Rainbowpink1999x
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Hi everyone, looking for a bit of advice really.
Im in the middle of applying to universities to study Chemistry from September 2021.
However, with not being able to visit open days due to coronavirus, I'm finding it hard to nail down 5 options.

As I'm a mature student, going back into education after several years out I'm wanting to get the best degree I can e.g. a Russell group university
I come from a relatively small city in the southwest, so I'm hoping to move to a much larger city but it to also be a well-respected university.
So far my choices are Uni of Bristol, UCL, and Kings College.
I'm just stuck on the last two choices. I'm thinking good options would be Uni of Manchester, Uni of Birmingham, and Uni of Nottingham.
Places like Bath and York do not really interest me, as whilst they are pretty, I think I would find them rather boring.
Just want a bit of input from someone as to whether they believe my choices are good/respectable or not, or which final two would you pick? Thank you.
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DoNotMove
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(Original post by Rainbowpink1999x)
Hi everyone, looking for a bit of advice really.
Im in the middle of applying to universities to study Chemistry from September 2021.
However, with not being able to visit open days due to coronavirus, I'm finding it hard to nail down 5 options.

As I'm a mature student, going back into education after several years out I'm wanting to get the best degree I can e.g. a Russell group university
I come from a relatively small city in the southwest, so I'm hoping to move to a much larger city but it to also be a well-respected university.
So far my choices are Uni of Bristol, UCL, and Kings College.
I'm just stuck on the last two choices. I'm thinking good options would be Uni of Manchester, Uni of Birmingham, and Uni of Nottingham.
Places like Bath and York do not really interest me, as whilst they are pretty, I think I would find them rather boring.
Just want a bit of input from someone as to whether they believe my choices are good/respectable or not, or which final two would you pick? Thank you.
Bristol is a great choice (I go there!) and I agree with you about Bath - being from there I can tell you that it is indeed boring. I think out of those 3 possibles, they're all very respectable and you should go for the one that has course units that interest you the most, as all degrees will be slightly different and have more/less options, and specialise in different things. But your 3 choices that you're already sure on I think are a great pick. By the way, though the Russell Group does tend to contain some of the better universities, it's really just a group of universities which get funding for research together - there are many good universities not included in this group that you definitely shouldn't discount.
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Rainbowpink1999x
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(Original post by DoNotMove)
Bristol is a great choice (I go there!) and I agree with you about Bath - being from there I can tell you that it is indeed boring. I think out of those 3 possibles, they're all very respectable and you should go for the one that has course units that interest you the most, as all degrees will be slightly different and have more/less options, and specialise in different things. But your 3 choices that you're already sure on I think are a great pick. By the way, though the Russell Group does tend to contain some of the better universities, it's really just a group of universities which get funding for research together - there are many good universities not included in this group that you definitely shouldn't discount.
Thanks for the reply! yeah love Bristol, I'm not too far away from it ( around 30 mins) so fairly familiar with it as a city and I know its also well respected. atm leading towards bristol/ UCL more, kings is my back-up for UCL really incase I don't get an offer from UCL but decide i would like to move to London, as I have heard that it can be quite competitive to receive an offer from.
ahhh just wish I could visit the unis and get a proper feel for some and whether I could see myself studying there or not.
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DoNotMove
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(Original post by Rainbowpink1999x)
Thanks for the reply! yeah love Bristol, I'm not too far away from it ( around 30 mins) so fairly familiar with it as a city and I know its also well respected. atm leading towards bristol/ UCL more, kings is my back-up for UCL really incase I don't get an offer from UCL but decide i would like to move to London, as I have heard that it can be quite competitive to receive an offer from.
ahhh just wish I could visit the unis and get a proper feel for some and whether I could see myself studying there or not.
Yeah, it must be so difficult applying to universities without having visited them (though I did the same, but that's because I was lazy more than anything haha)! If you have any questions about Bristol Uni (though you probably know the city better than me!) then let me know ((:
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vyper47
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Bristol has Jonathan Clayden (the legendary Organic chem writer) - what else would you need?!!!
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snazzy viking
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Based on the other universities you've mentioned, you might like Leeds as well

I do not study at any of these universities currently but I have researched a lot of unis when applying for chem this year (I have applied to Cambridge, York, Nottingham, Leeds and Edinburgh)

edit: I swapped out Edinburgh for Liverpool

- Bristol: Would pick if I didn't already live here, shrewd choice and reputable department
- Leeds: Probably the best student city out of the lot
- Manchester: Definitely respectable, but looked a bit miserable when I heard from other students on the virtual open day. Still, Manchester is a great city to live in and that could suit you
- KCL: Don't really know much about it to give a fair judgement, but if I were to name what I thought were the 10 best chemistry departments in the country, I wouldn't include KCL. That's just me though
- Birmingham: Very friendly department, the facilities are good but not extraordinary, always going to be plenty of things to do in Brum and definitely respected
- Nottingham: I would place it above all of these other universities, just because of the fantastic campus, emphasis on green chemistry and engaging lecturers (Nottingham is home to Martyn Polkiakoff and the periodic videos youtube channel). Really nicely sized city which has everything you would want, and the campus is in a nice location but not too far from the centre. When you ask which universities are the best to study chemistry, Nottingham always gets a mention

This is only my opinion but the key thing is to visit as many virtual open days possible to make an informed decision for yourself
Last edited by snazzy viking; 3 weeks ago
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Rainbowpink1999x
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(Original post by snazzy viking)
Based on the other universities you've mentioned, you might like Leeds as well

I do not study at any of these universities currently but I have researched a lot of unis when applying for chem this year (I have applied to Cambridge, York, Nottingham, Leeds and Edinburgh)

- Bristol: Would pick if I didn't already live here, shrewd choice and reputable department
- Leeds: Probably the best student city out of the lot
- Manchester: Definitely respectable, but looked a bit miserable when I heard from other students on the virtual open day. Still, Manchester is a great city to live in and that could suit you
- KCL: Don't really know much about it to give a fair judgement, but if I were to name what I thought were the 10 best chemistry departments in the country, I wouldn't include KCL. That's just me though
- Birmingham: Very friendly department, the facilities are good but not extraordinary, always going to be plenty of things to do in Brum and definitely respected
- Nottingham: I would place it above all of these other universities, just because of the fantastic campus, emphasis on green chemistry and engaging lecturers (Nottingham is home to Martyn Polkiakoff and the periodic videos youtube channel). Really nicely sized city which has everything you would want, and the campus is in a nice location but not too far from the centre. When you ask which universities are the best to study chemistry, Nottingham always gets a mention

This is only my opinion but the key thing is to visit as many virtual open days possible to make an informed decision for yourself
thank you for the detailed response and good luck with your application! is leeds a respected uni then? never really looked into it much, but I am about to now. Unfortunately with the open days I haven't gotten on well with them, the two I "visited" were Southampton and Cardiff and found them not very good. but I suppose I should at least try the others! once again, thank you and good luck!
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Rainbowpink1999x
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Bump; anybody else got any opinions?
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snazzy viking
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(Original post by Rainbowpink1999x)
thank you for the detailed response and good luck with your application! is leeds a respected uni then? never really looked into it much, but I am about to now. Unfortunately with the open days I haven't gotten on well with them, the two I "visited" were Southampton and Cardiff and found them not very good. but I suppose I should at least try the others! once again, thank you and good luck!
Yeah, Leeds is great - a top 100 university, 95% of research in the department is world-leading and a TEF Gold Russell group uni. A very interesting range of online MOOCs on FutureLearn as well which are created by them too.

They have their virtual online open day on demand so you can visit it whenever you like I believe

Good luck to you too!
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Rainbowpink1999x
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Bump any other input from anyone? would be greatly appreciated.
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2childmum!
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DD has just started chemistry at Nottingham. She has 'packages' of work for each module which she studies in her now time, and which consist of video clips, reading, activities etc. She then has 'engagement' lectures and workshops which are live on-line where the lecturers answer questions and demonstrate how to solve problems. She also has labs once a fortnight

Hopefully next year you will have face-to-face teaching, but DD thinks the course has been well thought out and the department is working hard to make it accessible and interesting. So I think that bodes well for the teaching once things get back to normal
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Rainbowpink1999x
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Thank you for the reply, sorry I have only just seen this, yes that is good to hear that they’ve actually given the online teaching some thought etc, is she finding the course difficult and can I please ask what we’re her/ your deciding factors for picking Nottingham?
(Original post by 2childmum!)
DD has just started chemistry at Nottingham. She has 'packages' of work for each module which she studies in her now time, and which consist of video clips, reading, activities etc. She then has 'engagement' lectures and workshops which are live on-line where the lecturers answer questions and demonstrate how to solve problems. She also has labs once a fortnight

Hopefully next year you will have face-to-face teaching, but DD thinks the course has been well thought out and the department is working hard to make it accessible and interesting. So I think that bodes well for the teaching once things get back to normal
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Rainbowpink1999x
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Bump any other opinions please
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ajj2000
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Your choices look sensible - I do note that they are very different environments to live in. Regardless of the lack of open days and current lockdowns I'd wonder if you would have a chance to make a trip to look around the areas.
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Rainbowpink1999x
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Your choices look sensible - I do note that they are very different environments to live in. Regardless of the lack of open days and current lockdowns I'd wonder if you would have a chance to make a trip to look around the areas.
Yep I’m planning on doing that if/when I can, i have already been to places like Bristol and Manchester so will try to visit the city’s I haven’t been to when Lockdown is out the way! Thanks for the reply
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