My decision to come to Coventry University was made on the 30th of August 2009, days before the majority of undergraduates would be moving their lives to new cities and beginning their University careers. My unconditional offer to another University had fallen through for unfortunate reasons yet I was not willing to wait another year to get my degree, so I blindly searched through clearing for a place offering my course and chose Coventry.
Coventry lies in the heart of the West Midlands, only a short journey away from Birmingham. The city itself is relatively small (in fact, from the bridge over the ring road outside my house, I can see from one side of the city to the other!) and the University campus is spread across the eastern side of the city centre, near to the ruins of the old cathedral.
My own area of study, the languages and business department, lies just beyond a large courtyard, surrounded by the alumni and (one of the) student union buildings, and overshadowed by the ruins of the cathedral. Fountains spurt from the floor and trees line the paths down to the faculty buildings. Cobbled paths lead up through the ruins, past medieval buildings and foliage and into the shopping precinct. It really is the most beautiful part of the city, in my opinion. Unfortunately, it is the only part of the city I like, but i'll touch on that later.
The other campus buildings are spread out around the same area of the city, with the Journalism and Media campus, Engineering departments and library and student center a little further south/south west of the city centre.
Overall facilities at the University are quite good and suit all of my personal needs. There are various computer rooms throughout the campus buildings, with a large amount of computers in the library buildings too. They have recently been upgraded to Windows 7, and the Journalism and Media campus has Mac desktops, however the computers in the Business and English faculty are still running on Windows Vista. My only complaint about these facilities is that besides the language centre and fifth floor computer rooms, the other computer rooms are like hidden gems. If you can't find a computer when you need one, and don't know about the other well hidden rooms throughout the campus buildings, then you might be left without a computer (though this doesn't happen too often).
Teaching is good at the University and the lecturers generally have a good grasp of their subject areas (this may sound obvious but I've seen such terrible teachers in the past). My lecturers so far all seem very willing to help and provide a range of resources and handouts through the University's learning system online.
There are a range of cafés around the campus buildings - off the top of my head I can think of two in the Business and English department, two in the Journalism and Media department, two in the library and the recently renovated and (quite stylishly) redecorated student union café. The campus buildings are all very close to a huge range of local bars, newsagents and delis too so it is always to find somewhere to eat and drink, even in short gaps between lectures. Everything is very close together.
Accomodation in the first year is generally in student halls or shared housing. Unfortunately from the second year onwards you have to find your own accomodation and I've not particularly had the best experience of this. A lot of the properties I have viewed in the city (most of them) are in bad condition. I've seen completely damp ridden, black stained walls where you could literally smell the damp in the air in several buildings and I could easily say that half of my friends have complained about damp in their accomodation. It seems a prevalent issue in the city, and the standard of housing doesn't seem to be very good.I hope I find somewhere better for my third year in October.
A brief personal comment on the city: I really truly do not like it, if i'm honest. Luckily I like the University, but the city is awful. It always seems very dirty and grey and you get the feeling that the council don't really care very much about the standards. The level of unemployment and homelessness seems rather high in Coventry and you see a fair few homeless individuals around. Also there seems to be a lot of visually displeasing people here. I'm not being offensive for no reason; the amount of people I see walking around wearing dirty clothing and drinking alcohol in the middle of the day, swearing and talking about drugs is alarmingly high in comparison to other cities I have lived in.
Overall I think that it's a good University, despite not being very high on league tables, but if that sort of thing doesn't concern you then the actual Uni is good. However I definitely cannot recommend the city, and this aspect of University has actually made me look forward to the day I can leave and move back home, rather than these three years being the 'best time of my life' as many people describe University life.
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I Read some awful comments when I first started at Coventry. As my third choice, it was pretty gutting! But your class mates, room mates will be in the same situation and be mostly normal ;). There's always option of switching rooms, flats, buildings and courses! Its easy to change within the first term or year!
Freshers year will be spend drunk or extremely drunk, Coventry has lots of student nights - see jumping jacks,lava and Kasbah for sure. Tons of bars and pubs to go too, and they're cheap as piss now at from 80/90p, tho was 50p a drink and mixer in the hay days. Entry is average too.
If you know well, you'll stay at callice and singer or a house; security can be a pain at callice when you want more visitors just get roommates to check in 2 people each. Apollo and priory are pretty bad, but v sociable, leave your doors open folk! Look out for the fumes via the bus station in priory yum! But half the time you'll be out or at sainsburys for the dorms to get to you in 40 weeks term time!
You'll start studying in your second year, have mapped out the city and best short cut for stumbling home. Cov's a tiny city, but the pros are that you can find accommodation within 15min to 30mins, I was renting at £260 bills and internet 5mins from uni. Minor crime mostly burglarys in Stoke and Hillfields, Canley and Earslton are better choices tho will pay in exercise and rent. but even then most of the city is students 1/4 geezers or very tame chavs so its pretty alright. Time to start getting cultured then go hang at the tin angel or Kasbah for some gigs. Mope a bit forbidden planet, Herbert or transport museum.
Third year who gives a toss, you have to study right? Maybe go and be disappointed at the SU, nurse a killer hangover/belly from the last two years and attempt to pass exams. OR switch course and start again :) Enjoy it, I did.
Avoid Apollo house like the plague!!!!! I have just been sent a bill for £100 to replace a dirty mattress thatwas soiled when I arrived but did not notice because it was against the wall . On arrival at Apollo house you have to fill out an inventory form, which I did because I did not want to be charged. But number 1 I did not think to flip the mattress number 2 I do not have the strength in me to flip the mattress. It took two people to do it so how the expected me to do it I have no idea!
They have not been understanding at all, they will charge for anything. If you do not pay they threaten to withhold your degree!
Apollo house will not allow you to have people sleep over (so if you pull unlucky, the security guard will be banging on the door)
Apollo house will blame the whole block if something goes wrong (I had to clean up after a party I didn't go to)
Apollo house will make you sign in and out your guests (which is a pain)
If you are not best friends with the Warden you can forget having a any fun in your first year.
Apollo house put the heating on for two hours in the middle of the day during the coldest winter for years (I had to wear two hoodies, two pairs of socks, blanket and hot water bottle) I was not offered a heater because I had the smallest rooms but told to get one. (town is a ten minute walk)
The oven didn't work in the kitchen and we were told to use someone else's.
If you do stay at Apollo house take pictures of everything, flip the mattress. If anything breaks get them to fix it because you will be charged!
It's easy to look at Coventry University and think "rubbish city", "rubbish nightlife", "rubbish academics" "former polytechnic? no thanks", and yes as an A-level student who barely scraped C's and D's due to pure laziness (rarely did homework, missed lots of lessons) I didn't really have many options in terms of University. I certainly didn't have the grades to get into the "good" universities (Redbricks, and certainly not OxBridge) so I had to settle with what I could get - tariff-point universities and former polytechnics.
I picked CovU because I lived in Coventry, and personally didn't really have the interest to spend a bucketload of money on accomodation and could save a lot by staying at home. I did a BEng (Engineering degree) and I certainly found the Lecturers quite good - not great, but some of them were definitely helpful and knew their stuff. I also did a work placement, which was great for getting into employment too - as I got a job with a firm after I Graduated. I met many new friends, including a lovely partner who I'm still with, and I do not regret it at all. Having lived in Coventry, I always knew the city was quite sh*te, but still. It's not quite as bad as many people think.
Do I reccomend it? Well.. it certainly deserves a place in your choices if you live near/in Coventry, but I have to admit, CovU doesnt have a fancy reputation, so if you can, I'd certainly advise you go to the University of Warwick or Birmingham or Leicester if you can get the grades at A-level. I must add, it is definitely possible to do well at CovU - I got a 2.1 in my degree, and now I'm studying for a MEng at the University of Liverpool (relatively prestigious and one which I wouldnt have got into with my A-level grades lol).
It took extra work, yes, but in the end CovU certainly did do well for my prospects in the long run. Bear in mind this is speaking as a student who tried to add as much value to me and my degree as possible. I did work placements and I was in the Army's UOTC programme.
Coventry University as it is now known can trace its roots back to 1843 when it was known Coventry College of Design. In 1970 Coventry College of Art merged with Lanchester College of Technology and Rugby College of Engineering Technology to form Lanchester Polytechnic.
When I studies between 1986 and 1988 for my HND in Physical Science (Physics) it was undergoing change and the front of its administration block in Priory Street was Coventry (Lanchester) Polytechnic. The Polytechnic as it was then had deep roots in industry across not just Coventry but the Midlands in general and it was no surprise that Lanchester was taken from an engineering pioneer Dr Frederick Lanchester after whom a high quality make of car was designed. It was granted University status along with many other Polytechnics in 1992.
Although the name changed to Coventry Polytechnic in 1987 it still kept its old roots with the name of Lanchester.
I joined in 1986 purely by accident as they were offering a new course and were short on numbers so with only 1 A Level (Chemistry), a father who didn't really care less about his 3 children and a sense of adventure I left for bigger and better things.
Typically after agreeing to join and despite them having over a month to plan, I found on the day arrived that they had not sorted out any accommodation despite their reassurances that first year and final year students would get preferential treatment. I like many others spent what seemed an eternity (about 10 days) sleeping on the floor of one of their halls of residence and is not one I would recommend to anyone. Not only that but, it was pretty depressing and I remember despite having over £300 from my part-time job spent nearly all of it in that period on silly things and admitedly stuffing my face and spending hours with other similar students at one of many local bars. In the end the student accommodation section left students to find their own - pathetic really.
I also remember the massive queues in the Beko bar waiting for their student grants (yes grants not loans) ranging from about £800 per term to the 1-3p ones that many just framed.
Although not a bar person, I did spend quite a while in their 2 bars the Beko and Madella and at the time there was a lot of protest towards Barclays with their links to South Africa - which the student union tried to pass on to members.
At the beginning of the course we had about 40 students on the course, of which about half continued on to the second year, a number transferred to the degree course and quite a lot either failed the exams or were fed up and left.
Like some that I noticed have written reviews there were issues then as to the ability to locate lecturers and the many technicians without doubt were the lifeblood of the Polytechnic and without them I don't think it would have functioned.
My personal tutor had a carefree attitude (Mr Layng) and volunteered me as a rep on the course committee which I held for 5 terms despite not having the backing of my fellow students which made my representation a total waste of time. Another lecturer (Mr Smith who taught physics) was set to retire and made it clear of his MSc and would wear his white lab coat at every lecture no matter where it was. Many others were brought in to make up the numbers and one was studying his PhD made no attempt to show his annoyance at having to teach us.
Of the teaching staff my main annoyance has to be aimed at Patrick O'Connor the head of the department of Physical Science and whom tried to prevent me and a number of fellow students from taking the option we were legally entitled to for the final year. In the end myself and 2 others went to the then Vice Chancellor Dr Goldstein to complain, and following his intervention I am one of only 3 in the whole country that has ever done that particular option (as it was combination of physical science and computing).
It was my first taste of city life and I enjoyed it. Whilst I was there Coventry City won the FA cup, they had motor racing cars driving round the city centre and they staged a leg of the Milk Race (cycling).
The main thing with the university which still holds to this day, is that is very much part of the community and it was no mistake that the main site was built across the road from the old and new cathdedrals and literally a few hundred yards from the city centre. Nor is it accidental that the university has links to the sports centre which seems almost part of the campus.
I have visited the university a few times on their open days, and although it is now 21 years on, it seems like only yesterday that I was a student. When I was there D block was very much geared to science and many of the lecturers were busy with research, and F block the onsite hall of residence was known to sway in the wind, people have changed as have the puposes but the buildings are very much the same.
Coventry University is listed in the top 100 in the country and its all a matter of perspective, but to me is a place that I would consider part of me. Today, it stil remains at the heart of the city and now includes the university hospital and lots of student accommodation around the city. It has significantly improved its customer focus (ie its relationship to its students) and is a place worthy as place of learning.
As I had mentioned earlier, Coventry University is very much at the heart of the city and has strong links with many local businesses throughout the Midlands, and many of its students (unlike me) have gone on to be successful in buiness or as designers. It is a place where you can develop and for those considering life beyond A levels I would have no hesitation in recommending it.
Like everything else it's what you make of it and Coventry University is no exception for those that are prepared to work it offers an awful lot - but you have to be prepared to put the effort in, and you will not be disappointed.
I have now been at Coventry University for three years and instead of revising for my final exam I decided to write this review.
First off I would like to make it clear this is based solely on my experience in the School of Mathematical and Information sciences studying for a Software Engineering degree, so is no reflection of other schools at the university (as Im told by friends that some of them are completely different.
Oh and by the way I hear your sniggers, yes this Uni lets anyone in, but as I like so many people had no idea what I wanted to do when I picked my A-Levels, when I finally decided I wanted to study computing it was already to late to change to ones that decent unis wanted for that course so I decided to make the most of it
As this review is not about the city I will only make one statement here. Believe the rumours, and avoid at all costs.
A Place to live
In my first year I had the pleasure of the self catering hall of residence Apollo House, which is a 15 to 20 minute walk from the university and situated in one of the nicer parts if Coventry. This like a typical hall of residence was arranged in blocks of about 8 rooms with a kitchen, shower and two toilets in each block, now as facilities go this was not bad, (the main hall in the city centre has double the people to half the facilities) and I have no real gripe with the quality of the accommodation (Although having to pay 2p a minute for 56k net was really annoying). My real problem with this was the people I was put with
My friends from back home all went to different universities due to our separate grades and interests, most of which were given either a questionnaire about there interests to fill in when they applied for university accommodation or when they arrived found that most of the people in there block was on the same or similar course ..
. and what did I get?
7 of the most annoying screechy girly girls Ive ever met (this was also meant to be mixed block accommodation BTW), obviously we didnt really hit it off, somehow me denying going out every night clubbing due to being on an actual course and having work to do seemed to bother them slightly (they were all media students and never seemed to be in uni).
For the second and third year I moved into privately rented accommadation, plenty of which is offered throughout the city, make sure you shop around as there as some dives about, and also some naff landlords.
The university is a mix of old and new buildings, and seems to follow the rest of Coventrys thought by attempting to place as much concrete in as smaller space as possible. Coventry isnt a pretty place and the little piece of green at the front of the main building was nice, so what do they do at the end of my first year? spend my hard spent university fees digging up the grass and laying a path, a useless fountain and concrete balls.
There are plenty of lecture rooms and computer rooms, with some nicely equip computer rooms (including several 24hr open access labs, which I have spent too many nights till 4am finishing coursework or slapping my boyfriend awake as he finishes his.) It does however seem to be a very microsoft windows orientated course and university (a few rooms used to also offer linux as an alternate operating system but this was recently removed from all but one room. Rather annoying as one of my modules required it) which limits job prospects and also didn't allow me to learn all I wanted.
I am on the Software Engineering track of the computing degree selection of courses offered by the university. As important as this sounds when your making your course selection at this university, in the first year it makes absolutely no difference, everyone studies the same 5 modules and they allow you to choose one free choice module from anywhere in the university. This is a good idea as it allows you to get away from your course a bit and study anything from diving to a foreign language, it also allows you to meet people from other courses to increase your chances of finding people with similar interests and branch out a little.
I came to this university with no real prior knowledge of computing, and quite frankly even I was insulted by the content of the lectures in the first and in most cases the second year, this hit mine and many others drive to actually work. With this in mind the third year came as quite a shock when they actually expected us to work and offered us some nice meaty modules to actually teach us something instead of taking 6 weeks teaching us HTML forms like they had in previous years.
Apart from a select few they seem absolutely useless, most were not even sure have degrees (that they didnt buy off the internet). This means most lectures are boring and little is gained as the lecturers just read from the lecture slides they brought along, adding nothing more and giving no time for any work related queries.
Certain ones also seem to disappear off the face of the earth at any other time except there lecture times, which means any help with modules is somewhat limited.
One example of how useless the lecturers are came toward the end of the second year, we handed a piece of coursework in and after an unacceptable amount of time (The uni has regulations that all work must be marked and returned within a set amount of weeks) it was returned. Now everyone would have stopped complaining here if when we compared our marks with each other it didnt look like the lecturer had handed a red marker to his child and told him to write random numbers and ineligible squiggles over the work. So again we complained to a different lecture (the head of the module) who, it became apparent if we took our work to him, without even looking, would cross out what ever grade we got and put a nice big 70% on it. With things like this going on its no wonder employers dont take a Coventry degree seriously!!
Its not all bad, Ive made some great mates, fallen in love with a great bloke and learnt a lot about myself.
And theres a new Dean just taken over the university with promises of great things .. pity I wont be around to see them.
Well... I spent a term there, started in September and I quit recently? Why? Because the Uni is so poor! Not just the uni though, but the course too and the actual city itself!! Obviously this opinion can only be based on my opinion, and there's a lot of happy people at the Uni, but I'm speaking for a lot of people there too :) The best advice I can give people is to pick somewhere else :) the lecturers are ok in all fairness, but the Uni is extremely unorganised. Particularly the MIS department of the Uni (Maths and IT basically)... Was the only school in the Uni that wasn't given accurate timetables, they changed the rooms the lectures were in every single week then shouted at everyone when they didn't know where they were supposed to be! I was in Singer Halls, which is equally as stupid. I was put on a floor with people doing Sports Science, me myself doing Computer Science, and what a suprise... conversation was rather lacking. The whole Uni is a complete shambles, someone was killed there last week in Priory Halls to, fell from the 13th floor of the building. The police said it wasn't being treated as suspicious, but after spending a few weeks there I wouldn't be so sure... :/ Plus if you want to go shopping your only REAL choice in Sainsburys which proved to be a TOTAL rip off!! People, stay away!! :)
Coventry University as an institution is rather under-rated. But the city is...shall we say: "unfortunate." I studied International and Political Studies at Coventry University between 1994 and 1997, and funnily enough was impressed by the city when I first visited because everyone had told it was worse than Swindon. When I visited and saw that it wasn't worse than Swindon and, what's more, had a Virgin Megastore, I was sold! Of course, litle did I know then that every town and city has a Vrigin Megastore. Pretty naive. The city is a modern-looking mess with a skyline perforated by three spires - clues to a history that is all too hidden. Like some other cities of the Midlands, Coventry is throttled by an intrusive inner ring road. Post war architecture dominates, little of it good. Witness the sports centre shaped like an elephant. For a city the same size as Nottingham and Leicester, it compares poorly. Its residential districts are inferior and often downright scuzzy. In terms of shopping and nightlife it was always woefully underprovided, although matters began to improve from 1997. Too near to big, bustling Birmingham and genteel, prosperous Lemaington Spa, Coventry always felt rather surplus to requirements - even though it was once a major city...long ago. There is a small historic quarter that survived the air raids, and the two cathedrals that nestle in it are superb. The modern hodge-podge of buildings that constitute the university are directly opposite the cathedrals and they lend the campus an air of gravitas it would otherwise lack. Constant improvements to the campus were made throughout my time there, and since leaving, a wonderful and much-needed new library has been built. An annexe to the new student union has been created from a former working men's club - but the cages on the windows tell you all you need to know about crime and town-gown relations in the city. My course was superb - int
eresting and well-taught. Lecturers were accessible and friendly - not too busy doing their research to remember students come first. The building was a dump, but that barely matters. Computing facilities were...mediochre - and crowded. I didn't have a brilliant time because of personal circumastances but I know plenty of poeple who did and who have fond memories of their time at Cov. The good news is the city is determined to improve itself, after years of whinging that it was unfairly the subject of constant scorn. A massive millennium project is under way that aims to weave the city's incredible history into a more hopeful future. Urban design intitatives, refurbishment and restoration are currently evident and should help Coventry become a rather more attractive setting for your studies, although it will never be a chic, beautiful destination - the legacy of poor post-war planning too pervasive.
When I first told people I was at Coventry University I could see their sniggers and I know that this was because Coventry Uni isn't supposed to be any good. Well this is what I have to say about that: When I first started Coventry I had just failed all my a-levels and I was feeling pretty low. (Just before I got my results through Coventry Uni sent me a leaflet through and told me about a foundation year in science and engineering that I could do with just my GCSE's.) So I phoned up the number on the leaflet and a friendly voice spoke to me and asked what GCSE results I had and I told him, a few minutes later he said I will see you on sept 28th nice and early. And that was that I begain my life at university. The foundation year helped me gain my confidence again as it started of very slowly and got harder as the year progressed. This allowed me to build up a good understanding of a vast array of subjects. This was also down to the great lectures that taught on the foundation year they really helped each and everybody there. Upon completion of the Foundation year I started my degree in chemistry which i have slowly got through and i know that next year i will graduate from the university which has given me back my self confidence and belief in myself that i can achieve something with my life.
I had a great three years at Cov Poly, as it was then. I have to say that the lecturers weren’t as organised as they could have been, the computer systems were either very old or very obscure and the lecture rooms too small. But I had a great time, managed to squeeze an honours degree in Computer Science from them and even survived Coventry. Since both Coventry and the University have improved greatly since I last attended them as a student, I would recommend them to students following a similar course to me.
I can only talk about coventry university,as regards my application there to study law,and the open day that i attended.I found it a decent university,in terms of campus,it is in the middle of coventry,so there is easy accessibility to nearby cities and the like. The lecturers seemed very nice,helpful people,who i think would have taught law very well,had i gone there instead of Warwick,which for various reasons,appealed to me more.However,if i had to choose between coventry and birmingham universities,i would have definitely chosen here.I was very impressed by their attitude,commitment to the students and their approach to life as a student. I think it is a shame that many people seem to reject Coventry on often pre-conceived views as regards it being a second-class university,whereas it is rated excellent for many courses,and is about halfway up the league tables.
I graduated from Coventry University 3 years ago and I have just finished my first year at Aston university. My time at Coventry was really good and it has a lot going for it. First thing that you have to do is get past the fact that it used to be a polytechnic. People tend to get put off but they shouldn't be. Coventry Uni is located right on the edge of the city centre which is useful for shopping, nights out, etc. The social life around the university is really good with all sorts of different things to suit all sorts of different people. OK so Coventry can be a bit dangerous in certain areas (but then so are all major cities). I f you get bored with Coventry Uni, then Birmingham, Aston, and Warwick university are not too far away. It is a big university and I really enjoyed my time there. I don't know how good it is now, but it was a really nice place to be (mainly because of the people) 3-5 years ago.