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Birmingham vs Bath for Maths(22 Posts)
DS is trying to decide between these 2 as his second choice.
Anyone got any useful insights or experience of either?
No idea course wise I'm afraid but, having been to one of those unis and live in one of those places, I think the student experience would be very different. Bath - very pretty, pricey, small city in Somerset v cosmopolitan city in the Midlands. Depends on what sort of boy he is really. Good luck.
Thanks for replying. Good points. Both are campus Unis on the edge of town, so difference is maybe not as huge, thinking students spend most of time on campus.
But i could be wrong.
Most students are only on campus for the first year. A few unis have room for second and third years as well but even then many choose to live off campus. So the nearest town / city will probably be where they live for two years.
If it's a close choice as far as the course content goes has he looked at the accommodation for insurance students? I know nothing about Birmingham but have heard of insurance students at Bath not getting campus accommodation.
WandaBack I have just checked and you are right - on campus accommodation isn't guaranteed at Bath for students with insurance offers. which totally sucks IMHO.
I know this was 30 years ago, so waaaay out of date, but I missed out on campus accommodation at Bath in the 1980s, and it wasn't a problem at all. Loads of students lived in the town, and as we tended to go out in Bath, it was much easier for getting home.
Depends on the student as to how important the reassurance of campus accommodation is for the first year. I have two DC. One outgoing confident type who could have coped with uncertainty and one shy introvert (doing maths as it happens) who could not. You know your DS grumpy and whether it's important. Also weigh up the likelihood of him ending up at insurance.
Yup. DS is also shy introvert. And I will never forget how awful it was that I did not get University accommodation for the first 2 weeks of my Bristol University degree - was billeted 15 miles away - and felt it really damaged my social life in those all important first weeks away.
Birmingham is about twice the size of Bath. It also seems to have many more courses (medicine, vet sci, law, English, History, etc) so you will get more diversity in your fellow students.
What's his first choice? I think Birmingham has a lower requirement than Bath (or it did four years ago); Bath's requirement is quite high, so I'm assuming maybe Warwick is the first choice? In which case another assumption is that his predicted grades are high, so that may be worth considering. Bath is also usually rated more highly for maths - but you probably know that. Sports facilities are better as well.
That aside, Birmingham's halls of residence are not on campus; they're in Selly Oaks, a bus journey away. I have no idea about the policy for second choice students, but if you've visited Bath you'll know that there is a frequent bus service to and from campus. In theory buses are every two minutes but in practise they wait until the bus is full so it can be a 20 min wait. Have you visited either place?
I can't comment on Bath but my DS is a first year student at Birmingham. The halls he is in is on campus, The Vale Village, there are others to choose from as well in the vicinity all in walking distance. Selly Oak is where students rent from second year onwards, also within easy walking distance - 10-15 mins. It only takes my DS 20 mins to walk into the City Centre.
Many years ago I was a student at Birmingham, 1st year in halls on the Vale and it was a 15 - 20 min walk to my department. Selly Oak is right next to the Uni, popular for students living out as it was a 5 or 10 min walk in (esp if you lived in Tiverton or Dawlish Road). I lived out in Bearwood and Kings Heath, a 20 min / 3 mile bike ride, and Moseley was another popular student area.
Thanks for all the comments.
DS has been to both open days. Bath is a city I know well.
Yes, Warwick is first choice but he is going to need to improve on his predicted grades to get in - which we think is do-able - but it does mean the insurance choice is really important.
Sorry I made a mistake about the first year halls being in Selly Oak. Think DS was at Edgbaston in first year which was a bus ride away from campus. Bath has a better reputation for maths (you probably know that). DS got in to Brum with A*BC, having been rejected by Bath. He was gutted.
DD got in to Bath with A*AA. They have a list of various possible results that they'll accept, can't recall the details but it's probably on the website. So as you say, it hinges on the grades he feels capable of.
Birmingham also does not guarantee accommodation for second choice and a friend's son had an awful first term in non uni accommodation.
Shotgun was he in Liberty Close? Think that's the only accommodation not within a 25 min walk now?
Can't remember the address now. It was a leafy suburb with no shops or amenities.
From what I remember, that's because much of Edgbaston is Quaker land - no pubs!
Very different unis.
I love Bath and avoid Birmingham as places, but I'm a middle aged woman! I know people with DCs at both who are happy. Neither will guarantee accommodation for insurance.
Is the course content the same? Is distance from home an issue?
Hi, my son is a first year at Bath uni, studying MPhys with placement year, and is having a really great time. He chose Bath above Birmingham as his first choice, even though it was a higher offer to achieve. He is living on campus but has good friends who live in the halls in town and says that they are pleased with their accommodation. Bath was his first choice after not getting past the interview stage for Oxford. He visited Bath, Warwick, Birmingham, Bristol and Nottingham and he much preferred Bath as a place to live for 4+years and so far it has lived up to his expectations. I understood why he chose Bath but I was impressed with Warwick and Birmingham too.
Lots of universities struggle to offer guaranteed accommodation to insurance students. However Bath is smaller and has an excellent reputation for employability. I would look at that aspect too. What are his plans beyond university and can he do a work placement at Bath?
My DS is also likely to firm up an offer for Maths from Warwick and is trying to decide which should be his insurance offer - in his case Bristol or Exeter (Bristol offer is one grade higher).
Neither are likely to offer accommodation on campus.
We hope that the offer holder days will magically guide the final decision making!