Situated over several campuses Nottingham has the benefits of a campus University, yet, unlike other campus unis all the delights...
OVERALL UNIVERSITY RATING27 Mar 15
Situated over several campuses Nottingham has the benefits of a campus University, yet, unlike other campus unis all the delights of a major city are a short bus or taxi ride away. Nottingham has good nightlife, a great Union and a strong academic reputation. The cheap media stereotype 'Shottingham' couldn't be further from the truth. I've never felt unsafe here!
The biggest piece of advice I would give is get involved right from the start. It will be very tempting to retreat to your room in the first few weeks but it pays to go to as many events in the first few months as you can. It is the way you will make friends and settle in to uni life!
The Centre for Careers Development is a building tuck away at the top of Portland, the Students' Union building. The careers people have put on talks where they invite Politics graduates back to talk about real life after graduation in the world of work. They offer CV checking, help finding work experience and internships and interview advice. It is all there if you want to access it. As a Russell Group University you will have strong job prospects but if you take advantage of the chances to gain work experience and internships you have the chance to stand out from the crowd.
Course and Lecturers
The first year undergraduate Politics course (L200) is split into three areas of Politics: Political Theory, Comparative Politics and International Relations. It gives you a good flavor of everything and provides a decent grounding on which to build in subsequent years. The modular exam structure and continual assessment through coursework is not dissimilar to A-levels, the quantity of feedback is fairly generous and the structure of the course is a good bridge between A-levels and university level work
Coursework marking has a deadline of two weeks which the department more or less stick to, something that compares favourably with other departments where you could be waiting months and months for work to be returned. You will get to pick one subsid module from outside the department. If picked wisely it can provide a welcome break from your main subject of study.
On a less positive note, with a total of 9 hours of contact time in the first term dropping to 8 hours in the second term it will soon dawn on you that £3000 has bought you a library card with some tuition thrown in on the side. To add insult to injury gaining access to some texts can be problematic if you don't request them weeks in advance of when you need them. One can't help but feel anonymous in a large first year lecture hall of 150+ and I can't say I've been overly impressed with the personal tutor system.
In my opinion, the Students' Union is one of the real strengths of Nottingham. Nottingham has an active students union, hundreds of societies, hall JCRs, volunteering opportunities. It is all there if you wish to take advantage of it whether you want to write for Impact the student paper or have a slot on the radio station URN.
In my first year I ran for my hall JCR, helped run Union Council and the SUs elections and unsuccessfully stood for NUS Delegate. The first year really is the time to get involved when it is possible to coast towards 40%. I certainly won't have the amount of free time to give next year when my degree starts to count!
I stayed in Broadgate Park in my first year so can only vouch for the quality (or otherwise) of the Broadgate accommodation. Broadgate Park was the cheapest accommodation and it possibly shows, but, as the adage goes, you get what you pay for!
I picked a single study flat and lived in the 'Firs' block of Upper Court, an area colloquially known as 'The Ghetto' which was a bit run down if I were being honest. That said, this is sometimes a little overstated and unless you have lived a life of privilege the accommodation is more than adequate. Broadgate are in the process of renovating all of the 'single study blocks' and the improvements are genuinely impressive. We now have one extra bathroom and shower and a renovated kitchen.
There are over 2000 residents in Broadgate so it somewhat lacks the community spirit that a close-knit hall of 100 people has. However, if you are looking for self-catered accommodation Broadgate Park is the place to be. It really is a better option than Jubilee which has felt incredibly soulless on the occasions I have visited.
Being on the JCR committee which put on hall events I would of course say it but lots of events are laid on. From trips to Alton Towers, three formals during the year, paintballing and bowling. Your JCR work hard for you so take advantage of all the events and don't let it pass you by!
The main library for social science students is Hallward. The opening hours are impressive with 24/7 opening when you need it but it feels a little under stocked for key texts. The sports facilities are strong but expensive - so expensive I haven't been willing to part with my cash to use them!
Though I'd hardly describe myself as the biggest clubber you are very well catered for in terms of Nightlife. Oceana on a Monday, Rock City on a Wednesday and Ocean on a Friday are the big nights. The other clubs are Gatecrasher whose big night is Thursday and EQ on a Tuesday. The key buses are the Orange 36 buses which gets you between Beeston and the City Centre and the more plush purple Indigo buses which follow the same route. Key places I would recommend are The Rescue Rooms if you like your alternative music, Nottingham Forest FC for your football and virtual 'cyber golf' which is a good night out for societies.
Clubs and Societies
In terms of societies I joined Politics Society, Labour Soc, two Film societies and the CD and Record Library. It sounds clichéd but there really is a society for everyone!. Although you won't have time to do everything those lands in your inbox it's a good idea to join a few. I found some of my future flatmates by attending an event in the first few weeks so it pays to make the effort. It also gives you a chance to meet like minded people if you don't completely hit it off with you flat mates.
Having said what you have said would you recommend your uni?