I'm currently in my third year at UWE, studying Law at Frenchay. It was recommended to me over Bristol Uni despite apparantly being lower doing in the ratings. In conversation with Bristol Uni students I see why - the greater depth and understanding rather than black letter law regurgitation should suit anyone who actually wants to practice law and understand its practice. Putting up with occassional snobbery about going to a former polytechnic is well worth it (and provides a good chance to show how mistaken such snobbery is).
First of all lectures are two hours, rather than the usual one. They also are a lot easier if pre reading is done and the lecturers are helpful in suggesting the best from a wide range of materials (I haven't got on with many of the set texts and they've always helped me find good alernatives).
I've heard some people complaining about poor lecturers and, like any institution, there are some that aren't as good as others. However the weaker ones will never be put leading a module on their own so you have freedom to chat with one you get on more with. Such complaints normally stem more from some students expecting knowledge spoon fed and pats on the back despite not doing basic work.
The law library is amazing, and UWE has a good practical side with an empasis on experience and placements (the Law In Action placement module in 3rd year being a good example). There's also flexibility with timetables - most lectures are repeated and you're free to switch seminar groups - so part time work is quite doable even on a full time course.
As one reviewer stated most communication is through myUwe which does sometimes go down for maintenance, but you always get plenty of notice and tutors are more than happy to communicate through email or facebook if it suits you.
I finished my english degree at UWE in June and i must say it was a fantastic experience. However, this was due to my studying at St Matthius which was one of the most beautiful buildings Bristol had to offer. Unfortunately this gothic building has been sold and all students are being moved up to the main campus at Frenchay which is sadly becoming overcrowded and ugly (due to all the concrete buildings being erected to fit everybody). It's a shame that students will not be able to experience the close, bonding enviroment of St Matts as it really inspired students who dwelled in its peaceful surroundings. I know i would hate being cooped up at frenchay, one of thousands. UWE certainly made a big mistake selling their most beautiful building which i know was a huge factor in obtaining students. What a pity :(
I came to uwe as id finished college locally and thought it would be great. There are different campuses around Bristol Frenchy being the biggest one. I came to Bower Ashton campus to study Art all excited..When i got onto the course it became clear that it wasnt all it cracked up to be as you could cutt the air with a knife..very tense.
In my second year i was meant to go on an exchange and my tutor diddnt send off my work..when i questioned him about this He said "People like me shouldnt be going abroad" !!!!! whatever that means??? Im not black but this was serious discrimination..
This obviously knocked me alott...Later in the year i was told my work was " Boring " my another tutor..I chose to do painting as apposed to random weird stuff that everyone and there dog was doing..apparently that isnt cool...after this and waisting 2 years of my time plus fees and loan i felt so bad i transfered to fashion hoping for a fresh start.
The fashion tutors take it to a whole other level..Basically it is school. If you can actualy get hold of a tutor that is..If you come in completely full of yourself with lotts of money and form a mean girls crew..they KISS YOUR ASS. If you come as a regular person..They run you down if they feel like it..take the ps out of you behind your back ( I had comfirmation of this from another student who said ( Both Anthony and Adrian laugh and make jokes out of the weeker students or the ones who they think are a bit vunerable etc )...They are like a clicky bitchy nasty little crew and if they dont " rate" you your in for a ruff ride.. I was talked down to,snapped at,laughed at..By the tutors !!! The people who i payed my fees 2 !..I can assure you i did not provoke any of this i think my only crime is that im too friendly and genuine..and possibly not up my own ass!!...Needless to say i have left UWE now without a degree but with a hugh student loan debt that will hang over me for a long time and no confidance at all in my abilities.. I wish i had been so much more fussy when i chose a uni..
No parking..strange 1970s hospital building.
They just want your money. Many of the tutors are bullies..They do not care at all. It is a business to them you are just a number.
By contrast i have always heard fanastic things about Bristol university from people who went there.. How lovely the tutors are and how much help they give you..
The University of West England was the biggest waste of a year I have ever incurred.
Coming from the local surrounding area I believed I was making a worthwhile decision to study here!... What a mistake
The Administration is dire. Their is a lack of of organisation due to all information being posted on the MYUWE service. Once this system goes down all hell incurs. Staff including lecturers, accomindation services and security are rude and give off the impression they just do not care about you.
The lectures are poorly organised and just consist of reading from PP presentations which at times lecturers do not understand what they are meant to be teaching you; not worth paying £3000+ year in tuition fees for this.
The only positive thing i can say is that the SU are pretty good at organising events and the bars are big and provide good deals.
UWE is not a University to come too if you want to get a degree which will have some prestige to it.
Stick to the traditional Unis like I shall be come next year (such as Liverpool, Durham, Leicester etc)
I was at UWE over 10 years ago and have fantastic memories. The Frenchay campus had one of the best modern language facilities in the country at that time, second only to Cambridge I believe. The lecturers were all great and it was a really down to earth place but with big ambitions. The lecturers really cared about their students and would do everything they could to offer help and advice, particularly in the faculty of languages. The library was massive (maybe it just seemed that way as I had come from a small town college), but it had excellent facilities. There was just about every club and society you could imagine. What I didn't like was the number of toffs and snobs UWE attracted. Quite often they'd drive in with the latest Audi or Merc that Daddy had bought them and then there would be the lecturer in a clapped out Fiesta. That got a tad irritating but probably happens in every uni to some extent. UWE was great and I hope still is and Bristol is an amazing place to be a student and hang out for a few years.
At interview with my current employer, I was offered the opportunity to study for a post graduate qualification on a part time basis. I chose to undertake this study with UWE due to both the wide range of courses on offer and proximity to work.
What a mistake! Perhaps my expectations were slightly skewed by the memories and experiences of my first degree, but I have never known such a disorganised and poorly administered educational body.
Everything but everything is published online (and only online) from lecture notes and timetables to private and confidential correspondance (which is quickly lost in amoungst the deluge of students who must all use the "mail all" in sending invites to the various student societies).
On several occasions I have found that lectures have been cancelled via online notices, but nothing has actually been done to alert the students (bereft of their crystal balls) loitering in the teaching area! Indeed, on two such occasions I had to ask the faculty office to put up notices to avoid confusion.
Many lectures also appear to have taken the attitude that students are generally apethetic and have stated that if you do not provide your own lecture notes (available on the web - although often only posted a few hours before the lecture) you will simply not get a copy. I could not help but think there was something of a mutual apathy in this regard.
It is also impossible to review time tables without logging into the website. This proved disasterous for me on the week of my exams as the IT system failed at UWE and no hard copys of the timetable had been posted in the faculty building. This was further compounded by the fact that the student office was closed until after the start of the exam and not even the teaching staff could advise where students were meant to be. These are apparantly "seperate areas of responsibility". Good to know.....
Another example of this was with results. I recieved nothing in the post advising my exam results and was completely unaware that I actually needed to re-submit an essay. It was only when I began harrassing the university and asking why I hadn't seen anything (some months after submittal) that I was told I had two weeks to turn around my revised work! Dissapointing to say the least. Particularly when I was then informed that the title and details were only available online and that (reluctantly) they COULD send it to me in the post if absolutely necessary. Since I am paying a huge ammount of money for this course, why on earth can't UWE afford a stamp?
Don't get me wrong, the teaching staff are excellant, but the administration is dire. It needs to be recognised that whilst many students have access to the internet it cannot and must not be used as a crutch and there is really no excuse for not providing hard copies of crucial documentation such as exam results.
I chose the University West of England for numerous reasons, the location to my home village is close enough that my parents can come and visit/pick me up to go home as well as the fact that Bristol is a major city, since I have been living in 2 small villages for my entire life it was a massive change to move to Bristol and the University West of England (UWE).
I have just finished my 2nd year at the university doing a Business Studies degree after getting an A in my A Level studies, I applied for UWE immediately after I checked it out at the open day, the accommodation is stunning albeit expensive, the city is big with numerous clubs, events and places to go and the university itself has a few bars as well as a sports centre and nice lecture halls/teaching.
The lectures for my course are all 50 minutes long, although in numerous courses they can last as long as 2 hours, our lectures are a broadly taught subject area which we then go into tutorials/seminars to learn in a more specific area. My course covers a whole range of subjects to do with business such as Marketing, Human Resource, ICT, Finance etc. Which means so far after 2 years I have a vast knowledge in a varied range of business principles.
The tutors are available to speak to whenever you wish, most of them at offices at the main Frenchay campus which they will be in when they are not in lectures, this makes it easy to talk to any of them if you are unsure about something or if you have a problem with your course.
There is also something called GDP, which is an integrated lesson aimed at developing your abilities to make yourself ready for the work force, at the end of the course you are given a certificate that tells future employers that you have passed a course specifically designed to help yourself with your future career, help sell yourself etc. This certificate can obviously be placed on your CV as an added benefit.
The accommodation at the university sold me almost immediately, there are 4 types of accommodation, in the student village, Carol court, off site university accomodation or private accommodation. I chose to live in the student village which was £107 a week, my loan covered the whole lot and this covered the costs of all bills, bus pass, a membership of the gym, internet etc.
The rooms are an average sized student room, each room has it's own en suite shower which is very nice, plenty of storage space in each room and a nice sized desk to put everything on, including laptops, console systems, TVs paperwork etc. The blocks are spilt into 6 rooms, so you are put into a dorm as such with 5 strangers which you share a kitchen and a living area with, I was lucky enough to meet some brilliant friends at the university, one of whom is now in fact my partner and we are moving in together next year for our final years at the university. The kitchen comes with 2 ovens, a microwave, sofa, 3 chairs and all the facilities you wish for, the only problem was with cooking when all 6 wanted to cook at the same time, although this was a very rare occasion.
The Frenchay campus, which is where I am, along with the architects, law, psychology, music and engineering students are placed, it is very easy to get around the place with each block labelled and lettered to make sure you know where you are going, there are numerous facilities on site such as 2 shops, one run by the union and one by the university itself.
You can get food at any time if the day at any of the 3 bars/restaurants, onezone just opposite the library is very popular and is the usual place for a bite to eat with various dishes on sale at any day, Red Bar is the venue for the Friday night party in Crunchie, a mixture of classic pop/indie/rock tunes interspersed with dance music whilst Escape is the normal pub/bar hang out place for a chill out at the end of any day, it has sky sports for those football matches you wish to watch but can't get at the accommodation.
There is a gym and sports centre on site with an all weather surface playing pitch for the likes of football and hockey which holds events on it all year round, the gym is included in the price of the accommodation (although you can opt out of this) and should be used more than we went in our year there, it's a brilliant facility which also includes squash courts.
For your weekly shopping there's a sainsburys about 5 or 10 minutes walk from the accommodation, you have to cross a duel carriageway but the traffic lights make this easy to cross and there couldn't really be an easier placed supermarket to get to.
Bristol is a fairly large city which I still haven't fully experienced, the University is actually on the outskirts of the city although there's fairly regular buses to and from the centre and the other campus' in and around the city. For the party animals there is a barrage of clubs in the city, my favourite of which is probably Ramshackle which is situated in the o2 academy on a Friday night, this is a rock/punk/indie club, upstairs being punk/metal, downstairs being indie.
Obviously probably the nicest part of the city is towards Clifton and up park street where the university of Bristol is situated, the Clifton downs is a huge grassy area to just relax in the summer months and off course Clifton suspension bridge running over the river is a great sight from numerous areas of the downs/Clifton, I myself have yet to cross it but maybe someday soon.
There are 3 big shopping areas of the city, the first if probably the easiest and best which is the broadmead/Cabot Circus area, the newly built Cabot Circus has numerous large shops, a cinema and plenty of choice. There's a food and cinema complex on the upper levels with Nando's, Wagamamas, Bella Italia, Giraffe, Gourmet Burger Kitchen etc.
There are fantastic transport links as well with First buses running almost every few minutes to and from the centre to anywhere and obviously there's 3 or 4 train stations to get out of the city for a day or few.
I think UWE is fantastic, a few of my home friends also reside at the university although they are all in the year below be and don't see a lot of them, I have made a lot of friends at the university, as mentioned my girlfriend included whom will be moving into a flat with me in the centre next month. The accommodation is up to date, clean and very nice especially with the en suites although I believe the price has gone up once again.
The university has also just gained planning permission and purchased land from the nearby Hewlett Packard to expand the size of the university by almost 2 times its current size so any future applicants should take this into consideration.
The city is busy and alive at any time of the day and night, it's cheap and there's plenty to do, it's within an hours drive of my home village so getting back and forth is easy for me although I have gained friends who live up north, down south, towards London and even one who lives in France, so the transport links are easy for everyone.
I can't recommend university West of England enough, it's certainly a great university for learning and definitely on the up, but it should be more than that which makes your mind up, the city, accommodation, convenience, campus and the people there are all brilliant and a top class university has shaped the last 2 years and probably future for me.
I attended the University of the West of England five years ago as a biology student, and had an absolutely fantastic time. The night life in Bristol was great, I made some fantastic friends for life, the Coldharbour Lane campus was great. We went on some absolutely wicked field trips and got into all sorts of mischief, but then thats what being a student is all about.
The campus has a good selection of eateries, and a great shop that did fantastic pasties, and an automatic pizza vending machine outside the library. it's funny what sticks in your mind!!
The only drawback was the traffic, I highly recommend cycling no matter what. They have now built a good network of cycle lanes and it is fairly safe. You have to remember it saves you time and money in Bristol.
It served me well as I hope it does for many others.
UWE is a great University from a research point of view. I have worked in Bristol University as well as UWE and honestly research environment in UWE is better. It is open-minded, with a 'can do' approach, cooperative departments, good professors / lecturers and down to earth. Bristol University was all hype and no stuff - they live on their past glory and can learn a lot from UWE how to tackle funding challenges in research. Bristol University is a stumbling block with horrible politics and no real respect for you as person, your expertise or for your future. Although quite commercial in approach UWE is very considerate and sympathetic to your personal circumstances and tries to help. Its this gesture that makes UWE a nicer place to work than Bristol University at least as a contract researcher.
uwe is a good uni to be at. it caters for a wide range of courses, at frenchay its mainly bussiness and law, but offers good science fasilitys. there is a large number of clubs to become a member off. personaly i recomend the diving and kayaking clubs. both offer regular trips and trainging is provided. a big part of the training as with any university activity is the after meet pub trip, along side the regular pub crawls. the societys wellcome people of all backgrounds and abilliteis
In recent years members of my family have attended the University of the West of England, and, I feel it?s my duty to give you this well meant warning... Bristol is home to two universities, UWE and the University of Bristol - the third best university in the UK! For those of you living outside of Bristol and considering studying at UWE, think about it carefully! You may have been won over by a modern prospectus and the friendly open-day, but what they won?t have told you is the stigma you'll receive by studying at UWE. Most Bristolians think UWE students aren't much better than dog mess, they usually view their students as being of very little intelligence and the assumption is that you probably needed an E to get in. You would have a diminished chance of getting credible employment in Bristol with a UWE degree on your CV, an opinion I have heard expressed by teachers, a medical professionals, civil servants and a head of chambers - I do not for one minute condone this, I realise this is deeply unfair and unjustified. I have no vendetta against UWE, but for those of you who don?t live in Bristol, you should know the truth - sorry!! This view is obviously not shared by every single Bristolian, it is however a view prevalent in the suburbs. Those I know who have attended UWE have worked hard and achieved much. They enjoyed their time at UWE, made strong friendships and were stimulated by their courses, but they themselves have admitted being annoyed by the stigma attached to them. The teaching standards vary amongst departments, as does the level of attainment. The buildings range from the beautiful to modern concrete atrocities; the modernity does at least ensure modern facilities and up-to-date technology.
Lets be completely honest about UWE. Its a concrete block on the outskirts of the city, its overcrowded and will be even more so when the new Faculty is here. Theres little parking, the buses can be awful and theres no enough facilities such as pc's etc. The Students Union is pretty poor, not really cheap beer, the food is slowly getting better, but the place is usually dirty with rubbish every where. The Ents just fail cos no-one wants to pay £20 to go to a concrete block on the outskirts of the city where they go every day, and where the taxis home cost a fortune. The SU chappies are doing their best but unfortunately come up against a lot of obstacles namely the apathy of the students themselves. Maybe if they got a bit more involved we would have an SU to rival Bristols. If you go to UWE you already know about the buses, expensive, overcrowded and usually the buses that would normally have gone to the scrapheap if it werent for UWE students. Thankfully they've built a bus lane outside campus so no 45 min waits just to get round the corner and onto the road. Lack of facilities, well there is a new Faculty for Education being built on campus, but is their library going to be put in there? No its going to be incorporated into the existing library which is already lacking for space and books. Most of the journals have already disappeared. The most popular books have 1 copy in the short-term loan area, problem is the area sits about 30 to 40 students. The pc's, since buying my own I've never been near one, for example the ones in ESS Faculty? several of them were stolen in broad daylight within a week! They are often broken, crash, lose work and theres not enough of them! So why do I go? Cos I do love the place really, the people are friendly, the tutors are great! For the majority the teaching is excellent especially the Law Faculty and The Business School. Alas for my own faculty the ESS things have been a
bit difficult this year. However they are always looking at ways of sorting this out. UWE and Bristol are great places to go, our standards, believe it or not are as good as and in some areas better than Bristols (check out League Tables and results) We are definately not its poor neighbour. But what I would suggest is that you look at the courses individually to see how they do. Happy studying!!
UWE Bristol is certainly a great choice for those who want to go to a good university and can't get into traditional top uni's like Bristol Uni. It's fast becoming one of the best new universities in the UK. The quality of teaching here is good in most faculties but sometimes you can find yourself in quite large tutor groups which leaves the tutor hardly any time with each student. Assessment is done on a 50-50 basis most of the time where coursework and exams share the weighting equally. It's all pretty modern and reminds me of school quite a lot. The student union is ok, although not as good as some of the other ones I've been to, and it's very far from town centre which is a pain. Organised parties, etc, are not that good. But the lack of a good student night out in the SU is made up by the fact that the nightlife is great for everyone here. There's places for everyone to go if you can find them and most nights out are guaranteed to give you a good time. Accomodation in halls is not bad in the newly built halls, but the older ones such as Colston Street are very old and can become a little depressing and cold. But living in the city centre is an experience if you can handle the busyness of the place. It's constant, and if you're coming from a small town it may not be suited to you. All in all it's a good university and with 25,000 people in it, it's quite hard to not have someone to hang around and you easily make friends.
I am probably very biased having gone to the University of the West of England and coming from Bristol but I have to say it was excellent. I was based on the main campus where the facilities were second to none...what with library, gym etc. In particular the Bristol Business School (where I went) has a very good reputation for standards throughout the UK. As for social life, well theres nothing really to say...its pretty good!! What with the bar and what have you. In fact one of the only real pains about UWE is its location as far as the centre of Bristol is concerned. Its a bit on the outskirts so travel becomes a bit of an important factor. If you can't drive or have not got a car then you are going to need to rely on the buses (unless you have a place in halls that is). If your'e going out in the evening then your'e either going to have to walk or get a taxi back. Other than that I can't really fault the University of the West of England and had a brilliant time when I was there.
Is this the place to be or what. I did a 4 year Bsc QTS Hons course and enjoyed it all. The faculty staff will do their best to get you through all the hard times. The ICT component was not in place when I graduated (1998) but I hear it rivals the best. OFSTED have said it is a place of excellence, and I was there when they did the inspection. If you want to be the best the best have to train you. There are many institutions (?) for Teacher Training but only one UWE. If you can, go there, you will not be disappointed.