has helped, and let me know if you have any other questions!
Eryn, a second year Natural Sciences student.
Thanks so much for the advice. You said I could major in physics and minor in chemistry. What are majors and minors? is it equivalent to a masters and bachelors?
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by David Gran)
Thanks so much for the advice. You said I could major in physics and minor in chemistry. What are majors and minors? is it equivalent to a masters and bachelors?
It's usually a term you'd see in American universities. Major just means that subject would form most of your degree, and minor means it would be a small part.
It's entirely different in meaning to master's/bachelor's.

Southampton has a nice range of physics courses if you're interested in a particular area - physics with photonics, physics with nanotechnology, physics with astronomy, physics with space science, physics with industrial placement. Typical offer there is AAA.

Really, with your predicted grades (you're taking A-levels, yes?) you could probably apply to any uni in the country (except for Oxford/Cambridge because the deadline was in October).

You also don't need to worry much about IGCSEs. Your personal statement also won't matter too much either, but as long as it's decent you'll have nothing to worry about. For most universities, around at least 80% of applicants get offers.
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David Gran
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Oh ok, awesome. Thanks.
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squeakysquirrel
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(Original post by David Gran)
Oh ok, awesome. Thanks.
Look at complete university guide. It lists the best universities by subject.

Also need to think whether you want a city or a more rural university. With your grades you can go to virtually any UK uni.

UCL is a great one for international students and is of course in one of the greatest cities in the world. You could wait and apply with results to Oxford or Cambridge
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David Gran
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(Original post by squeakysquirrel)
Look at complete university guide. It lists the best universities by subject.

Also need to think whether you want a city or a more rural university. With your grades you can go to virtually any UK uni.

UCL is a great one for international students and is of course in one of the greatest cities in the world. You could wait and apply with results to Oxford or Cambridge
Ye I've looked at the complete university guide, kind of going off of that at the moment. Definitely applying UCL, Birmingham, Warwick. Maybe lancaster. Although I'm not sure about Lancaster as it's apparently quite a quiet place and I enjoy a busy city.
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philipd
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Think about Bristol. Some of the biggest physics discoveries were made here, and the department is beautiful. It is the fourth best university in the country in terms of employment as well.

The course is tough but enjoyable, and there are loaaads of combinations of course you can do.

As for the city, well it's insane.
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University of Bath
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(Original post by David Gran)
Thanks so much for the advice. You said I could major in physics and minor in chemistry. What are majors and minors? is it equivalent to a masters and bachelors?
No problem at all!

In terms of majors and minors, this just affects what you study more of. It isn't the same as masters and bachelors. For natural sciences, you can do either a BSc (bachelor's) or an MSc (masters). In either you choose a mjor and a minor, and you study more modules for your major subject, and your final year project is to do with your major. The main advantage of the Natural Sciences degree is it allows you to study multiple sciences which is hugely beneficial for employability and in the workplace. For example, in my case, studying a chemistry module allows me to better understand what I sudy in biology as my major. If your interests lie in other sciences, as well as physics, I'd definitely recommend looking into it as its an amazing course.

If you have any other questions, please do ask!
Eryn, a 2nd year natural sciences student
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University of Bath
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(Original post by David Gran)
Ye I've looked at the complete university guide, kind of going off of that at the moment. Definitely applying UCL, Birmingham, Warwick. Maybe lancaster. Although I'm not sure about Lancaster as it's apparently quite a quiet place and I enjoy a busy city.
Hi David,
In terms of Complete University Guide, I'd recommend not relying too heavily on it. Rather take a look at the Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter content that the universities post so you can have a more rounded idea of the university as opposed to just relying on rankings. In my case, I applied to Imperial as it had such good rankings, but then decided not to go there as their student satisfaction is so low and I'd heard from past students that it wasn;t an ejoyable experience being at university there.
Hope this helps,
Eryn, a second year Natural Sciences student
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Lancaster University Student Ambassador
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(Original post by David Gran)
Ye I've looked at the complete university guide, kind of going off of that at the moment. Definitely applying UCL, Birmingham, Warwick. Maybe lancaster. Although I'm not sure about Lancaster as it's apparently quite a quiet place and I enjoy a busy city.
Hi David,
My name's Charlotte and I'm a second year Biological Sciences with Biomedicine student.
I can give you some info about Lancaster if you're interested!
Lancaster accepts a lot of international students and within each college (we have a college system and would be happy to tell you more about it if you're interested!) there's an international officer as well that provides welfare.
Lancaster definitely isn't a massive town but the train station is suprisingly well linked. For example, Manchester is less than an hour away, Birmingham is about 2 hours away as are Glasgow and Edinburgh. We're also near the sea, including Blackpool (famous for its illuminations) and the lake district so if you fancy amazing mountain scenery and maybe hiking in them we're really close by!
I have a youtube channel (youtube.com/charlottemulcahy) if you'd like to get an insight into student life at lancaster, but there's plenty of other people making videos too! I'd recommend having a look for all universities you're interested in if you're not able to make the long trip to come and visit.
I don't study physics specifically but there's a youtuber called 'Alicedoesphysics' who goes to Lancaster and will probably be very useful for you! In terms of the science department, in biology we get tonnes of lab time and the lecturers are such good quality and really incorporate their cutting edge research (in the biol department it's alzheimer's treatments) into the material we learn. I'm sure it's similar for Physics. Student feedback is also taken really seriously to help improve the quality of the modules every time.
Let me know if you have any questions and I hope this helps you to make your decision.

Charlotte
2nd year Biological Sciences Student Rep
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stoyfan
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(Original post by squeakysquirrel)
Also need to think whether you want a city or a more rural university. With your grades you can go to virtually any UK uni.
*Except Manchester
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stoyfan
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(Original post by David Gran)
Hi, I am applying from South Africa and am struggling to decide which unis I should to for physics. I have been predicted A*AAA in physics, maths, further maths, and chemistry. Also how much do the IGCSE's and personal statement count for the different unis.
If you are wondering. I applied for UCL, Manchester (needs A*A*A so out of your range), Edinburgh, Southampton and Warwick. I would like to say that the cost of living in London is very expensive so you need to make sure that you can afford (especially since you are an international student and you have to pay for increased tuition fees anyways).
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