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    Well, Bristol is a bigger city than exeter and the countryside is further away. You can see fields etc from many points in bristol though so it doesn't feel like your in a sea of concrete. For example the view out my window i can see most of stoke bishop, down to avonmouth, the severn channel and the welsh hills beyond

    I think you need to ask yourself where you would be happiest, both unis differ quite alot in that bristol is a city uni. But it still has quite a campusy feel the the halls are REALLY social and all of them are nice.

    I know a few english students and without exception they are very clever, very nice people. I think english at bristol is one of the most competitive courses in the country (if i remember correctly) and it shows in the quality of the students.

    And yes, there are no exams. Just essays.

    Bristol#s nightlife is pretty damn good, though i han't been anywhere else so can't compare.
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    (Original post by Angelil)
    Where are the pretty bits? Seriously, I am baffled, and I know the city fairly well.
    Clearly not that well.

    Or maybe you know the wrong parts of the city. Or maybe you're just blind. I don't know.

    One of my friends went to UWE last year and dropped out. When he and his girlfriend came to visit me last term, his girlfriend kept saying, "Wow, I didn't realise Bristol was such a pretty place! You never took me to the nice bits!"

    Also, I didn't apply to Oxbridge, and I'm not sure the reputation for it being "chock-full of Oxbridge rejects" is entirely justified. It's probably on a par with other top universities, but no more so than anywhere else with a decent reputation. My seminar group actually sat in the pub with our tutor and did a show of hands as to who applied to Oxford or Cambridge, and it was about four out of ten, if I remember correctly. In any case, why does it matter? I'm a Warwick and Manchester reject. When I tell people I got rejected from Manchester, they look confused and say, "But isn't Bristol much better and harder to get into?" But my point is, I don't know anybody who sits around with a chip on their shoulder because they feel they should be somewhere "better". Everyone I know is completely happy with where they are, and that's what counts. This includes my friend on the English course who is only here because she missed her offer for Cambridge. In fact, I've heard her say she's glad she didn't get that third A grade, otherwise she wouldn't be here now.

    Anyway, to the OP:

    I think I'm probably in an ideal position to give you advice, since I had Exeter as my firm choice for 2004 entry and Bristol as my firm choice for 2005 entry. (I'm now at Bristol.)

    In my first year of applying I chose Exeter because it was the only one of my universities that I didn't end up hating when I went to visit. (My fault entirely for not going to visit all my universities before applying to them. *Thinks of wasted trip to Nottingham.*) I chose Exeter because it seemed like a very friendly department, the course looked interesting, and the campus is beautiful. Whatever strange ideas Angelil may have about Bristol, she is right about Exeter. It is a lovely place with lots of green space and trees. In the end I chose it because I thought it would be a lovely place to live. However, after I did my A-levels I decided to withdraw from UCAS, take a gap year and re-apply. I did it because I knew deep down that Exeter simply does not have the reputation that Bristol has and that this could be a problem if I wanted to apply for very high-powered and competitive jobs after I graduate. I was concerned about the fact that Exeter have recently closed several key departments, because even though this wouldn't have an adverse affect on the English course, it damages the reputation of the university as a whole. I also knew that because they had closed the music department, the extra-curricular music opportunities would eventually go the same way. This is something which I'm particularly interested in, and I know that the experiences I've had at Bristol with the Symphony Orchestra simply wouldn't have been possible at Exeter.

    When I re-applied I was very tempted to choose Exeter again, but in the end I went for Bristol. The first time I visited Bristol was on an official open day. It was pouring with rain, the person who showed me round didn't know anything, and we didn't see any accommodation. In retrospect, that's not surprising. It's hard enough to show large groups of people round halls in term time on campus universities, let alone city universities where you have to walk to get there. And you have to think of the people who already live there as well. However, I visited again on a sunny day in April with my mum, and phoned the halls in advance to arrange to see round. Everyone I spoke to was incredibly helpful, and I got to see inside all the halls I wanted to see, which I wouldn't have been able to do on an open day even if there had been an official tour.

    I live in Stoke Bishop, which basically a campus anyway, except with no academic buildings. The six Stoke Bishop halls, like the Exeter halls, each have their own distinct character, and everyone is convinced that their own hall is the best. The halls are all a few minutes' walk away from each other, but with enough green space and trees between them to create some kind of distance. If you're quiet, the self-catered halls can be very peaceful, but with plenty of opportunities to socialise whenever you want to. The hall staff are always on hand to help you if you have a problem. I live in Durdham Hall, which is self-catered, fairly new, all ensuite and quite cheap. It has a reputation for being quiet, and the bar for being empty, but I'm finding that as the year goes on more and more people meet in the bar, and it's actually a nice sociable hall which is quiet enough to give you some peace when you need it. A lot of my friends live in other halls, which is great because it gives you a bit of variety and you can always go and meet people in other bars. After pulling an all-nighter one time, I went to visit my friend in Wills Hall at 7:30am and had a cooked breakfast!

    The English course is fun and interesting, with some absolutely legendary tutors, and even though I was a bit dubious about the amount of coursework before I started, it's actually by far the best way to learn. Instead of cramming for an exam with three days to go, you write an essay every few weeks, spend a decent amount of time on it and actually manage to retain the information. The feedback shows you exactly what you need to do to get a better mark in the next essay, and help is always there if you need it. By the time you get to the summer term and the weather is getting warmer and you feel like going out more, you'll be in the position that I'm in. I have two essays left, both due in on 19th May. Then, everybody else has exams, and English students get to relax. Seriously, you never appreciate how good the coursework situation is until you get to Easter and realise you're nearly done. Yes, you have to work harder throughout the year, but you don't really notice it all that much, and it means you're much more likely to do well. Would you start revising for your exams a month into the first term at another university? I doubt it. If you were at another university, by this point you'd be trying to revise what you learnt in the first term, probably realising you can't understand/read/find the notes you took, and worrying about screwing up the whole year. At Bristol it's not possible to screw up the whole year by performing badly on one day. So in actual fact, the pressure here is lower, AND you learn better.

    Bristol IS a big city, but it feels like home remarkably quickly. There are loads of "green places" to go to if you get a craving for the countryside, and loads of bars, cafes and bookshops to hang around in if you decide that actually, the city is pretty cool! :cool: In your second and third year, you'll probably live out, and the quality of student accommodation is very high. All my friends in other years live in much nicer houses than my friends at other universities, and the house I'm going to be living in next year is nothing short of palatial. I'll have a massive room, which I can decorate any way I want, with a double bed, huge windows, lovely furniture and enough space for me to take my piano with me. There's a huge kitchen and a cosy living room, and it's about two minutes away from everything. I'm paying enough for it, though!

    In short, this time last year I wondered whether I'd made the right decision, and whether I'd be better off going to Exeter, which I knew was absolutely beautiful, and near where my family live. But in the end I went with my head rather than my heart and chose Bristol, and have grown to love it. It was absolutely the right choice for me. The English department here is great. Don't be surprised if you end up making better friends on your course than in your hall. And now I'm looking forward to a wonderful, lazy summer term while my friends doing other courses all panic over their exams. Heaven. :p:
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    Exeter all the way.
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    Apricot_fairy, reading your post makes me want to go to Bristol!
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    Ah, but I also almost chose York... (didn't mention that because this thread is about Bristol vs Exeter)

    I was very tempted by York too, but it's just too cold up north!*











    * I may have been influenced by the fact that when I visited York last April it was snowing, whereas when I visited Bristol a couple of days later it was warm and sunny! :p:

    To be honest, you can't really go far wrong with Bristol, Exeter or York! They're all lovely universities and you'll have a great time wherever you go.
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    Cold up north? I went in March and it was a little colder than where I live (South-east Kent) and went last week and it was the same temperature. Anyway, Exeter or Bristol? If I had to choose it would be tough but I'd probably go with Bristol because it has a better reputation.
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    (Original post by Apricot Fairy)
    Clearly not that well.

    Or maybe you know the wrong parts of the city. Or maybe you're just blind. I don't know.
    Well, aren't you a sweetie pie. Nevertheless I feel inclined to respond to your post (God knows why). I know what people probably class as the 'main' bit of Bristol, with Woodland Rd etc. as I tend to go there for a lot of academic conferences. I also vaguely know the bit with the shopping centre and the quayside, which I have only ever seen in daytime so don't know what it's like at night. Either way, certainly my reaction to this bit of Bristol was fairly neutral. The Woodland Road bit is architecturally not too bad, but certainly if Bristol has any decent countryside, it's been hiding from me all the times I've been there.

    (Original post by Apricot Fairy)
    Also, I didn't apply to Oxbridge, and I'm not sure the reputation for it being "chock-full of Oxbridge rejects" is entirely justified. It's probably on a par with other top universities, but no more so than anywhere else with a decent reputation. My seminar group actually sat in the pub with our tutor and did a show of hands as to who applied to Oxford or Cambridge, and it was about four out of ten, if I remember correctly. In any case, why does it matter? I'm a Warwick and Manchester reject. When I tell people I got rejected from Manchester, they look confused and say, "But isn't Bristol much better and harder to get into?" But my point is, I don't know anybody who sits around with a chip on their shoulder because they feel they should be somewhere "better". Everyone I know is completely happy with where they are, and that's what counts. This includes my friend on the English course who is only here because she missed her offer for Cambridge. In fact, I've heard her say she's glad she didn't get that third A grade, otherwise she wouldn't be here now.
    In our flat last year, I think 3 of us out of 10 were Oxbridge rejects. Not a lot when considered on such a small scale, but if you were to total it up in the uni as a whole, that's quite a lot of Oxbridge rejects. It sounds like the proportions are fairly similar at Bristol, as I suspected. I have also met a girl here who turned down her Oxford offer to come here.

    (Original post by Apricot Fairy)
    I did it because I knew deep down that Exeter simply does not have the reputation that Bristol has and that this could be a problem if I wanted to apply for very high-powered and competitive jobs after I graduate.
    Could you kindly tell me your source of information with regards to this? I would be most interested to know.

    (Original post by Apricot Fairy)
    I was concerned about the fact that Exeter have recently closed several key departments, because even though this wouldn't have an adverse affect on the English course, it damages the reputation of the university as a whole.
    Not as such, no. One of my friends has moved to Newcastle Uni to complete her music degree after the closure of the department here, and nobody up there knows that Exeter has closed its departments. Nobody cares. As far as I can tell, it hasn't really affected the university's reputation that significantly.

    (Original post by Apricot Fairy)
    I also knew that because they had closed the music department, the extra-curricular music opportunities would eventually go the same way. This is something which I'm particularly interested in, and I know that the experiences I've had at Bristol with the Symphony Orchestra simply wouldn't have been possible at Exeter.
    Also untrue. The Choral Society, University Singers, Jazz Orchestra, Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra etc. are just as active as they were before the university announced the closure of the music department.

    As for the coursework-only structure of the Bristol English course, fair enough, but it's wrong to assume that you'd be panicking over exams otherwise. There's absolutely no point in panicking about exams given that you are obliged to do them in most universities. Ergo, the only ones panicking are the ones who haven't prepared.
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    (Original post by Angelil)
    Well, aren't you a sweetie pie? Nevertheless I feel inclined to respond to your post (God knows why). I know what people probably class as the 'main' bit of Bristol, with Woodland Rd etc. as I tend to go there for a lot of academic conferences. I also vaguely know the bit with the shopping centre and the quayside, which I have only ever seen in daytime so don't know what it's like at night. Either way, certainly my reaction to this bit of Bristol was fairly neutral. The Woodland Road bit is architecturally not too bad, but certainly if Bristol has any decent countryside, it's been hiding from me all the times I've been there.
    (Sorry, being an English student I felt the need to add a question mark to the end of your question. I'll refrain from tweaking the rest of it, since this is an internet forum, but I find it extraordinary that perfect grammar and punctuation don't come as second nature.)

    Arts students spend about six hour per week in Woodland Road. They spend far more time in other parts of Bristol. Architecturally, most people tend to think the Wills Memorial Building and the Victoria Rooms are more impressive than the department buildings in Woodland Road, but hey. To each their own.

    If your aesthetic judgement of Bristol is based, as you say, on Broadmead and Woodland Road, then it's not particularly comprehensive or relevant. The downs would be the obvious example of countryside, and the Stoke Bishop halls couldn't be much more green if they tried. The nicest part of the city is actually Clifton Village, close to the union and where the Clifton halls are. North Clifton is very leafy, particularly near the Zoo and Christ Church area.


    (Original post by Angelil)
    In our flat last year, I think 3 of us out of 10 were Oxbridge rejects. Not a lot when considered on such a small scale, but if you were to total it up in the uni as a whole, that's quite a lot of Oxbridge rejects. It sounds like the proportions are fairly similar at Bristol, as I suspected. I have also met a girl here who turned down her Oxford offer to come here.
    Again, I would like to reiterate just how ridiculous the term "Oxbridge rejects" is. Most people with any scrap of maturity whatsoever tend to realise pretty quickly that it doesn't matter at all. Furthermore, I suspect the statistics would be the same at Durham, York, Warwick, Nottingham, Edinburgh, St Andrews, UCL, KCL, LSE, etc etc etc. The only realistic way to avoid "Oxbridge rejects" is to go to a crap university. Although if you're that set on avoiding "Oxbridge rejects" you're probably not mature enough to go to university anyway and should get a life first.


    (Original post by Angelil)
    Could you kindly tell me your source of information with regards to this? I would be most interested to know.
    You said it yourself. League tables mean nothing. It's all about what people say. Not many people would place Exeter in their top ten, employers included.

    (Original post by Angelil)
    Not as such, no. One of my friends has moved to Newcastle Uni to complete her music degree after the closure of the department here, and nobody up there knows that Exeter has closed its departments. Nobody cares. As far as I can tell, it hasn't really affected the university's reputation that significantly.
    There's a whole bunch of music students who transferred from Exeter to Bristol for their third year. I would dispute the fact that nobody knows. I mean, I was aware enough for it to change my mind about going there. When they were in all the national press people kept telling me I'd made the right choice. I think enough people are pretty aware of it.


    (Original post by Angelil)
    Also untrue. The Choral Society, University Singers, Jazz Orchestra, Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra etc. are just as active as they were before the university announced the closure of the music department.
    That's odd, because one of the aforementioned music students told me that the symphony orchestra is folding. Another friend of mine has a friend at Exeter who is apparently a key member of all the choral groups. According to this friend, the girl's voice is hardly spectacular, and she might not even get through the auditions for some of the Bristol choirs. This leads my friend to believe that the quality at Exeter is lower.

    (Original post by Angelil)
    As for the coursework-only structure of the Bristol English course, fair enough, but it's wrong to assume that you'd be panicking over exams otherwise. There's absolutely no point in panicking about exams given that you are obliged to do them in most universities. Ergo, the only ones panicking are the ones who haven't prepared.
    Actually, a lot of people will panic whenever they have to do exams, no matter how much work they've done. A medic friend of mine has been preparing for her exams for months and revising all through the holidays (she's still got a good few weeks to go) and she's already panicking. Just because there's no point in panicking about exams doesn't mean people won't do it. Ergo, plenty of people who have done more than enough work still panic about exams.

    Now stop being so defensive.
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    (Original post by Angelil)
    Bristol is a concrete jungle, and league tables are bullplop.
    Come to Exeter. We have a great English department with loads of amazing lecturers, Karen Edwards and Robert Mack to name just two.
    Bristol is definitely not a concrete jungle. One of the things I loved about living in Stoke Bishop was getting to walk over the beautiful Downs every morning on my way to lectures... all you can see in any direction is trees and blue sky and it's lush in the summer. As for attractive scenery, the view from the suspension bridge and most of the streets and squares around Clifton still take my breath away. I've found it to be the perfect blend of city and countryside. I'd just second pretty much everything Apricot Fairy has said about the city and course here, it's absolutely fantastic .
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    People are bound to defend their own university, myself included. Exeter is hardly Oxford or Cambridge - however, I don't think you'll hear anyone saying that it's a rubbish uni. As for the point about 'Oxbridge rejects', I don't know what else you'd want me to call them. My point is that certainly for the English courses at Exeter, many people get in with the same grades that Oxbridge require, and I'm fairly sure that this is also the case for Bristol. Therefore, the calibre of students probably doesn't differ a great deal if you're judging on grades alone.
    If you haven't been to Exeter, then you're not really in a position to judge. I merely pointed out that I hadn't seen many green bits in Bristol at all, not that I was closing my mind to the possibility of there being any. So can we all stop ****ging off each other's universities now? Thanks
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    (Original post by Angelil)
    So can we all stop ****ging off each other's universities now? Thanks
    Actually, I believe I said Exeter was lovely and you said Bristol was a concrete jungle...
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    And what did you **** off? Let's see, the uni reputation, the uni music department...
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    I didn't say it had a bad reputation, I just said Bristol's was better, which I think most people would agree with. And I said the music department is, well, no more. Where's the dispute there? :p:
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    I'd also argue that the fact that Exeter are willing to scrap courses in one go and not even allow students to finish their course doesn't exactly look good. It certainly doesn't demonstrate much commitment to existing students, does it? They could have phased the courses out gradually over three years, but instead students were forced to scatter, leave a university they loved and all the friends they had made there and start again at a different university they didn't even want to go to for their final year. That kind of upheaval can't be good. And if Exeter really are in so much financial difficulty that phasing the courses out wasn't an option, then that's arguably even more worrying. Either way, it shows either a lack of commitment to their students or an incredible lack of foresight financially, causing them to resort to desperate measures.
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    Utterly untrue.
    All chemistry, music, and single hons Italian courses are being allowed to continue with the students that Exeter already has, carrying their courses to full term. I have many friends who are music students who have chosen to stay here. Nobody was forced to leave at all. My music student friend who transferred to Newcastle did so out of choice, and for other reasons as well as the fact that the music department was closing. Any students who did choose to move were given financial assistance/compensation by Exeter in order to help with this.
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    Well the people I know at Bristol who had to transfer from Exeter told me the exact opposite, so I think I'll believe the six people I actually know in that situation. :rolleyes:
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    Which is why there are music students still here, right? Because they were really forced out of uni immediately before their course was over...
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    To the OP...I'd say have a look at the course and see which one you prefer. Forget about how prestigious the uni is cause Bristol, York and Exeter are all great unis (well done for your offers!!). Both Bristol and Exeter are well known to be beautiful in different ways. From my visits I thought Exeter was the most beautiful campus uni, while Bristol was the nicest city. I only didn't apply to Bristol cause I hated the History course. So...it's about what YOU want cause obviously students at Exeter and Bristol will see the merits of their own unis. Which course is more your style and do you prefer city/country. What type of social life do you want? Go with that and not about prestige.
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    (Original post by Angelil)
    Which is why there are music students still here, right? Because they were really forced out of uni immediately before their course was over...
    I'm just going on what my friends who are former Exeter music students have said. You may be right, but I don't personally have any proof that you even go to Exeter, as this is the internet.

    Anyway, this debate is about English, not music. But there are plenty of reasons to choose Bristol anyway.
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    :rolleyes:
    Fine, whatever. I have in fact repped christy for making a sensible post in the middle of this ridiculous argument that I've found myself in, so I'm not going to bother arguing the toss with you anymore.
 
 
 
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