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Aberystwyth University

(28 Posts)
Shockers Tue 17-Oct-17 14:43:36

Is there anyone who went/had a child who went, or is still there, who can tell me a bit about the university culture/ social life and area.

DS2 is looking at Sport and Exercise Science. Aberystwyth's not his first choice because of the distance, but he'd like to know a bit more about it from someone with knowledge of area/ university.


WellTidy Tue 17-Oct-17 14:45:56

I went in the 90s. Loved the campus nature of the university and how relatively small it was. Lived in hall for all but my second year. Back then, the only supermarkets were Somerfield and Leo's (part of the Co-op). There were very few shops that weren't chains. I would imagine it has changed a lot!

Shockers Tue 17-Oct-17 14:57:52

Thanks for replying smile. Did you socialise much, WellTidy? We're thinking there might be a lot of outdoor adventure type stuff in that area (I lived in Borth as a child), which would be great for him. I'm suspecting he'd also be interested in a bit of night life too... is there much to speak of, and is it 'rough'?

explodingkittens Tue 17-Oct-17 14:59:15

I did my first degree (English Lit) there in the 90s too. Absolutely loved it. Loved it. Always slightly regret not staying on to do my MA.

However, it's probably a bit of a marmite place - it's small, everyone knows everyone else, it's quite isolated, at least geographically speaking, so if your ds is hoping for a bustling city-type experience it's probably not for him. But, it's very friendly, laid-back, there is (or was!) a real 'community' feel, the campus is lovely, the town is great too with loads of nightlife. I think the shopping has improved - apparently they have an M&S now grin!

There are beautiful beaches nearby, gorgeous scenery. Sitting with a pint outside a seafront pub as the sun sets over the water - bliss! There's also a brilliant arts centre if he enjoys that side of things. I was never ever bored. It consistently scores very highly in the NSS etc for student experience and student satisfaction and to be honest I'd go back like a shot if I was 18 again.

Accomodation I think is pretty good - I lived on campus in the first and third years.

Can't comment on the standard of teaching for sports science but the facilities were always good iirc (I wasn't a sporty type!) I'd advise a visit - he'll either love it or hate it.

explodingkittens Tue 17-Oct-17 15:03:50

There's tons of nightlife, although when I was there is mainly revolved around the many pubs rather than clubs, but I expect that has changed a bit and maybe got a bit 'cooler' wink. There is/was a pretty big drinking culture but I never ever saw any trouble in the three years I was there. We went out a lot and had a lot of fun.

Definitely loads and loads of opportunities for outdoor/adventure type stuff - most of my mates were rock-climbing/canoeing/surfing/mountain biking types.

BubblesBuddy Tue 17-Oct-17 15:05:01

Not one of my DDs friends (and between them that's a lot) considered it. Now they are in their 20s, they still haven't met anyone who went there.

Sporty people preferred Loughborough. I think it was felt to be just too isolated. A few shops and limited social life meant it just didn't register as somewhere to go. If he likes outdoors, does Lancaster or Exeter offer what he wants? If he likes sport, can he actually watch any high class sport being based there? I would have thought that would be an issue for someone interested in sport.

BeyondNoone Tue 17-Oct-17 15:06:07

DH describes it as a town of two halves. Lots of student activity and fun stuff, but with a lot of natives who are less friendly.

Shockers Tue 17-Oct-17 15:07:46

He thinks he'd like to be in a city, but we live in a very small town with a great sense of community, which he loves. I don't know where the city thing is coming from because he doesn't appear to particularly enjoy those environments, other than on exchange, in Paris, where he became part of the school community there.

His other choices are Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds and Edge Hill.

Shockers Tue 17-Oct-17 15:11:07

We live near Lancaster, Bubbles, and he uses the uni a lot for sport, but I think familiarity has bred contempt and he wants a new experience. I see where you're coming from with the sporting events though.

Shockers Tue 17-Oct-17 15:13:28

My dad actually went there in the late 60s, but I imagine it's changed quite a lot since then grin.

I remember the natives well (I was 4/5 and we lived in Borth). Some were lovely; some not so much...

explodingkittens Tue 17-Oct-17 15:13:51

Well, those are probably 'better' choices in some senses (don't know much about Edge Hill). If you live in a small town already Aber might not offer much in the way of new experiences/perspectives.

It's not 'cool', that's for sure. However I still maintain it's a lovely place to spend three years, and a degree from there rather than from an RG/'name' university certainly did my career no harm.

Shockers Tue 17-Oct-17 15:49:26

He's not bothered about 'cool', exploding. It's one of the many things that I adore about him! smile

BubblesBuddy Tue 17-Oct-17 16:11:45

Don't go to Edge Hill. Not on the same page (or book) as Sheffield, Manchester or Leeds. All these universities have glorious countryside around them! You don't have to stay in the city 24/7. There are many opportunities on their doorsteps. Has he looked at Loughborough? Or Exeter? They are smaller sporty universities and I think a neighbour's DD did sport science at Exeter.

What sport does he enjoy watching? What other hobbies has he got? My elder DD had always loved theatre so she wanted a quality theatre to go to and good singing clubs. Other people wanted to watch rugby. Others wanted good university sports facilities and golf for example. Try and analyse what he wants at university. Both my DDs wanted a city and would have felt cooped up on a campus. Others like the cosy appeal of a campus and having all facilities on site. Others want coffee shops, restaurants, sport, arts and the wider world!

BubblesBuddy Tue 17-Oct-17 16:16:01

Just to add, my cleaner's DD went to a small university in Wales and it emptied out at the weekend. Lots of students went home and the London ones went back to London. Times change regarding student entertainment! Drinking in the pub or the union and going to the local flea pit doesn't float everyone's boat anymore.

Shockers Tue 17-Oct-17 16:29:00

We've just been chatting about it. He's very active (he has ADHD and activity helps a lot), so playing/participating in sport is more important to him than watching. He'd like the opportunity to watch football, but could do that easily by train.
He likes live music and he does go to the pub with his football team (he plays for an adult side), but he's not overly bothered by drinking (yet). He makes friends easily and I've never seen him angry, or known him to fall out with anyone. He just gets a bit disappointed if a mate does something un-mately.

We're looking at Loughborough and Exeter now and making a note of all of the open days at the places he's interested in.

Thanks for the replies! smile

hoyhoy44 Tue 17-Oct-17 16:36:18

i know nothing about Aber sorry but dds both have quite a few sporty friends who went to Leeds either Leeds uni or Beckett and love it

Shockers Tue 17-Oct-17 16:42:20

Leeds Beckett is his first choice, hoy!

FannyTheFlamingo Tue 17-Oct-17 17:08:37

I didn't go to uni in Aberystwyth, but I moved there when I was 19 and lived there till I was 30. A lot of my friends were students though and they loved it. Most stayed there after they finished uni and some are still living there.

There seems to be a lot of opportunities for sport both with the uni and with the town. The annual Rugby 7s is a HUGE weekend. There's many football teams as well.

The town is always busy with students except for the holidays. I went out every weekend and had many good nights at the student union. There's a huge array of pubs and bars with a few 'legendary' clubs. There's literally a bar for music, real ale, cocktails, student prices, cheap food, gastro pubs, sports bars etc..

Everyone knows everyone's business, but that would be less so for students. I disagree with a PP and would say the locals are very friendly. Some of the businesses rely on them. There's enough choice of shops there now, with Tescos and M&S recently open. Hope this helps!

BubblesBuddy Thu 19-Oct-17 13:42:22

I think, Shockers, that you have to factor in that he will make friends at university and he won't be off by himself watching football via the train if no-one else does. If he is not intereted in watching sport, then choose a university with good sports facilities and a sporting culture.

I think you can see from Fanny's post that Aberystywth is about drinking, either in the union or the town, and eating. I would still look at a much bigger place with far more opportunities and a wider social scene.

LemonysSnicket Thu 19-Oct-17 13:52:09

I graduated from Lancaster last year ... loved it.

eatyourveg Thu 19-Oct-17 14:22:18

He'd like the opportunity to watch football, but could do that easily by train

The line through to Birmingham is one of the slowest in the country (3hrs) and trains only run every two hours so I wouldn't say its easy.

Lovely town though, last visited 4 years ago and it hadn't changed much from the 80s at all.

Crusoe Thu 19-Oct-17 14:32:24

I went as a post grad and didn’t enjoy it. I had done my under grad in a big busy city and Aber felt very dull and serious in comparison.
I also felt the uni was a bit up itself and full of its own importance.
That said the course I was on was well regarded and I’m glad I did it.
I’m not sure I could have stuck 3 years as there didn’t seem much fun to be had.

fluffiphlox Thu 19-Oct-17 14:35:16

Can’t speak for the university these days. I’m Welsh and only one person went to Aber from my year. They lasted a week. That was in 1976.
I was in the town of Aberystwyth about 5 weeks ago. I thought it was grotty.

Shockers Thu 19-Oct-17 18:22:55

Thanks for the replies. We looked at Aber because of the opportunity to do sea based sport and outdoor activities. I think we'll still go and look, but we've taken on board all your comments; it definitely does sound like a marmite place. I think I'd love it, as I spent time living in Borth as a child and love that area, but it isn't me who would be spending 3 years there!

We live 15 mins from Lancaster University, Lemony, and although he spends a lot of time there now (he's a member of the gym and also trains for football there), he'd like to spread his wings a little further. I'm not surprised you liked it though; this is a lovely area to live in smile.

fussychica Mon 06-Nov-17 17:50:09

DS went a few years ago and had a great time. He isn't a big drinker but had a good social life and the kids who went there with him seemed a lovely bunch. His course was very well regarded but overall it's place in the league table has been on the slide over the last few years. He went on to do a post grad at Oxford so it worked out well for him.

However, it is a complete pain to get to and from from just about anywhere!

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