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Bristol or Nottingham? (For an international student)

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    Hi everyone.

    Ive got offers from Nottingham and Bristol to do LLB but I would need some advice!

    I understand that the difference between these 2 universities is almost negligible. However, taking into consideration the 2 factors stated below, which do you think would be a better choice?

    1) International standing of the uni (as I'm an international student and would be looking to developing my career outside UK) From league tables, it seems that Bristol has an edge over Nottingham.
    2) Degree classification. I want to get a 2.1 at the bare minimum. But Nottingham only awards 5% 1st class honours and 56% 2nd class honours and Bristol awards 5% 1st class honours and 72% 2nd class honours. The statistics in both uni are pretty worrying, but it seems that Bristol is better, relatively at least.

    I am in need of advice desperately so please help! Many thanks!
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    From what is stated above, Bristol seems like the better choice, but I am currently more inclined towards Nottingham because of the lower costs of living there and a better social life.

    In addition, from certain threads, I understand that Bristol's Law is on the decline. (Needs clarification)

    Should I be overly concerned over the statistics of degree classification? Is the low percentage of 2.1 and above at Nottingham a result of harsh and strict assessments by the law faculty? Or is it mainly due to external assessments?

    Pls help Any opinions are greatly appreciated!
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    (Original post by tyt93)
    Hi everyone.

    Ive got offers from Nottingham and Bristol to do LLB but I would need some advice!

    I understand that the difference between these 2 universities is almost negligible. However, taking into consideration the 2 factors stated below, which do you think would be a better choice?

    1) International standing of the uni (as I'm an international student and would be looking to developing my career outside UK) From league tables, it seems that Bristol has an edge over Nottingham.
    2) Degree classification. I want to get a 2.1 at the bare minimum. But Nottingham only awards 5% 1st class honours and 56% 2nd class honours and Bristol awards 5% 1st class honours and 72% 2nd class honours. The statistics in both uni are pretty worrying, but it seems that Bristol is better, relatively at least.

    I am in need of advice desperately so please help! Many thanks!
    Because, as you say, they're similar rep wise, it may depend what part of the world you want to go to so if it's where you live you want to know about you're probably better placed than us to find this out.

    On the second point it is a question of how hard you work probably, if you go to Nottingham do you intend to come in the bottom half of the year group? The only qualification, and please don't take offence because obviously I don't know your academic record, but in general it's easier to get a place as an international because the funding isn't limited (you pay, rather than there being a set limit from the government) and do you think you would have got into those unis with your grades as a British applicant, who will be the majority of the competition?

    Ultimately though if you work hard, know your stuff and have decent exam technique you should get a 2:1. If you work really hard all year, revise like crazy, read in depth around the subject and get this all down in the exam you may get a First.
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    Hey thanks so much for your advice! I did quite well for my As, getting As for all H2. But having come from a family of Chinese background, I am not confident competing with the British who have stronger linguistic abilities, especially in a discipline like law. With a disadvantage in language, I'm not sure if I will get a good honours...

    On a side note, do you know what determines the degree classification? Nottingham has a worrying percentage of first and second upper honours.
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    From the league tables, Bristol has a higher ranking. Is it advisable to choose Bristol over Nottingham because a degree from a more reputable foreign uni would be more highly regarded in my home country?
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    (Original post by tyt93)
    From the league tables, Bristol has a higher ranking. Is it advisable to choose Bristol over Nottingham because a degree from a more reputable foreign uni would be more highly regarded in my home country?
    I take that you come from China or around there.
    It could be an advantage of going to Bristol being of a higher reputation uni.

    I used to live in Bristol and there's quite a large Chinese speaking community around. I'm not too sure of Nottingham so that's really all the advice I can give you.
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    (Original post by leafy9)
    I take that you come from China or around there.
    It could be an advantage of going to Bristol being of a higher reputation uni.

    I used to live in Bristol and there's quite a large Chinese speaking community around. I'm not too sure of Nottingham so that's really all the advice I can give you.
    Nottingham's is even bigger. And, no, I'm not making things up. We have campuses in China and Malaysia so we always have a significant portion of students studying here(because it's part of their course to spend at least a semester at a UK campus, to my knowledge). Then there's the Chinese speaking community as you put it who have also settled here. Our Chinese department is big, probably the biggest in the country - we beat Harvard in a debating competition in China, and let me tell you this, it wasn't a debate in English.
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    (Original post by tyt93)
    Hey thanks so much for your advice! I did quite well for my As, getting As for all H2. But having come from a family of Chinese background, I am not confident competing with the British who have stronger linguistic abilities, especially in a discipline like law. With a disadvantage in language, I'm not sure if I will get a good honours...

    On a side note, do you know what determines the degree classification? Nottingham has a worrying percentage of first and second upper honours.
    You're from Singapore right? Same here

    I would say, go with your gut feelings. Although people would generally agree that Notts has a better law department than Bristol's, the difference is really negligible.

    Go with where you think you would be happier and do better at. Keeping second-guessing your choice would only cause further confusion.
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    (Original post by tyt93)
    Hey thanks so much for your advice! I did quite well for my As, getting As for all H2. But having come from a family of Chinese background, I am not confident competing with the British who have stronger linguistic abilities, especially in a discipline like law. With a disadvantage in language, I'm not sure if I will get a good honours...

    On a side note, do you know what determines the degree classification? Nottingham has a worrying percentage of first and second upper honours.
    Generally most reputable UK unis has similar statistics as to how many 1st and 2:1s that are awarded. Generally an average of all your module marks of 70% or above = 1st class. If you get get between 60-69 it is 2:1

    You can read more of it here :-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British...classification

    Coming from a Chinese background doesn't mean anything, I won't worry about it being a hindrance just don't write in Singlish for any exam transcripts and you should be fine But one thing you should remember is unlike in Asia a UK university requires you to think quite extensively and do lots of analysis as well as self study, in law the only thing you need to memorize is the name of the cases and the principles behind it, everything else is about how well you can apply the law to the situation in the question. Oh and I do have Chinese background too



    (Original post by tyt93)
    From the league tables, Bristol has a higher ranking. Is it advisable to choose Bristol over Nottingham because a degree from a more reputable foreign uni would be more highly regarded in my home country?
    I think I remember reading somewhere that you are from Singapore?? If that is indeed the case for the most part when it comes to legal qualification degree reputation goes by

    i) NUS ii) Oxbridge/Harvard etc iii) The other UK universities recognized for admission for practice.

    They are generally deemed to be similar as in Singapore they don't generally view the rest of the unis in UK any differently so the difference between Nottingham and Bristol is negligible at best and not something I would worry over.

    As for rankings, there are several ways of interpreting the rankings, most of which would mean very little if you come out of redbrick/Russell Group uni with a 2:1 or above. But what I would look at is at the various league tables for the subject and see how they perform and compare it against the last 2-4 years see if there is a trend of improvement or not.

    Have you been to either of those places? If you could afford a trip, I would highly suggest you get on a cheap flight to have a look around and see which place you would prefer, but if it is not an option I would go by other factors you deem important in your education.

    Between Bristol and Nottingham, well I may be biased because I finished my LL.B in Nottingham but as poor an impression I have of Nottingham (you will find that the redtape and bureaucracy there to be a major headache) but as a UK university it is quite well managed and for the most part it is good value for your money. There are many people from SE Asia there as well as from other parts of Asia....however that is also true for Bristol. Crime rates between the 2 is also fairly similar (both of which are a lot higher than in Singapore) but in terms of ease to get around then Nottingham is significantly better as public transport in Bristol can be problematic. Hence I'd probably pick Nottingham over Bristol.
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    (Original post by tyt93)
    Hey thanks so much for your advice! I did quite well for my As, getting As for all H2. But having come from a family of Chinese background, I am not confident competing with the British who have stronger linguistic abilities, especially in a discipline like law. With a disadvantage in language, I'm not sure if I will get a good honours...

    On a side note, do you know what determines the degree classification? Nottingham has a worrying percentage of first and second upper honours.
    Your English seems absolutely fine: at least in terms of written communication. And if you're planning to read Law I assume your spoken communication is decent too. Really, I wouldn't've guessed it would've been a problem until you pointed it out to us.

    I'd say Bristol. You're coming to England, and it's one of our prized cities, I feel.
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    (Original post by gemnomnom)
    Your English seems absolutely fine: at least in terms of written communication. And if you're planning to read Law I assume your spoken communication is decent too. Really, I wouldn't've guessed it would've been a problem until you pointed it out to us.

    I'd say Bristol. You're coming to England, and it's one of our prized cities, I feel.
    You say that as if Nottingham's not a nice city.
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    (Original post by tyt93)
    Hey thanks so much for your advice! I did quite well for my As, getting As for all H2. But having come from a family of Chinese background, I am not confident competing with the British who have stronger linguistic abilities, especially in a discipline like law. With a disadvantage in language, I'm not sure if I will get a good honours...

    On a side note, do you know what determines the degree classification? Nottingham has a worrying percentage of first and second upper honours.
    Your English seems fine, don't worry about it. It's not a creative writing exam, so long as you communicate clearly and accurately (which you do) you'll be fine.

    As a general rule it's 60% for a 2:1 and 70% for a First. Obviously being an essay based subject law marking will be a bit subjective, sadly there's nothing you can do about that it's just the nature of such courses.

    However, different unis have different criteria for each grade (eg. some would say if you got 59 average but above 60 in over half your modules and none below 55 then you'd be awarded a 2:1). It's possible Notts are more stingent on their 2:1 criteria than Bristol.

    Personally I'd just go for the one you'd prefer in terms of lay out (campus vs. city), the size of the city itself (think Bristol's probably quite a bit bigger), international community etc.
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    (Original post by Herr)
    Coming from a Chinese background doesn't mean anything, I won't worry about it being a hindrance just don't write in Singlish for any exam transcripts and you should be fine But one thing you should remember is unlike in Asia a UK university requires you to think quite extensively and do lots of analysis as well as self study, in law the only thing you need to memorize is the name of the cases and the principles behind it, everything else is about how well you can apply the law to the situation in the question. Oh and I do have Chinese background too
    Hi, thank you so much for the informative reply! Yes, I'm from Singapore. The main reason why I'm hesitated in doing law is my poor linguistic abilities. Recently, I've been reading some law books and I found myself re-reading as I could not process what was written! I am easily distracted as there are so many clauses in a single sentence! Do you think this is a serious problem? Or will it be a matter of time in which I will get used to such readings?:confused:

    I am rather concerned about self study in UK. I want to be more independent, yet having been spoon-fed in school for so many years, I am afraid that I cannot cope with such a drastic change of pedagogy. At Nottingham, will I be even given notes, books, etc? (I am not sure whether I can cope with self study. :/ I used to take H3 Economics but eventually dropped it as my tutor only talked but did not provide any notes, slides, books, etc.)

    Since you are from Nottingham, can I ask if the low percentage of 2:1s and above is a result of harsh grading system at Nottingham? I am very concerned with this as even though I credit myself as a hardworking individual, I am unsure whether willingness to work hard is sufficient a criteria to achieve a good honours in law.

    Sorry for asking so much because I really don't know anyone who can help me on this!!
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    (Original post by tyt93)
    Hi everyone.

    Ive got offers from Nottingham and Bristol to do LLB but I would need some advice!

    I understand that the difference between these 2 universities is almost negligible. However, taking into consideration the 2 factors stated below, which do you think would be a better choice?

    1) International standing of the uni (as I'm an international student and would be looking to developing my career outside UK) From league tables, it seems that Bristol has an edge over Nottingham.
    2) Degree classification. I want to get a 2.1 at the bare minimum. But Nottingham only awards 5% 1st class honours and 56% 2nd class honours and Bristol awards 5% 1st class honours and 72% 2nd class honours. The statistics in both uni are pretty worrying, but it seems that Bristol is better, relatively at least.

    I am in need of advice desperately so please help! Many thanks!
    The QS rankings place Bristol at 30, Nottingham at 74. I am extremely sceptical of rankings beyond the individual statistics for student satisfaction and so on, but perhaps they hold greater significance for foreign employers.

    There is a list of 19 English universities which make you eligible for the Singapore Bar, as I'm sure you're aware. Bristol and Nottingham are both in there, as you are also probably aware. Do you think employers in Singapore distinguish between these apart from Oxbridge and possibly London?
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    (Original post by tyt93)
    Hi, thank you so much for the informative reply! Yes, I'm from Singapore. The main reason why I'm hesitated in doing law is my poor linguistic abilities. Recently, I've been reading some law books and I found myself re-reading as I could not process what was written! I am easily distracted as there are so many clauses in a single sentence! Do you think this is a serious problem? Or will it be a matter of time in which I will get used to such readings?:confused:
    Wouldn't worry about this. Most English people find legal language difficult, even law students. If you can understand difficult sentences after two or three readings, you'll be fine. The most important skill to pick up is scanning. Most of the material you will rake your eyes over in a law degree won't be particularly useful to you.
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    (Original post by roh)
    Your English seems fine, don't worry about it. It's not a creative writing exam, so long as you communicate clearly and accurately (which you do) you'll be fine.

    As a general rule it's 60% for a 2:1 and 70% for a First. Obviously being an essay based subject law marking will be a bit subjective, sadly there's nothing you can do about that it's just the nature of such courses.

    However, different unis have different criteria for each grade (eg. some would say if you got 59 average but above 60 in over half your modules and none below 55 then you'd be awarded a 2:1). It's possible Notts are more stingent on their 2:1 criteria than Bristol.

    Personally I'd just go for the one you'd prefer in terms of lay out (campus vs. city), the size of the city itself (think Bristol's probably quite a bit bigger), international community etc.
    Thanks a lot for the confidence boost But my reading skills are quite terrible. I've been reading some law books and I have difficulties understanding half the time.

    Thanks for your input, I will definitely consider the other factors you mentioned! Thanks!
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    (Original post by tyt93)
    Hi, thank you so much for the informative reply! Yes, I'm from Singapore. The main reason why I'm hesitated in doing law is my poor linguistic abilities. Recently, I've been reading some law books and I found myself re-reading as I could not process what was written! I am easily distracted as there are so many clauses in a single sentence! Do you think this is a serious problem? Or will it be a matter of time in which I will get used to such readings?:confused:

    I am rather concerned about self study in UK. I want to be more independent, yet having been spoon-fed in school for so many years, I am afraid that I cannot cope with such a drastic change of pedagogy. At Nottingham, will I be even given notes, books, etc? (I am not sure whether I can cope with self study. :/ I used to take H3 Economics but eventually dropped it as my tutor only talked but did not provide any notes, slides, books, etc.)

    Since you are from Nottingham, can I ask if the low percentage of 2:1s and above is a result of harsh grading system at Nottingham? I am very concerned with this as even though I credit myself as a hardworking individual, I am unsure whether willingness to work hard is sufficient a criteria to achieve a good honours in law.

    Sorry for asking so much because I really don't know anyone who can help me on this!!
    Don't worry, we read stuff and realise we haven't got a word of what it says either! With the reading thing, I've just done a year abroad doing law in a foreign language (French) and after a couple of months you do find yourself getting much quicker at reading legal texts in the foreign language.

    Most people in Birtain got spoon fed at school too, some who go to Sixth Form colleges maybe less so, but these are a minority and most people come straight from an 11-18 school and get a bit of a culture shock too when they arrive at uni in terms of learning style. Everyone adapts and I'm sure you will too!
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    (Original post by TurboCretin)
    Wouldn't worry about this. Most English people find legal language difficult, even law students. If you can understand difficult sentences after two or three readings, you'll be fine. The most important skill to pick up is scanning. Most of the material you will rake your eyes over in a law degree won't be particularly useful to you.
    Oh, thanks so much! I thought I was the only one struggling over the readings. I feel so much better, thanks!
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    I don't know how Bristol conduct their assessments but possibly one reason why Nottingham award slightly fewer good grades is because all of your marks come from end of year exams; for example, I have 3 exams this month, each of which is 3 hours and each of which represents 100% of that module.

    This method of examination is really tough because you don't get the chance to build up a collection of marks throughout the year, through coursework or group presentations etc, as a comfort cushion in case you do badly in exams. It means that when the exam season comes around, ie now, you have to revise your ass off and ensure you know in detail almost everything you've covered all year, which means serious work. I'm sure this is a level of work which some students just can't live with, therefore they don't do it and don't get a 1st or 2:1.

    It's also worth pointing out that one of the reasons why Nottingham's law school is well regarded by employers is because it doesn't mark first years generously. First years are not given a concession because they are first years, they are marked the same as second and third years.
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    Op just to let you know 6% is on average the highest amount of 1st's given in law at any university. If i was you I'd defiantly pick Nottingham! Amazing reputation and Chinese society the is huge!

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