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Author Topic: Where is better for physics: UCL, Imperial or McGill?  (Read 5985 times)

Offline Lamprey5

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Hello,

I'm from Canada and I'm trying to decide between going to McGill for Honors Mathematics and Physics (BSc) and UCL for Mathematics and Physics (MSci) and Imperial College London for Physics (MSci). I have offers from all of them.

Which degree will be more difficult and leave me with more prestigious opportunities in future research careers and a PhD? Ideally I would love to study at Cambridge for my PhD.

My main concern are with the fees: Imperial > UCL >> McGill

Is it worth the high fees to have a good shot and/or being better prepared for getting into Cambridge for a physics PhD?

Does anybody have any personal experience or important considerations when deciding between these three great universities?
« Last Edit: 22/03/2012 01:57:18 by Lamprey5 »


 

Offline damocles

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Re: Where is better for physics: UCL or McGill?
« Reply #1 on: 04/03/2012 03:19:47 »
UCL is a great place for all of science, including Mathematics and Physics. I do not know (obviously) how much of an issue this is, but at UCL you would be hit with quite a substantial foreign students' fee, and living in London is very expensive.
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: Where is better for physics: UCL or McGill?
« Reply #2 on: 05/03/2012 10:27:04 »
Would echo Damocles' sentiments almost entirely.  UCL, Bloomsbury, and London in General are just fab - but you will almost certainly have to get digs a decent bike/bus/tube ride away.  The amazing thing about London as a "University City" is the cross-over you can get - within Bloomsbury there are other specialist universities and schools of international renown, there are three world class major universities within a few miles inside London, and even Oxford and Cambridge are only an hour-or-so away - and the only other place you get that sort of academic hothouse is NE coast of USA.

But it is very pricey! 
 

Offline Lamprey5

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Re: Where is better for physics: UCL, Imperial or McGill?
« Reply #3 on: 22/03/2012 02:00:44 »
I updated the original post because I just received an offer from Imperial(!) and now I'm leaning more toward Imperial.. But what about this uni and its physics program is superior to other universities? e.g. McGill for Maths and Physics (Hons)?
« Last Edit: 22/03/2012 15:01:25 by Lamprey5 »
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: Where is better for physics: UCL, Imperial or McGill?
« Reply #4 on: 22/03/2012 09:34:29 »
Excellent news!  Best of Luck
 

Offline techmind

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Re: Where is better for physics: UCL, Imperial or McGill?
« Reply #5 on: 09/04/2012 20:23:25 »
I really don't know anything about McGill ...

I studied Physics at UCL a little over a decade ago. I'm also fairly familiar with Imperial.
Both Uni's Physics dept have excellent reputations. Imperial's physics dept is probably slightly larger (which doesn't necessarily make it better!). UCL's dept is "physics and astronomy" - with the Astronomy students doing most of the same lectures as physicists for the first couple of years before further specialisation.
The culture of the universities is somewhat different, with UCL doing the full spectrum of courses including languages and humanities, whereas Imperial is largely confined to "science technology and medicine". It is argueable that Imperial is more geeky, while you're more likely to mix with a wider range of friends at UCL.
I always found UCL to be very friendly (staff/teaching generally), and has a good social scene - although on my visits back there and talking to more recent students it saddens me to find that the social culture has changed considerably in the past 10-15 years, probably largely due to the consequence of loss of grants and introduction of substantial fees that mean that many students now have part-time jobs in the evenings. The same probably goes for Imperial.
« Last Edit: 09/04/2012 20:26:11 by techmind »
 

Offline Guthers

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Re: Where is better for physics: UCL, Imperial or McGill?
« Reply #6 on: 25/04/2012 13:09:18 »
I studied Astronomy at UCL in the early 80s, and can't recommend it too highly. Having said that, I'm sure you'd have a great experience at Imperial too. Good luck whatever you decide to do.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Where is better for physics: UCL, Imperial or McGill?
« Reply #7 on: 29/04/2012 09:54:00 »
All I know about these institutions is that I used to gatecrash Imperial's Student Union bar sometimes in the late 80s and they did a very nice Cornish pasty.

The point I think someone needs to raise is the cost of living in London.
It was fairly horrid when I was there, and I don't think it will have got better. Does anyone have any recent experience?
 

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Re: Where is better for physics: UCL, Imperial or McGill?
« Reply #7 on: 29/04/2012 09:54:00 »

 

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