Imperial College London is a university that ranks in top five in UK rankings and in world rankings.
It finished fifth and fourth in last two years in top universities in the world.
Last year was universities 100 years celebration. 1907 was when three colleges were merged to create one university.
Students starting this year will get Imperial College degrees awarded by the university; it gained this status last year after becoming independent.
Imperial has campuses in South Kensington, Ascot, and in Kent. It has merged with many of top hospitals in London. In the past it has excelled in medicine and engineering, this continues, also, it has built a new management college from money awarded by a past pupil.
It is a really good university to go to for clever people. Admission rate remains at around 18% of people applying through UCAS. Most get rejected.
Main focus of this university is Medicine, science and Engineering. It often finishes third behind Oxbridge brigade although in 1999-2000 tables it was second to Cambridge.
University has very good structure. Libraries are in every campus, sports facilities excellent. University has 30 halls of residence. A place for first year students is guaranteed. It has 200 million research grants each year which is one of the highest in the country. Night life is what you make of it. It is London.
I have attended three universities already including Imperial, and currently doing my PhD here. Previously, I studied in Canada at U. of Toronto where I did my BSc and went to Queen Mary in London to do an MSc. There is a big difference between Toronto, Queen Mary and Imperial. Toronto was much more competitive and academically oriented than Queen Mary. But at the same time, it was similar to Toronto in the sense that sometimes you felt like people around you were sort of 'well dressed and groomed' (if you know what I mean) and this put pressure on you to also dress well. But I am not the kind of person, who likes to dress up, so I always felt like a nerd in Toronto and Queen Mary.
Imperial is a different world. I feel much comfortable here. No one cares about what the other person is wearing. Everyone's a nerd and everyone's serious about work.
About future job prospects, I have honestly started getting much more responses after coming to Imperial for job offers and interviews. Almost everywhere I apply to, I get a positive response. I am not entirely sure what caused this, but a lot more employers come to Imperial to hire graduates than what I have seen at Queen Mary or Toronto.
I am about to start my second year at Imperial College studying Chemical Engineering. Imperial is constantly ranked in the top 5 universities in the UK in most ranking guides (The others being Oxford Cambridge LSE and UCL). This means that in the business world it is well perceived and this is no more apparent than by the number of relationships it has with various companies. In a nutshell this means that hopefully I can graduate with a degree that will get me a well paid job for a upwardly mobile company. The college has around 10,000 students and is a constituent element of the federal University of London although it enjoys quite a high level of autonomy. Area Imperial is based in the rather affluent district of South Kensington near the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. South ken is a particularly affulent area of central london and most of the halls of residence are located within walking distance. Accomodation All first years get a place in Halls of residence. There are two types, the ones directly owned by Imperial and the ones that are owned by the university of London, a federal body that Imperial is a part of. Imperial College Halls are all self catering except for one; Linstead which offers an evening meal on weekdays. This extra meal of course requires a supplementary fee and I have to be honest although I have not tasted the food I am informed it is not exactly great. The self-catering aspect is not a huge hurdle as a supermarket is within walking distance from all halls and a taxi split between a few of you for an especially large shop breaks down to only a couple of quid each. Imperial's halls have a variety of leases. Most include the christmas vacation as a 34 week let and then there are a variety of 39 (includes Easter holiday) and 51 weeks (usually for halls in which a large proportion of the residents are overseas or postgraduate students) The University o
f London halls are available only on a 31 week let. This basically means that you have to move all of your stuff out for the xmas and easter vacations which can be a bit of a bind. In general they are a little further from campus as they cater for all university of London students and not just Imperial ones. On the upside it means that you meet a wider variety of people and in addition they are generally catered having breakfast and tea catered for during the week. I am not sure what provision is made for the weekends having never lived in one of these halls. If you are particularly useless in the kitchen or desperate then there are plenty of fast food outlets within walking distance from most halls such as Burger King or KFC or even 24 hour shops. It should also be noted that with the opening of Beit Hall in the same building of the union the standard of Imperial accomodation rises on past years. Some of the more lacklustre halls were only kept open for the 2000/01 term because beit was not yet ready. Beit Hall is opposite the departments of Chemical Engineering and Physics and is composed almost entirely of high quality single ensuite rooms. The theory being they will be worth more when rented out to businessmen and visitors to seminars based on Imperial's campus during the vacation periods when the students aren't there. Nightlife Living in central London enables you to take part in pretty much any activity you could possibly want to. I am not going to go into details as it is somewhat unnecessary given the sheer volume of possibilities. Regarding the provision via the university there is the students union which incorporates a pub and dance floor with facilities for a large screen for those must see football matches. The beer prices are significantly cheaper than in the local area or pretty much anywhere in central London so expect to see more students there as the term progresses and bankruptcy looms. <
br> In addition the univesity has its own cinema screen (i think the 7th largest in central London but do not hold me to that) the films are a couple of weeks after mainstream release but being a bit cheaper it is something you might want to consider. Societies Imperial has many societies although not nearly as many as most other universities. A large proportion are dedicated to the various nationalities that have a high prescence at Imperial although most other sorts are present in some form. Notably absent though is a Liberal Democrat society so if anyone thinking of coming here who is a budding politician, hold that thought! There is a large careers fair every October mainly aimed at students who are about to graduate, so they can organise interviews for the spring. Students from other years (including myself) do find them useful though to organise summer work and maybe even look into what field they may eventually want to take part in. Many students from Imperial due to its science based academic nature do not go into careers related to their disciplines and instead work in the city tempted by the high value starting pay cheques and potential golden hand shakes (loan pay offs). If you are interested in this sort of job (many students become so when they get bored of their degree after four years) then Imperial's location and status promotes it. From a sporting point of view Imperial has a very strong rowing team. This was shown at last years olympics with strong representation in the 8s. The other teams have varying performance dependent on any given year and although the facilties are decent the sports field are a fair way off. One near Heathrow is actually rented out to Chelsea as a training ground. Either way all main sports are catered for so the opportunity is there. The studying.. Last but by no means list the studying, I have only cursory knowledge of course other than my own but as a gen
eral rule the work is hard. Speaking to many of my friends I get the impression I am working harder than them but the difference varies from course to course. At the end of the day Science/Engineering students will be working pretty hard wherever they go, but it does seem that we always have more work due. The necessary work ethic is most noticeable in the fact that Imperial is one of the only universities where the first year counts in nearly every subject towards the final degree classification. In most cases you merely have to pass each year until the last, at Imperial the mark you get is cumulative. The downside is this means you have to work hard from the first year so while your friends are aiming for 30% in the knowledge they can swot up later you have to be aiming as high as you can. It's a great place but it does require commitment and hard work and that is not everybody's cup of tea
Choosing the right uni can be a daunting task and if you are vaguely into science/technology, and expect to achieve AAB or higher in A-levels, chances are that you might be considering Imperial. Imperial College is hard work: If you are/were top of your class at school, you most likely will not be here with both standards and workload being very high, even in your first undergraduate year! This is NOT a place to go to 'to have a bit of fun before getting a real job' - that's what Westminster and City University (and to a lesser degree King's and UCL) are there for. On the bright side, you are being taught by top-quality people, you're in London and - on graduation - you are going to get much higher paid jobs with *average* staring salaries of ~£29000. One word of caution for prospective Medical students though: ICSM is a relatively recent 'purchase' and standards there are not as high as the name 'Imperial College' might suggest. (also, noone at IC likes medics, but that's another matter)
When deciding on a university all I really thought about was what is the best place I can get in to and is it in a feasible location? It is impossible to tell what a place is REALLY like until you have actually studied there. All the information you are given by the unis’ themselves is geared towards attracting students and it is often hard to tell one prospectus from another. In response to my first two questions Imperial came top of the list. However there are many other aspects that should be considered before applying here. As a first year Physicist at Imperial I can only give my own experiences but I think most of the points generally apply. Many people say London is very impersonal and a difficult place to meet people. This is true to an extent, but if you make a point of getting to know other first years (and if you live in halls, other hall members) then you have an instant group of friends. The stereotypical view of a student is someone who constantly parties, drinks and ‘loafs’ from the state. I would love to be able to do that but Imperial is definitely Work-Orientated. I know Physics is especially busy but 24 hours of lectures and labs a week is fairly common, plus all the problem sheets and reports to complete in your own time. As for loafing, the lack of student grant and fairly small loan means that it will cost you or you parents quite a bit to live in London (I don’t think it would be possible to live on the loans for four years without shouldering some hefty debt at the end of it). From what I have heard from my friends at other universities, Imperial does things quite differently. These include the refusal to be affiliated with the NUS. You can either see this as stubborn and arrogant, or as traditional and eccentric. Either way the choice to come to imperial cant be made lightly.
Picture the scene; you’ve finished your A levels, you’ve got your grades, and you’re off to Imperial college London. There are two things that you would expect: firstly you would expect that the college lived-up to its’ great reputation; and secondly that there would be some degree of recreation after a hard days’ work. Sadly neither of these are true. I’m studying Chemistry here, and after only one term I wish that I’d gone somewhere else. The department in which I work is unimpressive, and the idea of recreation seems to be a foreign concept to most people here. I can literally count the number of pros on one hand, and I still have trouble using all five fingers. An average day consists of about 3-4 forty-five minute lectures, followed by a gruelling and somewhat pointless 3 hours lab session of some description. But that’s not all folks!, after returning home at about 5 O’clock, you have the following tasks to perform. Feed yourself, do the numerous problem sheets you’ve been set, and also find a little time to do that coursework that they expect back in a week’s time. As you can gather life is not all that much fun!!! This would not be too much of a problem except for the small fact that you need to find some time to sleep amidst this mayhem. Let’s do the maths. In order to get any decent amount of sleep you need to be asleep by 11.30 to get up at 8.00 for your 9.00 lecture. 8.5 hours sleep is what I consider to be the bare minimum you need in order to be able to concentrate to a reasonable level. So this means you probably need to be in bed by 11.00. the gives you six hours between end of the day, and bed time. Feeding yourself takes about 30-40 minutes to cook something, and about 20 minutes to eat it, and 10 minutes to relax. Total time approximately 60 minutes. It’s now 6 O’clock. Next are the problem sheets; these will take you between 60-120
minutes depending on the difficulty (hard) and the amount of reading you have to do yourself in order to answer them (lots). An average time of 90 minutes, so it’s now 7.30. Ah yes, now to the course work. Given the length of the deadline and the volume of work required it will probably take you about one hour per night until it is due in, that makes it 8.30. Now if you’re anything like me, having basically worked from 8.00am until 8.30pm you’re going to be pretty fed-up and generally aggravated, so you probably won’t go downstairs to see your mates in case you accidentally stab one of them in a fit of fury. You will need about 45 minutes to wind-down before being civilised again. It’s now 9.15pm and time to see some people, but where are they all?...... well they’re in their rooms either working, asleep, or contemplating suicide. It could be at minimum another 45 minutes until you see them again making it 10.00pm. well that’s about it really; you’re pretty much forced to retreat to your room and wait-out the time until they come out (if ever) and by the time this arrives you won’t be in the mood; you’ll be depressed, and quite frankly not much fun to be with. I’m sure that there’s something missing from the above scheme...... oh yes; it seems that the recreation section has been omitted.... this is for a good reason. On the very rare occasions when you do have an extra hour to spend socialising, you will probably think to yourself "I know, I’ll go and get everyone else and we’ll all go and have a drink and unwind a bit"; your plan is perfect except for two major flaws. Firstly other people are either working, or secondly, they just don’t want to come out. You have no idea what it is like to be a hermit unless you have attended Imperial college!! There are stories that a person who used to live in my halls "Fell" out of their wi
ndow and died. It is not really that difficult to understand why, plus the fact that if you want to leave your mark (so to speak) at Imperial college, this is probably one of the most enjoyable ways to do it!! As for all the wild parties that you have read about at other universities..... Forget it!! The only drugs you’ll be taking at Imperial college are antidepressants. To sum-up: If you want to keep your sanity, go somewhere else, Kings London or UCL are good bets. I cannot advise strongly enough that you DO NOT come here. I must state that I do not condone the use of illegal drugs, but my views on this are slowly changing since attending this college. The chance of a little escapism is non-existent. --------------------------------------------- Well, here is my contribution in order to keep this as the most damming and important review of this college ever published. It is nearing the end of the year now and it should be a time for rejoice and celebrations, instead I am in the process of working out which university I am going to attend next year. With the continuing misery that prevails at this establishment it is sad that it has come to this but sadly (thanks to the college’s ‘sympathetic policy’ towards student problems and difficulties) I am left with no other options. It is worth mentioning that the rest of the first year would be well-advised to follow my course of action as they are all going to fail the end of year tests. Whether they know this and don’t care, or whether they do and are simply denying the reality of the situation still remains a mystery to me. It would not surprise me if the latter was the case, because it seems to be the general code of practice here to pretend that you understand the work so that you don’t appear to be the only one who doesn’t understand it. Ignorance is an abundant quality here. It is quite a
n amusing situation to watch. It is rumoured that Imperial College is a renowned seat of learning (probably an old wives tale), however it is obvious that the students here are neither overburdened with intelligence nor personality given the above evidence and my previous writings. My experience here at imperial college has taught me one thing: that suicide has a new name; it is called Imperial college chemistry second year!!! I now have to decide what course of action to take. I can either change universities and continue on this mind-numbing Chemistry course, or take the easy option as many do and decide to study medicine. I anticipate the usual flaming that accompanies my reports on this universities. So, ladies and gentlemen, light your matches and let the grilling commence!!!!
I have just completed an MSc. degree in Computing Science (1 year) at Imperial College after having done a joint honour degree in Math and Computing (3 years) at UCL. Having been at 2 different and good universities, I feel that I am able to give a valuable contrasting opinion both. Imperial is a university for the sciences and not the arts. It has an extremely competitive environment (compared to UCL) where most courses are industry-related and students are taught to face the latest technologies and issues in the industrial world. I did not find this at UCL. I found that I was very much learning as a student and not as someone who would be using the knowledge to go out and work in the comercial and industrial world. At Imperial, courses are very up-to-date. You learn about the latest technologies and get to apply the knowledge first hand due to the very good facilities. Lecturers have very high standards. Hard work is a must at Imperial, because if you don't do so, you just don't realise your potential and how much you could really learn in such a short time. I can honestly say that after spending 3 years at UCL, I did not learn half as much as I did at my one year study at Imperial. It was a tough year, but it was well worth all the effort. UCL caters for the arts as well as the sciences. So you get to meet various people from engineering students to drama students. I missed this very much at Imperial as a variety of interests and culture in the learning place makes it so much nicer. UCL has a very historical look, like olden Greek architecture. Imperial has more of a modern industrial-look which, after UCL was quite disappointing. Imperial, however, is situated in the posh residential area of Kensington (flats and apartments are expensive to rent!), whilst UCL is situated in the busy and noisy area of Euston and Kings Cross. It (UCL) is, however, more accessible to greater parts of central london as it is within 5-10 minute walking dis
tance to many tube stations namely Euston, Kings Cross, Warren Street, Russell Square, Euston Square and Goodge Street which carry most of the London Underground Tube Lines. Imperial, on the other hand is a 10 minute walk from both South Kensington tube station and Gloucestor Road tube station which are not so accessible to central london (because of the slow Circle and District Lines, unless you take the Piccadilly line). Both universities have the usual student bars, clubs and societies . There is not much difference between the two in this aspect. The library at Imperial is much better equipped with up-to-date books (with many copies of each) compared to UCL. Well, that's about it. I hope my comments help.
Imperial College is loaded with places you can find good cheap food. Except its not good. And its not even exceptionally cheap, either. The union sells food in DaVinci's during lunch and dinner hours. 12-2pm and about 6-9pm. It's cheap - you can get a rice and curry for £1.25, and top it up with the beer of your choice from the adjoining bar. However, all union food is bad. All of it. I mean this. For breakfast and lunch, you can use the junior common room, located on the walkway (just ask any random student where it is) which sells a variety of prepackaged sandwiches, crisps, chocolate, drinks, etc, but also does a selection of hot food - chips, pasta, etc. This costs about 3 or 4 pounds for, say, a piece of chicken, some chips and a can of carbonated beverage. You can get your food for less, though. The main dining hall, the entrance to which is near the queens tower, sells a larger variety of the same stuff, minus the prepackaged sandwiches. Reminds me of a school cafeteria. Its alright though. Finally, theres Basics, the pizza place nestled in under Southside Halls. £2.50 will buy you a small portion of pasta, £4 will buy you a nice pizza for one, and two people + drinks can be managed for under £10. Also, they do this really nice chocolate cake thing for dessert - £1.50. If you are a student of imperial college, flash your swipecard/union card and get VAT off your food, although they do also happily feed non students and lost tourists. The main
Imperial College has an excellent reputation, that, I am sure, will serve me well in later life. I am a medical student about to enter my 5th year of study, and feel very lucky to be where I am today. I have just intercalated in Management, and together with my degree in Medicine, I feel will serve me well in later life. Imperial College School of Medicine is arguably one of the best, if not the best, medical school in the country, and the Management School is also one of the best in the country. There are obvious disadvantages of living in London, ie cost of living, but you will be a student once in your life, and there can be no better place to go than London with its vast varety of nightlife, and daylife, that you really have to experience to believe. You can do far, far worse than Imperial College, London.
Medical schools do tend to be over-advertised somewhat when it comes to this time of year, with young Lower Sixth students preparing to make their choices. So here's my opinion on ICSM (Imperial College School of Medicine). Not that it's bad, in fact having a new lecture hall built by the same person who built the new Reichstag is probably good. Having a multi-million pound communication system which doesn't work isn't. Being a product of a merge which brought St. Mary's and Charing Cross Hospital together brings a whole new year of expertise. Having the rest of Imperial College hate you for being medical students is probably not a good thing. I could go on about this for more than the number of words alloted per opinion. So here's my final word. Come here if you want, but don't think it will be a bed of roses.
I love it at Imperial College. The work is hard, but this is something that you would expect from one of the top universities in the country. It’s not cheap either, but it is in the heart of London. It has defiantly been worth it for me though. I have meet some great new friends who I hope to hold onto for the rest of my life, and have made myself independent and more grown up. I am enjoying my course, and living in halls has been excellent.
After visiting thier open day I can safely say along with the times that is easily the second best university in the UK and if not the best. Imperial obviously specialises in the sciences and if you want to go there it would be best to study a science or medicine . The open day was very well organised so you had the chance to visit two departments during your visit. As Imperial has roceted up the leader board for universities the asking grades for each subject have also rose a lot but if you get in their your carrer will almost be sorted !
I have just completed my first year as a Biology undergrauduate at Imperial College which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I had never heard of Imperial College until I was applying to universities, and had no idea that it was rated 2nd in the country. I enjoyed my time in halls, and was very sad to leave, although I found the work tough at times. There is a lot of variety in the type of students and in what there is to do in London which makes life interesting and exciting, but you should expect to work hard (unless you are a medic....). An all-science environment might put some people off, as well as the extreme abundance of typical male scientist geeks. But there are bound to be plenty of people with whom you will be able to make friendships which will last forever!
I have just completed my 1st year of medicine at Imperial, which is situated in South Kensington in London. In terms of location, this is great becuase it means you get to say you lived opposite either Harrods or the Science Museum if you live in halls. Remember though that it is a really expensive place to find accomodation in after halls! The nightlife at Imperial itself is not great: men would especially say so because there's a 70:30% male:female ratio here. However, you're in London, so you really don't need a great uni. nightlife, and the clubs here are very good - you can have a go at practically anything. A few words about the med school - you get NO written work in the first year, but to pass the exam you do actually have to work quite hard, so it is quite a self motivating course. You do get to meet lots of patients very early though, which is good, and the teaching is excellent. I have really enjoyed it here and I would say the course is brilliant, it is just the uni. itself which may put some people off.
Imperial College is well worth attending, as it has a wide variety of fun things to do. There are a few bars and places to eat on site. Situated off Exhibition Road it is within walking distance of a wide and varied range of places to eat and drink. The night life is well worth attending this college for and the courses aren't that bad either. The accommodation is varied as you can live in the halls of residence, or you can find a flat in the surrounding area (some being less infested than others), so if you want fun, good night life and not too much written work I recommend I C to you.