Pros and cons of the university? (HELP PLEASE) Watch

thewytches
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Hello, I've recently been invited for an interview at Lancaster medical school. I based my choices on teaching style and course structure and unfortunately had no time to visit the university (therefore I essentially know nothing about it!) I was wondering if a student or someone that has visited the uni could help answer some of my questions!?
1) What's the accommodation like, I'm aware there's a college system, what are the 'reputations' of these colleges?
2) What is the night life like? I'm from London so used to going out minimum twice a week (of course if I'm doing medicine I don't expect to be leaving the library much anyway!), I'm more of a club person instead of bars/pubs, are there many of those? How busy do they tend to be?
3) I hear the campus is quite isolated, is this true? How far is the closest 'buzzing' place?
4) How much does travel cost? Are there regular buses, trains etc?
5) (probably a stupid question) from my understanding Lancaster is a campus uni so is all accommodation within walking distance of for example the medical department?
6) What attracted you to the university?
7) Are there any vegan restaurants around by any chance?
8) How close is the nearest shopping centre or if I want to go do a weekly shop?
9) and finally, be honest, what do you dislike about the uni!

Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Even if you just answer on question! I've tried to find these things out online but haven't managed, I'll probably email them if I still have any queries but I figured it would be more accurate coming from a student/future student! Thank you!
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Betsy_Lou
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Hi so I've applied for 2018 entry and I've done a lot of research on Lancaster - maybe I can help a bit?

1) Accommodation at Lancaster has been rated the best for a very long time, and the college system is based on different personality types (although apparently after Freshers this isn't much of a thing). Most accommodation is in the centre (close to most things). Pick a college that's relatively close to your department on the map (i.e not Cartmel or Lonsdale)
2) Nightlife is going to be pretty bad if you're from London. There is one main club that is usually busy and then a couple of others which might get busy every once in a blue moon. If you're a medical student then I shouldn't imagine you'd be doing too much partying though.
3) The campus is very isolated. It's only just in walking distance from it's own city (if you like walking) and the nearest buzzing place is Manchester (or Preston if you're easy to please).
4) They run buses a lot from the uni's underpass to nearby places but be warned: from my own research, there are no trains back from further afar places such as Manchester after about 9pm until 7am, so you couldn't really go for a night out there unless you wanted to pull a complete all nighter.
5) see 1)
6) Major/minor structure. Unconditional offer.
7) Not sure.
8) Get it delivered would be my advice. There is a free bus to sainsbury's every Wednesday(?).
9) Isolated. Poor transport links. Rainy. No music scene. Poor nightlife.
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thewytches
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(Original post by Han_wilson)
Hi so I've applied for 2018 entry and I've done a lot of research on Lancaster - maybe I can help a bit?

1) Accommodation at Lancaster has been rated the best for a very long time, and the college system is based on different personality types (although apparently after Freshers this isn't much of a thing). Most accommodation is in the centre (close to most things). Pick a college that's relatively close to your department on the map (i.e not Cartmel or Lonsdale)
2) Nightlife is going to be pretty bad if you're from London. There is one main club that is usually busy and then a couple of others which might get busy every once in a blue moon. If you're a medical student then I shouldn't imagine you'd be doing too much partying though.
3) The campus is very isolated. It's only just in walking distance from it's own city (if you like walking) and the nearest buzzing place is Manchester (or Preston if you're easy to please).
4) They run buses a lot from the uni's underpass to nearby places but be warned: from my own research, there are no trains back from further afar places such as Manchester after about 9pm until 7am, so you couldn't really go for a night out there unless you wanted to pull a complete all nighter.
5) see 1)
6) Major/minor structure. Unconditional offer.
7) Not sure.
8) Get it delivered would be my advice. There is a free bus to sainsbury's every Wednesday(?).
9) Isolated. Poor transport links. Rainy. No music scene. Poor nightlife.
This is SO helpful thank you!!!!! I feel like I need to go to a dead uni if I'm going to do well in Medicine, I'll have half terms and festival season to catch up on the clubbing (although I might die without a good d&b scene)!!! I'm quite worried about how isolated it is as whenever I visit my friends at likewise unis (Lincoln, warwick) I miss London after just a day! But thank you so so much this is really helpful, good luck with your application x
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Betsy_Lou
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(Original post by thewytches)
This is SO helpful thank you!!!!! I feel like I need to go to a dead uni if I'm going to do well in Medicine, I'll have half terms and festival season to catch up on the clubbing (although I might die without a good d&b scene)!!! I'm quite worried about how isolated it is as whenever I visit my friends at likewise unis (Lincoln, warwick) I miss London after just a day! But thank you so so much this is really helpful, good luck with your application x
You’re welcome! I hope your application goes well, too. I have a friend who’s applied for medicine at Lancaster - so who knows, in a year's time you could be working together!
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Joe1000000
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(Original post by thewytches)
This is SO helpful thank you!!!!! I feel like I need to go to a dead uni if I'm going to do well in Medicine, I'll have half terms and festival season to catch up on the clubbing (although I might die without a good d&b scene)!!! I'm quite worried about how isolated it is as whenever I visit my friends at likewise unis (Lincoln, warwick) I miss London after just a day! But thank you so so much this is really helpful, good luck with your application x
Be aware that unless the medicine school has a very different term structure (and it may well do) Lancaster doesn't have half term holidays. We have 3 10 week terms, and I believe the medicine school has more than that.
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blurstagin
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...There is a lovely vegan cafe and shop in Lancaster called the Whale Tale!
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gabrielobscure
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Heyy,I am currently in my second year at Lancaster Uni. I feel somewhat obliged to answer all of your questions as accurately as possible, since I believe Lancaster is not what many people expect it to be and ads from the university itself can be majorly misleading. I think everyone deserves to know precisely what they sign up for and false marketing should not be used by institutions such as universities merely to fill their places and maximize profits. Just couple of notes about myself: I am doing Politics and Philosophy and not Medicine, so I can't really answer any questions regarding academic aspects of your course. Also I am not British, I came to study here from Northern Europe, so perhaps I'm just not that used to some things that are common in this country. Anyway, here are answers to your questions in the same order:
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gabrielobscure
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  • 1) Accommodation. From my own experience campus accommodation is pretty good, yet quite expensive. I lived in a standard room, meaning that I shared the kitchen, toilets and showers with seven other people. I don’t really have any complaints regarding the quality of accommodation. The only drawback is the lack of social spaces in the dorms. The only space you can use to hang out (apart from your own room) is the kitchen, but kitchens are not really designed to serve as social spaces so they are pretty bleak and grim. That is with the exception of townhouses (I’ve been to Grizedale and County townhouses during some predrinks), they usually have lounges with sofas and TV’s, which makes them a little nicer.


In terms of the collegiate system it is quite remote from what the university is advertising. Colleges in Lancaster Uni are nothing like fraternities/sororities, clubs or “houses” in some American universities. Nor they are anything like colleges in Oxford or Cambridge. Here they are merely a way to divide the campus geographically so it would be easier to navigate. Colleges are not really built around something that could actually unite the students who reside there (like hobbies, political leanings, sports affiliations etc.). Some colleges have more London kids who like coke, some colleges have more posh home county kids who like to play lacrosse in their pastime. But as far as I’m concerned, there is no actual college identity, and if there is it is entirely accidental or trivial. Again, that is my personal opinion and I am sure some people (most likely college officers lol) who would argue otherwise, but many people I spoke to about this agreed with this observation of mine.
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gabrielobscure
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  • 2) Nightlife/parties. The most honest advice I could give to anyone considering Lancaster is not to go here if you are in anyway picky about the nightclubs or just enjoy something more than VKs and chart music. I guess the nightlife in Lancaster is exciting for someone who comes from a smaller town and has a pretty basic taste in music/everything. Again, this is my personal opinion but I think Lancaster has a truly depressing nightlife. Three nightclubs we have can be rated from **** to total ****. There are events like TurnUp (grime/hiphop) or LUEDMS (techno/house) happening every once in a while which are usually pretty okay, I personally only go to these at this point. Most of the bars in the town are either chain pubs inhabited by old locals, cheap sport bars where you would likely get stabbed or some nice relatively expensive craft beer kind of places, which are pretty good compared to everything else, but nothing too “cool”. I came here from a big city in my country, so it took me while to adapt to this small town environment of Lancaster and to accept the fact that there is nothing hip or edgy in this area. Then again, maybe I’m just a bit of prick, because some people seem to have a blast at the Sugarhouse each weekend loosing their **** to Mr.Brightside when it is played for the third time in a night.
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gabrielobscure
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  • 3) The campus itself is not too far from Lancaster, but apart from that it is quite isolated. Nevertheless, you have grocery stores, restaurants, bookshop, college bars and stuff like that on the campus so there is not much point to leave the campus unless you are going out or need to do some shopping. In terms of buzzing point, I assume you mean places where you can meet some people outside of the uni. You can meet some people in Lancaster, but the variety is not too great, locals are pretty friendly but not necessarily the most exciting people to hang out with. Preston is literally one of the worst areas I’ve been in my life so I wouldn’t recommend going there. Manchester is merely an hour train ride away, so I would say that if you want hang out around cool people, go to gigs or just nice clubs that’s the place to go. Some people go to Morecambe but I think it’s also pretty grim.
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gabrielobscure
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  • 4) Transport. Buses from Lancaster to Town and reverse are pretty frequent. Return ticket costs 2.70 pounds, single ticket costs 1.90 pounds. There is a free sainsbury’s bus on Wednesdays. The Sugarhouse (the SU club in town) also operates a Sugarbus service, so there are couple of buses from campus to Sugarhouse, and from Sugarhouse back to campus on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights and it’s free. The taxi from town to campus or vice versa costs around ten pounds. I think yearly bus pass cost around 260 pounds, however that is only useful if you live off campus. Train tickets to Machester cost from 6 to 15 pounds one way, tickets to Leeds cost around 15-20 pounds, in case you want to have a good night out. Anyway, the transport is going to be cheap for you if you are coming from London haha.

I t��^Pa8
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gabrielobscure
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5) Yeah, the amount of time it takes to walk from one furthest end of campus to the opposite furthest end of campus is around 30mins. Most likely you'll live within 10 minutes walking distance from your department. Check campus map before choosing your college
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gabrielobscure
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  • 6) What attracted me. It was my safety choice, so I was not particularly excited about this university in first place. I liked the fact that it is in the good place within UK league tables. I was also attracted by major/minor system, which is not really applicable for you since you are going to study medicine. Also I liked the fact that around 50% of students are not British, so I thought it would be more interesting and diverse environment. Regarding my expectations and reality: while Lancaster is relatively high in the league tables in the UK and brags about being Sunday Times Uni of The Year, it doesn’t even make it into a top100 world universities in the QS world ranking, which I consider to be a more credible source. Major/minor system seemed pretty cool, but I discovered it was not applicable for me when I changed my course to Philosophy, Politics and Economics, as I am only allowed to do three modules during my first year. I have friends who study PPE in other universities in the United States and they get to pick extra two modules on top of what they are doing, but Lancaster is actually only attempting to imitate Liberal Arts format, because it basically only applies to you if you do humanities/social sciences and there is not too many options anyway. Finally, Lancaster is actually filled with international students, which I actually like quite a lot and I think it creates interesting enriching environment sometimes. The other person on the thread was right to note that many people are actually attracted by Lancaster just because they get an unconditional offer, which can tell you a lot about a certain type of who go here 😉
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skifans
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Im currently a first year student, im defiantly not a party animal but i'll try and answer some.

1) What's the accommodation like, I'm aware there's a college system, what are the 'reputations' of these colleges?
The Colleges are realy just a way to easily spilt campus, just think of it like other university have different blocks. They don't realy have a reputation and I would say the vast mojoity of their students don't feel too much of a commitment to their college.

2) What is the night life like? I'm from London so used to going out minimum twice a week (of course if I'm doing medicine I don't expect to be leaving the library much anyway!), I'm more of a club person instead of bars/pubs, are there many of those? How busy do they tend to be?
Again, im not a party animal, people go to Dalton Rooms and The Sugar house, may be worth a Google?

3) I hear the campus is quite isolated, is this true? How far is the closest 'buzzing' place?
Its as isolated as you make it, its perfectly possible to spend all of your time on campus, personally I leave at least twice a week.

Some of my flat mates when down to Preston one night, got the last direct bus from the Uni to Preston (D 2215, A 2310), had a night out and then got the National Express coach back to Lancaster Bus station (D 0210 A 0245) and then got the last night bus back to the Uni (D 0300 A 0314). You should also book tickets for the coach in advance to avoid being stuck in Preston, but there are usually spaces booking before you leave Lancaster that evening as long as you arn't a huge group. It cost them around £15 each return and the censorious was it wasn't worth the extra cost and time over Lancaster, you may feel different. Theres also a 0540am train back from Preston if you relay go well into the small hours but you'll need a taxi back from the station to the Uni.

4) How much does travel cost? Are there regular buses, trains etc?
The bus to town is £2.70 return, £1.90 single, while your 18 you can buy a young person day pass for £2.20 which allows unlimited travel across Lancaster. You can also by a £2.50 unlimited Lancaster Daypass if you have a railcard and train ticket from Lancaster, however, you can't buy them on board, if you buy it at least a week in advance they will post it to you for free. Otherwise only worth while if you have to be at the station for some other reason to collect it. Otherwise a daypass costs £4.90. They are very regular if your willing to walk to the Underpass, it will be at most 10 mins walk, but Bowland and Grizedale are the nearest. The main annouence is the Sunday service, the first bus isn't till 0830 and then their only every 30 mins, after 1100 it does though go upto every 20 mins. Services to the train station is only every 30 mins, and on Saturday the first bus doesn't arrive until 1000. On Sunday their basicly isn't a service, with only 7 buses all day, 6 of which are after 1500. It can be annoying if you have lots of bags but Common Garden street with lots more buses is only a 7 min walk. If your in Cartmel or Lonsdale colledge some buses run right outside so you don't have to walk from the Underpass, these are less frequent, every 20 mins ish.

For trains it depends where your going. Preston services run every 10 ish minuets during the peak but drop back to every 40 ish min off peak (with some gaps of an hour) there is also a direct bus to Preston from the Uni every hour, but some of these only stop on the main road which could be a 20 min walk, every 2 hours they call at the underpass. Manchester trains are every hour, increased to every half an hour in the peaks. Trains towards Barrow are every hour, with a few longer gaps of 2 hours in the off peak period. On Sundays they are every 2 hours with the first train starting every late, doesn't leave Lancaster till 1050. Direct trains to Windermere are very infrequent, 3 trains per day Monday-Friday, 6 on Saturday, 1 on Sunday buses run every hour but are very slow. Its every hour if your willing to change at Oxenholme, the connections are good. Direct trains towards Leeds and Morecame are infrequent, every 3 hours Monday - Sunday, however, there is a late start on Sunday, 1250 is the first train. Other buses towards Morecame are very regular, and more train options if you change in Manchester. Northbound way Edinburgh and Glasgow gets 2 trains every hour, but not evenly spilt so there can be waits of upto 45 mins.

You can tell I like travelling.

5) (probably a stupid question) from my understanding Lancaster is a campus uni so is all accommodation within walking distance of for example the medical department?
I don't know exactly where it is but id say everything is within walking distance of everyone, note though that I do like my long walks and hiking.

6) What attracted you to the university?
The proximity to the Lake Districts and Yorkshire dales. Im their most weekends, and it being in the country side, if I have some free time i'll go cycling, its much nicer in the countryside over the city. However, it was relatively easy to get out of with fast and frequent buses. Theres lots of people that go for other reasons, you'll definitely be in the majority if you don't like hikes, and plenty of people never or rarely go. Im also a keen climber and the on campus climbing wall appealed but in reality it isn't that good, again lots of people never use it.

7) Are there any vegan restaurants around by any chance?
Iv no idea - sorry.

8) How close is the nearest shopping centre or if I want to go do a weekly shop?
Sainsburys run free buses every week on Wednesdays but they are only every hour. Id say its usually worth paying to avoid the faff and having to constantly check your watch, there also also direct buses to Aldi, this may though change as they are doing engering work on the bridge towards Aldi and it will be shut for many months from January. Lots of people also do Asda delivery. There is a Spar and Co-op on campus but these are small and more expensive. Theres a Booths 1.5 miles to the North which is still expensive but have more choice. Its probably only worthwhile if you walk or cycle there, if you get the bus then go to Sainsburys/Aldi.

9) and finally, be honest, what do you dislike about the uni!
Id like more early morning buses, there can also be a bit of a crush at peak time. Some people also find the large choice of different bus routes (12) confusing, I don't find it a problem though. There also isn't a huge amount of leisure on campus, I don't know what I expected but your choices are to stay in your flat, go to one of the on campus bars, or go to the sports centre.
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cerulianrain
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On campus there's cafe21 which is vegetarian/vegan. It's probs one of the nicest places to go on campus for a meal. Other than that there's the whale tale in town which I know some vegans love. I can't quite cope with the dairy substitutes though so i guess it depends on your palette.
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