St Andrews or Exeter for History?(29 Posts)
My daughter can't decide between the two, and I can't really advise her as I never went to university.
I really liked Exeter as did my DC. I was put off of St Andrews because of the cost of accommodation outside of the 1st year when they are in halls. I would look at costs of accommodation in the town for both of them if I were you. has she been to see them both?
Either is excellent. I would decide whether she wants to go through the four year Scottish system or the three year English system.
Assuming you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland then St Andrews will involve another year of fees and maintenance and it is not a cheap place to live. If you live in Scotland or the EU then she won't have to pay fees at St Andrews but would have to at Exeter (but would get a loan to pay them) if I understand correctly. Of course the EU situation may change.
If money is not a deciding factor then I highly recommend visiting both to get a feel for the university and town.
St. Andrews is very small and can feel incredibly claustrophobic. Exeter is a bit like that too, but at least it's a decent sized town when you get off the campus.
I think St Andrews might ask for higher grades for History, but I''m not sure.
I don't know about St Andrews but can say that DS had an A* A A offer from Exeter last year. On their website I think they had said offers would be in the range of A* A A to AAB , so it ended up rather higher than he had hoped.
IIRC one reason he liked the course was that it started with a broad base before being able to specialise more later on.
St Andrews is my local town. My DC all went to school there. It's small and lovely and the size of the town (population doubles in term time), means it's more like a campus based university. As a parent, I would choose it over any large city for that reason. Your DC may have different priorities!
The university is stunning, it owns pretty much all of the best buildings in the town. There's a pretty good range of shops/eateries for a town of that size (due to the student and tourist population). Busses every half hour or so to Leuchars train station, Dundee and the rest of the world.
Look carefully at the St Andrews course.
I went to St. Andrews. It may be very different now but by halfway through year 3 I was stir crazy. But the Scottish system of a wider range of subjects in the first two years then specialising in years 3 and 4 is brilliant. Has she looked at Edinburgh?
Look carefully for what? There's not a lot of point to dropping cryptic comments like that into the mix is there? It's a good idea to look carefully at any programme.
I had to choose between the 2 for the same course (with Italian as joint honours) and picked St Andrews. I absolutely love people it, superb choice. It's a fantastic town, beautiful location and scenery , outstanding uni, great people, great teaching, small (ish) lecture sizes and small and very good tutorials. It is true that it can get a but claustrophobic but without a car you can get a direct bus to Dundee, Edinburgh or Glasgow which helps a lot for a break/more shopping/bigger nights out. Top tip would be to get really involved with societies etc, that's where all the interaction etc happens. I was in he sailing team and we had regular weekend trips to other Scottish unis for competitions, including stay overs which was really fun-the other sporty societies do the same. Accommodation is very, very expensive if you live in town though. However to the credit of St Andrews, I studied a masters too, lived there for 10 years, and now live 30 minutes away and own a business there. Apparently it also has some kind of quota as being the uni where the most students meet their future partner...I met my husband in fresher week!! It really is a fab place to be, highly recommended.
It's not that cryptic and I'm cooking a huge supper chemenger. St Andrews is big on Scottish history which isn't everyone's thing.
I think that is an important point. History is a subject where there is a distinct Scottishness at the Scottish universities.
at this point in the cycle what is she trying to decide on OP ?
Presumably not at the stage, given we are not quite at the end of September, of having both UCAS form submitted and all offers in ?
or is it 4 choices made, and she can't decide between Exeter & St Andrews for the final spot - although she could add one or the other later anyway if she just needs to get the form submitted to meet other deadlines.
Has she visited both?
I can't really help as I didn't go to uni either and I'm completely lost with the whole thing.
I can tell you however that we dropped St Andrews as a choice very early on purely based on the accomodation cost.
We have been looking at Warwick, York and Birmingham.
Agree with Goodbye and Chemenger , your DD needs to look at the course. A focus on Scottish history would not have suited my son. One small point , when I say wider base in 1st year I am describing a straight 3yr History course at an English university , not wider in the choice of subjects / options in the early years of a 4 yr course at Scottish Universities in the way that Bertrand is describing.
Have no idea re history, but I read English at Exeter and bloody loved it there.
Both great places, brilliant universities, so it really comes down to which course looks the most interesting/relevant for you DD.
If she can't decide between the courses, the best way to decide would be to visit and see which one feels better for her.
Is distance from home a factor? A friend of mine from the south went to St Andrews and often went by plane as the car journey was so long. It was expensive and she didn't always come home for special events because it was too much hassle. If you're in Wales it's not too bad, but the Exeter journey will still be easier. Location should be a less important factor than course and the 'feel' of the city, but shouldn't be forgotten about.
I know next to nothing about History but I took a look at the St Andrews history modules and, while there are obviously enough concerning Scottish history to make a whole degree programme, there is a vest number of non-scottish modules. Not surprising, I suppose given that there are 6 non-scottish history degrees offered there.
You do have to have your eyes open about the cost of accommodation in St Andrews, some of it is very expensive (especially if you want to live in a very nice flat in the main street with all mod cons). There is a portion of St Andrews student who are very affluent indeed, there are also plenty of students from more modest backgrounds who manage.
St Andrews is harder to get to than many places but it is close to Leuchers on the east coast mainline trains. There is a shuttle that runs from Edinburgh airport at the beginning and end of term and the bus service from Edinburgh and Glasgow is very good. Dundee is close by for but as an Aberdonian I have obviously never been there (the Aberdeen version of Monopoly famously has "go to Dundee" in place of go to jail )
I am sure I have read somewhere that the fourth year of tuition fees at Scottish university are free, you just just get a maintenance loan.
This is on my daughters list. How much is accomadation then?
if you request a prospectus there will be the accommodation options and costs in there. the issue we saw raised (on MN originally actually) was that although you get your first year in halls which is a relatively standard price across all unis, because it is a small town there is only limited accommodation for the 2nd and subsequent years and it is expensive.
google student rented properties in both areas and you will see what I mean.
Not all Scottish universities have no fee for fourth year, you need to check them individually.
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