Boy has this place changed! There is a really neat cafe on the right as you come in. The staff are really helpful. On the left is the information area where you can find out about all the courses that the college has to offer. The library is past the security barrier and you need a Birkbeck student ID or pay a daily fee of £6 to gain access. Very bright.
Much better then it was 20+ years ago.
I take a couple of classes here. The place is nice in the kind weather, but seems like such a grey campus for being so close to several nice squares (especially Russell Square). The quad area outside of the main building is a nice place to dodge errant tennis balls being thrown around and take a seat on the green grass. Eat a sandwich if you want to. No one's pressuring you to not eat your sandwich wherever you want to eat it. You can eat your sandwich standing or sitting, no judgement here.
Speaking of food, outside SOAS there is a vegetarian krishna food table that gives away lots of food for free every day. You can just stroll on up to it (or the que) and they give you a huge plate of food. Based on every single person telling me they didn't like it, though, I'm staying away from there. To some people, free is free so you might want to try it.
The area around the aforementioned Russell Square is my favorite part of Birkbeck rather than the area around the main building. My classes are 3 hours long, so when there is a 20 minute break in the class, we all stroll out into the square and grab some grub at the Russell Square Cafe. It's incredibly peaceful. I like donuts.
Birkbeck's main building has a cafe on the ground floor, but the prices aren't so good. So I'd recommend bringing food onto campus (Russell Squ cafe is also a bit pricey). There are many coffee shops leading up to the school.
That's another thing, Birkbeck is in the center of London, easily accessible via underground by way of the Russell Square and Goodge Street tube stations. So if you're looking for a centrally located school, LOOK NO FURTHER. Stop looking.
I take classes at both London Met and Birkbeck; and everything at Birkbeck is so much nicer. But that's to be expected.
Birkbeck College have some great creative writing courses. I recently completed an introduction to creative writing tutored by Raul Peschiera. We explored prose as well as poetry. Raul was engaging and quirky and I looked forward to our weekly sessions.
The classes were informal with critiques on our work and weekly homework goals. My only criticism is that the course went on for 4 months and so lost a lot of momentum, however I do feel more confident in my writing skills after completing the course.
Birkbeck offers other more intensive part-time courses (such as the Certificate of Higher Education or the Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing) which gear one towards studying for an MA.
Birkbeck College is the continuing education branch of the University of London. There are a few Qype entries for it since, as a college, there are several offices and classroom locations.
I've taken five evening classes from Birkbeck over several years: four of these were for a Certificate in Philosophy and one was in the Psychology of Advertising. All have been very good: lecturers are great, the classrooms (I had several, most of which were actually in the LSE) were appropriate and not with too many students.
I've just finished a taught MA with Birkbeck and the experience was great! The courses were challenging, most of the lecturers were top class, and overall it was a brilliant two years.
I studied part time as I work full time and I found the College to be very understanding of the stresses and strains of people in my situation.
The library is quite good and the access to online resources was a huge bonus as I couldn't always visit in person. That the library was being refurbished during my time will help future scholars but I found the closure of summer 2007 inconvenient as my dissertation was due in September. Luckily Birkbeck's location encourages use of other local resources.
I would recommend evening study to anyone. It has changed my life for the good and I'm sure it will be beneficial to others.
This is where I did my study abroad program, and I lived in the immediate area and spent alot of time in this building. It doesn't have much of a physical presence, it's a night school for working types mostly, I think. Everything had that patina of benign neglect that I actually really dig. There's a cafe in the basement that serves some classic english tea. Forget about the coffee. KILLER- and I mean- KILLER locations- something to take note of if you are thinking about this place for your study abroad. It certainly ain't Oxford University, though.
I'll admit it upfront - I'm biased. I work and study at Birkbeck and think it's the most amazing university. Where else in London can you get a first class degree without having to give up your job and become tens of thousands of pounds in debt? Birkbeck is such an inspirational place. Students working all day, then giving up their evenings to learn and develop themselves. I'm studying economics, and although it can be a challenge to fit it all in, the end result will be worth it, I know. The tutors are supportive and recognise that we all have work and families too, so do take that on board when setting work. I'd encourage absolutely everyone thinking about studying for a certificate, a short course, a degree or beyond to register here - it really will change your life!
Part of the university of london. A place where any one can join and get a degree in london. In the evenings on a part time basis.
I did a part time Diploma in Archaeology course at Birkbeck which I completed in 2007 and was taught in 2 different locations, I also took a shorter 2 term course once i completed the diploma which was taught at The Museum of London. I found the teaching and support from all but one tutor was excellent and I had no reason to complain at all so I would consider studying there again.
I'm just at the end of a 4 years Psychology BSc and have enjoyed every minute. There were a few complaints from people along the way, mainly from those who expected to be nursed through the programme and most of those have dropped out now. Both the staff and the students I have met have been fantastic, its been a truly inspiring experience. I'm a working 43 year old father of two with lots of life experience. I think some people who are working expect the same sort of 'service' from academia as they would at marks and spencer's. It doesn't work like this, you have to use your initiative, be proactive and make efforts to engage with your subject and your tutors. It won't come to you, which is an expectation that I saw many students have who are used to being treated as a customer in the outside world. Yes you're paying for it but that doesn't entitle you to have your hand held, you have to reach out and grab a hold of your chosen subject.
The only advice I can give if you are considering studying at Birkbeck as a working or mature student is make sure you have the allocation of time and ultimate desire to complete the course of your choice. This may sound obvious but I couldn't believe how many people on my course moaned about not having any time to do the work and the 'lack of support'. Its simple, go to the lectures, read the suggested reading, do the assignments and turn up at the exams. Oh and its £2 a drink in the George Birkbeck bar!!
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