I am just coming into Year 13 in the UK and I need to choose which universities to apply to, at AS Level I got 5As in Maths, Further Maths, Bio, Chem and Physics so I have a free choice as far as entry requirements go with the exception of places like Oxbridge and maybe even Imperial where there is never a guarantee of a place regardless of grades. My dilemma is that I am applying to Oxford, but only 25% of applicants are offered a place and in the (in that light rather likely) event that I am not offered a place I need to decide which other universities I should apply to. I stayed at Exeter University for a few days this summer and it is in a nice area, with friendly staff and is only rated one research grade lower than Oxford so it would seem like a good choice. But it is not as prestigious in Physics (It's entry requirements are only ABB) as say Durham and St. Andrews (both have AAA requirements) so would that affect my chances of being able to study for a doctorate at a good university (perhaps even abroad) upon graduation? This problem is only made worse by the fact that as I live in the south of England, it is difficult to go and see Durham and St. Andrews as they are both in the far north so it will be hard to know what they are like before I apply. I guess it boils down to whether I should apply to a university that is still good and seems to suit me quite well, or a university that is seen as more prestigious. I apologize for my unnecessarily long post, but I am not terribly good at writing concisely. Any advice will be greatly appreciated, thank you in advance. In short: If I choose to goto a University that only has entry requirements of ABB as opposed to AAA despite having high enough grades to go to the more difficult one(although they both have the same research score), will these affect which universities will consider admitting me for doctorate study? Even if I want to study abroad(such as USA) where presumably international fame and prestige of my undergrad uni will be even more important?