SaintSaint
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Help/Advice on choosing a University.

So i have until this evening (6pm) to pick between St Andrews and Warwick for Physics and Maths. I’m struggling alot in making a decision and I was wondering if anyone had any advice. (trying to be unbiased obviously.)

From what I’ve gathered, The maths department at Warwick may be slightly better but the physics at St Andrews is better (I could be wrong but the conflicting rankings of St Andrews makes it difficult to compare them. Anyone have any thoughts on St Andrews being ranked 3rd on the CUG etc but lower in other such as THE or some global rankings.) Warwick is consistently ranked around 5-10th in domestic tables etc. (Im also thinking of going into banking/law so ive heard warwick is a target uni but im unsure on St A’s)

I’m also unsure which place i’d rather live in. I’ve visited both uni’s and they’re very different. St Andrews, whilst lovely, did seem very small and old/traditional. My biggest fear would be feeling isolated/bored over the years (ive been told nightlife isnt great.)
Warwick seems more modern but the campus is also slightly isolated so i’m having a tough time deciding. Any advice?
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McGinger
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1) Course. Check the optional units for all three years of each degree - which of these units would you choose, and why.
2) Extras. Look at opportunities for study abroad and placements. Both enhance your eventual CV.
3) Uni. Watch the relevant campus tours on YouTube ad think about the reality of living in each place,
4) Cost. Housing, travel and 'getting home'.
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SaintSaint
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(Original post by McGinger)
1) Course. Check the optional units for all three years of each degree - which of these units would you choose, and why.
2) Extras. Look at opportunities for study abroad and placements. Both enhance your eventual CV.
3) Uni. Watch the relevant campus tours on YouTube ad think about the reality of living in each place,
4) Cost. Housing, travel and 'getting home'.
Hi there, thanks. I’ve done all of these things and they’re so different that its hard to really decide which one I prefer. I’ve visited both, looked at the modules for both, travel etc. I’ve researched each one thoroughly and I still cant seem to settle on one. My gut feeling switches between the two constantly - i just dont wanna make a wrong decision.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by SaintSaint)
Help/Advice on choosing a University.

So i have until this evening (6pm) to pick between St Andrews and Warwick for Physics and Maths. I’m struggling alot in making a decision and I was wondering if anyone had any advice. (trying to be unbiased obviously.)

From what I’ve gathered, The maths department at Warwick may be slightly better but the physics at St Andrews is better (I could be wrong but the conflicting rankings of St Andrews makes it difficult to compare them. Anyone have any thoughts on St Andrews being ranked 3rd on the CUG etc but lower in other such as THE or some global rankings.) Warwick is consistently ranked around 5-10th in domestic tables etc. (Im also thinking of going into banking/law so ive heard warwick is a target uni but im unsure on St A’s)

I’m also unsure which place i’d rather live in. I’ve visited both uni’s and they’re very different. St Andrews, whilst lovely, did seem very small and old/traditional. My biggest fear would be feeling isolated/bored over the years (ive been told nightlife isnt great.)
Warwick seems more modern but the campus is also slightly isolated so i’m having a tough time deciding. Any advice?
If you want to go into banking/law, then go to Warwick. You would need maths more than physics and Warwick is better for maths.
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artful_lounger
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Maths at Warwick is considerably better than St Andrews, however the question is do you want to actually study uni level maths? It's not at all like the maths you do in alevel for the most part being extremely abstract and proof based, with a high level or rigour (or pedantry depending on your perspective).

Note that a single honours physics degree will include a lot of maths that is like the kind you did in alevel (it's arugably more similar to alevel maths than alevel physics) so if your reasoning for picking the Warwick course is you think you won't do much maths don't worry about that. You'll be using the calculus you studied at alevel and many topics beyond that every single day while doing a physics degree.
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SaintSaint
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Maths at Warwick is considerably better than St Andrews, however the question is do you want to actually study uni level maths? It's not at all like the maths you do in alevel for the most part being extremely abstract and proof based, with a high level or rigour (or pedantry depending on your perspective).

Note that a single honours physics degree will include a lot of maths that is like the kind you did in alevel (it's arugably more similar to alevel maths than alevel physics) so if your reasoning for picking the Warwick course is you think you won't do much maths don't worry about that. You'll be using the calculus you studied at alevel and many topics beyond that every single day while doing a physics degree.
Well initially I was unsure if I wanted to study physics or not and I’ve always enjoyed maths (though i didnt do Further maths) so i decided to switch my course to Maths and Physics just so i felt more reassured - that I would have another subject to try out etc. I may love uni maths or hate it, same with Uni physics
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anonuser99
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In regards to finance recruiting, Warwick > St Andrews pretty easily. Although St Andrews is probably a semi-target?

Everything else is up to you to decide.
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SaintSaint
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(Original post by anonuser99)
In regards to finance recruiting, Warwick > St Andrews pretty easily. Although St Andrews is probably a semi-target?

Everything else is up to you to decide.
Would you happen to also know about law recruiting? I’m assuming it’s probably the same?
Last edited by SaintSaint; 1 month ago
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SaintSaint
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Surely Warwick is the obvious choice here for physics and maths. It's academically better for those subjects, and isn't anywhere near so up its own árse as Andys is.
Its a tough decision, I understand that both are great universities and I had my own reasons for applying to each. But because they are just so different, i don’t necessarily have a preference. They both feel like they would be two different experiences but not necessarily one over the other. I’ve heard great things about Warwick but I also know St A’s is very reputable. From what I’ve seen Maths at Warwick is better but in terms of Physics i think st a’s is somewhat better. And alot of people seem to think St A’s is more prestigious overall? but im not sure.

My main issue is trying to pick the location aswell, im not sure which i would prefer to live in as they are both similar in the sense of smaller uni’s and can be described as quite isolated. I know that each one has some cities about 20 mins away. St A’s is definitely more traditional and old whereas Warwick is a bit more modern but i just dont want to be bored at uni so im trying to pick in terms of best academically (St A’s has the flexibility to do other courses which sounds appealing for me as someone who is unsure on their course) but also socially (where warwick may have better looking facilities?)
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by SaintSaint)
Well initially I was unsure if I wanted to study physics or not and I’ve always enjoyed maths (though i didnt do Further maths) so i decided to switch my course to Maths and Physics just so i felt more reassured - that I would have another subject to try out etc. I may love uni maths or hate it, same with Uni physics
Uni physics is quite similar to the style of A-level Maths, so if you like A-level Maths and are interested in physics generally then you will probably like it. Lots of computing integrals and solving differential equations! The physics side focuses more on derivations of relevant equations and formulae, rather than having to memorise them or look them up in a formulae book and "plug and chug" in the equations.

Uni level maths is totally different to A-level, you'd probably need to look at some actual content of that level (e.g. an introductory analysis textbook or similar) to get a feel for it. As indicated above it's very abstract (rather than just dealing with the usual R^3 Cartesian 3 dimensional space you are familiar with, you'll often be generalising results to R^n or more abstract vector spaces for example). You also have to be extremely precise and account for any possible exceptions (or use that exception to prove by contradiction).

That said I imagine the maths half of the Warwick course might be difficult if you haven't also don't FM. Most students doing any maths-related course at Warwick will have both maths and FM (usually both at A*). I'm a bit surprised you didn't need FM for that honestly.

_gcx might be able to give some insight into the maths half of the Warwick course, and Sinnoh might be able to give you some idea of what to expect from a physics course at uni generally.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by SaintSaint)
Its a tough decision, I understand that both are great universities and I had my own reasons for applying to each. But because they are just so different, i don’t necessarily have a preference. They both feel like they would be two different experiences but not necessarily one over the other. I’ve heard great things about Warwick but I also know St A’s is very reputable. From what I’ve seen Maths at Warwick is better but in terms of Physics i think st a’s is somewhat better. And alot of people seem to think St A’s is more prestigious overall? but im not sure.

My main issue is trying to pick the location aswell, im not sure which i would prefer to live in as they are both similar in the sense of smaller uni’s and can be described as quite isolated. I know that each one has some cities about 20 mins away. St A’s is definitely more traditional and old whereas Warwick is a bit more modern but i just dont want to be bored at uni so im trying to pick in terms of best academically (St A’s has the flexibility to do other courses which sounds appealing for me as someone who is unsure on their course) but also socially (where warwick may have better looking facilities?)
Having just checked, Andys is actually higher in the tables for maths than Warwick is - this is why I deleted my original post.

You obviously need to have a think about where you'd be happiest living and studying it's not all about 'prestige', though I would have thought Warwick was more of a 'target' uni for IB. Andy's doesn't teach law at undergrad., so that's an easy one to answer.
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leviticus.
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(Original post by SaintSaint)
Would you happen to also know about law recruiting? I’m assuming it’s probably the same?
It is not, law recruiting works differently and though they care less about university than banking, Warwick is still not one of the premier institutions for big law recruiting. I assume it goes to Oxbridge, Durham, London unis etc.
N.B: don’t need to study law to do corporate law so anyone who discounts St. Andrews because it doesn’t offer law doesn’t make sense - though I’m not saying St Andrews is targeted by Magic Circle and big USA as I don’t know but increasingly imperial is being targeted but only offers STEM.
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leviticus.
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If you wanna go into investment banking/prop trading; maths & physics @ Warwick is the reasonable (and only for the latter) choice imo. But obviously you gotta balance that with other factors. WW is less targeted for law and consulting iirc
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SaintSaint
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(Original post by leviticus.)
It is not, law recruiting works differently and though they care less about university than banking, Warwick is still not one of the premier institutions for big law recruiting. I assume it goes to Oxbridge, Durham, London unis etc.
N.B: don’t need to study law to do corporate law so anyone who discounts St. Andrews because it doesn’t offer law doesn’t make sense - though I’m not saying St Andrews is targeted by Magic Circle and big USA as I don’t know but increasingly imperial is being targeted but only offers STEM.
yeah I know that law firms take in non-law graduates aswell so thats why Im not worried about that. I just dont wanna end up at St Andrews and not be able to go into thar level of career in london. I know its not impossible but it does seem leas likely from what I’ve seen
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SpaceLover29
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(Original post by SaintSaint)
yeah I know that law firms take in non-law graduates aswell so thats why Im not worried about that. I just dont wanna end up at St Andrews and not be able to go into thar level of career in london. I know its not impossible but it does seem leas likely from what I’ve seen
What have you seen?
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_gcx
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Having just checked, Andys is actually higher in the tables for maths than Warwick is - this is why I deleted my original post.

You obviously need to have a think about where you'd be happiest living and studying it's not all about 'prestige', though I would have thought Warwick was more of a 'target' uni for IB. Andy's doesn't teach law at undergrad., so that's an easy one to answer.
I would say that even with that, Warwick is still the obvious choice for maths. Physics I'm not really sure.
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SaintSaint
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(Original post by _gcx)
I would say that even with that, Warwick is still the obvious choice for maths. Physics I'm not really sure.
I think St Andrews slightly edges out Warwick for the Physics course but again the Maths course at warwick seems to be much better apparently
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leviticus.
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(Original post by _gcx)
I would say that even with that, Warwick is still the obvious choice for maths. Physics I'm not really sure.
This. league tables are a joke since they change every year, the general public, academic and employer reputation of an institution is more set in stone.
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SaintSaint
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(Original post by leviticus.)
This. league tables are a joke since they change every year, the general public, academic and employer reputation of an institution is more set in stone.
Im finding it hard to establish the difference between the two universities for both academic and employer rep
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SpaceLover29
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I would say it's a lot less clear-cut than some people are making it out to be. I would say the most important things are the available modules, degree structure, and location of the universities. I know you say you can't decide between the two, but you will need to. It has to be your choice.
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