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UWE - The best university I could have chosen
University of West of England at Bristol in general
Member Name: Palmer89
University of West of England at Bristol in general
Advantages: People, Campus, City, Teaching, Plenty to do, Nice city
Disadvantages: Bristol has a bad reputation, fortunatly if you keep away from the bad areas you have zero problems
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.
Summary: The best choice I could have made in life - UWE