hopefulphys
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my school has told us to start thinking about which unis to apply to (im in yr 12) and i have no clue?? which unis are good for physics?
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PL1234
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It’s all subjective but I can give some advice. I’ve just finished my ucas so it’s all sent off. So in alphabetic order I’ll list a few of the unis known for physics.
1)Birmingham=I was going to apply here but didn’t. city looks decent and I think it has a good physics department or at least the requirement are high
2) Cambridge=well known for sciences but you’d have to do natsci which involves 6 days of lectures and doing other sciences e.g materials, extra maths, biology or whatever but it’s not a pure physics course. I think it’s meant to be unbelievably tough.
3)Imperial=Very good physics course, definitely visit it before dismissing it as a depressing, international sausage fest. I really like the location but London isn’t for everyone
4)Manchester=Amazing course with a tonne of freedom, beautiful labs especially compared to other places. My interviewer was really nice and the city was good as well. Just very high offers
5)Nottingham=I think Nottingham has a good reputation for physics but that’s all I can say
6)Oxford
7)st Andrews=one of my friends applied so idk probably good and top in uni rankings
8)UCL=Nice offer of AAA, meant to be a very good course but again London. I liked their environmental options
This is just a subjective list so don’t take it only from me. Lancaster, Leeds and Durham also have a good reputation.
Ultimately to decide you have to ask some important questions:
-City or not
-Do you have the grades necessary for the course
-Look at the course itself like are their particular modules you want
So that should decide rather than reputation alone.
Any questions feel free to PM
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by PL1234)
It’s all subjective but I can give some advice. I’ve just finished my ucas so it’s all sent off. So in alphabetic order I’ll list a few of the unis known for physics.
1)Birmingham=I was going to apply here but didn’t. city looks decent and I think it has a good physics department or at least the requirement are high
2) Cambridge=well known for sciences but you’d have to do natsci which involves 6 days of lectures and doing other sciences e.g materials, extra maths, biology or whatever but it’s not a pure physics course. I think it’s meant to be unbelievably tough.
3)Imperial=Very good physics course, definitely visit it before dismissing it as a depressing, international sausage fest. I really like the location but London isn’t for everyone
4)Manchester=Amazing course with a tonne of freedom, beautiful labs especially compared to other places. My interviewer was really nice and the city was good as well. Just very high offers
5)Nottingham=I think Nottingham has a good reputation for physics but that’s all I can say
6)Oxford
7)st Andrews=one of my friends applied so idk probably good and top in uni rankings
8)UCL=Nice offer of AAA, meant to be a very good course but again London. I liked their environmental options
This is just a subjective list so don’t take it only from me. Lancaster, Leeds and Durham also have a good reputation.
Ultimately to decide you have to ask some important questions:
-City or not
-Do you have the grades necessary for the course
-Look at the course itself like are their particular modules you want
So that should decide rather than reputation alone.
Any questions feel free to PM
this is a great post! i agree with almost all of it! all of your reasons for uni options are on point, in particular your comment about Imperial is 100%.

however, you are mistaken on NatSci - unfortunately this confusion put a lot of top applicants of applying to Cambridge - you either choose Physical or Biological Natural sciences and you specialise even moreso from your second year onwards!
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PL1234
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
this is a great post! i agree with almost all of it! all of your reasons for uni options are on point, in particular your comment about Imperial is 100%.

however, you are mistaken on NatSci - unfortunately this confusion put a lot of top applicants of applying to Cambridge - you either choose Physical or Biological Natural sciences and you specialise even moreso from your second year onwards!
Thank you for your approval
Yh you I didn’t describe it very well but natsci For me it wasn’t a match, the 6 day lecture and the fact the only science I did was physics. Like obviously a lot of people do that route but I just couldn’t face doing some other random subject like materials or something. It’s why ultimately I picked oxford along with other things such as the weighting of the PAT, the multiple interviews etc.
I feel like people hate too much on Imperial for so many reasons but it’s one of the top STEM unis in the country and even in the world and you can’t just dismiss like that. For me I thought the international element was cool and the South Kensington location magnificent. Plus, the opportunity to do a challenging but interesting course.
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hopefulphys
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(Original post by PL1234)
It’s all subjective but I can give some advice. I’ve just finished my ucas so it’s all sent off. So in alphabetic order I’ll list a few of the unis known for physics.
1)Birmingham=I was going to apply here but didn’t. city looks decent and I think it has a good physics department or at least the requirement are high
2) Cambridge=well known for sciences but you’d have to do natsci which involves 6 days of lectures and doing other sciences e.g materials, extra maths, biology or whatever but it’s not a pure physics course. I think it’s meant to be unbelievably tough.
3)Imperial=Very good physics course, definitely visit it before dismissing it as a depressing, international sausage fest. I really like the location but London isn’t for everyone
4)Manchester=Amazing course with a tonne of freedom, beautiful labs especially compared to other places. My interviewer was really nice and the city was good as well. Just very high offers
5)Nottingham=I think Nottingham has a good reputation for physics but that’s all I can say
6)Oxford
7)st Andrews=one of my friends applied so idk probably good and top in uni rankings
8)UCL=Nice offer of AAA, meant to be a very good course but again London. I liked their environmental options
This is just a subjective list so don’t take it only from me. Lancaster, Leeds and Durham also have a good reputation.
Ultimately to decide you have to ask some important questions:
-City or not
-Do you have the grades necessary for the course
-Look at the course itself like are their particular modules you want
So that should decide rather than reputation alone.
Any questions feel free to PM
Thank you!!! This is really helpful I’ve got a lot to think about now
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University of Bath
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(Original post by hopefulphys)
my school has told us to start thinking about which unis to apply to (im in yr 12) and i have no clue?? which unis are good for physics?
Hi there,

A lot of universities offer physics, and a lot are good for it too. You need to first think about where you'd ideally like to be and what you want from the course, i.e. what makes it good for you (contact time, lecture hours, coursework vs exams, units/modules offered). I would recommend looking at some rankings for physics courses specifically such as Complete University Guide, to get an idea of what universities are best, and then look into the different factors as I said before. It's important to keep in mind what makes it good for you specifically, as ranking/league tables should be taken with a pinch of salt - just because a university is objectively and statistically "good" doesn't mean it'll be the best for you.

Off the top of my head though, Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, St Andrews, Bath, Manchester and Birmingham are all highly ranking for physics. Bath is also a good option due to having one of the highest student satisfaction scores of any UK university, and due to the option to do a placement year as part of your degree. Placements not only (usually) pay you a good salary, but they provide invaluable skills and experience, help you make industrial contacts and boost you CV so you're more employable than other graduates.

I hope this has helped,
Jessica, a third year Natural Sciences student
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UoB - Engineering and Physical Sciences
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(Original post by hopefulphys)
my school has told us to start thinking about which unis to apply to (im in yr 12) and i have no clue?? which unis are good for physics?
hopefulphys!

Hi, I'm a third year at the University of Birmingham and I'm studying physics and astronomy!

I think that deciding what University to go to can be a really daunting prospect when you first start thinking about it and I recommend that you don't let it stress you out. The best way to decide where you'd like to go is to sign up for open days, look at league charts to see what universities are good for the subject you'd like to study and also hear from students at universities so that you can gain some valid opinions and insight to what life is like!

The University of Birmingham, in my opinion, is exceptional for physics! In terms of league tables we were ranked 4th in the UK by The Guardian and in the top 10 of both the Good University Guide and The Complete University Guide rankings! We have the largest physics department in the country which means we're excellent for inclusion in high profile research, which means students get great opportunities when it comes to lab projects and group studies! Despite being the largest physics department in the country, it doesn't feel huge. All the students stick together and look out for each other and lecturers work hard to bridge that gap between staff and students so you can get to know them and their research! It's so exciting and welcoming all at once. There's a huge variety in modules that you can choose and amazing opportunities to study and research abroad!

We also have lots of physics related societies with PPS (Poynting Physics Society) being the biggest one! They run tonnes of incredible events such as quizzes, Science on Tap, bar crawls and movie nights! They also organise one of the biggest events of the year, the annual spring ball. It's an amazing evening of good food, live music and 'black tie' attire and you spend it with both friends and staff! On the other hand, the University of Birmingham is home to over 250 societies, so you have plenty of options if you want to have skills and friends outside of physics!

If you apply for Birmingham you'll receive the opportunity to come to an Offer Holder Open Day, which is a great opportunity to come and spend the day exploring campus and the physics department. It really gives you the chance to get a feel for the University and see what the atmosphere is like. I would recommend attending as many open days as possible!

As I say, starting to look at Universities can be quite daunting, so if you have any questions about Birmingham or student life, don't hesitate to ask!

Paige
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