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Last Chance for Imperial Degree

May 22 2007 12:45
Ashley Brown
Current students wishing to transfer from a University of London to an Imperial College degree have just over a week left to do so.
Last chance to have a blue cube degree

Non final-year students have until 31st May to inform Registry if they wish to switch to an Imperial College degree, rather than remaining on their University of London degree.

College has made a document available describing the differences between the degrees. For most undergraduates it makes little difference, with no changes to examination procedures. Those on the PhD programme will see minor differences in manner of assessment, in particular the makeup of the final examiners. They will no longer have to submit a copy of their thesis to the University of London at Senate House if they opt for the Imperial option.

Students switching to Imperial College degrees will lose easy access to the University of London library, however a ticketing system administered in College will still permit access to those on relevant courses. The biggest changes will come to those using ULU clubs and societies, to which those on Imperial College degrees will no longer have access. Imperial teams will, however, continue to play in ULU cups and leagues.

Anyone wishing to change who has not yet done so should as soon as possible. It is possible to change the decision before 31st May, but not to change it back again.

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Discussion about “Last Chance for Imperial Degree”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
1. Abs   
May 22 2007 15:08


has anyone got an opinion on which is the better degree to have?

I still cant decide. However someone told me that the degree and gowns look better for Imperial (esp for us PGs)!!

May 22 2007 15:15

I opted for a (PG) Imperial degree, because I already have an IC/UL degree and the changes won't affect me much (except they'll save me the journey to Senate House to drop off my thesis).

I believe James Fok and Jon Matthews can advise on the gowns and will hopefully be along shortly... I don't really trust College to do a good job of the degree certificate, but they might surprise me (no Arial font, thanks).

The decision and advice will be different for different people - those currently taking part in ULU clubs would probably be better off sticking with UoL.

May 22 2007 17:54

Isn't it something ridiculous like 30 imperial students who are registered to ULU clubs?

May 22 2007 19:40

Something like that...

May 22 2007 23:13

It's 142 students, according to ULU...

May 22 2007 23:28

At one point 2/3rds of ULU Chamber Choir were IC Students. They had to cut down on their intake this year due to fears that losing IC would cripple the choir. IC still makes up just under 50% though I think. The group even changed their name incase they had to become independant from ULU to continue running.

Before people ask why IC students need to go to Chamber Choir at ULU when we have five perfectly good choirs of our own it is because IC constiution will not allow auditions. And some people like the challenge.

I also went to BALADS once at ULU (Ballroom and Latin American Dance Society). It was strange - there were four guys and five girls in our masterclass. Four of the girls were from Imperial and none of the guys were. Slight misrepresentation there methinks. :)

May 23 2007 00:08

The constitution will not allow auditions? Surely one of the existing choirs can set up a "first team" like the sports teams?

8. haha   
May 23 2007 00:58

A reassuring lack of Union knowledge from DPEW-elect!

9. Tris   
May 23 2007 01:03

Audtioned clubs:

ICSO: all places

Sinfonietta: All non-string players and conductor

Choir: for solos and chamber choir

MTSoc: For solo roles and chorus (I think)

DramSoc: for almost everything

Big Band: for all places, even contraband to an extent

Medics' Choir (as choir)

Medics' Orchestra (as Sinfonietta)

Kirsty, you're on comittee for at least two of those...

10. Tris   
May 23 2007 01:08

Although I should add that chamber choir isn't *technically* auditioned, and that each audition has a loophole alternative.

But the point still holds watertight.

11. Rawden   
May 23 2007 01:33

From the ULU Sports and Societies Regulations:

F.3.2 Membership

i] Membership of a ULU Society shall be open to all full members of the union as defined in section 3.2(a) of the Constitution.

Curiously, I was unable to find the corresponding section in ICU's constitution, although admittedly my search was somewhat cursory.

May 23 2007 01:53

Not sure about the strings, but I was always under the impression that Windband were only technically part of ICSO because ICSO would get into trouble otherwise because of auditioning. I don't know whether that ever had a basis in the letter of some Union regulation, but it was always understood that this was the case.

If not, I don't understand why ICSO ever wanted us to be part of their society, they don't seem to think much of us otherwise.

13. Eugene   
May 23 2007 02:06

Simple... at present Windband is not financially viable without being part of ICSO.

Musical societies all fall under this loophole Tris was talking about (with Sinfonietta strings taking those who were unsuccessful trying for ICSO etc), but it works and there's probably no other way of doing it.

14. Eugene   
May 23 2007 02:15

To Rawden above:

The section you wanted is here:

Section E

The union constitution is:

15. Rawden   
May 23 2007 02:18

Much obliged, Eugene.

Plans are afoot re. this space!

16. MT   
May 23 2007 09:00

MTSoc generally auditions for solo roles but no for chorus, last time I looked.

17. MT   
May 23 2007 09:02

And Dramsoc tends to be similar, audition for a part and they'll try where possible to at least give you a walk-on part in the bigger plays.

18. PK   
May 23 2007 13:02

Is there actually any real benefit from switiching to an Imperial degree? Just reading through the comparision, just seems like you lose stuff if you do switchm, and wont really gain much else!

19. Ant   
May 23 2007 13:03

As clarification Tris, I think you wrong. I can only comment for MTsoc and Dramsoc as those are the two clubs I have ever been involved with.

Neither of the above require auditions for membership and are both open to all as governed by the constitution. Roles for indivdual play roles are obviously auditioned but efforts are made to involve everyone who wishes in a role, and there is the oppourtunity for several plays a year.

There is also all the other activities (workshops, non acting roles eg directing and producing etc) outside of main performed pieces for members to be involved with.

20. Mark   
May 23 2007 13:04

So getting back on track the differences between a UL [PhD] degree and an IC [PhD] degree are:

Different costume at graduation

Different certificate

One extra place to lodge my thesis

...assuming we all make it to graduation...

What happens if it starts all going wrong. I know that we have the GSA to help out here, but don't UL mediate in some circumstances, or has that all already gone?

21. Lily   
May 23 2007 15:27

Tris - MTSoc don't audition for chorus, and as for Dramsoc if you don't get a part, there are many other club activities that you can get involved in (e.g. teching, taking part in workshops, backstage, socials, etc.) So not quite 'almost everything.'

Also, the conductor of an ensemble (like Sinfonietta) takes the role of an Instructor - for which, hopefully, you would want to be selective about.

22. Eugene   
May 23 2007 19:39

Coming to Tris' defence, I think his point was that all Arts and Ents societies hold some sort of audition process but this does not interfere with Union consitution that says any Imperial student can join any club of their choosing, which is not Kirsty's understanding.

And I guess the society with the 'auditioned conductor' is Medics' music, not Sinfonietta.

23. Abs   
May 24 2007 08:26


thanks for your replies. I was just thinking that it wouldnt generally matter too much for most people, unless they happen to want to do kjust the sort of activity being mentioned; because Imperial had so many clubs and socs anyway.

However PK made a good point, is there actually anything gained by switching to the Imperial degree?

24. Ben   
May 24 2007 09:12

The only tangiable gain is that you won't have to visit Senate house if you want a copy of your degree certificate (though you can always get transcripts at Imperial).

Other than that it comes down almost entirely to brand value - which institution would you rather own your certificate (though the UoL certificate does mention Imperial as well).

May 24 2007 09:23

And in the case of brand value I draw your attention to the third para on this:

Yes, he almost equates Imperial with the Central School of Speech and Drama.

May 24 2007 09:34

I'm confused. My reassuring lack of knowledge seemed to be the same as 2/3rds of AEB Exec and three AEB Club Chairs when I was trying to follow this discussion in SAC yesterday.

My point remains that while I know we do have auditioned membership clubs I didn't think we were supposed to. Technically you cannot prevent anyone from joining ICSO, at which point I think you have an obligation to provide an activity in which they can take part. As Maggie pointed out - if you play the double bass and don't pass your audition you are hardly going to fit in on the back desk of flutes in Windband.

Plus usually when we are talking about auditions we try not to publicise the fact all over the union. Until this discussion started the future DPCS was not aware that AEB clubs auditioned for membership (internal auditions are an entirely different ball game eg. solos and chamber choir). This may result in coming under more scrutiny in the future. Perhaps I was deliberately avoiding certain pieces of information. I can be discrete... occaisionally. :o)

However back on point... Switching to an IC degree may be considerred more prestigious but there isn't really any other gain (other than a few less words on your degree certificate and other cosmetics) as far as I can see. Staying with UoL entitles you to join and use ULU and other UoL facilities. For the most part, I doubt the average IC Student would realise they'd lost this privelege - or even had it in the first place. So unless you are one of the 142 people it actually makes a difference to there is not that much to tell between them.

27. Eugene   
May 24 2007 11:15

I so should be revising right now...

Maggie must be misinformed - If you're a double bass player who doesn't get into ICSO, you can still play in Sinfonietta. Windband is for woodwind and brass players who don't make either of the aforementioned (because there are so few parts available). It is not so dissimilar to Rugby who have 4 teams within one club and you are guaranteed play in at least one team. In our case we have several orchestras so you can at least make music in one of them, its just running three orchestras with one committee would be a logistical nightmare hence we have three separate societies for them. You know as well as I do that auditions and tryouts have to exist for an orchestra to perform to a suitable level. There's not much wrong with the current system in my opion.

As for being discrete/discreet, there are probably other aspects of club membership that need addressing more than this auditioning business but let us not get into that.

On IC vs UoL, it seems that staying in UoL retains more benefits so one might as well stick!

On that note, are people registered for IC degrees still allowed to get in to Phase at King's and Crush at LSE on a Friday night? That will affect more students, surely.

28. Pedant   
May 24 2007 12:20

>>Kirsty "I can be discrete... occaisionally. :o)"

And I can be continuous. Or did you mean discreet?

May 24 2007 12:55

I refer you to Section E blah de blah 63 of the Clubs thingy:

Initiation ceremonies, or other compulsory (or effectively compulsory) degrading rituals, which affects the physical or mental well-being of members, are not permitted. Such behaviour may result in severe disciplinary action being taken against the club or society, its committee and any others involved, and may result in the dissolution of the club or society.

I consider auditions to come under this, bringing to attention the humiliation of failing

May 24 2007 13:19

trust james to provide the tongue in cheek remarks. try explainin that rule to chaps, links and the other member of the three ties clubs...

May 24 2007 13:23

Does the same thinking(?) apply to sports team trials?

May 24 2007 13:40

The '22, Chaps and Links clubs (and Comus, Beans, Pinks, Virgins, MSF, Druids, Lodge etc) are not part of the Union....

May 24 2007 16:33

Does the same thinking(?) apply to sports team trials?

Not if the club provides different teams for different abilities within the club. Trials are purely to find out where you will be best fit. This doesn't stop you from joining the club if you aren't good enough.

May 31 2007 12:09

If you wanted to switch and haven't yet, you need to do it today...

35. PK   
Jun 05 2007 11:47

So now the deadline had passed, any ideas on the % of those that opted for an Imperial degree and those that opted for a UL degree? I stuck with UL, hope i'm not the only one lol!

Jun 05 2007 12:03

I will be asking registry this information in a week or two ... it will probably take them that long to sort out all the records.

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