Jerome Hou
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I'm going to study Biology in September, 2021 as a newman, but I haven't decided which university to go to. Top two choices are Imperial College London and University of St andrews. I have no idea about which one to choose. Please provide some suggestion, Thank you for replying and helping!
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Jerome Hou)
I'm going to study Biology in September, 2021 as a newman, but I haven't decided which university to go to. Top two choices are Imperial College London and University of St andrews. I have no idea about which one to choose. Please provide some suggestion, Thank you for replying and helping!
The key difference between the two is the environment - large city vs small town.
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Jerome Hou
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
The key difference between the two is the environment - large city vs small town.
what about the academic area, there are opinions online that believes that the University of St. Andrews is overestimated because of the arrival of the prince.
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Jerome Hou)
what about the academic area, there are opinions online that believes that the University of St. Andrews is overestimated because of the arrival of the prince.
I think that's nonsense. St Andrews has a long history as a very well-regarded university. I know nothing about its biology course, but I note that the Complete University Guide rates it the near-equal of Imperial for that subject.
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Jerome Hou
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
I think that's nonsense. St Andrews has a long history as a very well-regarded university. I know nothing about its biology course, but I note that the Complete University Guide rates it the near-equal of Imperial for that subject.
Thank you very much! By the way, is Complete University Guide the most authoritative ranking for UK universities?
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Jerome Hou)
Thank you very much! By the way, is Complete University Guide the most authoritative ranking for UK universities?
I would say that the CUG has fewer rankings that make you go "What?!?!?" The Guardian has some utterly bizarre rankings - look at History.

However, they all measure different factors then weight them in different ways. If you're interested in the tables go to the individual elements such as Student Satisfaction, Research Quality etc and think about which are most important to you.
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McGinger
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Imperial - no question.
International reputation, dedicated science/tech University, in central London.

St Andrews is a perfectly good University - but it has none of these advantages.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Jerome Hou)
I'm going to study Biology in September, 2021 as a newman, but I haven't decided which university to go to. Top two choices are Imperial College London and University of St andrews. I have no idea about which one to choose. Please provide some suggestion, Thank you for replying and helping!
I'm actually from London and I went to St Andrews to study Biology.

I personally couldn't stomach spending my uni years in London, and Imperial does very poorly in terms of student satisfaction, but you will at least be taught by leaders in their field regardless of your specialism, whereas St Andrews is best known for marine biology etc. still good for everything else and i personally couldn't recommend the Scottish 4 year system enough

check out the St Andrews 2021 thread. https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6431074

The uni isn't for everyone but it will be a totally different experience to Imperial, which socially will feel more like a Postgraduate course.
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mt_zz
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
I'm actually from London and I went to St Andrews to study Biology.

I personally couldn't stomach spending my uni years in London, and Imperial does very poorly in terms of student satisfaction, but you will at least be taught by leaders in their field regardless of your specialism, whereas St Andrews is best known for marine biology etc. still good for everything else and i personally couldn't recommend the Scottish 4 year system enough

check out the St Andrews 2021 thread. https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6431074

The uni isn't for everyone but it will be a totally different experience to Imperial, which socially will feel more like a Postgraduate course.
As a final year biologist at Imperial, I disagree with your last statement, the social life is what you make of it, and there are plenty of people that go out pretty frequently (non-covid times obviously )

Jerome Hou, it really depends on what you want from your uni experience. Do you want to live in a busier city, which invariably comes with higher living costs? Do you want to study for 4 years (which means another year of tuition fees) or 3 years? Is the prospect of an integrated masters (which would only be available at St Andrews) or appealing not that important?

If you have any questions about the biological sciences course at Imperial, feel free to ask
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Jerome Hou
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
I would say that the CUG has fewer rankings that make you go "What?!?!?" The Guardian has some utterly bizarre rankings - look at History.

However, they all measure different factors then weight them in different ways. If you're interested in the tables go to the individual elements such as Student Satisfaction, Research Quality etc and think about which are most important to you.
Thank you very much!
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Jerome Hou
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(Original post by McGinger)
Imperial - no question.
International reputation, dedicated science/tech University, in central London.

St Andrews is a perfectly good University - but it has none of these advantages.
Thank you very much!
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Jerome Hou
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
I'm actually from London and I went to St Andrews to study Biology.

I personally couldn't stomach spending my uni years in London, and Imperial does very poorly in terms of student satisfaction, but you will at least be taught by leaders in their field regardless of your specialism, whereas St Andrews is best known for marine biology etc. still good for everything else and i personally couldn't recommend the Scottish 4 year system enough

check out the St Andrews 2021 thread. https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6431074

The uni isn't for everyone but it will be a totally different experience to Imperial, which socially will feel more like a Postgraduate course.
Thank you very much!
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Jerome Hou
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T

(Original post by mt_zz)
As a final year biologist at Imperial, I disagree with your last statement, the social life is what you make of it, and there are plenty of people that go out pretty frequently (non-covid times obviously )

Jerome Hou, it really depends on what you want from your uni experience. Do you want to live in a busier city, which invariably comes with higher living costs? Do you want to study for 4 years (which means another year of tuition fees) or 3 years? Is the prospect of an integrated masters (which would only be available at St Andrews) or appealing not that important?

If you have any questions about the biological sciences course at Imperial, feel free to ask
Thank you very much!
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Jerome Hou
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(Original post by mt_zz)
As a final year biologist at Imperial, I disagree with your last statement, the social life is what you make of it, and there are plenty of people that go out pretty frequently (non-covid times obviously )

Jerome Hou, it really depends on what you want from your uni experience. Do you want to live in a busier city, which invariably comes with higher living costs? Do you want to study for 4 years (which means another year of tuition fees) or 3 years? Is the prospect of an integrated masters (which would only be available at St Andrews) or appealing not that important?

If you have any questions about the biological sciences course at Imperial, feel free to ask
Compare to the 4-year program from the University of St. Andrews, there is one year less in the Imperial College London, does it mean that the same amount of work need to be done in a shorter time in Imperial College London? Besides, what do you feel about the teaching quality in the Imperial College London? Thanks for replying!
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mt_zz
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(Original post by Jerome Hou)
Compare to the 4-year program from the University of St. Andrews, there is one year less in the Imperial College London, does it mean that the same amount of work need to be done in a shorter time in Imperial College London? Besides, what do you feel about the teaching quality in the Imperial College London? Thanks for replying!
I must admit I have limited knowledge of the Scottish system so you would have to cross-reference elsewhere. However, from what I've read, the first two years tend to be a lot broader, and students can take multiple subjects, before choosing to specialise further down the line. So you could also take chemistry modules alongside the biology modules in the first year for example (that's what I've gleaned from the St Andrews site anyway). For St Andrews there seems to also be a direct entry into 2nd year into the biology course if you have really good A Levels (or equivalent).

So no, I wouldn't say that it's the same amount of work in a shorter time, but with no experience at St Andrews I can't make a direct comparison on workloads and say definitively which uni is 'more work'.

I think the teaching at Imperial is pretty good. On the whole, I've really enjoyed my modules and the lecturers are typically engaging and good at explaining things. There are definitely exceptions and some lecturers can be hard to follow but I've not had much of an issue with not understanding content in the last two years of my degree. Typically, lecturers are pretty good at getting back to emails and queries but obviously it depends on the person. A lot of the lecturers are active researchers in their fields which I really enjoy, as you get to learn more about ongoing research.
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Jerome Hou
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(Original post by mt_zz)
I must admit I have limited knowledge of the Scottish system so you would have to cross-reference elsewhere. However, from what I've read, the first two years tend to be a lot broader, and students can take multiple subjects, before choosing to specialise further down the line. So you could also take chemistry modules alongside the biology modules in the first year for example (that's what I've gleaned from the St Andrews site anyway). For St Andrews there seems to also be a direct entry into 2nd year into the biology course if you have really good A Levels (or equivalent).

So no, I wouldn't say that it's the same amount of work in a shorter time, but with no experience at St Andrews I can't make a direct comparison on workloads and say definitively which uni is 'more work'.

I think the teaching at Imperial is pretty good. On the whole, I've really enjoyed my modules and the lecturers are typically engaging and good at explaining things. There are definitely exceptions and some lecturers can be hard to follow but I've not had much of an issue with not understanding content in the last two years of my degree. Typically, lecturers are pretty good at getting back to emails and queries but obviously it depends on the person. A lot of the lecturers are active researchers in their fields which I really enjoy, as you get to learn more about ongoing research.
Thank you so much for giving such a valuable suggestion. I'm looking at the modules of two universities and try to see which one suits me more. Have a good day!
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trwell
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(Original post by mt_zz)
As a final year biologist at Imperial, I disagree with your last statement, the social life is what you make of it, and there are plenty of people that go out pretty frequently (non-covid times obviously )

Jerome Hou, it really depends on what you want from your uni experience. Do you want to live in a busier city, which invariably comes with higher living costs? Do you want to study for 4 years (which means another year of tuition fees) or 3 years? Is the prospect of an integrated masters (which would only be available at St Andrews) or appealing not that important?

If you have any questions about the biological sciences course at Imperial, feel free to ask
Hi! I'm Tina, a french highschool student, i was wondering if you could help me out in my decision (i recently got offers from both St Andrews and Imperial in biological sciences).

I was hoping to ask a couple questions. I haven't had chemistry in my last year of highschool (because we are only allowed two majors and i took maths and biology), would that be a hindrance or is the first semester in biological chemistry a general catch up for everyone (i'm kind of having imposter's syndrom haha)?
And also, how's the workload (like truly)? As a french student i have 40 hours in class and about 3 hours every evening from 8pm to 11pm and i was wondering if it would be worst at Imperial. Anyways thank you all for your input on this feed, really helping tons of us out
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mt_zz
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(Original post by trwell)
Hi! I'm Tina, a french highschool student, i was wondering if you could help me out in my decision (i recently got offers from both St Andrews and Imperial in biological sciences).

I was hoping to ask a couple questions. I haven't had chemistry in my last year of highschool (because we are only allowed two majors and i took maths and biology), would that be a hindrance or is the first semester in biological chemistry a general catch up for everyone (i'm kind of having imposter's syndrom haha)?
And also, how's the workload (like truly)? As a french student i have 40 hours in class and about 3 hours every evening from 8pm to 11pm and i was wondering if it would be worst at Imperial. Anyways thank you all for your input on this feed, really helping tons of us out
Hi Tina! Yeah, of course, I'd be happy to help.

Not taking chemistry is definitely not a hindrance! A fair few people won't have taken chem A level (or equivalent) and the biological chemistry and microbiology module in the first term is a really good recap of the bits of chemistry that are useful for biological sciences. I found that it helped get everyone on the same page (and helped me remember my forgotten chemistry knowledge lmao)

The workload can be pretty intense, I won't lie. Having said that I think if you have good time management skills, you should be able to fit in some extracurriculars, sports, societies, or other forms of downtime. My time management was ... questionable in my first year, though I still managed to take a language for extra credit (Japanese, currently procrastinating from revising for a test tmr hehe). From the hours you've quoted in your post, I don't think it will be much of a step up in terms of working hours.

Aw thank you so much, I'm really happy to help out anytime, at the end of the day I just wanna do my best to make sure people can find the uni (and course) that is best suited to them as an individual

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask
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trwell
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Thank you so much for this answer!!!
This is definitely a reassurance and a nudge closer to making a decision.
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WassupLadz
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(Original post by Jerome Hou)
Compare to the 4-year program from the University of St. Andrews, there is one year less in the Imperial College London, does it mean that the same amount of work need to be done in a shorter time in Imperial College London? Besides, what do you feel about the teaching quality in the Imperial College London? Thanks for replying!
Essentially to accommodate Americans as well as Scottish people who have much shallower knowledge of subjects before arriving for university, there is an extra year at the start. Hence why all Scottish and American unis have 4 yrs of Bachelors. However Scottish unis let u start from 2nd year if ur smart, i.e. have done uk a levels because the content that we are taught in Uk is much more in depth compared to America/scotland so we don't need a first year. However its good for reconsolidating knowledge/having fun but ur going to be 22 in London after graduation while everyone else is still 21, which I personally think is a big as f deal
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