How to choose firm and insurance universities

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Jacob48384
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I have offers for maths from Nottingham, Exeter, and Bristol ( also maths and finance at Southampton but realised I probably don’t want to do that). I’m really struggling to choose my firm choice. Does how prestigious the uni is matter? I’ve found mixed information on which is the best so it must be close. Or should I just choose which one I like the most. I’m going to choose after going to visit days in February half term. Exeter has given me the lowest offer of ABC with the others AAB. I live quite close to Exeter. Will my choice make a huge difference?
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by Jacob48384)
I have offers for maths from Nottingham, Exeter, and Bristol ( also maths and finance at Southampton but realised I probably don’t want to do that). I’m really struggling to choose my firm choice. Does how prestigious the uni is matter? I’ve found mixed information on which is the best so it must be close. Or should I just choose which one I like the most. I’m going to choose after going to visit days in February half term. Exeter has given me the lowest offer of ABC with the others AAB. I live quite close to Exeter. Will my choice make a huge difference?
I am glad to see your taking your time to make your decision and intend going on visit days first. The most important issue is choosing a university you will feel comfortable and where the course suits you. All the universities you have chosen are of broadly similar standard with probably Bristol being the strongest for Maths. Another question you need to decide is how close/away from home you wish to be.
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artful_lounger
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Bristol is by far the strongest of those for Maths, followed by Nottingham then distantly Exeter, academically. Academics aside, they're pretty much broadly equal on generic notions of "prestige" so you aren't missing anything going to one rather than one of the others as far as that goes.

You should however be choosing the university you most want to go to as your firm choice, and then your insurance should be the one you would most like to go to if you can't go to your firm (although usually this will also be one with lower entry criteria so if you miss your offer for your firm you will achieve it for your insurance). There are a number of factors to consider here; what it will be like living in those cities for 3-4 years (including travelling to and from them), facilities and support provided by each university, course options for each of them etc. These are pretty individual factors as to what fits your needs and wants, so only you can really know which.

You have until May or June (I think) to choose your offers, so I would suggest not making any decisions yet and going to any open days/offer holder events you can to get a better feel for each university. Hopefully that might help confirm which is most appealing.

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I would caution CEMPS at Exeter is pretty grim outside of Physics, having formerly studied there. They are/have revamped their maths degree structure now, which might improve things on that course at least though...
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Jacob48384
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Thanks for the responses. My mum wants me to stay close to home but I’m not too sure. I’ll probably put Exeter as my insurance so just have to choose between Bristol and Nottingham. I know Bristol is a city university not a campus so I’m not sure if that will make much difference
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by Jacob48384)
I have offers for maths from Nottingham, Exeter, and Bristol ( also maths and finance at Southampton but realised I probably don’t want to do that). I’m really struggling to choose my firm choice. Does how prestigious the uni is matter? I’ve found mixed information on which is the best so it must be close. Or should I just choose which one I like the most. I’m going to choose after going to visit days in February half term. Exeter has given me the lowest offer of ABC with the others AAB. I live quite close to Exeter. Will my choice make a huge difference?
Define 'prestige'. Is it the probability that someone goes "ooh nice" when you tell them where you study?
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Jacob48384
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I don’t know if employers favour any of these universities or if I’d have better opportunities at some of them.
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swanseajack1
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I know people who studied Maths at Exeter and ended up with Pwc, Civil Service fast steam and GCHQ amongst others so you wont be at a disadvantage employer wise going there.
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