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Manchester or UCL?

(38 Posts)
BaconAndAvocado Mon 21-Mar-16 18:20:00

DS1 has decided he wants to put down Manchester as his firm and UCL as insurance for MEng.

I'm a little shocked as I was under the impression that UCL is a highly prestigious Uni, one to open doors in the future?

He said he's gone with Manchester because they have a year in industry and he prefers the department.

Does anyone know anything about Manchester Uni or the MENg course?

Thanks........stress levels are running high and he hasn't even taken his exams yet hmm

WhatKatyDidnt Mon 21-Mar-16 18:39:03

I'm afraid I don't know anything about engineering courses but it sounds like your DS has thought it through and has good solid reasons why he prefers Manchester. FWIW I think that housing costs in London are making student life in London these days challenging and potentially just a bit grim, unless you are very well off.

IthinkIamsinking Mon 21-Mar-16 18:51:50

What were the conditions of each offer?

IthinkIamsinking Mon 21-Mar-16 18:55:33

Should add that Manchester generally comes out above UCL in ranking tables

IthinkIamsinking Mon 21-Mar-16 18:59:18

Whoops....... rankings for mechanical engineering

BaconAndAvocado Mon 21-Mar-16 19:08:21

AAA for Manchester and AAB for UCL.

It's chemical engineering not mechanical.

titchy Mon 21-Mar-16 19:20:24

Manchester also highly prestigious and much higher up the league tables than UCL for Chem Eng.

bojorojo Mon 21-Mar-16 19:25:10

I think there is little to choose between them but more chemical engineering jobs in the North - possibly? However people choose UCL for other reasons and this is a job in the city. If he really wants to be an engineer, Manchester is just fine. The Daily Telegraph rate it at number 3. Imperial is THE London destination but I do know your DS may have living arrangements on his mind too. (From your previous posts). I think you were talking about his commute to university and living south of the Thames. If Manchester is easier on the pocket and he will benefit from meeting other students in halls, then I can see, with a year in industry, that the Manchester offer is attractive. Enjoyment of your time at university should also be a consideration. The A level grades required are telling you something too, but if he would really like a career in the city, UCL is a good choice as he would be in the right place for those city internships.

Honestly, Manchester is a top place for engineering. Please don't stress out as I think he has made a wise choice.

BaconAndAvocado Mon 21-Mar-16 21:36:53

Hi bojorojo thanks for the Daily Telegraph info, very reassuring!

whatwouldrondo Tue 22-Mar-16 10:57:04

WhatKatydidn't Your perception of London housing is not really helpful. From my experience plenty of students manage the extra costs of London housing which will be in the region of £200 per month based on £650 in London and around £450 in most places outside, via a combination of working (plenty of PT and holiday jobs) , the extra loan and bursaries (UCLs scheme kicks in at a parental income of of £42k) and don't regard their experience of London accommodation as grim at all. In fact what I perceived as the grimmest of their accommodation was the most fun and therefore their favourite. However just like in any other city the housing market has various offers and it is a matter of trading off between cost, space, area, closeness and decor, and unlike other student cities there is no specialist student market so no need to secure a property until the summer when you are sure who you want to live with . It is a factor to take into account but perhaps by referring to actual student experience via the student room than vague perceptions fuelled by press stories about people living in garages.

However OP had a particular accommodation option anyway. OP I have a friend whose DD is studying Engineering who was completely wedded to old fashioned traditional perceptions of the university hierarchy but was completely diabused by their open day trips to places like Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester where her course was highly rated, and she realised they all had particular things to offer which would suit her daughter. She ended up at one of those unis where the course exactly suits her.

WhatKatyDidnt Tue 22-Mar-16 11:12:47

what I live in London and was at the mercy of the private rented sector for 15 years. It's a view based on experience, not Daily Mail articles. I do agree that the fun factor isn't directly related to quality of accommodation and in fact often the opposite.

whatwouldrondo Tue 22-Mar-16 11:48:29

What Katy As did I but shitty landlords are not a preserve of the London rental market and being a student with the umbrella of the University of London and UCLSU housing services with lists of approved accommodation, advice on landlords, contracts, a guarantor scheme, and a possibly unmatched ability to act on your behalf in disputes with both landlords and fellow students (certainly unmatched in terms of acting in student disputes since the college system enables different parts of University of London to advocate for each party and the university conciliator to arbitrate) , is very different to being an individual. They aim to protect their students in the London rental market and in our experience do a brilliant job.

whatwouldrondo Tue 22-Mar-16 11:51:45

whatwouldrondo Tue 22-Mar-16 11:56:12

My main point Katy is that the London universities are not just for the well off, there is help for students whose parents have lower incomes, and plentiful casual / part time work and many who do not have access to parental help do have a good experience in London. If you do not have access to parental help accommodation costs are an issue wherever you go but perhaps without the opportunities to find the extra funds.

albertcampionscat Tue 22-Mar-16 12:01:52

Both great universities. It is a lot easier to live cheaply and still have fun in Manchester, though, so that might swing it for me. I live in a very unglamorous bit of zone 2 /3 and £650 pcm would't get you a room round here.

Good luck!

JimmyGreavesMoustache Tue 22-Mar-16 12:02:28

15 years ago I was at MCR with 6 lads who were on the Chem Eng sandwich course
5/6 went on to excellent, highly paid jobs in industry
the other one went to do a PhD at Harvard
so certainly in those olden days that particular course appeared to be well rated by employers

GeorgeTheThird Tue 22-Mar-16 12:03:42

There's plentiful casual and part time work in other big cities such as Manchester too.

dimots Tue 22-Mar-16 12:06:15

About cost, pt jobs may be more plentiful in London, but engineering students tend to have more hours of contact time plus a heavier workload than many other courses. A job in term time may be detrimental to his studies. Many engineering students also take unpaid internships during the longer holidays as well.

whatwouldrondo Tue 22-Mar-16 12:21:46

Dimots and Greaves If you look at my earlier post I was arguing for cities like Manchester for OPs son because the traditional hierarchy does not apply in Engineering. However in many subjects, both Science and Humanities, it does and there is a general perception expressed in some of these Mumsnet threads that London unis are only for the well off which is a pity because in my experience it is simply not true and might put off students from applying to the course and student experience which would in fact be best for them. In fact the London university's student bodies are more diverse socially than you would find at traditional private school haunts like Exeter, Bristol and Nottingham? As I say students should base their decision on the actual experience of students, not parent perceptions.

whatwouldrondo Tue 22-Mar-16 12:31:34

And even London students on courses regarded as having heavier workloads than engineering, architects and Natural Sciences do dip into the casual job market when they get spare time. Whereas my DDs flat mate on an engineering course in another town who does not get help from his parents is working every spare hour in low paid waite ing work, and considering an hour plus commute in his final year to reduce his costs. I am sure it will affect his academic work.

And actually albert it would and does get you a room in a shared house in zone 2/3, lots of pockets of student accommodation for UCL students in Mornngton Cresent, Camden, Holloway, or if they want more space, further out on Finchley Road or Southgate, or if they are would be hipsters Hoxton and eastwards.

However this is not helping Op whose son prefers the Manchester course so it is a no brainer

bojorojo Tue 22-Mar-16 14:48:02

The reason why there is diversity in London's universities is because the population of London is diverse. Lots of students live at home. Loads at my DD's university. There has also been a big push to improve comprehensive schools in London and to link them to universities. These pupils come from a huge variety of backgrounds (many of them from abroad) and this is why the London universities are diverse. They also attract very many overseas based students and although many have studied here for the last few years, they only want London. It is a huge magnet. Imperial, UCL, LSE and SOAS are very popular with overseas students.

I think one of the issues with London is that from the second year students can be be spread out - in zones 2 or 3 for example. It causes travel problems for parties (unless you are on a nightbus route) and students can live in smallish bubble. Also sports clubs and socieities are quite a trek from the suburbs. Commuting is part of London life but not everyone wants it or likes it. Sometimes a 10 minute walk to university and everything you need is wonderful!

In the OP's case, her DS was planning to live with his Dad in SW London. Therefore his bubble could be very small.

Lots of Engineering students find the courses are full-on and working or commuting long distances is not helpful. Holiday work is, of course, fine and this is what quite a lot of people will do. My DD is in London and it is not cheap, even in Campden etc when compared to other university cities like Manchester or Nottingham. Also, this is not the only concern. My DD has friends all over London. They are not living as a student body in a university area of the city. This is much more the case in Bristol, Leeds, Manchester. I know a lot of students do not mind average accommodation. My DDs boarded and are hardy. It is often private schools pupils who opt for the worst accommodation! You would be surprised how many young people expect a private bathroom and all mod cons. They definitely do not want to share a room. In London this costs and lots of students have intention of "roughing it'. They want to feel like they have the facilities and comfort of home. That is why so many new blocks are being developed and lots of older ones are refurbished.

BaconAndAvocado Tue 22-Mar-16 21:02:42

Thanks all.

Yep, DS is still adamant Manchester is his "firm" choice. He knows his stuff and I guess I have to take a step back and trust him to make the decisions that are right for him.

I think that's called.......letting go smile

Roseformeplease Tue 22-Mar-16 21:10:31

Is this news item why he has made that choice? wink

A professor is being investigated by bosses at Manchester university after his secret life as a PORN STAR was revealed.
Nicholas Goddard, a respected chemical engineering lecturer at The University of Manchester, has been living a double life as an adult film actor.
Millions have watched him as ‘Old Nick’ in scores of porn movies alongside his duties as a professor.
But the divorced father-of-three, whose academic career spans almost 35 years, says he has quit the X-rated film industry after a decade.


Professor Nicholas Goddard

Oxford-educated Prof Goddard, 61, is believed to have started his second career following a divorce.
His family were apparently unaware of his other job, which involved him having sex with dozens of women - often wearing only a gold watch.
When approached by the M.E.N. at his home, minutes away from the university’s Oxford Road campus, Prof Goddard declined to comment but confirmed he is awaiting a decision about his future from university chiefs who have been carrying out an internal investigation.
Prof Goddard appears in a number of videos on the university’s website - and has published scores of scientific papers during

He is the lead tutor on three courses, having taught chemical engineering for nearly 25 years.
He said he didn’t get paid much during his stint as an adult movie star, but did get travel expenses.
A University spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that we know about it and that he is a member of staff but we’re not making any further comment.”

titchy Tue 22-Mar-16 21:40:49

He's left now....

bojorojo Tue 22-Mar-16 22:20:44

So that's why students choose Chemical Engineering at Manchester! The best university for gossip! I bet his timekeeping was spot on!

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