Maths: Bristol v Exeter for insurance offer

(20 Posts)
pericat Tue 14-Mar-17 23:55:45

DS is likely to firm an offer to do MMaths at Warwick but needs to decide which Uni to make his insurance - Bristol or Exeter?

Neither are likely to have any uni accommodation for candidates with insurance offers.

Has anyone any thoughts? On the course or the Universities?


OP’s posts: |
bojorojo Thu 16-Mar-17 00:19:41

I have known students at both and all have loved their choice! I know a young man doing maths at Exeter and is very happy. If your DS is liking a campus university such as Warwick, then Exeter would suit but Bristol has more going on nearby as it is in the city. DD was insurance and did get accommodation at Bristol. Have you visited either?

pericat Thu 16-Mar-17 05:35:55

I have visited Warwick and Bristol (and Southampton) but not Exeter.

Neither DS or I got a good impression of Southampton (not entirely sure why), so that has been discounted. We both liked Bristol more than we were expecting. DS very keen in Warwick and liked the campus feel and the MMaths course. (Personally I am less keen on the campus style of Warwick "bubble" as it was described but I have kept quiet about that - it's not my decision!)

So it is just between Bristol and Exeter fir his insurance offer. The Exeter offer is one grade below Bristol and does not include STEP which gives more flexibility. DS also has a number of friends at Exeter already. But I know he really liked Bristol and the MMaths course there as well.

I think ds would be very happy at either Uni as his insurance choice but he has to make a decision and i wondered if there are any other factors that should be taken into account?

OP’s posts: |
ErrolTheDragon Thu 16-Mar-17 07:31:14

I gather from my DD, who knows quite a few people who are going to do maths degrees, that STEP can be more of a challenge than A levels. I'm not sure how that works though, presumably the unis who do use it have different criteria so maybe if he didn't quite make the warwick cut he'd still be ok for bristol? I guess it depends how confident he is that he will make their grades even if he has some bad luck - he's obviously super-bright to have an offer for warwick MMaths but I gather their offers don't leave any room for an off day, and bristol not a lot lower? Some kids thrive on having the bar set high, others are stressed by it.

Eastpoint Thu 16-Mar-17 07:35:33

Dd is loving life in Bristol (not maths but a science). Is your son sporty? It would seem that Exeter is great if you are more of an outdoor person, she says some of her friends who are at Exeter catch the train to Bristol to go out at night.

I realize the social side of university isn't the most important thing. Warwick has a higher grade requirement than Oxford.

pericat Thu 16-Mar-17 08:12:53

Thank you for your responses

Errol, DS is forecast 3A stars and achieved this in his recent mocks and he will need to achieve this to secure his place at Warwick (or one grade lower with STEP level 2). He is very relaxed and laid back about his studies (probably too relaxed!). I have no idea how he is getting on with STEP as there were no mocks and very little feedback from DS.

East point - yes he is sporty and he has a number of friends at Exeter who also take part in the same sport as him (watersport). But both Bristol and Exeter have similar arrangements so neither are a problem for sport.

Does anyone know what the chance is of getting Uni accommodation if you get in as your insurance offer at Bristol and/or Exeter? I think this would make a big difference because DS is not that sociable but if there is a lot going on around him, he would (probably) take part. If he was living in a bedsit or away from other students I think he could be a bit reclusive and not have the full University experience.

OP’s posts: |
ErrolTheDragon Thu 16-Mar-17 08:45:07

Tbh one of the things that put DD off Bristol (for engineering not maths) was the accommodation even for firm offers. I don't know about Exeter.

Its a shame he didn't like Southampton, they can apply there for accommodation equally if they make it the insurance. My DD loved it (she's into watersports too, fantastic place for that though main thing was for her subject dept is also excellent) ....just a shade less smitten by it than Cambridge so it will be her insurance.

Sounds like he'll probably be going to Warwick anyway!smile


Squirrills Thu 16-Mar-17 12:01:04

I have two DC at campus unis, one at Warwick doing maths.
Campus living is just the first year and after that they live in nearby towns or cities so they do end up with the best of both worlds. That first year on campus is a gentle introduction to uni living especially for the less sociable.
It's a very real worry for some, getting accommodation at insurance and more so if the firm is a very tough offer.

bojorojo Thu 16-Mar-17 23:23:25

Exeter is campus and is definitely a bubble - a sort of continuation of boarding school!

There is nothing wrong with Bristol
Accommodation. The best halls are at Stoke Bishop which is handy for sport. My DD was very happy with her accommodation there. Picky people may not be! There has been some upgrading though. However the numbers seeking accommodation as an insurance offer varies Year on year. DD got a catered hall as insurance. If your DS was not offered suitable accommodation you could perhaps ask about deferring? I agree that sharing with random students in a private house somewhere is not ideal. I would guess the same would apply to Exeter. You would be very out of things in the first year if not on campus. Yes, Exeter students visit their friends at Bristol! Bigger place!

hellsbells99 Fri 17-Mar-17 07:18:33

DD's friend is a first year at Bristol and had to share a room for about the first 7 or 8 weeks - it was her insurance choice. She is enjoying the maths but finding it hard. She likes Bristol and the uni but the halls she is in are about 20/30 mins bus ride from the uni.

Eastpoint Fri 17-Mar-17 09:01:46

DD is in one of the halls in Stoke Bishop and says she's glad she's there as you get to meet so many people. The buses get very full and you might not get on the first bus but you get used to that. Sometimes she walks back, it isn't that far.

DaisyBlameless Fri 17-Mar-17 14:22:14

DS is at Exeter and loving it. He's in halls and made friends pretty much immediately. He said everyone is very friendly. Not sure about being a continuation of boarding school, as he's never been to boarding school. I don't think they offer insurance people guaranteed accommodation but we did find the accommodation department helpful when we had a few questions.

The campus is lovely, really well laid out and within easy walk of the city centre. It is a small city though, not like Bristol.

He's never been to visit friends at Bristol, but he does play them at sport regularly. It's a trek apparently! Sport is massive at Exeter, and they do exceptionally well most of the mainstream ones.

He has gone to Cardiff, Liverpool and Oxford to stay with friends. He said the train is cheap with a student card.

I think either uni would be good.

Oblomov17 Fri 17-Mar-17 14:41:34

Hard to choose. Was at Bristol. Had loads of friends at Exeter. I think you would be lucky to get any accommodation offer from Bristol.
Exeter is more enclosed like a bubble more.

Needmoresleep Fri 17-Mar-17 14:59:58

There is quite a lot of new accommodation is Bristol, though the University has also expanded. Worth checking directly with the accommodation office.

Ontopofthesunset Fri 17-Mar-17 15:06:12

DS is at Bristol and in catered halls at Stoke Bishop. He doesn't particularly like living out there as the buses are always late/full and he mostly walks. Also, if you're likely to do lots of things that require commitment in the evenings (eg drama, music, sports training) you may find you miss out on dinner quite frequently; if you have a late class there may not be time to get back to Stoke Bishop to eat and then into town again for your rehearsal or whatever. If you're happy on a bike that would be a good option. He does however love Bristol and for him (arts degree, lots of performance in his spare time) it's a great city.

Coffeewith1sugar Fri 17-Mar-17 15:13:33

My DD is at Bristol 2nd year now. Went there as insurance was allocated accomodation, given a choice of 2 or 3 as i remember. But she decided she didn't want to live in halls would rather live on her own in the city centre. DD is a introvert needs time and own space to recharge her batteries finds too much noise and commotion draining. It worked out fine. She didn't miss out on friendship's. For 3rd year she is sharing a house with 4 others but they're all of similar temperament and personality​. Loves her life in Bristol. She likes her theatres and shows and Bristol gets alot of class acts which is a bonus. Good luck on his choices. Hope he gets into his 1st choice

bojorojo Sat 18-Mar-17 22:25:21

I think the word 'bubble' describes Exeter well. I think boarding school is also a bubble so hence my description!

At Bristol be a bit wary of the newer accommodation - some of it is near the clubs and is popular with students that like that part of the city. Everyone misses the odd meal at the catered halls but not usually breakfast! The catered hall DD was in did have a microwave in a small shared kitchen so a quick trip to Waitrose provided a microwave meal if needed. Most students in the catered halls don't mind that.

pericat Sun 19-Mar-17 10:31:03

Thank you everyone for your helpful comments.

Good to know that even insurance offers can get accommodation at both Exeter and Bristol. Ds liked Exeter at the offer holders day last week and wants to go to the offer holders day at Bristol this week. Hopefully he will feel more drawn to one or the other and if he still can't decide I will suggest he goes for the lower offer - Exeter (and hope accommodation is ok if he needs his insurance).

OP’s posts: |
Moominmammacat Mon 20-Mar-17 15:35:37

Exeter has a lovely open air pool!

Evalina Tue 21-Mar-17 22:01:27

I have DC at both Bristol and Exeter. For both it was their first choice, so they got good accommodation. On her offer day DD was told that quite a lot of insurance offer holders at Exeter get rooms in Birks Grange - which is where DD was anyway as a firm, and very good halls.

My perception is that accommodation in Bristol is harder to get, but that may have changed.

Both are great universities, and he should choose whichever one he likes best, and then go on the waiting list for a room if needed with the accommodation office - as there is always some movement.

Despite having a sibling at Bristol and a floor to sleep on, DD has never felt the need to go there for nightlife, finding plenty in Exeter.

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