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Different universities

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
edited March 27 in Work & Study
As some might know I am applying to study in the UK. Being that I haven't had an opportunity to visit the universities which I am interested in I need to apply according to my gut feeling (after researching the places from prospectuses of course).

I want to study Politics and International Relations, and I was wondering if people could give some tips on what each of the universities is known for? What you personally thought of the place? What's special about it? etc.

So here's the list I've been looking at (apart from the ones I am sure that I am applying to - LSE and Warwick):

Sheffield
Exeter
Southhampton
Manchester
Bristol
Nottingham
UEA
Leeds

Help appericiated :)
Post edited by JustV on
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    manchester and bristol sound like good bets :) as overall they tend to be at least okay in everything and are brilliant in other subjects

    i visited bristol, nottingham and manchester for my ucas

    bristol - very hilly, not quite a campus university, lovely city, not too disperce but not too crowded, and friendly people


    manchester - busy, like most cities tend to be, ermm can tell its a lot of fun the place, i visited UMIST myself so cant actually comment on university, but i do know manchester unis are all next to eachother, so it has largest student density in england and not too expensive either


    nottingham - nice uni very campus like and seems really friendly, well i sorta pulled at my interview :p and has some good facilities, but i went to look at chemistry, they seem to focus on overall university life, not jsut subject, like bristol and manchester, london unis seem to be more about doing good, but dont quote me on that
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sheffield - Good academically they say it has one of the top rated politics departments in the country. I didn't much care for the campus though as it was right in the centre of Sheffield so everything around it was a bit grim. Also the Politics department is quite well away from the rest of the university.

    Exeter - Obviously I like this one because I am going to be a student there come the end of this month! Again it has a good politics department. I really like the Campus, it is all very green and pretty. Only downside is that most of the campus is on a hill.

    Out of the ones you are considering, they are the only ones I can comment on.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Be careful with picking your uni before you've looked around.

    I went to look at a Uni, and I really really didn't like it there one bit. There was something about the place, and I just thought I'm not gonna spend 3 years of my life here. It didn't feel right.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by lucifer devil
    Be careful with picking your uni before you've looked around.

    I went to look at a Uni, and I really really didn't like it there one bit. There was something about the place, and I just thought I'm not gonna spend 3 years of my life here. It didn't feel right.

    Unfortunately I don't have an option of looking around first. Though I get what you're saying.

    Thanks for the advice so far.

    More info about the places is very very welcome!
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thought about applying to Scotland? Becuase you are an EU student you won't have to pay the £1000 tuition fees like you would have to pay in England. Its free! woohoo!

    St Andrews and Edinburgh are both really good unis.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    manc rocks! Only bin here a couple of days.... but yeah best place you could go. Great atmosphere. you could do alot worse!
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Right, the only two on that list that i know are Exeter and UEA (surprisingly enough :p)

    My overwhelming feeling on Exeter was that it was very hilly. Like, that's the entire impression i came away with when i visited on the open day, and when i was there visiting Alistair that didn't change. I'm sure it's a really nice, warm place to be but i personally didn't like it. It's very sports-orientated (ie, when i was being shown around it was like, 5 minutes on the rest of the campus and an hour in the new sports centre), and there didn't seem to be much of a community feel, maybe because it's so spread out. On the other hand, it is a very pretty campus, and there's a lot going on there. It's also quite near the sea :p

    UEA, which is where i am, is possibly the most ugly campus in the world. It's all concrete, on many different levels, and it's bloody cold in the winter as it's right on the North Sea so we get the wind. However, it has 4 bars (i think, i can't really remember since all the refurbishment went on), is a major part of the uni gigging scene for bands, has a pretty campus (like, apart from all the concrete), and has one central area which everything focusses around, which i missed at Exeter. There's a lot going on, both in town and on campus itself, and it has buildings which are fun to climb.

    Having said that, i suggest that you pounce on me on MSN if you want to know anything about UEA and i'm sure the same goes for Alistair and Exeter :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    leeds is the kind of place you either love or hate, i think.

    it's got one of the biggest student populations in europe, so if you're into a busy lifestyle, and you're dead sociable, it'll suit you down to the ground.

    but if you're a bit more sedate and reserved, you might find it all a bit much.

    although i have to say, i loved being at leeds. it's why i've never moved away - none of the unis i visited have the same feel to them.

    couldn't tell you it's best subject areas (how shit am i?) but i know that it is respected by potential employers. everyone's dead impressed when i tell them i got a degree from leeds. they are somewhat less impressed when i tell them what it was in, but that's a different story.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Renzokuken
    Sheffield - Good academically they say it has one of the top rated politics departments in the country. I didn't much care for the campus though as it was right in the centre of Sheffield so everything around it was a bit grim. Also the Politics department is quite well away from the rest of the university.

    Exeter - Obviously I like this one because I am going to be a student there come the end of this month! Again it has a good politics department. I really like the Campus, it is all very green and pretty. Only downside is that most of the campus is on a hill.

    Out of the ones you are considering, they are the only ones I can comment on.

    University of Sheffield isn't right in the middle, Hallam is though (just outside the station), are you talking about Hallam? I'm going to the university of sheffield, visited a couple of times, it's a great set-up. High overall reputation (just like any other red brick really)and the union is often voted the best in the UK. Great student city too.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Museman
    University of Sheffield isn't right in the middle, Hallam is though (just outside the station), are you talking about Hallam? I'm going to the university of sheffield, visited a couple of times, it's a great set-up. High overall reputation (just like any other red brick really)and the union is often voted the best in the UK. Great student city too.

    I visited The University of Sheffield. I really didn't like the way I could see all this industrial stuff around it. The Politics department was a good walk from the rest of the uni too. It definatly seemed middle of the city to me.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I go to Exeter.

    Good points:
    - Beautiful campus/nice area of the country
    - Nice accommodation on the whole
    - Hills keep you fit!
    - Great shopping
    - Lots of nice pubs
    - Not too much going on that you're exhausted!
    - Doesn't get cold - was frosty twice all last year!

    Bad points:
    - 1/3 of halls accommodation is shared.
    - It rains. Every day. All winter. All spring. All autumn. Summer's good tho!
    - Expensive. Very expensive. Think £65+ a week for a decent room not including bills.
    - Clubs are okay but nothing to write home about.

    Most people in Exeter aren't big clubbers. If you're looking to go out and get wasted every night, Exeter is not the place for you. It is, however, big on pubs which is where students spend most evenings.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yep I think Manchester is good place. To be honest I didn't really get to have a good look round 'cuz when I went the whole place was on strike (you see I live in Portugal so I only got the letter about that a week AFTER I'd gone there looking like a mug :rolleyes: ) lol. But I hada good look round Salford, but it didn't really appeal.
    Anyways, Manchester has a very good rep. and it excelles in most departements, I've heard! Also near an airport if you gonna be travelling back n forth to home etc.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for the replies so far! Keep 'em coming :)

    Btw, groovechampion, after your post I have decided to look into Scottish Unis too :)
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    littlemissylittlemissy Posts: 9,972 Supreme Poster
    Originally posted by Jacqueline the Ripper
    Unfortunately I don't have an option of looking around first. Though I get what you're saying.

    I didn't look round my uni before applying or accepting and it was still a good decision (I went to Edinburgh)

    University of Sheffield isn't right in the middle, Hallam is though (just outside the station), are you talking about Hallam?

    Hallam is outside the station, yes. Its more of a polytechic though so I would be surprised if Renzo meant Hallam. However, Sheffield Uni isn't too far away from town; a 5 minutes bus/tram ride I think.

    Sheffield is a nice place, I quite like it here. I don't know how good the unis are though but as a place I thought it was quite nice. And Meadowhall isn't too far away :p

    The only other Uni I can comment on is Bristol; one of the best unis in the country.
    Btw, groovechampion, after your post I have decided to look into Scottish Unis too

    If looking at Scottish Unis then you cannot go wrong with Edinburgh; fantastic Politics Dept, great student life, lovely place to live. Unless you want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere in a very posh golfing town then I wouldn't consider St Andrews. It is a good university and you can't go wrong with a degree from there but it is not the friendliest place in Scotland, its very small and isolated too.

    Don't forget Glasgow; possibly the friendliest city in Scotland (if you are in the right bits ;) ) Lovely uni campus, good student life. Not sure what the politics department is like though.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I also looked at Southampton and found the campus nice. The geography department were very hard-sell though and I wasn't keen on the city itself.

    My sister went to UEA a few weeks back and hated it - concrete jungle.

    I also went to Leeds Uni to stay with my boyfriend for a week and whilst I had a good time while I was there, I would hate to live there. It's very cold, very smoggy, very noisy and non-stop - there's something on every night and you always feel like you're missing out if you don't go to it. If I'd gone to Uni there I know I would have spent a fortune and been exhausted. The week in Leeds made me determined to go to a smaller Uni rather than a big City one.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I went to the Glasgow open day on weds and compltely and utterly fell in love with it. AS for the ones you've said I only know about manchester/leeds/exeter because i'm looking at the first two also, and my brother goes to exeter. they all look good.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bristol is a good un.

    Not sure about Politics in particular, but i do know you have to be very clever to even get in for most things so?
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd say generally the further you get away from London the more social things are likely to be.

    I went to a brand new university - which at the time had lots of pros and cons, the biggest cons being the whole city wasn't setup for students.

    You'll learn more out of class at uni then you do int he class, i.e. independance, making new friends, etc
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by littlemissy
    Hallam is outside the station, yes. Its more of a polytechic though so I would be surprised if Renzo meant Hallam. However, Sheffield Uni isn't too far away from town; a 5 minutes bus/tram ride I think.

    Sheffield is a nice place, I quite like it here. I don't know how good the unis are though but as a place I thought it was quite nice. And Meadowhall isn't too far away :p
    .

    I know, I'm going there! It seems Renzo does mean the uni, but in terms of how people refer to former polytechnics, they're all refered to as universities now all the time, they are fully fledged unis. The only people who talk about 'the poly down the road' are people in cities with more than one uni who go to the redbrick! University of sheffield is one of the top places in the country, just been rated inside the top 20 in Europe in fact. Often rated as best Union in the country too by Virgin etc. Another useless fact same time tomorrow!
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for suggestions and tips!

    So far it's definite that I am applying to LSE, Warwick and Sheffield.

    But I'd still love to hear other opinions. Everything counts really as I want a thorough picture of the places of possible, bearing in mind that I can't visit first :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    .
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by girl with sharp teeth
    I'm not trying to dictate anything, but Tal, I personally think you'd hate Sheffield. I just really don't see it as being your kind of place.

    Mind to specify why?
    I mean from their prospectus I have been very impressed, but of course they won't publish anything bad!

    And I actually appericiate you telling me that, in the end I make the decision, but at least I got the warning.

    Btw, for anyone who's thinking of replying to the thread, I like options. Which means I am after a place where I can go to town, and see things, shop, see exhibitons, cafés, clubs, somewhere not too isolated, somewhere with a pulse - when talking about location.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Jacqueline the Ripper
    Btw, for anyone who's thinking of replying to the thread, I like options. Which means I am after a place where I can go to town, and see things, shop, see exhibitons, cafés, clubs, somewhere not too isolated, somewhere with a pulse - when talking about location.

    then i suggest one of the bigger cities. leeds, manchester, bristol. in cities like this there's always something going on. leeds has fantastic shopping, art galleries, sculpture galleries, any kind of restaurant or cafe you could imagine, clubs, bars, you name it. i imagine the other bigger cities will be the same.

    and for the record, be aware that warwick uni isn't actually in warwick (which is lovely and medieval and stuff) but in coventry, which is horrid. if you're looking for culture you will not find it in coventry. the uni has a fantastic reputation, but if the location matters to you, i for one would maybe think at least about visiting before committing yourself to 3 years in the concrete jungle.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Warwick uni has a very good arts centre on campus, with plays/music/comedy every night. Not just for students, but many 'normal' people go there too.

    The location is quite crappy though, I found it really plastic and boring. Think you'd prefer a city.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    .
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by girl with sharp teeth
    I think you need a more vibrant kind of atmosphere, where there's always something going on, and Sheffield doesn't really give you that.

    Is that why it's consistently voted either top or near top as far as Student Unions in the UK are concerned, and is also always one of the highest rated overall 'student cities'? It doesn't get much more vibrant and non-stop than it does here. To say there isn't always something going on is frankly bizarre.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I see you as a kind of an Edinburgh person Jacq, cultured, a bit upper class and reserved, but interesting and beautiful with plenty to do.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Edinburgh is a fantastic city. If I could get the grades I'd be applying there, As I'm not , Glasgow is my first choice. But my heart is definitely there for the scottish universities. For me glasgow is perfect, the situation, the course, the length everything. Edinburgh is as RB said "cultured, a bit upper class and reserved, but interesting and beautiful with plenty to do." like London but without the nasty bits.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What's the genral difference between the unis in Glasgow and Edinburgh?
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