Greg2003
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What are the best UK universities to study physics?

I am predicted four A*s and want a uni with good teaching, good reputation, etc...

I am asking for personal accounts as the prospectuses are so vague and homogenous

Thank you so much if you are able to help!
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Sinnoh
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I can only speak for my own uni here.

Imperial's got the reputation if that's what you're after, the physics course is among the hardest out there. The teaching is alright, they've just reformed the course in the wake of terrible student satisfaction scores but it can still take ages to get feedback for work sometimes. Academic tutorials (4 or 5 people going over problems and difficult topics with a lecturer) are very useful but only occur once every two weeks, seminars (~60 people, split in groups of 4 or 5) are two hours a week but can be a bit hit and miss.

You can find more detailed course info if you look further on the website, too.

My insurance choice was Southampton, I mainly chose it because I could definitely make the offer and because the course options were quite varied and interesting.
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Greg2003
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
I can only speak for my own uni here.

Imperial's got the reputation if that's what you're after, the physics course is among the hardest out there. The teaching is alright, they've just reformed the course in the wake of terrible student satisfaction scores but it can still take ages to get feedback for work sometimes. Academic tutorials (4 or 5 people going over problems and difficult topics with a lecturer) are very useful but only occur once every two weeks, seminars (~60 people, split in groups of 4 or 5) are two hours a week but can be a bit hit and miss.

You can find more detailed course info if you look further on the website, too.

My insurance choice was Southampton, I mainly chose it because I could definitely make the offer and because the course options were quite varied and interesting.
Thank you so much for your reply!

Did you personally find the course unsatisfactory? I was indeed shocked to see those scores. I have heard that they aggressively pursue research at the expense of undergraduate teaching; is this true?

Also, have you always lived in London, because for me living in a small village it seems a daunting move to make?!

Sorry to bombard you with more questions
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username4411794
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My son applied for physics last year. He liked Oxford ( rather than Cambridge which only does a Natural Sciences rather than straight Physics degree) where he now has a place. He also really liked Manchester ( physics is their flagship course and the department building is very swish). And Nottingham has a great department. Also worth looking at Durham, Birmingham, Warwick and Lancaster if you don’t want to go to London ( my son didn’t). It depends what sort of town you want to study in too. For what it’s worth here are the latest uni league tables for Physics: Oxford comes out top. https://www.thecompleteuniversitygui...-and-astronomy
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username5332164
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Cambridge
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username4411794
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(Original post by Failure In Life)
Cambridge
If you do a natural sciences degree ( which is undoubtedly a brilliant thing to do) you won’t be able to specialise in physics the first year. My son said he would have to take chemistry and an other science in addition to Physics- he was thinking of Earth Sciences. The workload is huge in the first year- the quote about NatSci is “it’s a walk in the park if the park is full of man eating lions” or some such. One student said to us- we never see the medics or the natural scientists at social events. My son only really wanted to do Physics so chose Oxford in the end. NatSci is very cool but be prepared to work!
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by Greg2003)
Thank you so much for your reply!

Did you personally find the course unsatisfactory? I was indeed shocked to see those scores. I have heard that they aggressively pursue research at the expense of undergraduate teaching; is this true?

Also, have you always lived in London, because for me living in a small village it seems a daunting move to make?!

Sorry to bombard you with more questions
No I'm quite happy with the course so far - only finished first year, mind. Probably more of an emphasis on mathematical methods in first year than other places, they moved Fourier analysis to first year and quantum physics to second year.
One thing to be aware of is that the NSS is only done by students in their final year, so it could be a while before the scores reflect the changes.

As for "aggressively pursuing research at the expense of undergraduate teaching", I don't see that. Besides, the lecturers and teaching staff all choose to do it, if they really couldn't be bothered, they wouldn't.

And yeah I've always lived in London. You can go the whole 4 years of your degree and only see a small part of it. I still decided to live in halls for first year since it was closer and a lot easier to make friends that way.
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