Well, before transferring to Middlesex University to do Law from the start again, I spent a year at East Anglia(UEA). This is obviously only a very short period of time so my review will probably lack some detail, but hopefully you will still find it fairly useful.
This is a single campus University, based in Norwich, East Anglia. I moved from Reading (near London) and found the driving distance to be around 3 to 4 hours, or train from Liverpool St generally taking 2 hours, no comment on Reading to London as this varies dramatically anyway. The train journey is quite comfortable though.
Norwich is a fairly small city, but not without its fair share of things to do. There are a few clubs, tourist-like areas with cinema, all the popular restaurants, bars, shopping centres (from the old-fashioned, posh arcade to a modern mall).. On the other hand, there are plenty of quieter places and you are 20 miles from the nearest coastal town (although the beach is nothing special). Accommodation off campus is very cheap when sharing, and worth considering as long as you are prepared to travel to and from University. There are nearby roads that are typically for students, so take a look at these first if you don't want to miss out on the social life.
Beautiful, scenic, featuring a lake, interesting history to the area if you are into that kind of thing. Good library with a 24 hour computer room with Internet access, choice of cafes and restaurants, including the Sainsbury Art Gallery. Banks, Post Office, Endsleigh (insurance), Travel office - where you can buy tickets or book journeys. The LCR is the campus 'club', where there are regular events throughout the year including proms - we even had a 'funfair' type thing going on in there. There are a few celebrity guest appearances so look out for social events on campus. Further out we had a fantastic bonfire night in November, with a fayre.
All Halls of Residence have Internet access and the pricing (at my time) is varied. I think since I left they were all made en-suite but please check as I'm not certain. They all have different advantages, for instance, living close to large numbers of people can be sociable, but the more contained flats can be more peaceful. I had a contained, flat sharing with 10 others and found to be alright, but we did have a few kitchen arguments. I stayed in Constable Terrace, which at the time was the nicest place to be, kitchens are big and the decor is nice. You can specify whether you want to live in mixed or single-sex flats. There are also 'Halls' allocated as short-term accommodation (b'n'b style). Architectually speaking, (is that a word?) the Halls are very modern and a pleasant move from the old reputation of a concrete village that UEA had. As with all Halls in all Universities, the fire alarm is unbearably loud and has a habit of going off too often and late at night - usually some drunk setting it off for a laugh. Security is strict, but we are allowed visitors (over 14yrs), just remember you are liable for whatever they do.
The leisure centre is great. It has all sorts going on and has an Olympic size pool, which has good opening hours. As soon as you have your student ID card you can sort out your membership at the leisure centre and gain student benefits.
When I did my first year, we had to study 4 modules counting for 30 credits each, which meant no options. Crime, Public Law (Constit. and Admin.) and Land Law are 3 of those, which are assessed 100% by exams (3 hours) for purposes of the Law Society. Recently there has been a great deal of discussion about introducing more coursework assessment methods so your year's study does not feel like its crammed into those dreadful 3 hours but I think it will be some time before this is approved/implemented.
The fourth subject is English Legal System, which gives you the basic foundations of law and is generally studied in some format or another at every University Law School. We had a 40% coursework assignment and 60% exam for this module, which made it more bearable, plus the subject is fairly simple and helps get you into the right study mode for Law... see it as a prep course if you like..
You are allocated a personal tutor. Book an appointment and see them immediately. You may not realise until later on how useful they will be to you. Mine was particularly helpful, even when it came to my decision to transfer, he offered advice and guidance right up until my new place was confirmed when he wished me well. This is the one main thing I missed when I left, because every question you have, they will do what they can to help, and they get to know you personally, so you really feel like you're being taken care of.
The lectures were good. I'm not much of a lecture person, but in comparison with my current University, I found these lectures far more helpful. You are expected to keep quiet during lectures and if you don't, you could find yourself shown up in front of everyone, but its great not having to keep telling the people gossiping behind you to please shut up.
Seminars are also strict. You have to meet attendance requirements, but if you haven't done the work, its very tempting not to turn up. Unlike my current University (sorry for so much of comparisons), here you are grilled on the spot, especially in Land Law. You are treated as an independent adult who must be well organised and unless you have a very genuine reason, 'sorry, I didn't read that case' will not be acceptable. I saw a guy once try to blag his way through and the poor soul ended up in more embarrassment when the seminar leader caught him out - so don't do it.
To attend this kind of University you must be EXTREMELY hard working and independent. But please don't think this makes them harsh. If you are having trouble understanding work, this is acceptable and often its wise to talk to your seminar leaders or tutor about it. Make use of libraries, and try to get help from students in 2nd/3rd years. We had a 'study buddy' system, where you are given the contact details for a student in year2/3, but unfortunately many of them just agree to do it to put it on their CV and may not be very helpful - you might have to be more pushy than I was. You are also likely to meet other first years doing this course in Halls, because it is very popular. This is always good as you can really support each other.
I highly recommend this University to those of you who are willing to put in all the effort, because there is so much to gain from it. My reasons for leaving were very personal, but included the distance from home. Suffice it to say I wish I had stayed more often than not.. but its an experience I want to share.
I will be starting University of East Anglia or UEA in September to do Law with European Legal Systems and after researching both the course and the University I feel it would be beneficial to review for future prospective students.
To start with Law at UEA is a top 25 University and therefore there is a chance for students studying there to join the law profession however probably not in London.
The University itself is regularly called a concrete jungle however after visiting a few times now I dont even notice it.
Now onto the course of Law with European Legal Systems ive heard from many students that it is an excellent course especially if you are interested in travelling or go into the law profession as it looks amazing on a reference. UEA is one of the only Universities that guarantees a year abroad with law, alot of Universities have a few places on year abroad courses. The year abroad is that a year were as some other Universities it is only a semester. The available countries to go to are Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey and you mostly get your first choice. The course itself is a ERASMUS course meaning that you do not have to pay for the course itself and you get an extended loan due to costs of a year abroad.
I believe this University and this course to be an excellent opportunity for those either interested in travelling or going into a law profession. As employers recognise and value the maturity and adaptability students develop during their year abroad.