It’s coming to the time of year when applying to university is pretty much the only thing being talked about at college/school for those in Upper Sixth/Year 13. When I was applying two years ago I based my choices on mostly distance from my home, things I’d heard from other people and the information I could find online/in prospectuses. I probably should’ve made more of an effort to go to more open days in hindsight (I only visited Lancaster, Liverpool and Sheffield universities) but I am happy with where I ended up in the end. I’d absolutely recommend that you visit the universities you are thinking of applying to in person but I know that it is expensive and time consuming especially when you are trying to focus on doing well in your A levels.
So here are some reasons I think you should apply to do your physics degree at University of Leicester, from somebody who is admittedly very biased:
- University of Leicester is great if you’re looking for a broad physics degree with lots of options and flexibility – you get to choose 4 optional topics in first year and this increases in later years so you can study what interests you. On the other hand if you have an interest in one of the university’s speciality topics (astrophysics, space science & technology, nanotechnology and planetary science) then you can have one of these “flavours” added onto the end of your physics degree and go to the corresponding optional topic lectures.
- Although Leicester is a very good university for physics (Leicester came 5th in the Guardian’s League Table for 2016 in physics, higher than Durham and Manchester) it doesn’t have insanely high entry requirements like some universities do for physics. This year our entry requirements for the BSc course are AAB compared to Durham’s A*A*A and Manchester’s A*AA-A*A*A. When I applied to Leicester I was given an unconditional offer, which surprised me, but it meant that I was under a lot less stress than the people around me when it came to my A levels. I felt like the university trusted in my enthusiasm in the subject and my existing results.
- The teaching staff in the physics department are friendly and open and passionate about their subject. From lecturers to lab helpers, personal tutors to seminar leaders, there is always somebody to talk to if you are struggling with a topic and the open door policy makes it easy to approach lecturers. One of the best things about my course is all the time we get to work on problems in small groups. I struggle to take in lots of information through lectures so workshops, seminars, tutorials and just spending time with people on the course in the physics building are all really valuable to my learning.
Well done to all new Leicester physics students who will be starting in a few weeks and good luck to future applicants. If you’re considering applying to University of Leicester for physics but have questions about the course or student life then you can email me at email@example.com if you like and if I can’t answer your question then I’ll find the right person that can.