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Physics in the UK

  1. Mar 2, 2006 #1
    [SOLVED] Physics in the UK

    seeing as i'm being discouraged from going to Oxford, can anyone give me their opinions/experiences on which are the best universities for physics? i'm looking for a university with a strong research emphasis too, especially high energy perticle physics. cheers
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2006 #2


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    I wouldn't base your choice on what 2 people on an internet forum have said. Talk to the staff and students at various universities, visit them, see what they're like. You're going to be living there for 3 or 4 years anyway, even if the university is well suited for you the town/city/village it's in might not.


    Will show you the 100 best UK universities for undergrad physics, but the link isn't working for me at the moment!
  4. Mar 2, 2006 #3
    I can see all of my options on that list. That is really weird, on the list, Nottingham is 15, and Leeds is 5, I had a look at a different source and got Nottingham as 6, and Leeds as 20 or something, oh well, it doesn't really matter that much since personal preference has a very small role to play in those lists (not much I admit).

    Anyway, why are you being discouraged from Oxford?
  5. Mar 3, 2006 #4
    fisher i heard it goes ///cambridge i..mperial college .. oxford ..and someothers ...dont let any1 discourage u ,u do wat u feel is right......
    heres wat u dioont want to happen .....get into all of them and realise u could have applied.But its ur choice anyway ...wat grades do u need to get in and wat do u have .....
  6. Mar 7, 2006 #5
    i go to queens (number 7) on that list, its very good, although many ppl are turned off by the idea of staying in northern ireland. its really not half as bad here as its sometimes made out to be!

    queens have just finished a major upgrade of their physics department, with loads of new equipment and research labs.

    im on an MSci course, still dont know what I want to do after uni tho! (Im only a 1st year undergrad) Maybe ill stay on for a PhD, but ive 3 years to decide ;P
  7. Mar 7, 2006 #6
    yeah the problem with going to uni in ireland would be that i couldn't really come home for the weekend...
  8. Mar 7, 2006 #7
    ^You either won't want to, or won't have time anyway
  9. Mar 8, 2006 #8
    I go to the University of Southampton and am very happy there. Their research facilities are 5* and their photonics/optics courses are world-class. I don't know about high-energy particle physics but I know that one of my lecturers is head of that department.

    But don't take my word for it, go to www.phys.soton.ac.uk

    When I was applying to go to Uni, I also liked The University of Surrey:
    www.surrey.ac.uk - But, on the tour, they seemed to focus our attention on their interest in Astronomy

  10. Mar 8, 2006 #9
    yeah, i'm thinking about surrey too, and also birmingham...anyone know anything about those two?
  11. Mar 8, 2006 #10
    After your first week you'll not want to.
    Still waiting for a reply to my application to do a PhD in String Theory there :(
    Cambridge. We're the top in the country, if not Europe, if not the world. Even if you're at another uni, to do a PhD here in HEP you need to do Part III maths (that's HEP in DAMTP, not the Cavendish). It's easier to get on Part III maths if you're already in Cambridge than to transfer from another uni.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2006
  12. Mar 10, 2006 #11
    UCL and Royal Holloway are quite good
  13. Mar 10, 2006 #12
    I haven't been able to go home for over 3 months, it's no big deal, you'll get used to it.
  14. Mar 11, 2006 #13
    i don't really fancy the high living costs in london...

    and as regards cambridge, i don't fancy natsci, it looks too confusing, and my college has advised me not to touch maths at cambridge cos most of the students we send end up dropping out after the first year
  15. Mar 11, 2006 #14
    Few people drop out of Cambridge from maths in the first year. One or at most two might drop out after first term, but that's it. A few more might fail, but I doubt they are all from your school.

    It's not rocket science to pick a few modules to do on the NatSci course, and if you're smart enough to do NatSci at Cambridge, then you can pick a few modules of choice. I had to pick 4 courses from 30 last term and again this term, wasn't hard, I picked what I liked.

    I wouldn't trust your college 100%. I was once told by a careers advisor I'd never get past GCSEs. I was told by my A Level physics teacher a month before my A2 exams I'd be lucky to get a B (despite getting 299/300 at AS and pasting every exam in his class) and my A Level chemistry teacher told me I'd 'shot myself in the foot' for applying to Trinity. Suffice to say they were all wrong, and just had a warped view of things.

    Go on some open days, look at some prospectuses and give it some thought. It's not hard to pick NatSci option and if you're clever enough to be given an offer for the maths course you're clever enough to pass the first year if you put some work in. If your college says 'Everyone swaps off to another course" they are lying or your college has a lot of people who cannot make up their mind.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2006
  16. Mar 15, 2006 #15
    but the thing is, i only want to do physics, i'm not interested in the other physical sciences. i want a physics-specific degree
  17. Mar 16, 2006 #16
    I would recommend phoning a few different Universities to find out what they offer. I almost made the mistake of applying to do physics at Cambridge because of its reputation. Then I realised that I needed to think about myself not what others think. You're going to be spending 3+ years at uni; you want to be positive that you are going to enjoy it; believe me, grades suffer if you don't enjoy your course.

  18. Mar 16, 2006 #17
    I had the same problem when picking universities to go to, I considered Cambridge, but didn't apply because it does natural sciences, and the course I really want to do is theoretical physics, I'm predicted 3 A's at A-level (maths physics and further maths), so might have got in had I applied, but in my opinion course is more important that the university, like Berry Boy said.
  19. Mar 17, 2006 #18
    I`m currently attending Uni at swansea, reading for a degree in Physics.

    I chose swansea mainly because of the location (it`s my home town!). The physics department is rank 8thin the country ( i forget who with i'll check and post on monday to confirm the table) and has some very exciting projects on-going, located on site and in conjuction with CERN.

    Swansea uni was also vote the best 'student exprience' in a times survey, it`s also the cheapest place to go to uni in the UK!

    have a look for yourself open days are every Wednesday
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2006
  20. Mar 18, 2006 #19
    does swansea do particle physics with cosmology??
  21. Mar 18, 2006 #20
    Yep, they sure do.

    http://www2.swan.ac.uk/physics/courses/course_f3f5_1.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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