DS university first choice

(108 Posts)
Enyap Sat 02-Feb-19 20:20:17

DS torn between 2 choices for firm, choices are Bristol for sociology and social policy and Hull for British politics and legislative studies.

Hull's course has a one year internship in Westminster which really appeals to DS , but Bristol is obviously a Russell group uni. Also Hull's position in league table has plummeted recently.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

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AgathaDanger Sat 02-Feb-19 20:29:54

What sort of person is he? What does he like? What does a good night with friends look like? What does he want to do for a living?

Will be easier to advise if we know more about him.

Enyap Sat 02-Feb-19 20:36:21

His aim is to work in politics , parliamentary researcher or political agent type of job.

Interested in working for a charity maybe, his main interest is politics but has loved sociology a level .

He likes both courses equally and and is finding it hard to choose which to firm.

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AgathaDanger Sat 02-Feb-19 20:43:57

Ok, so it's more on the lifestyle then. What's his idea of fun with his friends? Is he a rugby lad or a bookworm, for example.

Bristol has a very particular social vibe and I think you've got to be the right sort of person to enjoy it. It's all stereotypes of course, but I went to Durham - and the stereotypes about that place definitely rang true.

Have him read the Tab for each uni. See which he gets a better feel for:


Enyap Sat 02-Feb-19 20:51:26

Probably should have mentioned we live in Bristol and know the reputation, he is neither party animal or book worm to be honest . Loves to be involved in loads of things,but not really into partying as such , really likes the history of some of the halls there and the formal dinners .

I think would probably go for Hull for the course maybe ?but Bristol for the uni.

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NeaterBonita Sat 02-Feb-19 21:23:16

Hi, just did a bit of research on the 2 courses as it sounds as though your son has similar interests to my dc although they’re at a different university.
The placement at Westminster that Hull offers looks amazing in terms of getting relevant experience . But turns it into 4 years if that makes a difference.
On unistats it looks as though entrants on Hull course less likely to make their standard offer of 128 points. So maybe Bristol candidates are higher flyers or have done more lambda exams.
Hull seem to offer generous scholarships for students who get over 120 UCAS points . Is this attractive?
I’m guessing Hull is a cheaper place to be a student in.
However for me the dealbreaker would be is if your son wAnts to stay in his hometown for uni? I know my dc wouldn’t have wanted to.
I’d be tempted to encourage them to have the adventure of a move and change of scenery. Has he visited Hull?

Enyap Sat 02-Feb-19 21:31:00

Hi,we have visited Hull , they interview for the BPLS course so we had a look round then, he didn't dislike the campus but didn't love it either.

It's the placement year that is really making the choice hard , I think he would firm Bristol straight away if it wasn't for that.

His offer for Bristol is actually lower than Hull aswell.

It pretty much comes down to work experience in Westminster or one of the top unis for his course.

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titchy Sat 02-Feb-19 21:35:26

Bristol with a view to doing a years internship post-graduation.

BubblesBuddy Sat 02-Feb-19 22:30:42

I know the hall in Bristol. DD was there. I would say Bristol is better for networking in some ways but you would really have to get yourself noticed to get a political researcher position. I hate to tell you, but who you know is important for that. The competition is ludicrously fierce.

Bristol doesn’t equate to Hull in my view. They are very different. Does every student at Hull really get these positions at Westminster? What do grads go on to do?

I think another way in is to work/volunteer for your MP or local party. They appoint from within. You have to get known.

I agree it’s a bit limiting to stay in your home city but as you talk about formals I am assuming he would apply to a hall. Not that he is guaranteed to get a place in it of course!

I think the big problem is also that lots of politics grads are looking for the same jobs. In fact any grad might like this career. A first from Oxford in History might trump these courses for example and PPE definitely would. I would go to the highest rated university and network like crazy!

Enyap Sat 02-Feb-19 23:02:05

Thanks for your reply, with regards to the Hull course , everyone gets a year in Westminster that is on the course.

He knows that he may not get the exact career he wants , but no harm in trying his best I suppose.

We definitely do not have contacts in the political field which is why the Hull course seems a great way to get experience .He does volunteer locally also with a political party.
I think he may go for Bristol , but wondered if anyone has any knowledge on the Hull BPLS course? or indeed why the university had dropped so much in league tables.

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Piggywaspushed Sun 03-Feb-19 08:12:46

My DS has applied to Hull, too (for International relations and politics: otehr choices are Lincoln, Aberystwyth and NTU so Hull is his highest along with Aber) and had his offer (BBC). Hull is the uni he is keenest on, despite it seeminlgy offering no incentives if he firms it. We are going to the offer holder day in a couple of weeks.

I, too, am puzzled by its fall from grace : various people have suggested that this is because it has closed a few departments (MFL is one) and did badly in student satisfaction because largely it was quite active in the strikes. However, the politics courses do seem to come out quite well and there are clearly some good links with Westminster etc.

I'd go for going away from home every time : but that is complicated by Bristol being a fine university. Sociology is very different from politics, though, and the course will have attracted a different kind of applicant.

What A Levels does he do?

Enyap Sun 03-Feb-19 09:38:11

Hi, his A Levels are Geography,Sociology and RE, it's such a tough one , Hull has always been his favourite but he has such a good offer from Bristol .

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Piggywaspushed Sun 03-Feb-19 09:46:13

The Hull course certainly talks a good talk : the website is very well written! What was his impression at interview?

On thing I'd say about doing any subject likes sociology, politics at A Level is that students often report that the first year is a repeat of the A Level because not everyone has done it.

Enyap Sun 03-Feb-19 09:52:29

His impression at interview is what has probably caused this decision to be so hard,before he was more set on Bristol.

He really liked the people he met there, apparently the interview,while went well,was very hard question wise.
I personally feel he suits Hull more than Bristol if stereotypes are to be believed however that is not a concern for him.

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Piggywaspushed Sun 03-Feb-19 09:57:37

hmmmm... I get you.

Not that it might bother him but sociology will be female dominated ; politics tends to swing the other way. It's a bit more cut throat.

I am glad to hear the interview went well : puts my mind at rest a bit about my DS.

Enyap Sun 03-Feb-19 10:09:24

The female ratio in sociology doesn't really bother him either . I suppose it comes down to what will employers like better , a more prestigious university or a really good work experience.

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Piggywaspushed Sun 03-Feb-19 10:14:39

Probably depends on the employer! I don't place much stock in statistics but I am fairly sure socilogy is (near) bottom of the pile for employability post degree. But then a Bristol sociology degree would put him top of that pile.

It's a tough one!!

Enyap Sun 03-Feb-19 10:18:04

That is my concern also about a sociology degree, albeit from Bristol .

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Piggywaspushed Sun 03-Feb-19 10:24:35

I am sure lots on MN would tell you Bristol tops all.

Social Policy is definitely a good route to charity work / Civil Service etc.

BubblesBuddy Sun 03-Feb-19 11:29:00

I really don’t think studying at Bristol will be a repeat of A levels. That’s one of the differences between top ranking universities and others who take students with lower A levels. I think Hull isn’t popular with young people from the SE, S or SW and is therefore a bit parochial these days. That’s why MFL went from there and not from Bristol or Durham. It’s not competing well enough with Newcastle, Durham or Nottingham. It tends to be insurance for students. I think that then adds up to a downward spiral. I don’t know a single young person who even considered it. It feels too remote. Therefore it does suit people who can get to Hull fairly easily and don’t want a bigger city experience. It doesn’t have the same vibe as Newcastle or Bristol.

I would like to assure you that Bristol is welcoming to all students. Anyone who wants to work in the political arena really must get on with everyone. There are all sorts of students at Bristol, not just stereotypical ones! My DD felt the SU at Bristol was useless but she was never into student politics. As it’s a city, the Union isn’t the hub of social activities. However there are so many ways to broaden learning and volunteering I would choose Bristol. He would then have to get his own work experience but this isn’t impossible.

RedHelenB Sun 03-Feb-19 11:35:42

Be careful with internships. Is he guaranteed one or is it just available for some?

BubblesBuddy Sun 03-Feb-19 11:36:58

Just a final thought: the Hull course says lots get employment at Westminster and an impressive 92% get grad employment - I might be interested to know destinations of leavers. How many actually get the employment they want? There cannot be this number of vacancies in Westminster each year, and no recruitment from other universities, so what is the chance of employment there? However I greatly admire ambition and it is a difficult decision!

meditrina Sun 03-Feb-19 11:46:52

Also check exactly what is meant by a 'Westminster' internship. Can they give specific examples of where their students actually work, for how many weeks, and how strong is the guarantee a place wupill be found for all.

Who finds their accommodation in London?

Enyap Sun 03-Feb-19 11:50:06

Thanks for all replies ,it's certainly helping and I think DS is edging towards Bristol more .

The Westminster placement is guaranteed , and does seem to lead into jobs there however obviously that's not to say DS will get that .

He is interested in charity work and civil the service, politics however is his dream job.

It's still a hard choice

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Enyap Sun 03-Feb-19 11:51:00

Civil service , sorry.

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