The Student Room Group

Stuck between firming Loughborough and Bath for architecture

So, I’ve received all of my offers, and the top two unis for architecture I want to apply to amongst the four (other two are Manchester and Notts) are Lboro and Bath. Seems like a simple solution to firm one and insurance the other, right?
No, because both are AAA.
I tried comparing both, but they just both have different positives.

Lboro pros:
- Amazing facilities
- Own workspace
- Given a drawing pad/computer by the uni for use in architecture
- Really good graduate prospects
- Nice vibe
- High on student satisfaction
- Has good international links
- Provides extra qualifications for the course
- Uni has a community feel, or so I was told

Lboro cons:
- It’s not as highly rated as Bath in the league tables for architecture but it’s still up there (4th currently for architecture)
- Its reputation is being a sporting uni, and I’m worried that I won’t fit in socially since I don’t really do or follow sport. Sure, I like to stay active but not into it that much.
- I’m also not a party animal, which doesn’t help things.
- Choosing Lboro means I would possibly turn down Bath even if it’s the top of the Architecture league table.

Bath pros:

- Beautiful scenery and city
- Nice architecture department
- First on the architecture league table
- High on student satisfaction
- Own workspace

Bath cons:

- The city is expensive
- I’ve been told that people may come across as ‘boring’ but wth does that mean? I prefer quiet outings to places with friends rather than crowded places.

I also worry that the research I’ve found isn’t true to life as experienced by real students in those unis.

I’d love brutally honest insider information about the two unis. They’re both amazing, but I am unsure what to do in terms of which one to firm. What’s the experience for both like as a student?
I can’t see myself in Manchester or Notts either… Manchester (AAB) is currently having an accommodation crisis which I didn’t expect and Notts (ABB) isn’t the best choice.
I might make the decision to insurance one of the two (between Lboro or Bath) and hope if I miss the AAA the insurance accepts a near miss…

It’s a stupid decision, I know, but I only see myself in those two unis currently.
I'd suggest disregarding the league table aspect entirely and focus on the differences in the course. Bath is renowned to be a fairly "technical" architecture course - not sure how Loughborough sits on the technical-"art-y" spectrum of architecture courses. However this may make you prefer one or the other. I'd suggest having a look to see if they have any final degree show works published for each uni to see the kind of work the students are making and if that aligns with your interests.
Original post by Haneul_Sol
So, I’ve received all of my offers, and the top two unis for architecture I want to apply to amongst the four (other two are Manchester and Notts) are Lboro and Bath. Seems like a simple solution to firm one and insurance the other, right?
No, because both are AAA.
I tried comparing both, but they just both have different positives.

Lboro pros:
- Amazing facilities
- Own workspace
- Given a drawing pad/computer by the uni for use in architecture
- Really good graduate prospects
- Nice vibe
- High on student satisfaction
- Has good international links
- Provides extra qualifications for the course
- Uni has a community feel, or so I was told

Lboro cons:
- It’s not as highly rated as Bath in the league tables for architecture but it’s still up there (4th currently for architecture)
- Its reputation is being a sporting uni, and I’m worried that I won’t fit in socially since I don’t really do or follow sport. Sure, I like to stay active but not into it that much.
- I’m also not a party animal, which doesn’t help things.
- Choosing Lboro means I would possibly turn down Bath even if it’s the top of the Architecture league table.

Bath pros:

- Beautiful scenery and city
- Nice architecture department
- First on the architecture league table
- High on student satisfaction
- Own workspace

Bath cons:

- The city is expensive
- I’ve been told that people may come across as ‘boring’ but wth does that mean? I prefer quiet outings to places with friends rather than crowded places.

I also worry that the research I’ve found isn’t true to life as experienced by real students in those unis.

I’d love brutally honest insider information about the two unis. They’re both amazing, but I am unsure what to do in terms of which one to firm. What’s the experience for both like as a student?
I can’t see myself in Manchester or Notts either… Manchester (AAB) is currently having an accommodation crisis which I didn’t expect and Notts (ABB) isn’t the best choice.
I might make the decision to insurance one of the two (between Lboro or Bath) and hope if I miss the AAA the insurance accepts a near miss…

It’s a stupid decision, I know, but I only see myself in those two unis currently.

I know nothing about architecture so cannot comment on that. Ignore the league tables. The difference between 1st and 4th is negligeable. Bath is also a very sporty university so I dont see that as an issue. Concentrate on the course and the surrounds. I suspect from your comments that Loughborough is your favoured choice so I would go with that. Both are excellent universities so wherever you choose you will have good prospects.
Take a look at the course content for both courses. The different professors will have a preference for different approaches to architecture - check out some of their articles, which one interests you more. Here is my quick analysis

Bath Uni lecturers - Only a few of the lecturers tagged as 'architecture' lecturers hold PhDs or have any research output e.g. Nigel Bedford, Scott Cahill and Jayne Barlow - all are architecture lecturers but don't hold a PhD and have no academic articles to their name. This is worrying; a decent department should have active researchers. The lecturers in the department holding PhDs have engineering backgrounds - thus their modules may have more of an engineering tilt.
Here are the details of a few of the staff in the department for you to review - go to Google Scholar and you can search out the others.
- Prof Andrew Heath - head of the department - technical materials research
- Dima Albadra - focus on refugee housing architecture
- Juliana Calabria-Holley - PhD in materials science, research focuses on nanotechnology applied to innovative sustainable construction materials.

Loughborough Uni lecturers - many more staff in this department but it's hard to tell which ones are Architecture focused and which ones are civil engineering focused. There are lots of PhD researchers and research assistants supporting the professors indicating that this is a research-active department

Professor Malcolm Cook - head of the department - research focus is on building energy
Sura Al-Maiyah - wide list of publications on various topics
Aya Al Kadi Jazaierly - no list of publications found (indicating they are not researching actively)
Original post by Haneul_Sol
So, I’ve received all of my offers, and the top two unis for architecture I want to apply to amongst the four (other two are Manchester and Notts) are Lboro and Bath. Seems like a simple solution to firm one and insurance the other, right?
No, because both are AAA.
I tried comparing both, but they just both have different positives.

Lboro pros:
- Amazing facilities
- Own workspace
- Given a drawing pad/computer by the uni for use in architecture
- Really good graduate prospects
- Nice vibe
- High on student satisfaction
- Has good international links
- Provides extra qualifications for the course
- Uni has a community feel, or so I was told

Lboro cons:
- It’s not as highly rated as Bath in the league tables for architecture but it’s still up there (4th currently for architecture)
- Its reputation is being a sporting uni, and I’m worried that I won’t fit in socially since I don’t really do or follow sport. Sure, I like to stay active but not into it that much.
- I’m also not a party animal, which doesn’t help things.
- Choosing Lboro means I would possibly turn down Bath even if it’s the top of the Architecture league table.

Bath pros:

- Beautiful scenery and city
- Nice architecture department
- First on the architecture league table
- High on student satisfaction
- Own workspace

Bath cons:

- The city is expensive
- I’ve been told that people may come across as ‘boring’ but wth does that mean? I prefer quiet outings to places with friends rather than crowded places.

I also worry that the research I’ve found isn’t true to life as experienced by real students in those unis.

I’d love brutally honest insider information about the two unis. They’re both amazing, but I am unsure what to do in terms of which one to firm. What’s the experience for both like as a student?
I can’t see myself in Manchester or Notts either… Manchester (AAB) is currently having an accommodation crisis which I didn’t expect and Notts (ABB) isn’t the best choice.
I might make the decision to insurance one of the two (between Lboro or Bath) and hope if I miss the AAA the insurance accepts a near miss…

It’s a stupid decision, I know, but I only see myself in those two unis currently.


Hi @Haneul_Sol,

Congratulations on your offers :smile:

I understand that choosing a university can be difficult. However, as you mentioned Loughborough, I wanted to help!

I've read your comment and think that you could take another look at the course pages and see if any modules interest you more than others. This may help with your decision. I would also consider whether you want to take a placement year or look at what study abroad options a university has. Here's a page on Loughborough's Architecture BArch degree where you can find this information.

You may have already done this, but it might be worth visiting both campuses if you can. Even if you're unable to or you already have, take a look at some virtual tours (here is a tour of Loughborough's campus). You may see yourself being happy at one university more than the other.

Alongside this, I would consider location. Both universities are in different parts of the country with different links. You can see where Loughborough is here and which cities it is close to. For instance, Nottingham and Leicester are very close to Loughborough and many students visit them.

It may be worth thinking about whether you want to join any societies too. Here is a list of the societies at Loughborough. You may have an interest you want to keep following or you want to start something new. The societies offered at a university can help with making your experience even better, so it's worth looking into.

It sounds like you may have done already, but accommodation and where halls of residence are at the universities could also be a factor you wish to look more into. Here are Loughborough's halls of residence to look at.

Finally, I would also consider the career support the universities provide. For instance, Loughborough has a Careers Network that you can read more about here.

At the end of the day, you have to choose somewhere where you can see yourself being happy.

I hope this helps :smile: please do get in touch if you have any further questions.

- Lindsay
Original post by Haneul_Sol
So, I’ve received all of my offers, and the top two unis for architecture I want to apply to amongst the four (other two are Manchester and Notts) are Lboro and Bath. Seems like a simple solution to firm one and insurance the other, right?
No, because both are AAA.
I tried comparing both, but they just both have different positives.

Lboro pros:
- Amazing facilities
- Own workspace
- Given a drawing pad/computer by the uni for use in architecture
- Really good graduate prospects
- Nice vibe
- High on student satisfaction
- Has good international links
- Provides extra qualifications for the course
- Uni has a community feel, or so I was told

Lboro cons:
- It’s not as highly rated as Bath in the league tables for architecture but it’s still up there (4th currently for architecture)
- Its reputation is being a sporting uni, and I’m worried that I won’t fit in socially since I don’t really do or follow sport. Sure, I like to stay active but not into it that much.
- I’m also not a party animal, which doesn’t help things.
- Choosing Lboro means I would possibly turn down Bath even if it’s the top of the Architecture league table.

Bath pros:

- Beautiful scenery and city
- Nice architecture department
- First on the architecture league table
- High on student satisfaction
- Own workspace

Bath cons:

- The city is expensive
- I’ve been told that people may come across as ‘boring’ but wth does that mean? I prefer quiet outings to places with friends rather than crowded places.

I also worry that the research I’ve found isn’t true to life as experienced by real students in those unis.

I’d love brutally honest insider information about the two unis. They’re both amazing, but I am unsure what to do in terms of which one to firm. What’s the experience for both like as a student?
I can’t see myself in Manchester or Notts either… Manchester (AAB) is currently having an accommodation crisis which I didn’t expect and Notts (ABB) isn’t the best choice.
I might make the decision to insurance one of the two (between Lboro or Bath) and hope if I miss the AAA the insurance accepts a near miss…

It’s a stupid decision, I know, but I only see myself in those two unis currently.

Hi there,

Deciding between universities is a tough decision as there are so many factors at play so absolutely not stupid to compare!
For starters I would recommend looking through the architecture courses at each of the unis and see if you can find out the modules you will study and work you will produce. This may give you an insight into what you’re interested in as each university may have slightly different modules for the course. For Bath the first year will be comprised of a big group project working with civil engineers where you’ll get experience in designing, planning and then physically constructing your structure. Architecture here also involves two 6-month placements where you’ll be able to gain real world insight into the architecture world and boost your CV for after graduation.

Second you want to consider the learning environment for the courses. I cannot comment on Loughborough, however Bath has a huge host of support for students including well-being services, financial support, student mentors, personal tutors etc, so whatever you may struggle with there will be support there to assist you through and ensure you are able to learn and perform at your best throughout the course so you get the most out of your degree. You mentioned that the city is expensive which is true however, Bath offers a lot of scholarships, bursaries and loans (without interest) to help wherever you may need.

There are also the great job prospects which follow. Bath also has great connections to a lot of companies for both placement and graduate options and assist you a lot in finding a career during and post studies. The placement/graduate team offer a bunch of help including CV assistance, mock interviews and emailing companies to gather job opportunities. Bath also has a great employability rate!

Furthermore, you want to consider outside the scope of academics and consider where you will be living for the year. It would be worth looking into what each of the cities have to offer such as aesthetic, night life, restaurants, supermarkets etc. since you mentioned you prefer quieter outings, Bath has a of beautiful places to visit throughout the day with friends. You may find it referred to as “boring” as the nightlife may not be as busy as other big cities however, if you ever were interested in going out however there is usually always some type of social occurring, clubs are open 6 days a week and Bristol is only ten minutes on the train or 30 minutes on the bus if you wanted something livelier. Personally, Bath has been great in terms of things to do, and super easy transport links between the city centre/student housing areas and the university (the university is only 10mins on the bus from the city centre which runs every 15 minutes).

Overall, you’ll want to consider all aspects of both universities. Good luck with your decision!
- Sophie (uni of Bath)

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