Bristol or Manchester for MChem

(54 Posts)
ShriekingBansheela Sun 23-Feb-20 10:42:35

The 4 year course with a year in industry?

Bristol seems a more expensive place to live, and travel to (and trains more expensive from out Midland home) and we have heard reports that the pastoral environment is not that great? How multicultural is it?

In the other hand as a Uni it has a great reputation. Dc prefers Bristol as a city.

Any difference in the way they support the placement?

This is for an academically and socially robust Dc, mixed race, will be on full loan as we are lowish income.

All views and experience welcome. Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
jayritchie Sun 23-Feb-20 10:52:34

If you are on a low income have you checked the bursaries available? These vary lot between universities.

MarchingFrogs Sun 23-Feb-20 16:23:20

Given that it's your DC who will have to live wherever it is for at least four years - and assuming that s/he has researched the course content etc fully before decidong where to apply in the first place, I would suggest letting him/her decide. With the understanding that trips home / spare cash for 'fun' expenditure may be more limited in the more expensive option, unless they can find part-time work to supplement their loan, of you are unable to help out.

MarchingFrogs Sun 23-Feb-20 17:56:49

Phone wanted decoding to start with. Obviously determined to get an o in somewhere smile.

ShriekingBansheela Sun 23-Feb-20 18:19:32

Oh, DC will 100% do the deciding.
Just doing as much research as possible.

Jayritchie, thank you for that, we'll have a look

OP’s posts: |
Muchtootall Tue 25-Feb-20 19:56:03

I think this is a hard choice as both Manchester and Bristol are similar in terms of university reputation and the overall city vibe. My DD is at Bristol and thinks overall Bristol has a higher reputation than Manchester but that may be for her course. She says her friends speak highly of the chemistry department and it is one of the better ones for staff support and social life.

She is loving the university although I think the first year can be tough for some. Choice of halls In the first year seems to be critical as some do seem to attract more of a party crowd which quieter students find hard to deal with. Accommodation in Clifton (Where most 2nd years seem to live) is expensive and due to the huge increase in student numbers accommodation costs are rising well above inflation.

I don’t think Bristol University is particularly multi-cultural but I sense that race won’t be an issue for the type of students who are attracted to Bristol. The city has quite an alternative and liberal culture which is why most students choose it. There are also loads of DC from the Midlands there.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 26-Feb-20 00:51:26

They've both got a good reputation for chemistry.

* Any difference in the way they support the placement?*

I don't know, but this is something to definitely try to check up on. DH and I are both chemists in very different sectors and have only ever come across students doing summer internships - we're not too sure how many companies offer year long placements.


Comefromaway Wed 26-Feb-20 09:25:36

Manchester is very multicultural. I've lived and worked and dh has studied in Birmingham and we now live closer to Manchester and there is more of a similar vibe. It's also a lot cheaper to live there.

But on the whole I think Bristol has the better reputation as a university.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 26-Feb-20 09:48:56

* But on the whole I think Bristol has the better reputation as a university.*

On MN perhaps, but Manchester is rated ahead of Bristol on the world QS rankings.
Overall rating (6th v 9th in U.K., 27th v 49th globally).
For chemistry, they put Manchester at 32 (5th in U.K.) while Bristol is in the 51-100 category.

They're both very good, but Manchester routinely gets underrated.

I don't know if there are stats available but I'd guess there would be more international students at Manchester, if that's a consideration either way.

Comefromaway Wed 26-Feb-20 10:03:06

I'd been looking at Complete University Guide which has Bristol as 17th for Chemistry and Manchester as 25th for Chemistry.

Which just shows the vagaries of rankings.

MarchingFrogs Wed 26-Feb-20 10:49:09

On MN perhaps

Because although Manchester does have some catered halls, at least going by the pictures on the website, some of the kitchens in the flats in them are big enough for the residents to socialise in?

ErrolTheDragon Wed 26-Feb-20 10:57:12

As someone who's in the field, I'd say the CUG ranking is significantly underrating both Bristol and Manchester. confused

Not quite as bizarre as the guardian, of course!

Comefromaway Wed 26-Feb-20 11:12:51

Oddly, for performing arts (my area) The Guardian is much more accurate!

Comefromaway Wed 26-Feb-20 11:15:01

There are a lot of private halls in Manchester and students socialise inter-institution from what I've seen. You've got the Uni, Manchester Met, Royal Northern, Salford, Arden Theatre, etc. It looks like a great place to be a student.

Xenia Wed 26-Feb-20 14:03:13

I went to Manchester. 2 of my children are at Bristol and another of them went to Bristol a while back. Bristol is better no matter what anyone finds in any particular rankings. Even back in my day it was better (and it rejected me as did Durham but Manchester took me so I am not sure anything much as changed there).

My sons went to a minority white school in outer London (although we are white). Most of their friends from school are not white. We live in a part of London which is mostly not white. They certainly have friends at Bristol who are not white although as it is a bit further West towards the countryside etc it will certainly be less mixed race than any big City, LSE etc. I don't think that issue should anyone off going to Bristol and it is a much nicer place than Manchester is. I am not anti Manchester and I went there and did very well but it is not quite as nice to live in as Bristol in my view.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 26-Feb-20 15:24:38

I'd agree Bristol is a nicer city than Manchester, but objectively it's not 'better' for all subjects. However, as in the case of chemistry they're similarly good, it really is a matter of personal preference - and the reality of those industrial placements if the applicant particularly wants that aspect. (My guess is that they don't have to decide hard and fast from the outset whether to do that, they may find that decent summer internships serve their purpose)

ShriekingBansheela Sun 01-Mar-20 09:42:20

Thank you everyone for your views and experiences.

OP’s posts: |
RummidgeGeneral Sun 01-Mar-20 17:44:15

What does discover uni say about student satisfaction?

Xenia Sun 01-Mar-20 22:29:53

I haven't checked. If they like it it tends to mean they don't work very hard and have a very good time so I suppose we really need an inverse satisfaction scale......

ShriekingBansheela Mon 02-Mar-20 08:52:22

Thanks to @jayritchie Dc completed the ‘Additional Funding’ application yesterday so with low income, top grades and an additional consideration there may be a chance of a little top up. Bristol it is!

OP’s posts: |
EwwSprouts Mon 02-Mar-20 10:15:23

Bristol is working to up BAME numbers from a low base.

Manchester has the same % BAME staff as Bristol has in the improved student figure.
"Our University is a very diverse community: 16% of our staff are from a black and minority ethnic background, women make up 48% of our workforce, and international staff members make up 22%. We also have more than 40,000 students, including 11,000 international students from more than 160 countries. "

ShriekingBansheela Mon 02-Mar-20 12:10:25

Thank you for that Eww.

No shortage of top grades amongst Dc and their high achieving BAME peers. So assuming that BAME inclusion relies on contextual offers is a bit hmm. I dare say it is a factor of sorts given the correlation between income and racial background, and income and educational underachievement (even though white boys are the most under achieving?)

That is a very high % of privately educated intake.

I think Universities need to start with young people and address what attracts them or puts them off, and look at the whole culture of the place and how it is presented.

The student accommodation seems to create quite a divide with certain blocks and student villages having far higher costs.

Anyway, one more state educated student of colour will be joining this year. (In the cheapest accommodation possible wink)

OP’s posts: |
EwwSprouts Mon 02-Mar-20 14:39:21

Good luck to her. She thinks she's going to like the uni & city so that's half the battle!

Comefromaway Mon 02-Mar-20 15:32:18

I think Universities need to start with young people and address what attracts them or puts them off, and look at the whole culture of the place and how it is presented.

In my area it's money. Lots of kids from ds's school only apply to universities near home because of accommodation costs. I'm hoping that ds ends up in Manchester, Huddersfield or Liverpool not London due to accommodation costs.

Dd will be in halls next year in a north west city. Her s/c ensuite room is only £119 per week (she could have had a slightly smaller room for £105 but they have sold out)

BubblesBuddy Tue 03-Mar-20 08:28:46

Huddersfield? Why? I really do think costs of living should be factored out when making choices. There are cheaper areas in Bristol. You just won’t fall out of bed into the university! There are lots of cultures in Bristol and if you want to live in a multicultural area, you can. Clifton isn’t it, but Bristol isn’t universally wealthy! Not remotely. Also if DC can get a summer job then paying the extra for accommodation won’t be so bad. Bristol is a very enjoyable city and a great place to be a student. No one should limit their ambition by choosing second or third best.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in