ruby.cooper
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I am in A1 and hoping to study Politics, Philosophy and or Economics at university starting in 2020. Was wondering if people could give me their experiences if they have been or know anyone that has been to any of these unis - currently I'm just deciding where to visit for open days:
-Oxford
-Manchester
-Bristol
-Edinburgh
-Liverpool
-Sheffield
-Leeds
-Exeter
-UCL
-York
-LSE
-Kings
Thanks
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OxFossil
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Leaving aside the specifics of the course, Oxford stands out from that list as having a different kind of environment. Most/all of the others are based on unis which are embedded in larger cities, so that it is easy to get away from the uni if you want to and social/cultural events won't necessarily be dominated by students of your uni. That is not the case at Oxford, where, in practice, the city IS the university. For good or ill, it is virtually inescapable!
A second distinction is that rather than being one of several thousand students sharing access to a central students' union and university-wide socieities and interest groups, at Oxford, your first identity is as a member of a much smaller college. You will quickly get to know other college-mates and much of your social life is likely to revolve around the college (although there are university wide clubs etc too).
This sense of social intimacy suits some people better than others. In terms of plannning uni visits, a trip to Oxford might help you work out what kind of environment you are looking for.
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nexttime
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Well lots of variety there, both in terms of cities (London (huge and hugely expensive) vs other big cities vs Oxford, places with excellent student reputations like Sheffield versus the notorious King's, different university structures including Oxford's college system, and I presume significant variations in courses too as I'm guessing not all of those offer PPE.

I personally feel that you can't realistically visit more than 4 or 5 places without just getting fatigued. I'd focus on picking out that variety and seeing what kind of uni you'd want. PPE vs not PPE, London vs not London. Oxford probably should be visited if you're thinking of applying as its very different and you'd probably want to decide on a college.

Good luck.
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OxFossil
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(Original post by nexttime)
Well lots of variety there, both in terms of cities (London (huge and hugely expensive) vs other big cities vs Oxford, places with excellent student reputations like Sheffield versus the notorious King's, different university structures including Oxford's college system, and I presume significant variations in courses too as I'm guessing not all of those offer PPE.

I personally feel that you can't realistically visit more than 4 or 5 places without just getting fatigued. I'd focus on picking out that variety and seeing what kind of uni you'd want. PPE vs not PPE, London vs not London. Oxford probably should be visited if you're thinking of applying as its very different and you'd probably want to decide on a college.

Good luck.
Them's interesting comments about Sheffield and King's, nextie. I liked Sheffield - they seemed both student-centred and active in supporting them for post-uni careers. And King's - I know someone who went there for Medicine recently and packed it in after a year because he found the course logistics, and his tutor(s) seemed very unsympathetic to the practicalities of life in central London (long commutes to lectures, sessions very early and late in the day etc). Is that what you mean by "notorious"?
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nexttime
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(Original post by OxFossil)
...nextie...
Disapprove.

Its just based on common reputations and results of the National Student Survey. For medicine King's has been rock bottom for some years now with some true horror stories in terms of course mismanagement emerging, such as when a professor sold the answers to the exam to some students, then when the uni found out it made the entire year group retake in the middle of their summer holidays. The broader university also does awfully.

Sheffield conversely seems to have a very good reputation, with the student union standing out for particular praise, and whilst it isn't the best in terms of NSS results (although it did come top for medicine this year) it does well, along with say York and Leeds on the above list.
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OxFossil
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(Original post by nexttime)
Disapprove.
Aww, you're no FUN.
Thanks for the information, though.
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shab12090
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What do you mean Notorious?
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shab12090
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what do you mean by notorious King's?
(Original post by nexttime)
Well lots of variety there, both in terms of cities (London (huge and hugely expensive) vs other big cities vs Oxford, places with excellent student reputations like Sheffield versus the notorious King's, different university structures including Oxford's college system, and I presume significant variations in courses too as I'm guessing not all of those offer PPE.

I personally feel that you can't realistically visit more than 4 or 5 places without just getting fatigued. I'd focus on picking out that variety and seeing what kind of uni you'd want. PPE vs not PPE, London vs not London. Oxford probably should be visited if you're thinking of applying as its very different and you'd probably want to decide on a college.

Good luck.
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nexttime
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(Original post by shab12090)
what do you mean by notorious King's?
Read my post a few above. It has truly awful student satisfaction year after year after year, and you hear terrible stories about how they treat their students regularly.
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