Another UCL vs. Imperail thread...... (2010)

Discussion in 'Royal Free and University College Medical School' started by medschoolapplicant, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. medschoolapplicant

    medschoolapplicant New Member

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    Hello there, sorry to start another UCL vs. imperial medicine thread but I am completely at frustrated by this choice and previous threads dont have that much info-they devolve into pointless arguments. I have offers from both with similar conditions and have visited both on my interviews and really like both and am sure I would love it at either (after all they are more similar than different) but have no idea which one I'd rather go to. If anyone could help me with some of my qualms which are probably misplaced and stereotyped (in which case I apologise) or give me any new insights I would be greatly appreciative.

    Imperial Pros
    -Great reputation for medicine and highly respected everywhere if I want to get out of medicine.
    -Better accommodation (although more expensive)
    -I know a few people there already so having friends to start with is nice
    -Science only uni so less competition for artsy clubs (I want to join musical theatre or light opera)

    Imperial Cons
    -Male Female ratio. Let me clarify, I understand it is even for medicine but I having heard that ICL medicine is rather detached I want to integrate with the rest of the uni as well. I also realise I will be in London where there are plenty of the opposite sex but the people I will be spending most of my time with are my fellow students. This is more to do with me wanting a diverse student population.
    -More geeky in that there are only science students and less diverse students unlike UCL (apologies if this is completely out of place, these are passing comments from friends…)
    -Less campus like than UCL. It seemed like just blocks of science buildings rather than a integral university
    -The fact that Charing cross hospital (the main teaching one) is far away from S Kensington makes it feel even more detached.

    UCL Pros
    -Great campus feel in the heart of London
    -A diverse student population in terms of gender and subjects studied.
    -UCH (main teaching hospital) is extremely close by (I think this is correct…)
    -Cheaper accommodation with catered options (although the food might be bad, I don’t know.)

    UCL Cons
    -Although has a similar reputation as a Med school, imperial worldwide reputation is more of a household name (my foreign have all heard of imperial but not UCL) and I fear if I want to get out of medicine in the future due to unforeseen reasons, a imperial degree will be more valuable also on a global scale if I wish to practice in another country.
    -More completion for artsy clubs (icsm has its own clubs for medics)
    -Older facilities

    Sorry for the essay but I am really stuck and would appreciate any help.

    p.s. for any current imperial/UCL medics can you tell me about how academic assessments are made. i.e. I hear UCL has modular and synoptic exams. Also imperial doesn’t give second chances for retakes.
     
  2. jtlc2345

    jtlc2345 New Member

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    First of all, congratulations on getting offers from both.

    As you say both UCL and Imperial are extremely similar. I have a number of friends at Imperial so know a bit about both. Reputation-wise, I think they're equivalent and whichever you choose, you'll be getting a degree from a top UK institution. Regarding societies, we have our own medic clubs as well as the UCL-wide clubs and can join both - I don't think the competition is any greater or any less - the whole point of societies are that they are as inclusive as can be. UCH is close by to the main campus but shares general teaching hospital duties with both the Royal Free and Whittington which are 20 minutes or so away on the tube. However, much like at Imperial, the further you go through the course the more time you spend away from central London (none of my placements this year are in the central London hospitals). I can't comment on accommodation as I haven't lived in halls for 5 years and things are bound to have changed. As for older facilites at UCL vs. Imperial, there is always lots of building work going on so some facilities are probably older, but others are probably newer as well.

    As for assessments, at UCL the ones that count are at the end of the year (except for year 4 where you have exams at the end of each module (approx. every 14 weeks or so). Written papers comprise Single Best Answers and in pre-clinicals there used to be short answer questions although I don't know if they still exist. There are also OSCEs when you get to clinical medicine.

    At the end of the day, they are both excellent medical schools and it really will come done to personal preference (location, friends, etc...) and gut feeling.

    Jonathan
     
  3. Choffer333

    Choffer333 New Member

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    UCL for clinical teaching has a better reputation. It was the best clinical teaching in europe a year or 2 back and hasnt gone down hill as far as im aware. It also offers a wider range of Student selected components and Intercalated Bscs from what ive been told and so could potentially give a wider experience base to call upon. UCL is the 4th best uni in the world in 2009 beating imperial as well, so i dont think that global reputation is an issue with UCL. I wouldnt choose a medical school based on reputation outside the world of medicine though.

    As has already been said clinical teaching, and one morning a week in preclinical is spent at one of the 3 main teaching hospitals which are around 15 mins on the tube and 30 mins on the bus to get too from the bloomsbury campus, then in clinics its either at one of the 3 main teaching hospitals or out at a GPs or a District hospital.

    Most UCL halls have been refurbished and a couple of new ones have been built and you're closer to central london nightlife.

    Like imperial has ICSM, we have RUMS which is a big and very vibrant community with our own bars and clubs. its pretty much a union within the UCLU and there is lots of friendly competition between the RUMS and ICSM

    Preclinical assessment is Formative assessment at teh end of every module, they dont count for anything but are more a method of making sure everyone is ok for those in the bottom 10% and for you to be able to tell how you're doing. The end of year assessment is what counts and means progression to the next year or not. These assessments are Single best answer questions, Extended matching questions where you're given a list of possible answers and a question and have to match answer(s) to the question. and then Modified Essay Questions (basically short answer questions) and a written clinical based exam called an OSPE. Oh and a practical anatomy exam. Cant tell you about clinics yet.

    hope that helps
     
  4. jtlc2345

    jtlc2345 New Member

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    Thought the medical school was doing away with EMQs and replacing them with SBAs - regardless, it won't be the deciding factor in choosing a medical school.

    Jonathan
     
  5. avecmon

    avecmon New Member

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    Hello. Thanks for all the info as I too am in the current situation as the OP. The OP pretty much summarised what I believe the PROS/CONS are for Imperial and UCL. However there are a few things I would like to ask:

    1) Are there SSCs at Imperial? I haven't seen any mention of it and just want to make sure whether they exist in the Imperial med course.

    2) What are the chances of being awarded a scholarship from Imperial if they have told you that they are considering you for one? I understand that an essay has to be submitted in the summer, but I would like a bit more info on it if someone in the previous years have been in this situation.

    For some reason, I am currently being drawn to UCL (though last week it was Imperial). The fact that I can do languages for the SSCs (I love languages!) and the diversity within the university is making me want to go to UCL. But the thing is that Imperial are considering me for a scholarship so i'm not sure whether I should pass up a 'rare' oppurtunity that could potentially enhance my CV.
     
  6. Choffer333

    Choffer333 New Member

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    no idea about the scholarship thing, but as far as ive been told Imperial have a choice of about 10 ssc's all to do with science or things like Management in the health service. Thats 2nd hand info though. At UCL you can do loads of languages, sciencey ones, teach sex education to 14 yr olds, run a volunteering thing, even hypnosis or stress management for medical students.
     

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