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When considering a university application, the first aspect most students fixate on is how well their respective universities perform on various ranking tables. Comparisons are often made on the Complete University Guide or Times Higher Education, and the most common discussion in a Sixth Form classroom revolves around Is it in the top 10? or Does it have high graduate prospects? 

Imperial College London is widely considered (and ranked) as one of the top five universities in the UK. So, what else? Here are five more important aspects which are often overlooked during the application process which I feel are extremely important in making this decision – coming from myself, an undergraduate student at Imperial. 

1. Student community support 

Courses at Imperial College London are designed to pique your academic interest. They push you to learn a wide variety of content in equally as much depth. Coupled with cutting-edge research and up-to-date case studies, it ensures that upon completion you will have an in-demand skill set that is relevant to employers.

This however, at times, can be challenging. Therefore, an important aspect is the welfare and support available to students, which at Imperial, is second to none. Although I have only been part of this community, I now call home, for six months, as an Intercalated BSc student, already feel so welcomed by both staff and students. Regarding any issues, the welfare staff are always at hand, and only an email away.  

2. Extra-curricular activities  

In addition to the core course learnings, there are immense prospects to take forward any aspects of the course which you find most interesting. These can simply be in the form of extra research to publishing research articles in high-quality journals.

Aside from the course, there are incredible opportunities to take part in more industry learning. For example, recently I attended ProductCon, the largest management conference in the world, where I felt inspired to hear from speakers of FTSE 100 and S&P 500 companies regarding their future.  

Horizons is the Centre for Languages, Culture & Communication's flagship programme for undergraduates. It offers all students to learn a new skill, such as a modern language or creative writing.  

The Enterprise Lab offers an accelerator programme that offers expertise and funding to bring a product idea you have to life. This year, the winner of the Venture Catalyst Challenge, run by the Enterprise Lab, created a ‘plastic alternative from seafood waste that breaks down in any natural environment, allowing consumers to throw away their waste worry-free’. By taking part in both the course and these extra-curricular opportunities, you are able to not only develop core knowledge, but you also gain soft skills such as teamworking, presenting and leadership.    

Furthermore, there are over 380 sports clubs and societies on offer from American Football and the Comedy Society to Water Polo and Yoga, that allow you to connect to a whole range of people with similar interests, even if you didn’t know that you had them. 

3. The faculty  

The lecturers at Imperial are among the best in the world. These are professors at the very top of their fields and have a genuine interest in teaching. The lectures are informative, interactive and engaging. They also allow for natural discussion to grow and encourage innovative thinking.

However, and most importantly, they want to help. Many faculty members host regular drop-in sessions and are quick to reply to emails offering solutions to problems you may encounter. They also invite some of the best guest lectures to supplement textbook learning with real-life examples. For example, the CEO of iDal, Mariya Grinina, recently gave an honest talk about the truth of being an entrepreneur and the challenges she faced in growing her business.

4. The facilities  

The Business School has some of the best facilities on offer for its students. Group study spaces or ‘Vaults’ are kitted out with whiteboards and monitors to allow efficient ideation sessions for group projects.  

As part of the wider university, Ethos is the gym and swimming pool located just across the road. It’s free during off-peak hours and only £40 a year for unlimited access. There is also a huge variety of food available both inside the campus and around South Kensington will ensure that you can have something new every day, and if that wasn’t enough, you can always bring a packed lunch and eat it in Hyde Park, which is just up the road! 

5. Social events 

Events take place in a huge variety of cool locations around London, however the two which are most memorable, are the Natural History Museum welcome party and Graduation. The welcome party takes place inside the Natural History Museum. The museum closes its doors to the public and allows the Business School Community to take pictures, mingle and dance under the 25.2-metre-long blue whale skeleton. With all staff and students present, it is the perfect introduction to the family.

Graduation, which comes a lot quicker than you think, marks the completion of your studies. To celebrate this occasion, Imperial students dress in gowns and pointy caps, and receive their degree scrolls in a ceremony conducted at Royal Albert Hall, making it probably the coolest place to end your time at university.  

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Student standing in front of a fountain

About Jay Nagpal

Intercalated BSc 2021-2022