Unsure which uni to go for... Sussex/Kent/Royal Holloway/Portsmouth/Bournemouth

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justzoe
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Hi, I was hoping I could get some opinions from people studying at these universities or from those who have applied to some of the same unis in their applications. I've received offers from Sussex, Royal Holloway and Bournemouth with an unconditional from Portsmouth. I'm still waiting for Kent's response.

Okay, so, Bournemouth. I'm no longer sure about the course I applied for (leaning more towards Media Production than Television Production) or the distance so I'm pushing it to the side for now until the open/applicant day. But I've heard such good things about the industry links and the facilities...

Royal Holloway's Film, TV and Digital Production course might just be my favourite of all I have looked at and I adore the whole film department, really. However, I didn't have a great experience on the open day, it's quite far and it's offer is a little higher than Sussex's at BBB.

Sussex is the one I fell for HARD. The open day was amazing, it has such a great reputation with teaching and student services, the campus is beautiful and the university life is everything I want. They also offered me a BBC if firm for the Media Production course which is brilliant. The accommodation is nice and the vibes on campus are very friendly and fun.

Portsmouth has given me an unconditional which is extremely tempting, but more importantly it's such a lovely uni and I think it's underrated. The course is different from the rest I've applied for (Film Industries and Creative Writing) and I feel like if I want to be a screenwriter then I have to be brave and take a course like this rather than taking a Media course just so I have other options (marketing etc.). I also love the idea of living in Pompey and I have a good friend there (but I have friends in/going to Sussex and Kent too!).

Finally, we have Kent which would make me all the more split if they were to make an offer, as it's the closest to me and I'd easily be able to commute by train. I would love to stay at home with my family and friends as well as look after my cat (who has cat flu). The course I also know I would enjoy studying and it's so highly rated. Then again, I would like to have a fresh start at uni and it might be better if I went for accommodating - but I'm not too into Canterbury (admittedly I haven't explored much of it). Finally, both Kent and Sussex have autism summer school programs to help students like myself adjust.

So, TSR, what should I go for firm and insurance?
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harrysbar
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Sussex sounds very good for you, especially as they have the autism summer school too - that's very inclusive of them, isn't it? I visited the Uni about 5 years ago and fell in love with it too - that brutalist architecture isn't for everyone but I kind of liked it. It seemed like a friendly Uni and of course Brighton itself is great.

Kent is the Uni I went to myself (back in the day) - I'm sure it's changed a lot in the last 30 years (!) but I did find it a bit quiet myself. Canterbury is a very picturesque place but also a bit tame... but it may be that there are good clubs etc now. Of course you could stay at home but it might be better to live in Halls wherever you end up going as it will make socialising and meeting new people a lot easier. When they make you an offer they will invite you to an Applicant Day so you can find out more about it then.

Royal Holloway ... you seem to have very mixed feelings about that one. Overall, it sounds like you prefer the feel of Sussex as you had a better experience when you visited there than RH - that's why going to Open Days and Applicant Days is so important. Also, it is further from home than Sussex, which you don't want, and they made you a high offer, so it sounds like Sussex wins over RH.

Bournemouth I have never visited, although I know it has a good rep for Media. It sounds like the distance from home is a problem for you though, and you should think carefully about choosing a Uni that you already have reservations about. The same is true of Portsmouth -although at least you already have a friend there - but it's not as highly regarded as the others and it would be wrong to choose a Uni mainly because of the unconditional offer. I know they're very tempting, but you need to end up with 2 choices that really appeal to you. Brighton is also a very lively city, and the University of Sussex does have a much higher rating than Portsmouth, though I understand that you feel that Portsmouth is underrated.

I like the sound of the 2 Unis that offer the autism summer schools because it shows that they are making genuine efforts to help everyone settle in to Uni (and they are also closer to home and good, solid Unis). Good Luck with your decision and I hope you have a great time, wherever you decide to go.
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justzoe
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(Original post by harrysbar)
Sussex sounds very good for you, especially as they have the autism summer school too - that's very inclusive of them, isn't it? I visited the Uni about 5 years ago and fell in love with it too - that brutalist architecture isn't for everyone but I kind of liked it. It seemed like a friendly Uni and of course Brighton itself is great.

Kent is the Uni I went to myself (back in the day) - I'm sure it's changed a lot in the last 30 years (!) but I did find it a bit quiet myself. Canterbury is a very picturesque place but also a bit tame... but it may be that there are good clubs etc now. Of course you could stay at home but it might be better to live in Halls wherever you end up going as it will make socialising and meeting new people a lot easier. When they make you an offer they will invite you to an Applicant Day so you can find out more about it then.

Royal Holloway ... you seem to have very mixed feelings about that one. Overall, it sounds like you prefer the feel of Sussex as you had a better experience when you visited there than RH - that's why going to Open Days and Applicant Days is so important. Also, it is further from home than Sussex, which you don't want, and they made you a high offer, so it sounds like Sussex wins over RH.

Bournemouth I have never visited, although I know it has a good rep for Media. It sounds like the distance from home is a problem for you though, and you should think carefully about choosing a Uni that you already have reservations about. The same is true of Portsmouth -although at least you already have a friend there - but it's not as highly regarded as the others and it would be wrong to choose a Uni mainly because of the unconditional offer. I know they're very tempting, but you need to end up with 2 choices that really appeal to you. Brighton is also a very lively city, and the University of Sussex does have a much higher rating than Portsmouth, though I understand that you feel that Portsmouth is underrated.

I like the sound of the 2 Unis that offer the autism summer schools because it shows that they are making genuine efforts to help everyone settle in to Uni (and they are also closer to home and good, solid Unis). Good Luck with your decision and I hope you have a great time, wherever you decide to go.
Wow, thank you so much for the well-articulated and kind response. It was exactly what I was looking for! I really appreciate it.

Exactly! I like the modern buildings Sussex has. Royal Holloway was beautiful and did look a bit like Hogwarts but I'm actually not sure I like that so much. It's a little unfamiliar and I imagine it'd be quite daunting at night, like walking around a Church.

Brighton does sound amazing. I thought of it less favourably than I did Portsmouth for some reason - maybe because of costs? - but I have been there before and there's so much to do and it's so gorgeous a seaside city. Plus, it's occurred to me I'd be only 45mins away from my nan and cousins while at home it's a 1hr train.

I'd definitely like to look at Kent if I get the offer. Some of my friends fell in love with it only after they went for an open day there so I'll see if I feel the same!

I do have mixed feelings about RH, I think because I forgot to mention that I have heard some TSRs complain about Sussex's media department. For example, one person said the equipment is often quite outdated and is difficult to access/rent out. In comparison, I liked RH facilities a lot more and found RH's theatre a lot more spacious than US's. It's conflicting because Sussex definitely seems like I'd have a better experience there but I'm worried whether the course at RH might be better for me? I'd defo love to find more opinions on what film/media is like in those two unis, but I'm still massively leaning towards Sussex for the moment.

Distance is definitely a problem so I really would need to be wowed by Bournemouth to overcome that and have it as my firm/insurance. I am going to visit Portsmouth in February so I'll see if the positive feelings I have for it are valid or not.

I love the autism summer schools too - really, I think all unis should adopt them in some form if they would like to increase the number of applicants on the spectrum.

Thank you so much for your advice! It's definitely made clear for me some of my opinions...

I'm also now thinking I might be a little bit too into the idea of living on the coast
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harrysbar
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You're welcome, and I'm sure you will find it easier to choose between them when you have visited them all (and I don't blame you for wanting to live on the coast )

I do understand your dilemma between RH and Sussex - that's what makes choosing Unis so difficult, becasue none of them are quite perfect! Maybe you could post on the Sussex Uni forum (if you haven't already) specfically asking for more opinions on the media department - and then do the same for the other Unis.

I've got a good feeling about you receiving an offer from Kent soon - I really hope you do!
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justzoe
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(Original post by harrysbar)
You're welcome, and I'm sure you will find it easier to choose between them when you have visited them all (and I don't blame you for wanting to live on the coast )

I do understand your dilemma between RH and Sussex - that's what makes choosing Unis so difficult, becasue none of them are quite perfect! Maybe you could post on the Sussex Uni forum (if you haven't already) specfically asking for more opinions on the media department - and then do the same for the other Unis.

I've got a good feeling about you receiving an offer from Kent soon - I really hope you do!
That's a good idea, thanks! I'll be sure to make a post on their forum.

Thank you, I hope so too
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Royal Holloway, University of London
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(Original post by justzoe)
Hi, I was hoping I could get some opinions from people studying at these universities or from those who have applied to some of the same unis in their applications. I've received offers from Sussex, Royal Holloway and Bournemouth with an unconditional from Portsmouth. I'm still waiting for Kent's response.

Okay, so, Bournemouth. I'm no longer sure about the course I applied for (leaning more towards Media Production than Television Production) or the distance so I'm pushing it to the side for now until the open/applicant day. But I've heard such good things about the industry links and the facilities...

Royal Holloway's Film, TV and Digital Production course might just be my favourite of all I have looked at and I adore the whole film department, really. However, I didn't have a great experience on the open day, it's quite far and it's offer is a little higher than Sussex's at BBB.

Sussex is the one I fell for HARD. The open day was amazing, it has such a great reputation with teaching and student services, the campus is beautiful and the university life is everything I want. They also offered me a BBC if firm for the Media Production course which is brilliant. The accommodation is nice and the vibes on campus are very friendly and fun.

Portsmouth has given me an unconditional which is extremely tempting, but more importantly it's such a lovely uni and I think it's underrated. The course is different from the rest I've applied for (Film Industries and Creative Writing) and I feel like if I want to be a screenwriter then I have to be brave and take a course like this rather than taking a Media course just so I have other options (marketing etc.). I also love the idea of living in Pompey and I have a good friend there (but I have friends in/going to Sussex and Kent too!).

Finally, we have Kent which would make me all the more split if they were to make an offer, as it's the closest to me and I'd easily be able to commute by train. I would love to stay at home with my family and friends as well as look after my cat (who has cat flu). The course I also know I would enjoy studying and it's so highly rated. Then again, I would like to have a fresh start at uni and it might be better if I went for accommodating - but I'm not too into Canterbury (admittedly I haven't explored much of it). Finally, both Kent and Sussex have autism summer school programs to help students like myself adjust.

So, TSR, what should I go for firm and insurance?
Hi justzoe,

Royal Holloway student here, so I hope I can help give you an insight into studying at the university. I'm sorry to hear that you did not have the best experience on the Open Day. If you have the time, I highly recommend you come again for an Applicant Visit Day.

Applicant Visit Days are more personalized and you will get more of a in depth introduction and taste for the course. I can tell you from personal experience that the film department at Royal Holloway is fantastic. There are a lot of interesting tutors who are all more than willing to help their students. I understand that the distance is one of the issues you have with the university, however as you have also mentioned, it is good to have a new fresh start away from home in accommodation. You will become much more independent and will become more confident, something that can be great for the future!

The media course offers modules in screenwriting so similar to Portsmouth you will learn about screenwriting too, but alongside more of the media side of things. It is a difficult decision choosing which university to go to as all have their own benefits.

If you have any questions about Royal Holloway, please feel free to send me a message on the Royal Holloway website here.

Callum
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justzoe
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(Original post by Royal Holloway, University of London)
Hi justzoe,

Royal Holloway student here, so I hope I can help give you an insight into studying at the university. I'm sorry to hear that you did not have the best experience on the Open Day. If you have the time, I highly recommend you come again for an Applicant Visit Day.

Applicant Visit Days are more personalized and you will get more of a in depth introduction and taste for the course. I can tell you from personal experience that the film department at Royal Holloway is fantastic. There are a lot of interesting tutors who are all more than willing to help their students. I understand that the distance is one of the issues you have with the university, however as you have also mentioned, it is good to have a new fresh start away from home in accommodation. You will become much more independent and will become more confident, something that can be great for the future!

The media course offers modules in screenwriting so similar to Portsmouth you will learn about screenwriting too, but alongside more of the media side of things. It is a difficult decision choosing which university to go to as all have their own benefits.

If you have any questions about Royal Holloway, please feel free to send me a message on the Royal Holloway website here.

Callum
Hi! It's so nice to have received this response on my post, especially from RHUL as I applied here for a reason!

Honestly, my bad experience on open day isn't really anyone's fault. There were a bunch of delays on the trains and I have a generalised anxiety disorder that lead to a lot of panic about getting there on time (or at all) and not missing out on things. By the time I arrived I was a blubbering mess and I wasn't entirely sure where to go - I nearly left until a kind student ambassador spent her time calming me down, giving me a tour and genuinely saving the day. I think I just say it was a bad day because I'm still embarassed I had a blip like that - when I've come so far this year not letting my mental health drag me down. But there were still some really great parts of the day.

The accomodation was great and I loved the high street, the little shuttle buses and of course the film department. As I've said, the course at RH is actually my favourite. I just fell in love with it when I first looked at the modules I could be studying. I'm also relieved there are oppurtunities for pursuing screenwriting - while giving myself some more career prospects in Media if screenwriting doesn't land. I am excited to learn more about the course in general and meet some of the tutors.

Thank you for reminding me about the chat thing!! I'll be sure to send some questions your way now.
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