Best universities in England?

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Julesomoorso
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#1
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I’m from Northern Ireland and I’m looking at universities in England. I really want to study there and I don’t get home sick so it wouldn’t bother me being away! But I don’t know what city or university would be best… I’m looking for a place with lots of things to do with friendly people. Would be great as well if it wasn’t extremely expensive lmao let me know
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Uni of Southampton Students
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I'm a representative for the University of Southampton and I can maybe give you some pointers by talking about my uni!

Personally, I'm really enjoying my course - enough so that I changed from a Bsc to an integrated Msci. What degrees are you looking at? That could play a big role in what unis you want to apply to. I'm studying Geology, which is based in the Oceanography Centre, and not on the main campus, but it gives a lot of opportunities for geologists, oceanographers, marine biologists to interact and learn from each other.

In terms of expense, Southampton is a pretty livable city and rent here isn't absurd like a lot of other places. Admittedly, it doesn't exactly have the rich culture and history that other cities such as London, or Bristol or Liverpool have, but Southampton is next door to the New Forest and Portsmouth. The Isle of Wight is just a quick ferry trip away as well and there's lots to do there!

The city itself also has a huge park called the Common bordering the Uni and a big mall in the city centre called Westquay where you can basically get anything you need. The city also has its fair share of nightlife if that's up your alley, especially in Portswood which is quite close to the uni. The uni has about 276 societies which gives lots of choice and opportunities to meet people and do new things.

That's about all I've got to say for now, but if you have any more questions, feel free to ask! Hopefully I've given you somewhere to start looking

Charles,
University of Southampton Student Representative
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_gcx
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would help to know what subject you are thinking about

Often people start by looking at universities they could get into with their predicted grades then look into particulars to whittle that list down
Last edited by _gcx; 1 month ago
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artful_lounger
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As above, very relative depending on your subject. For East Asian languages for example SOAS competes fairly well with the likes of Oxbridge and Edinburgh etc, but for something like economics wouldn't really compare. Warwick is one of the best unis in the UK for maths, but quite average for something like biosciences.While Oxford and Cambridge are very strong for most of the subjects they offer generally (with one or two exceptions, perhaps), quite a lot of subjects aren't offered by one or both (e.g. dentistry, most visual or performing arts subjects except fine art, music, and architecture, some language subjects aren't offered at either/both, etc).

There isn't really an absolute objective list one can create that is suitable for all subjects! So you should start by figuring out what you want to study, then work out where you might want to apply for it.
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moopxo
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you should look into the russel group unis - they are well accredited and research unis. there are also good ones that aren't part of russel group too. i think it depends what course you are interested in and the respective uni departments
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Julesomoorso
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I’m thinking of doing English literature or education? What would be my best move?
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Julesomoorso
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(Original post by Uni of Southampton Students)
I'm a representative for the University of Southampton and I can maybe give you some pointers by talking about my uni!

Personally, I'm really enjoying my course - enough so that I changed from a Bsc to an integrated Msci. What degrees are you looking at? That could play a big role in what unis you want to apply to. I'm studying Geology, which is based in the Oceanography Centre, and not on the main campus, but it gives a lot of opportunities for geologists, oceanographers, marine biologists to interact and learn from each other.

In terms of expense, Southampton is a pretty livable city and rent here isn't absurd like a lot of other places. Admittedly, it doesn't exactly have the rich culture and history that other cities such as London, or Bristol or Liverpool have, but Southampton is next door to the New Forest and Portsmouth. The Isle of Wight is just a quick ferry trip away as well and there's lots to do there!

The city itself also has a huge park called the Common bordering the Uni and a big mall in the city centre called Westquay where you can basically get anything you need. The city also has its fair share of nightlife if that's up your alley, especially in Portswood which is quite close to the uni. The uni has about 276 societies which gives lots of choice and opportunities to meet people and do new things.

That's about all I've got to say for now, but if you have any more questions, feel free to ask! Hopefully I've given you somewhere to start looking

Charles,
University of Southampton Student Representative
I’m thinking of doing English literature or education? Do they have good courses for them?
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Thisismyunitsr
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(Original post by Julesomoorso)
I’m from Northern Ireland and I’m looking at universities in England. I really want to study there and I don’t get home sick so it wouldn’t bother me being away! But I don’t know what city or university would be best… I’m looking for a place with lots of things to do with friendly people. Would be great as well if it wasn’t extremely expensive lmao let me know
Define ‘best.’ It broadly depends on what you want to study.
(Original post by moopxo)
you should look into the russel group unis - they are well accredited and research unis. there are also good ones that aren't part of russel group too. i think it depends what course you are interested in and the respective uni departments
This largely isn’t true, depending on what subject you want to study.
(Original post by Julesomoorso)
I’m thinking of doing English literature or education? What would be my best move?
If you seriously want to become an English teacher then the university where you study at doesn’t really matter in terms of employment as you can do a PGCE afterwards to become qualified (at least in the UK).

Go where you do the things that you want to accomplish.

Want to study abroad in Taiwan for a semester? Go to a university that offers English with a semester in Taiwan.

Enjoy sports? Go to a university that have great sport departments.

Want to have a year in industry? Go to a university that offers a year in industry as part of your course etc etc etc.

I also quite seriously wouldn’t attend university in England if you are Irish a I don’t feel the quality of education will be better than in your home country. It’s not like you’re coming from a third world country or anything. Something to consider.
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mnot
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(Original post by Julesomoorso)
I’m from Northern Ireland and I’m looking at universities in England. I really want to study there and I don’t get home sick so it wouldn’t bother me being away! But I don’t know what city or university would be best… I’m looking for a place with lots of things to do with friendly people. Would be great as well if it wasn’t extremely expensive lmao let me know
Id suggest you look at medium-big universities in the midlands & north of England.
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Joinedup
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Best reasonably priced and fun student cities with good universities...

Imo Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester.


Might be worth checking out the transport options back to NI as you'll probably be making at least 3 round trips per year.
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booklover1313
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(Original post by Julesomoorso)
I’m thinking of doing English literature or education? What would be my best move?
What are your predicted grades like? Would Oxbridge be an option?
Or you could look at places like Edinburgh or UCL? Both are in cities with lots going on.
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Uni of Southampton Students
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(Original post by Julesomoorso)
I’m thinking of doing English literature or education? Do they have good courses for them?
Hi Julesomoorso

I'm a second year student currently studying English at Southampton, and I am loving it! The modules on offer here at Southampton is something that really stood out to me, the range of periods you will be studying from really enriches your degree and maintains its reputation as being academically rigorous. I really apprecaite how the department guide you to try new things and study things that you may not be initially interested in, or even intimidated by, as these often turn out to be the most interesting modules!

Avenue campus is home of the humanities at Southampton. It is a relatively small campus, which makes navigating it even easier. It is also a beautiful campus so studying there is always really lovely. You will find yourself on either Avenue campus or Highfield campus, depending on timetabling, which are easily accessible from all halls of residence on the bus (or walking if you are staying in Glen Eyre or Highfield Hallls).

A typical week as a first year English student consists of twelve contact hours a week, made up of four hour long lectures, four hour long seminars and four learning support hours, however students should be doing further independent work and research in beyond these sessions. The learning support hour (LSH) is something that is bespoke to the English department here, and is designed to timetable a slot that is dedicated to getting direct academic assistance with anything that you may be struggling with. The LSH may cover anything from referencing, to assignment questions, and you are encouraged to approach the LSH with something in mind that you would like help with, as this will help the academic leading the session plan how they will provide assistance.

The seminars are normally capped at around fifteen students, depending on the module, and this enables students and academics to get to know each other, and avoid any voices getting lost amongst a larger group. Having the smaller groups also makes speaking in public that little bit easier, as that too can be a struggle for some people.

The staff here are also a true asset to the university, they go above and beyond to ensure their students have everything they need to be successful at university. From our first sessions in the first year we were supported and encouraged. Starting university can be a really daunting experience, but the staff were always on hand to reassure us that we were making progress and would be available to offer any extra help if needed.

If you have any other questions about English at Southampton, please ask away!

Jasmine (an Official University of Southampton Rep)
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normaw
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(Original post by Joinedup)
Best reasonably priced and fun student cities with good universities...

Imo Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester.
I'd also add Lancaster and Sheffield to that list.
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skylark2
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You might want to consider transport links - obviously you can fly to London, but also Birmingham, Manchester, Exeter and I'm sure there are more (I knew a NI student at Exeter who flew backwards and forwards to I think Belfast, the airport is only a couple of miles outside Exeter so he just got a taxi). Travelling by car + ferry will be a very long round trip for anyone bringing you and taking you home, and bringing your own car won't be a practical option for many places.

Like others have said, it's not really any different to considering a uni more locally. You need a course that you want to study, entrance requirements that you can meet, living arrangements you can afford, and access to any unusual leisure activites which are a big deal for you.
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ExeterStudentRep
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(Original post by Julesomoorso)
I’m from Northern Ireland and I’m looking at universities in England. I really want to study there and I don’t get home sick so it wouldn’t bother me being away! But I don’t know what city or university would be best… I’m looking for a place with lots of things to do with friendly people. Would be great as well if it wasn’t extremely expensive lmao let me know
Hello Julesomoorso,

I'm a Student Ambassador for the University of Exeter, and hope I can give you a better insight into university life here, and help with your decision.

First, I can see that you are considering a degree in either English literature or education. I would highly recommend doing a bit more research into the course content, and have therefore attached the link to the BA English course here: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/undergradua...glish/english/ As a History student, it was the modules on offer at Exeter, many of which differed from other universities, that really influenced my decision.

With regards to university life, I have really enjoyed my time here, and cannot recommend the University of Exeter enough. I have found rent and living expenses to be pretty affordable, certainly in comparison to universities in some other major cities including London. Streatham Campus is beautiful and green, an ideal place to enjoy the outdoors during the spring and summer. Additionally, it is about a 15 minute walk from town, where there are plenty of restaurants, shops, bars and nightclubs to choose from. Above all, the sense of community amongst the students really stands out to me. Whether it is on campus or in town on a Friday night, you are surrounded by supportive and friendly students, making both studying and living in Exeter a really enjoyable experience.

To help with your decision, I would definitely consider attending Open Days, either in person or virtually, which will give you the opportunity to see the campus for yourself, and speak to both students and staff about different courses and university life. More information about that can be found here: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/undergraduate/visit/

Please do get in touch if you have any further questions!

Kitty, University of Exeter Student Ambassador.
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JesseKansas
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#16
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Liverpool/Manchester both have good cheap transport links back to Northern Ireland, which could be something to look at
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