Sounthampton Institute - should I go that route?

Discussion in 'Education' started by ErikG, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. ErikG
    Joined: Feb 2002
    Posts: 397
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    Location: Stockholm, Sweden

    ErikG Senior Member

    Warning Ramblings ahead :)
    There aren't that many questions just reflections on my current status below, so if you want to comment please do!
    -----------------------------------------------------
    After long talks with the wife, we decided that I should se where the avenue of residential studies at the southhampton institute might lead...

    As I have a family and two (soon to be three) children this would be a huge change in how we live our lives.
    Moving to England and the language is fortunately the "easy" part. The hard parts seems to be; Finding a reasonable place to stay. Being able to keep the job for the wife (she works at a distance anyways) or finding a new job for her. And obviously taking the "gamble" on the course...

    Does this course REALLY lead to an educated level where you woud be able to get a reasonable job in the industry, given the fact that I'm a taurus and as stubborn as they are supposed to be. I might not be the smartest guy in the universe but I do have a huge craving for knowledge and always want's to have a momentum in continually developing my life and my skills.

    On the other hand four years (three for the course and a prepping year that I need) is along time. As a Soundengineer working with feature films at a high level and also playing the role of our companys Technical manager I also have a bit to loose. I don't mind giving up sound and film a tiny bit, I've done it long enough and don't really want to continue with it until I get old anyway! But a secure income is a secure income. I dont want to risk my family either.

    I'm not that stupid so that I think I would be the greatest designer on earth upon graduation (but hopefuly one with a good set of tools to become one).

    Financially it would be a big change to. I would be able to get some financial goverment grants and loans and if we can get the wife to continue on her job or work at another company I think we could manage.

    So you UK'ers on the board... Where should I start looking for a rented apartment/small house near southampton? For rent pages on the net kind of thing? And what would your educted guess be for what it might cost ( I know that's hard to answer)?

    Difficult questions I know but where better to turn for support and information then from you clever folks?!

    So if any institute grads would like to comment on my situation and if they would have done it if they where in my shoes, I'd be most grateful!

    ErikG
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Changing your life is a good thing or? :?: :cool: :rolleyes:
     
  2. SailDesign
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: Jamestown, RI, USA

    SailDesign Old Phart! Stay upwind..

    ErikG,
    AS a (far from recent) Instirtute grad, from when it was the Southampton College of Technology, I can say that it will definitely give you the sort of education you are looking for.
    I was married when I started there, and married with a kid when I left. I did not make it easier at all ;-) BUT... it did not make it impossible, either. Actually, it was quite fun watching the faces on the 18-20 year olds when I got "the phone call" that I had to come home to take my wife to have the baby. Priceless!
    I won't try to advise you either way, Erik, as this has to be your decision, but see above for hard input.

    Steve
     
  3. ErikG
    Joined: Feb 2002
    Posts: 397
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    Location: Stockholm, Sweden

    ErikG Senior Member

    Steve. Thanks for the response...

    It definetly is my decision, but comments on good and bad points are always a good thing to bear in mind. This education really seems to be what I want. Full time studies for three years (the course) and one extra year, since I don't have all the proper qualfications from school, is quite a different thing from part time studying at YDS. I'm not saying that YDS is not an option for some people, but if I REALLY want to do this for the rest of my life I better get a good foundation to build upon. A graduation "paper" from the institute will probably have more BANG, when it comes to land a job, than a paper from Tom MacNaughton saying that I studied at YDS. I also think that the extra year is a good thing for getting adapted to studying full time, the english way of life and driving on the wrong side of the street.

    One intresting issue will be the kids, will they be able to adapt to an english kindergarten? How easy/hard is it to get a job for the wife? That will take some time figuring out... And she needs to decide what her tolerance level is when it comes to what to work with. But she always wanted to live abroad at least for a while, and now she can.

    Hard questions that I will ponder over for a while. I do have a some time before I need to decide if this is MY WAY...

    Steve what did your girlfriend do while you were studying? And how did you live, apartment/house? How old were you at the time? Studying with "kids" that are 15 years younger than me can also be a challenge in itself I guess.

    Any thougts and opinions about living, studying etc are much appreciated.

    ErikG
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Hi,

    I am currently studying at the institute (3rd year).
    House price: I am living in one of the lowest priced part of the city, we pay (house for 4) 600£ per month. (4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 living room,...). I think it is not possible to find cheaper. I think that other food is not that expensive.

    Southampton is really a student city, so many accomodation are for student. In february, march web pages with renting will start to appear. I 'll post some address when i see some.

    Concerning the first year, i think you are talking about Foundation year. I think this is not required if you have a good level in math. 1 st year student have 22 hours each week.


    Nico
     
  5. ErikG
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    Location: Stockholm, Sweden

    ErikG Senior Member

    Nico Thanks for your reply.

    I need to take foundation year for several reasons. Even though I did study a lot of math, when I studied, it was only math geared towards electronics and automation and we had no tuition in Math as a separate subject so I need the "degree". Also I think I need the time to get in "study gear". It's been a long time since I went to school! :) And refreshing the english is not a bad idea either.

    Great to get an idea of the cost of accomodation. I guess we could do with a slightly smaller house, but we would want our own place. Sharing is not an option with three kids! :)

    What do you mean by" 1 st year student have 22 hours each week."?
    Do you mean that during the foundation year you study 22 hrs/week or during the first year on the actual course?

    Nico are you English? If not (Nico doesn't sound so English) how does it feel studying in English only?
     
  6. nico
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: SF

    nico Senior Member

    Hi,

    I dont really know for foundation but the total hours of study is 22 for 1 st years, the same for 2nd years , and 15 for 3rd years (+ 8 for project)

    I think u should look a bit more at foundation, for example in math first year the only things we do are derivation, factorisation etc... really basic stuff. But it maybe interesting for u if u need time (dont forget for EU students it s still 1100£ a year :) )

    I am french, 50% of the students are french. I spent one year in NZ before studying here, so it was alright. When u see that almost all papers and books really interesting are in english, i think that english is the obvious language for teaching yacht design

    Nico
     
  7. SailDesign
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: Jamestown, RI, USA

    SailDesign Old Phart! Stay upwind..

    Erik,
    "Steve what did your girlfriend do while you were studying? And how did you live, apartment/house? How old were you at the time? Studying with "kids" that are 15 years younger than me can also be a challenge in itself I guess."

    My wife was a student nurse during my first year, and became a mother during my second. Third year she was still a full-time Mum. ;-)
    I was 22 when I started, and so the "kids" were not that much younger. Nor were some of the teachers that much older... I had my own house in Hamble, so accommodation was simple. As far as studying with kids 15 years younger (you're 33-34-ish, I assume ;-)) you're on your own there. I have always said that you're only young once, but you can be immature for ever - never had a problem getting on with younger folk, especially those who have chosen the same strange path through life as yourself.
    Steve
     
  8. Owen
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    Location: University of Southampton

    Owen EX LIQUIDUS IN CONTEXTUS

    My experiences: Getting to Southampton via a foundation year and my first impressions

    Erik,

    I am currently studying Ship Science at the University - the Institutes' rival. I am in my first year and earned my place by successfully completing the foundation year. I hope that through responding to your initial questions I may be able to clarify several things in my own mind, and, more importantly, help you make a more informed decision.

    I am quite busy, academically, at the moment and hope that you do not mind me replying to your questions in installments.

    "Does this course REALLY lead to an educated level where ... ?"

    A good question. I cannot comment with regard to my own experience, given that I am only beginning my education. However, I can emphasize with your curiousity as I seriuosly considered joining the institute. At this time I made some enquiries both on this board and elsewhere. Conclusion: The Institutes reputation is excellent. In my mind it seems that this is for several reasons:

    0. The industry is saturated by those who have either completed the course, lectured on it, or have always wanted to take it. The large proportion of intn'l students help to conjure the image that the course is _the_ global melting pot of the brightest young talent.

    1. Several Alumni have risen to the forefront of the profession - thinking Dubois, Frers Jnr., et al. In interview many often cite the course as instrumental in their career development - esp. Dubois.

    2. The course has very strong links to the int'l yacht design profession - through alumni and lecturers - and rates as one of the best residential courses in the uk.

    3. Obviously - Southampton is one hell'of'a town. It is steeped in naval history and has very strong economic, social, and educational links with the marine industry. As a fully operational shipping port, ferry port, and yacht haven there are few facets of the marine industry that have no interest in Southampton. This, I assure you, is a good thing... In so much as I was lucky enough to stumble across the J class velsheda moored @ Ocean village - a marina at the centre of Southampton - this last weekend. With Cowes, IOW, just over the Solent, Soton ( Southampton's nickname ) really is an exceptional location to conduct maritime studies.

    So we have established that the institute has a very good reputation, an international one at that. It follows that this must be come about through, and, be a direct reflection of the academic standards of the course. I reiterate that this is only an assumption. I do hope that other graduates of the institute qualify this for us.

    Nationally the institute is not renown for its academic standards. It ranks as the 97th best university in the uk, with - and I am proud to say it - the university at 11th. This is according to the Sunday Times Uni Guide 2003. I have lifted all the institute's stats from the times student pages directly. Find them below:

    -note: the numbers in brackets represent last years stats.-

    Southampton Institute

    East Park Terrace
    Southampton SO14 OYN
    Tel 023 8031 9039
    enquiries@solent.ac.uk
    www.solent.ac.uk

    Sunday Times ranking 97 (113)
    Teaching quality 26.67%
    Research quality 7.78%
    A-level points 12
    A-levels for entry 66.4%
    Unemployment 7.8%
    Firsts and 2:1s 43.5%
    Student/staff ratio 24.12:1
    Dropout rate 14% (19%)

    Undergraduates 8,365 (1,753)
    Postgraduates 262 (551)
    Teaching staff 387
    Applications/places 9,401/2,694; 3.5:1 (+3.6%)
    Clearing entry 12.7%
    Hardship fund £592,964

    EU/overseas 3.7%/7.8%
    Mature 25.1%
    State school 94%
    Lowest social classes 29%
    Low-participation areas 8%
    Live in 28% (65%) £44-£85
    Sports facilities 4 stars

    However, as we have seen, the course certainly surpasses its establishment.

    To respond to your first question succinctly: Yes. I believe that upon succsessfull completion of the institute course you will have a qualification that is instantly, and more importantly, internationally recognised. Will this lead to a 'reasonable job..' I would like to hope so.. Anyways, given that you are a Taurus, Haley's comet should be moving into your zodaic, bringing success and academic achievement, by the time your graduate in 2007.

    Questions.. Just ask.

    Hope this helps. Owen..
     
  9. Owen
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    Location: University of Southampton

    Owen EX LIQUIDUS IN CONTEXTUS

    Wow! who would have thought...

    Erik,

    Just stumbled across this only moments after leaving my last post. Would strongly recommend getting in touch with this chap. Given that he lectured @ the institue for 15 years - more detail in the biog section -, and that he is willing to answer questions - free advice section - you may have an excellent source of knowledge on your hands.

    Let us know how useful the response is..Owen..

    www.yacht-designer.co.uk
     
  10. ErikG
    Joined: Feb 2002
    Posts: 397
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    Location: Stockholm, Sweden

    ErikG Senior Member

    Thanks Steve Nico and Owen

    I knew it would be a good idea to "think aloud" here to get some input! :)

    Steve. No I don't think I'll have any problems studying and teamworking with ppl younger than me (I still wonder when I'll become an adult...), but when I was in my early twenties, life and the way I lived it was different to what it is now, with a family and all.

    Supporting a family w tree children on goverment grants nd loans just for me might be pretty hard. Maybe we should have a look at her studying as well...
    Fortunately I have a long working relationship with a company close to Swindon wich is not that far away. I believe I might be able to get some well payed work there during the breaks...

    Nico. I'll check wether I could make it without actually taking the foundation year, I'll think about that.
    If you study for 22 hrs/week at the institute, how much time do you need to study yourself outside the course? Is it a possibility to have a job to get some extra income during study terms or do I need to spend all the time studying? I don't want to sound lazy, but surviving while studying is pretty important to.
    If you by any chance have someone attending the course that are in the same kind of situation that I am, please ask him/her to contact me here via the private messaging (if they want to be anonimous) or on my
    e-mail (click here).
    Since you are now on your third year, is there anyting that you feel the course not teaching you? How about hand drawing/sketching, buisness aspects etc.?

    Owen. Interesting responses. Personally I'm a (sail)boat guy, and not very "shippy", but if I would have been younger I would have taken a classic NA course here in sweden and then continued to study at the Yacht Research Unit in Gothenburg Sweden. Head professor there is Lars Larsson, one of the authors of "Principles of yacht design". They also have a great collaboration with SSPA, witch has a huge towing tank and do CFD stuff. But taking that route I'd become to old before I graduate, and might have a difficult time finding a job. Since they require a civil engineering dgree before you start the course. That would be 1+5+3=9 years plus time at YRU (hey I can do math! :)) and I would be 42+ years before I graduate... Not really an option.

    I'm sure I'll have even more questions to bore you all with, but I need to get to work now so...

    Thanks againg guys :D :D :D
    ------------------------------------------
    Still thinking out loud....:?:
     
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    To get the degree, you don't need to study a lot out of the classes. Maybe 4 hours a week will be a minimum, depends how hard u find the course. But the course doens't teach everything, i think time need to be spent on reading books, learning softwares etc... depends on what u want to do.

    I think that 3/4 of the students in Yacht design have a job at the same place. The job is to drive cars into ships (to France, USA), it s payed 8£ an hour, and as student we don 't pay taxes. We can work when we want (usually on week ends). Good money.

    We did hand drawing once in the course. (the first year). There is a yacht design Cad room with most of the design softwares (not always up to date!). And a very good library. Concerning what we learn, Structure is very good. Naval architecture and hydrodynamics are fine. (I would have liked more theory). We do quite a lot on tank testing. We have a course called Management in 3rd year, i think we ll see all the business stuff.

    Nico
     
  12. Owen
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    Location: University of Southampton

    Owen EX LIQUIDUS IN CONTEXTUS

    Nico, your job in Southampton!

    Nico,

    I am very interested in the job that you have in Southampton. Would you be able to let me know who you work for and where. It sounds like a great job!

    Thanks, Owen @ the university.
     
  13. SailDesign
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: Jamestown, RI, USA

    SailDesign Old Phart! Stay upwind..

    Owen, IIRC, that job is only to open to those with the sense to go to the Institute... ;-P

    <just kidding>

    Steve
     
  14. ErikG
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    Location: Stockholm, Sweden

    ErikG Senior Member

    Thanks everyone for your responses!

    Now I awaite further information from the institute ( I hope). I'm also trying to investigate how we would manage financially, and if we could get a long term tennat to rent our house for the period. We really don't want to sell since we do live in an area where house prices increase as the city grows larger. We would never be able to get a loan to buy a similar house when we get back without first working a few years with a regular income.
    That is if we do move back, I think I'd like to work with some of the "good guys" internationally after graduation, but then we could sell our house later on.

    I thank you all for your comments and insights and if you would like to add further information or comment about my thoughts or about the institute in general, please do.

    ErikG
    ------------------------------------------------
    It's better to learn a lot than a little...
     

  15. guest12020101217
    Joined: May 2003
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    guest12020101217 Junior Member

    Dear All

    I finished the Yacht and Powercraft design degree at Southampton Insitute this year.

    I would just like to make a few comments.
    There were a couple of people in my year who were supporting a family and studying. One travelled from london most days and he got a 1st! and a award to graduation for his work!

    I would like to comment on a post by Nico on 11-12-2003 @ 01:04 PM.
    QUOTE:
    "To get the degree, you don't need to study a lot out of the classes. Maybe 4 hours a week will be a minimum, depends how hard u find the course. But the course doens't teach everything, i think time need to be spent on reading books, learning softwares etc... depends on what u want to do."

    You very much have to study out of class, but what you are teach in class is key. Self learning is a key part if you want to do well. Some people give negative comments about the foundation year but don't really understand that it is designed to cover basic's for a number of the marine course not just YPD. The following also applied to the 1st year. It is all about setting down the basic. If you dont put the time into the early part and learn the basic then you will have a real hard time later on. Put the time in and get the basic's down. Then you can start to develop you own ideas and push yourself. As the course goes on it seem to open up and the subject just becomes more and more intresenting.
    To some it up. If nobody told me the basics in the class room, how could l go and learn in my own time?

    The institute is very supportive on issue like families, money housing etc.
    You just have to make the effect to talk/go see someone. Lots of students with children etc have done, passed and gained work.

    Anyway, that my two bit.
    Good luck to all students.
    Colin
     
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