Bristol vs Birmingham vs Nottingham

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NunoAlberto
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#1
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#1
Good afternoon,
I am a portuguese student and I have received offers from these unis to study Computer Science. The University of Bristol do not offer the opportunity to have a placement year, something that I would like to hear your opinion about. In adittion to this, I would like to hear your opinions about these unis and their respective cities, lifestyles and job prospects (mainly in the UK and other similar countries like USA, Australia and Canada). Thank you in advance.
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Stef1234
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#2
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#2
I have visited both Birmingham and Bristol, so I cannot really say anything on behalf of Nottingham. But I chose Bristol over Birmingham for a couple of reasons:

- I love old building and cities with a historic centre. Birmingham is quite a new industrial city. It has a couple of nice beautiful buildings but the city is not filled with them. While Bristol, certainly around the uni, has some very old cute English type buildings. Also the uni itself looks older. While Birmingham has more of an American state university feel to it with lots of modern facilities, Bristol kind of has a campus with mansions where smaller departments are placed and larger buildings for the libraries and bigger departments. Bristol also has the Wills Memorial building which is just beautiful and based on oxbridge architecture.

- I think that both universities are equally involved in student activities so there’s not really a big difference.

- You can walk from the University of Bristol to the city centre, while at the University of Birmingham that’s not possible, you have to take a 5 min train.

- it’s cheaper to live around the uni of Birmingham and it’s also easier to find accommodation (when you don’t get it through uni, but both uni’s provide housing for their first years).

- on international world rankings Bristol is higher ranked than Birmingham. But both are Russel Group uni’s, so very good uni’s.

It depends on what you’re looking for in a university. Basically if you are looking for a uni with a campus where everyone lives and a big patch of grass in the middle with an American college feel to it, go for Birmingham

If you would like to be surrounded with old buildings and don’t mind cycling or walking a bit further to uni and like being in a more hipster city festival type place, with easy access to a city centre, go for Bristol.

I chose Bristol over Birmingham because it was just more for me. In the end I ended up going with another uni when I received more offers.

But I would highly recommend visiting all three universities if possible, so that you can figure out where you feel at home.
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NunoAlberto
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Stef1234)
I have visited both Birmingham and Bristol, so I cannot really say anything on behalf of Nottingham. But I chose Bristol over Birmingham for a couple of reasons:

- I love old building and cities with a historic centre. Birmingham is quite a new industrial city. It has a couple of nice beautiful buildings but the city is not filled with them. While Bristol, certainly around the uni, has some very old cute English type buildings. Also the uni itself looks older. While Birmingham has more of an American state university feel to it with lots of modern facilities, Bristol kind of has a campus with mansions where smaller departments are placed and larger buildings for the libraries and bigger departments. Bristol also has the Wills Memorial building which is just beautiful and based on oxbridge architecture.

- I think that both universities are equally involved in student activities so there’s not really a big difference.

- You can walk from the University of Bristol to the city centre, while at the University of Birmingham that’s not possible, you have to take a 5 min train.

- it’s cheaper to live around the uni of Birmingham and it’s also easier to find accommodation (when you don’t get it through uni, but both uni’s provide housing for their first years).

- on international world rankings Bristol is higher ranked than Birmingham. But both are Russel Group uni’s, so very good uni’s.

It depends on what you’re looking for in a university. Basically if you are looking for a uni with a campus where everyone lives and a big patch of grass in the middle with an American college feel to it, go for Birmingham

If you would like to be surrounded with old buildings and don’t mind cycling or walking a bit further to uni and like being in a more hipster city festival type place, with easy access to a city centre, go for Bristol.

I chose Bristol over Birmingham because it was just more for me. In the end I ended up going with another uni when I received more offers.

But I would highly recommend visiting all three universities if possible, so that you can figure out where you feel at home.
Is Bristol noticeable better, regarding job prospects and prestige, than Birmingham?
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Stef1234
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#4
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#4
(Original post by NunoAlberto)
Is Bristol noticeable better, regarding job prospects and prestige, than Birmingham?

Prestige and ranking are all very relative. All three universities are part of the prestigious Russel Group, which means that they belong to the best unis in the UK and are research heavy. I have looked up the rankings for all three of your universities, but I wouldn’t base my decision solely on these rankings. I would definitely recommend that you look into the courses you have offers for and figure out which one you prefer. You can also try to find out what research your future professors are involved in, and see if that interests you too, as professors are more likely to teach something they find interesting, but then again, the core and optional modules will probably show that too. I find the find the top two rankings the most trust worthy. You can also look up on what data these websites base their rankings. Maybe one of those bases it on things you personally find important.

QS world rankings:
49 - Bristol
81 - Birmingham
96 - Nottingham

The times higher education world rankings:
87 - Bristol
112 - Birmingham
152 - Nottingham

The guardian UK ranking:
16 - Birmingham
18 - Nottingham
23 - Bristol

The complete university guide UK rankings:
13 - Birmingham
16 - Bristol
19 - Nottingham

US news world rankings:
81 - Bristol
96 - Birmingham
152 - Nottingham
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mnot
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#5
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#5
(Original post by NunoAlberto)
Is Bristol noticeable better, regarding job prospects and prestige, than Birmingham?
Job prospects:
I doubt there is anything in it really, how much time you spend building your CV will matter more. Nottingham & Bristol are always in the highfiers guide of top employable unis.

Prestige:
Again quite close between them but Nottingham & Bristol are a nose ahead of Birmingham.
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NunoAlberto
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#6
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#6
Can anyone help me? I really need to make my mind
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TheWildAminal
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#7
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#7
Nottingham is better than Birmingham, accepted it as my firm
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KeirCKF
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#8
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#8
(Original post by mnot)
Job prospects:
I doubt there is anything in it really, how much time you spend building your CV will matter more. Nottingham & Bristol are always in the highfiers guide of top employable unis.

Prestige:
Again quite close between them but Nottingham & Bristol are a nose ahead of Birmingham.
No, it is not, check again. Birmingham has been the top targeted university by employers among the above three choices.

https://www.highfliers.co.uk/downloa...GM20Report.pdf
https://www.highfliers.co.uk/downloa...GMReport19.pdf
https://www.highfliers.co.uk/downloa...GMReport18.pdf
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TheWildAminal
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#9
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#9
Based on open days and taster sessions, the teaching environment and engagement of students was better at Nottingham than Birmingham
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btw i use arch
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#10
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#10
What a great discussion ! Thank you for your valuable opinion, people.
Also, you might want to take a look at my chart: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6607088
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danielrcoates
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#11
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#11
I can’t comment on either of the Universities in Birmingham, as I haven’t been to either, I did however grow up in Kings Norton and spent some time living in Aston so I’ll give some insight on the city as place to live/stay.

I will just mention the locations of the universities for clarity.

Birmingham City University used to be called ‘The University of Central England in Birmingham’ and most of there facilities are dotted within a 10-15 minute walk of the City Centre.

Aston University is also in the same area as Birmingham City University, and is also a short walk to Town

‘University of Birmingham’ is mainly located around the Selly Oak/Edgebaston area of the city, and has some gorgeous red brick architecture, most of there campuses are within short walk to local rail connections, including it’s own ‘University’ station, and is a short journey to the City with reasonably regular trains, usually about every 20 mins.

There are multiple options for nightlife.

If your in the Selly Oak area there are quite a few local pubs, and it’s not to far from Harborne if you fancy doing the Harbourne Run and visiting all 9/10 pubs along the high street.

In the centre of ‘Town’ (the local term for the City Centre) you have Broad Street and Hurst Street.

Broad Street has a number of restaurants, night clubs and several canals, can be a little pricy per pint at times, but is a reasonable night out.

Hurst Street is the LGBT+ area of the city, and has most of the local gay bars and clubs, a little cheaper than Broad Street, and some places have LGBT only nights.

For shopping there is The Bull Ring and Grand Central (The poorly named shopping centre above Birmingham New Street Station) for higher tier shops such as Barbour, Hugo Boss, Hobbs, River Island and Next, there are also various eateries and other higher end.

Next to The Bull Ring is ‘The Rag Market’ and the Food Hall which has loads of reasonable independents stalls, with everything from Fabrics to Hardware.

The food hall has loads of butchers, fishmongers and a few veg stalls, there might even be a spice bazaar if my memory serves me correctly, it’s been a few years I moved to the sea side.

Outside this, theres the outdoor markets, this is mainly fruit and veg, but occasion has more standard market stalls, sadly however the Wholesale Markets have been moved out of the town centre to help make space for HS2.

stores.

The Mail Box is another upmarket shopping centre, I’ve been inside once, you need generally need a 6 figure salary to buy anything from there.

There’s also the Custard Factory that’s a mix of shopping, along with some creative and digital office space, set in a gorgeous industrial building that used to make Birds Custard Powder.

Culture wise, there’s three main theatres in the town, along with a few smaller ones. The Hippodrome (Hurst Street), The Alexandra (Just off Hurst Street) and The Rep (Broad Street).

There’s are a few live music venues including The O2 Academy, The Symphony Hall and the ICC, as well as several smaller venues such as The Hare and Hounds.

Just off from the Rep is the new Central Library, with its gorgeous Hogwarts like reference library, a roof terrace (usually closed) and various other facilities including an amphitheater.

There’s also several museums and art galleries, including Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG), and ‘Think Tank Science Museum’ and The Transport Museum (I actually think there are three of those) that all house some amazing exhibits.

Then there’s The National Trust: Back to Backs that’s showcase Victorian Birmingham with it’s restored houses and shops.

Not to far out of town, and accessible directly via train is The NEC, if you like home shows, car shows etc...

There’s loads of open green spaces dotted all over the place, including Cannon Hill Park, The Lickey Hills, Sutton Park (though not technically Birmingham) and so many more.

With regards to crime, personal safety etc, I rarely felt uneasy moving around alone, or with my boyfriend, but my sister did feel uneasy at times, and eventually moved away, overall it’s not much different to many major city’s in the UK.

The city is an amazing place to stay, and I sometimes wish I hadn’t moved down to Devon to be closer to my family.

I hope that’s of some useful information, even if it’s not specifically about the Universities.
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danielrcoates
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#12
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#12
I should probably also mention it has the worlds largest Primark, that now occupies what was once an entire shopping centre.
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