The annual Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs) highlight the incredible work carried out by institutions for their students. Due to Covid restrictions, this year’s awards were not collected on uni campuses as usual, but instead based on submissions from institutions, which were then judged by our special student panel.
2021 WUSCA winners
My experience has been great. Ive made great friends and really enjoy the canine and equine elements to my course. The tutors ans lecturers are very friendly and easy to talk to.
We have a business lecture that runs the whole year with opportunities to have private tutorials with either our tudor or the careers department
The lecturers are brilliant and very knowledgable in their field. They do everything they can to help the students as far as possible and give the students the opportunity so go on trips and seminars to increase our learning and enthusiasm for the course and our chosen porfession
The students union are great! They organise the mail room and student queries and concerns and most importantly students activities and nights out!
The practical facilities for canine and equine learning are brilliant! The library is currently increasing their opening hours and the uni gym is free to students! Uni halls is catered for and the food could be better, but it is improving.
There are lots if great shops and nightlife 5/10 minute drive away.
There are loads of clubs and societies to choose from and the opportunity to create new ones
Tutors are great at giving feedback and it is very easy to book a session with them if you have any problems.
I am in my third year, If given the chance I would do it all again. The learning experience is amazing and we get pushed to do what we love. The lecturers are so top of the range and always happy to help. I recommend writtle to people wanting an eye opening academic experience with great facilites.
A lot of our lectures are practice based, everything we learn is then applied on to a horse. As most of our lecturers are working in the sector they give us advice and we have lectures based on employability, help with cv, interview help, self employment help. We also have trips to places where we could potentially be employed. I feel confident once my degree ends that writtle will support me in my career.
All of our lecturers are the best of the best, they are highly qualified and have many strings to their bow so they always have knowledge to share. Our lectures are great, they are tailored to the class and we are always learning something new. Our equine facilities are amazing, we have state of the art equipment that we can all get our hands on and use, even if it is not course applicable. The perk of writtle being small is that it’s easy to get to know your lecturers and get the most out of our three years here.
In recent years the student union hasn’t been great, they have been working on building up from very poor performances from last year. There is a wide range of individuals and courses represented this year, and are a lot more present on uni. They have been working extra hard to change the opinion of the su and lots more people go there for support.
Halls are on site, we have acces to the library, food hall, some lecture rooms and reception in under 1 minute walk. The equine units are a 15 minute walk from halls, everything is accessible in no time and we can have the halls for 3 years.
We have great facilites, our equine units are top of the range. Our stud is moving to join the other yard to create one massive unit. This is very exciting as everything will be brand new, and designed according to what students.
Writtle is based in a village, as it’s an agricultural uni it wouldn’t have the amazing facilites within a city. It’s a short drive to Chelmsford that has everything, and a short train to London, so best of both worlds.
The equestrian society is very popular and has put on great events. The uni riding team are also really good and it’s fun to watch them.
The support is great, as we can build links with lecturers we can approach them about anything. They will always do favours and give back. There is an expanding safeguarding team that everyone knows a few faces of, and the wardens are always on call for support.
It has been really amazing. I have learned so much about handling horses, riding, how to become a self employed individual and gaining endless skills and knowledge about my field. As the years go on within the course, it all comes together by the third year and looking back at modules with the wide range of lecturers means that you learn about not only horses but farm animals as well.
It is excellent. The facilities and range of horses are great for any research you are interested in. From first year Writtle lecturers build you up with your practical skills. Later on you can tailor your own course through assignments; they are extremely creative and whether it be working with young horses, retraining behaviors, you can decide!
The teaching on this course is from such a wide scale of lecturers you really cover every aspect of the industry, even though your course is so specialized. By receiving lectures from vets, sports therapists, coaches and physios it gives you an overall view of the industry and where you fit in. It makes you so versatile by being able to adapt yourself from fitting saddles to learning about the genetics of the horse.
The student union is great. You can walk in and ask any question and you are guaranteed that the student union and the staff will do their best to organised anything for you. From funding your own event to wanting to start up a new club they will do their best to make it possible. They’re extremely welcoming and want to make sure that you can get a problem fixed from having a welfare officer to a social officer every aspect you need is covered.
The university halls are great. You have your own room with a sink basin, with a nice quiet and most of all private area! Sharing kitchens and bathrooms with others is great as the facilities are there for multiple people to use them at the same time. Food is included at two different catering sites and the areas are cleaned as well which is fantastic! It is easy living on site, 3 set payments make everything easy to cover and it means you never miss out from anything happening on site!
They’re amazing! The water treadmill, range of horses, breeding areas and indoor schools make anything possible. The staff at both yards are extremely accommodating and you learn so much, you only have to ask and something can be arranged. Working with young horses, stallions, therapy horses and riding school horses make sure that you have not only the theory knowledge but the practical ability to handle and ride a lot of horses. The computer rooms, lecture rooms and class rooms are all well designed for both small and large lectures so there is never a worry of space.
It’s very good. With Chelmsford town only being a 10 minute bus journey it is easily accessible to the uni. It has a wide range of shops and it has a very busy social life in the evening. The social officer in the student union organised a lot of events at some bars and clubs in Chelmsford with buses running which makes it very easy to get to!
They have such a wide range of clubs and societies that anything is possible! Recently a student asked for an archery club which had 50+ people interested, and the student union is kindly making that happen for them! There are a range of sports and gender is not a limit as there is women’s rugby! Sports are always on the same afternoon which means there is no squeezing clubs around lectures.
Absolutely great. Due to the small size of the university, the lecturers are so easily accessible and so accommodating. They will always make time for you and all lecturers and student union staff are aware of what staff member can help with what. Regular tutorials with lecturers in every year group are organised so there is a chance that you can air any issues to the relevant lecturer. They really care about how well you are doing and want to make sure that your experience here is the best it can be. Academic feedback is always extremely detailed. Regular assignment workshops in modules mean that your assignments are getting regular feedback which has a big impact on improving work. Feedback after the deadline is always on time and it is easy to take that feedback and work upon it.
It has been ok, I have enjoyed the course as a whole and have met some truly wonderful people - however given the chance I don't know if I would choose this uni again
My course does with the Enquirer internship - but I know that a great deal of courses there is not this opportunity
Like most the practical and theory elements which compliment each other and the support of certain lecturers Like least - there are certain lecturers who do not give a great deal of support and who simply read off the lecture slides - not helpful at all!
Don't find them very approachable - feel that they are getting better now - but in my previous two years it was awful!!
The accommodation is not bad, but would say it is rather expensive for what it is.
The facilities are not bad, but could be much improved upon
City life is not great - but that does not bother me
Wish there was more ability to set up clubs and it appears to be very difficult to do so - due to the student union not being very approachable at all.
Certain lecturers are very supportive - however last year receiving feedback was a bloody nightmare and it was absolutely ridiculous and the lecturers excuses for not getting the feedback in on time was very poor. I believe counselling support is in place
The University College is in a beautiful landscape and amongst like minded people. The course content allows for different points of view and encourages debate and cohesion between sectors who often disagree. The information is cutting edge and the staff knowledgeable. The lectures are practical, engaging and offer a wide variety of potential for wherever the students want to go in sectors. The ability of a student is tested and encouraged and the amount of extracurricular skills can only be matched by those included in the curriculum. If you want to learn one of these subjects, this is the University College to teach you.
The University College is all about employer engagement. The lectures often include sector based tutors and the in-house lecturers are often from sector themselves. The ability of the lecturers to design the degrees around each of the sector's demands is obvious and transparent, enforced when interacting with guests. Field trips are a luxury of the subjects and often involve alumni or sector employers that are use facilities such as LinkedIn to remain in touch and advertise jobs. The Careers advisor is available 3 years after graduating (probably longer if students ask) and will support across the board. The last couple of careers events on campus showcased over 60 major businesses. I was able to get a small summer job in the sector after my first year for an ecologist firm, earning around £25/hour. After graduating, I have been able to apply various skills to a marketing position, whilst the remainder of my class have achieved jobs in sector across the country and in New Zeland.
The teaching of the course was very technical but delivered in a manageable way. Larger concepts were broken down into constituent parts and, where possible, demonstrated practically. This gave the ability for students to have a deeper understanding and the ability to use the key skills in other topics to develop experience. The topics clearly dovetailed into one another to strengthen themes and taught skills and knowledge that were (unbeknownst to the students) integral to assessment methods. The teaching, despite being deep and thorough of the topics, was unable to teach aspects of the course such as volunteer co-ordination, and the large scale enforcement of management plans due to time constraints. Where, ideally, students would be able to manage a large scale project continually, the scale and necessity of the sector prevents that level of responsibility to relatively inexperienced students.
The SU arranges a lot of sporting activities, including an all inclusive (league winning) rugby team. The SU arrange multiple theme nights focussed around costumes and activities (such as laser tag), with no influence on drinking habits, making the night fun for all involved. The SU is student elect, favouring the larger courses, with an open door policy with staff, the support needs of the SU are a comfort to have but not regularly used.
The accommodation was comfortable and homely. There was plenty of storage and an engaging social life. The beds were comfortable, rooms were bright and temperature easily controlled. The rooms are a blank canvas allowing students to acclimatise with posters and make the space their own. The communal facilities are cleaned daily and the low number of students per facility meant that there was no overlapping or issues. The rooms were very good value considering the included gym membership and catering. The food portions were large and the variety meant there was always an option. The rooms all looked out onto greenery, gardens and/or nature. The accommodation being located on campus emboldened the community feel and made access to the resources easy. The on site warden team were a comfort despite the lack of need to call them out. Other students living on campus are under the same pressures of study and often meet up to share opinions and proof read work.
Incredible. The 220ha of land make the site ideal for teaching practical land based courses. The range of tools and machinery, coupled with the variation in landscape can allow the University College to teach a wide range of skills. Subjects such as Fine Art have a wealth of inspiration to draw from, whilst Horticulture have room to try new ideas and designs. The university has designed its courses perfectly to take advantage of the bountiful landscape. The more man-made facilities, such as the library and restaurant, are large, spacious environments with a community feel and the ability to support technical development. The library, for example, is well versed in the needs of the students with a vast array of reference materials and journal subscriptions.
The city life, though being an hours walk away, id more than accessible. The University College supply minibuses and arrange events in the local City of Chelmsford. The nightlife is varied and the number of festivals and carnivals that pass through mean that there is always something to pass the time.
Perfectly suited to the University College and Student needs. The sports teams are skilled and focus on the potential interest of attending students. Sports like Rugby, Equine show teams and shooting fit the ethos of the environment. Every creed of student is represented and welcomed, with like minded people and various projects that they can believe in, such as the sustainability team, Christian union and the Gin society.
There is never a moment where you cannot find support on campus All tutors have an open door policy and are more than happy to discus their research and your projects. The tutors make a point of getting to know students in their school so that they can provide moral support and show that they genuinely care about each student they meet. They allow students to play off their strengths and orchestrate situations where students needing support have it without directly asking. Personally, there are multiple options, including the lecturers, SU and the student support team. The community feel of the campus means that students in need of support always have an option as to who they approach, and always know that they can. For example, several of my colleagues had dyslexia, but the staff already had recolored PowerPoints, printed out advance notes and perfectly timed delivery. To be honest, I was unaware of the level of support the students received as they were involved and engaged the same as the rest of the student body.
I have really enjoyed my time at university, I have learnt so much and made some amazing friends. the lectures are interesting and you get to know each of the lecturers individually.
Writtle has a careers department with staff who are always more than happy to help. They hold an annual career fair and also have gest speakers come in from the industry to talk about career progression and encourage students to think about the future.
The best part of my course is that the things learned are relevant to the industry and most modules have a practical aspect to them. For instance during the equitation and coaching module we learnt about the theory behind riding and then had sessions after our lecture to put into practice what we had learned on a real horse.
I don’t really get involved with the student union; they hold events weekly, which some students attend. The best events held are the balls which are normally a success. The summer ball is the best with fair ground rides and live music. I cant really comment on the other impacts the union has as I’v never really seen any of them.
The facilities available are suitable and cater for all the needs of the students; they are on the campus so there is practically no traveling from the accommodation to the lectures which is great!! However, the accommodation is not perfect and is not the most modern.
The facilities are fairly good the library is open till 10 providing lots of time to study with lots of industry related books. The horses at the yard a suitable.
There is a good balance of rural and city. The college is located in the beautiful village of retitle and is a 10 minuet drive from Chelmsford and not too far from London.
they are okay, lots of sports related society's
pretty good haven't really used much myself
everything has been great, so much so that I don't want to leave when my course ends! I've made fantastic friends, made so many skills, attended courses and conferences, made great connections in the sector and been well supported by staff. I've been able to work at college and be part of improving the overall experience for others to ensure everyone gets the best from the college. I couldn't have wished for a better experience!
The uni college has a great careers team who are really approachable, like all the staff on campus! There are regular careers fairs where you can meet employers, go to seminars about creating your own business or increasing your employability etc. Plus the staff are always bringing in guest speakers or taking us to seminars and conferences on a range of topics to increase our network of people. They also email regularly with voluntary opportunities and job placements that relate to everyone and yourself specifically. In your first year there is even "Green Machine" where you can learn practical skills, on top of all the short courses available, on the estate in a no pressure environment. There are also loads of sports team, quiz nights, events in the baa etc. that are available to join and opportunities to get involved in whatever you could want, because they make the effort to make the uni suited to everyone.
the lectures have so much knowledge and loads of contacts in the field that they set you up for anything you need to know. The course is really interesting and covers things that are familiar from either working in the field or from a levels and brings everyone to the same level before exploring everything in depth and areas you need to know to work in a range of roles in the sector. This course is great at integrating everyone no matter what stage they have come from whether its school or work. Everyone is really friendly and staff really care about you.
the students union is great for sports teams and organising events. The sabbatical officer is a great connection between the staff and students and makes sure that the students voices are heard.
The accommodation is just what I need! loads of storage space, great views and loads of wildlife right outside the window! Its close to everything you need, only 2 minutes from lectures and my lecturers who are always walking around the campus so I can have a chat. I love that the meals are included in the price of the accommodation and that the rooms and communal areas are so well maintained by the cleaning staff! Despite sharing with other people for the kitchen and bathroom its really not a problem because they are so clean and everyone is really friendly! I've stayed in onsite accommodation for all three years and have chosen the shared bathrooms all three years, despite the en suite accommodation being so nice and within my price range, because I love the atmosphere with other people.
the facilities are great! the wifi is good all across campus, the library and the staff are great and the food facilities provide a great range of food.
The village its self is nice and quite but has plenty of shops. WUC is close to Chelmsford which is great for activities like the cinema, ice rink, swimming pool etc. plus a good night life. There loads of good shops, supermarkets and restaurants so there is always something to do!
The clubs are very attentive with facebook pages and meet ups regularly even outside of meets or training sessions etc. If there is a club you want but isn't available when you start its really easy to set one up, we set one up for the conservationists and it was really easy. Its a great community feel and you can make loads of friends.
the support couldn't be better. I know loads of people that have seen the counsellor and spoken to the SU and always feel so much happier afterwards. Personally I've leant on friends and tutors more because they are great and they know your issues personally because they are always paying attention and making sure you are happy.
- invest in ear plugs also as your paper thin walls won't keep out the noise of the guy above you peeing or having fun with his lady friends - don't bother with learner services, they can't be bothered with you - Lecturers: get a tutor, you'll need it! - Food wise buy your own
Prepared me for a job? Yeah right! I can tell you about legislation for my course and how to dissect a leg but don't ask about how in supposed to set up my business or better yet actually work on a horse!
Best thing was finishing them! Lectures are incredibly unhelpful, rude and generally awful teachers! If you can do, teach as they say! Or better yet don't! Assignment results are constantly late, VERY little help is given during assignments or exam periods. When asked for help I have been given a lecture on independent learning and how unprofessional my tone is in asking for help! I was off ill in hospital for 3 weeks and when I returned and asked for assistance I was told I shouldn't have missed class!!
Useless really! Only good thing about them is checking your post is there! Bar nights were terrible, unorganised and down right drab. The so called student wardens are very unhelpful and would rather mess around than giving you any assistance. When asking questions to them they act as if you are a child and give you very little information back.
Stayed in Tabor 2 room 1 while here. AVOID AT ALL COSTS! Prices were ridiculous (£6,500 a year), rooms were INFESTED with spiders (huge ones!!), ants, ladybirds and flies, even when 'cleaned' weekly by staff. NB my room was left 3 weeks without cleaning before I had to ASK staff to clean it. Bathroom was covered in mound when I moved in and the bedroom floor had huge bleach stains were someone had obviously been sick and an attempt was made to clean it up. Storage space was minimal and bed was not only uncomfortable but had loose sharp wires sticking out which staff would not remove when I asked them. Noise was INCREDIBLY awful especially from 3rd year agricultural students who insisted on blaring music from 5pm to the early hours of the morning most nights. I also had incidents where the purposely jumped up and down on their floor above me for an hour. One night a dead duck (obviously had been hunted by one of the students) was left hung outside my bedroom window. When reported to the warden the noise did not stop and I was told to go sort it out myself. Bare in mind I am a very petite shy girl and these were tall built rugby playing 23 year olds. If you want decent housing at this uni, don't bother! Find a nice flat in the village or better yet avoid this uni!
Toilets are usually clean enough but many have spiders crawling everywhere. Northumberland theatre is uncomfortable with barely any desk room during lectures. Green room restaurant is awful, portions could barely fill up a baby and food is bland and something you'd expect from Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares! Tyme out cafe isn't bad but staff are rude and snarky, milk for coffee, hot chocolate etc is regularly out of date. IT assistance is useless, tried blaming my laptop for not picking up internet in my room when it was their problem with the routers.
Well if you count Evoke - terrible! If you want stupidly expensive, watered down drinks and to be chatted up by men at least 20 years your senior this is your go to destination! CTZN is so poor they had to bribe my friends and I in with free drinks (which we got and left) as the place was dead on a Saturday night! Missoula is equally as bad, ridiculous prices, regular fights and horrible security! Only decent places in town are Ivory Peg and Golden Fleece!
BUCS club is clearly judged on ££ and not riding skills. Netball club is purely popularity based, if our not popular you're a reserve if even that.
Academic is next to nothing, during assignments and exams I have received NO supporting from lecturers or otherwise despite being in hospital for 3 weeks. Personal services are also terrible, tried arranging with a counsellor to see me due to depression and EDNOS but I was told just go to the doctors instead (don't get me started on how USELESS Writtle surgery is!)
I have not enjoyed the academic side of my uni experience at all. The Horticulture degree course is dry and uninspiring, mainly due to the despondency within the staff team. It does not cater for most students but especially part time or mature students. More generally, the college is great, lovely campus and professional staff in most areas, from registry, finance, SU, library and in the food outlets. The accommodation is fairly good but food in the outlets on campus is quite poor. This has always been an issue. Overall I'd recommend the college - just do the Horticulture Degree.
I am afraid I don't have that much positive to say about this degree course. This Horticulture degree is very generic and it simply doesn't give most students what they need or want to do. You do a mix of amenity landscape, and modules which are more linked to you managing an estate, than to pure horticulture. There is no commercial production. When I started I was promised a commercial production pathway, this was changed half way through my degree - and they didn't even tell me. There have been many changes made to the degree over the past 3 years and generally due to staffing changes rather than to improve the scheme. The course managers do not listen to student feedback either. I was part time and many of the lecturing staff do not provide an appropriate service to you if you are part time. Most part timers leave before they complete their course. As a part time student I have found it hard to get appointments on days I am in college. They expect you to travel in on days it suits them and living a fair distance away this is difficult. Their communication skills leave a lot to be desired too. I have been left out of many pieces of news that my full time peers have had. I would not recommend you this course part time. If you are wanting a career in production horticulture, avoid Writtle to study as they do not have either the facilities nor the teaching expertise to cater for this. Some of the lecturing staff are lovely, but others are quite unhelpful to the students and do the bare minimum to help and support you. Overall I would not recommend this course to anyone.
The SU is pretty good actually. If you are young and campus-based there are lots of things that you can do. This ranges from sports to nights out. The student BAA is very inexpensive and provides many activities too. Weds pms are kept as lecture-free to enable you to use the gym or do sports or societies which is great. I'd say there is less for mature students to do and as one I have not been that involved in much at Writtle. On the welfare side, it is also weak. If you go to them with a problem they don't do much to help.
The facilities are pretty good actually. We have a great gym, sports hall, and BAA. The accommodation is really near to everything, making it ideal.
Chelmsford is the nearest big city and has all the usual things including a swimming pool, ice skating, cinemas, many bars and restaurants and good shops. It's a 10-15 min drive or bus ride from college or approx. 40 min walk. There is a cycle path from college to Chelmsford which is great and cuts out the traffic.
I haven't been involved as I am part time and off-campus.
The academic support is terrible in the main. There have been 1 or 2 lecturers who have been helpful, but most of them have not been very caring towards me either academically or personally. My personal tutor has been the worst, and it has been a struggle to get an appointment with them over the past 3 years. When you do see her, she has been very dismissive. I have also accessed Learner Services and they are excellent - cannot fault the support I have received there.
Enjoyed every minute of time at Writtle. It has given me confidence, aspirations, motivation and amazing friends. Beautiful campus with amazing facilities, best of both rural and city life. Learnt so much and achieved academically more then I ever thought possible. A life changing experience.
Interesting, entertaining lectures. Smaller classes as you move up the years, all the lectures know everyone and all are friendly and willing to help
Small and friendly. Organised events every week
Hotel life. Room cleaned for you, catered for but are provided with all the provisions of a self-catering halls. Beautiful, small, friendly campus. Everything kept clean, working and up to date.
Gym, bar, sports hall, sport pitches, working farm, yard, stud, library, computer rooms, 2 canteens.
Over 12 clubs in Chelmsford which is only a 10 min drive away/ 40 min walk/ 15 min bus ride. A good night out guaranteed! Loads of shops, leisure centre etc.