Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Courses Best UK Statistics Course: Oxford or Cambridge

  1. Apr 27, 2010 #1
    Hello everyone,
    I'm currently deciding where I should study next year, and I would appreciate any advice you could give. I am a Canadian citizen, and I just finished my bachelors with a physics/statistics double major. My long term goal is to research machine learning, either in a faculty position or in industry. I have already decided to do a Masters in England, followed by a PhD (preferably also in England, but I may return to Canada if I cannot get sufficient funding).

    I have been accepted at both Oxford and Cambridge for this October. The programs are "MSc in Applied Statistics" and "Masters of Advanced Studies" (Part III of the Mathematical Tripos) respectively. Both are one-year course-based programs, and the costs for near identical. So it seems that my primary criterion is the reputation of the program, and hence which one will give me a better chance at getting accepted for a PhD program/funding for that program. It is likely that I will remain at the same school for my PhD, so the reputation of each program for PhD studies would also play a role (both schools have respected faculty doing research in machine learning).

    Thank you in advance for any insight you can provide.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 27, 2010 #2
    One final piece of information: Oxford's MSc has a three-month research essay after the nine months of courses/exams, whereas Part III ends after the exams.
  4. Aug 21, 2010 #3
    Hey! I am going through the same dilemma as well. Which did you choose in the end? Right now, I don't have any plans to do a phD. Traditionally, Camb is better in the sciences so I chose it in the end. However, I must say that the Oxf administration works slightly more efficiently than Camb's and it did seem that I would get a more intensive course. Both would be intellectually-stimulating of course, but Oxf would seem to push students harder.
  5. Aug 22, 2010 #4
    I am just a freshmen (in Canada! also into math/physics) but I if you're asking about reputation, I've heard a lot of awesome things about Cambridge part 3, I think there was some talk about it in the who wants to be a mathematician thread.
  6. Aug 22, 2010 #5
    yes cambridge's part iii is an awesome program and petawa, u do have the opportunity to do thesis work in that program, read the descriptions once again. but, in case if you are wondering about the "rigour", the cambridge's program is a way too hard compared with the oxford's. all these views are in my opinion!!
  7. Aug 22, 2010 #6
    one more thing, if u can score decently in the part iii tripos u will almost surely get admission to the phd.
  8. Aug 22, 2010 #7
    Wow! Thanks for all the info. I had a quick glance at whatever lecture notes/syllabus there was available on both the Oxf and Camb websites. At the end of it, only with regards to Applied Statistics (that is what the name of the course is anyway), does Oxf cover more material and in greater depth than Camb. For the modules that Camb does offer in that area, their depth is comparable. That is in addition to the many other different fields that Camb offers. For applied statistics in the actuarial science area though, Oxf does have a slight advantage of having the Institute of Actuaries right in Oxf itself, so they enjoy better library resources and exemptions from actuarial exams. Actuarial science is my main interest, so I am still wondering if Oxf is a better choice since they are more specific. But for phd, I do believe that Cam is definitely better.
  9. Aug 22, 2010 #8
    Hi aerial, LSE has a research group in risk and stochastics and they are advantageous mainly because of the strong industry partners!! they offer MSc in Risk & Stochastics after which you can join PhD. i'm not sure about the oxford's, but i doubt if it's as reputed as LSE's.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook