Last September (2004) I gained a place at UCE studying Radiotherapy through Clearing. Initially I had wanted to do a different course at Derby University but spontaneously changed my mind about a week before the course was to start, much to the dismay of my family, as it meant we had to move.
So move to Coventry we did, and I started my course on 20th September.
I've decided to give each category 'marks out of ten' to help summarise the whole op at the end.
I know this is not particularly relevant to the actual university but as mature students
by far exceed 18 year old school leaver students, I figured that a large proportion of these students will live off-campus, that is away from the university itself. Also, probably 90% of the students I spoke to at UCE, told me they lived at least on the other side of Birmingham, if not further affield.
The methods of travelling to the University campus are:
~TAXI - from Birmingham City Centre is around £8-£9 (I did this on my first day as I got completely lost in B'ham and didn't want to be late).
~BUS - there are several buses from around the city centre (apart from the train
station) to the campus, which run every 5-7 minutes throughout the day, and the bus fare is £1 though you can buy Day Saver tickets that allow you to travel all around B'ham for £2.70
~TRAIN - I got the train as it worked out cheaper, and also because the nearest bus stop
from B'ham New Street train station was a good 15 minute
walk. My train ticket
was £15 something for the week. There are two trains per hour and they have a strange habit of continually changing the times of these. :-\ Anyone who's familiar with New Street train station will know how much
of a nightmare it is, and those who aren't. Imagine Victoria Station. The train station at Perry Barr
is terrifying, but I will mention this further on...
~ CAR - Oh yes, some will have a car. Birmingham rush hour
is appalling, but there is car parking
MY SCORE 3/10~~~PERRY BARR~~~
Perry Barr is situated approximately three miles north of Birmingham city
centre. The campus is easy to spot from the main street in Perry Barr and there is a shopping centre opposite the campus which, admittedly, is quite impressive. There are a couple of banks, an Asda, a market, and a lot of studenty cheap shops
such as TK Maxx
, Next Clearance, Poundstretcher, B Wise etc, and a few places to get something to eat (Greggs, BK, McDonalds, Subways, cafes etc). The train station is tiny and located a short walk down a dirty road away from the campus and shopping centre. You almost miss the entrance as it is a tiny passageway located between two shops, one selling Class A drugs, the other guns. Sorry, no that's a lie...
There is a main road and roundabout separating the campus from the shopping centre and there are subways linking them. I originally come from 'up North' and have never seen subways before so I was a little afraid of these anyway; but on my first day at UCE, a tutor remarked to the group that we should not use the subways at any time, as a lecturer the year before had been shot in one, mid-afternoon!