The Good and the Bad - Brunel University

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golder
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I've just finished my second year of Brunel here's my view on the good and the bad, although some of these might be common but they're still part of my first 2 years of studying at Brunel. I know the experience will be different for everyone, and for people on other courses so this is just my opinionated, personal review on the BBS.

THE BAD:
-Lack of presentations - In my first year I had one group presentation which I enjoyed presenting - Got a B for it. The "seminar leader" for that class could barely speak English, so I asked him 'How many years have you been in the UK?' He told me 20. That was disgusting. That was the last presentation I had - I had to get practice in this area from somewhere else so I tried attending some Public Speaking clubs in London.

-Lack of electives - It's a shame that I couldn't choose a single module outside of my course, a few modules in Economics, Finance, Maths, English, History, Psychology, Biology etc. could have very well complemented my degree subject. I felt quite limited in that aspect.

-Lecturers - As with any university you'll have the bad ones and the good ones. However I think the bad lecturers outweigh the good ones. I believe that in teaching a module, lecturers need to explain the subject in great detail and for that there were many lecturers that failed in doing so, mainly because of their inadequacy in English. Also, my seminar leader for International Business had never heard of the term 'Credit crunch' when a classmate mentioned it - that was disgusting, too. There were quite a few instances where the lecturers and seminar leaders were absolutely terrible.

-General lazy attitude of students - I think the saying 'Success breeds success' is very true but the opposite is true as well. There is a hugely lazy attitude from most of my peers, and I thought I wouldn't succumb to them but it got to me especially because I was doing a lot that no one else is doing (like revising early). I've tried hanging out with different crowds but laziness brings us all together and as a result nothing gets done. I tried getting a group together for the CIMA Business Challenge, people seemed optimistic initially but then at the first meeting people were like 'no, can't be asked' and some people didn't turn up. Ditto for the IBM Business Challenge, except that people dropped out so we couldn't meet the deadline with a good group.

Mediocrity - One of my module leaders dumbed down one of the modules because people complained it was too difficult when in my opinion it was barely on the level of AS level. So it became even easier. On top of that, they gave us a past paper like seminar (11 questions) and told us that 5 of these questions will come up, but they will have slightly different numbers in the questions. Talk about promoting mediocrity. People are generally mediocre as well, it's hard to excel, do the unexpected, etc. when there is no motivation.

Doesn't work - University is supposed to change the way you think, teach you how to research, evaluate, etc. Brunel doesn't. Each one our modules has only 1 exam or 1 assignment and you can't really learn much from that. In world-class universities you get assignments every week or two, you get them marked, learn from mistakes and do better the next time. In Brunel, you get 6 deliverables for the whole year, people still complain about it being 'too much' *facepalm*. BBS Graduates are generally unprepared for the workforce. I'm not saying that a university course should prepare you for the workforce but my school is the Brunel Business School - there are certain skills that are essential for business but are left out from the course.

Unrecognized - The university is unrecognized outside of the UK. It's barely recognized outside of London.

No study abroad programmes - There is pretty much no chance of you going abroad to study for a semester if you're a student of the BBS.

THE GOOD:
-The diversity is exceptional, I've got friends from Afghanistan, Mongolia, Belarus, Hong Kong, Oman, Malawi, Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Indonesia, of course the UK and more, it's absolutely great, I thrive on diversity. Plus there are plenty of fit girls on campus.

-The range of modules within my subject area - in my course, I have modules for Accounting, Marketing, Management, ICT, Organisational Behaviour and International Business, in my second year there were the modules in Management & Financial Accounting, Business Law, Global Business and Statistics. The range is good. Although, like I said earlier, a few modules outside of my subject area would have been better - having the Law module was pretty awesome.

-Great campus - The old halls are quite decent and the newer ones are very nice. The sports facilities are superb - there is a large selection of sports at Brunel, such as table tennis, badminton, basketball, football, hockey, swimming (off campus, in Uxbridge), squash, tennis, horse riding, running and many more. You'd be foolish to not join a sports club. The library is pretty good too, there aren't enough computers but there are some great group study rooms. Plus there are some 24 hour facilities, rooms and computer labs. The library opens for 24 hours around and before the exam period, which I thought was a brilliant idea, although this is probably common throughout the UK.

-Great Clubs and Societies - Brunel University has a great list of interesting societies and sports clubs.

-Great nightlife culture - There's always something going on on some night or the other. Plus there are many Brunel groups that go together, taking coaches to specific clubs around London (to and from), that makes it much easier. Pre-clubbing sessions were quite good if you have a big group of people.

-Great sandwich degrees - This means that after the 2nd year, you take a year in industrial placement (work) and then take the final year in your 4th year. Brunel are quite flexible about this plus they provide great support in helping you apply for jobs - you have to do all the job applying yourself.

-Careers fairs/presentations - The Brunel PCC organise some pretty good careers events, which attract some large corporations such as Intel and IBM quite frequently. Some banks like JP Morgan and BAML also come but these are quite random & rare, the large IB's don't come every year but they'll come try out Brunel sometimes. PwC comes to the campus very frequently with their employability presentations and events.

-No catered halls - You don't have the option for catered halls. I put this as a good point because if you're in halls, there is motivation and encouragement to learn (if you're not fluent in) cooking. The halls kitchens get cleaned by the maid people everyday. Also, you learn how to do some grocery shopping on your own, and you'll probably also learn how to do the laundry as well.

BEFORE ENDING:
To sum up, the environment (in my case, the Brunel Business School or BBS) breeds mediocrity and the course that I took upon was made for lazy people. There was barely a challenge. I felt that my 2nd year of university was nearly on par with the level of difficulty of AS level. I didn't get much of a chance to take part in leadership activities, group activities, presentations, electives, within my course, all of which I believe are essential for the future (i.e. in work) so I've been going elsewhere to fill in the gaps in my course. Some lecturers couldn't speak English properly, some were incredibly boring (reading ppt slides) and didn't know what they were talking about, etc. I think prospective students should choose a challenging degree in a major they are interested in.

I read someone's (username: fiftyfourfourtysix) comments in a thread online and I agreed with them - Here is the quotation - "if you've not applied yet, pick the hardest degree you think you're capable of. the country is full of people who picked a degree because they thought it'd be fun. it's three years that will literally shape the rest of your working life- challenge yourself and make the £20k of debt worthwhile."

IN VERY FEW WORDS:
\therefore Brunel Business School (BBS) ... The teaching + degree course are bad. The campus is great.

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MojoRisinist
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And your purpose of doing this two weeks prior to start of term is what? Get people nervous and depressed? ;<

I'm sorry your course didn't turn out the way you would've wanted it to, but we are all responsible for our own careers--all a university can do is provide us with tools of learning. Actually learning and becoming a professional is our job - not theirs. Personally, I am very eager to start my course (Games Design and Creative Writing), and I expect to be doing an immense amount of extracurricular study and other activities relevant to what I want to become, before I graduate.

Good luck!
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Norfolkadam
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#3
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I'd agree for the most part. I did politics there last year and I found the degree to be pretty terrible but the campus and accommodation to be excellent. There are way too many people there who didn't want to learn or do a degree at all they were just there for the lifestyle which would have been fine if they didn't sit in lectures chatting and "BBMing" each other.
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shivani17
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Hi guys! I did my Msc Corporate brand management at Brunel in 2009. Well as far as my course is concerned I really really enjoyed it and the modules/electives were fantastic! Totally what i wanted to study! Apart from this, the accommodation and student services were again superb.. totally upto mark! being an international student these things were over my expectations! The culture and diversity at the campus is beautiful, being an Indian I also could make good friends with Pakistani's which is quite interesting!
The only sad part at the university is the allocation of supervisors during dissertation time, I got a supervisor who had majored in accounts and my topic was Celebrity endorsements and branding.. well complete opposite.. other than that my coure lecturers were really good! Overall experience- A+
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Beautiful Nightmare
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Can I ask a question about presentations?

do you have to do them yourself or are you in a group? I'm very nervous on my own...
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shivani17
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Mostly u have presentation in a group.. and u need to courseworks individually.. but in certain courses u might have individual presentations too.. but dont worry..be good..practice your presentation at the library group study room and I am sure u will do really well!


(Original post by Beautiful Nightmare)
Can I ask a question about presentations?

do you have to do them yourself or are you in a group? I'm very nervous on my own...
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iced_dragon_agility
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I did presentations on my own and in a group!

And I love my course; it's challenging, interesting, I've got constant work and things to be doing, and coupled with the social side of Brunel, my time there was very positive. I'm looking forward to my final year so much!!
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deshi55
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Loved my first year at Brunel, met tons of people and I've got a huge circle of friends from lots of different countries.

My course was good, some elements were difficult but the staff always answered my questions well and provided good advice in a timely manner.

I was a student rep so it was interesting getting involved with meetings and finding ways to improve the course for myself and others.

After finishing my exams I started an internship and I'm just coming to the end of it now. Was a really good experience and I can't wait to start my 2nd year!
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Binstig
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Just to enlighten you, its "can't be arsed" not "asked" .
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CharlieBee_90
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Well Brunel is ranked higher than some of the better unis for my course, and I think the lecturers are great. It does depend on what course you are doing but I agree that Brunel needs to improve on their weaker courses somewhat.
I'm also assuming that you are going to get lazy students at every uni, but you are right, that pisses me off, it's like they came for the whole "student lifestyle" and not to gain an actual degree. (One guy I know who is doing history simply doesn't bother as he knows he can get a teaching job with a 2:2 - I wish they'd kick him out and give his place to someone who deserves it. :mad: )
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TruliiSmiliyy
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(Original post by CharlieBee_90)
Well Brunel is ranked higher than some of the better unis for my course, and I think the lecturers are great. It does depend on what course you are doing but I agree that Brunel needs to improve on their weaker courses somewhat.
I'm also assuming that you are going to get lazy students at every uni, but you are right, that pisses me off, it's like they came for the whole "student lifestyle" and not to gain an actual degree. (One guy I know who is doing history simply doesn't bother as he knows he can get a teaching job with a 2:2 - I wish they'd kick him out and give his place to someone who deserves it. :mad: )
so what do you guys considered as their weak degree because i want to do psychology but am not sure now??
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Jmaguire
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(Original post by TruliiSmiliyy)
so what do you guys considered as their weak degree because i want to do psychology but am not sure now??
The social side of Brunel is great, the Student Union societies and sports club, the Placement and Career centre is great and placements are really helpful, Psychology placements are often unpaid but you do 1 in second and 1 in third year on a four year course.

The learning side of it is alright, it's not the best and there have been terrible lecturers but there are some great members of stuff and interesting modules, I've felt it could be a lot better as the UG office aren't known for being organised at all.

Give the course outline a look if interested, if you plan to do stuff outside a degree and develop other skills then Brunels great but if you just want to really knuckle down and get a first and a great degree then aim higher :P
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TruliiSmiliyy
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(Original post by Jmaguire)
The social side of Brunel is great, the Student Union societies and sports club, the Placement and Career centre is great and placements are really helpful, Psychology placements are often unpaid but you do 1 in second and 1 in third year on a four year course.

The learning side of it is alright, it's not the best and there have been terrible lecturers but there are some great members of stuff and interesting modules, I've felt it could be a lot better as the UG office aren't known for being organised at all.

Give the course outline a look if interested, if you plan to do stuff outside a degree and develop other skills then Brunels great but if you just want to really knuckle down and get a first and a great degree then aim higher :P
Thank you, really appreciated.
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alberto91
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(Original post by golder)

Unrecognized - The university is unrecognized outside of the UK. It's barely recognized outside of London.
As an international student I have to say that this is completely false. In fact, any UK university is well recognized abroad because foreign students are not familiar with UK universities apart from Oxford and Cambridge. It is also important to stress that Brunel is the 4th-best under 50 university in UK and the twenty-ninth in the world. Moreover, Brunel holds the global 251 position and the 35th UK position in the world, above universities like Plymouth, Aberystwyth, Heriot-Watt, Portsmouth, Stirling, etc etc.. Of course Brunel is less recognized inside London than other universities, because you compared an under 50 university with the Imperial College London, the University College London, the London School of Economics and Political Sciencie or the King's College London, which are all of them among the best 9 universities in Europe xD

Just check timeshighereducation if you want
Regards.
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masseffect4
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(Original post by golder)
I've just finished my second year of Brunel here's my view on the good and the bad, although some of these might be common but they're still part of my first 2 years of studying at Brunel. I know the experience will be different for everyone, and for people on other courses so this is just my opinionated, personal review on the BBS.

THE BAD:
-Lack of presentations - In my first year I had one group presentation which I enjoyed presenting - Got a B for it. The "seminar leader" for that class could barely speak English, so I asked him 'How many years have you been in the UK?' He told me 20. That was disgusting. That was the last presentation I had - I had to get practice in this area from somewhere else so I tried attending some Public Speaking clubs in London.

-Lack of electives - It's a shame that I couldn't choose a single module outside of my course, a few modules in Economics, Finance, Maths, English, History, Psychology, Biology etc. could have very well complemented my degree subject. I felt quite limited in that aspect.

-Lecturers - As with any university you'll have the bad ones and the good ones. However I think the bad lecturers outweigh the good ones. I believe that in teaching a module, lecturers need to explain the subject in great detail and for that there were many lecturers that failed in doing so, mainly because of their inadequacy in English. Also, my seminar leader for International Business had never heard of the term 'Credit crunch' when a classmate mentioned it - that was disgusting, too. There were quite a few instances where the lecturers and seminar leaders were absolutely terrible.

-General lazy attitude of students - I think the saying 'Success breeds success' is very true but the opposite is true as well. There is a hugely lazy attitude from most of my peers, and I thought I wouldn't succumb to them but it got to me especially because I was doing a lot that no one else is doing (like revising early). I've tried hanging out with different crowds but laziness brings us all together and as a result nothing gets done. I tried getting a group together for the CIMA Business Challenge, people seemed optimistic initially but then at the first meeting people were like 'no, can't be asked' and some people didn't turn up. Ditto for the IBM Business Challenge, except that people dropped out so we couldn't meet the deadline with a good group.

Mediocrity - One of my module leaders dumbed down one of the modules because people complained it was too difficult when in my opinion it was barely on the level of AS level. So it became even easier. On top of that, they gave us a past paper like seminar (11 questions) and told us that 5 of these questions will come up, but they will have slightly different numbers in the questions. Talk about promoting mediocrity. People are generally mediocre as well, it's hard to excel, do the unexpected, etc. when there is no motivation.

Doesn't work - University is supposed to change the way you think, teach you how to research, evaluate, etc. Brunel doesn't. Each one our modules has only 1 exam or 1 assignment and you can't really learn much from that. In world-class universities you get assignments every week or two, you get them marked, learn from mistakes and do better the next time. In Brunel, you get 6 deliverables for the whole year, people still complain about it being 'too much' *facepalm*. BBS Graduates are generally unprepared for the workforce. I'm not saying that a university course should prepare you for the workforce but my school is the Brunel Business School - there are certain skills that are essential for business but are left out from the course.

Unrecognized - The university is unrecognized outside of the UK. It's barely recognized outside of London.

No study abroad programmes - There is pretty much no chance of you going abroad to study for a semester if you're a student of the BBS.

THE GOOD:
-The diversity is exceptional, I've got friends from Afghanistan, Mongolia, Belarus, Hong Kong, Oman, Malawi, Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Indonesia, of course the UK and more, it's absolutely great, I thrive on diversity. Plus there are plenty of fit girls on campus.

-The range of modules within my subject area - in my course, I have modules for Accounting, Marketing, Management, ICT, Organisational Behaviour and International Business, in my second year there were the modules in Management & Financial Accounting, Business Law, Global Business and Statistics. The range is good. Although, like I said earlier, a few modules outside of my subject area would have been better - having the Law module was pretty awesome.

-Great campus - The old halls are quite decent and the newer ones are very nice. The sports facilities are superb - there is a large selection of sports at Brunel, such as table tennis, badminton, basketball, football, hockey, swimming (off campus, in Uxbridge), squash, tennis, horse riding, running and many more. You'd be foolish to not join a sports club. The library is pretty good too, there aren't enough computers but there are some great group study rooms. Plus there are some 24 hour facilities, rooms and computer labs. The library opens for 24 hours around and before the exam period, which I thought was a brilliant idea, although this is probably common throughout the UK.

-Great Clubs and Societies - Brunel University has a great list of interesting societies and sports clubs.

-Great nightlife culture - There's always something going on on some night or the other. Plus there are many Brunel groups that go together, taking coaches to specific clubs around London (to and from), that makes it much easier. Pre-clubbing sessions were quite good if you have a big group of people.

-Great sandwich degrees - This means that after the 2nd year, you take a year in industrial placement (work) and then take the final year in your 4th year. Brunel are quite flexible about this plus they provide great support in helping you apply for jobs - you have to do all the job applying yourself.

-Careers fairs/presentations - The Brunel PCC organise some pretty good careers events, which attract some large corporations such as Intel and IBM quite frequently. Some banks like JP Morgan and BAML also come but these are quite random & rare, the large IB's don't come every year but they'll come try out Brunel sometimes. PwC comes to the campus very frequently with their employability presentations and events.

-No catered halls - You don't have the option for catered halls. I put this as a good point because if you're in halls, there is motivation and encouragement to learn (if you're not fluent in) cooking. The halls kitchens get cleaned by the maid people everyday. Also, you learn how to do some grocery shopping on your own, and you'll probably also learn how to do the laundry as well.

BEFORE ENDING:
To sum up, the environment (in my case, the Brunel Business School or BBS) breeds mediocrity and the course that I took upon was made for lazy people. There was barely a challenge. I felt that my 2nd year of university was nearly on par with the level of difficulty of AS level. I didn't get much of a chance to take part in leadership activities, group activities, presentations, electives, within my course, all of which I believe are essential for the future (i.e. in work) so I've been going elsewhere to fill in the gaps in my course. Some lecturers couldn't speak English properly, some were incredibly boring (reading ppt slides) and didn't know what they were talking about, etc. I think prospective students should choose a challenging degree in a major they are interested in.

I read someone's (username: fiftyfourfourtysix) comments in a thread online and I agreed with them - Here is the quotation - "if you've not applied yet, pick the hardest degree you think you're capable of. the country is full of people who picked a degree because they thought it'd be fun. it's three years that will literally shape the rest of your working life- challenge yourself and make the £20k of debt worthwhile."

IN VERY FEW WORDS:
\therefore Brunel Business School (BBS) ... The teaching + degree course are bad. The campus is great.
do you think it improved its business courses because i cant make my mind between Aston business and international relation or international business at Brunel remember that location is also very important to me ( i live in London )
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