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      09.09.2010 00:23
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      Not to be overlooked

      I am about to start my second year at Teesside University, studying Graphic Design. I had originally applied to 5 different uni's for this course, with Teesside originally being my 5th choice and Leeds college of Art being my 1st choice. I think what made me actually select Teesside as an option, is it is consistently rated very highly amongst student satisfaction, so I decided it would be worth adding it as a 5th option as at the time I was very driven towards the bigger city uni's. After completing my interviews at all these uni's and going to the places themselves, this is what really did open my eyes up to viewing the places themselves. London for example, felt so over bearing and unfriendly... could I really see myself living here for 3 years? So what I would advise before making these selections, is researching the place, the area and the atmosphere if you can, and certainly go to the open days.


      I will split my review into the following sections to make it easier for people to pin point specific areas of interest....



      Courses: Although I know more about the art courses, there are certainly a wide range of courses available at Teesside for both Undergraduates and Postgraduates.

      Some of the course subjects include: Animation and games, Art & Design, Business, Computing, Crime/Forensics, Criminology/Sociology, Education & Early childhood studies, Engineering, English, Health & Social Care, History, Law, Media & Journalism, Performing Arts, Psychology and Sport.

      Each of these departments are very different, however from my experience there are plenty of information booklets and open days to really find out more about each course and why you should choose Teesside to study it. I also found the tutors very enthusiastic towards answering questions regarding the course, making the process less nerve wracking and more inviting.


      Location: Teesside Uni, is located in Middlesbrough in Cleveland, in the North East of England. It is around 40 miles from Newcastle, and an hour by train to Leeds and York. Many of the students at Teesside are from the local area, particularly places such as Newcastle, Hartlepool, Stockton, Darlington and Middlesbrough itself. It is easily accessible from the nearby train and bus stations. The university is also within close proximity to Tees Valley airport.

      Some of you may remember Middlesbrough was a few years ago, voted "The worst place to live in the UK". Since then, the local council have brought out a "Middlesbrough - Moving Forward" initiative, in a bid to eradicate claims that it is indeed the worst place to live. In my opinion, it certainly isn't a place I would want to stay in longer than I have to, however I do believe Middlesbrough is doing it's best to turn things around, even if it's not quite there yet.

      There are certainly many factors going for it, such as it's array of venues such as "Empire" and "Uncle Alberts" and shops such as Debenhams and H&M within the town centre, which are a credit to Middlesbrough. However factors such as crime continue to be a worrying issue within the town itself.


      Accommodation: There are many options to choose from when it comes to accommodation for students. For 1st years, there are the options of Halls of residence, self managed flats or houses. (For a more indepth look at 1st year accommodation, please see my review of Woodlands Halls.)

      There is also many options to choose from beyond 1st year, such as Teesside House which is similar to halls in terms of layout however is privately managed. Each room is ensuite, and there is a shared kitchen/living area. The price per week is similar to what you would pay for Halls, and there is the option to move in with friends.

      If you would prefer to live in a house, there are several student housing companies located near campus included Kexgill and Python properties. Although I haven't had many dealing with either of these companies, I know many friends who have so certainly the option is there if you would prefer to live in a house instead of an apartment.


      Students Union:

      Like most uni's, Teesside has a students union located on campus. This is a place whereby the main events are held such as Freshers Fling, and also contains a bar and restaurant as well as a shop. All of which is spread over two floors, and is usually quite a popular venue for students both in the day and at night.

      Through my own experience of the SU, I would say it is an atmospheric and warm place to visit, both in the day time if visiting the shop or having a drink in the Terrace bar, or out with friends in the evenings. It is worth mentioning that in the evenings, it is well patrolled by staff therefore making it a safer place to visit compared with some of the venues in Middlesbrough.

      Being an art student, I have probably had more dealings with the SU shop which as well as selling all the essentials you would expect from a shop, also sells art supplies and sketchbooks. Although I personally feel a lot of the stock is over priced, it is still is a useful outlet to visit when in need of certain materials there and then.

      The Hub is the events area of the SU, located on the top floor. It has won awards for being the "best bar" in Middlesbrough, and was apparently also designed by the ministry of sound.

      For more information on the SU, you can visit: http://www.tees-su.org.uk/


      Additional Extras:


      The university is also generous on Bursary's and Scholarships. Due to my overall family income, I am entitled to £1,000 a year (split over the 3 terms) and this is repeated with the majority of students also receiving the same amount. I think this is an excellent idea, as it certainly helps to lift the strain of a student budget, particularly as it is given at the end of term when all your money has usually been spent!



      Overall Experience: I am just about to embark on my second year at Teesside, and I think your experience here will differ greatly depending on what course you study. For example, in the art department we don't have "proper lectures" in a lecture hall like all other students too, and the timetable is very full on compared to other students who may get days off during the week.

      As much as it is the university you choose, I think with this also comes the town or city in which it is situated. I personally have not enjoyed my time in Middlesbrough itself, however this factor is something I set aside to the fact I am here for my course and not the place itself.

      So would I recommend it to friends? Yes I would, and infact I have done. It may not be the obvious choice of uni's, it certainly wasn't for me at first, but that doesn't mean to say it should be overlooked. Teesside generally don't have extremely demanding entry requirements like some uni's, which for me certainly took the pressure off as I only required 2 A levels at grades A&C, which is fairly relaxed compared to many other uni's. It still isn't always an easy ride getting into Teesside, as I did have to attend an interview prior to being made an offer, however I was in the knowledge that with hard work at my two main subjects, I would be awarded a place.

      I also believe that Teesside are spending great amounts in investments not just within the university itself, but also with students for example with the amount of bursaries and scholarships they give. Many universities do not offer these sorts of bonus's to students, so I think this shows commitment to students learning experience. What with the nationwide advertising campaigns for Teesside University on both radio and television, it is now becoming recognised and certainly heard amongst students researching universities. It may not be Oxford, however Teesside certainly shouldn't be overlooked.

      I hope I have been useful with my review, and if you have any questions on anything I haven't covered then feel free to comment or send me a message. Thankyou for reading my review! :)

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        17.09.2009 12:13
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        highly recommended!

        I am just about to start my second year at Teesside university, studying English as I want to become a teacher. The University of Teesside is sometimes thought to be a poor choice of University simple because you don't need fantastic grades to get in, however it's what you put into it as to what you get out of it.

        The Univeristy itself is massive... there are many campuses and all of the ones that I have been in are spacious and modern. There Uni Library is great... it has 4-5 floors with plenty of computers to use. It is also open really good hours... sometimes until 12-1 am which is fantastic when you have assignments to complete! The computers are really easy to use and I have never had to queue to use one.

        The student union has won many awards and is renowned for its fantastic nights out. The Terrace Bar is great as is the hub. They have some fantastic nights including the festive fling. Also many famour people have done nights at the union, such as BB stars and the hollyoaks cast. The students union isn't far away from the town center which has great night life and it is situated on southfiled road which is great for students... loads of cheap food and drink for students.

        All of my lecturers have been great... you can have a laugh with them whilst taking your study seriously. They also try their best to help you and when I have really struggled with assignments, I have been granted extension forms which I have been really grateful for! They also have arranged trips which has contributed to my learning... such as going to watch local poets and take advice from them.

        Overall, the uni has plenty to offer... I personally love attending this university as the whole town caters for students- many bars and restaurants offer student discount cards. Also, freshers week is a MUST...loads of freebies and lots of fun.

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        17.08.2008 13:37
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        If you are considering Uni, then I would recommend Teesside. Its great.

        University of Teesside is very modern and a great place to go. It does not require as high a grades as other Universities, meaning many people see it as a weaker option. This is not the case, the University if top notch and has some of the best tutors I have come across. All the staff are friendly and enjoy a laugh with students, as well as being serious and confident in what they teach.

        I went to Teesside to study Information Technology, as the institue was known for having one of the best computing departments in the country. And that statement is not wrong, I visited other Uni's to see their IT and computing facilities and many seemed out dated and a ver low standard when compared with Teesside. One of the aspects that impressed me with the IT department in Teesside is the Network suites. These run on their own networks compared with the rest of the Uni. They allow you to build up your own Network and really get involved, messing around with settings and cables and allow you to get to grips with a Network.

        They also have an application that allows you to run many different Operating Systems inside of Windows. This means you can write a computer program or create a web page from HTML in Windows XP, then test it in other versions of windows, Linux, Mac's and others.

        The student union is also known for being one of the best in the country, and is always there to offer advice and help to students. The bar, called the Terrace Bar, is large and modern and I have enjoyed some excellent nights out there. Including the 18 hour Christmas and end of year parties. They are excellent and you must go to them if you go to this Uni.

        The Teesside Uni Library is huge, modern and contains all the information and data you need to pass your course. Some units and modules will require you to buy your own books, as part of the rules they always recommend certain books to buy, but you dont really need them. The lecturers are fair and will tell you if you really do need to buy one and will tell you exactly which one you need.

        Towards the end of Uni, I had lost faith in degrees. I don't mean I lost faith in Teesside, as they had some excellent teaching facilities and would have got me my degree if I wanted it. But after a long thought process I decided to quit Uni and take up an apprenticeship in Chemical Processing. I decided to do this as I could not think what I would do with my degree and had seen so many students now finish Uni and not be able to find a job, even after getting a first. I am now enjoying my apprenticeship and am confident that I made the right choice in working towards a good career.

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          22.10.2002 12:50
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          • "Poor communications"

          It came to the time of year when University applications needed to be made. I wasn't too keen on the idea about moving out of my home, and as I live about 10 miles out from Teesside Uni, it seemed ideal. They had the course I wanted to do, so I applied for a degree in Business Economics. They sent me a conditional offer to which I gave a firm acceptance. I achieved the grades they wanted, and they sent me a letter offering me an unconditional place. I sent back the reply slip confirming my place on the course and as the start of the term slowly arrived, I had high hopes and was looking forward to it. They sent me a letter explaining what time I needed to go in and enrol about a week before the course started, and on Sept 16th 2002, I woke early to get in on time, only to have a shocking discovery. They had sent me a letter informing me that they had cancelled my course due to poor demand. This both shocked and worried me, as it was so late on in the university application scheme that I had few options available to me. They offered me a place on a Business Management course instead, which had very few similarities to the Business Economics course. The course leader had invited me to speak to him personally to discuss other options at Teesside, so I decided to go along and speak to him to see what he had to say. After waiting almost an hour to speak to him, I finally got to speak to him. Expecting him to discuss things thoroughly with me, he merely told me that they'd cancelled my course and I could do Business Management instead, not explaining to me what the course involved. He made it plainly clear that he had no time to talk to me, and that he was very busy, and quickly hurried me on. Feeling very let down and disappointed with the attitude of the staff there, I phoned my mother to see what to do. She was horrified that a University, an organisation of such high standards could fob me off like this. She
          telephoned them to get an explanation and spoke to a lady who was as unhelpful as all of the staff I spoke to. My mother explained what had happened to me, and the lady replied "So?", as if it was meaningless. After speaking to many other people, including the course leader that I spoke to, who were all as unhelpful and rude as each other, we got the explanation that only 5 people had been accepted on the course, and so could not run it. Surely they should have known this well before the day of enrolment, and so could have informed me of the cancellation well in advance so that I could find a place elsewhere. Not once on that day did I get an apology from anybody. It seems that they had no time for my case, and were concentrating only on getting everybody else sorted out. I am disgusted and horrified at the way I was treat, and have sent a letter to them, but am still awaiting an apology. Luckily, I managed to find a place at Leeds Metropolitan University, and am currently residing in Leeds. Things turned out ok, but never would I recommend Teesside University.

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            27.07.2000 19:41
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            The University of Teesside also called the University of Opportunity gives people the chance to have undergraduate education. It accepts lower grades. This does not mean that the University is no good, actually quite the opposite. Each student has their own personal tutor. Each year the University is expanding with 3 new buildings being erected in the last 2 years. It has one of the best computer departments in the country. Having finished my degree this year I decided that I would like to change from Social Science based course to a computer one. I applied for a masters course and have been offered a place which is fully funded, that means I get my fees paid plus £85 a week living allowance. It is not means tested all you have to do to qualify for funding is to have a correspondence address in Middlesbrough (not Halls) There is no way I could have afforded to further my education otherwise. The University offers lots of support for students, it has a large library, offers study skills, has an advice centre, careers office etc. So if you feel like other Universities won't give you a chance try Teesside!

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