Physics at Imperial

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j_345
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#1
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#1
Hello! I'm in year 12 and I have a few questions for physics students at Imperial (and any students at Imperial). Firstly, what's it like living in London? Is accommodation hard to find and is it generally quite hard as a student? What do you like/dislike about the physics course at Imperial? I've also heard something about Imperial having quite a bad male to female ratio, is this true and noticeable? I know that there are already a few threads on stuff like this but if you have anything to add then that would be great, especially coz I can't make the open days. Thanks!!
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Sinnoh
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#2
Accommodation - not too hard to find in general, but good luck finding anywhere under £150 per person per week. A lot of people move to around Hammersmith, Fulham, West Kensington, which is about a 20-30 minute commute from the South Kensington campus. You would most likely be sharing a flat or house with friends.

Physics course - I like that it goes pretty in-depth in its topics, I like the range of modules in 3rd and 4th year, and also the first-year summer project is quite fun. My main complaint would be the lack of small-group teaching - in years 1 and 2 you get one academic tutorial every 2 weeks which is 4 or 5 students with 1 lecturer - whereas at Oxford or Cambridge it would be several times a week, and in smaller groups too. In 3rd year the tutorials are weekly but they're specifically to prepare you for the Comprehensive exams. Those are a unique aspect of the course - two exams on all the core content from the first two years.
Also feedback on work sometimes takes far too long. The department aim to return the marks for assessed problem sheets within 2 weeks - I think that has literally happened once in all my time here. The record is 4 months.

Male/female ratio: Imperial does not do arts, social sciences or humanities courses. In other unis, the physical sciences and engineering courses are still heavily male-dominated, but the overall ratio is balanced out by other courses. Right now in physics it's 70:30, which is slightly more balanced than the national average.
Last edited by Sinnoh; 4 weeks ago
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j_345
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Sinnoh)
Accommodation - not too hard to find in general, but good luck finding anywhere under £150 per person per week. A lot of people move to around Hammersmith, Fulham, West Kensington, which is about a 20-30 minute commute from the South Kensington campus. You would most likely be sharing a flat or house with friends.

Physics course - I like that it goes pretty in-depth in its topics, I like the range of modules in 3rd and 4th year, and also the first-year summer project is quite fun. My main complaint would be the lack of small-group teaching - in years 1 and 2 you get one academic tutorial every 2 weeks which is 4 or 5 students with 1 lecturer - whereas at Oxford or Cambridge it would be several times a week, and in smaller groups too. In 3rd year the tutorials are weekly but they're specifically to prepare you for the Comprehensive exams. Those are a unique aspect of the course - two exams on all the core content from the first two years.
Also feedback on work sometimes takes far too long. The department aim to return the marks for assessed problem sheets within 2 weeks - I think that has literally happened once in all my time here. The record is 4 months.

Male/female ratio: Imperial does not do arts, social sciences or humanities courses. In other unis, the physical sciences and engineering courses are still heavily male-dominated, but the overall ratio is balanced out by other courses. Right now in physics it's 70:30, which is slightly more balanced than the national average.
Thank you so much, that's really helpful to know. So overall, would you say you had a good experience (even with the lack of small group teaching) and would you recommend it? Thanks again
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by j_345)
Thank you so much, that's really helpful to know. So overall, would you say you had a good experience (even with the lack of small group teaching) and would you recommend it? Thanks again
Have I had a good experience? Well, half my time at uni was under coronavirus restrictions... if it weren't for that then I'd be happier with it.
On the whole I think it's alright. Would still firm it knowing what I know now. Some people have ****ing hated their time here, I should add.
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j_345
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#5
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
Have I had a good experience? Well, half my time at uni was under coronavirus restrictions... if it weren't for that then I'd be happier with it.
On the whole I think it's alright. Would still firm it knowing what I know now. Some people have ****ing hated their time here, I should add.
Oh of course, that's made everything 10x worse. What have people particularly hated, is it the particular uni or London in general?
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Sinnoh
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#6
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(Original post by j_345)
Oh of course, that's made everything 10x worse. What have people particularly hated, is it the particular uni or London in general?
It's mainly directed at the department - sometimes poor communication, sometimes unwilling to act on student feedback or explain their position.
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