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Imperial vs UCL vs KCL for Physics

Can someone rate these universities for Physics.

I know that Imperial is best but I heard that the Physics department at Imperial is not very supportive(could be a rumour), I also think it is highly competitive and therefore takes the fun out of learning experience.

UCL- It is ranked after Imperial. The course looks decent but most research papers are in astronomy. Can't get much information on the website itself. Current students like it in general but not sure how good it is in theoretical physics.

KCL- like the most out of the three. Small department, good research going on, environment is good. Downside: admin, ranking compared to the other two, low grade requirements so not sure if people joining the course are as interested in physics.

I know there are quite a lot of other good universities in Physics in the UK but I would like a comparison of these three.

Thank you for your time.
Reply 1
Imperial is, imo the strongest uni in the UK for theoretical physics (even stronger than Oxbridge). Yes it will be a tough 3 years but it's worth it if you want to go into research.

UCL has a very bad reputation in physics and offers the least impressive class selections for undergrad, and is completely terrible for post-grad, the only exception is astrophysics which they are quite decent.

KCL has a very strong theoretical physics group, and also a very rigorous course, but be careful about the split between KCL-Maths and KCL-physics, the best people are in the Maths department.

Again, i say this after every post here, consider the US universities (they cost a lot less after aids than most UK families imagine) for physics, because UK is generally not great for physics research, the greatest mistake i made 10 years ago was choosing Cambridge over UIUC, and that almost costed my physics career.
Original post by cogito.
Imperial is, imo the strongest uni in the UK for theoretical physics (even stronger than Oxbridge). Yes it will be a tough 3 years but it's worth it if you want to go into research.

UCL has a very bad reputation in physics and offers the least impressive class selections for undergrad, and is completely terrible for post-grad, the only exception is astrophysics which they are quite decent.

KCL has a very strong theoretical physics group, and also a very rigorous course, but be careful about the split between KCL-Maths and KCL-physics, the best people are in the Maths department.

Again, i say this after every post here, consider the US universities (they cost a lot less after aids than most UK families imagine) for physics, because UK is generally not great for physics research, the greatest mistake i made 10 years ago was choosing Cambridge over UIUC, and that almost costed my physics career.


Thank you for your answer. I got really good vibes from KCL too but then the university ranking of UCL confused me.

I guess I will have to think about Imperial again with a fresh mindset.
Original post by Justcurious_yr12
Thank you for your answer. I got really good vibes from KCL too but then the university ranking of UCL confused me.

I guess I will have to think about Imperial again with a fresh mindset.

if you felt good about KCL, do try to speak to more people in the department before deciding because sometimes that instinctive reaction tells you where you will thrive and succeed most as an individual
Original post by MedMama
Original post by Justcurious_yr12
Thank you for your answer. I got really good vibes from KCL too but then the university ranking of UCL confused me.

I guess I will have to think about Imperial again with a fresh mindset.

if you felt good about KCL, do try to speak to more people in the department before deciding because sometimes that instinctive reaction tells you where you will thrive and succeed most as an individual


Thanks for the suggestion. I'll surely do that on offer day.
Reply 5
Both KCL and UCLK have a poor reputation for the way they treat undergrads.

Just remember that simply because they are 'in London' doesnt make them any better than any other top STEM Uni like Southampton, Bath, Manchester etc.
Original post by McGinger
Both KCL and UCLK have a poor reputation for the way they treat undergrads.

Just remember that simply because they are 'in London' doesnt make them any better than any other top STEM Uni like Southampton, Bath, Manchester etc.


I agree with you that being in London does not make them best but for me it's also about the distance from the university. I live 20 minutes from Imperial and 35 from UCL and KCL. Even though, I would prefer to live at the University accommodation, I would also like to keep the option open to commute if things don't work out with accommodation.

Southampton and Bath- I want to avoid both for personal reasons. I have an offer from Warwick too which I really like but I just wanted to make up my mind from these 3 first.
Original post by Justcurious_yr12
I agree with you that being in London does not make them best but for me it's also about the distance from the university. I live 20 minutes from Imperial and 35 from UCL and KCL. Even though, I would prefer to live at the University accommodation, I would also like to keep the option open to commute if things don't work out with accommodation.

Southampton and Bath- I want to avoid both for personal reasons. I have an offer from Warwick too which I really like but I just wanted to make up my mind from these 3 first.

London sounds very wise for you, then @Justcurious_yr12
Do not doubt your choices
It is a great thing to be able to go back and forwards when you choose to,
even when living in halls
(edited 3 months ago)
Reply 8
Original post by Justcurious_yr12
Can someone rate these universities for Physics.

I know that Imperial is best but I heard that the Physics department at Imperial is not very supportive(could be a rumour), I also think it is highly competitive and therefore takes the fun out of learning experience.

UCL- It is ranked after Imperial. The course looks decent but most research papers are in astronomy. Can't get much information on the website itself. Current students like it in general but not sure how good it is in theoretical physics.

KCL- like the most out of the three. Small department, good research going on, environment is good. Downside: admin, ranking compared to the other two, low grade requirements so not sure if people joining the course are as interested in physics.

I know there are quite a lot of other good universities in Physics in the UK but I would like a comparison of these three.

Thank you for your time.

Hi! im a first year KCL chemistry student, in my cohort, everyone likes chem but tbh only chose it cus they had nothing else to do. Me personally i love chemistry and learning about it. The people are educated and do try and push themselves, there are a lot of people who are extremely smart which motivates you to push further, though its not very competitive, everyone helps one another and are extremely friendly and polite. The lecturers are very nice and they provide many support sessions. As for physics, i know someone who does it at kings and he is certanly inlove with physics. Im sure if you're doing physics as a 3 year course you would be inlove with it too! The labs are very nice too. I wish you the best, let me know if you have any questions
Original post by BigMuma
Original post by Justcurious_yr12
Can someone rate these universities for Physics.

I know that Imperial is best but I heard that the Physics department at Imperial is not very supportive(could be a rumour), I also think it is highly competitive and therefore takes the fun out of learning experience.

UCL- It is ranked after Imperial. The course looks decent but most research papers are in astronomy. Can't get much information on the website itself. Current students like it in general but not sure how good it is in theoretical physics.

KCL- like the most out of the three. Small department, good research going on, environment is good. Downside: admin, ranking compared to the other two, low grade requirements so not sure if people joining the course are as interested in physics.

I know there are quite a lot of other good universities in Physics in the UK but I would like a comparison of these three.

Thank you for your time.

Hi! im a first year KCL chemistry student, in my cohort, everyone likes chem but tbh only chose it cus they had nothing else to do. Me personally i love chemistry and learning about it. The people are educated and do try and push themselves, there are a lot of people who are extremely smart which motivates you to push further, though its not very competitive, everyone helps one another and are extremely friendly and polite. The lecturers are very nice and they provide many support sessions. As for physics, i know someone who does it at kings and he is certanly inlove with physics. Im sure if you're doing physics as a 3 year course you would be inlove with it too! The labs are very nice too. I wish you the best, let me know if you have any questions


Thank you so much for your reply. It is so nice to hear that you love your course. That has certainly helped. I did like the environment in general and the lecturer who was talking about physics was friendly and quite engaging.
Somehow people over the years on student boards have become negative about KCL so it's really difficult to measure the place on reality. I also met a medical student a few days back and she really enjoys being at king's. Now with your review, I am quite positive about KCL.
Hi,
Could you share what you decided to go with? I also applied physics for these three universities and I’m having trouble choosing between them.
Original post by ilovebolgona
Hi,
Could you share what you decided to go with? I also applied physics for these three universities and I’m having trouble choosing between them.
Sorry didn't see your post earlier. I got offers from all three but I am thinking of firming UCL. I visited the department on offer day and I really loved it for so many reasons. Still like KCL and might insure it. I am not keen on Imperial though. The low student satisfaction of Imperial bothers me a lot.
congrats on all your offers! can I ask what your predicted are and in what subjects?
Thanks! I have 3 A stars predicted in Maths, Further Maths and Physics.
Original post by Justcurious_yr12
Sorry didn't see your post earlier. I got offers from all three but I am thinking of firming UCL. I visited the department on offer day and I really loved it for so many reasons. Still like KCL and might insure it. I am not keen on Imperial though. The low student satisfaction of Imperial bothers me a lot.

I just firmed UCL! King’s is my insurance. Sadly, i got rejected from imperial😔. If you end up forming UCL, I hope to see you there!
Original post by ilovebolgona
I just firmed UCL! King’s is my insurance. Sadly, i got rejected from imperial😔. If you end up forming UCL, I hope to see you there!


Sorry about your rejection.

I have already firmed up UCL and booked my accommodation and have Kings as my insurance too.
You guys made it so easier for me. Was confused when deciding between ucl and kcl. 🙂
Btw are you both home students?
Original post by WordsFiddle
You guys made it so easier for me. Was confused when deciding between ucl and kcl. 🙂
Btw are you both home students?

I am a home student. Have you firmed UCL as well?
If you want to talk to UCL offer holder then join uclfreshers2024 on Instagram. It's quite active.
Original post by Justcurious_yr12
I am a home student. Have you firmed UCL as well?
If you want to talk to UCL offer holder then join uclfreshers2024 on Instagram. It's quite active.

Yes I am going to firm it... i'm yet to receive my last decision so will do after.
Unfortunately, m not on insta 😅

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