Does anyone have a DC at Southampton University

(50 Posts)
oldpeculiar Thu 03-Jan-13 14:03:23

Ds has had an offer on the course he really wants to do. We live in the North of England and have never even been there.
He is fairly quiet, non-partying kind of boy. How are your DC finding the Uni and what is the town like?
Are there any part time jobs for students?

fussychica Thu 03-Jan-13 14:56:26

I would suggest he goes to visit before accepting the place at any Uni.

DS visited top 3 of his 5 and said he was really pleased he did as he instinctively felt far more comfortable at one than the other two. He made the effort to go over from Spain, where we were living at the time, as he felt it was important to pick the right place to spend 3 years of his life. He now attends a Uni 4 hours drive /5 hours by train so never comes home for weekends, another reason why it was important to pick the right place.

DS doesn't go to Southamton but I understand it's a well thought of Russell Group Uni in a south coast city with lots of shopping facilities so finding a part time jobs should be possible. It has a large choice of halls so accomodation shouldn't be an issue.

Hope you get more info from Mnetters with experience of the Uni itself.

iseetinselandtantrums Thu 03-Jan-13 15:01:10

DN is down there studying sport science. He likes it but I'm not the one he would regale with any wild exploits! He has a job coaching football at weekends.

eatyourveg Fri 04-Jan-13 14:52:45

The uni is out of town in Bassett which is a more residential part of the city so not sure how easy student jobs would be. Its is a very highly regarded uni as fussychica says

MariscallRoad Sat 05-Jan-13 00:31:20

What has he applied for? It is a RG. I head first hand, the best reputation for Southmpton. They have world class reasearch and teaching in comp sc. and all engineering depts. The Halls are relatively quiet with v good supervision The pastoral care is absolutely fantastic. They are 2-semester year. Assessment is continuous. They are affiliated with several elite US universities.

boomting Sat 05-Jan-13 03:27:21

I'd just like to reiterate the point about going and visiting the university before he goes. After all, it's where he's going to be living for 3+ years. If I hadn't visited my universities, then I would have put a university that I really didn't like as my insurance choice.

TheCollieDog Sat 05-Jan-13 08:59:04

Please see if you an find a way for him to go to an Open Day or an Admissions Visit day. In fact, it's vital. Particularly if part of his/your concern is the distance from home (although I know for certain some of my students choose their university precisely on that criterion!).

One of the repeated reasons I've been given when dealing with undergrads dropping out in first year is the vague "It wasn't what I was expecting" It's extremely frustrating to hear that, as it doesn't have to be that way! Universities put a tonne of resources into giving as much information as possible about the course and the student life. On a formal Visit Day there will be current students to talk to, as well as lot of other vital information.

Think of the time and the train fare as an investment. Choosing the wrong university for the individual student is a really expensive mistake for the student and the university.

NewFerry Sat 05-Jan-13 12:31:01

My DS is in his second year at Southampton. He chose it ahead of 2 other unis that are higher in the league tables, and on paper were a better match, after spending time at 2 of the 3.
For him, he much preferred the atmosphere at Southampton, and got on well with the other students and potential students he met. He liked the tutors and the teaching style and the opportunity to use the whizzy technical facilities from early on in his course.
If he hadn't gone to both there, and to what had originally been his first choice, then he wouldn't have known this. Please get your son to visit. I hope he would love it, but it's a very expensive mistake to turn up in October and find its not what he was hoping for.
If your DS has any general queries, or any Qs on engineering, please PM me and I will get DS to "talk" with him.

Copthallresident Sat 05-Jan-13 14:53:00

oldpeculiar I went to Southampton from a northern city. I remember it being a bit of a culture shock as in comparison to where I came from both town and uni were quiet and middle class, and it was warm. I didn't wear a coat for the first year!!! They have now built a nightclub on campus I suspect to try to match the big city unis for night-life. The surrounding area is beautiful too and we made full use of Hamble for sailing, Bournemouth for beaches etc. I had a fantastic time and now an unusually high number of the children of my friends have followed their parents there and are enjoying it as much as we did. The distance did mean I didn't go home except for during the holidays, back then there was a train that went from Southampton, via Oxford and through just about every northern city. Academically I gather it has gone from strength to strength.

ISingSoprano Sat 05-Jan-13 17:05:07

What he applied to study oldpeculiar? My ds has also had an offer from Southampton. We are in the reverse situation living about 20 miles away. Southampton is the university for ds' chosen course but proximity to home is probably putting him off a bit!

out2lunch Sat 05-Jan-13 17:11:07

i have lived in soton all my life been to school there and worked there too for many years - ds is currently at uni there too - not southampton uni though
he loves it and the area is fine - not too quiet but not noisy party central either
as others have stated i think southampton uni is v highly regarded and has a lot of serious students iyswim
i would imagine there are jobs around as most of dss friends have jobs

oldpeculiar Sat 05-Jan-13 17:44:07

He has applied to do MEng mechanical engineering.He really liked the sound of the course there .It is top of the guardian league table for mechanical engineering and has 15 applications for each place (according to their webpage) and his predicted grades were below the entry reuirement, so he didn't think he would be in with a shout.His predicted grades (which were set in september) were AAA, but the maths teacher said if he was doing the prediction now he would have predicted A* definitely.So fingers crossed
We like in a rural hamlet, so anywhere he goes will be a big culture shock I think!

NewFerry Sat 05-Jan-13 20:06:31

Has your DS visited some local unis and looked at whether he likes a city or a campus environment? Has he visited other unis on his Ucas list?
Is there a post offer open day he can attend at southampton?

He will need to be quite self motivated, eg, the maths course is self taught with a weekly computer marked test, then help is available if you fail a test.

The students that DS has made friends with do enjoy socialising, but after freshens week it is mainly restricted to weekends as the workload is pretty intense. (A common feature of many degrees)!

Copthallresident Sat 05-Jan-13 21:13:54

If your son has a place to read engineering I would say it is a no brainer, it has such a proud tradition of engineering, my friends who studied it went on to really interesting careers. It also means that there are lots of extra curricular opportunities to be an engineering geek, eg there is an ancient bus, the toastrack, the engineering geeks keep going.

jazzcat28 Sat 05-Jan-13 21:23:27

I went there, loved living in Southampton so much I stayed!

I had no trouble getting a part time job at a shop in the huge shopping centre in town. Another poster up thread worried about distance from uni to town but no need to worry about this as in reality it's either 10min bike ride or 10min bus ride with the added bonus that all first years have a free uni link (uni buses) pass for a year! The buses will take him to all the important student places (supermarkets, shops, libraries, halls, nightlife oh and lectures)

I would strongly recommend a visit if you can manage it. It made my decision when I thought Nottingham was for me. Look at trains - not sure where you are up north but there is a direct train Southampton - Manchester (and all the bits I between)

If you want more specific info feel free to pm me :-)

oldpeculiar Sun 06-Jan-13 14:47:40

Thanks for your replies. We will visit. It seems that it is cheaper (not to say much quicker) to fly than travel by train even with rail card and driving would really involve an overnight stay)

NewFerry Sun 06-Jan-13 15:56:42

My DS has just returned this afternoon. DH has left him in his room surrounded by boxes of assorted stuff, and bags of groceries. Most of his housemates are not returning till next week, so there will be just 2 of them rattling round a large 7 bed house.

Thank goodness he's promised to come home for a few days at then end of the month once his exams are over.

NewFerry Sun 06-Jan-13 15:58:35

Oldpeculiar - I'm pleased you have decided to visit Southampon, the logistics of getting there sound awful though.

Copthallresident Sun 06-Jan-13 16:04:42

OldPeculier When I went down for my interview I tried to do it in a day by train via London, missed the last train at King's Cross, had to hang around until 3am for the "milk train" which took about 7 hours stopping absolutely everywhere! Character building for a naive northern 17 year old!

I went to Southampton Uni, not the Institute Southampton Solent Uni (which is right in the city centre). It's brilliant, I was in Chamberlain Halls for the first year then lived in Portswood in a shared house. The university is very good, and the nightlife is good and relatively cheap and inexpensive. It's walkable distance from the Uni, and there are loads of buses too.

<waves little Southampton Uni flag>

Go there!!! and tell him to go to Clowns and Jesters in Portswood on a Friday afternoon and drink Juicy Lucys on my behalf please!

I meant the Uni is walkable from the railway station... blush

out2lunch Sun 06-Jan-13 20:42:52

is it suzy? i didn't think it was that close

GinghamChic Sun 06-Jan-13 20:54:38

Hi, I did a post-grad there in 2004.

It is a very different city to Northern/Scottish Uni cities - quite low key and lots of rich MC students!

The campus doesn't have the grand/ancient buildings/history feeling where I did my first degree, but that's not important to most people!

I liked it mainly just because it was such a contrast for a change. yes - very warm (agree with previous poster about the coat!!)

Southampton as a city is really 'meh' IMO though. New Forest/Hamble/Winchester all lovely

Scrazy Sun 06-Jan-13 20:56:58

My DD is at Southampton Uni. I am up north, quite rural. I went with her for her interview and also for an offer day. Fortunately, we have family near Bournemouth so we were able to stay there and they provided use of their car to move her into halls.

She loves it, it's really friendly, although most of her friends are southerners so they take the mick out of her accent, abit grin She isn't a big party person and there are plenty of friends similar. They have just put a deposit down on a house for next year.

She went end September and has been home at half term and recently for Christmas. I'm planning on going down for the Easter break and she can travel up with me. Traveling is expensive but she has managed to factor it into her living costs so far. You can get a megabus, cheap but it's overnight. We are around 5.5 hours on a good train journey via London and she splits her tickets to get the cheapest.

She doesn't have a job because she is trying to concentrate on her studies. They are a bus ride from West Quay and I'm sure there are jobs around in retail etc. Halls provide a bus pass in with the cost too. HTH

TheSecondComing Sun 06-Jan-13 21:00:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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