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Bristol vs. Imperial?!

Hi! I'm currently deciding whether to firm Bristol or Imperial, having a contextual offer of ABB for biochemistry at Bristol, and an offer of AAA for medical biosciences at Imperial. I'm not entirely sure about my course choice at Bristol, but have been assured that I can potentially change in the first semester as I meet all of the entry requirements for both chemistry and biomed if I prefer those. I really like the look of the Imperial course as it is very lab-based and I like the teaching style, and although I would NOT be able to switch courses there if I didn't like it, I'm pretty sure (?) I would enjoy the Imperial course. My hang-up with Imperial is that it's in London, and I'm worried I will get a bit lost in a sea of very high-powered, focused STEM people, whereas I come from a VERY rural area and have other interests outside my studies; whereas Bristol is a lovely, green, small city, there are personal tutors, and it's very hilly (which is a pro for me as it makes me feel like I can like... breathe? I find London very suffocating). I'm aware that grades matter more than prestige in terms of graduate outlook, and that I could potentially even do a masters at the uni I don't go to. I've made a complicated spreadsheet (my natural stress reaction) and once I rated different factors and ranked them by importance, THEY WERE IN AN EXACT TIE. I don't have to decide until the 8th of June, and accommodation deadlines are a while away, but amongst general exam stress it's all a bit much. Any advice is much appreciated!
(edited 12 months ago)
Reply 1
Original post by basilpl4nt
Hi! I'm currently deciding whether to firm Bristol or Imperial, having a contextual offer of ABB for biochemistry at Bristol, and an offer of AAA for medical biosciences at Imperial. I'm not entirely sure about my course choice at Bristol, but have been assured that I can potentially change in the first semester as I meet all of the entry requirements for both chemistry and biomed if I prefer those. I really like the look of the Imperial course as it is very lab-based and I like the teaching style, and although I would NOT be able to switch courses there if I didn't like it, I'm pretty sure (?) I would enjoy the Imperial course. My hang-up with Imperial is that it's in London, and I'm worried I will get a bit lost in a sea of very high-powered, focused STEM people, whereas I come from a VERY rural area and have other interests outside my studies; whereas Bristol is a lovely, green, small city, there are personal tutors, and it's very hilly (which is a pro for me as it makes me feel like I can like... breathe? I find London very suffocating). I'm aware that grades matter more than prestige in terms of graduate outlook, and that I could potentially even do a masters at the uni I don't go to. I've made a complicated spreadsheet (my natural stress reaction) and once I rated different factors and ranked them by importance, THEY WERE IN AN EXACT TIE. I don't have to decide until the 8th of June, and accommodation deadlines are a while away, but amongst general exam stress it's all a bit much. Any advice is much appreciated!


I look afer Chemistry admissions at Bristol. I'm not sure who advised you on being able to switch from Biochemistry to Chemistry during the first semester but I'm afraid that information is definitely incorrect. It is possible that you might be able to change courses during the first two weeks of the autumn term but that would be dependent on space being available in the course that you wished to transfer to so is not guaranteed by any means.
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Reply 2
Yes! sorry, I mistyped - it is two weeks. If I wanted to switch course would it be better to contact the uni now? And if so, who do I contact?
Reply 3
Contact [email protected] but make sure you are completely clear with them on any changes that it will make to your offer.
Reply 4
Original post by Charmant
Contact [email protected] but make sure you are completely clear with them on any changes that it will make to your offer.


thank you!
Reply 5
Original post by basilpl4nt
Hi! I'm currently deciding whether to firm Bristol or Imperial, having a contextual offer of ABB for biochemistry at Bristol, and an offer of AAA for medical biosciences at Imperial. I'm not entirely sure about my course choice at Bristol, but have been assured that I can potentially change in the first semester as I meet all of the entry requirements for both chemistry and biomed if I prefer those. I really like the look of the Imperial course as it is very lab-based and I like the teaching style, and although I would NOT be able to switch courses there if I didn't like it, I'm pretty sure (?) I would enjoy the Imperial course. My hang-up with Imperial is that it's in London, and I'm worried I will get a bit lost in a sea of very high-powered, focused STEM people, whereas I come from a VERY rural area and have other interests outside my studies; whereas Bristol is a lovely, green, small city, there are personal tutors, and it's very hilly (which is a pro for me as it makes me feel like I can like... breathe? I find London very suffocating). I'm aware that grades matter more than prestige in terms of graduate outlook, and that I could potentially even do a masters at the uni I don't go to. I've made a complicated spreadsheet (my natural stress reaction) and once I rated different factors and ranked them by importance, THEY WERE IN AN EXACT TIE. I don't have to decide until the 8th of June, and accommodation deadlines are a while away, but amongst general exam stress it's all a bit much. Any advice is much appreciated!


I was in a very similar situation to you very recently, deciding between Imperial and Bristol for Biochemistry, not quite the same a Medical Biosciences at Imperial but near enough! I also got given the contextual from Bristol like you so feel I am in quite a good position to answer. I did decide to firm Imperial and then made another university my insurance. The way I decided was to look at the modules of the course and then to look at the modules of similar courses at the same university. As Biochemistry (or Medical Biosciences in your case) isn't taught at school I wanted to see how much emphasis they put onto the subject in it's own discipline compared to how many shared classes they had with Biological Sciences, Pharmacology etc. From looking at it Imperial had more classes/modules that were very much more Biochemistry focussed solely than Bristol (not sure about Medical Biosciences so you may need to look into that if you haven't decided yet) and this worked out for me as I liked the idea of the university department putting a big focus on developing you in your particular field and not giving you other modules that are part of other courses. Not saying that this is a bad thing and if you are a more rounded person who likes different areas of sciences and related disciplines to the science degree you are choosing then Bristol may be the right path for you. Obviously this worked for me and may not work for you, so really going with your gut is the best thing to do. Good Luck!

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