Maths at Exeter, Nottingham or Lancaster?

(48 Posts)
HammersRaised Thu 18-Jan-18 13:05:15

DD has narrowed down her offers offers to Exeter, Nottingham or Lancaster for maths. Would be very grateful for your opinions on which is the best for maths, student happiness and graduate prospects. Lancaster ranks the highest out the the 3 on the league tables, but how accurate are the league tables? TIA smile

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titchy Thu 18-Jan-18 14:08:27

They're all great places and great universities! Their respective league table place for Maths will inevitably have changed by the time she finishes so don't put too much on a few places in the rankings.

Not helpful I realise - but I think she'll have to find another differentiator, towns, distance from home, campus, cost of accommodation, extra curricular.

HammersRaised Thu 18-Jan-18 14:19:14

Thanks, titchy smile Yes, they are all great places and great universities and that’s what’s making her decision so difficult! Good point about the league tables changing by the time she finishes. We’ll add your suggestions of cost of accommodation (haven’t even looked into this!) and extracurricular to her spreadsheet! Yes, there is a spreadsheet grin PFB is going to university grin

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MyBrilliantDisguise Thu 18-Jan-18 14:24:31

My nephew is studying Maths at Nottingham. If she has any specific questions, just let me know and I'll ask him.

HammersRaised Thu 18-Jan-18 14:31:31

That’s very kind of you smile Is your nephew enjoying his time at Nottingham?

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BeardofZeus Thu 18-Jan-18 14:48:53

I did maths at Lancaster a decade ago as they built the new maths buildings. The course was hard but enjoyable, with a good mix of modules to reflect the kind of mathematician you wanted to be (in line with any joint or minor subjects). The lecturers were ok (classic oddball type really!) and the PhD students were good for labs etc. The university itself is really good, new accommodation, great espirit de corps (Roses, intercollegiate, intracollegiate), Lancaster is a much nicer city now than it was when I was there, close to lakes/manchester/liverpool with easy links to London. Had an absolute blast and still think (being back at university again subsequently to two different ones for post grad and professional retraining (one red brick, one not), Lancaster still beats them hands down! (Ps pick Fylde!!)

MyBrilliantDisguise Thu 18-Jan-18 14:49:24

Yes, he's really loving it there and doing very well.


Playmobilpeacock Thu 18-Jan-18 14:54:16

Obviously I'm biased but Lancaster is a great university, academically and socially.

DH studied maths and would echo the PP.

Ps. Pendle all the way!

HammersRaised Thu 18-Jan-18 15:17:44

Lancaster sounds fantastic, Zeus and Peacock. Out of the colleges you mentioned, which is closest to the maths department? Or does it not matter? We haven’t been to the open day, but photos of the campus look beautiful. So much greenery!

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PJsAndProsecco Thu 18-Jan-18 15:21:39

I went to Lancaster to study ten years ago, and I now work at Nottingham! Both lovely campuses, both lovely cities! Has your DD visited either? Definitely visit both!

And @BeardofZeus - she should clearly pick County if she chooses Lancaster grin

PJsAndProsecco Thu 18-Jan-18 15:22:36

@Playmobilpeacock - County is clearly the obvious choice!

BehindTheBlueDoor Thu 18-Jan-18 15:28:51

DS doing physics at Lancaster and loving it. Has joint lectures with maths obviously. Working hard but really pleased with his decision to study there.
Lovely safe campus, very good and reasonably priced accommodation, and he has made some great friends in his first term. No matter which college you're in, everything is within a reasonable walking distance. The city is lovely too and they can venture to Manchester, Preston, Liverpool for 'bigger' nights out if so inclined.
Nothing beats going to visit and getting a feel for the places. My DS had offers from both Lancaster and Exeter, amongst others, and would have been happy at either but just felt 'at home' at LU so that helped him
make the decision. Do ask if you want any more info. Good luck!

Thiswayorthatway Thu 18-Jan-18 15:31:28

Lonsdale, but that's mainly law and languages

sluj Thu 18-Jan-18 15:33:20

No idea about the maths but 30 years later I am still Lancaster through and through .

Pick County . Do it for the oak

HammersRaised Thu 18-Jan-18 15:44:24

A lot of love for Lancaster on here grin

DD and I have a lot of respect for the ‘snetters’ opinions smile so this is all very useful, thank you flowers

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BubblesBuddy Thu 18-Jan-18 17:54:37

I do know a student doing maths at Exeter and is very happy there. They accepted 3 A levels of which two were maths so Exeter may be easier to get into than the highest ranking universities. It took the pressure off at A level though. I do not think there is a lot to choose between them though. What about current grad prospects? Years ago was a different generation and employment has moved on.

Lancaster and Exeter are small cities but Nottingham is bigger. What does he want from the university and living experience? A handy vibrant city on the doorstep or countryside? What are his interests? Having said that, a very quiet DS of a friend has found he has many more interests at university than at home where he was (s)mothered a bit! There are lots of aspects to choosing a university but being settled is very important.

HammersRaised Thu 18-Jan-18 18:27:40

DD would like somewhere with a good night life. Her interests? Veganism and politics! Her ideal flatmates would be people with a good sense of humour.

In terms of her offers, Lancaster want AAB, Nottingham want AAA and Exeter A*AB.

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BubblesBuddy Thu 18-Jan-18 19:32:00

Apologies for saying DS instead of DD. No doubt all will have a Politics society! What about social life? Lancaster and Exeter are fairly self contained but Nottingham is handier for entertainment. What about sport? You may just need to choose between Nottingham and Exeter for firm and Lancaster for Insurance with the grade differences. Do any require FM? What is the profile of students on the course? Do their qualifications exceed the offers?

HammersRaised Thu 18-Jan-18 19:51:21

DD is doing Further Maths, all 3 want an A in FM.

She’s veering towards Lancaster, but all could change after the offer holder days!

Putting Lancaster as firm would suggest that if she doesn’t make the grade, she’ll miss out on Exeter Nottingham too, but I’ve heard that some universities still take students with lower grades than originally offered. Anyone know if Exeter or Nottingham are known for this? She doesn’t have any offers lower than Lancaster’s AAB, so I don’t know what to advise her regarding her insurance choice.

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EmmaGrundyForPM Thu 18-Jan-18 20:01:03

Ds is doing Mech Eng at Nottingham. He is very sporty, and a vegan, and loves nightlife. Nottingham suits him perfectly! It's a great campus with brilliant transport links into the city centre. There's an amazing new sports centre on campus which opened last year.

I can't comment on the Maths dept but I can ask ds if your dd has any questions about Nottingham as place to study/live.

BubblesBuddy Thu 18-Jan-18 23:56:25

I think I wouldn’t put Lancaster first on the basis that it’s her lowest offer and therefore not as sought after as the others. (Assuming that’s their standard offer). It’s not RG either, I think. Have you looked at the grad stats? Does she not feel like stretching herself to go for the higher offers?

You cannot call what the others will do about lowering grades because that will depend on the results of other applicants, won’t it? I would not risk it. Her first choice should be aspirational and Insurance choice should be getable. If you don’t get the results for the aspirational, then you get the Insurance anyway. You could be given the aspirational with lower results but you just not know and it’s impossible to guess.

HammersRaised Fri 19-Jan-18 04:49:25

Thanks Bubbles, but Lancaster, according to the rankings anyway, appears to be the ‘better’ university! It was also named The Times and Sunday Times university of the year.

Lancaster is ranked the same as Nottingham for graduate prospects but higher overall in the general rankings. It’s ranked much higher than Exeter for both graduate prospects and overall rankings. Lancaster is also ranked considerably higher than both Exeter and Nottingham in maths.

My unofficial poll derived from this thread wink and another thread on this board are heavily swaying towards Lancaster as being the no brainer- the lowest offer yet the best university (for maths anyway) out of the 3!

So this is our dilemma: put Lancaster down as firm and the insurance is a higher offer; OR put Exeter or Nottingham as firm simply because their offers are higher and therefore aspirational, leaving Lancaster as insurance solely because of their lower offer!

That doesn’t make sense to me confused

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user369060 Fri 19-Jan-18 08:47:05

Lancaster ranks the highest out the the 3 on the league tables, but how accurate are the league tables?

What league tables? The ones appearing in UK newspapers (which are strongly influence by student satisfaction, a very unreliable measure of course quality), the ones for international rankings of universities, or the ones for research quality?

As an academic in this area, I would say that Lancaster Maths is undoubtedly weaker than Nottingham and Exeter in terms of research quality, depth of course etc. Lancaster have however put a lot of effort into moving themselves up in the UK newspaper league tables, by focussing on measures that are valued in these league tables.

If your DD lies Lancaster the most, and wants to be in that part of the country, fine. But she shouldn't choose it thinking that is the "best" of the three. I would rank them as Nottingham, Exeter, Lancaster, in terms of course quality.

For Maths all three are likely to take one dropped grade, but none of them will allow anything below A in maths - although since she is taking FM it is unlikely she would get below an A in maths anyhow.

WeeBeasties Fri 19-Jan-18 08:50:55

There is a big vegan movement in Nottingham with a vegan market in the city every weekend (or every other weekend, i don't recall) and the night life is excellent.

HammersRaised Fri 19-Jan-18 09:03:03

@WeeBeasties that’s good to know! It’s going on the spreadsheet grin

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