xsrubyyyyy
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Hi, I'm a year 13 student who's applied for a maths degree. I've received an offer from Oxford on the 9the of Jan. but have not been as excited as I'd thought I would be. Ive been a bit feeling surreal and pressured, and pondering if I should go to imperial instead of Oxford. But I didn't even have an offer from imperial yet, so I just put off the thought.

Today (well technically yesterday) I got an offer from imperial, with the same conditions (a*a*a), so I now really need to make a decision between them.

I haven't told my parents (or anyone for that matter) that I'm not sure which one I should go to, cos I don't know how to say it.

So I've quickly made up a list about the reasons I want to go to oxford/imperial, but I'm still unsure, if not more so.

These are my reasons for going to oxford:
- prestige, easier job prospects
- Tutorial system. And i really liked the tutors there during interviews.
- I like that we can go to any lectures held by oxford professors. Though not sure if it's the same with imperial
- From what I know, I prefer the oxford course in terms of material and structure. In imperial, I need to do presentations that will be part of my final grade. Though could be a good thing to be forced out of my comfort zone?
- Cheaper living costs, while the city is still lively (lively enough for me anyway)
- I have gone through the whole admission process, with all the highs and lows. Feels like if I don't go then it's all been a waste of time

These are the reasons for going to imperial:
- I don't like the Jesus college campus that much, a bit too small. Not that I particularly liked the imperial campus either.
- I feel really pressured and worried about not being able to hold up to expectations if I were to go to oxford.
- 8-week term which feels really cramped up. I want to enjoy the university experience, instead ofonly being in uni for 24 weeks in a year, which means a total of 72 weeks for me to finish a degree...
- My friends are all in London Unis
- Studying in imperial will defi make it easier for me find find an internship. With the vibe and time and central location. Though I suppose with Oxford I could always do an intern during the long holidays.

Can anyone please give me more insight into how the maths courses in the two universities differ, and maybe their experience?

Thank you to anyone who's even read this far
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artful_lounger
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RichE might have some insight into the Oxford side

Remember you don't actually need to make a decision until May normally, so don't rush into a decision. See if there are any open days or offer holder days you could go to. You might find spending some more time at each without the worry of interviews, entry exams etc, may help you get a feel for the respective environments better and inform your decision.

I don't think it will be easier getting internships or vacation schemes at Imperial; they'll probably be about even. Oxford is pretty heavily targeted by recruiters for a range of sectors, and there will be networking events and so on in Oxford for you to go to, and it's not that far by train to London anyway. I'm also not certain you should focus too much on where your school friends are going - invariably you're going to make friends on your course and at your uni, and it may be beneficial to have a "fresh start" anyway.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Quoting in RichE , as he may be able and willing to offer some insight into the Oxford course
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
RichE might have some insight into the Oxford side
You beat me to it :emo:
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xsrubyyyyy
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
RichE might have some insight into the Oxford side

Remember you don't actually need to make a decision until May normally, so don't rush into a decision. See if there are any open days or offer holder days you could go to. You might find spending some more time at each without the worry of interviews, entry exams etc, may help you get a feel for the respective environments better and inform your decision.

I don't think it will be easier getting internships or vacation schemes at Imperial; they'll probably be about even. Oxford is pretty heavily targeted by recruiters for a range of sectors, and there will be networking events and so on in Oxford for you to go to, and it's not that far by train to London anyway. I'm also not certain you should focus too much on where your school friends are going - invariably you're going to make friends on your course and at your uni, and it may be beneficial to have a "fresh start" anyway.
Thank you!!
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jonathanjames
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I feel like from what you've said, oxford outweighs imperial you'll probably grow to love your campus eventually, and despite imperial being better in many aspects of stem some people(mostly wrongfully) assume that you're an Oxford reject sadly. And saying you've gone to Oxford for a subject stick as Maths, is tough and that I opportunity will only come once in a life time. As for uni experience, try and talk to people about their oxford experience, the city is really a magical place and if you haven't gone, you really will miss out on something. Don't worry about internships yet your should be able to get them pretty easily at Oxford I say oxford, and I'm unbiased
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RichE
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(Original post by xsrubyyyyy)
These are my reasons for going to oxford:
- prestige, easier job prospects
- Tutorial system. And i really liked the tutors there during interviews.
- I like that we can go to any lectures held by oxford professors. Though not sure if it's the same with imperial
- From what I know, I prefer the oxford course in terms of material and structure. In imperial, I need to do presentations that will be part of my final grade. Though could be a good thing to be forced out of my comfort zone?
- Cheaper living costs, while the city is still lively (lively enough for me anyway)
- I have gone through the whole admission process, with all the highs and lows. Feels like if I don't go then it's all been a waste of time

These are the reasons for going to imperial:
- I don't like the Jesus college campus that much, a bit too small. Not that I particularly liked the imperial campus either.
- I feel really pressured and worried about not being able to hold up to expectations if I were to go to oxford.
- 8-week term which feels really cramped up. I want to enjoy the university experience, instead ofonly being in uni for 24 weeks in a year, which means a total of 72 weeks for me to finish a degree...
- My friends are all in London Unis
- Studying in imperial will defi make it easier for me find find an internship. With the vibe and time and central location. Though I suppose with Oxford I could always do an intern during the long holidays.
It seems like on the academic side (teaching style, course, tutors) you prefer Oxford, though perhaps not the workload, and it's more social aspects that are making you consider Imperial. Jesus isn't a very big college, granted, but then how much of your time do you need to spend there - you certainly can work in the maths dept which is spacious, and Jesus has the Bartlemas complex for sports and some of the accommodation is there. One of the things I like about Oxford is that I'm not just talking to scientists all the time, with a greater range of subjects being studied here compared with Imperial.

Remember as well that London and Oxford are both well connected so keeping in contact with friends in London will not be hard. In fact, once settled into your degree I doubt you'd see much more of a London-based friend if you're at Imperial than you would at Oxford, you'd just be too busy academically and socially and making new friends (as would they).

Mainly I will echo what Artful said that you don't have to make this decision soon. Perhaps discuss it with friends first if you are reluctant to raise it with parents. If you have specific questions about the Oxford course by all means tag me in a post.
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Doones
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PS. I've moved this to the Mathematics forum with redirects from University of Oxford and Imperial College London
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xsrubyyyyy
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Thank you so much guys! Your comments are really useful and helped me realise that I do very much prefer Oxford to Imperial academically, which I guess is the most important part of university experience. Besides I did love Oxford as a city during the interviews, just not so much my college campus. I think I will take up Oxford, but of course there's no rush so I'll wait and see how it goes.

Thank you very much appreciations❤️
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yeetyeets
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Having studied undergrad maths at both unis (dropped out of one and joined the other), here's my thoughts.

Oxford is a much more studenty city. In that most the people there during term time are from Ox or Brookes. London has many universities, but it does feel diluted out by all the other people in London. That being said, London just has so much more things to do (though its just so expensive in general). An extension of this is also Imperial has the most clubs and societies of any UK uni I think? They literally have a club for every sport you can name. Oxford does have inter college sports competitions though which are really fun if you want to do stuff casually (there are also uni teams if you want to do stuff seriously).

On average, people in Oxford go out more. I went out a lot more in Oxford than in Imperial. The club nights and events in Oxford are more fun I'll also admit. Though, contrary to what people say, there are still plenty of people at Imperial you can get binned with.

Way more international students at Imperial. Which is nice because you can make friends all around the world (instead of meeting a ****ton of entitled rich school kids), but sometimes it can get very cliquey (depending on your year).

I actually prefer the teaching at Imperial than at Oxford. Genuinely some amazing professors there, especially the first year ones (they put some of the best staff as first year lecturers to make you keen). In Oxford my tutors were pretty lazy and genuinely didnt care much/push me. This can vary from college to college tho and if you liked your interviewing tutors fair play. Also 8 week terms are tough. You learn more stuff at Oxford and in a shorter space of time.

Oxford tutorials are a pretty good system, provided that you do your work properly beforehand. Imperial does have problems classes and tutorials, but with 5 people (instead of 1 on 2).

Job prospects at both are lit. Probably equal.

Though, both unis are tough, but if you were good enough to get in, you are good enough to survive as long you actually do your work. Uni maths is nothing like school honestly.

Oxford is pretty unique tho. There are loads of weird traditions and cool stuff like when you join the uni and wear funny clothes, which you also wear to exams and then sprayed with cava and shaving foam when you finish. Finishing exams at Oxford is such a good feeling. At imperial I literally just went home after.

Tl;dr Imperial maths teaching staff imo is better (also ignore anything you hear about student satisfaction for maths, cause the maths department actually makes changes every year based on student feedback). Oxford 8 week terms are brutal ngl and you will get more stressed, but it is a magical city and a very unique experience. Both universities will be really really fun as long as you put yourself out there and try new things. Whatever you pick, just please don't be one of those people who think the grass is greener on the side (at both unis you hear of people wishing they went somewhere else), cause both unis are amazing and so different that you can't compare them.
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