University of Cambridge Guide reviews

Cambridge University review

Pros: Reputation, supervision system, collegiate structure, quality of teaching and research - you always have an expert in a field able to answer your questions if you need, copyright deposit library, the surroundings (architecture/the backs etc).

Cons: Weak centralised student union, no university-wide union buildings, unrepresentative (to an extent), lots of work expected. For some: clubbing scene doesn't exist really.

Cambridge University review

Cambridge rightly claims to be a top UK university - from the students point
of view you get beautiful surroundings, comfortable accomodation (generally)
and employers will love you. .

Cambridge is a nice place to live - you have the River Cam to go
punting/rowing on, the old colleges to take your parents around and the
College Balls in the summer which are expensive but can be amazing. The
college environment creates mini communities which means meeting people and
getting involved in sport/societies is very easy. Cambridge is flat and
congested which means no cars allowed for students but you can easily cycle
anywhere within 10-15mins - so no travel expense apart from the bike.

One of the main benefits of Cambridge must be jobs. Some employers only
focus recruitment activities on a handful of universities of which Cambridge
is always one. This means you are made aware of what job opportunies are out
there when employers come round to do presentations during what is called
the 'milk round'. I studied economics and most people I know went into
either accountancy, banking or management consultancy. Since I left in 2001
the job market for these professions has all but collapsed so going to a
university with a good reputation is very important if you have ambitions to
work in one of these areas.

If you are really into your subject (which let's face it you will not be as
an A-level student) then Cambridge can be an excellent learning environment.
With small group supervisions held by very intelligent academics or PhD
students the idea is that you have the opporunity to learn subjects in great
depth and (if you are so inclined) have arguments about theories with people
who know what they are talking about. In reality, however supervisions drive
your week to week work load as you normally have to write essays in
preparation for them - and that can mean 2-3 two-thousand word essays a
week. You will not be amused when you hear that friends at some universities
are doing 2-3 essays a term. It should be noted that workload can vary
substantially among subjects - I am referring back to my days studying
economics. On the positive side, not many people get thrown out of Cambridge
which partly reflects the fact that at exam time most subjects are difficult
to fail but then it is also difficult to do well.

The workload may be tiring but terms are short. If you also want a social
life and want to get involved in sports/societies you need to have a lot of
energy and the ability to cope with bouts of sleep deprevation. Exam term
can be particularly stressful as courses are generally not modular so your
overall marks may be based on just a week or two of exams. Many people who
end up at Cambridge are very competitive and with most people living and
working together in colleges, life can become quite intense at times.

Cambridge is not the best place for going out although over recent years
more bars and clubs have been opening. Each college will have a bar and
these are perfect for meeting up with college friends. You will not get the
same community feel at most other universities. Your friends tend to be
primarily from your college rather than from your course and almost all
sport is intra-college. If you feel really deprived of good venues to go to
then London is not too far away.

Picking the right course is important -as you don't have much flexibility
for tacking on extra subjects. The Tripos system for switching courses
midway through is available to you but this is not an easy option. Picking
the right college is also important - they vary in terms of
stuffiness/facilities/supervisor quality/accomodation quality and cost. Some
visits and research may be needed because you may also need to justify
choice of college when you go for your interview. Most colleges will provide
rooms for first and third years and some will cater for second years too.
Cost varies but factor in ?60-80 a week for three 10 week terms in college
accomodation. Not having to pay for holidays can make a big difference when
comparing to other universities. You are not supposed to get a part-time
job, but colleges can help out if you find yourself short of cash.

In summary, nice city but not great for clubbing, looks good on the CV but
expect to work and play hard to get the most out of the Cambridge

Cambridge University review

Forget what you think you know.

Cambridge Uni is not all public schoolboys and girls, fresh from a summer on 'Daddy's boat'. In fact any pompous, arrogant, snobs stick out like a saw thumb, and are best avoided.

I'm having a great time, playing football (yes, its not all rugger and rowing!), partying and jotting down the occasional essay. I cannot rate this place highly enough. Everyone I have met here is friendly, down to earth, and easy-going.

The thought did run through my mind, that 'I'll never get in', I have not been straight As throughout school, I've had my fair share of rollockings from teachers, and I'm definitely not 'posh', but I thought I'd give it a shot and now I think it was the best decision I ever made.

A top education and a top student life.

Cambridge University review

Well, Cambridge eh. Either, you're a bit big headed and reckon yourself, or you go to one of those schools where everybody goes to Oxford or Cambridge and so it isn't actually any kind of an achievement anyway, or you're just dreaming. Grow up, people like you don't come to Cambridge...or do they...
Well no, probably not. Because in spite of an access scheme that really tries hard and an ever increasing amount of normal people floating about the dominant accent is still that of the 'gap yaaahh' spoken by people who all call each other by the surname. So if you feel a bit silly calling someone 'Jonesy' then be prepared. Oh and whatever they might say about that access policy that tries so hard to be fair, THERE ARE NO BLACK PEOPLE. Anywhere. Actually, that's not true, there are...three, but the very fact that they are memorable as individuals shows that something is going very wrong. If you live in an area with any kind of ethnic diversity, it takes a week before you start to realise what's wrong. It's like going to university on the set of 'Happy Days'. I have a black friend who was touched 'for luck' in the street once (actually that's not true, I don't know any black people here).
Still, bleed em dry eh. The river's nice, there are (there has to be simply statistically)lots of great people. So come, have a good time, probably. Take the degree and run into the arms of the money God with love in your eyes and a slightly dirty feeling like when you've slept at a friend's house overnight without showering. Just think about it, that's all.

Cambridge University review

I have several friends in different computer science courses across the country. They contain varying levels of technicality and practicality. Whilst some universities strive to teach their students skills in packages, some simple languages, and networking skills, as well as some practical graphics package experience, some others prefer to teach the fundamentals behind these packages. Cambridge is definitely one of the latter, with most of the first year taken up learning about the fundamentals behind computer design, and learning a few simple languages. Most of the course is theoretical in nature, and whilst there are several practically useful languages taught, this is not a course through which you are going to learn how to make Jurassic Park dinosaurs using a Graphics Package - you are more likely to learn how to make the Graphics package itself!

There are obvious tradeoffs between doing a technical course such as this one. Whilst you have a very firm understanding of the theoretical aspects of computing, there is a whole world of practical knowledge that you have to acquire via your own methods. This boils down to saying that you will not be automatically employable at the end of the course, but that you will have to learn yourself some of the practical skills that some employers prefer. What you have from doing this course is the complete comfort in converting from language to language, in changing systems, and in learning new aspects of computing, because you understand the fundamental parts behind the computer, and understand the processes that are taking place.

This course is not light on mathematics, so it is very important that you are slightly interested or at least tolerant of a fairly high standard of mathematics. In your first year you have to do at least a quarter of your course in mathematics, and another natural science subject. In theory there are several to choose from, but in practise nearly everyone does Physics. Physics is considered the hardest work of the first year - even though half your course is still Computer Science, you end up spending most time on the Physics. I did Geology as my Natural Science option, which has given me a lot more time to concentrate on the Computer Science, and I should add that Geology is fun as a subsiduary subject - at least, more fun that Physics.

Certain aspects of the course that could irritate you are: 1) The Discrete Maths lecturer - this course is hard as it is, and the lecturer is a bit boring. 2) The distance to the Computer Labs - this is only a semi-problem, since if you are at one of the far-out colleges, chances are you are close to the labs, and if you aren't, then there are labs in the centre anyway. The main labs are only used for supervisions (once or twice a week), and are only 10-15 mins on a bike from the centre!

Other than the above, there really aren't a lot of problems with the course - it's a good course if you are interested in the theoretical aspects of Computer Science.

In terms of University Life - at Cambridge there is an enormous amount going on. One thing you should consider if you are a keen sportsperson is which college you apply to. The university teams are strong in almost every sport, but when it comes to playing inter-collegiate matches, unless you join one of more sporting colleges (St Johns, Trinity... check their websites) you could be disappointed by the standard. The music scene is vivid - there are literally hundreds of little orchestras and groups and concerts and the like - if you play anything and want to get involved, then the music here is brilliant.

Evening-time activities for the typical Computer Science student are not particularly enervating, so unless you really want to stay in trying to figure out how to crack into the central mail server :-) then you might want to socialise outside of your course. On the whole the Computer Science students (compscis) are very nice people, but just occasionally you find the odd one that.. well.. anyway.

The night-life in Cambridge is notoriously bad, but all things considered I don't think it deserves this record. In truth there aren't many places where there are nearly thirty students-only bars (the colleges) which in theory you are only allowed into if you're a member of that college, but in practise no-one cares. The prices are very good, and on the whole the bars are decent. The most popular is Emmanuel College Bar, so if you are considering choosing college based on the bar activities, I can recommend Emmanuel!

Oh, a few last details. If you're coming to Cambridge, you will almost certainly need a bike. In some subjects at some colleges you can get away with it, but it still can mean 30 min walks to lectures etc... And one final point, any keen badminton/chess/table football/rugby/hockey players, come to King's College. We need you!!! Good luck....

Cambridge University review

Hi, I'm at Cambridge studying English and have just finished my first year. I loved every minute of it.
As you would pobably guess english at cambrige is pretty hard work but if you're the kind of person who also likes to go out with mates and dance, get pissed,stoned, laid whatever then Cambridge really is no different from anywhere else. The amount of random parties I ended up going to! And i still got the work done.
If you love english then you'll love studying at cambridge. There's tons of stuff to do like cool plays - loads of 'normal' ones like shakespeare but tones of wierd obscure ones too - and its mega easy to get involed.
You can pretty much do whatever interests you outside of the subject too. I'm involved in promoting fairtrade and loads of my mates are into music, drama,salsa dancing, massage-that's a great society to join! ;) There's loads of stuff - too much sometimes coz you just wanna do it all!
The people are actually a lot different from what you expect when someone says 'Cambridge'. I haven't met very many snotty, snooty types - everyone's equal really unless you actually ask about their background - I'm from a state school and i'm good mates with public school people - i didn't even know that for months tho!
I can't think of what else to say really. I guess there's also the fact that I had a gap year and am so so so so glad I did. Uni life is so much easier to get used to when u've had a year to xperience the real world - DO IT!
Cambridge really is a wicked uni to go to if you don't mind a bit of hard work and also have the ability to put the work into perspective and make the most of all the opportunities there are to have a good time as well - i couldn't believe how much goes on when i arrived, you really get swept away in it all and meet some seriously fantastic people!
If you've got the brains and the desire to succeed as well as a love of life and all it has to offer you'll benefit no end from a cambridge degree - and anyway, if the excitement, intensity and longs holidays isn't for you you can always leave! But I don't know anyone that's done that.... :)