University of York
Welcome to University of York
The city of York, famous for being rich in history and culture, is also home to one of the UK’s newest universities.
Now part of the Russell Group of research-led universities, York first opened its doors to students in the swinging sixties (1963 to be exact). The university is based on two campuses just outside of the city: the newer Heslington East, and the original campus, Heslington West. It has invested a whopping £750 million in its facilities in the past 10 years.
York is relatively small, yet it offers students an impressive on- and off-campus life in what has been hailed as one of the best cities to live in and visit in the UK*. Amid its medieval streets and pretty architecture are plenty of interesting and quirky places to discover, day or night. The University is known for its active Students' Union (YUSU), which boasts 164 societies. There are also two award-winning student newspapers, a radio and a TV station on campus.
With a collegiate system that students describe as “basically like being at Hogwarts, minus the sorting hat,” there is the choice of nine different colleges. Students are welcomed into an instant community, with each college boasting its own identity, atmosphere, facilities, events and societies. College sport is big too, and many students compete against Lancaster University in Roses, Europe's largest inter-university tournament.
As a student you’ll be following in the footsteps of many well-known and respected alumni, including MPs Oona King and Harriet Harman, writer and playwright Sally Wainwright, and the editor of the Sunday Times, John Witherow.
*The Sunday Times 101 Best Places to Live in Britain (March 2014)
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Courses and fees
As part of the Russell Group of research-led universities, The University of York offers students the opportunity to be taught by some of the world’s leading academics. There is plenty of choice when it comes to learning, whether you are an undergraduate, postgraduate or online and distance-learning student. You can tailor your course and choose from a range of qualifications and degrees, from bachelors, masters, research, foundation and joint honours programmes.
The University welcomes well qualified students from all backgrounds, including mature and international students. Your application to the University of York must be made online through UCAS.
For more details, contact: [email protected]
The university accepts a wide range of qualifications, including: A/AS-levels, Access awards, Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate, AQA Baccalaureate, BTEC Awards, Cambridge Pre-U Qualifications, Diplomas, Open University Courses or Scottish Highers/Advanced higher and international qualifications equivalent to A-levels.
The level of qualification required will naturally depend on the course itself, but you will be looking to get three good results at A-level in order to secure a place on a course. Mature students may not need to have the same level of qualifications, but must prove some experience in the area of study and have bags of enthusiasm.
The standard undergraduate fee for home and EU students is £9,000. Students on certain NHS-funded courses, such as midwifery, do not pay tuition fees. If you study medicine you don’t pay tuition fees from year five onwards.
For most postgraduate courses fees are set at the standard rate for home/EU students at £6,450 a year (taught fees) or £4,052 (research fees). These are quoted for one year of study only.
The overseas higher rate is based at £15,150 for a classroom-based course and £19,500 a year when laboratory-based, or for postgraduate research courses £14,000 for a classroom based course and £18,000 for a laboratory-based course. Fees need to be paid at the beginning of the year, but you can also ask to pay in instalments.More information on non-standard fees can be found on the University of York’s fees page.
Bursaries and scholarships
There are several undergraduate bursaries and scholarships available to students. These are means-tested, which means the amount you may be eligible to receive will be based on your family’s household income. The financial support ranges from £1,000 up to £5,600 and is usually split through each year of your course.
If your funding hasn’t come through in time then you may be able to get hold of an emergency loan by speaking to someone from the Student Financial Support Unit via the Student Support Hub.
Other financial support may be available from specific departments, so it’s worth checking with the key contact relating to your chosen subject – this is funded by the university alumni. You can find your key contact by searching on the relevant department links on the University of York’s website.
The York Opportunity Awards celebrate the achievements of talented students who have overcome difficulties or significant barriers. Each award is worth a total of £3,300, which is paid annually over three years. Find out more about how to apply and whether you are eligible on the York Opportunity Awards page.
The University of York is based just outside the city. It has more than 30 departments and research centres spread across two campuses, Heslington East and Heslington West, with a large lake at each site. There are lots of investment plans for the future, including an £8 million teaching building with a 350-seat lecture theatre, 26 seminar rooms, informal breakout spaces and study areas.
Library and study facilities
If being a student leaves you with your days and nights a bit mixed up you’ll be pleased to find both the JB Morrell and Fairhurst libraries open for action 24 hours a day. There are six libraries at the university in total and 1,200 study spaces available with the option to book single or group study rooms.
The university library and study facilities have recently undergone a £20 million revamp, with particular highlights being the cozy pods and alcove areas where you can sink into a large bean bag among white boards for drawing, mapping or scribbling. There’s also a library cafe to keep hunger pangs at bay.
You can check how busy the library is using an online seating availability tool that allows you to choose from silent zones, quiet zones or studious buzz zones. There are also many other study areas available in different buildings.
The university has more than 700 computers and lots of sockets for you to plug in your gadgets. You can print, scan and photocopy from IT classrooms and study areas, study bedrooms, tablet, mobile or through the virtual private network (VPN).
Wi-fi access is available across the campus as well as various open access areas. You will also be given your own personal email and online account (Google App for Education).
Welfare and financial aid
University life can be a huge adjustment for many, but there is lots of advice and support close to hand, whether it’s from the Student Union, college teams, academic supervisor or course representatives.
Students can head down to The Student Finance Hub (based in Market Square) to get advice from the Student Financial Support Unit and Student Welfare Advisors. Some of the team represents the NHS and Student Finance England, so they certainly know their budgets from their bursaries.
Then there’s the University of York Students’ Union where you can speak to one of the five elected sabbatical officers (who call themselves the ‘sabb team’), along with more specialist advice staff for help with your finances, accommodation or your studies.
Another service that the university prides itself on is the Open Door Team, which runs a series of workshops and groups for students who are facing difficult or emotional challenges and need extra support. Nightline is a student-run email, phone or face-to-face service open every night of term from 8pm to 8am run by trained students for advice on everything from stress to sexual health, personal safety and general health and wellbeing.
An Equality and Diversity Office is also on hand to support and advise students who may be dealing with harassment, bullying or discrimination.
The University of York’s networking events, global programmes and links with UK businesses enable it to help students find internship, volunteering and employment opportunities. Recent figures showed that nine out of 10 University of York students are in work or further study within six months of donning their graduation hats.
The University’s online careers resources can help with advice on work experience, developing skills or volunteering, and you can also get face-to-face advice from the University’s careers advisors.
Careers events, workshops and skills courses take place throughout the year, providing the opportunity to speak to people from specific industries, learn skills and get invaluable insider advice on how to get a foot in the door.
The YUSU also supports students with careers choices and recently ran a new event to replace the traditional refreshers fair, called ‘YorHired’, which ran sessions on careers and had stalls from graduate recruiters and careers advisors (and free pizza, even better).
The university is fast becoming one of the most popular places for aspiring journalists to study. There are three student newspapers as well as the University's own radio and TV station.
Not enough sleep, too many drinks and getting up close and personal with your new-found friends = student bugs-a-plenty. With this in mind, you’re advised to register with the Unity Health Centre. This is found across the lake from Central Hall at the Heslington West campus and is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 6pm.
There is a ‘stay and wait’ clinic where you can drop in for a quick chat, or you can book an appointment to talk to a doctor or a nurse about anything you may be worried about. Prescriptions are free for students and there is an electronic prescription service available.
You can access weekly travel health clinics, counselling, physiotherapy and clinical psychology sessions. Other surgeries nearby include Wenlock Terrace Surgery and Hull Road Surgery.
Students can also get health advice and treatment at the NHS urgent care centre at York District Hospital. If you need a chemist or dentist or option you can also find these close to campus.
There are plans for a brand-new health centre complete with a doctors’ practice, pharmacy, supermarket, shops and cafe, but this has not yet been firmed up at the time of writing.
Around 20% of students at the University of York come from outside of the UK - almost 160 countries in fact, which makes the university a lively and diverse mix of cultures and faiths. As an added boost to its international credentials, the university was recently voted the country’s top university for international students (May 2014).
There is plenty of support available to international students who wish to study in York, starting with the international support team based at the Student Support Hub on Market Square. An international admissions team can help anyone who wants to apply. When arriving in the UK students can arrange to be collected from Manchester Airport or York Railway Station.
A student orientation programme, with free talks and activities, helps all new international students get a better sense of life at university, from studying in the UK to making new friends and socialising.
There are more than 3,700 rooms available to undergraduate students, but the one you go for will depend on your budget and wish list. If you do decide to stay on campus, prices include your heating, water, electricity, contents insurance and wi-fi access.
Some of the accommodation is a bit on the historic side, but refurbishments and improvements have been made since 2009 to the older blocks in Heslington West, alongside large investments into building brand new accommodation.
Most students choose to live on campus in their first year to benefit from being part of a shared community that is smack bang in the centre of activity. The main plus side is that you’ll be guaranteed a room if you choose York as your Firm or Insurance choice, and apply for a single room by the published deadline date. Living on campus also means you will be close to the cafes, dining halls, launderettes, bars, common rooms and study areas.
As an undergaduate you will be assigned to one of eight colleges when you apply for accommodation (the ninth is for postgraduates only). This is more than just your student home; it is a community in its own right with events, bars, social activities and support at hand for when you need it. Students will automatically become a member of their college’s Junior Common Room (JCR) and there is also an elected Student Committee.
The nine colleges all offer different levels of accommodation: economy, standard, premium and deluxe. View a map of the University of York campus.
- 1. Alcuin: standard and premium accommodation (Hes West)
- 2. Constantine: premium and deluxe accommodation (Hes East)
- 3. Derwent: economy and standard (Hes West)
- 4. Goodricke: premium (Hes East)
- 5. Halifax: standard (Hes West)
- 6. James: economy, standard, premium (Hes West) >
- 7. Langwith: premium (Hes East)
- 8. Vanburgh: economy, premium (Hes West)
- 9. Wentworth: premium and economy (this is a graduate-only college) (Hes West)
The benefits of the colleges and standards of rooms are a hot topic on University of York TSR forums, so find out what people think of them on the forums.
You can also find out more about the colleges on the university website. Many of the colleges have their own websites and Facebook/Twitter accounts with lots of updates to let you know what’s going on.
You can find out more specific information about each college by reading the humorously honest and student-written University of York Students’ Union Alternative Prospectus.
Types of room
You have the option of applying for catered, self-catered, breakfast-only, shared bathroom or ensuite bedrooms, as well as deciding on what length of let you need (this varies from 36 to 51 weeks, with the majority around 40 weeks).
- • Single rooms range from £103.11 to £167.65 per week (a small number of twin bedrooms with single beds are also available) >
- • You need to pay a £300 deposit at the time of booking your accommodation
- • Rent is usually paid in three direct debit instalments in October, January and May
- • Adapted or accessible rooms are available for students with a medical or mobility issue
- • Couples and family accommodation is available, comprising studio flats or houses, but these are not always guaranteed
There are plenty of student houses within walking distance of the University for graduates and postgraduates. Even if you live off-campus, you will still be a member of a college.
Anyone looking for accommodation off-campus can get advice on how to go about it from the Student Support Hub and YUSU. A housing fair is also held each year to help you get to know what sort of houses to go for and how to suss out damp or dodgy properties.
Students can also use the City of York Council’s accreditation scheme YorProperty where they will be able to view higher standard accommodation (many of which are available for 52 weeks a year). Second or third year students who still want to benefit from the security of living on campus can apply to live in their college for each year of their course.
When it comes to making your decision it’s always a good idea to head to an open day to get a feel for the vibe and facilities. There are four dates available throughout the year that you can choose from, see them on the website.
To walk from Heslington West into the town centre it will take you around 25 minutes (15 minutes if you jump on a bus or a bicycle). Heslington East it is a little further away from town at around 35 minutes (with a 20-minute bus or cycle ride). To walk from Heslington West to Heslington East it will take you 15 minutes or a five-minute bus or cycle ride. There are plenty of free buses to take you from one part of the campus to another that run regularly throughout the day and evening.
“I do English at York and I can really recommend it. The course is diverse and interesting. We’ve got a lot of leading experts in several fields and having the opportunity to talk with them one-on-one in office hours is wonderful.” Second year English student
“When I visited York at an open day the library really sold the university to me because it has a great range of different workspaces including individual silent work areas, group study areas and even seminar rooms which are perfect for society meetings. I have to say, this is where I spend a vast majority of my time when not in lectures so having good facilities such as the library cafe which serves amazing food and the fact the library is open 24/7 is super useful during exam time.” Taran, 2nd Year, BSc Economics.
“I opted for catered accommodation which not every college offers but I adored! Not having to worry about preparing my own meals was a big time saver and being able to eat in the canteen everyday with the rest of the college was brilliant social occasion to have everyday.” Tom, graduate, BA PPE.
“The University of York has a very large campus with good accommodation and amazing facilities. The atmosphere was very friendly and felt like a safe environment to be in; each department also had a vibe of strong community which seemed really fun to be a part of.” Prospective York Psychology Student, Open Day Saturday 20 September 2014.
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