Thoughts on Uni of Exeter and Uni of Southampton for marine biology Watch

TwistyX
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Hi! I've received offers from both Unis but can't decide.

Which Uni would you choose and why?

Thank you
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PQ
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What do you consider the pros and cons of each course and university?
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TwistyX
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(Original post by PQ)
What do you consider the pros and cons of each course and university?
Well I guess not pros and cons cause those are subjective.

Some stuff I'd like to know:
1. Teaching style
2. Overall vibe at the University
3. Campus facilities
4. The city (Penryn vs Southampton)

I'd like to hear others' thoughts of these two Unis whether it be from personal experience (even better), etc.
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PQ
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(Original post by TwistyX)
Well I guess not pros and cons cause those are subjective.

Some stuff I'd like to know:
1. Teaching style
2. Overall vibe at the University
3. Campus facilities
4. The city (Penryn vs Southampton)

I'd like to hear others' thoughts of these two Unis whether it be from personal experience (even better), etc.
This decision has to be subjective though - what you consider a pro could be something I consider a con - a course that is 100% exams could be my dream and your nightmare! To get useful insight from other people you need to spell out what you're looking for in a course or location.
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HobbinsE
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I’m currently in first year studying marine biology at Exeter’s Penryn campus and I can highly recommend it. The lecturers are all very enthusiastic about their topics and use their own research in the teaching which I think is really cool. Also you do a lot of fieldwork on Gylly and castle beach in the first term which is a good way to get to know the people on your course and the lecturers in a more chilled out setting, term 2 is more lab work though which is also really good. Everyone at the Penryn campus is pretty chill as it’s a small campus although just about big enough you don’t meet everybody straight away. As for facilities obviously there is more at Exeter’s main campus but there is still everything you need in Penryn.
It seems your choice between Southampton and Penryn will probably boil down to city over small town and where you’d feel more comfortable. Campus tours and open/offer holder days are something I highly recommend. Personally for me a big city was too overwhelming so Penryn was the perfect solution. There’s still Falmouth and Truro close enough that you can access the bigger branded shops and clubs (if that’s your thing) but its also far enough away from the crowds and noise when you need to relax during exam/deadline season.

If you have any specific questions about the course let me know, if it’s about anything past first year I’ll try to find the answer for you
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TwistyX
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(Original post by HobbinsE)
I’m currently in first year studying marine biology at Exeter’s Penryn campus and I can highly recommend it. The lecturers are all very enthusiastic about their topics and use their own research in the teaching which I think is really cool. Also you do a lot of fieldwork on Gylly and castle beach in the first term which is a good way to get to know the people on your course and the lecturers in a more chilled out setting, term 2 is more lab work though which is also really good. Everyone at the Penryn campus is pretty chill as it’s a small campus although just about big enough you don’t meet everybody straight away. As for facilities obviously there is more at Exeter’s main campus but there is still everything you need in Penryn.
It seems your choice between Southampton and Penryn will probably boil down to city over small town and where you’d feel more comfortable. Campus tours and open/offer holder days are something I highly recommend. Personally for me a big city was too overwhelming so Penryn was the perfect solution. There’s still Falmouth and Truro close enough that you can access the bigger branded shops and clubs (if that’s your thing) but its also far enough away from the crowds and noise when you need to relax during exam/deadline season.

If you have any specific questions about the course let me know, if it’s about anything past first year I’ll try to find the answer for you
Wow thank you! This is very informative!

I thought I posted a reply a few days ago but perhaps not.

Another question, how's the diversity in the student population at the Penryn campus?
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swanseajack1
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One of the big issues you need to think about is the distance Penryn is from nearly everywhere. It takes hours to get there even from Exeter or Bristol and longer still from anywhere else. That is fine if you are coming home only at the end of term but quite problematic if you intend going home on regular basis. Penryn is basically a village and unless you want a quiet life dont stay there. There are regular buses to Falmouth from the campus which is bigger but still tiny compared to bigger places like say Southampton. It wont offer the same in terms of nightlife and shops but has lovely beaches, restaurants and pubs. If you want a smaller more rural environment consider Penryn otherwise look at Southampton
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TwistyX
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
One of the big issues you need to think about is the distance Penryn is from nearly everywhere. It takes hours to get there even from Exeter or Bristol and longer still from anywhere else. That is fine if you are coming home only at the end of term but quite problematic if you intend going home on regular basis. Penryn is basically a village and unless you want a quiet life dont stay there. There are regular buses to Falmouth from the campus which is bigger but still tiny compared to bigger places like say Southampton. It wont offer the same in terms of nightlife and shops but has lovely beaches, restaurants and pubs. If you want a smaller more rural environment consider Penryn otherwise look at Southampton
Thank you for the reply

The distance is a little bit of a problem. I do intend to visit London relatively often as I have family there. The travelling time would be awful :/ I don't know how I'm gonna do it if I do pick Exeter.
I do prefer a small, quiet town though.
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by TwistyX)
Thank you for the reply

The distance is a little bit of a problem. I do intend to visit London relatively often as I have family there. The travelling time would be awful :/ I don't know how I'm gonna do it if I do pick Exeter.
I do prefer a small, quiet town though.
Penryn to Paddington will take between 5 and 6 hours plus travel in London and the walk from campus to the rail station . You are not really going to be able to come back for weekends if you choose that option so that needs careful consideration. Do you have any other options.
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PQ
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(Original post by TwistyX)
Thank you for the reply

The distance is a little bit of a problem. I do intend to visit London relatively often as I have family there. The travelling time would be awful :/ I don't know how I'm gonna do it if I do pick Exeter.
I do prefer a small, quiet town though.
Have you been able to visit Penryn and Southampton?
Southampton might be a city but it’s also pretty small compared to London (it certainly isn’t known for its nightlife and is better for pubs and bars than nightclubs imo) and there’s a lot of green space and at least in your later years when you’re based at NOCS there’s a very small friendly community.
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by PQ)
Have you been able to visit Penryn and Southampton?
Southampton might be a city but it’s also pretty small compared to London (it certainly isn’t known for its nightlife and is better for pubs and bars than nightclubs imo) and there’s a lot of green space and at least in your later years when you’re based at NOCS there’s a very small friendly community.
I dont know much about Southampton but Penryn is tiny more of a village than a town population of less than 7000. Falmouth is a bigger town 31000 but certainly neither of them will offer the kind of nightlife any city will. OP needs to make a decision. Do they want to live in a very small place which is a long way from everywhere or a bigger place which is more accessible to London. Penryn is fine if you go back just at holidays and want somewhere really quiet otherwise dont go there.
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HobbinsE
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(Original post by TwistyX)
Wow thank you! This is very informative!

I thought I posted a reply a few days ago but perhaps not.

Another question, how's the diversity in the student population at the Penryn campus?
Considering it’s a small campus it is quite diverse, probably not as much as Southampton. Also everyone makes a good point about Penryn being hard to access from other places, the trains are often delayed or cancelled when a storm comes in so sometimes plans to go home get cancelled or take an extra few hours. Although the amount of work you’ll have as a first year studying a biology heavy degree will keep you on campus anyway. That being said there’s no better place to do an assignment than on a 5 hour train journey with no distractions.
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Kinyonga
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I'm at the Penryn campus, in my first year of Conservation Biology & Ecology (we share a lot of modules with the marine biology students). I also applied to Southampton, but didn't visit because I knew Penryn was where I wanted to come as soon as I came to the open day.
I expect teaching styles are quite similar across all unis; we have lectures and one or two practical sessions per week, either in the lab or outdoors. Have had some good practicals on the beach and in the field. If you ask you can borrow equipment from the lab and use the microscopes etc.
It's a great campus, lots of green space and everyone's really nice (although not very diverse). We share a campus and accommodation with Falmouth University, which I really like because you get to know a bigger variety of people.
Penryn is quite small, Falmouth (5 mins on the train) has more to offer in terms of shops and night life, and is pretty decent in that regard as far as I can tell (not really into the night scene). I really like the fact that these are both small rural towns, surrounded by lovely countryside, great walks and beaches.
I too have family in London whom I visit fairly regularly, you can get the train to Paddington which takes ~6 hours from Truro, but there's also the night bus which is a lot cheaper and not as bad as it sounds. Plus travelling overnight saves daylight hours if you're just going up for the weekend.
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Deisegirl
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My daughter is in Southampton Uni and my son is in Penryn (Exeter). Both have had great experiences in their respective unis. I thought son would find the Cornwall campus very small, quiet and remote, coming from London, but he loves it and has made loads of friends, not just students from Exeter and Falmouth Unis, which share a campus, but also people from the local area not connected to the university. My daughter studies Bioscience on the main campus in Southampton but has completed Marine modules at NOCs. It’s worth noting that the Marine campus is not on the main Southampton site but down in the docklands area, which means that Marine students are somewhat cut off from campus life and tend to keep to themselves (that’s daughter’s impression anyway!). At Penryn, everyone mixes together and it’s very friendly. So, two very different settings but both have their merits. Southampton is very accessible to London though, if that’s a priority! I recommend visiting both and seeing where you feel most at home.
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