Does anyone have a DC at Southampton University

(50 Posts)
oldpeculiar Thu 03-Jan-13 14:03:23

Ds has had an offer on the course he really wants to do. We live in the North of England and have never even been there.
He is fairly quiet, non-partying kind of boy. How are your DC finding the Uni and what is the town like?
Are there any part time jobs for students?

fussychica Thu 03-Jan-13 14:56:26

I would suggest he goes to visit before accepting the place at any Uni.

DS visited top 3 of his 5 and said he was really pleased he did as he instinctively felt far more comfortable at one than the other two. He made the effort to go over from Spain, where we were living at the time, as he felt it was important to pick the right place to spend 3 years of his life. He now attends a Uni 4 hours drive /5 hours by train so never comes home for weekends, another reason why it was important to pick the right place.

DS doesn't go to Southamton but I understand it's a well thought of Russell Group Uni in a south coast city with lots of shopping facilities so finding a part time jobs should be possible. It has a large choice of halls so accomodation shouldn't be an issue.

Hope you get more info from Mnetters with experience of the Uni itself.

iseetinselandtantrums Thu 03-Jan-13 15:01:10

DN is down there studying sport science. He likes it but I'm not the one he would regale with any wild exploits! He has a job coaching football at weekends.

eatyourveg Fri 04-Jan-13 14:52:45

The uni is out of town in Bassett which is a more residential part of the city so not sure how easy student jobs would be. Its is a very highly regarded uni as fussychica says

MariscallRoad Sat 05-Jan-13 00:31:20

What has he applied for? It is a RG. I head first hand, the best reputation for Southmpton. They have world class reasearch and teaching in comp sc. and all engineering depts. The Halls are relatively quiet with v good supervision The pastoral care is absolutely fantastic. They are 2-semester year. Assessment is continuous. They are affiliated with several elite US universities.

boomting Sat 05-Jan-13 03:27:21

I'd just like to reiterate the point about going and visiting the university before he goes. After all, it's where he's going to be living for 3+ years. If I hadn't visited my universities, then I would have put a university that I really didn't like as my insurance choice.

TheCollieDog Sat 05-Jan-13 08:59:04

Please see if you an find a way for him to go to an Open Day or an Admissions Visit day. In fact, it's vital. Particularly if part of his/your concern is the distance from home (although I know for certain some of my students choose their university precisely on that criterion!).

One of the repeated reasons I've been given when dealing with undergrads dropping out in first year is the vague "It wasn't what I was expecting" It's extremely frustrating to hear that, as it doesn't have to be that way! Universities put a tonne of resources into giving as much information as possible about the course and the student life. On a formal Visit Day there will be current students to talk to, as well as lot of other vital information.

Think of the time and the train fare as an investment. Choosing the wrong university for the individual student is a really expensive mistake for the student and the university.

NewFerry Sat 05-Jan-13 12:31:01

My DS is in his second year at Southampton. He chose it ahead of 2 other unis that are higher in the league tables, and on paper were a better match, after spending time at 2 of the 3.
For him, he much preferred the atmosphere at Southampton, and got on well with the other students and potential students he met. He liked the tutors and the teaching style and the opportunity to use the whizzy technical facilities from early on in his course.
If he hadn't gone to both there, and to what had originally been his first choice, then he wouldn't have known this. Please get your son to visit. I hope he would love it, but it's a very expensive mistake to turn up in October and find its not what he was hoping for.
If your DS has any general queries, or any Qs on engineering, please PM me and I will get DS to "talk" with him.

Copthallresident Sat 05-Jan-13 14:53:00

oldpeculiar I went to Southampton from a northern city. I remember it being a bit of a culture shock as in comparison to where I came from both town and uni were quiet and middle class, and it was warm. I didn't wear a coat for the first year!!! They have now built a nightclub on campus I suspect to try to match the big city unis for night-life. The surrounding area is beautiful too and we made full use of Hamble for sailing, Bournemouth for beaches etc. I had a fantastic time and now an unusually high number of the children of my friends have followed their parents there and are enjoying it as much as we did. The distance did mean I didn't go home except for during the holidays, back then there was a train that went from Southampton, via Oxford and through just about every northern city. Academically I gather it has gone from strength to strength.

ISingSoprano Sat 05-Jan-13 17:05:07

What he applied to study oldpeculiar? My ds has also had an offer from Southampton. We are in the reverse situation living about 20 miles away. Southampton is the university for ds' chosen course but proximity to home is probably putting him off a bit!

out2lunch Sat 05-Jan-13 17:11:07

i have lived in soton all my life been to school there and worked there too for many years - ds is currently at uni there too - not southampton uni though
he loves it and the area is fine - not too quiet but not noisy party central either
as others have stated i think southampton uni is v highly regarded and has a lot of serious students iyswim
i would imagine there are jobs around as most of dss friends have jobs

oldpeculiar Sat 05-Jan-13 17:44:07

He has applied to do MEng mechanical engineering.He really liked the sound of the course there .It is top of the guardian league table for mechanical engineering and has 15 applications for each place (according to their webpage) and his predicted grades were below the entry reuirement, so he didn't think he would be in with a shout.His predicted grades (which were set in september) were AAA, but the maths teacher said if he was doing the prediction now he would have predicted A* definitely.So fingers crossed
We like in a rural hamlet, so anywhere he goes will be a big culture shock I think!

NewFerry Sat 05-Jan-13 20:06:31

Has your DS visited some local unis and looked at whether he likes a city or a campus environment? Has he visited other unis on his Ucas list?
Is there a post offer open day he can attend at southampton?

He will need to be quite self motivated, eg, the maths course is self taught with a weekly computer marked test, then help is available if you fail a test.

The students that DS has made friends with do enjoy socialising, but after freshens week it is mainly restricted to weekends as the workload is pretty intense. (A common feature of many degrees)!

Copthallresident Sat 05-Jan-13 21:13:54

If your son has a place to read engineering I would say it is a no brainer, it has such a proud tradition of engineering, my friends who studied it went on to really interesting careers. It also means that there are lots of extra curricular opportunities to be an engineering geek, eg there is an ancient bus, the toastrack, the engineering geeks keep going.

jazzcat28 Sat 05-Jan-13 21:23:27

I went there, loved living in Southampton so much I stayed!

I had no trouble getting a part time job at a shop in the huge shopping centre in town. Another poster up thread worried about distance from uni to town but no need to worry about this as in reality it's either 10min bike ride or 10min bus ride with the added bonus that all first years have a free uni link (uni buses) pass for a year! The buses will take him to all the important student places (supermarkets, shops, libraries, halls, nightlife oh and lectures)

I would strongly recommend a visit if you can manage it. It made my decision when I thought Nottingham was for me. Look at trains - not sure where you are up north but there is a direct train Southampton - Manchester (and all the bits I between)

If you want more specific info feel free to pm me :-)

oldpeculiar Sun 06-Jan-13 14:47:40

Thanks for your replies. We will visit. It seems that it is cheaper (not to say much quicker) to fly than travel by train even with rail card and driving would really involve an overnight stay)

NewFerry Sun 06-Jan-13 15:56:42

My DS has just returned this afternoon. DH has left him in his room surrounded by boxes of assorted stuff, and bags of groceries. Most of his housemates are not returning till next week, so there will be just 2 of them rattling round a large 7 bed house.

Thank goodness he's promised to come home for a few days at then end of the month once his exams are over.

NewFerry Sun 06-Jan-13 15:58:35

Oldpeculiar - I'm pleased you have decided to visit Southampon, the logistics of getting there sound awful though.

Copthallresident Sun 06-Jan-13 16:04:42

OldPeculier When I went down for my interview I tried to do it in a day by train via London, missed the last train at King's Cross, had to hang around until 3am for the "milk train" which took about 7 hours stopping absolutely everywhere! Character building for a naive northern 17 year old!

I went to Southampton Uni, not the Institute Southampton Solent Uni (which is right in the city centre). It's brilliant, I was in Chamberlain Halls for the first year then lived in Portswood in a shared house. The university is very good, and the nightlife is good and relatively cheap and inexpensive. It's walkable distance from the Uni, and there are loads of buses too.

<waves little Southampton Uni flag>

Go there!!! and tell him to go to Clowns and Jesters in Portswood on a Friday afternoon and drink Juicy Lucys on my behalf please!

I meant the Uni is walkable from the railway station... blush

out2lunch Sun 06-Jan-13 20:42:52

is it suzy? i didn't think it was that close

GinghamChic Sun 06-Jan-13 20:54:38

Hi, I did a post-grad there in 2004.

It is a very different city to Northern/Scottish Uni cities - quite low key and lots of rich MC students!

The campus doesn't have the grand/ancient buildings/history feeling where I did my first degree, but that's not important to most people!

I liked it mainly just because it was such a contrast for a change. yes - very warm (agree with previous poster about the coat!!)

Southampton as a city is really 'meh' IMO though. New Forest/Hamble/Winchester all lovely

Scrazy Sun 06-Jan-13 20:56:58

My DD is at Southampton Uni. I am up north, quite rural. I went with her for her interview and also for an offer day. Fortunately, we have family near Bournemouth so we were able to stay there and they provided use of their car to move her into halls.

She loves it, it's really friendly, although most of her friends are southerners so they take the mick out of her accent, abit grin She isn't a big party person and there are plenty of friends similar. They have just put a deposit down on a house for next year.

She went end September and has been home at half term and recently for Christmas. I'm planning on going down for the Easter break and she can travel up with me. Traveling is expensive but she has managed to factor it into her living costs so far. You can get a megabus, cheap but it's overnight. We are around 5.5 hours on a good train journey via London and she splits her tickets to get the cheapest.

She doesn't have a job because she is trying to concentrate on her studies. They are a bus ride from West Quay and I'm sure there are jobs around in retail etc. Halls provide a bus pass in with the cost too. HTH

TheSecondComing Sun 06-Jan-13 21:00:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MariscallRoad Sun 06-Jan-13 21:50:35

Southampton has brilliant students (and stuff too). It seems so just by looking at student entry standards in the Independent tables.

Meglet Sun 06-Jan-13 21:53:37

My sister went to Southampton Uni. I was dragged around Jesters a couple of times <<hazy memories>>.

eatyourveg Mon 07-Jan-13 07:49:09

The railway station isn't that close - it used to take 15 minutes to get to school from the train and school was at the bottom of The Avenue by LSU, the university is half way up the Avenue. Its twice as far if not a little bit further or do you know a short cut? Its probably quicker to get the slow train and get off at St Denys

I consider 15 mins to be walkable! shock especially for an 18 to 22 year old! I did it every friday afternoon in my 4th year

And ALL memories of Clowns/Jesters are hazy or you wouldn't be there

eatyourveg Tue 08-Jan-13 07:49:39

Yes 15 minutes from the station to school is perfectly do-able, that isn't what I meant. The university is over twice the distance of my old school so I would have thought 25-30 minutes and I wouldn't want to do that laden with a heavy haversack of clothes and books.

Copthallresident Tue 08-Jan-13 09:04:26

It's a bit of a schlep to the station, from Glen, Monte, Chamberlain Halls especially but isn't that part of the uni experience, coping with adversity? wink

I actually can't remember how I got my case there and back from Monte but it can't have been that traumatic!

Scrazy Tue 08-Jan-13 13:17:16

Don't think mine has walked it at all. I wouldn't fancy it either. Perfectly good bus service from the station and it seems a trek and we are lazy.

PurplePoppySeed Tue 08-Jan-13 13:26:19

I went to Soton too - graduated in 2004 - studied Engineering... I would agree with all above - it's definately worth a visit. Whilst there is a campus, it's got a little bit of a city uni feel about it when compare to places like exeter which is very campus based.

Most of the places to live from year 2 onwards are downhill from campus, though nearer to town, but can only park on the nearby side streets for 2 hours at a time or I think there are pay & displays possibly - I'm fairly lazy so went through the hassle of moving my car every 2 hours so that I didn't have to walk up the hill.

I know it's already changed a lot since I left, as I've heard the old Elec Eng building was condemed and they moved into the Electronics & Computer Science building, not sure abt other eng departments. The "new" Student Union was finished just before I left the uni, it looked really good, with gym/pool etc + better nightclub.

Overall I loved it, met my DH there and we stayed living in West End for a few years after leaving uni - but we are also from Kent & Surrey, so it wasnt really that far/different from home for us.

I'm feeling very nostalgic now!

parred Tue 08-Jan-13 22:18:14

DS has received his offer for Southampton this very day! It was his first choice so I'm very pleased to read such positive comments. We only live about 2 hours away so not too bad for us. http://cdnmn.com/emo/te/1.gif

NewFerry Tue 08-Jan-13 22:26:23

Congratulations!
What subject is he looking to study?

LadyPeterWimsey Tue 08-Jan-13 22:42:43

I live in Southampton, five minutes walk from the main campus and know loads of students. All the engineers seem to love the course, and most of the students are very happy they are here, even the ones from the north. (Although the latter tell me they like going home and not hearing our southern accents during the holidays!) I have had indirect contact with pastoral care at the university and they seem to be very good. The weather is pretty mild, the shopping is good, the transport links great. It's not the greatest party scene in the country, I hear, but they seem to do alright - and I know lots of non-partying types who just get on with having a good time with friends rather than clubbing.

I'm happy to ask my student friends any particular questions, but they all seem pretty happy in general with the place.

MariscallRoad Wed 09-Jan-13 03:14:52

parred congratulations smile.

Scrazy Wed 09-Jan-13 11:36:51

LadyPeter, mine isn't into the clubbing much and when I ask her if she has enough nice going out stuff she looks at me funny and says they dress down. It might just be her mates but I imagined all southern cities would be fake tan, extensions, little dresses and stacked heels. Or is that a geordy shaw northern thing grin.

alreadytaken Wed 09-Jan-13 14:05:10

I don't have a child there, we went to the open day but mine didn't like Southampton. Pity really as I thought it was fine but it does reinforce the visit if at all possible message. I know of young people who had part-time jobs there and didn't seem to have much problem getting them. Hotels in Southampton are expensive but the De Vere hotels sometimes have cheap room only offers, especially on Sunday nights (not much use for visit days but you may plan on visiting while they are there) - keep an eye on their web pages. We stayed at one outside Southampton.

Scrazy Wed 09-Jan-13 15:54:31

Oops wrong shore

LadyPeterWimsey Wed 09-Jan-13 17:30:59

Scrazy: definitely a northern thing! Don't know any students with fake tans. grin

(I have a friend who left Sheffield 25 years ago to live in the south, and she still can't help herself turning up to everything looking immaculate and perfectly put together. She's now moved from Surrey to Hampshire and has to make herself underdress massively when she comes to Southampton or she sticks out like a sore thumb.)

fussychica Wed 09-Jan-13 17:47:53

First thing I noticed when I worked in Sheffield (moving from South East) was how immaculately made up all the girls weregrin

harbingerofdoom Wed 09-Jan-13 21:12:37

DD1 is in her second year at Southampton.
Please visit,however hard the logistics are,you don't want to your DS to go to somewhere blind. For your peace of mind you need to picture where he is living.

University will be strange to a lot of eighteen year olds. DD lived in Monte, there is a huge choice of accommodation (but all self-catering).

He will mix with people from all over the country because Southampton is a highly regarded University. (Employers are interested in the Engineering and Science grads.)

There are quite a lot of Chinese students. I suspect that might be quite interesting to the science/eng undergraduates.

YY to the bus pass.

Jobs are available at the Highfield site in the bars and cafes.

Will have to ask my DD about Clown/Jesters grin I suspect she took an innocent friend from home thee once hmm

harbingerofdoom Wed 09-Jan-13 21:21:27

PS my DD will be one of the many Student Ambassadors at the Visiting Days.

parred Wed 09-Jan-13 21:43:41

@MariscallRoad thanks
@NewFerry he's applied to do politics and international relations. would be good if he could get a job while there too.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 20-Jan-13 22:23:44

Another Southampton Graduate here, married to a lary chap I met in my first year.
WE moved away but came back and have been here ever since.

I have to be VERY careful what I say on this thread not to out both of us as there are uni staff reading :-)

Its a good Uni that I'm proud to still be involved with nearly 30 years after I started there (Glen Eyre by the way)

NewFerry Mon 21-Jan-13 07:54:22

DS was in Glen Eyre for first year, great residential campus. He's now in the ubiquitous Portwood, and is hoping to stay there for the next 2 years.

jiggles01 Sat 26-Jan-13 15:45:56

my Ds in second year ..he was also at Glen eyre and had a fab room...his hall/dorm only had the 4 students ..part catered ..it was not his first choice of accommodation ..it may have been his last choice ! but they had a great kitchenette and it was around £109 a week .I knew he was being fed so I was pleased . he is now in Portswood .he absolutely loves SOTON ..

Bunbaker Sat 26-Jan-13 15:50:15

My niece is at Southampton uni and loves it.

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