Marine biology

(29 Posts)
LuckyMarmiteLover Fri 20-Dec-19 19:36:39

Hoping for some advice please as new to this! DD has applied for marine biology and has 5 offers. Until the offers arrived Newcastle was her favourite but she has now received an unconditional offer from Portsmouth. She is very excited about this and did like Portsmouth but she has to accept it as her firm choice in order to secure it. She would also be entitled to a scholarship worth £1,000, assuming she achieves her predicted grades of AAB. If she accepts it as her insurance choice the conditional offer is BBC. The offer from Newcastle is BBB if it’s her firm choice and ABB if it’s her insurance choice. We live in Bristol if that makes any difference and DD is at a state school. I think Newcastle has a better reputation than Portsmouth but she is so excited about the unconditional offer. I’m not sure she will listen to me but would love to hear other people’s recommendations in this situation please. Thanks.

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titchy Fri 20-Dec-19 19:51:32

Did she apply to Southampton - I thought that was the leader for Marine Bio? Given her predicted grades (achievable?) she can do better than Portsmouth.

LuckyMarmiteLover Fri 20-Dec-19 19:55:00

Thanks. She didn’t apply to Southampton as unfortunately she doesn’t meet their entry criteria of 2 sciences. Lots of universities accept psychology as a second science but Southampton don’t. She only decided on marine biology mid way through her A levels.

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LuckyMarmiteLover Fri 20-Dec-19 19:56:06

She got AAB in her exams at the end of year 12 but feels these are quite high. Most of her work during the year is not at this level.

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bizzey Fri 20-Dec-19 21:22:39

What A levels is she doing ?
Maths is classed as a 2nd science i think.
Careful of the " bribes " of £1000
They are usually unevenly split ovet the 3 terms . . Not a lump sum .

Marine Biology is hard .
My ds is at Southampton doing geology and their lectures are all mixed with marine bio and others.
My advice would be ..dont get swayed by the £300 term scholarship /bursary .
(Which still might be parental income depenfant ?)
She needs to go to the uni / uni town she feels right for .

LuckyMarmiteLover Fri 20-Dec-19 21:30:52

She is doing biology, psychology and English language. The bribe is definitely not based on parental income. She is not a very confident person do u think the security of the unconditional offer is extremely appealing.

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LuckyMarmiteLover Fri 20-Dec-19 21:31:14

* so I

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MarchingFrogs Sat 21-Dec-19 00:14:00

Portsmouth ranked 32nd for Biological Scinces. To Newcastle's 30th. But the CUG also has Lancaster above all but a handful of Russell Group universities, so perhaps something is skewing the data for this particular table?

LuckyMarmiteLover, if your DD has all her responses back by March 31st, she has until May 5th to enter her decision into UCAS, longer, if any university hasn't replied by then. So plenty of time to think it over, (if posdible)attend applicant days and have a really good second look and chance to discuss the course as offered at each university etc. Definitely not a decision she needs to rush.

BubblesBuddy Sat 21-Dec-19 07:34:48

Where else did she apply? Where are the other three offers?

As there is not much apparent difference between these two in ranking, I would go to offer days and check them out as courses, universities and cities.

Obviously Portsmouth is still using bribes that most commentators/government don’t like for precisely the reason you state and it’s a bums on seats tactic. I’m surprised your DD is swayed by this. Portsmouth is an ex poly but she needs to check out employability at both. Biological sciences are not the same as marine biology and this might be a specialism at Portsmouth, for all we know. At least it’s a coastal university! Many ranked higher are not.

Look at the course details, employability and go and visit. Your DD probably wants closer to home too if she’s not confident.

samlovesdilys Sat 21-Dec-19 07:40:40

Portsmouth, Gloucestershire and Bournemouth all seem keen to offer unconditional this year - as a teacher it's really frustrating as sone student then coast through A-Levels because they do t see the importance. BUT - it depends on the student, for others who really feel the stress of exams this can be a huge relief from the pressure they put on themselves. I would suggest going back to both to have another look (is there a subject specific day?) also consider if she gets housing - and the job opportunities of graduates. Portsmouth my not be marginally as good but may have better employment history...

LuckyMarmiteLover Sat 21-Dec-19 12:54:47

Thank you everybody. Her other offers are:
Exeter AAB (ABB if firm choice)
Bangor BBB
Plymouth ABB
We did look round all of them at open days but will hi back to Newcastle and Portsmouth for the offer holder days. Her mocks are in January so she should have a better idea of her likely grades then too.

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MarchingFrogs Sat 21-Dec-19 13:17:07

But the 'bribe' of the lowered grades / unconditional if firmed is tempered, if you like, by the 'bribe' of the scholarship if at least the predicted higher grades are achieved. Which shouldn't be a problem, since that's what the school says they should be able to get and we all know, don't we?, that one of the main problems with the less university application system savvy state schools is that they refuse to play the game of predicting what the students say they must have to secure offers that they wouldn't otherwise get.

And the reason that I quoted the Biologocal Sciences ranking was that it is the grouping in which the sainted CUG includes lMarine Biology. Of course, there may actually be a separate Marine Bio league table somewhere, which has Portsmouth scraping along the bottom?

And seriously, 'only' a proportion of the £1000 each term, rather than the whole lot in one go, makes it not having? It's still more or less a student's whole term's worth of food Bill's sorted, for a start.

LuckyMarmiteLover Sat 21-Dec-19 13:30:35

I can’t find a marine biology league table unfortunately and so lots of universities that don’t even offer marine biology appear higher up than Newcastle and Portsmouth.

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RetreatingWeasels Sat 21-Dec-19 13:39:02

My DS did marine biology at Bangor (N Wales). At the time I think it was considered one of the best?

We preferred Newcastle to Portsmouth; the problem with Portsmouth is that it doesn't have a campus as such, it's dotted all over the city.

Bangor is a small city and there is a proper campus feel to it. I don't know about the others but DS got a lot of time out on the boat in the harbour, which he really enjoyed. There's no travelling involved because it's literally on the doorstep.

Laniakea Sat 21-Dec-19 14:32:36

My Dd is doing oceanography at Southampton but seriously considered Bangor - it is very strong for marine sciences.

Laniakea Sat 21-Dec-19 14:36:19

The Exeter marine biology is based in the Penryn campus I think? Honestly of those choices Dd would have gone for Bangor/Newcastle/Exeter.

mamansnet Sat 21-Dec-19 14:45:04

Bangor is definitely one of the best, if not THE best. Don't rule it out!

MarchingFrogs Sat 21-Dec-19 15:15:08

I can’t find a marine biology league table

Whatuni appears to have a stab. I put in the stated A leves with the grades ABB, but then set for all courses up to 150 points and filtered on MB specifically, on 'overall ranking' rather than 'most info'. (Making the assumption that the 'overall ranking' actually does refer to 'for MB', not 'top universities first', because the first on the list is Swansea, not Exeter).

Aurea Sat 21-Dec-19 15:34:23

Was Bangor on her radar?

Great course and right by the ocean.

BubblesBuddy Sat 21-Dec-19 18:30:37

Well Bangor with BBB looks ok. However it’s a tiny place when compared to Portsmouth and Newcastle. Some DC just wouldn’t want a small town campus university over Newcastle or Portsmouth. However if it’s genuinely great for employment and DD doesn’t mind fewer social and entertainment opportunities, then look at Bangor too.

Stopyourhavering64 Sat 21-Dec-19 18:51:59

Bangor has a very well deserved excellent reputation for Marine biology ( I personally know 2 of the Profs, who are world experts in their field )
The location and facilities are second to none..right on the Menai Straits with the fantastic marine research vessel Prince Madog
The Uni may be small but that's part of the charm and it's also very safe and cost of living is cheap! ( plus it's a beautiful part of the country to live/study)

Stillabitemo Sat 21-Dec-19 22:52:34

You can compare them using the Discover Uni tool. A quick look suggests that Newcastle is accredited and Portsmouth isn’t, so that should be a big part of her considerations

BubblesBuddy Sun 22-Dec-19 18:08:56

A small university and town are not part of the charm if it really doesn’t suit your personality and requirements out of university life. Clearly a DD that’s looking at Portsmouth and Newcastle night not be so keen on Bangor. However if the course is so great, and it only requires BBB, then, if small town works, then it should be on the shortlist. It also is important to look at accreditation and that influences job prospects in the field.

Laniakea Mon 23-Dec-19 14:02:20

Dd’s most important consideration was facilities - wet labs & a vessel. Newcastle has wet labs, not sure about the boat situation there (they don’t do oceanography so she didn’t look too closely). Bangor have both, Plymouth only had a fixed pontoon rather than anything mobile (!) last time she looked. They sell themselves on diving opportunities which might be fun but are pretty unimportant in terms of actual work/science. It is IMarEST accreditation for most marine sciences.

BubblesBuddy Fri 27-Dec-19 18:07:51

Some students look very closely at where they wish to live though. Less closely at facilities unless they have researched very closely what they want from the degree. Plenty don’t do this.

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