Nottingham or Westminster for Architecture 2010/11? Watch

glauco
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Hi everyone!

I've applied for architecture at Westminster and Nottingham. I have an offer from Nottingham and at the moment I am agonising over the right decision, even though I am still waiting for Westminster.

The thing is that Nottingham has a very good reputation as a university whilst Westminster hasn't. When you look at the times online ranking, Nottingham comes in 20 and Westminster in 100. However, when you look at the subject architecture, Westminster is 22 which is not bad but Nottingham still beats it being number 11 in the country.

I have a slight preference for Westminster as it is in the planet's most cosmopolitan city, with a world of things going on in all areas: in the building industry, in the arts, socially, etc. I see more opportunities and a perspective of a richer experience there. Whilst in Nottingham, for being a much smaller place, I would be more limited when it comes to professional contacts, variety and inspiration. I imagine that life at the university is very good but when I come out of it on a daily basis I wouldn't experience much richness architecture-wise.

However, I am very concerned about the influence that this reputation status will have once I have graduated and start looking for a job in 6 years time. How would the big names in the industry look at me if I come from Westminster? What should have a heavier influence on my decision? Reputation or location?

Is there anyone out there who can tell me about your own experience at either university? Or anyone with same doubts?

Just found out about this website and already love it. Getting lots of useful information from other students and want to share any information that can be of any help to others, so please feel free to get in touch.

Thanks for reading.

Glauco
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victor_b1992
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please dont go to westminster, nottingham is soo soo soo much better
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GormlessWonder
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Go to Nottingham basically. I'm going to Westminster because I didn't get the grades to get into Nottingham. :p:
People here will tell you about Nott having a better environment for a student, etc. and the ranking jump is significant enough for it to be a no brainer. Saying that, I am looking forward to being in London believe it or not. I'd advise you to visit both departments if possible to 'get a feel'.
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Saint
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Nottingham is actually a really beautiful city, there is lots of great architecture in the city and all over the midlands. I know it doesn't cmpare to london but you can still visit there. And trust me Notts is a much much better city then london, london is a disgutsing, overated, overpriced, overpopulated, ugly, poluted, rude and lonely place to live. Nottingham nightlife is great mosphere much better. Plus Westminster doesn't even compare to Nottingham Uni for graduate prospects and course quality.
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dschna
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Why are you even contemplating attending Westminster over Nottingham?
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Logan
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in terms of career prospects

id say notts, the school for built environment is ace
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glauco
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Thanks guys for all the replies.
I have been to both and I did have a good feeling about both, equally.
The programme at Wmin is quite interesting and the are different pathways you can choose from year 2. I had a chat with a guy who studies there and he only had good things to say about it. The RIBA library is walking distance from the campus, there are free material in the studios for the students to make models, the computer labs are very well equipped, some lecturers also work/worked for AA / Bartlett.
I went to Notts and talked to a lecturer who was very excited about the studies there, all the practical side of the course (they've built some sustainable houses in the campus with involvement of students, for instance), etc. It is much harder to get into Notts (AAA) and I wonder whether that affects the quality of other places like Wmin (ABB).
They tend to say that Wmin is good for architecture, so I shouldn't worry about reputation of other departments and if we compare all the points they take into account to make a league table we can see that there is no much difference between the 2, and like it seems that Wmin invests in research more than Notts.
If they were the exactly the same I'd go to Wmin as I love London and I really feel more excited about it. It'd be much harder as in Notts I have my house with garden, I can cycle around, I wouldn't spend half of what would in London. On the other hand, I didn't want to choose Wmin over Notts if its level is much lower. That's why I started this thread, to hear what people have to say about both and make my life easier when making a final decision. It is a very hard one, my dream is London but I value quality and I don't want just a degree, I want to be a great architect......
Basically my head gets more and more confused about it day after day...
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victor_b1992
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well if you wanted to go to london you should have applied to UCL it very good for architecture
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kates:)
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Two of my housemates are 2nd year BArch students at Notts as are many people I know as well as the guy I'm seeing. They're all very good at what they do and get to do a huge variety of projects. For example, one of them got to go to Madrid for the H.O.U.S.E project and won a competition and is now in Innsbruck. The other housemate is currently doing a regeneration project on some derelict buildings nearby. They love it here.

Modules vary from design, construction projects, more arty based modules, physics stuff, history of architecture.

The studio's are very extensive and in a nice, leafy, quiet yet central part of campus. Plus many of the tutors work in firms down in London, many of them are Cambridge graduates etc. They get guest speakers in and next week at the final crit some well-known architecture is coming to watch - Chryssanthi Perpatidou (Zaha Hadid Architects).

Also they had to go down to London during the Easter hols for tutorials etc.

Make of all of that what you will.
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glauco
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when is that gonna be next week? is it open for outsiders like me? it'd be good to go and attend to it. I did it at LondonMet 2 weeks ago.
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glauco
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(Original post by victor_b1992)
well if you wanted to go to london you should have applied to UCL it very good for architecture
what happened was that I only decided to apply this year in March and there were no places left at UCL, I was quite disappointed but didn't want to wait another year
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ZJ4GK
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(Original post by glauco)
what happened was that I only decided to apply this year in March and there were no places left at UCL, I was quite disappointed but didn't want to wait another year
If you are that set on London I would really advise taking a gap year and applying for UCL rather than going for Westminster, Architecture is a competitive area and having UCL on your CV instead of Westminster will be really really useful.
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GormlessWonder
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Taking a gap year might be a good call considering you're so desperate to go to London, think about it. I'd advise it only if you're confident of getting into UCL. Think about what you could do and start planning it now, getting a full time job for a number of months may be something you want to do, perhaps travel a bit.

Also, glauco, no need to repost this same question in multiple threads in the same subforum.
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glauco
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Hi, thanks for your reply and sorry for posting it in other threads, I just thought someone who reads one wouldn't necessarily read the other, but I won't do it again.
I was considering maybe staying in Notts for RIBA part 1 then apply at UCL for 2 and 3, or waiting til next year, but I'm not 100% sure if I'd get into UCL. I'm from Brazil and my grades are very good but it's hard for me to convert my grades into A levels as the 2 systems are completely different. I guess that I have at least what would be equivalent to AAA as I got an offer from Nottingham. I didn't do anything artistic but I went to technical college and am a qualified architectural technician, I also have professional experience as a draughtsman (well, CADman!). However I don't know if that would be considered by UCL. If, let's say, they want those artistic sketches that someone who's been doing years of art could do very beautifully, I am pretty confident that mine would look crap.
Do you know anyone from Wmin?
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Byllie
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surely a :troll:

Notts everyday of the week
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Jfranny
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it's funny how everyone on here supposedly doesn't believe in choosing an institution soley on the basis of its reputation. In terms of employment - it's about how good you are and how you appeal to a certain employee - are you what they're looking for - do your ideas/visions coincide with theirs? I would imagine there's a strong correlation between degree class/sucess not where you got your degree/sucess..
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dschna
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(Original post by Jfranny)
it's funny how everyone on here supposedly doesn't believe in choosing an institution soley on the basis of its reputation. In terms of employment - it's about how good you are and how you appeal to a certain employee - are you what they're looking for - do your ideas/visions coincide with theirs? I would imagine there's a strong correlation between degree class/sucess not where you got your degree/sucess..
Please enter the real world.
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jrhartley
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(Original post by Jfranny)
it's funny how everyone on here supposedly doesn't believe in choosing an institution soley on the basis of its reputation. In terms of employment - it's about how good you are and how you appeal to a certain employee - are you what they're looking for - do your ideas/visions coincide with theirs? I would imagine there's a strong correlation between degree class/sucess not where you got your degree/sucess..
unfortunately not. funnily enough, it was the people with u/g firsts from cardiff in architecture were those that had the hardest time finding work in year 4.
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jrhartley
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(Original post by kates:))
They get guest speakers in and next week at the final crit some well-known architecture is coming to watch - Chryssanthi Perpatidou (Zaha Hadid Architects)
they've got Chryssanthi coming in to crit?

NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!! Gold dust.
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glauco
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(Original post by Jfranny)
it's funny how everyone on here supposedly doesn't believe in choosing an institution soley on the basis of its reputation. In terms of employment - it's about how good you are and how you appeal to a certain employee - are you what they're looking for - do your ideas/visions coincide with theirs? I would imagine there's a strong correlation between degree class/sucess not where you got your degree/sucess..
I have been talking to lots of people about it and some of them would agree with you. They think that it depends more on your personal achievements, personality and portfolio. I went to a practice yesterday and they said that they employ people from other countries and they can't check so many different universities/league tables from all over the world. And if the person is not suitable, it doesn't matter whether he/she comes from Cambridge or wherever. I do think that a very very bad uni is not a good thing to have on your CV but for architecture Wmin is good. It's easy for people to say that Wmin is rubbish, but based on what? Do they study there? Do they know anyone from there? What kind of real experience did they have for having this sort of opinion? I am here because I genuinely want to hear people's opinion but I have to know where they come from so I can rely on what they say.
Thank you all, I do appreciate you taking the time to read and reply
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