1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

UK Physics Undergrad - does it matter which uni?

  1. Jul 11, 2008 #1
    UK Physics Undergrad - does it matter which uni???

    I'm want to study physics at uni next year and am still trying to decide which uni is best for me to go to. I want to stay in the West or East Midlands (family reasons).

    1) Does it really matter which uni I go to, as long as i get good grades?

    2) Does it limit my choices of where I could do a PhD afterwards? Do Wolverhampton graduates get to do PhD's at Warwick or Oxford?

    I don't really want to take notice of snobbery, but if the rest of the world pays attention to it I'd be an idiot not to.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2008 #2
    Re: UK Physics Undergrad - does it matter which uni???

    1) There's an obvious collection of 'good places' and 'bad'. The difference between say Oxford and Cambridge will depend quite a bit on what you will be doing specifically, 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. There's an across the board difference between say Imperial and Aston. If you're looking at A's in the maths and sciences you'll get into a good university even if it's not Oxbridge.

    2. Not really. Cambridge often tend to get many of their PhD students from within their own 4th years (particularly theoretical physics). Other universities get students from all over. I know people who did their undergrads at Bristol, Durham, Bath, Exeter, Imperial and obviously Oxbridge who now do theoretical physics PhDs. The less maths based stuff tends to be more open, there's no so much of a monopoly of Oxbridge and Durham graduates outside of theoretical physics, as is my impression. Theoretical physics just wants buckets of maths.
  4. Jul 11, 2008 #3
    Re: UK Physics Undergrad - does it matter which uni???

    Hey Streeter. What grades are you expected at A-Level that will help you gain some idea, I am in a very similar position to yourself!
  5. Jul 11, 2008 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Re: UK Physics Undergrad - does it matter which uni???

    Look at Birmingham, Nottingham, Warwick.

    Yes, but as Alphanumeric says, only to a point. If you aim to get into a red brick university, then it doesn't really matter which one.
    Again, if you graduate from a red brick university, then there's no reason you shouldn't get into one of the red brick PhD programmes (provided you get a first, or maybe a high 2:1). It all depends what specific field you want to go into, though.
  6. Jul 11, 2008 #5
    Re: UK Physics Undergrad - does it matter which uni???

    Leicester University, is quite high in the rankings, but for some reason they ask for low entry grades. BBC, now I can't think of why that would be other than the fact that they can't get people to go there. If you get an A at A-Level you also get a £1000 bursary which again seems crazy. Warwick and Birmingham are probably the best Universities for physics in the Midlands, or at least that is my opinion.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook