The application process at the University of Roehampton is generally fairly straightforward and not that different from other UK universities – and while MicroEDU doesn’t necessarily make it easier for you (they still ask for the same stuff, after all), you always have one Contact person at hand if you are unsure about something and that can be very reassuring (and you can contact her at any time during the year if you have difficulties and want a German contact person).
What I liked very much during the application process for Roehampton – and one of the main reasons why I chose the university – was that certain requirements made sense here and was not stubbornly obeying the rules, simply because that was the rule. In my case, as a state-certified translator for the English language, I already had a degree stating that I can speak English – and therefore didn’t see why I should take another test for over € 200. I also enclosed a letter from the head of the English language section, in which she confirmed that half of our courses over 3 years were in English and that my English is good. At other universities, I received a “conditional offer”, that is, an offer that I could study there if I met the condition to take this English test.
Studies and courses taken
I did my Masters in Audiovisual Translation – doing it in England had several advantages: The Masters in Great Britain usually only lasts one year (two years part-time if you want to work on the side), I have a year in the country where I live Language I practically study, live and study and of course the long stay abroad itself, which is simply a great, maturing experience in itself. I decided on Audiovisual Translation because I was already a translator and wanted to expand my experience in the field of translation – I also have a passion for films and can thus combine my passion with my job.
I can absolutely recommend the MA Audiovisual Translation program at the University of Roehampton. The lecturers are very nice and committed and, of course, the most important thing, have a lot of experience and can convey their knowledge well. For me it was like this (and I assume that it will be the same in the next few years) that you have four modules in two terms (in GB there are no semesters, but terms, i. e. trimesters) – two are compulsory modules and two you can choose from several. The two compulsory modules are Subtitling and Surtitling and Translation Theory and Practice. I have elected media access and dubbing as elective modules and would do it again – other elective modules included CAT Tools, Project Management and Transnational Cinema.
Usually the two compulsory modules are taught in the autumn term and the elective modules in the spring term. Unfortunately for me it was the case that Lucile, the lecturer in Translation Theory and Practice, was still on the sabbatical in the autumn term and not until the Spring Term was there and a few elective modules were placed in the Autumn Term, but unfortunately none of the ones I had chosen – and so I only had one module in the Autumn Term, three in the Spring Term, which was unfortunately a bit inconvenient. . .
The dissertation is then written in the summer term and in the summer (the time when the undergrads are all at home, beginning of June to mid-September approximately). But there is also the option of only doing a postgraduate diploma; then you are already done after the spring term. Before, I was terrified of the master’s thesis, but in the end it wasn’t that bad. 😉
Optional is the Academic Writing course, the only one for which I had to buy a book. I would recommend it anyway, because English academic writing is a little different. It also addresses errors that foreign students generally make more often in English.
Oh yes, always address the lecturers by first name! This might be a bit strange at first, but it’s so common in the UK – and you get used to it over time. Even if I would have liked it if someone had told me beforehand.
As an international student at the University of Roehampton, you are guaranteed a place in a dormitory on campus. What I didn’t know before, however: In contrast to here, where student dormitories are often much cheaper, you can easily find something cheaper there outside of campus. You might have to spend more on transportation to do this – but if you want to see a lot of the city, it might not matter that much.
Accommodation can help you to find accommodation outside of campus and if you have Facebook, it is worth going to groups such as “Roey Black Market” – especially in summer, many are still looking for flat share members and most of the time the apartments are there there a maximum of approx. 15 minutes from the campus.
If you don’t mind paying a little more, but have the comfort of not having to worry about anything, I can definitely recommend living on campus. I lived in Chadwick as one of the first students and it was very nice (new, stylish, not yet worn out), although unfortunately not quite finished at the beginning of my year (construction noise. . . ).
Roehampton consists of four colleges: Froebel, Digby Stuart and Southlands are on the main campus and Whitelands is about 10 minutes from the main campus. There is a friendly rivalry between the four colleges, reminiscent of Harry Potter, as there is also a College Cup, which is awarded at the end of the year to the college that gets the most points in the College Cup events. However, it is more or less a coincidence which college you are assigned to, because it depends either on which college campus you live on or on which college campus the department in which you study is located. At Undergrads it’s usually the same, which is why most of them also have a lot of “College Pride” – Unfortunately, it couldn’t really adjust to me because I lived at Froebel, but had my lectures at Southlands. . . Nevertheless, I liked this idea (probably because it reminds me so much of Hogwarts. . . ;)).
The campus is very nice, even if there were quite a lot of construction sites this year, but you will get beautiful new buildings – including a new bib! – find. It’s very green, there are some really nice old buildings (Grove House, the main building on Whitelands,. . . ), a few nice retreats (e. g. Vatican Garden), Digby Square with the Hive Café, in which many products from “Growhampton “, The university’s sustainability project (and on Thursdays there is a market in front of the Hive with real bread from a nice, local baker and fresh vegetables from the campus and about once a month the Roehampton Thrift Store, where you can find cheap Second-hand outfits! For example, I got my dress plus blazer for the summer ball plus a top for a total of only 6 pounds), two ponds with many different types of ducks,
Leisure and excursion possibilities
Roehampton is located in the southwest of London – so you live in the middle (if not central, but still) of one of the most exciting, beautiful, diverse cities in Europe. I lived there for a year and still haven’t seen everything. You will definitely not lack leisure opportunities. But there is also a lot to see outside of London. There are various tour offers that show you different cities / sites in a bus with a guide in one day (e. g. student tours, I did the Stonehenge / Bath / Salisbury tour), but you can also simply take the bus yourself (sometimes very cheap) or take the train to different destinations (I have been to Dover, Oxford, Cambridge and Brighton, for example – I can highly recommend all of them except Brighton. Brighton has been recommended to me very often and there are many who think it’s really nice there, but my friend and Unfortunately I found it pretty boring there).
As for the night life, of course, you won’t be neglected in London either – but it depends a little on what you like. If you like Mainstram Pop, you don’t have to leave the university at all: on Fridays there is BOP in the Union Bar, then there is Fez, a club in Putney that is only open to Roehampton students on Wednesdays (shuttle buses bring you from Campus there and back), and once a month is Grand, another club that is only open to Roehampton students one Monday a month. If you don’t like mainstream pop that much, but prefer to listen to rock, for example, I can warmly recommend The Underworld to you – it’s just unfortunately in Camden and so it takes a while to get there (although it will be much easier for you there the Night Tube will be available this summer / autumn!)
Otherwise I can only warmly recommend you to join a club or society. At the Freshers’ Fair everyone actually introduces themselves – take a flyer of everything with you and then think about what you want to do and also try out a lot of different things at the first trial trainings – take the chance to do something you like would maybe never try it at home! I never would have expected it in the beginning, but then I actually joined the rowing club and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made (apart from going to Roehampton of course;)) Overall, there is a lot to experience at the university, even without a club / society – you are guaranteed to get your money’s worth!
It was probably the best, most exciting, most educational year of my life so far. I would do the same again and highly recommend the University of Roehampton. Why I still only gave the university three stars: As a postgraduate, you sometimes feel like a second-class student…. It’s all geared towards undergrads, who admittedly are much more and bring in a lot more money (around £ 9,000 a year (over three years) – my Masters, on the other hand, was £ 6,400 for a year. . . ). So it might be understandable somehow, but it was still a bit annoying at times. But if you know in advance, for example, that as a postgraduate you can definitely take part in Freshers ‘Week or Refreshers’ Week, that you only have to take care of a ticket beforehand (before they are all sold out) and that it is also worthwhile, can one also take care of it To have as much fun as the Undergrads – only you are not necessarily told beforehand – at least it was like that for me. In the first week there were a lot of parties that I wasn’t allowed to because I didn’t have a ticket. That’s because they think we postgrads have already had a Freshers’ Week at our first university (unfortunately that doesn’t apply to foreign students) or we don’t necessarily want to take part in such a party marathon anymore.
In the meantime, however, there is the Postgrad and Mature Students Society, which will hopefully help to better convey postgraduate concerns.
Another point deduction is due to the difficult communication with Accommodation. In retrospect, I don’t regret having lived on campus, but almost everyone who had to deal with accommodation from time to time could report difficulties with communication.
Still, don’t let these two negative points stop you from going to Roehampton. As I said, I would do it again anytime!
As for the cost, yes, it’s expensive. But Roehampton was still relatively cheap for me compared to other universities – and living in London for a year has its price. But it’s worth it. Promised!