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King's College London (KCL) undergrad physics?

  1. Jul 19, 2011 #1
    I've been offered a place at both King's and Bristol to study physics at undergrad as a mature student (I just turned 26 two days ago).

    I live in London currently and would quite like to stay here so the offer from KCL is the most immediately attractive. However King's physics department scores SO low on the Guardian league table - they came 41st out of 41 departments in the country last year and the year before. When I applied I thought of King's as being one of the best unis so I was really disappointed to see the rankings; has anyone studied physics there at undergrad level, and if so what did they think of it?

    I went on a post-offer open day tour last week but as it was for applicants to all subjects (music, business, law etc.) there wasn't a chance to see specific departments, including the physics department. It seems like it's too late in the year to arrange a tour privately so I'm having to rely on what I read from other people but there seems to be almost no mention of it online.

    It's a tough decision to make because I was quite impressed with the brand new labs they have at Bristol, but I have a life in London and it's quite a move to go that far west, but the course is ranked much higher than KCL. Anyone know what the course is like at King's? Does it matter a great deal where you do your undergrad study?


  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2011 #2
  4. Jul 19, 2011 #3
  5. Jul 19, 2011 #4
    these rankings are a black art that depend on so many things that you may not care about. It may be that KCL didn't submit information or the metric has changed. Who knows.
  6. Jul 20, 2011 #5
    Newspaper rankings do not matter one bit for anything, ever. They completely change every year and are based on dubious and subjective criteria. Common sense should be able to see that they are worthless.
  7. Jul 20, 2011 #6
    I absolutely see your point and I'd love to agree with you, but I as long as employers are looking at those rankings I'm going to be looking at those rankings. Employers can't afford to go looking for the latent in every candidate so they make generalisations and rely rankings discriminate for them to a degree. You should hear how some people gush when they manage to hire someone from oxbridge.
  8. Jul 20, 2011 #7
    Think the Physics dept at KCL is fairly small, which might explain the variability in rankings.

    That doesn't mean it's bad, but might mean less choice, if you're looking to to get involved in undergrad research depending on which areas you find interesting.
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