The Student Room Group

bath vs exeter for psychology

beyond stoked i've been given these options but now i'm faced with the biggest dilemma between both these unis for psych.

for more context, i'm an international student from singapore and i have offers for the bsc psych program w placement for bath, and the msci applied psych program for exeter. i'm much more inclined towards the counselling & clinical route which is why i opted for placement years.

for bath, im fully aware of its higher ranking in the field of undergrad psych in the UK compared to exeter. my parents are rather traditional (asian lol) and prefer for me to choose bath due to prestige and the impression that the name of the uni will get me better job prospects in the future. i myself am v drawn to the uni because it seems more internationally-friendly and diverse compared to exeter, and hearing how beautiful the city is. the only con im thinking of is the fact that the modules compared to exeter seems more broad, with not as much focus on the clinical and applied parts of psych like exeter has. there also seems to be a lot more focus on research (correct me if im wrong), and im worried i won't enjoy the modules being taught.

for exeter, the major downside is really the diversity and racism issues they've faced in the past, which makes me nervous about not fitting in as an asian student. the uni ranking is a concern too, and ig my parents preference for bath does influence me a lot. the upside of exeter's psych prog is really the more applied focus of it which is what i personally prefer due to my interests in the clinical setting. the placement itself in NHS is something i like, and the research dissertation from the school's own mood disorder center.

would rly appreciate any thoughts on which uni i should pick! and if any current students from both unis could weigh in on their experiences that'll be sooo helpful :') they both have such lovely aspects which makes me so torn having to forego some things at the end of the day.

tldr: pick a higher ranking uni or a uni with a "better" and more preferred curriculum?
(edited 1 year ago)
Dont go on rankings. They are meaningless fluctuate between different Ranking bodies and are different every year.. The complete university guide shows Bath 4th and Exeter 13th down from 8th last year. There is only a marginal difference in the top 20 or so universities so it wouldnt really matter. As @McGinger often says rakings dont tell whether you will be happy somewhere.

Bath ad Exeter are fairly similar cities. Both are historic with really nice shopping centres and neither will provide the kind of nightlife Bristol does. The campus in Exeter is closer to the city centre than Bath. Exeters campus is more hilly than Baths which in itself is high above the city.

Exeters campus is more beautiful than Bath which is very concretty and both have outstanding sports facilities.

As far as racism is concerned it is an issue everywhere. It doesnt just apply in Exeter. The difference is in Exeter it came out in the open and the university dealt with it firmly. That said it is highly unlikely it will affect you. All universities have large numbers of overseas students and most dont suffer racism.

The key issue in choosing a university is that you are happy in the place you go and the course interests you the most. Make your decision based on those factors not reputations.
The Bath placements program is one of the best in the UK.

Placements matter. They give you invaluable work-experience and this will give you an innediate advantage over all the other thousands of Psych graduates the Unis are all churning out every year. Psych is an overcrowded field and there are relevately few entry level jobs for grads. Anything that makes you stand out - work experience, study aboard etc - is certainly worth having.
Reply 3
Original post by swanseajack1
Dont go on rankings. They are meaningless fluctuate between different Ranking bodies and are different every year.. The complete university guide shows Bath 4th and Exeter 13th down from 8th last year. There is only a marginal difference in the top 20 or so universities so it wouldnt really matter. As @McGinger often says rakings dont tell whether you will be happy somewhere.

Bath ad Exeter are fairly similar cities. Both are historic with really nice shopping centres and neither will provide the kind of nightlife Bristol does. The campus in Exeter is closer to the city centre than Bath. Exeters campus is more hilly than Baths which in itself is high above the city.

Exeters campus is more beautiful than Bath which is very concretty and both have outstanding sports facilities.

As far as racism is concerned it is an issue everywhere. It doesnt just apply in Exeter. The difference is in Exeter it came out in the open and the university dealt with it firmly. That said it is highly unlikely it will affect you. All universities have large numbers of overseas students and most dont suffer racism.

The key issue in choosing a university is that you are happy in the place you go and the course interests you the most. Make your decision based on those factors not reputations.

thanks for your insight!! yes im trying not to let the rankings be the governing factor of my decision but it is tough bc i also know bath has a solid reputation for their psych program...
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 4
Original post by McGinger
The Bath placements program is one of the best in the UK.

Placements matter. They give you invaluable work-experience and this will give you an innediate advantage over all the other thousands of Psych graduates the Unis are all churning out every year. Psych is an overcrowded field and there are relevately few entry level jobs for grads. Anything that makes you stand out - work experience, study aboard etc - is certainly worth having.

agreed! i know of bath's notable placements, but exeter's applied psych program also offers placement at healthcare-specific organisations which does interest me a lot. do you know of the clinical-related placements bath can offer?
Original post by grayrah
do you know of the clinical-related placements bath can offer?

"Typical psychology placements include; hospitals, prisons, national agencies and research centres. "
Email [email protected] and ask.
Original post by grayrah
agreed! i know of bath's notable placements, but exeter's applied psych program also offers placement at healthcare-specific organisations which does interest me a lot. do you know of the clinical-related placements bath can offer?

I know when my son was in Exeter 2 of his housemates in the 2nd year decided to take a year out One of the boys who was studying Accountancy had a placement with Price Waterhouse. I dont know where the other boy got his placement.. Most, possibly all universities do it but Bath does a lot of it.

The one issue I would check with Exeter is that your course is in Exeter as a number of courses are at Penryn which is miles away from anywhere.
Original post by grayrah
agreed! i know of bath's notable placements, but exeter's applied psych program also offers placement at healthcare-specific organisations which does interest me a lot. do you know of the clinical-related placements bath can offer?

Exeter dealt with racism that all universities have - Bath has a very similar intake.

Personally, reading your post, it sounds like the course at Exeter is more to your liking with the content and the campus is just amazing. It has a wellness centre and a huge INTO [courses for International students] section.

Have you looked at the virtual campus tours or spoken to current students via the website?
Reply 8
Original post by McGinger
"Typical psychology placements include; hospitals, prisons, national agencies and research centres.
Email [email protected] and ask.

thank you :smile:
Reply 9
Original post by swanseajack1
I know when my son was in Exeter 2 of his housemates in the 2nd year decided to take a year out One of the boys who was studying Accountancy had a placement with Price Waterhouse. I dont know where the other boy got his placement.. Most, possibly all universities do it but Bath does a lot of it.

The one issue I would check with Exeter is that your course is in Exeter as a number of courses are at Penryn which is miles away from anywhere.

mine’s at the main streatham campus, so it’s q accessible (?)
Reply 10
Original post by Muttley79
Exeter dealt with racism that all universities have - Bath has a very similar intake.

Personally, reading your post, it sounds like the course at Exeter is more to your liking with the content and the campus is just amazing. It has a wellness centre and a huge INTO [courses for International students] section.

Have you looked at the virtual campus tours or spoken to current students via the website?

haha i think so too :”) still can’t deny how great bath is tho…but thank you for ur input! yes u have taken a look at the virtual tours for both unis and like them equally, exeter does seem much bigger!
I would point out that to become a clinical psychologist (or any professional psychologist including e.g. forensic/educational/occupational etc) the undergraduate degree is just the first step and you will need to do a DClinPsy (or equivalent e.g. DEdPsy), which is extremely competitive and many applicants will have a masters degree or even a PhD by the time they apply to those, with a wealth of (clinical) work experience.

Also, generally for clinical and forensic psychology I expect the main employers will be the NHS and the government, which do not privilege particular universities over others - so "brand name" doesn't mean anything in that regard. However, as above work experience will be critical so a placement(s) will help a lot (and also will help you in seeking out assistant psychologist roles after you graduate before you start the professional doctorate). So I think the placement opportunities will be more important than the uni "brand name".
Original post by grayrah
mine’s at the main streatham campus, so it’s q accessible (?)

Yes Streatham is easy to get to. It is a 2 hour train ride from London and an hour by train from Bristol. It is a 15 minute walk uphill from the main railway station and a 10-15 minute walk to the centre of the city. It is a stunning campus. Exeter is a bigger university than Bath which tends to concentrate on sciences and social sciences but is really good at what it does.

Whichever you choose it might be worth contacting the universities to see whether they offer a meet and greet at the airport Some operate transfers for international students and that would be very useful as Singapore flights are likely to arrive at Heathrow. This would involve a train into Paddington and then a change of train to the West Country for either or a coach from Heathrow direct to either city. Also check whether you can pre purchase bedding and cooking equipment from the university, As a word of advice Wilkos do an excellent student rang which can either book in advance or when you arrive which tends to be cheaper than the official uni packages. If you arrive on a Sunday in the UK stores close early.
Reply 13
Original post by artful_lounger
I would point out that to become a clinical psychologist (or any professional psychologist including e.g. forensic/educational/occupational etc) the undergraduate degree is just the first step and you will need to do a DClinPsy (or equivalent e.g. DEdPsy), which is extremely competitive and many applicants will have a masters degree or even a PhD by the time they apply to those, with a wealth of (clinical) work experience.

Also, generally for clinical and forensic psychology I expect the main employers will be the NHS and the government, which do not privilege particular universities over others - so "brand name" doesn't mean anything in that regard. However, as above work experience will be critical so a placement(s) will help a lot (and also will help you in seeking out assistant psychologist roles after you graduate before you start the professional doctorate). So I think the placement opportunities will be more important than the uni "brand name".

yup, am aware about the long road ahead to becoming a clinical psychologist! and yes thanks for pointing out the importance of placement opportunities; both bath and exeter seem to be quite comparable in this area too
Reply 14
Original post by swanseajack1
Yes Streatham is easy to get to. It is a 2 hour train ride from London and an hour by train from Bristol. It is a 15 minute walk uphill from the main railway station and a 10-15 minute walk to the centre of the city. It is a stunning campus. Exeter is a bigger university than Bath which tends to concentrate on sciences and social sciences but is really good at what it does.

Whichever you choose it might be worth contacting the universities to see whether they offer a meet and greet at the airport Some operate transfers for international students and that would be very useful as Singapore flights are likely to arrive at Heathrow. This would involve a train into Paddington and then a change of train to the West Country for either or a coach from Heathrow direct to either city. Also check whether you can pre purchase bedding and cooking equipment from the university, As a word of advice Wilkos do an excellent student rang which can either book in advance or when you arrive which tends to be cheaper than the official uni packages. If you arrive on a Sunday in the UK stores close early.

oh gosh thanks so much for such a detailed description + tips :") will keep them in mind
Hi there! I am struggling with kind of similar confusion choosing the psychology programme at Bath with placement year, Exeter INTO programme with placement year and Sheffield with placement year also. I have read all explanations in stream and appreciated it a lot :smile:) But how about Sheffield psychology ? What is your opinion if you were to choose amongst these 3 uni's? I have not been in Exeter nor Sheffield but visited Bath as a tourist a couple of years ago.. Enjoyed the city to visit for a couple of days then, but now not sure if I'll be bored for 3 years at university. What advice could you give to me? Thanks ,
Reply 16
Original post by grayrah
beyond stoked i've been given these options but now i'm faced with the biggest dilemma between both these unis for psych.

for more context, i'm an international student from singapore and i have offers for the bsc psych program w placement for bath, and the msci applied psych program for exeter. i'm much more inclined towards the counselling & clinical route which is why i opted for placement years.

for bath, im fully aware of its higher ranking in the field of undergrad psych in the UK compared to exeter. my parents are rather traditional (asian lol) and prefer for me to choose bath due to prestige and the impression that the name of the uni will get me better job prospects in the future. i myself am v drawn to the uni because it seems more internationally-friendly and diverse compared to exeter, and hearing how beautiful the city is. the only con im thinking of is the fact that the modules compared to exeter seems more broad, with not as much focus on the clinical and applied parts of psych like exeter has. there also seems to be a lot more focus on research (correct me if im wrong), and im worried i won't enjoy the modules being taught.

for exeter, the major downside is really the diversity and racism issues they've faced in the past, which makes me nervous about not fitting in as an asian student. the uni ranking is a concern too, and ig my parents preference for bath does influence me a lot. the upside of exeter's psych prog is really the more applied focus of it which is what i personally prefer due to my interests in the clinical setting. the placement itself in NHS is something i like, and the research dissertation from the school's own mood disorder center.

would rly appreciate any thoughts on which uni i should pick! and if any current students from both unis could weigh in on their experiences that'll be sooo helpful :') they both have such lovely aspects which makes me so torn having to forego some things at the end of the day.

tldr: pick a higher ranking uni or a uni with a "better" and more preferred curriculum?

Which university did you end up choosing? My son is in similar consideration as you.

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