Advantages St Matthias
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Whilst it's only come 67th in this years Times league table, I don't much care!Having spent the past 2 years at UCL studying for an MA, having completed my BA at UWE, I can honestly say I would recommend this university to anyone wishing to study in the Humanities faculty at St. Matthias over the same faculty in London.
To start with, the staff are friendly, knowledgable, approachable, and in some cases, quirky, which just adds to the charm and atmosphere of the place. Despite it's average rating in the league tables, UWE scores consistently high scores for teaching quality - this year, 22/24 possible points, up there with it's citymate, Bristol Uni, and Oxbridge.The building itself is lovely - a 19th century teacher training school based on the design of a monastery with fantastic sunken lawn which is wonderful in the summer.
The Union 'was' great - a smallish bar with two pool tables which held frequent themed nights as well as a weekly event called 'Cheesebox Popshop,' which has now sadly ended, though I am sure it's spirit still lives on in it's replacement. Union facilities themselves were adequate for a small campus 5 minutes walk from a suburban village/town centre.Bristol may not be cheap compared to similar cities north of Watford, but compared to cities further East, it's very cheap. Average rent per week was £50 for private, furnished, uncatered accomodation, rising a bit in more fashionable areas such as Clifton, but still acceptable.
Transport links were fine - buses into the centre of town about once every ten minutes, though transport links between the various campuses (noticeably St Matts and the main campus and library, Frenchay) were more variable, but it's close enought to walk if needs be. Nightlife on campus is confined to the bars but with the city centre so close, you don't need to be restricted - there are good bars, clubs and restaurants in easy reach.The library was well stocked and interlibrary loans easy to arrange if you need them. St Matts held most of the journals applicable to the faculty, though extra copies and other publications could be found in the Main library, which is huge and holds works on all subjects taught.
I'd recommend UWE to anyone planning on undertaking a degree in History, especially those with an interest in Modern European history and the history of Eastern Europe, as two well respected academics in this field teach there.
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