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University course comparison

  1. May 7, 2015 #1
    Hi everyone i am new to the forum. I am looking forward to a MSc in theoretical physics and have been offered place at Utrecht and Glasgow university. Unfortunately neither of the universities have a very detailed course outline at their sites (or its just my fault). I am interested in high energy particle, quantum gravity and beyond standard model physics. Could someone kindly compare the two? I have to make my decision in a week.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2015 #2
    I'd prefer Glasgow, as it offers superior faculty.
  4. May 8, 2015 #3
    thanks for the reply but can you elaborate further? i heard professor Gerard t'Hooft is still supervising masters thesis at Utrecht. Can you look at the the course content in the above given link?. To me it seems that the program is more focused on low energy phenomenon
  5. May 8, 2015 #4
    You are quite right. Utrecht has a more particle physics-based curriculum, which is good, if that's your thing. But at the same time, you pointed out Quantum gravity as one of your interests. You need solid General relativity for that. If I were you, I would prefer Glasgow. (t'Hooft himself is more of a particle physicist).
    You can check out Glasgow's curriculum for MSc in theoretical physics here- http://www.gla.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/theoreticalphysics/

    It was not really a part of the question (:P) but nevertheless, I cannot help suggesting Perimeter Institute. It is affiliated to university of Waterloo(but it is quite autonomous), and has THE best postgraduate course (PSI) I've heard of (http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/training/perimeter-scholars-international/psi-courses). The faculty members are top class. Check out their website. They have sorted out the faculty according to their fields of research. And since this institute is only meant for theoretical physics, you will get no-nonsense course. So, check it out.
    And mate, since you are going to get a Masters, can you suggest me what should I choose for my undergraduate? I am torn between mathematical tripos and NatSci tripos at Cambridge university. Ultimately, I want a masters degree in theoretical physics( and not pure math), but I don't know if Natural Science would give the math I need. Also, I don't want to goof around experimenting (which is a part of NatSci). So far, Mathematics seems to be good ( I am only concerned about GR, my field of interest), but I'm not sure if it is possible to get a masters in theo. phys. after a BA in Math. Any tips?
    But in your case, since you are more inclined towards particle physics, you could go to Utrecht. The Utrecht website is quite incomprehensible, so, I cannot help much more with it. In any case, my suggestion would be Glasgow. However, and this is the most important point, the Utrecht course is much more RIGOROUS. So, even though they won't give you much choice, whatever you do study there, you will get a great hang of it.
  6. May 8, 2015 #5
    I researched the two recently. I found Utrecht far superior in terms of course content (breadth and depth), quality of the academic staff, efficiency of administrative staff and reputation. I really like what some students have produced as their masters theses (http://web.science.uu.nl/itf/Teaching/Master'sTheses.htm).

    Glasgow has some inane credit filler courses such as "Problem-solving workshop". General relativity is offered in alternate years only, so you will not get to take it if you study full time.

    You can ask Utrecht to extend the May 15th deadline for accepting the offer. I did and they agreed. I cannot decide between Utrecht, Durham and Imperial - did you look into the latter two?

    You can find some details of the Utrecht courses on this obscure page: http://web.science.uu.nl/itf/Teaching/Courses11.htm Course notes for many courses can be googled.
  7. May 8, 2015 #6
    oh that seems great. how long did they extend? yeah i totally agree with your assessment of Glasgow course information on the website is very vague and from what i have found it is more oriented towards optics, quantum information....and the likes. i didn't apply to Durham or Imperial as i thought my chances would be slim with a BSc mechanical engineering. I am waiting for the decision by Edinburgh uni. The course is very new but the course content list seems very competitive and i really liked the Higgs boson short course they delivered over the internet plus its a one year course.
  8. May 8, 2015 #7
    if i had the choice i would go for imperial. from what i have seen on their site they have a very specific and narrow focus and of course their ranking as a university. Lucky you cannot decide between Durham , Imperial and Utrecht.
  9. May 8, 2015 #8

    you see with a mechanical engineering bachelors degree, i am at a loss to suggest any of the two. my personal preference would be NatSci tripos since it would be more interesting to study physics as an independent subject rather than mathmatical one
  10. May 8, 2015 #9
    No specific date, they said it's OK to return the confirmation form in June, but warned that it may take some time to find accommodation.
  11. May 9, 2015 #10
    Thanks @ET AL....but I suppose I'll still go with mathematics...cannot stand experiments
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