Cost of Living:
Shops & Banks:
I can only speak for the University through the course I take there, which is a rare course in the UK, and so you can expect it to be a little rough around the edges. However, I would urge anyone looking at the Uni to steer well clear.
I am currently in my second year, and after the course's ten year history the lecturers still cannot decide what it is the course is about. Most annoyingly, I am currently doing a 'Collaborative Module' which creates a performance with the Drama course, but students are barred from actually producing the show (on a theatre producing course...). Also, for this module, I am expected to be in the university twelve hours a day everyday in January, and because of this have had to quit my job which supported me financially through my first year.
Your mark will drop if tickets for the show are not sold in sufficient quantities. And any complaints you report about the course will result in penalisation in your 'professional conduct' mark (a mark forming overall about 30% of your entire degree over three years - 30% on whether you turn up on time and don't moan when lecturers don't turn up).
Moreover, we are all expected to find and do an internship during the summer break, and this should ideally take place abroad - or rather, your mark will again be penalised if you don't. Being based in London, where so much of the UK's theatre is based, it is nonsensical to leave the capital, let alone the country. In an industry where who you know is so important, making contacts abroad seems of little use. And all of this you have to fund yourself - the university will spend a couple of million on creating a minuscule patch of grass, but will not subsidise it's own students on their mandatory placement.
The library, while not necessarily suited to a course such as mine, stocks approximately two of the required texts we are meant to read. It is however open late, and extends to 24-hour during exam periods.
Accommodation at the university is another negative. Paying a fairly extortionate rate for a sub-standard room (is a working heater too much to ask for... after four months of asking?). You are also given filthy looks for daring to have post delivered to the halls, and have to go through a series of hoops to be able to get it.
Shops around the uni mainly consist of a Tesco, or a couple of cafes and a Subway if you are prepared to walk. Inside the university are a couple of over-priced canteens and coffee shops, but none will accept card payments, and with only one cash machine on the campus, you usually go without.
The societies consist of a basic standard, with several different societies dedicated to different nationalities for international students.
Nightlife, unless you like the Ministry of Sound ideally located next to the campus, mainly consists of Central London, and is priced accordingly.
Hopefully this has given a brief overview of one of the worst rated universities in the country - all students actually got a celebratory email when the university climbed several places to 109th (or similar). You could do so much better.
Written by ebai on 29th Dec 2011