Reading, Southampton or Exeter Uni? Watch

LauraEddy
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I don't have long left before I have to make a decision about which university I am going to firm and which I am going to have as my insurance for Zoology... But I am very bad at decision making and was hoping I could get some opinions from fellow applicants or current students at these universities.

Here is what I think of each uni:

Reading: Loved the campus, loved the lecturers that I met as they seemed very enthusiastic, love the fact that they have a zoology museum on campus, love that they might be making a course dedicated to animal documentaries. Building a new library and zoology lab. I have an unconditional offer for Reading. However, it isn't seen as prestigious and there has been some bad press about Reading (loans, student support, etc. )

Southampton: Nice Campus, seen as more prestigious, nice zoology building, good reputation, good course. Offer is AAB, but I am worried that I won't be able to achieve this... I do think they could lower it though as I got an A* in my EPQ but I don't know if they will for certain!

Exeter: Nice campus, not the best location in terms of things to do ( apart from the Eden Project!) Very good reputation and is a Russel Group like Southampton, also AAB. Great labs, nice lecture theatres, a nice library, high graduate salary.

I just don't know what to do!

Also if anyone knows how good their support is for those who have dyslexia, that would also be really appreciated!
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LauraEddy
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Arisapo
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I don’t know a lot about zoology but in terms of reputation it probably goes Exeter >> Southampton > Reading.

Reputation shouldn’t be the be all and end all though and you have to decide which of those three you’d be happiest at.

Reading has the advantage of the unconditional offer but having just looked for biological sciences, it ranks significantly lower than all your other choices did, which might be something of a concern. It’s a nice enough campus and has the advantage of being close to London.

Southampton has given you an AAB offer but I can almost guarantee they’d be more flexible come results day, especially with your EPQ. It’s a nice enough location and uni.

Exeter is probably the best out of the three generally; the main Stretham campus is gorgeous but think zoology would be on the Cornwall one so unsure how that compares. It’s got quite a middle-class, posh vibe to it if that’s your thing.

There isn’t really a right or wrong decision — firm the one you feel you’d be happiest to study at for 3 years and most importantly trust your gut feeling.
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LauraEddy
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I would agree that Reading doesn't score as highly in terms of biology, which is confusing considering they have their Zoology museum. The unconditional offer is definitely a plus but I also don't want to choose Reading just because of the unconditional. But I did also really like the campus and the course that they offer as it was definitely more Zoology focused than the other two. Reading is also not that far away from my mum and grandparents, and it is also a good location in terms of my dad (only about two hours away)

I also do feel like I remember Southampton saying that they have been known to lower their grade offer to BBB, but if I got ABC do you think they would let me in?

The Cornwall campus is still very nice, but rather small and there are not very many students on the campus, which has its positives and negatives too.

I have never been one to be able to trust my gut and it makes me extremely anxious when making decisions which is why I have left it so late to make a decision!

Thank you very much for your answer
(Original post by Arisapo)
I don’t know a lot about zoology but in terms of reputation it probably goes Exeter >> Southampton > Reading.

Reputation shouldn’t be the be all and end all though and you have to decide which of those three you’d be happiest at.

Reading has the advantage of the unconditional offer but having just looked for biological sciences, it ranks significantly lower than all your other choices did, which might be something of a concern. It’s a nice enough campus and has the advantage of being close to London.

Southampton has given you an AAB offer but I can almost guarantee they’d be more flexible come results day, especially with your EPQ. It’s a nice enough location and uni.

Exeter is probably the best out of the three generally; the main Stretham campus is gorgeous but think zoology would be on the Cornwall one so unsure how that compares. It’s got quite a middle-class, posh vibe to it if that’s your thing.

There isn’t really a right or wrong decision — firm the one you feel you’d be happiest to study at for 3 years and most importantly trust your gut feeling.
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harrysbar
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(Original post by LauraEddy)
I would agree that Reading doesn't score as highly in terms of biology, which is confusing considering they have their Zoology museum. The unconditional offer is definitely a plus but I also don't want to choose Reading just because of the unconditional. But I did also really like the campus and the course that they offer as it was definitely more Zoology focused than the other two. Reading is also not that far away from my mum and grandparents, and it is also a good location in terms of my dad (only about two hours away)

I also do feel like I remember Southampton saying that they have been known to lower their grade offer to BBB, but if I got ABC do you think they would let me in?

The Cornwall campus is still very nice, but rather small and there are not very many students on the campus, which has its positives and negatives too.

I have never been one to be able to trust my gut and it makes me extremely anxious when making decisions which is why I have left it so late to make a decision!

Thank you very much for your answer
I think it's quite likely that Southampton would admit people with ABC, as long as the C wasn't in Biology! You could always give Admissions a call and ask them how flexible they would be likely to be in that situation? It would obviously be a bit risky to Firm and Insure two AAB unis, so I would personally Firm Southampton and Insure Reading.

What would put me off Exeter is the course being at the more isolated campus.
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PQ
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Do any of them guarantee accommodation to insurance students? If they don’t ask how many they can normally fit in and have a look around the tsr forums etc to find out what the local private accommodation market is like.
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LauraEddy
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(Original post by harrysbar)
I think it's quite likely that Southampton would admit people with ABC, as long as the C wasn't in Biology! You could always give Admissions a call and ask them how flexible they would be likely to be in that situation? It would obviously be a bit risky to Firm and Insure two AAB unis, so I would personally Firm Southampton and Insure Reading.

What would put me off Exeter is the course being at the more isolated campus.
The issue is I feel like the C will be in biology 😂 I really do not care about human biology and that is what the majority of the course is :/ whoopseeee😂 Yeah I could definitely email them about flexibility, especially as my EPQ was on animal conservation? I think that is a good idea, as if I don’t take up Readings unconditional then they will offer me BBD (but again the B is in biology 🙄)

I feel the same way, the university is very much out of the way and there isn’t much to do nearby!

Thank you for your response!
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Kinyonga
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I applied to all of those for ecology and conservation (basically same modules as zoology), and haved firmed Exeter (with Sussex as insurance).

Reading is a really nice university, my dad actually went there from undergrad to PhD level (zoology & botany) and he really enjoyed his time there. Honestly, prestige is not everything, and if you like the university I'd say go for it. I could have applied to higher-ranked universities (subjective classification in itself) but preferred these ones.
Southampton I decided against because I didn't like the idea of living in the city which, though I've not visited in person, I hear is less seaside-y than the others and more focused on the harbour and industry.
Finally, Exeter. I absolutely love the Penryn campus and the easy access to the surrounding countryside. Also Exeter and Falmouth share a campus, which makes for a nice mix of arts and sciences people, not to mention that I think you have access to some of their facilities.

If you have any more specific questions, let me know and I can try and answer
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LauraEddy
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(Original post by PQ)
Do any of them guarantee accommodation to insurance students? If they don’t ask how many they can normally fit in and have a look around the tsr forums etc to find out what the local private accommodation market is like.
Wait do insurance choices not normally supply accommodation? I didn’t even know that! Thanks for the heads up, I will have a look!
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by LauraEddy)
I don't have long left before I have to make a decision about which university I am going to firm and which I am going to have as my insurance for Zoology... But I am very bad at decision making and was hoping I could get some opinions from fellow applicants or current students at these universities.

Here is what I think of each uni:

Reading: Loved the campus, loved the lecturers that I met as they seemed very enthusiastic, love the fact that they have a zoology museum on campus, love that they might be making a course dedicated to animal documentaries. Building a new library and zoology lab. I have an unconditional offer for Reading. However, it isn't seen as prestigious and there has been some bad press about Reading (loans, student support, etc. )

Southampton: Nice Campus, seen as more prestigious, nice zoology building, good reputation, good course. Offer is AAB, but I am worried that I won't be able to achieve this... I do think they could lower it though as I got an A* in my EPQ but I don't know if they will for certain!

Exeter: Nice campus, not the best location in terms of things to do ( apart from the Eden Project!) Very good reputation and is a Russel Group like Southampton, also AAB. Great labs, nice lecture theatres, a nice library, high graduate salary.

I just don't know what to do!

Also if anyone knows how good their support is for those who have dyslexia, that would also be really appreciated!
There are issues around Penryn which some love but others will hate. It is a long way from everywhere and will restrict visits home due to costs and distance. Being in a rural area it allows a peaceful environment which some will love whilst others look for a bigger city. The campus is high on a hill above Penryn which again is very small and doesnt have much there. However the unibus connect you with Redruth, Truro and Falmouth. Falmouth has a lovely harbour with numerous bars but not too much in the club scene. The extended area has lovely beaches if that interests you.
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LauraEddy
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(Original post by Kinyonga)
I applied to all of those for ecology and conservation (basically same modules as zoology), and haved firmed Exeter (with Sussex as insurance).

Reading is a really nice university, my dad actually went there from undergrad to PhD level (zoology & botany) and he really enjoyed his time there. Honestly, prestige is not everything, and if you like the university I'd say go for it. I could have applied to higher-ranked universities (subjective classification in itself) but preferred these ones.
Southampton I decided against because I didn't like the idea of living in the city which, though I've not visited in person, I hear is less seaside-y than the others and more focused on the harbour and industry.
Finally, Exeter. I absolutely love the Penryn campus and the easy access to the surrounding countryside. Also Exeter and Falmouth share a campus, which makes for a nice mix of arts and sciences people, not to mention that I think you have access to some of their facilities.

If you have any more specific questions, let me know and I can try and answer
Wow thanks for this reply!

What made you not choose Reading? Also what does you dad do now, if you don’t mind me asking? Did he get a job related to Zoology?

What grades did you get offered from your universities? Do you think you will teach them?

I am from a seaside town and love the feel of the place, would you say that Exeter would have a similar vibe? The other thing that is putting me off Exeter is that it is about 7 hours away from home...

I would agree that the league tables constantly change and even by the time we leave uni they could have changed again!
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LauraEddy
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
There are issues around Penryn which some love but others will hate. It is a long way from everywhere and will restrict visits home due to costs and distance. Being in a rural area it allows a peaceful environment which some will love whilst others look for a bigger city. The campus is high on a hill above Penryn which again is very small and doesnt have much there. However the unibus connect you with Redruth, Truro and Falmouth. Falmouth has a lovely harbour with numerous bars but not too much in the club scene. The extended area has lovely beaches if that interests you.
I’m not really a person that goes out to clubs, but I do like having things to do, I just don’t want to gave a feeling of being trapped, especially as I will be here for 3 years. Where as with Reading and Southampton there is easy access to other places, and it is easier to get home.
However, Exeter is spoken highly of so I assume it is a very good university regardless of location...
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swanseajack1
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There are things to do in the surrounding area but not much in Penryn. There are many beaches in the area and Falmouth is quite nice a seaside town of about 20,000. It is about 4 miles from the campus and is linked by unibus which takes about 15 minutes. Truro has a beautiful cathedral and is the bigger shopping area. Again the bus connects directly there from the uni and also connects with Redruth. You say your from a small seaside town which is basically what Falmouth is. The one thing that wont change is the location and the distance it is from home. However the only effect is the restriction on visits home. The others are far bigger cities. It really depends on what you looking for.

https://www.falmouth.co.uk/see-and-do
https://www.visittruro.org.uk/
https://www.visitcornwall.com/beache...lyngvase-beach
http://www.gyllybeach.com/
https://www.falmouth.co.uk/see-and-d...enporth-beach/
https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restau...l_England.html
(Original post by LauraEddy)
I’m not really a person that goes out to clubs, but I do like having things to do, I just don’t want to gave a feeling of being trapped, especially as I will be here for 3 years. Where as with Reading and Southampton there is easy access to other places, and it is easier to get home.
However, Exeter is spoken highly of so I assume it is a very good university regardless of location...
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LauraEddy
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
There are things to do in the surrounding area but not much in Penryn. There are many beaches in the area and Falmouth is quite nice a seaside town of about 20,000. It is about 4 miles from the campus and is linked by unibus which takes about 15 minutes. Truro has a beautiful cathedral and is the bigger shopping area. Again the bus connects directly there from the uni and also connects with Redruth. You say your from a small seaside town which is basically what Falmouth is. The one thing that wont change is the location and the distance it is from home. However the only effect is the restriction on visits home. The others are far bigger cities. It really depends on what you looking for.

https://www.falmouth.co.uk/see-and-do
https://www.visittruro.org.uk/
https://www.visitcornwall.com/beache...lyngvase-beach
http://www.gyllybeach.com/
https://www.falmouth.co.uk/see-and-d...enporth-beach/
https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restau...l_England.html
Wow thank you for this! I will have a look at those links!
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AstronomyAustin
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
There are issues around Penryn which some love but others will hate. It is a long way from everywhere and will restrict visits home due to costs and distance. Being in a rural area it allows a peaceful environment which some will love whilst others look for a bigger city. The campus is high on a hill above Penryn which again is very small and doesnt have much there. However the unibus connect you with Redruth, Truro and Falmouth. Falmouth has a lovely harbour with numerous bars but not too much in the club scene. The extended area has lovely beaches if that interests you.
There's also not enough trees lol
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LauraEddy
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(Original post by AstronomyAustin)
There's also not enough trees lol
Haha😂😂
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Kinyonga
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I didn't go for Reading because I wanted to be by the sea and in a more rural location; both the Sussex and Exeter campuses are more in the countryside. Honestly location was the main deal-breaker for me, as the courses are so similar and the universities all apparently have "leading research teams" who teach you their discoveries the day after they've discovered them.
Dad's does a synergy of research and practical work on climate mitigation, agroforestry, sustainable farming (especially small-holders in Africa), and reconciliation - fighting apparently caused by differences of ethnicity or religion is often actually due to lack of resources and tension caused by drought and famine. So I guess you could say he's gone down the more environmental route than the zoological one, but it's still linked.

I've already done the French literary baccalaureate, where I got 17/20, and am just doing an A-level in biology this year, so my offers were conditional on that. B for Reading, unconditional from Sussex, B from Exeter, A from Southampton, A from Aberdeen (entry into year 2). I'm aiming for an A, so unless something goes terribly wrong that shouldn't be an issue!

The distance is indeed a factor. My parents didn't even want me to apply there at first haha but now they've come round to the idea and are quite looking forward to visiting me in such a nice area
Yes, it is definitely a seaside village. Pretty little harbour and boats in Penryn, plus bigger docks in Falmouth. The lecturers at the offer holder visit day spent quite a while talking about the different watersports you can do, surfing is a big thing. Then there's lots of wildlife, dolphins, seals, puffins, lizards, snakes, deer...
(Original post by LauraEddy)
Wow thanks for this reply!

What made you not choose Reading? Also what does you dad do now, if you don’t mind me asking? Did he get a job related to Zoology?

What grades did you get offered from your universities? Do you think you will teach them?

I am from a seaside town and love the feel of the place, would you say that Exeter would have a similar vibe? The other thing that is putting me off Exeter is that it is about 7 hours away from home...

I would agree that the league tables constantly change and even by the time we leave uni they could have changed again!
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Arisapo
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(Original post by LauraEddy)
I would agree that Reading doesn't score as highly in terms of biology, which is confusing considering they have their Zoology museum. The unconditional offer is definitely a plus but I also don't want to choose Reading just because of the unconditional. But I did also really like the campus and the course that they offer as it was definitely more Zoology focused than the other two. Reading is also not that far away from my mum and grandparents, and it is also a good location in terms of my dad (only about two hours away)

I also do feel like I remember Southampton saying that they have been known to lower their grade offer to BBB, but if I got ABC do you think they would let me in?

The Cornwall campus is still very nice, but rather small and there are not very many students on the campus, which has its positives and negatives too.

I have never been one to be able to trust my gut and it makes me extremely anxious when making decisions which is why I have left it so late to make a decision!

Thank you very much for your answer
In terms of Southampton, I’d imagine there’s a chance they’d let you in with ABC, but obviously I can’t guarantee that as it depends year on year.

Honestly, based off everything you’ve said, you seem to favour Reading by quite a big margin. If that’s the case, go for it. It’s certainly not terrible and if that’s the place where you’d be happiest studying at for 3 years then go there. The unconditional offer may alleviate some of the pressure as well.
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harrysbar
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(Original post by LauraEddy)
The issue is I feel like the C will be in biology 😂 I really do not care about human biology and that is what the majority of the course is :/ whoopseeee😂 Yeah I could definitely email them about flexibility, especially as my EPQ was on animal conservation? I think that is a good idea, as if I don’t take up Readings unconditional then they will offer me BBD (but again the B is in biology 🙄)

I feel the same way, the university is very much out of the way and there isn’t much to do nearby!

Thank you for your response!
The possible C in Biology could be a problem for Southampton & Exeter, see what they say.

The issue with accomodation is that many unis don't guarantee it on campus for people that Insure them - first pick generally goes to the applicants who have Firmed them. They may say that they will help you find accomodation but that's not the same thing - you could end up in privately owned accomodation rather than having the traditional Halls experience. For example, Reading Uni specifically state on their accomodation page that "A place in halls cannot be guaranteed if Reading is your insurance choice".

This is yet another thing to take into account, but better to be aware of it now than it come as a nasty surprise if you do end up Insuring Reading. Btw, I don't know what bad press you have heard about it but my daughter did a Masters at Reading about 3/4 years ago and she loved it. It's a difficult choice, but Good Luck with everything
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swanseajack1
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Whilst Exeter show AAB I suspect they will accept lower on results day. Nobody can guarantee that but given its location and the difficulty in getting people to go there it appears likely. Like Reading and most other universities there is no guaranteed accommodation for insurance applicants. If the worse happened and you didnt get university accommodation I would suggest staying in Falmouth rather than Penryn. I would suggest contacting the university about accommodation as they will know on past experience the likelyhood of you getting university accommodation as an insurance applicant.

From your comments I believe Cornwall would suit you well. Falmouth is a small seaside town something very like Aberystwyth in Wales but with more small towns around it. However its distance from where you live and whether you wish to go that far from home will be the determining factor. Reading isnt near the seaside and Southampton is very built up. Where do you actually live.
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