Student bloggers

Life as a student in Bath

Tagged: Choosing courses

How I came to study Pharmacy at Bath

  

📥  Faculty of Science, First year, Jemima (Pharmacy)

I thought it would be helpful to write about my journey to studying pharmacy here at the University of Bath. I will start by saying that while I have enjoyed my first year of Uni, pharmacy is an incredibly difficult course. When I was younger, I wanted to be a doctor and even when choosing my A levels I knew I wanted to do something involving patients, using my science to help people. I did work experience in a hospital with the view to do either studying medicine or pharmacy and I honestly found the doctors job on this specific ward very boring, spending hardly any time with patients hours looking at a patients’ tests.

I also spent time with most other healthcare professionals- physios, occupational therapists, nurses, healthcare assistants and a ward pharmacy assistant. I found their jobs much more interesting and rewarding- I talked to the pharmacy assistant about the role of the pharmacist and really enjoyed what the pharmacy assistant was doing, checking drug charts, talking to patients, arranging discharge medicines, roles the pharmacist often did as well. I also did some work experience with emergency nurse practitioners in a minor injuries unit- I loved their role as well but knew that I didn’t want to be a nurse. I found out that pharmacists are starting to be used in this sort of area in A&E and in GP surgeries, and I also considered other potential areas for pharmacists, and from then on I decided that I wanted to be a pharmacist. I completed an Extended Project Qualification (equal to an AS) on the future of pharmacy- how pharmacists’ roles are changing in traditional types and what new areas of pharmacy are emerging.

I first came to the Uni on the open day and I fell in love with Bath straight away, even after a difficult journey that should have taken about 3 hours but which took over 5 (leave plenty of time if travelling by car to an Open Day as Bath can get quite congested!) I had also visited Bath a couple of years earlier and had always wanted to come back and so it was so great that the Uni offered pharmacy. I would really encourage people to go to open days- it is a wonderful way to get a feel for the university, the facilities and the course that they are offering. I think it is so important that I am helping out at our upcoming open days (more to follow).

Bath is one of the top universities for Pharmacy in the UK, consistently getting 90-100% pass rate in the pre-reg exam (which is set by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and all pharmacists must pass to register). As a comparison, one other uni that I applied for had a pass rate of about 50%. The grade requirements for pharmacy at Bath are quite high- AAB, including chemistry and one other science at A level as the scientific content is of a high level and is hard. I exceeded the offer and have still struggled to understand/remember things at times this year!

For me applying to do Pharmacy went like this: I went to the summer open days at the end of first year of college in around June time (Bath has Open Days in June and September) then applied in October for 5 pharmacy courses of different standards/grade requirements. In early November I had my first interview, at Bath! For healthcare courses, you almost always have to have an interview, partly I think to help reduce the numbers of people slightly as lots apply and it is very competitive, but mainly to check that you have the people skills for treating patients, to check your motivation for wanting to study pharmacy and to ask a little bit of chemistry. I was so pleased my first offer was from Bath (my favourite uni) and then over time I had interviews at the other places and got other offers. Once I had got one from Reading as well, my insurance, I officially put my firm and insurance choices on UCAS. I was worried about putting my firm and insurance as Bath and then Reading as they both had high requirements but my personal advice would be to put your two favourites unless you are really unlikely to get the grades.

In April I applied for accommodation,  and then I found out I had a place at Bath on results day in August. From then on I was in a pharmacy Facebook group chat and then we got allocated our accommodation and there were pages set up on Facebook to find your flatmates so then we had a flat groupchat. Then at the end of September I finally started studying Pharmacy at the University of Bath.

Confirmation of my place at Bath!

Confirmation of my offer from Bath!

A bit of advice if you are just looking to apply to do Pharmacy as a backup for medicine-don't! If you are thinking about it be careful as some universities say they would rather have someone with lower grades/lower predicted grades that wanted to do pharmacy than someone who wanted to do medicine but didn't get in. I didn’t realise that Pharmacy would be so hard or intense- everyone thinks of medicine being really hard but I think (maybe controversially) that pharmacy is just as hard and you have to have much of the same knowledge- complex biology and chemistry, potentially even more chemistry and maths doing calculations as well and knowing more about drugs. The course for pharmacy is 4 years as opposed to 5 for medicine but really pharmacy needs to be or could easily be stretched to 5 years (with some unis doing this).

After completing a pharmacy degree there is a year (pre-registration year) where you work in a pharmacy underneath another pharmacist, with an exam at the end set by the GPhC. One of the slightly annoying things about pharmacy is the fact that you have so much knowledge you must know and by the time you are qualified you have had a lot of training and often continue to train (Independent prescribing, Clinical Pharmacy Practice Certificates/Diplomas/Masters etc) and have to complete 9 continuing professional development entries every year. You don’t get paid anywhere near as much as well qualified doctors (although it is still a professional salary), and may not get as much respect from people- some people think you are just training to be a glorified shop assistant, which is really not true and I am glad to say that I think the public perception of pharmacists is starting to change. If you really want to do pharmacy and become a pharmacist, which I personally wanted to, then Bath is an excellent place to study it!

 

Why I chose Business Administration at Bath

  

📥  First year, Mia (Business Administration)

When I was first applying for uni, I always knew I wanted to do business because it was the most relevant degree to what I wanted a career in. However, there are a broad range of business degrees that you can do. Most commonly people choose Business Management. Business Studies is also popular. But not many people hear of Business Administration. On this blog post I will outline the reasons why I chose the BBA programme over management and why I chose Bath in particular.

From GCSE onwards I only ever thought about going to the University of Sussex.  They had a great business management course that I was almost guaranteed to get into with my ABB predicted grades and it was a 30 minute drive from my house, meaning that I could save money by living at home. At this point my mum persuaded me the day before I applied to give myself a couple more options. So I went through the uni rankings for business and chose a few in the top 20 that weren’t too far from home. I ended up applying for Sussex, Surrey, Southampton and Bath (twice). I applied for Business Management for all of these choices with the exception of Bath where I also added Business Administration on a whim.

The East entrance to the University

The East entrance to the University

Within a couple of weeks I was fortunate enough to receive offers from all of my choices. I think this was mainly because I applied very early and I had a strong personal statement and reference. After this, I was invited to applicant days. I attended all of them apart from Southampton. Having already visited open days at Sussex and Surrey and loving them both, I was unsure of also going to applicant days, but I am so glad I did. They made my decision 100 times easier!

My first applicant day was Bath in November. After a nice morning shopping with my mum we arrived at the School of Management after lunch and were given thorough information packs in little tote bags. We had talks with a course convener, past student and a placement officer. These talks were very engaging and interesting and every unique aspect of the course was explained to us. The BBA course is a little different from most regular courses in its placement programme, with two 6 month compulsory placements as opposed to a single year-long placement. This stuck out to me as it means that you can gain experience in different functions, different companies and even different industries which I think is so valuable. The strong relationships with large businesses that the department has enable it to offer the possibility of exclusive placements which was also very important to me as well as the fact the course has its very own placement officer, 100% dedicated to you.

The Vice Chancellors building on campus

The Vice Chancellors building on campus

Another selling point for me was the fact that during university time in years 2, 3 and 4, all modules are optional, with an extremely broad range of topics to choose from. Furthermore, in year 4 you are able to study abroad at one of the many partner universities that the course has ties with. The fourth year also involves a live action project where you work directly for an organisation. I thought this was amazing as you can actually make a difference to a company even though you haven’t even graduated yet!

So in the taxi on the way back down to the station from the uni, I told my mum “This is where I want to go”. I still forced myself to go to the other two applicant days, but I found the staff to be unenthusiastic compared to Bath and the courses simply did not appeal to me anymore.

From my experience I’ve found the main difference between Business Administration and Business Management to be that the latter seems to be more focused on entrepreneurship and running your own business as opposed to BBA which focuses on management skills within an existing business. For me the BBA course made a lot more sense in terms of my career prospects.

Waiting for our next lecture to start (very excited!)

Waiting for our next lecture to start (very excited!)

Overall, I am so glad that I chose this course. Although I’m finding the compulsory modules in this first year tough, and housing for next year is causing me stress, I’m very happy with my decision. Even though Bath is about a 4 hour train from home which is much further than I initially wanted to be, Bath is a beautiful city and the university campus is perfect in my eyes.

 

 

Why I accepted my Bath offer

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📥  Eman, Faculty of Science, First year

Making that final choice in your mind about where you’re going to be studying/living for the next 3/4 years is probably the most significant decision you will have to make during your school years. You’ve been in school for almost your whole life, progressing into each year as if it was routine and most likely attending schools that were convenient in terms of where you live or which were influenced by your parents. Choosing a university differs in that it is seen as the beginning of what you intend to do for the rest of your life.

So far this all sounds very serious but accepting the offer from the university you want to go to is actually a very exciting feeling. It makes you start to think about what university life will be like and also gets you motivated to perform well in your exams in order to get the results you need.

When I was researching universities, Bath was not one that I had thought about as much as others so I was quite surprised when it stood out to me. The main thing that attracted me to Maths and Physics at Bath was the course itself. I had looked a lot into what my course was like at different universities and the specific modules on the Bath course were exactly what I wanted to do. I felt that I couldn’t fault the course and this surprised me as I managed to find something wrong with all the other courses that I had looked at.

This played a huge part on my final decision to accept my offer from Bath. I knew that I would be at university for at least 4 years, and I didn’t want to have to spend even a day not enjoying my course. When you already know which exact course you want to study at university, it’s easy to focus on other aspects when making your choice, thinking that your course is pretty much the same at most universities. However looking in detail at which modules you’ll be studying every year of your degree is a must because for me, I found that my dislike for some made me stop considering certain universities.

As well as the course being a major factor for me, I wanted to make sure I made the right choice in terms of “university life”, looking at aspects such as the campus, facilities, what else the university has to offer aside from an education and just generally whether I’ll feel at home there.

When my research into universities first began in year 12 (back when I was curious so before I properly started to look into everything) I ended up really liking another university. I must have been on every part of their website, finding out everything I could about it, which only made me like it even more. There was a time when I was certain that that was where I wanted to go. However, when I expanded my research and went fully into depth, attended open days and spoke to different people, I realised that I became less fixated on that specific university and grew more and more interested in Bath. Attending the open day for Bath showed me that it was the one over every other university as it was the only university I felt at home at. Being on campus, I remember thinking how I could picture myself there for the next few years and it just felt right; something I didn’t experience at any other university.

Marlborough Court: home sweet home

Marlborough Court: home sweet home

When it came to accepting my offer, there was the whole “this is it” feeling for me. I knew that the university provided one of the best degrees in the country so it was really down to whether Bath was where I wanted to be. So many questions crossed my mind, all along the lines of whether this university was right for me. However, even though I thought about all these questions and hesitated before making my decision, I just knew that it was the right choice, especially because no other university felt right the way that Bath does.

For me, choosing a university was a really big deal, which is why I thought of pretty much everything that could potentially influence my decision. However, one thing I would say is that it’s easy to find things you really like about a certain university and because that might be the main thing you want from your university choice, you could overlook so many other aspects which you might not notice until you get there. I was fixated on one university but didn’t realise that I wouldn’t have liked so many small things about it if I hadn’t noticed those same things at Bath when I visited. Make sure you keep your options open so that when it comes to making that final decision, you won’t hesitate as you’ll know it’s just right.

 

Making the most of Department Open Days at the University of Bath

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📥  Charlotte (Sociology), Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, First year

Well done you! If you’re utilising this post, it probably means you have swiped up an offer to study at the University of Bath. Celebrations are in order, although next comes the tricky part: making that daunting decision on which university to firm and which to select as your insurance. You also need to get your head down, as this is where getting the grades becomes very important (don't sweat it, you get out what you put in – work hard, and you’re laughing!).

To help with this tricky decision, here at the University of Bath, every Department holds a ‘Department Open Day’. Yes, we can’t skim past the fact that the free lunch is pretty attractive, as is another chance to stroll around campus and have another nosey at all Halls of Residences; but Department Open Days are really handy in helping you suss whether Bath, and your chosen Department is right for you.

Read on, as I’ll highlight some key ways that you make sure that you get all the wisdom you can wangle from a Department Open Day…

Here at Bath, we usually hold our Department Open Days from October through to April, and most Departments will hold a number of days to make sure they can squeeze in everyone who might be embarking on their course. Department Open Days are packed with prospective undergraduates just like you, wanting to take a gander at the course content, meet people who may be joining them come September and to grill lecturers on what makes Bath so great.

Make sure, whenever you’re waiting for a talk to start, or you’re meandering round campus that you try and chat to fellow potential students. Ask where they’re from, why they’ve chosen the same/similar course to you, what they’re studying at present and why Bath appeals to them. You could even dip into which Halls take their fancy or what societies appeal to them – it’s great to get chatting so you can see what the other people who may be on your course are like and to share your worries/excitements about University.

When attending Department Open Days, make sure you’re organised. You should be provided with a timetable/schedule of the day prior to arriving, so make sure you’re punctual to all talks/lecture tasters or presentations as this means that you can grab all the information available (and make a gleaming first impression!).

For me, when I attended my Department Open Day at the Social and Policy Sciences (SPS) department, I was lucky enough to have a 1:1 conversation with one of the course conveners for Sociology. This was immensely valuable as it allowed to me ask any questions bugging me- I got to intimately meet real academics from the Department and got to hear about all the different areas of cutting-edge research being carried out at the University from the ‘horse’s mouth’. This was really insightful, and it definitely helped shaped my decision to come back to Bath – for good.

I made my decision to firm Bath on my way home from the SPS Department Open Day. I found it very enlightening, making my UCAS response much easier than I had envisaged!

I made my decision to firm Bath on my way home from the SPS Department Open Day. I found it very enlightening, making my UCAS response much easier than I had envisaged!

As embarrassing as it may be when Mum or Dad get out their notepad, or try and engage with other parents at Department Open Days (you don’t have to bring your parents however, it could be the perfect opportunity to spend the day alone, meeting other people without cringing owing to your Mum’s wacky questions!) – it is a good idea to bring your laptop or some paper to jot down key information such as how the course is assessed, semester dates, how many optional/compulsory modules you have to do or when the examination period is.

The long haul to Bath was definitely worth it, so naturally I had to inform Facebook! This seems like an age ago now, considering I'm edging towards the end of my first year!

The long haul to Bath was definitely worth it, so naturally I had to inform Facebook! This seems like an age ago now, considering I'm edging towards the end of my first year!

It’s also favourable to work out how many textbooks you will need to purchase for your course and whether you will be spending time doing practical assessments or having ‘lab time’ as associated with many of the science courses offered at Bath. You can look back in writing when making your mind up on your favourite university, and this means all the information churned out by lecturers doesn’t go straight over your head!

It can also be useful to bring along a copy of the prospectus as from year to year, some parts of the course may change, so being able to edit these on paper will help you out in the long run. Whether it’s a change from coursework to examination, the offering of new optional modules or the changing around of lecturers – take note, so you can be well in the loop when replying to your offers on UCAS Track.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions to whoever you see on campus, as you need your decision to be as informed as possible. Everyone on campus is friendly and should be approachable (a few may have sore heads from the night before, so may appear a touch grizzly!). Every Wednesday between 10am and 1pm, we have a Welcome Point at the foyer of The Edge where you can get answers from Student Ambassadors; on Department Open Days, most departments will pull in current students or Student Ambassadors to fill you in on whatever you feel you may have missed, so take advantage!

One of the mistakes I made when attending my Department Open Day was not plotting enough time for the day: I had to make the long trek from Cambridge which meant that in order to be home by a reasonable time, I had to leave campus at around 2.30pm and I regretted not having longer to explore and ask questions. If you feel it’s necessary, book to stay in a nearby B&B or hotel so you’re not rushed for time due to travel arrangements.

Having an extra hour or two means that you could be able to cram in a visit to the City of Bath which you might have missed when attending the Open Days here. I can’t say it enough, but as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and generally dreamy city, visiting the hub of Bath - the tourist and shopping district, is a must.

To make the day a tad easier for you, remember to print your ticket for parking on site or the for the Park & Ride service before the day. The University of Bath operates a free Park & Ride service from Lansdown, with the number 33 service running from 9am on many of the Department Open Days. Bath also offers a Travel Bursary Scheme to help particular applicants with the cost of attending Department Open Days and interviews.

Finally, following your talks, tours, presentations and sample lectures, make sure you check out the Student’s Union, the Library, and the Sports Facilities at the University of Bath. If you need directions, flag down a student in a red t-shirt, all of whom are ready and raring to help make your day as easy as possible.

Good Luck, and remember to make the most of your Departmental Open Days. We hope to see you at the University of Bath come September!

Charlotte.

 

A Hitchhikers guide to choosing a university

  

📥  Faculty of Engineering, First year, International student, Yousuf

Choosing a place to study may seem like a difficult decision due to the many factors that are involved. It may seem overwhelming at times because there are so many good options that entice you into considering a course. However, a reality (and sanity) check must be made here because there is a lot depending on this and maintaining your academic momentum is essential. Here is a concise guide to the thought process I went through while deciding on the big five.

The first thing to do is to reflect. Look at your current grades and the grades that you are predicted, set a threshold of grades ranging from worst to best case scenario and start looking at university courses which are within that range. This is easier said than done because overconfidence may give things a silver lining, so take your time during this step and make a list of universities and courses that suit your aspirations.

When choosing a course look for additional things you can do to enhance your degree like joint degrees, placement years and language options- these can significantly increase your employability and add flavor to your studies.

Make sure you list the courses and their codes as this will make it easier for you in the future, and you can strike out choices as you narrow your decisions down. Another resource might be your teachers or advisers as they will obviously have some experience with higher education, make sure you take advice from a teacher whose class you enjoy because that’s where you’ll find the best advice.

Narrowing down your choices

This is where you will start to narrow down your choices to something more manageable.

One of the most important factors for me when considering my choices was the location of the university and its services. Start off by reading about the universities that you applied to and considering the type of location that they are in. Are they in the middle of a bustling city? Or next to a dairy farm? These are all personal choices that you have to make depending on the kind of lifestyle you’d like. If you have a sport or activity that you enjoy doing you may want to read about the facilities that the university is able to offer- this is critical because after a weekday crammed with study, you’ll be looking forward to unwinding during the weekend.

It might be helpful for you to attend the open days of the universities you are applying to: reading a review of the university online and visiting it in person are two totally different things and can make a world of difference when deciding. Taking a parent or older sibling along is also a great idea so you can get a second opinion and gain insight from their own experiences.

Library with a view anyone?

Library with a view anyone?

Making an insurance choice

Now that you’ve taken all factors into consideration you should have shortlisted your original list to around five universities, give-or-take. This is where I bestow the greatest piece of advice which I personally benefited from greatly. Have a good university that you believe you can get into in the event of a worst case scenario as your insurance choice. This will work as a safety net that will keep you moving forward if things go sour.

You can have any university you want as your other four choices, but a guaranteed insurance choice is a must.

Don't panic

Sometimes things don’t go the way you might expect them to. This is where you have to take life by the reins and start steering yourself through a path that you think will lead you to the long term goals you want to achieve (and enjoy yourself while doing so). There is an entire world for you to discover, and this is an opportunity for you to take a step into the unknown and find something that you really want to do, so don’t worry if you get a little lost along the way. Things can go in any direction and you have to find a way to taking advantage of any situation!

 

International Management and Modern Languages - French

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📥  Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, Matt, School of Management

International Management & Modern Languages - French. I'm going to start off by abbreviating it to "FIMML", for obvious reasons.

This is the course I chose two years ago when I firmed my UCAS choices and so far, I definitely have no regrets. It's a cross faculty course in that whilst I may be in the School of Management, this semester, for example, over half of my classes are actually in PoLIS dept, which stands for "Politics, Languages and International Studies and is part of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences."

The reason I love this course is because it allows me to combine my love of studying a language along with business management which was what I wanted to study. It's hard to find a good degree for language and business - you'll often find that it will be 25% French and 75% business. With Bath it's much closer to 50/50 which means that you get properly immersed into the French language and you pick it up much faster.

Year 1 Modules

  1. French language (written, aural and oral)
  2. French Economy since 1945
  3. French Law
  4. French History 1930-81

As you can see here, it isn't just French business or French language. It's a lot more interesting. The course is designed to bring you up to speed with the French economy, government and it's legal system so that you fully understand the environment that businesses have to work in. Not only are these modules really interesting but you learn loads of specialised vocabulary which really boosts your French ability. Terms like "le dirigisme" which describes government intervention in business don't really have direct English translations.

  1. Microeconomics & Macroeconomics
  2. Statistics and Data Analysis
  3. UK Law
  4. Accounting for Managers

This is the English side of the course and each module seems to be designed to give you an understanding of different areas in order to make decisions - after all it is a management degree, and managers are decision makers.

I feel like everyone at university has a module that they don't enjoy. For me, this was Stats. So much Math. So many annoyingly uneven decimals. However, it's necessary as it helps you to understand how to interpret and process important data, transform it into meaningful information and present it.

Law was great - you learn about the English legal system and it's so interesting case law is full of examples which are usually quite humorous. The most interesting thing was what I learnt on day 1 when I found out that we enter legally binding contracts every single time we buy something at our local shop, whether that's a can of coke or a cell phone. Accounting is good as well, it's all about making things balance so you have a great sense of satisfaction when you finish a practice question and everything is equal and it's great. (Nerd moment)

Lectures & Seminars 

All IMML courses have a reasonably small intake, the largest is usually around 46. This means that unlike other courses where over a hundred other people are taking the same course as you, you actually get to know your course mates. We do share some modules with other courses but a lot of the french classes are usually much small which makes the learning a lot easier.

Some lecturers have started to adopt a system called Panopto. This records the lecture on video but it is also connected to the computer system in the lecture theatre so it also records the slideshow. This means that whenever you're revising and need to see part of a lecture again, it's really easy to go online and find the lecture you need and replay the part you need. You'll have 2 windows on your computer screen, one of the lecturer's computer so you can see everything he showed you in the lecture and another with an actual video of the lecture itself. This was a lifesaver for my Stats revision.

How much free time will I have?

Not going to lie, I have a lot of free time. Unlike the science students, I don't have lab hours so this semester I only have 14 hours per week. Of course I'm meant to do a lot of independent study on top of this but if you time manage properly and make the most of your time during the day by getting up early and starting at 9, you can pretty much have every evening and most of the weekend free.

Placement

This is the second reason that I knew I wanted to study at Bath. They have some amazing placement opportunities in your third year and these days, employers value experience above all else so the year will be invaluable. Some of their partners include big international names like BP and Zurich and they also have great connections with top French business schools.

You have one year of placement which you can choose to spend at a French business school, in a placement or 6 months in each which is what most people go for. This is probably why the employment rates for the course are so high (around 94%).

This has been a really brief overview of the course because there is so much I could write on every little detail. If you have any questions or about the course or university in general, I'm always happy to answer them in the comments section.

So if you're looking for a language & business degree, remember to check the percentage of each half of the course. Remember to check if they have a guaranteed placement and check the employment stats. You will struggle to find a degree as competitive as the Uni of Bath's.

Matt

 

Open Days

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📥  International student, Mirella, School of Management

I spent my past few Wednesday afternoons helping out at the Department Open Day events for the School of Management. These Open Days are for applicants who have already received a conditional offer from the University of Bath. As I know some of you might not be able to attend these Open Days, I want to tell you a little bit about what happens because I think if I had attended one of these Open Days last year, when I received my offer, I wouldn’t have been as scared as I was at the beginning of the university year.  So if you have an offer from the University of Bath, try and come to your Department Open Day – you won’t regret it and it will definitely help you to make up your mind if you actually want to study here.

First you will attend a talk by a professor and alumnae. They will talk about what you do in your course and what to expect and so on. Then current students show you around campus and answer your questions. So that’s where I am stepping in. I will show you, and maybe your parents or siblings, around campus and tell you how great our university is (I am not saying our university is great because I get paid for it – I actually mean it!) I know I can’t really do a virtual tour but I can just tell you some main parts, which might be interesting about the university, which you might not have known before.

  • We have two banks on Campus (Santander and Barclays)
  • We have our own supermarket  - So don’t worry, you don’t have to go to town to buy food, but most of the students order their food online anyways as it can be a pain to carry your shopping from the bus stop to your accommodation
  • We have a medical centre – If you are ill, you don’t have to leave campus to see a doctor or a nurse and we even have our own dental practice
  • We have a superb gym where world class athletes train – that’s why you are not allowed to take any pictures inside it
  •  We have a library which is open 24/7 – so you can get a book at 2 am if you want!
  • We have a security office on campus inside the library, which is there for you 24/7.
Watch out for the blue tops on a Wednesday!

Watch out for the blue tops on a Wednesday!

While I guide the prospective students and sometimes their parents, siblings or carers around campus, I try to engage them in conversations and encourage them to ask questions. So here are some questions I have recently been asked:

Do you have to be sporty to study here?
No, definitely not. We might have a superb gym and have a lot of sport clubs and societies, but if you are not into sports, don’t worry. We are not all sports mad here. Though, I have to say there might be a little bit of peer pressure to do some sports as so many people are part of sports societies, but some people just join sport societies for the fun socials and I have to say it is a great way to make friends.

What is the nightlife like in Bath?
We are a student city. So obliviously we have some clubs, bars and pubs, which host great students nights, nearly every day of the week. However, Bath is not a big city, as you might know, so you tend to go to the same places, but you can easily take the train to Bristol for a night out or some people even go to London for the weekend and stay with their friends.

Do you make friends easily here?
Yes, you do. In my opinion, everybody at the University of Bath is really friendly and open-minded and in the first few weeks everybody is new at the university and in most cases, they don’t have any friends here, so everybody is looking for friends.

Do you have a lot of free time?
This obviously varies from course to course, but I would say, everybody has leisure time and it just depends how you manage your time. Some people even fit part-time work in, while studying here.

Do you ever get bored on campus?
Of course! You can’t have action all the time, but if you get bored here, you can just visit some of your friends here on campus and hang out with them. 

Do you ever feel unsafe in Bath?
No, never. Bath is a really safe city and on campus we have got our own security people looking after us. The taxi drivers in Bath are even obliged to take you back to Campus even though you might not have any money on you, as Campus Security will pay for it and you just repay them the next day.

Do you ever go home on the weekends?
I don't but that's just because I am from Austria and it's not that easy to go to Vienna for just two or three days, but my flatmates do. They jump on a train with their dirty laundry in the luggage and spend a nice quite weekend at home away from all the university stress. Sometimes, I am really jealous of them, but then I Skype with my family and friends at home and I feel a little bit better. 

I can’t think of any more questions, but if you have the chance, come and see for yourself.  They are a great way to get to know the campus and to talk to current students and if you have any more questions now, just leave a comment below this post.

 

“Help! Which university should I choose?”

  

📥  Alex, Faculty of Science

At this time of year, cries of help and sighs of frustration can be heard coming from sixth forms around the country. By now, most students have received their offers and rejections and now have the potentially troubling task of deciding where they should go.

I had already made the decision when I applied which was my favourite, but I was very lucky to get four offers. Although I knew that I wanted Bath to be my first choice, there was one offer from another university which was tempting. Due to my personal circumstances (these were from a list of things such as low income, parents not been to university, postcode, and school), I had met the requirements to tick two of their boxes which meant that if I chose that university as my first choice, their offer grades were considerably lower than other universities. If I put them as my second choice, the grade requirements were actually higher than anywhere else. The problem? I didn’t really want to go there. So surely the decision to put Bath as my first choice was an easy one, then? I wish it had been, but for me, it wasn’t as simple as that. I was extremely fearful that I may not get the AAB grades needed to study pharmacology at Bath, and BBB just sounded a lot more realistic. In the end, I decided to take the risk, and I’m glad that I did because I exceeded the entry requirements for Bath, and I love it here just as much as I expected to. I guess what I’m saying is, sometimes you should just go with your instinct. If it doesn’t work out, there’s always clearing, or the option of a gap year.

Of course, my intention of writing this blog is to give you advice, but that’s not easy. Everyone will have a different opinion on what they want from a university. Just because I wanted a campus university in a fairly small city, with a pharmacology course that would allow me to study modules in cancer research, it doesn’t mean that you want the same. The list of priorities will be different for everyone, but here’s a few things that you could ask yourself, and the answers in terms of The University of Bath.

Do I want to go to a campus university, or something that’s more spread out? If you want a campus university, then Bath is for you. I love being close to everything, and being within a few hundred meters of the campus shops, restaurants, a bar, cash machines, and a bank is very, very convenient.

Arriving at a sunny campus!

Arriving at a sunny campus!

Is the first year accommodation near to the places I’ll have lectures, or will I need to get a bus? How much will it cost to live in halls? Trust me, I seriously appreciate being able to roll out of bed at 7.30am and still make it to my 8.15am lecture. Isn’t that enough said?

What modules are available to choose? Is my area of interest covered? Not only do you want to think about the course, but you need to consider the quality of the course, and also if the optional modules are in subjects that you think that you will enjoy. If you want to specialise in cardiovascular pharmacology, then there’s no use in going to a university that focuses its course around the brain.

Can I do a placement year? A year in industry is a fantastic way to get experience, and gives you better job prospects after you graduate. It can also be useful to find out what sort of sector you want to work in, for example clinical or research. Lots of courses at Bath offer the year in industry, and they’re also pretty successful at getting applicants into the places that are available.

What are the sports facilities like? Bath is known for its sports centre, but I’m not all that sporty, so you’re probably best to check out the website for more information.

What societies are there? Can I continue with my hobbies? Although societies take a slight back seat from sport, there’s still plenty of options at Bath, from languages, to music, to baking, and pole dancing. Whatever you enjoy, there’s likely to be something for you. It’s important not to forget about your hobbies when you arrive at university, because a break from studying and a break from alcohol is good for you occasionally!

Is this university well recognised for my course? That depends on your course, so check out league tables online.

What is there to do in the city? Although we may be a small city, there’s still lots to do in Bath, as well as the SU which means you’ve only got to crawl a couple of hundred meters to reach your bed. Check out the Bath leap list for more information.

How far away from home do I want to be? I’m three hours away from home, and I personally think it’s a good distance. With my railcard, I can get home and back for £30, but I also don’t feel obliged to visit my family every weekend because I’m so close. I have friends who are an hour away from home, and people that moved eight hours away to Scotland. You have to find the balance, and think about what’s important to you. I didn’t consider location too much, as I didn’t think it was that important, and the course and campus took priority, but everyone is different.

How does the university rate for student satisfaction? In Bath’s case, the answer is ‘high’. You just need to google ‘Bath Student Satisfaction’ to see that much!

What’s the Students' Union like? Busy. It doesn’t stop, ever. There are two club nights a week, but there’s also a bar that has pool tables, quiz night, and I hear is pretty full when the football or rugby is on, too.

There’s honestly hundreds of things that people consider when they apply for university, so that list certainly isn’t exclusive. Most of all though, if you get an offer, go to the UCAS day!

Even if you’ve been to the open day, take the opportunity to visit again. By now, you’ve probably seen tens of universities, so it’s unlikely that your memory of the first one that you visited will be very clear. UCAS days provide an opportunity to look around with a small group of like-minded people, to share opinions, and to ask any questions. It gives you an opportunity to talk to students who are on your course, and to see the facilities that your department has to offer.

Often, you can just walk around a university, and ‘know’ that it’s where you want to be.

 

IMEE at the University of Bath

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📥  Faculty of Engineering, Joseph

In this blog post I want to give you a brief low down on what my course consists of and what it really involves. I understand that up until now I’ve mainly focused on everything that I’ve been up to at the University of Bath outside of my course, but I now feel it's best I give you an insight into what the majority of my days consist of whilst studying here. As semester two really gets going there is no better time to do this, refreshed and revitalised after the Christmas and ISB breaks, my course has just started to get more and more demanding and so takes up a greater proportion of my time than in the previous semester. Similarly, having now been through the study, revising and exams routine, I feel I am better equipped to tell you all about my course at Bath.....

I study Integrated Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (IMEE for short), which, as I have discovered, is a very interesting, but also very intensive, course at Bath. The University is great at putting on extra tutorial sessions for each of the study modules (where I can go and ask questions of my professors and older students in a relaxed environment), which means that, when combined with my normal lecture series and laboratory sessions, I have 9 to 5 contact time almost every day of the week. Wednesdays are the only exception as everyone has Wednesday afternoons off to catch up on coursework or play sports (I head straight to the boathouse!).

During the first semester the topics covered by IMEE students were: Solid Mechanics, Mathematics, Circuit Theory, Thermodynamics and Design and Manufacturing. All of these modules were assessed to some extent in the winter exam period, with Maths, Thermodynamics and Solid Mechanics being assessed solely by January exam. The way lectures are performed and tutorial questions set is very similar for all of my modules. In semester one the week days consisted of two or more hours of lectures per module which were then backed up by tutorial question sheets that you had to answer and work through in your own time. Tutorial sheets are not obligatory and you do not need to hand them in, but there is an expectation that you attempt them as they make keeping up to date with your subjects much easier.

In addition to lecture time, some subjects (e.g. Mechanics and Circuit Theory) have laboratory sessions. These are slots within the timetable where you are expected to carry out work in the laboratories in the department. Often, these laboratory sessions are assessed and make up a small percentage of your module grade. This semester, with new modules such as Digital Electronics and Mechatronics being introduced, we have much more scheduled laboratory time than in semester one.

As I have mentioned before, one of the most helpful things here at Bath is the fact that there is such a huge database of resources available to us online. Bath uses a system called Moodle where I can find all of my lecture notes as well as additional extras to aid learning. This is all available online meaning that during the Christmas break I was able to keep up to date and revise anything from the previous semester from the comfort of my bedroom. Similarly, at times when my friends and I have fallen ill, it is possible to catch up on missed lectures from the comfort of your bed. This has helped me already this semester as I was able to catch up on the lecture I missed through illness very quickly and easily, thus relieving a lot of stress! This system is especially valuable towards the end of a lecture series as worked solutions to all tutorial questions are released. This delayed release is helpful as it prompts you to go over areas that you didn’t understand a few weeks later and you can refresh your memory.

What I most enjoy about my IMEE course is the breadth of subjects that we as engineers are allowed to study. We are assigned coursework that covers a broad syllabus and these portfolios of work are really fun to put together. At the moment I am putting the finishing touches to a gearbox portfolio which I have had to draw from scratch, having been given only a handful of working constraints. I am only three weeks into this second semester and the range of tasks has been refreshing; already I have had to produce this portfolio on a gearbox, a model for a truck on 3D computer design software called SolidEdge and worked with fourth years in designing and testing a launching device for a large Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV). There’s no denying that my course is intense and that the IMEE engineers are a diligent bunch, but it’s completely fascinating at the same time.

SolidEdge in action!

SolidEdge in action!

The timetable and workload ensures that we manage our time effectively and remain organised, but the course structure ensures that we don’t get bored and remain enthused about the subject. When there is finally time away from the course, it’s safe to say that there is plenty of sport and socialising going on meaning that the weeks fly by…

 

Business Administration at Bath

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📥  Harry, School of Management

With my first post of this semester I would like to take a look at my course, Business Administration, and show you what its actually like to be studying on the course at Bath. So if you’re considering studying a BSc in Business Administration (or BBA as it's so commonly called on campus) you’re reading the right blog post - and lets be honest, with so many great aspects of the course who wouldn’t want to study business, especially here at Bath.

So, firstly lets consider some key facts - the school of management (SoM) has been around a long time, since 1966 apparently, which means they’ve had a fair old time to work out how this business malarkey works. That is good news for students because it means that what you’re being taught, you know is going to be good, relevant and interesting stuff because it’s coming from leaders in industry and academia. The SoM offers a whole range of business and finance related degrees, but I am ever so slightly biased towards BBA so that’s what I’ll be talking about here, but if I can’t sell it to you don’t hesitate to check out the others, they’re all awesome.

The most notable thing  about the course (which you will have probably noted as well if you’ve made it this far) is the two mandatory 6 month placements. It is without doubt the most awesome feature of the course and can’t be emphasised enough. I’m currently going through the process of applying for my first placement and have just completed my mock interview. It’s a very exciting time because everyone is picking out places that they would like to go and work! The mock interview itself has also proved invaluable preparation as the placements office here get a multitude of real employers to come in, and over two days everyone gets to do a mock interview and receive feedback from the people who really do the hiring.

Interviews- practice makes perfect!

Interviews- practice makes perfect!

You’re randomly assigned an employer and I drew AS Watson, who are the holding company of healthcare chain Superdrug. It’s definitely an advantage of studying at Bath to be able to get exposure to such big names at such an early stage in your career. For me the interview consisted of a group exercise in which we had to build paper towers as tall as we could with the smallest amount of resources possible which was a challenging team working exercise followed by a one on one interview. Its a great experience, and a really valuable opportunity to learn about interview technique in a relaxed environment and perfect preparation for my real applications which is the next step!

Superdrug

The School of Management organises mock interviews with real employers, including Superdrug

Another great thing I’ve found particularly on BBA is the diverse range of both modules and skills you get to learn. This has two fold advantages because although in itself its great to have a diverse skill set and  knowledge of lots of different areas of business it also means the course draws a very diverse range of people which is a far greater asset to any aspiring business people! It’s truly amazing to be on a course with some many different types of people with so many different backgrounds and so many different aspirations. Creating a network of contacts in so many fields of business is invaluable no matter what area of business you think you might want to work in because you never know when those contacts might come in useful!

In the first semester we studied a range of introductory modules, all of which are compulsory. This is great because it gives you a grounding in all the key functions of business. For instance we took modules this year in Business Economics (my fav) because it looks at the microeconomic environment around businesses (and you get to use long words that make sure you sound smart). We have also studied other more maths focussed modules like Business Data Analysis and Accounting and Finance (although I should probably point out if you're not maths orientated like me, these really aren't as bad as they sound!). There's also modules in Law, People and Organisations as well as Business in Society which covers everything from contact law to how people interact in businesses.

All in all, its a fantastic course and I am really enjoying it. If you’d like to continue with a conversation about the course then drop me a comment.

Until then, over and out.

Harry.