Leeds or Kings Uni

(32 Posts)
AllEyesOnU Thu 27-Feb-20 00:15:33

Offers for both Uni's can anyone share any info on either?

OP’s posts: |
MarchingFrogs Thu 27-Feb-20 07:11:48

The obvious one is that one is in a reasonable-sized city in Yorkshire and the other is in a large city in the south-east of England. Get on a bus on Woodhouse Lane in Leeds and you will mainly hear English, spoken with a local accent; get on a bus in the Strand or at Waterloo and you will hear half a dozen languages, not necessarily any of them English. Either of those may be a culture shock to the average university applicant.

What subject? Are the modules offered at both places equally interesting / useful for what you want to do once you graduate? Do you want to live in London or Leeds? Is being based in either more useful for any interests that you have outside of your studies? Which place did you prefer at the open day / applicant day?

Is it literally a case of 'stick a pin in the map' to choose between them, because all other conditions are equal?

I'm sure others will be able to advise on the relative^prestige^of the two institutions, or the (im)possibility of ever getting a training contract for a six figure salary law career by the age of 25 / ever getting a job at all, with a degree inthat subject, should you choose one or the othersmile.

GaribaldiGirl Thu 27-Feb-20 08:42:33

My DD has an offer from Kings too. We’ve never even visited so no idea what she was thinking....she hasn’t made up her mind as still waiting for two to reply
Totally different experience to a northern university.
Friends who went to London Universities say it’s great if you have plenty of money and are used to a big city environment. Can be hard if not I suspect.
Personally I’d go north every time - which I did myself and had a brilliant time - but my children usually put their headphones on the minute I try to offer advice......

MarchingFrogs Thu 27-Feb-20 18:09:37

@GaribaldiGirl, please tell me that your DD will be attending an applicant day at KCL, if she is seriously thinking about making it either her firm or insurance choice (and I can't see how she can possibly make an informed decision, if not). Is she familiar with that part of London at all?

hellsbells99 Thu 27-Feb-20 18:25:38

Leeds is cheaper!

GaribaldiGirl Thu 27-Feb-20 18:35:33

MarchingFrogs - apparently she was invited to an open day but was ‘busy’ and missed it 😬😬
Just suggested to her that she might look into booking another one. Or at least visiting the campus area.
My suggestions are usually met with eye rolls.
Teenagers, who’d have them?!
We don’t live in London - she visits fairly regularly but I think a day trip is very very different from living there.
I’m hoping she gets an offer from Edinburgh or Durham.

MarchingFrogs Thu 27-Feb-20 18:39:45

Leeds is cheaper!

Yes, but if you could afford to pay for accommodation for King's anyway, there is plenty of scope for using the difference to fund some retail therapysmile.

I had never been there until DD got the sudden urge to add the University of Leeds to her list of 'possibles' and I went with her to an open day. This is not in the slightest from the point of view that Leeds is in the north and therefore, it must be grim oop there, but I have to say that I was very struck by just how prosperous the city appeared.


ThePreviewPoster Thu 27-Feb-20 18:49:49

London unis may be prestigious and sought after (Kings not as much as UCL, LSE or Imperial though) but they often come very low on the student satisfaction ratings.
London is a very impersonal place to be a student - you could easily end up living 10 miles from others on your course abs there aren't "student areas" in the way that other cities to to have.
If all else is equal I think Leeds would be more fun, not to mention substantially cheaper.

GaribaldiGirl Thu 27-Feb-20 18:58:50

I say this as a softy southerner stuck in the south east for work reasons - but I would move to a great northern city like Leeds tomorrow without hesitation if I could. I would need good base layers though!
Trying to persuade my offspring to look outside the London/Exeter/Bristol area for universities is quite challenging.
I haven’t looked at accomodation costs at Kings. Scared frankly.

Dozer Thu 27-Feb-20 19:00:43

London is a v different university experience and housing can be a big issue.

Lucianation Thu 27-Feb-20 19:13:35

I have actually been to both! I started a degree at kings but ended up dropping out. It just wasn’t for me. I’m working class, northern, most people on my course were straight out of boarding school and I just felt massively out of place. And London is so so expensive to be a student too. So I quit and started again at Leeds and it was brilliant. I still live in Leeds many years on, it’s a great city. Great uni, really big and vibrant student population and lots going on.

Grandmi Thu 27-Feb-20 19:19:40

We are from the South East and my son is studying at Leeds and absolutely loves Leeds. I went there for the first time in December and really liked the campus and the city...I am not a city person. The city came across as prosperous ,vibrant and a great place for a young person to live .

MarchingFrogs Thu 27-Feb-20 20:10:39

King's offers regular weekday campus tours at the Strand campus (including during the Easter holidays, book via Eventbrite). Not the same as a proper open / applicant day, but you get a reasonable look round. DD wasn't enthused enough to want to apply, but did change the course she applied for from Law to IR on the strength of the chat from our guide on 'her' subject. Apart from that, the main thing we all took away from the visit was that there were loads of clubs and in her first year, she had joined almost everything going, joining clubs was a brilliant thing to dosmile. I thought this was lovely, from a young woman who had literally come a third of the way round the world to study here at great expense and who one might have expected to tell us that she knew nothing of extracurricular activities, she was here to get a degree and that was all she was interested in.

I did a posgrad Diploma at KCL many years ago, but our classes were in the early evening and we really only saw a couple of rooms in our department and the library.

GaribaldiGirl Thu 27-Feb-20 20:28:56

MarchingFrogs - thanks, that is really useful. I think a campus tour would really help.

Lucianation - interesting to hear your opinion, thanks. I’m wondering whether Kings will be full of very wealthy students who have family homes in London.

NetballHoop Thu 27-Feb-20 20:38:20

@GaribaldiGirl I went to King's (about 30 years ago) and it wasn't full of very wealthy students then.

It is very different from a true campus university, and while I had a whale of a time, that was partly down to my specific course which had almost half the course overseas.

I have encouraged my kids to look outside London purely because it is now so expensive.

Ultimately, pick the course you really want to do. You won't be happy anywhere if the course is wrong.

LillianGish Thu 27-Feb-20 21:03:39

Some great advice on here from MarchingFrogs, but just wanted to add tell your daughter she has to visit - and not just visit, but properly spend some time there on her own, wandering round chatting to some students and staff in her department and imagining what it might be like to live there. My DD has just dropped out of her course at a UK uni and is reapplying for next September. She pitched up after a cursory stroll round at an open day with us - she had all kinds of red lines beforehand, didn't want a campus, had to be self catered with an ensuite bathroom - started in September and absolutely hated it. Hated the course, hated the city, hated her accommodation. The entire experience has been a huge learning curve for us all. Her new application has been so much more focussed - making a point of visiting on her own, discussing the course with the academic staff who will be teaching her, talking to other students. Applicant days are fantastic for this - better than open days because you know that the other people looking round are people who have applied and therefore the sort of people you will be hanging out with when you get there.

GaribaldiGirl Thu 27-Feb-20 21:26:03

LillianGish - thanks. I’m sure you’re right and I will nag her to visit.

Extra tricky with those universities who leave offers for some courses so late you can’t do an applicant day.

Hope your daughter likes her choice second time round. That sounds stressful.

MarchingFrogs Thu 27-Feb-20 21:54:55

Most have campus tours; some say explicitly that although visits to specific departments are not included, one can contact the department concerned ahead of the visit and they will try to organise a chat with a member of staff. DS1 did this at UEA and had a while hour with the Professor of Science Communication, complete with a personal tour of the relevant labs. Even if the possibility of a meeting is not specifically mentioned, it is worth asking. They can only say no...

hellsbells99 Fri 28-Feb-20 08:55:52

DD2 is at Leeds Uni. One of the good things imo is that she only lives about 10 mins walk away from campus as do most of her friends. The first year she lived on campus. The student union building is great with several bars and its own nightclub. There are lots of sports and social clubs. And the university is walking distance to the city centre.

hellsbells99 Fri 28-Feb-20 08:59:10

LillianGish I hope your DD is okay. My DD1 also dropped out in her first year and reapplied for a different course at a different university - I am very pleased to say she really enjoyed university on her second attempt and graduated last year.

LillianGish Fri 28-Feb-20 10:20:01

HellsBells that's good to hear. Poor DD was very low when she came home - felt she'd failed and that it was the end of the world (first bump in the road of an up until then fairly charmed life!). It has really helped her to know that actually it is more common than you might think and also that she was then snapped up by both places she applied to second time around. Student finance also told her that they automatically make a four year offer for loans because they know many people have a false start! She's now holding offers for Bristol and Royal Holloway, and very much leaning towards RH because she loves the sound of the course and the whole set up. I've told her that her false start will have been well worth it if it means she can make a properly educated decision this time and end up somewhere she loves.

Needmoresleep Fri 28-Feb-20 11:06:35

A couple of years ago I took an overseas friend and her son around several London Universities. Self guided tours are usually published on the website, but Universites were all clearly used to people just turning up, and the son had a long chat with the administrators team. He must have been impressed as he is studying there now.

You need to go. KCL is amazingly diverse. The MN obsessions about rich and poor, private and state are not as divisive when your coursemates come from all around the globe. It is difficult if you are more comfortable with people from similar backgrounds, less of a problem if you are happy to take people as you find them.

Living as a student in London is a great was of experiencing the City. Lots is free, but equally lots is expensive. It depends what you like and how organised you are. London nightclubs are pricey, but student discos aren't. There are free concerts, cheap theatre tickets, museums, talks etc. Lots in London can be reached by walking, bus or bike. Eating out is expensive but ethnic food can be good and cheap. And so on.

KCL (Strand Poly as it was known by the people across the road) will be a challenge, but can be a rewarding one. You need to see to decide.

BubblesBuddy Fri 28-Feb-20 11:17:50

London is a different student environment. Overseas students see London as a premier destination for university and Kings is on the radar. Why wouldn’t it be? Leeds is a bit more remote and not quite so attractive for the overseas student.

Yes, living costs are more in London and, in my view, there has to be a very strong reason to choose Kings if you are not sure about funding it. To get cheaper student accommodation from y2 onwards, your DD won’t be near the university. The students will be living all over London.

Don’t forget wealthy northern students like Leeds too!!! You really have to have an open mind about who you will meet! That’s what university is all about and I would urge you not to pre judge possible students. Yorkshire students live at home too! In fact in her offer day, DD only met students from Yorkshire at Leeds!

You need to look at the advantages of each course and which offers the best opportunities for study. A friend of DDs loved Kings. She is Rumanian and talented in languages. If you really want London, I think Kings is great but you have to want it enough to pay for it and understand the negatives too. I wouldn’t worry about the perceived riches of others. There are rich students in Durham and Edinburgh too as many privately educated DC go to them. So go with what your DC want and what floats their boat, not your objections to other people who are not the same as you. I’m not really sure why that’s an issue but it does explain the difficulties at Oxbridge in recruiting ordinary folk - they might not like the other students!

Needmoresleep Fri 28-Feb-20 11:34:01

There is a constant assertion that in London you cannot live anywhere near the University in Y2. It depends what you want. DS was at the place over the road, and lived within walking distance. Small room, no living room, but fine. Oddly our experience is that student rents are now higher in Bristol!

hellsbells99 Fri 28-Feb-20 11:42:42

BubblesBuddy most of the students DD2 has met at Leeds are from the south - lots from round London / Surrey and a lot are privately educated. DD2 is a northerner and state educated. She has met a lot of overseas students on her course.

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