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The University of Warwick reviews

The University of Warwick review

Its been a long time since I graduated from an undergraduate degree at the university of warwick. I graduated in 99. I know times have passed but this is my view of the place. I will try to make it as unbiased as possible, but thats a hard task for anyone.

Location

The university is near coventry, I went there thinking it was near Warwick but this is not the case. It would take you further to go to Warwick castle then it would to go to down town Coventry. So if you want to pay a visit make sure you book a hostel near the coventry area.

The University is pretty isolated. I never tried going into town on foot as it seemed too far away. The closest town that you can walk to is probably Kenilworth and that seems a million miles away. You walk past fields to get to kenilworth. If you like peace and quiet it is a perfect sceneary, its pretty quiet. Not many cars (excluding rush hours).

Due to its isolation it can afford to keep a huge campus. It would take you 20-30 minutes to walk from one end of the campus to the other. Its huge, but most of the buildings are spaced out. So its a nice peaceful walk across campus.

Reputation

Being a prestigious university for most degrees the university attracts many people. I don't know if it's as popular as the London Universities but it I am sure many people apply to this place. Due to the competition most of the people you encounter are highly capable, academically.

I saw a variety of people, internationals and local, young and old. Undergraduates and Post grads don't normally mix together, more to do with locality rather than choice.

All I can say is that you get a variety of people at warwick. People tend to stick together with their own color and background. I guess that’s universal. That doesn't mean people don’t mix, if I had to say however most people to tend to group themselves by easily identifiable traits

Teaching

Now the teaching standard at the university is suppose to be the highest amongst all universities in the UK. I think you can check the Times good university guide.

The problem with university however is that most lectures are there to research, or thats what it seems like. So you cant expect much. I dont think teaching standards were that great at Warwick, but I dont think they are that much better elsewhere in the UK.

I had over 30 lectures during my time at warwick and there were only 2 that I felt were superb. The combination of teaching material and the time constraints mean that lectures on the most part of difficult to understand. The lectures will give you a guide as to what to study, but you have to study the material yourself on your own time.

The best way to do this is to find a really good book. The best way you can succeed at a course is to find a really good text book.

Student union

Very popular through out the week. I am pretty sure theres something going on at least 5 times a week. This must be a major cash earner for the uni. Students tend to come together and this is where they come together on most nights of the week.

Pubs

If you live off campus I believe this is one of the many things you can choose to do. Though many 2nd year people seem to enjoy going into campus to get their drink.

Cinema

There is a student cinema at the university. I dont know why but it never seems to run out of tickets. Shows are regualr, I believe there are at least 3 shows in the weekdays. The film is projected in one of the lecture halls. It might seem a bit weird watching a movie in a lecture theater but it wasnt too bad. Its tolerable.

Coventry

I didnt know many students who would go into town on the weekdays. Unless you lived off campus I would find it hard communiting back and forth from campus. Maybe people did do this and I just wasn't aware of it.

Food

he food from the meal plan was pretty horrible at Warwick. I have to say the food was a ripp off and it tasted pretty bad. I tried eating at one of the halls of residence, where gosford is. The price was deer and quality was poor. Some of the lads paid 40p for a big spoonful of baked beans.

I guess you cant expect much at Uni though. They know you cant cook so they give whatever they want. There is some half decent places to eat though, the sandwitch bars and pizza places within the Student union was half decent. The only problem, the menu doesnt change much. There was Tescos a bit off campus (walking distance) and there was a supermarket right next door to the student union, so you wont have too many worries with regards to purchasing snacks.

The problem with Warwick is its isolation. There arent many places to choose from. Take out will be the only option if you want something different. Otherwise you have to cook. I remember looking forward to the kebab van becomes they had different food. Unlike the other lads I would go straight from my room to the kebab van just to get food, thats how desperate you get for something different. If you have a car though its not much of a problem, but like I said its pretty isolated so you will have to drive to get different food.

The cafeteria below the main library was terrible, I hope it has changed.

Sports

Sports facility was excellent.

football/rugby pitches

The vast size of the university means that it has ample space available. If you want to kick a football around theres not much problem. If you live on campus you can dump your bag and straight of to the nearest football pitch and kick a ball around if you want to.

Indoor sports hall

There is a main sports hall at the university that has a weight room and a basketball court. Its got some squash court and a 25 m swimming pool. Students have access to this facility but I believe some local people have access also. If you go there around 5pm past, it can kind of get busy. The weight room is very popular. The swimming pool can get very crowded at times.

You could book facility without charge but due to the fact that theres only 2 sports hall in the entire campus, it can be difficult.

Calender

The uni follows a classic educational calender which is a 3 term system with a christmas, easter and summer holiday in between.

Holiday time

Christmas is around 3 weeks Easter is around the same Summer is 2 months

Study time

9 months of the year.

Education calender

The uni calender means that whatever you study in the first term you tend to forget by the time you get in the 3rd term. This is especially true for the sciences. When I was at uni (1999) they had all the exams crammed in the last term. I had serious problems with regards to retaining information that I learned 5 months ago.

Weather

This is just an opinion of the place from back in 1999.

If you come from outside Europe you might find warwick a very cold place. I don't believe that warwick is that much colder compared to the rest of England.

WARM

It might get a bit warm but it doesn't compare to any tropical weather you might have experienced on your vacation. Hot, at warwick means 17 Celsius plus with the sun shining. Its not boiling hot but that is the type of summer heat you'll experience at warwick. Suffice to say this weather is fairly limited, maybe a couple of months max.

COLD

Winter can get extremely cold. I can't remember snowing in the 3 years that I was there. That doesn't mean you won't see snow forming on the grass. I didn't walk in snow but I did saw snow forming on the edge of football pitches. Quite dangerous playing football on snowy Astro turf. It never got too cold as to see cars skidding on the road. The pavements never froze up either.

RAIN

You probably need a decant jacket/coat, a waterproof one is a nice option but not necessary. You don't need to buy it at home but if you’re looking for a jacket in town it might be limited. Coventry isn't the biggest town in the UK. Better off shopping in Birmingham if you want.

But I suggest getting a decant jacket/coat in your hometown. The more time and selection you have the better off you'll be. I suggest a loose one that covers your entire upper body, if you have many pockets that might be useful. Don't get no fancy color unless you want to be remembered as the "person in orange". You stand out like a beacon in the lecture theater.

I have to warn you, that it does shower a bit at warwick. Almost everyone I knew had an umbrella, it's a useful thing to have. You don’t want to be stuck anywhere, stranded because you don’t have an umbrella.

AVERAGE WEATHER

It's just cold on average. People wear mittens, you can get a beanie as well. Long pants and long sleeve is the norm. Good thing most places have central heating. You get quite use to the weather, if your not use to the cold don’t worry. You will get use to things.

The University of Warwick review

Warwick Uni is located in a nice area of countryside close to a little place called Kenilworth, between Coventry and Leamington Spa. It's a big campus and although you have to get on a bus to get into a town, everything you need is there for you. There is a hairdressers, pharmacy, banks, post office, stationers, gift shop and many places to eat and drink as well as an arts centre with a cinema and theatre. I found that last year I enjoyed leaving campus to go to somewhere like Leamington but felt safe and happy in the environment I lived. It's very convenient and you can just fall back to your halls after a night at the union rather than travel in the dark.

The buildings are quite modern and some nicer than others but I lived in New Rootes Residences last year and our halls backed onto the most gorgeous area of countryside with lakes and geese (very noisy first thing in the morning!)

There seems to be a good mixture of people especially different cultures. Most people want to have fun but a lot are also quite conscientious. The library is good but I feel there could be more computers on campus. However, all rooms in halls have 24hr internet connection for free and laptops can be connected in the library.

The Halls vary like any university but as it's a campus they are all close. There are two main en suite ones called Jack Martin and Aurthur Vick but Rootes residences are also brilliant and there are some flats if you want a cosier environment.

All first years are guranteed a place in halls. For my second year I've moved into leamington spa and am living in a lovely house with four of the girls i was in halls with last year. We were lucky in finding somewhere as others found it harder but the uni are helpful and have a system set up called PLU to help find you a house. Many people tend to move to Leamington or Coventry and get bus passes but there are some places closer. I pay £163 a month for 11 months but people pay up to £220 a month. Last year in halls i payed £60 a week.

I really like my course as the English department is lively and I've made loads of great friends. I only have 8hrs a week but lots of reading to do in my spare time. In English you do four modules a year, each worth 30 cats and for each you probably have one lecture and one seminar (small group with one tutor). Essays and reading extends over the holidays and it's always good to get ahead with reading (though few people do!). Exams are hard, normally three hours but at least it gets them over with and you have a max of 4.

The union is good; very big but not amazingly cheap although they do have good offers sometimes. There are a couple of other bars too and then you can go off campus and get the last bus or a taxi back. If you go out lots you still make time for work, you just may not get that much sleep! There are many clubs and societies (too many to list) and wednesday afternoons is kept free for sport.

The University of Warwick review

The University and Accommodation

The University of Warwick is located just to the south of Coventry and is set in a very nice campus. It is within easy striking distance of Coventry (a city beginning to emerge from the horrendous building mistakes of the 60’s), Leamington (a standard local town) and only about 30-45 mins from Birmingham. It is a very nice green campus union with lakes containing ducks and geese. It is also one of the friendliest universities I have been to during my time as a student

The university its self is very nice with most of the accommodation new brick buildings, though a lot of the lecture theaters are old 70’s fare. The accommodation has some good points and some bad; firstly
· They are all very nice and in the secure campus environment (with the exception of Liberty Park in Coventry).
· They also all come with cleaners.
· The rooms are also quite large.
· All campus residencies come with free Internet broadband connection.
Secondly
· Some of the residences are very expensive and there aren’t many cheap ones available for first years.
· Some of the residences are also not very conductive to meeting people (Claycroft, Arthur Vic, Lakeside and Jack Martin).

My Department

The chemistry department is in one of the original university buildings and though dated on the inside has seen a complete revamp of all the labs over the past 4 years. The course is quite good though I would recommend you do some Physics and/or Maths Mechanics and some Biology at As level as there are no sections of the course to help you with these areas. On the teaching side, all the lectures know their stuff even if some of them can’t teach it to save their lives. Many off them are also approaching retirement age and are a bit wrapped up in their lives work to worry about undergraduates. One of the biggest drawbacks with this university is the tiny chemistry section in the library, which has a complete lack of core texts, and next to none specialist books (any it does have will be sitting on some PhD students desk for all eternity any way). It also doesn’t have a great periodical section with many titles missing completely, although most can be got through the Athens network or interlibrary loans. It’s worth noting that Warwick has the worst funded library out of the Russell Group (it spends only about £250/student). Warwick does have very good computer facilities though and as said earlier each campus room has a portal. Over all I have been happy with the standard of teaching and resources available at this university.

Campus Life

Life on a campus university is very different from anything you would have experienced before every one is a student, and you are in this bubble, which can become quite claustrophobic at times. On the other hand it is very secure and it is very rare to see any trouble at Warwick like you see on nights out in Leamington. The students union is very good and offers a range of services from the nightlife, sports clubs and societies, and welfare services. To be honest Warwick union is not to my taste as the only music tends to be mind numbing cheese or garage, R’n’B and soul nights not things I fond of. It is still the best place in the area for mind numbing drinking during the week though partly due to the safety factor and partly because all your friends will be in there. The bar is also quite expensive compared to other universities though still cheaper than real life. During the day the union is quite happening and the focal point there are always cheap back of the lorry CD sales taking place along with cloths, sports gear, piercing and even a mobile bike shop.
At Warwick there are over 300 sports clubs and societies so really is something for everybody, and if you want to do something that doesn’t happen at the moment it is really easy to start a new club all you need is thirty signatures of students. Most of the clubs are really good a few are a bit exclusive and clique but in my experience people at Warwick are really friendly. The union also has welfare services that can provide advice on a range of subjects. Also on campus there is the largest purpose built Arts Center outside London which contains another bar and also has a vary varied program of arts events. There are also several University run bars and catering establishments, which provide very good food at a reasonable rate. The bar is actually cheaper than the union for certain drinks.

Over all I am glad I came to Warwick I have spent 3 and a bit very enjoyable years of my life here and meet many great people.

The University of Warwick review

Warwick University, studying Biological Sciences, 2nd year

As Warwick is all on campus everything you need from a post office, supermarket, hairdressers, sports centre etc are all very close. This is great as you quickly find your way around everywhere. The only problem is that eventually you may feel a bit trapped in a world completely cut off from the rest of the world.

All the accommodation on campus is nice and range between about £50 - £65 (ensuite) a week for self catering halls. Only one hall has the opportunity to be catered for however this is more expensive and gives you a card that you can use a food outlets on campus, so this is great if you plan on living on chips and burgers for the whole year! After a year on campus, most people find a house in Coventry or Leamington but there is an opportunity to get back on campus for your final year if you're doing an intercalated year or if your course is 4 years or if you're an international student. Everyone can apply but it is very hard to get a place, I tried and failed!

The facilites at the university are great. The sports centre is well equppied and swimming, badminton, gym, squash and others are all free. There is also a climbing wall that people can use. They are currently building a new building to add to the exsisting centre. There is also a student cinema on campus and for £1.50 you can watch a film which is realtively recent! The music centre is also good as you can go and use the practice rooms for free, although they do get quite busy int he daytime. The Art Centre is where many comedians and plays come to perform whilst touring which is a great opportunity for a nice night out without having to travel far to get there! The union is very large and hosts many events appealing to may people's tastes. Monday night is Top Banana, full of cheesy music but a good chance to meet friends living in other halls. There are also many restaurants on campus which are nice as a break from cooking and doing your own washing up. There is also a launderette on campus which has recently been re-fitted where it cost £1.50 for one load with the extra delight of spending an hour sitting watching your clothes go round and round and round......

The library is very big and has a good biology section even though you have to get there quick before everyone else snaps them up! Journals (sounds boring but you'll have to read some at some point!) can be accessed online which minimises time spent in the library! The library is very busy during exams and you'll need to get there at 9am to get a seat! There are also lots of computers which everyone can use on campus however these can get very busy.

Biology - As a course it is hard work, with about twelve hours of lectures a week in the first year and then a full day in labs and one tutorial a week. Lectures can be interesting, but as with all courses some will be relatively uninspiring! Labs allow you to use your knowledge in a practical situation which can be quite fun, well you get to wear a nice lab coat anyway! Between the second and third years there is an opportunity to spend a year working in a Biology-based job. This is obviously great experience and you get paid for it however it does mean that when you return to the third year, all your friends have graduated! After a biology degree some people go into research while others venture into businessy type jobs. There are lots of jobs available to graduates in Biology.

I would throughly recommend Warwick as a great place to learn with a great community atmosphere where everyone is nice and friendly. Biology is a also a great degree with lots of job opportuinites yet a challenging degree.

The University of Warwick review

Warwick is a great university. Located between Coventry and Leamington Spa it's right out in the country and is really self contained.

There are loads of shops and cafe's and bars and stuff around, including all the banks, a hairdressers, travel agents and post office.

Despite being close to Leamington where most students live, its a pain in the ass to get the bus everyday and a real benefit having a car. I think it's about 50 quid for the year for a parking permit and probably worth it to be honest.

The campus can get a bit dull after you've lived there for a whole year - even more so if you come back again i've been told to live there in your final year.

There is a good mix of people, and some really pretty girls - though suprisingly they complain about a lack of talent in the blokes that are around. You won't have any trouble making friends at all.

The University of Warwick review

Ah, Warwick. It's actually a pretty nice university for one that was built in the 1960s, full of trees and other bits of greenery (including Tocil Woods which I didn't find till the end of my first year - it has some very nice bluebells during the summer term, if you like that sort of thing).

It is, as other people have noted, in the middle of nowhere, but the bus service is excellent - every ten minutes to Coventry and Leamington, though they are served by competeing bus companies and the ones that go to Coventry won't give you change which is very annoying! They run till about 2.30am on weekends and some other nights.

If you're doing maths, biological sciences or anything related to either of those, you will be at Gibbet Hill campus, about ten minutes walk from main campus and most of the halls of residence. At the other end of campus is Westwood, where the teachers are... er... taught, about 20 minutes from most halls. Therefore, if you are maths student, DO NOT apply to live in Westwood (there are no halls at Gibbet Hill). This brings us to the living arrangements.

All accomodation is self-catering, apart from Westwood, where you get a dining card, but most Westwooders complain about this so I wouldn't bother. If you are very unlucky you will be assigned to Liberty Park, which is in Coventry city centre and has had very bad press over the last year for practically being built around the students during term time, having rubbish or no internet connections and so forth.

On the main campus are:

Tocil - where I lived. The only first-year halls you can stay in out of term time. In an apartment-style arrangement (i.e. there are lockable doors between adjacent corridors, unlike any other hall), either of 12 or 6 (the sixes are single-sex) with a kitchen and 2 to 4 bathrooms between you all.

Whitefields - Little villa type things, housing 12 students, with kitchen and mini sitting room, and a balcony overlooking it from the upstairs rooms (that's a bit hard to explain, sorry). Not en-suite, but since you're only allowed to apply for one en-suite accomodation anyway, this is a pretty good bet. However, do not live here if you don't like noise because one of the 14 Whitefields buildings is literally 4 feet from the Union's back door and the other's aren't much further. You can leave your possessions here over the holidays but you can't stay with them.
Benefectors - houses students in both single and double ensuite rooms. The double rooms in Bennie's (as it is affectionately known) are two-storey, however, so you can make two separate rooms if you wish. It does have tiny kitchens for the number of students, but the central living room area is huuuuge.

Arthur Vick - Ensuite, single rooms, has a reputation for being very quiet which is refuted every year. Has kitchen/sitting rooms for each corridor (12-14 students)

Jack Martin - like Arthur Vick but a bit less expensive and with slightly mankier kitchens.
Rootes - where most students are found. Rootes is great if you're a socialite because you can enter at one end of a block - a block will house about 50 students) and move from there into the adjacent blocks for about five blocks - meaning you have access to about 20 kitchens and 250 potential friends without having to unlock more than one door. Yes, I too have noticed the security problem but I don't know how bad it is. A worse problem, however...

At the end of last term, a female student was attacked while walking home in the dark to one of the postgraduate halls. Nobody told us, claiming later they didn't want to scaremonger. A week or so later, a second student was attacked in the same area.

There is a feeling that the university doesn't much care about its students, preferring, when all is said and done, the conference delegates - the reason we can't stay on campus during holidays.

However, the Union does its best to counteract this. And it is a big Union, employing god knows how many students to tend its bars, carry out its consumer surveys and lending its space to many different societies. It's also a pretty good social area - there are 5 bars, a cafe (about to become two cafes), a marketplace where you can find everything from clothes to bike accessories... and Monday nights are free, if you can stand the crowds and the cheesy music. There are loads of different nights on offer, from hip-hop to indie to Quench (it's like a mini-Gatecrasher) to student band competitions. Big events can be a bit of a disappointment (the Freshers' Ball was rubbish in my first year) but they've made a real effort to get some better acts over the last year - Fun Lovin' Criminals, Big Brovaz and... er... okay, I was drunk, I can't remember...

You will be made to move off campus in your second year, though there is a possiblity of return in your final year. Choosing a house can be difficult - students live either in Coventry or Leamington. Leamington has fewer bars and the houses aren't as spacious, unless you're lucky, but the crime rate is a lot lower and it's generally a nicer place to be.

Coventry has bigger houses on the whole... but it's a lot more dangerous at night and student houses get burgled with alarming frequency. Leamington is about half an hour away on the bus from the south of town, though if you're looking for a longer lie-in in the northern part of town, don't bother because the bus is invariably full byt the time it gets to you so you either have to get an earlier bus or be late for your lecture. The houses tend to be nicer in north Leamington, however. Coventry is about 10-20 minutes on the bus depending on which bit you live in, though if you live in Canley you can walk in (takes about 20 minutes unless you're a teacher because it's right next to Westwood).

Finding a house in Leamington is awful. In the second week of the spring term, first years descend on the unsuspecting second and third (and sometimes fourth) years in Leamington, deamding to see every room in the house. People try to get a house sorted out by week 3 of term. If you can't manage this, DO NOT worry, there are plenty of houses left - one of my friends actually put this to the test.

Psychology
Psychology, as my economics-studying flatmates have told me many a time, is a bit of a Mickey Mouse subject, but I've never let that put me off.

During the first year, you take three courses - two on theory of psychology, one on methods used in psychology, in which you will have to design and carry out an experiment during summer term. You must also choose an option from another department to make up your CATs (Cats are how the university decides you're doing enough work) - many people choose philosophy because there are existing links with this department; however, I found Introduction to Philosophy incredibly tedious. That may just be me, though, quite a lot of people seemed to enjoy it.

You will have nine o'clock lectures during your first year, I warn you now. However, since first year exam results don't count towards your final degree, you're safe to sleep through quite a few of these - a pass in first-year psychology means "more than 40%". Psychology is one of the few subjects whose students still like it by the exam period.

Second year counts for 1/3 of your final degree mark (or so I've been told). You don't get to choose second year courses but they're pretty interesting anyway. Some lectureres talk very very fast, others have a lot of information to imaprt - MAKE SURE you get the notes before the class if you can (they will be put on the psychology website), and if you can't manage this, take a lot of paper. Again, there is a methods component and you will have to design and carry out an experiment (this experiment is worth 1/8 of your marks that year, it might not sound like a lot but it feels like it!)

Third year I haven't started quite yet, but you get to choose all your options apart from the inevitable experiment.

The work outside lectures is mainly reading, as there aren't many seminars. This means it's entirely up to you whether you get a first or a fail.

On the whole, Warwick's emphasis is on cognitive and social psychology, though there is some developmental (child) psychology and an option to do ethology (animal psychology).

Final pieces of advice:

- In first year, it's worth going to the supermarket off campus, even though this is further to walk, because it's cheaper. If you feel you need to steal a trolley to carry all your stuff back, share it with your friends because the security guards will fine you £10 if they catch you with one.

- The best place to eat: Browns in Coventry (does great vegetarian and vegan food as well as meals involving meat, isn't too expensive).

- Places to go out in Leam (I don't know much about Coventry): Moo bar (cocktails, Tuesday and Wednesday are half-price nights), Jug and Jester, Robbins' Well (Scream pub), Benjamin Satchwell (Wetherspoons), Ocean bar (cocktails, cheaper than Moo but not as cool, lots of students have birthday parties here on the top floor), Cuba (cocktails again), Oxygen, TJ's - these can mostly be seen on the bus route, if you can't find a place just ask somebody!

- Uni's unofficial website, www.leamings.com, has lots of information about Leamington.

- Go out as much as you like in first year. As all non-firsties will tell you "It doesn't count!"