Physics, Astrophysics & Cosmology at Lancaster (but not Russell Group?) Watch

NovaeSci186
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I'm going to be studying at Lancaster and I'm a little bit worried now after reading a few things regarding Russell Group Unis. I read that whilst it doesn't matter when at Undergraduate level, I've hear Russell Group Unis matter when you become more academic and applying for PhD and research positions. I see Lancaster ranks highly on tables; I believe it is second now on one table for research. Could someone explain the situation in a bit more detail to put my mind at rest?

Thanks,

Mike
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Dexter321
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That sounds like a course I'd like to do! Our daughter is going there for Undergrad. Bottom line is if she would like to do a masters, she can choose to apply to stay on if she likes it there and sees a course she wants to do, or she can apply elsewhere, incl Russell group if that's what motivates her in 4 years time. As a parent, I am not at all worried she isn't one of the Russell Group applicants.

You may want to get a job after your Undergrad.

Hopefully, someone will be able to discuss more specifics re your course and Russell Group funding etc.
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harrysbar
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(Original post by NovaeSci186)
I'm going to be studying at Lancaster and I'm a little bit worried now after reading a few things regarding Russell Group Unis. I read that whilst it doesn't matter when at Undergraduate level, I've hear Russell Group Unis matter when you become more academic and applying for PhD and research positions. I see Lancaster ranks highly on tables; I believe it is second now on one table for research. Could someone explain the situation in a bit more detail to put my mind at rest?

Thanks,

Mike
I just want to second what Dexter321 said - Lancaster is a fine uni and the Russell group thing is of no consequence to you at the moment. I don't claim to be an expert on PhD and research positions but if you feel in Year 3 that Lancaster cannot offer you what you are looking for, there is no problem at all in going from a uni like Lancaster to anywhere else for postgrad. All you need to worry about is getting strong academics during your degree and you don't need to overthink it any more than that at this stage. It's time to look forward to going to Lancaster and you can always move somewhere else for your PhD if you want to in 3 years time.
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(Original post by NovaeSci186)
I'm going to be studying at Lancaster and I'm a little bit worried now after reading a few things regarding Russell Group Unis. I read that whilst it doesn't matter when at Undergraduate level, I've hear Russell Group Unis matter when you become more academic and applying for PhD and research positions. I see Lancaster ranks highly on tables; I believe it is second now on one table for research. Could someone explain the situation in a bit more detail to put my mind at rest?

Thanks,

Mike
Lancaster is an exceptional university and much, much better than many RG universities. RG is just a name for a group that does research. Many exceptional universities exist outside RG, including Lancaster and St Andrews.

Seriously, you're not at all disadvantaged. You have nothing to worry about. :rambo:
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Lancaster Student Ambassador
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(Original post by NovaeSci186)
I'm going to be studying at Lancaster and I'm a little bit worried now after reading a few things regarding Russell Group Unis. I read that whilst it doesn't matter when at Undergraduate level, I've hear Russell Group Unis matter when you become more academic and applying for PhD and research positions. I see Lancaster ranks highly on tables; I believe it is second now on one table for research. Could someone explain the situation in a bit more detail to put my mind at rest?

Thanks,

Mike
Hi Mike,
Firstly, you can apply to study your masters/PhD anywhere! Secondly, I think the institution is far far less important than your skills. If you're interested in academia then make sure you try to take any research internships that you can (and quite a few will be available to you at Lancaster!) and develop skills that would be important for research. For masters programmes, they want to see that you're interested in studying their course and that you have taken steps to further your knowledge about what it's like to be a researcher.
No one can really say whether league tables or rankings 'matter' but it's about what you do when you're there!
Hope this helps and let me know if you have any questions,
Charlotte
2nd year Biological Sciences with Biomedicine
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NovaeSci186
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Thanks everyone for your words of advice
(Original post by Lancaster Student Ambassador)
Hi Mike,
Firstly, you can apply to study your masters/PhD anywhere! Secondly, I think the institution is far far less important than your skills. If you're interested in academia then make sure you try to take any research internships that you can (and quite a few will be available to you at Lancaster!) and develop skills that would be important for research. For masters programmes, they want to see that you're interested in studying their course and that you have taken steps to further your knowledge about what it's like to be a researcher.
No one can really say whether league tables or rankings 'matter' but it's about what you do when you're there!
Hope this helps and let me know if you have any questions,
Charlotte
2nd year Biological Sciences with Biomedicine
Hi Charlotte,

When you say there'll be quite a few research internships at Lancaster could you elaborate a bit on to what they consist of and a bit more info?

Many thanks

Mike
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Lancaster Student Ambassador
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(Original post by NovaeSci186)
Thanks everyone for your words of advice

Hi Charlotte,

When you say there'll be quite a few research internships at Lancaster could you elaborate a bit on to what they consist of and a bit more info?

Many thanks

Mike
Hi Mike,
I don't know the specifics of Physics but most science departments offer internships over the summer. This gives you a chance to aid lecturers in their research and you can work on skills such as coding, and writing lab reports and possibly even get published. This, along with your third year project, can help your application for masters/PhD stand out as these are research focused activities. You can of course apply for research internships outside of uni (say at a different uni or a company) during the holidays and you can find information like this in the designated careers team for your department.
Hope this helps and let me know if you have anymore questions,
Charlotte
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Dexter321
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(Original post by Lancaster Student Ambassador)
This, along with your third year project, can help your application for masters/PhD stand out as these are research focused activities. You can of course apply for research internships outside of uni (say at a different uni or a company) during the holidays and you can find information like this in the designated careers team for your department.
Hope this helps and let me know if you have anymore questions,
Charlotte
Hi Charlotte,
From your experience of these internships, are they're more aimed at end of 2nd year students in particular? I ask because we've booked our 2020 holiday for early August and I am now feeling a bit guilty having read your response above! I know our biochemistry daughter will be interested in doing an internship but I assumed end of 1st year wasn't likely due to campus accommodation ending in June.
Thanks in advance!
Dad of biochemist
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Lancaster Student Ambassador
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(Original post by Dexter321)
Hi Charlotte,
From your experience of these internships, are they're more aimed at end of 2nd year students in particular? I ask because we've booked our 2020 holiday for early August and I am now feeling a bit guilty having read your response above! I know our biochemistry daughter will be interested in doing an internship but I assumed end of 1st year wasn't likely due to campus accommodation ending in June.
Thanks in advance!
Dad of biochemist
Hello,
They do tend to be aimed at 2nd year students but third year students can also carry them out. I haven't heard of any first years doing them so it could be possible. It's also possible to undertake them at different points on the year - it just depends what's available! There are of course external research internships as well. And you can of course take a year in industry and do a placement instead! In terms of accommodation, I think that the university would likely provide some whilst you're there if you don't have any yourself (a lot of student lets stop in July).
Let me know if you have anymore questions,
Charlotte
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Dexter321
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(Original post by Lancaster Student Ambassador)
Hello,
They do tend to be aimed at 2nd year students but third year students can also carry them out. I haven't heard of any first years doing them so it could be possible. It's also possible to undertake them at different points on the year - it just depends what's available! There are of course external research internships as well. And you can of course take a year in industry and do a placement instead! In terms of accommodation, I think that the university would likely provide some whilst you're there if you don't have any yourself (a lot of student lets stop in July).
Let me know if you have anymore questions,
Charlotte
Thanks for the reply. She's down to do a year in industry, so hopefully that's covered already. Thanks also for the tip off re internships at different points in the year. We'll need to bear that in mind for any other plans.....
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Manitude
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Honestly, membership of the RG means very little in a practical sense. It's based on research, which is largely irrelevant at undergraduate level, and also irrelevant at PGR level because the quality of your research group and supervisors is much more important than the university as a whole. Some excellent research takes place at some of the lowest ranked universities in the UK. For example, for oceanography, there aren't many better places to study than Bangor, but on league tables Bangor does not come out well.

For undergraduate level, what matters more than the reputation of the university is the reputation of your department.

What matters more than that is how much you'll enjoy your time there.
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