University of Manchester —An Open Day

University Place, University of Manchester
University Place, University of Manchester

I am in my final year at the University of Derby and so have been looking at MA’s in Screenwriting. My lecturer recommended University of Manchester, saying that it had a good reputation for a new degree.

I looked at other universities besides Derby and Manchester but didn’t find the others as interesting so I decided to go on a Master’s open day forManchester and Derby.

The University of Manchester’s Open Day was this Wednesday. Dad and I travelled by train from Birmingham and the journey was complete in no time. Even the long queue to get a taxi at the taxi rank went quick. 

Arriving at University of Manchester

We registered for the reception and booked an accommodation tour. So far, so good. Easy peasy and the staff was pleasant too… not like that one university for my undergrad open days. 

I’m not sure how it works in foreign countries, but because fees for uni are so high, many students take out loans to pay for them. Undergraduate loan is usually £9000 or so, just for tuition, sometimes higher. Then you get your living loan, which is another £8000. That’s a year by the way.

But Master’s tend to have cheaper tuition fees, ranging around 4500 to 5000. The University of Manchester was much more. In fact, they charge the standard undergrad rate of £9000m despite being a Masters degree,

Still, I decided to have a look despite my Master’s loan being £10,000 in total. However, it was not just the course that was a high cost.

Accommodation

The accommodation was £7000 for the year. Now, for that price, I was expecting to see a proper flat. My halls on my final year of undergrad costed £6000, there was just me and my flatmate and it felt like a proper flat.

However, at the University of Manchester, the £7000 halls looked like the halls you got in the first year of undergrad, which was the £3500-4000 halls. Small rooms with a cramped kitchen and a Laundrette seperate from your flat… I really didn’t fancy that. Although, the disabled rooms are a little bigger at Manchester.

The flat is shared amongst four-six students, there is no washing machine in the flat so I’d have to go back to lugging my clothes to the laundrette, the kitchen is shared and there is no living room. The closest thing to a recreation room was a room that could just about fit a pool table.

The place also had a clinical atmosphere rather than the homely atmosphere I have at my current halls.

On Campus

Catering

The university itself wasn’t bad. The food area reminded me of the food court that my college had – almost like a school dining hall, but it was a little cheaper than the food at Derby which I found interesting considering the University of Manchester’s living costs is usually at a higher rate.

Course and Class… ‘room’?

The room that my course would have been run in felt like it was more suited to a doctor’s chair or a small office in a simial profession rather than a classroom.

The course sounded interesting. They had links with Hollyoaks, an intern with Hollyoaks and I’d only have had to be in lectures for one day.

Good except that one day would be a long one day and would render my halls as pointless. I thought the modules sounded interesting and I could see myself enjoying them until he said we’d have to keep up-to-date with live TV, especially soaps and we would also have to write soaps.

If it is a requirement to watch live TV, I would expect the course to include the cost of the TV licence, especially as the tuition fees are £9000, which would be all my loan gone. Nope. They record some shows for you, but you are expected to pay for the TV licence, which would eat into the money overflowing already.

Add up the £9000 and the £7000 for accommodation and I’d be £6000 over my loan without including food, let alone tuition.

Free reign

I also don’t like being told to write in a specific genre. The lecturer said that they tell students not to write in specific genres because they are not made in Britain. I mean, yes, we don’t have much of a film industry, yes the big films tend to be filmed in Hollywood, but there are other ways to get your story out and you can sell your script across seas. It’ll be harder, but at least it’s your own story.

That’s not to say I don’t appreciate needing to know and experiment with different genres. I do. I’ve learned so much from my Genre module at the University of Derby that I can see how being aware of different genres can help improve writing, but at the end of the day, I want the story and its genre to be the one that I chose.

Seeing Manchester

So while I can now 100% say I am not going to the University of Manchester, but am going to Derby, my dad and I did have a lovely day.

We went to pizza express. I had a chicken and cheese pizza and dad had something from the Roma section. It was a lovely meal, especially their dough balls with garlic butter dip. We also played some games on the iPad when we were on the train and still managed to return to Birmingham with enough time to relax.

So now I know where I am going to study, I just need a place to stay. By the looks of things, I will be moving in with a friend and her family for the year. So that should be fun. And I won’t have to worry about finding my way around the city because it is second nature to me now.

Thanks for reading.

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