3rd year history student at bristol- ask me anything!

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Kebristol1
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Hey everyone,

I'm in my final year at Bristol, and I remember having lots of questions about the uni when I was applying and getting ready for first year so i thought I'd make a thread so that if anyone has any questions i can try and answer them!

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic about bristol now that im in my last term so I'm very happy to go on about it and answer questions if anyone has any!
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ayana8
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Hi!
Firstly thank you so much this is so kind!

I'm wondering how diverse Bristol is and if you know what the most friendly or diverse or welcoming accommodation would be?
I'm trying to decide between Bath and Bristol and I think I'd prefer Bristol but the Bath course seems better. Do you enjoy the people and the social opportunities in Bristol?
Obviously right now I can't go and visit either uni which is hindering my decision. Is Bristol a nice city (aesthetically speaking)?

Sorry for all the questions haha and thanks so much
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Kebristol1
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(Original post by ayanal8)
Hi!
Firstly thank you so much this is so kind!

I'm wondering how diverse Bristol is and if you know what the most friendly or diverse or welcoming accommodation would be?
I'm trying to decide between Bath and Bristol and I think I'd prefer Bristol but the Bath course seems better. Do you enjoy the people and the social opportunities in Bristol?
Obviously right now I can't go and visit either uni which is hindering my decision. Is Bristol a nice city (aesthetically speaking)?

Sorry for all the questions haha and thanks so much
The city is quite diverse, more than i was expecting it to be coming from London! The uni is definitely less diverse than the city, although there are a fair amount of cultural societies and things like that. Broadly though I think its quite an accepting city and place (although my experience is more in terms of LGBT diversity than anything else!) In terms of which accomodation to go for, just based on people I know and accommodations I’ve visited I think the city centre ones are the most diverse. Although I was in clifton so I don’t know much detail about them! Most places are pretty accepting though.

Haha i was deciding between Bristol and Bath too. I love Bristol as a city, I ended up choosing it over Bath just because it felt more like a proper/big city to me and I found Bath quite small- but that’s just because i was used to bigger cities. Bristol also has a really great cultural scene which was a factor for me. I’ve met lots of really interesting and nice people here and its very sociable. For me as well I like that bristol as a city is big enough that you can get out of the uni bubble when you need to. So yes definitely recommend the city!

In terms of aesthetics, its got its good bits and its ugly bits (like most cities i suppose). The uni is all in the older/posher bits though, and areas like Clifton are really beautiful- there’s some brightly coloured houses that i’m desperate to live for example. i’d say it has just as much aesthetic bits as bath does, but that they’re a bit more spread out if that makes sense.

I’ve found the uni to be very sociable. My friends now are from a massive mixture of different classes/societies/ activities I’ve done and places I’ve lived. There is always something happening if you want to go to it, but I’ve found people to be equally as understanding if you just want to stay in and watch telly. Its really up to you.

I’m staying in Bristol after graduating because I love it so much! Its a really lovely city and uni, but I’m sure you’ll love wherever you end up. Let me know if there’s anything else i can help with!
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ayana8
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(Original post by Kebristol1)
The city is quite diverse, more than i was expecting it to be coming from London! The uni is definitely less diverse than the city, although there are a fair amount of cultural societies and things like that. Broadly though I think its quite an accepting city and place (although my experience is more in terms of LGBT diversity than anything else!) In terms of which accomodation to go for, just based on people I know and accommodations I’ve visited I think the city centre ones are the most diverse. Although I was in clifton so I don’t know much detail about them! Most places are pretty accepting though.

Haha i was deciding between Bristol and Bath too. I love Bristol as a city, I ended up choosing it over Bath just because it felt more like a proper/big city to me and I found Bath quite small- but that’s just because i was used to bigger cities. Bristol also has a really great cultural scene which was a factor for me. I’ve met lots of really interesting and nice people here and its very sociable. For me as well I like that bristol as a city is big enough that you can get out of the uni bubble when you need to. So yes definitely recommend the city!

In terms of aesthetics, its got its good bits and its ugly bits (like most cities i suppose). The uni is all in the older/posher bits though, and areas like Clifton are really beautiful- there’s some brightly coloured houses that i’m desperate to live for example. i’d say it has just as much aesthetic bits as bath does, but that they’re a bit more spread out if that makes sense.

I’ve found the uni to be very sociable. My friends now are from a massive mixture of different classes/societies/ activities I’ve done and places I’ve lived. There is always something happening if you want to go to it, but I’ve found people to be equally as understanding if you just want to stay in and watch telly. Its really up to you.

I’m staying in Bristol after graduating because I love it so much! Its a really lovely city and uni, but I’m sure you’ll love wherever you end up. Let me know if there’s anything else i can help with!
Wow thank you so much for the detailed reply!
Last question- do you think Bristol is a well respected university/ is it very academic? I love my subject and would love to be able to have conversations about it with people at my uni (that definitely makes me sound like a nerd but oh well ...). I'm also wondering whether Bristol is seen as a university that people only go to if they want to 'party', which I DEFINITELY want to do, but I also want to go to an impressive uni.

Thank you again
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Kebristol1
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(Original post by ayanal8)
Wow thank you so much for the detailed reply!
Last question- do you think Bristol is a well respected university/ is it very academic? I love my subject and would love to be able to have conversations about it with people at my uni (that definitely makes me sound like a nerd but oh well ...). I'm also wondering whether Bristol is seen as a university that people only go to if they want to 'party', which I DEFINITELY want to do, but I also want to go to an impressive uni.

Thank you again
I think again it depends on the type of people you're with, there's always some people who are less fussed about their subject, but the majority of people (on my course at least!) are quite nerdy in that they are perfectly happy to talk for hours about their subject if you bring it up. I've found this is always useful when coursework is due, that's when i tend to spend the most time debating with people about the question and the essays. I think the uni is definitely academic, but i've found it to be a good balance between partying and work! Freshers week is always quite party like, but as the terms go on and you get to specialise a bit more in your subject you find people are much willing to have nerdy discussions about it.
Bristol definitely has a strong party scene, but everyone also knows how to be academic when they need to! I've found it to be a great balance.
You're welcome! Good luck deciding uni choices, maybe I'll see you around the city next year!
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justjas33
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(Original post by Kebristol1)
Hey everyone,

I'm in my final year at Bristol, and I remember having lots of questions about the uni when I was applying and getting ready for first year so i thought I'd make a thread so that if anyone has any questions i can try and answer them!

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic about bristol now that im in my last term so I'm very happy to go on about it and answer questions if anyone has any!
Hey, thank you sm for offering to do this! Your answers to previous questions were extremely helpful for me to read too so thank you
I’d love to know how you found the course overall, especially your 1st year modules. Which ones did you take? How were you assessed on each 1st year module? Did you enjoy 1st year academic wise? Modern history is my thing, do you think I’d be satisfied with History at Bristol? Also how’s the history society?
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Kebristol1
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Hello!
I’ve really enjoyed the history course, I’m a modern historian too and there’s been plenty of opportunity for me to do very recent stuff. If I’m remembering correctly (although it might have changed now!) in the first term of first year everyone does the same modules; I think they were modern, early modern, and one about how to study history- but that one was also taught through using the 20th century as a case study. In the second term of the first year there was a compulsory medieval unit (I HATE medieval history haha, but I actually didn’t find it too terrible) and that’s also the first term that you get to choose two of your own units- I did America since WW2 and a weird one about the place of music in modern Britain.
In second year and third year you can pretty much entirely choose what you want. I think there’s one compulsory unit on global history, but otherwise you’re free to pick anything! A lot of my friends went for European or African history, one is obsessed with medieval things and witchcraft, but I did units on 1970s Britain and youth subcultures! Next term I’m doing something on the 90s and 00s (so about as modern as you can get!)
Basically I’d say that the course is really good in that there are so many options and you have control to study pretty much whatever you like. The history department as a whole is definitely academic, but they’re also quite chill if you need to submit something a bit late and I found this really helped me to enjoy the year. As the course goes on and you start to specialise you get to know specific lecturers a bit more too, which is nice.
Assessment is the same as most unis I think. It’s a mixture of exams, essays, and we did one presentation in first year. First year doesn’t count for your final mark. Since covid the exams in history have been converted to seven day papers that you submit online, so they’re open book. (You don’t spend seven days on them! You just have a seven day window to submit!) I’m not sure if this will be the same next year or if they’ll just be normal ones again. I’ve got the specific modes of asseament for my first year units written down somewhere... PM if youd like to see it and I’ll dig it out 😊
In terms of the history soc I’m afraid I don’t know much about it cos I’m very involved with some other societies at the uni instead. But they’re good in that they run lots of social events, including the party in December. They also do academic support sessions you can pop into if you want! I probably should’ve made use of them a bit more haha
Sorry for the wall of text! If you are going to Bristol or need anything else let me know! I could go on about it for hours!
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justjas33
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(Original post by Kebristol1)
Hello!
I’ve really enjoyed the history course, I’m a modern historian too and there’s been plenty of opportunity for me to do very recent stuff. If I’m remembering correctly (although it might have changed now!) in the first term of first year everyone does the same modules; I think they were modern, early modern, and one about how to study history- but that one was also taught through using the 20th century as a case study. In the second term of the first year there was a compulsory medieval unit (I HATE medieval history haha, but I actually didn’t find it too terrible) and that’s also the first term that you get to choose two of your own units- I did America since WW2 and a weird one about the place of music in modern Britain.
In second year and third year you can pretty much entirely choose what you want. I think there’s one compulsory unit on global history, but otherwise you’re free to pick anything! A lot of my friends went for European or African history, one is obsessed with medieval things and witchcraft, but I did units on 1970s Britain and youth subcultures! Next term I’m doing something on the 90s and 00s (so about as modern as you can get!)
Basically I’d say that the course is really good in that there are so many options and you have control to study pretty much whatever you like. The history department as a whole is definitely academic, but they’re also quite chill if you need to submit something a bit late and I found this really helped me to enjoy the year. As the course goes on and you start to specialise you get to know specific lecturers a bit more too, which is nice.
Assessment is the same as most unis I think. It’s a mixture of exams, essays, and we did one presentation in first year. First year doesn’t count for your final mark. Since covid the exams in history have been converted to seven day papers that you submit online, so they’re open book. (You don’t spend seven days on them! You just have a seven day window to submit!) I’m not sure if this will be the same next year or if they’ll just be normal ones again. I’ve got the specific modes of asseament for my first year units written down somewhere... PM if youd like to see it and I’ll dig it out 😊
In terms of the history soc I’m afraid I don’t know much about it cos I’m very involved with some other societies at the uni instead. But they’re good in that they run lots of social events, including the party in December. They also do academic support sessions you can pop into if you want! I probably should’ve made use of them a bit more haha
Sorry for the wall of text! If you are going to Bristol or need anything else let me know! I could go on about it for hours!
Thank you so much!! This was super insightful, really appreciate your help I’m still waiting on two unis so I can’t really decide yet whether or not Bristol will be my firm but I figured while I’m waiting it would help to gather some info on the unis that have responded and given me an offer. I’ll definitely be back once I think of some more questions😅 thanks again!
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saprad_21
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(Original post by Kebristol1)
Hey everyone,

I'm in my final year at Bristol, and I remember having lots of questions about the uni when I was applying and getting ready for first year so i thought I'd make a thread so that if anyone has any questions i can try and answer them!

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic about bristol now that im in my last term so I'm very happy to go on about it and answer questions if anyone has any!
Hi!
Thank you so much for this, its been so helpful!
I'm from Canada and I've gotten into Bristol for Ancient History as well as History. I was just wondering if there's a substantial difference between the two programs, and if I choose History, would that covers ancient history as well. I was also wondering if there are many international students in the program. Its not that important to me, I was just looking for people that I might be able to talk to about the transition from Canadian High School to Bristol.

Thank you!!
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BeccaRose02
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Hi! Could you give your opinion on how social west village is in comparison to Stoke Bishop/ North village? I don't really like the idea of the bus journey to uni haha, especially coming from London, but I would also like a decent night/social life. I'm not a massive party animal so I'm not bothered about 24/7 house parties etc, but a social hall would be great- any recommendations would be really appreciated!Thank you for offering your expertise, it's really helpful!
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I am Mclovin
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(Original post by BeccaRose02)
Hi! Could you give your opinion on how social west village is in comparison to Stoke Bishop/ North village? I don't really like the idea of the bus journey to uni haha, especially coming from London, but I would also like a decent night/social life. I'm not a massive party animal so I'm not bothered about 24/7 house parties etc, but a social hall would be great- any recommendations would be really appreciated!Thank you for offering your expertise, it's really helpful!
Did my undergrad and master's at Bristol so I'll chime in. I chose West Village because I didn't want to have to face the bus to be honest and to be a bit more immersed in the city. Which I must say was very nice for 9ams and going to gyms in the centre and things like that. I would say Stoke Bishop probably did have that better student atmosphere for the first year, especially for partying, but with that said each hall there varies massively as well. In some regards I do wish I had been in West Village but then I made some of my best friends for life in my halls in West Village so I can't say I regret it. But there wasn't a huge amount of mixing for parties and things across West Village halls though. It was great being able to walk to the Triangle clubs in 5 minutes though and not having to wait for the bus back after. And it certainly didn't stop us from partying too much. So at the end of the day I think it really doesn't end up making a huge difference. You still make friends from all over. I still think one of the best opportunities is going with catered halls as you live on corridors rather than flats (although some self-catered may be on corridors rather than flats too, I can't recall). Whilst some people had amazing flats and were the best of friends sometimes that didn't happen. I liked that being in catered and on big long corridors meant you could meet people from all over the hall. That's definitely personal preference though.

I chose Clifton Hill House because it was the only catered in West Village. I think it may have become an international hall a few years ago though so am not too sure if the option is still available unless you're an international, but I really am not sure. Goldney had some really nice gardens but is in flats. Manor is the other big one there. I personally wouldn't bother with any of the small halls in West Village, but again depends on your preferences. I liked mixing with lots of people in halls and some courses are better at mixing than others due to the type of work they have (labs etc.), so it varies on what you want. In North Village, Churchill and Wills are more 'posh', Durdham and University cheap and cheerful. Badock edgy. Hiatt Baker is a decent middle ground and has both self-catered and catered. One is new and nice and the other older and not as nice, but I can't recall which. (I hate to generalise about these but it's generally a bit accurate).

Good luck with everything!
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BeccaRose02
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(Original post by I am Mclovin)
Did my undergrad and master's at Bristol so I'll chime in. I chose West Village because I didn't want to have to face the bus to be honest and to be a bit more immersed in the city. Which I must say was very nice for 9ams and going to gyms in the centre and things like that. I would say Stoke Bishop probably did have that better student atmosphere for the first year, especially for partying, but with that said each hall there varies massively as well. In some regards I do wish I had been in West Village but then I made some of my best friends for life in my halls in West Village so I can't say I regret it. But there wasn't a huge amount of mixing for parties and things across West Village halls though. It was great being able to walk to the Triangle clubs in 5 minutes though and not having to wait for the bus back after. And it certainly didn't stop us from partying too much. So at the end of the day I think it really doesn't end up making a huge difference. You still make friends from all over. I still think one of the best opportunities is going with catered halls as you live on corridors rather than flats (although some self-catered may be on corridors rather than flats too, I can't recall). Whilst some people had amazing flats and were the best of friends sometimes that didn't happen. I liked that being in catered and on big long corridors meant you could meet people from all over the hall. That's definitely personal preference though.

I chose Clifton Hill House because it was the only catered in West Village. I think it may have become an international hall a few years ago though so am not too sure if the option is still available unless you're an international, but I really am not sure. Goldney had some really nice gardens but is in flats. Manor is the other big one there. I personally wouldn't bother with any of the small halls in West Village, but again depends on your preferences. I liked mixing with lots of people in halls and some courses are better at mixing than others due to the type of work they have (labs etc.), so it varies on what you want. In North Village, Churchill and Wills are more 'posh', Durdham and University cheap and cheerful. Badock edgy. Hiatt Baker is a decent middle ground and has both self-catered and catered. One is new and nice and the other older and not as nice, but I can't recall which. (I hate to generalise about these but it's generally a bit accurate).

Good luck with everything!
Thank you so much !
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tabithas0014
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Hi, Thank you for giving such helpful advice about accomodation. What do you mean about Goldney being in flats as a negative? I thought that most uni accomodation was in flats. Thank you again!
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I am Mclovin
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(Original post by tabithas0014)
Hi, Thank you for giving such helpful advice about accomodation. What do you mean about Goldney being in flats as a negative? I thought that most uni accomodation was in flats. Thank you again!
Sorry, I worded it badly, it isn't necessarily a negative I just didn't want flats when I was looking. Goldney is actually pretty nice from what I know. Catered halls (at least the big ones) generally aren't in flats because they are on big long corridors open to everyone else in the hall essentially - easy for mixing. Whereas I believe most self-catered are in more traditional flat settings. Although with that said, I think the big halls such as Hiatt Baker self-catered are in big flats of up to 24 or something rather than like 6-8 people, so I assume lots of big flat parties in fact. Although I'm not too certain on that front. It's well worth looking at the site as each residence page should say how big flats are and such. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/accommodati...te/residences/
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tabithas0014
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Thank you so much for your helpful advice!
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abbafan55
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(Original post by Kebristol1)
Hey everyone,

I'm in my final year at Bristol, and I remember having lots of questions about the uni when I was applying and getting ready for first year so i thought I'd make a thread so that if anyone has any questions i can try and answer them!

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic about bristol now that im in my last term so I'm very happy to go on about it and answer questions if anyone has any!
Hi! I’m thinking of going to Bristol and I’m just wondering about if you’d recommend it generally? Do most people seem to enjoy their time there? Also societies popular, like do lots of people join and go to them? Thanks sm!
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saprad_21
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(Original post by Kebristol1)
Hey everyone,

I'm in my final year at Bristol, and I remember having lots of questions about the uni when I was applying and getting ready for first year so i thought I'd make a thread so that if anyone has any questions i can try and answer them!

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic about bristol now that im in my last term so I'm very happy to go on about it and answer questions if anyone has any!
Hey, just wondering if you could help me out with something. I was just wondering how much you (or anyone else) spent on textbooks, materials, etc. in the first year?
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I am Mclovin
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(Original post by saprad_21)
Hey, just wondering if you could help me out with something. I was just wondering how much you (or anyone else) spent on textbooks, materials, etc. in the first year?
In my 3 years doing history at Bristol I'm not sure I ever bought a book. Maybe one. It's never required. All the readings and bits are available as e-books or pdfs, or sometimes they have a large amount of copies of it in the library. It's not like the US where you have to spend an extortionate amount on learning materials so don't worry about that. I know some friends did buy a handful of books maybe but that's only ever extra reading and not the core books.
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Hello, I was planning to live in private accommodation for the first year (for psychology), but online courses prompted me to strongly consider living at home next year. The reason I think I should stay at home is the obvious saving money aspect but my worry is that living at home for the first year will make it harder for me socially. If I could get some advice from your 2020/2021 studies that would be grand. Also, what should/can I do to maximise my chances of staying socially active? Thanks.
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Kebristol1
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(Original post by saprad_21)
Hey, just wondering if you could help me out with something. I was just wondering how much you (or anyone else) spent on textbooks, materials, etc. in the first year?
I think i bought one book for my dissertation in final year, but that was it tbh (and it was only because i was doing a niche area and didn't want to wait for the library to get it!) Otherwise they were all in the library as physical or online copies. My course didnt really need any other materials at all.
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