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MSc in Theoretical (Mathematical) Physics,KCL vs Edinburgh

  1. Mar 18, 2017 #1
    Hi all,

    I have an offer to do an MSc in QFFF at Imperial or an MSc in Mathematical Physics at Edinburgh, or (with luck) an MSc in Theoretical Physics at Kings College London (KCL).

    Technically, QFFF is the best (i.e most reputable) course - but I have heard very bad things about how it's been taught recently, and really don't think it's a good idea.

    So between Edinburgh and Kings College London, what's my best bet? (as someone who will have a BSc in Physics with Theoretical Physics, should be on a decent 1st, and is aiming to do a PhD). Edinburgh has stronger REF results, but it's student satisfaction (overall, I don't know for this course) is much poorer...

    Basically, does anyone have any experience of these courses and could let me know what they're like? / If you had a PhD application from someone on one of these, which would you pick, all things being equal.

    Thanks :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2017 #2
    If you thing you're not going to like it, for sure you won't. Kings College London is probably the best, and it's harder to get admitted there. Maybe the level is higher, but learning requires just that.
  4. Apr 25, 2017 #3
    I received an offer for the MSc Theoretical Physics at KCL and have applied to Imperial (QFFF), Edinburgh (MSc Theoretical Physics), Durham (MSc Particles, Strings and Cosmology) and LMU (MSc Theoretical and Mathematical Physics).

    I always thought that the QFFF course is the best, because Imperial wants a First, while KCL accepts 2:1. Also Imperial is ranked the highest, being in the top 20 worldwide, while KCL is just in the top 100 when it comes to physics or maths.

    Considering I want to do a PhD with a focus on string theory, possibly in the US, which course would be my best choice, considering the reputation and the research quality of the different departments?
  5. May 18, 2017 #4
    Have you made a decision?
    I am in the same position and wondering what may have influenced you.

    (and perhaps I will study with you this year!)
  6. May 18, 2017 #5
    Hey - haha well.... as a physicist, it's my duty to warn you that's a bad basis on which to make a decision :)
    Otherwise, I'm going to be heading up north to Edinburgh!
  7. May 18, 2017 #6
    Haha of course not! I am just wondering if you have any insight that helped you choose Edinburgh over KCL?

    Thank you, and congrats on your choice :)
  8. May 18, 2017 #7
    Sure - well, if anything I think King's might have a shade on Edinburgh course wise as 'Wastrophysicist' points out - it's been going for longer, and they (guess it's obvious since they have John Ellis) have more stuff on supersymmetry and strings. But then supposedly Imperial is better than all three, and I'd completely disagree with that. Flat out no.

    However, it's (I'm told) a small course - only six people or so - and I decided that was just too small for me. (Personally, I like having different people to bounce ideas off). Other than that, I felt after three years of London that I could do with a change (London is awesome - and I will miss it - but you need a change every now and then, I reckon).

    If you've got any specific questions though, feel free to ask!
  9. May 18, 2017 #8
    Six people?! Hard to believe it is so small - that's not enough!! I somehow have a similar opinion about the Imperial program but not sure how I formed it.. ha. Do you know what subfield you want to study? The course selection in Edinburgh seems to be more varied in a way that suits me - but I have contacted faculty at KCL I would prefer to study with. So am a little stuck.

    May I ask about living in London? I am a little deterred from living there as opposed to Edinburgh. (Coming from Canada.. am used to space and outdoors :p). Did you live close to your University? Are there nice parks, and/or is it easy to get out of town?

    Many thanks!!
  10. May 18, 2017 #9
    Unsure if either of you is still considering ICL. A friend is currently studying physics there, so I can ask him about his experience of the quality of instruction if it would help your decision.
  11. May 18, 2017 #10
    Yes, if you wouldn't mind! I would love to know the students impressions of courses and faculty.

    I appreciate your help :) !
  12. May 20, 2017 #11
    For reference, I'm at ICL :P
  13. May 30, 2017 #12
    To people in ICL, how are you guys funding the course?
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