University of Southampton
Welcome to University of Southampton
The University of Southampton is an attractive proposition for grade-A students thanks to its position as a founding member of the Russell Group and its reputation for being one of the UK’s top research institutions, particularly in science and engineering.
It’s also a good place to go if you don’t want to tie yourself exclusively to a single subject – the university allows students to incorporate modules from other disciplines to provide a more rounded education, and has plenty of international links for those who wish to study abroad.
It’s home to more than 23,000 students each year, but you won’t find yourself living and working on a single, sprawling campus. Highfield is supported by a number of smaller campuses – art and design students are based in Winchester, for example. Many students live off-site – while, first years live in one of many halls dotted around the main site (or increasingly popping up in the city centre) later years are spent living in private rented housing.
Southampton itself has a bit of everything: the amenities and night life of a big city, yet with more than 60 parks and green spaces to provide some contrast to city living. It’s steeped in history, yet vibrant and modern. And of course Southampton is right on the coast, with Europe (and the Isle of Wight) within easy reach by boat.
The university itself is constantly expanding and updating, with new halls being built and refurbished, and money being poured both into its academic institutions and student facilities. Alumni from the university include John Nettles, Chris Packham, Adrian Newey (technical director of Red Bull Racing in F1) and Radio One DJ Chris Stark.
Courses and fees
University of Southampton courses and fees
Southampton is organised into eight faculties spread across 70 subject areas. These comprise the Faculty of Business and Law, the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, the Faculty of Health Sciences, the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences, the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, and the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences. The university offers more than 200 degree programmes for undergraduates, and the same number again for postgrads.
Most University of Southampton undergraduate courses last between three and four years.
The vast majority of courses are applied for online through the UCAS website. There are some exceptions, including all part-time courses, where you’ll need to request an application form directly from the relevant academic unit. Full details can be found in the uni’s prospectus or online at the relevant course page: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/index.shtml
Although exact course requirements vary, you’ll generally need AAB or ABB grade A-levels – or their equivalent – in order to gain entrance.
Anyone coming from a disadvantaged background can also apply to the Access to Southampton (A2S) scheme, which provides special consideration as well as financial support for prospective students who meet certain eligibility requirements.
UK-based applicants may or may not be required to attend an interview or selection process – this will be made clear when your application has been processed. If you’re offered a place, you’ll be invited to visit Southampton before you make a final decision. If you’re planning to take a gap year, you’ll need to meet the entry requirements for the year you apply for the course.
For more help and advice, contact the relevant faculty or Registry Admissions Team: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/studentadmin/admissions/contact.html
For 2015/16, UK and EU standard full-time undergraduate annual tuition fees are £9,000 per year.
For 2015/16, international student tuition fees are between £14,660 and £38,315 for full-time study, depending on the subject being studied – more details can be found here: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/international/fees_money/
Certain NHS-funded courses – including nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy, podiatry and physiotherapy – do not come with any tuition fee charges.
For 2015/16, postgraduate fees cost from £5,580 per year for full-time taught courses, and from £2,790 per year for part-time taught courses. Get a full breakdown here: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/postgraduate/feesandfunding/pgfees-201516.html
Bursaries and scholarships
Southampton offers both bursaries and partial fee waivers to students coming from lower income households (currently those earning £30,000 or less), which is worth up to £3,000 a year. The university also offers first-year undergraduates Merit Scholarships, which basically pay £1,000 to the highest-achieving UK and EU students – these are automatically awarded.
Postgrads should look out for studentships – which typically cover all tuition fees and provide an annual tax-free sum on top. Also available are Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries, which cover all courses and are worth £500.
University of Southampton facilities
The University of Southampton’s facilities are centred around its main campus at Highfield. This is found north of the city centre on the eastern borders of Southampton Common, 326 acres of managed woodland and a popular public space. Two other campuses – Avenue and Boldrewood – are within walking distance, while the university also has campuses on the city’s dockside (National Oceanography Centre), at Southampton General Hospital and in nearby Winchester, where the School of Art can be found. A satellite campus dedicated to engineering has also been set up in Malaysia.
Library and study facilities
Most students will become intimately acquainted with the Hartley Library, Southampton’s main library hub. It’s situated on the main Highfield campus, and is split over five levels. The all-important café and lounge can be found on the ground floor for catching up with friends or taking a well-earned break.
The library’s opening times suit both early birds and night owls – 7am-midnight most days. In addition to the three million-plus printed books and journals on offer, you’ll find hundreds of computer workstations, where you can log on to the uni network to access your documents and settings without having to bring your laptop with you.
Alternatively there are a number of powered study spaces for those unwilling to part with their laptops, and you can also head to a laptop-free area should you want to bury your head into your books. The library also offers a number of group study rooms for those who want to indulge in some collaborative learning.
You’ll find specialist libraries on each of the satellite campuses, such as the Art and Design collection in Winchester or the National Oceanographic Library on dockside.
All campus and residences come with access to a high-speed wi-fi network as well as network points for laptops. More public workstations – over 1,700 in total – are scattered across the university campuses. The uni provides a number of online tools for access from these or your own computer: Office 365, SharePoint and Blackboard, which gives you 24-7 access to all study materials. You’ll also find forums for chatting to other students and lecturers.
Welfare and financial aidLike all good universities, Southampton offers plenty of help and advice should you need it. Everyone gets assigned a personal academic tutor and senior tutor for general academic support, but if you find yourself particularly struggling to adjust to life away from home for the first time, coping with illness or stressed with juggling your finances, both the university and the Student Union have you covered.
There’s First Support, a phone and email line specifically for those facing difficulties or a crisis – it’s available during office hours, as is the Student Union’s Advice Centre, which is open weekdays 9-5 all year round and promises free, independent and confident advice and representation if required. And perhaps most importantly of all, the Student Union also runs Nightline – a confidential service that runs seven days a week from 8pm-8am.
For those looking for financial aid, Southampton provides a few options, including bursaries and partial fee waivers. Look out for the Financial Information and Assistance Service, situated in the Student Services Centre on the main campus. In addition to general tips for managing your finances you’ll also find information about how to apply for hardship support if your money’s been swallowed up and you still can’t pay for essentials like food or your rent.
Southampton’s Career portal can be found in the Student Services Centre. It offers the usual advice and services to help you plot your next move after uni – the good news is that 94% of Southampton’s graduates from 2013 had a place in work or further education within six months. You’ll find a selection of handy tools and workshops – brush up on your CV-writing skills or improve your grasp of English, browse career fairs and attend networking events.
One particular highlight is the Excel Southampton Placement Programme. This offers around 400 paid internships during the Easter and summer breaks, so not only do you gain valuable work experience over the course of 4-12 weeks, you’ll get paid for it too. It’s available to all students, including those who’ve graduated in the past 12 months.
You can also tap into the Insider Career Mentoring Programme, which pairs you with someone from the world of work who provides personal insights to help build your confidence, discover what skills you need to develop and basically answer any questions you might have.
There are also useful tools for those with enterprising minds, such as the Student Consultancy Programme. This pairs you with three like-minded students to gain business skills through working together on an eight-week project.
All the university’s core medical facilities – two health practices and one dentist’s surgery – are found on the main campus. Both University Health Service and Highfield Heath are open weekdays from 8am-5.30pm, while the latter also provides one late-night surgery on a Wednesday from 6.30-8.50pm. Go here for everything from access to a doctor to getting advice on contraception, sexual health and foreign travel (along with the jabs you’ll need).
Outside these hours you’ll need to hop off campus to seek help – there’s the minor injury unit at the Royal South Hants Hospital, which is just south of Portswood, or a walk-in centre on the other side of the river at Bitterne. A&E is situated about a kilometre west of the uni at Southampton General Hospital.
The University of Southampton’s international students total more than 5,000, hailing from 135 different nations. The university is keen to encourage international students – helped by its location, which is only two hours by public transport from Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
A range of financial incentives are available in the form of bursaries and scholarships – including up to £3,000 per year for a merit scholarship based on results. Once you’re accepted, the welcome doesn’t end there – the university provides a number of pre-departure events hosted in select countries, including Greece, Brunei, Hong Kong and Malaysia, which lets you meet up with fellow Southampton students and ask any burning questions you may have before leaving.
The university also rolls out the red carpet when you first arrive, offering a meet-and-greet service at Heathrow and Gatwick on select days, where you’ll be met from the plane and whisked to your accommodation. This is then followed by a week of welcome events to help bed you into UK and uni life before the other first years arrive.
Finally, if you decide to stay at the university during the summer holidays, you’ll find the Student Union offers a social programme to keep you entertained and occupied.
University of Southampton accommodation
As you’d expect, University of Southampton accommodation is split between halls and private rented accommodation. Over 6,500 rooms are available in halls, spread across 10 locations situated close to the main Highfield campus. Most of these are concentrated in three places: Wessex Lane, Glen Eyre and Mayflower Halls.
Most undergraduate accommodation is either single-study bedrooms or bedrooms with ensuite facilities. The bulk are self-catered with shared kitchens. A small number of flats are also available, primarily for mature and postgrad students. The university website provides a virtual tour of each of the halls, including 3D views of rooms and shared facilities, including kitchens: http://virtualopenday.southampton.ac.uk/glen-eyre-halls/outside-glen-eyre-halls/halls-overview
- First year undergraduates with no dependents are guaranteed a place in halls so long as you apply for a place before the deadline.
- While you can express a preference for which halls you go into, you’re not guaranteed a place in those halls.
- Prices range from £85-£196 per week (self-catered) and £131-£169 per week (part-catered).
- Fees include utility bills, Wi-Fi and high-speed internet (except Shaftesbury), unilink bus pass and contents insurance.
- Private rented accommodation is widely available in Southampton and Winchester as an alternative.
More than 1,700 students are housed here in two blocks: Montefiore and Connaught. A wide range of rooms (both en suite and shared bathroom) are offered with either self-catering or part-catered available. It boasts its own gym, launderette, galley restaurant and landscaped gardens. It’s a 20-minute walk to campus, but there are two bus routes (U1 and U6) regularly serving residents and the Watersports Centre is close by too.
The largest halls of residence, the Glen Eyre complex houses more than 1,900 students in a number of blocks. It offers all available room types on a self-catering basis. The halls are renowned for their open spaces, but also boast gym, launderette, fitness suite and squash court. It’s a 10-minute walk to Highfield campus, and most bus services (U1, U2, U6 and U9) run past the halls.
This hall of residence opened in August 2014. It’s a three-block high-rise providing more than 1,000 en suite rooms and a small number of studio and one-bedroom flats. It’s based within the city centre’s Cultural Quarter, close to both the Guildhall and Mayflower venues as well as the main train station. A. It’s got its own launderette, a new gym, and the Unilink bus service runs every 10 minutes to campus.
Get an early impression about life in Mayflower: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?p=53037103
Another high-rise based in the city centre, Liberty Point currently offers just under 400 en-suite rooms arranged in four- and five-bedroomed flats as well as 38 studio apartments. Be aware that construction work will be taking place over the next two years to more than double its capacity to 850, which may cause some disturbance. The site currently offers a launderette and is perfectly placed for trips to Portswood for the nightlife.
For more details on the planned construction work: http://marcom.libertyliving.co.uk/Southampton/liberty-point-development.pdf
To see what other residents think about Liberty Point: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=2578270
This is sat next to the Avenue Campus, a short walk away from the main Highfield campus. It’s a small residence, with just two buildings (Aubrey House and Wolfe House) offering 165 part-catered en suite rooms, along with 18 self-catered studio flats. It’s used as a conferencing venue over Easter, so students will be expected to vacate during that time.
These halls are based in Winchester, serving the art and design campus. 381 en suite study bedrooms are provided, divided up into flats of six or houses of 10, each with a shared kitchen. It’s a brisk 15-minute walk from here to campus, but a 24-hour superstore is a five-minute walk away. There’s no unilink bus pass available in Winchester, so the fees are reduced to take this into account.
Archers Road Halls
501 self-catered standard rooms with en suite facilities are provided here, split across three different blocks. You’re further away from campus, but the U1 and U2 buses, which serve the main campus, stop close by and it’s a relatively short 10-minute walk into the city centre. The local area – Bedford Place – is well stocked with places to frequent, including bars, restaurants and cafes.
217 single non-en suite bedrooms and 16 studio flats make up this relatively small and quiet block. It’s a 15-minute walk from campus, but served by one bus route that runs every half an hour. The walk is not recommended for the faint of heart on dark nights due to some “dodgy looking woods, which can be a bit unnerving on your own.” (past Bencraft resident)
See what Bencraft Court residents have to say about the halls: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1373216
This is Southampton’s newest halls of residence, opening for the first time this September. It comes with a convenience store, doctor’s surgery and food outlet on site, is a brisk 15-minute walk from campus and is on the unilink bus routes. 334 en-suite self-catered bedrooms are available, along with just over 20 studio, one-bed and two-bed flats.
A handful of self-catered flats – eight one-bed, two studio – are provided for postgrads and mature undergrads at this location, situated between Highfield campus and Portswood.
You’ll be expected to find your own private rented accommodation for your second and subsequent years. There’s plenty available, and it’s typically cheaper than living in halls, although bills aren't included. The university provides lots of useful help and advice on its website: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/accommodation/privaterented/
Plus, the university Students’ Union letting agency, called SUSU Lettings, is an excellent source of advice for any questions you might have about housing.
University Southampton open days
Want to sample Southampton for yourself? The university provides a number of open days each year, along with general campus tours and it welcomes those who want to pop down just to look around.
Four open days are provided this year: Friday July 3, Saturday July 4, Friday September 4 and Saturday September 5. Booking is essential, and you’ll be able to do so online from Tuesday May 26 from this link: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/undergraduate/university_open_days/
You can also go on a general campus tour, with a number of dates available in late March and throughout all of April. Booking will be available towards the end of February 2016.
Prospective students can also visit the campus independently – an audio podcast and walking tour map can both be downloaded from the university’s website: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/undergraduate/university_open_days/other_visits.html
The university also provides a virtual tour of the main sites on its website: here
Living in Southampton
Southampton is situated on the south coast, 75 miles south west of London. It also has its own airport serving 50 UK and European destinations. Despite its relative proximity to the capital, Southampton isn’t an expensive place to live. And its large size – more than 240,000 people live here – means you’ll never be short of shopping or entertainment opportunities. Despite the urban setting, there are over 60 green spaces within the city limits, and with the Isle of Wight to the south and the New Forest to the left, you’ve got the best of all worlds right on your doorstep."It has a huge amount of green space and it's so easy to get to the countryside if you need a break! The city centre also has loads of shops, bars, clubs, cinemas, restaurants, etc., so there's always something to do." - Prospective student and Southampton resident
You aren’t short of choice when it comes to quenching your thirst or feeding your appetite with a range of cafés (including the almost obligatory Starbucks and Costa), restaurants and bars, all on the main Highfield campus. A new arrival is Bar Three, an American diner and ice cream parlour offering no less than 230 ice cream flavours to sample.
You’ll also find a couple of art galleries and a theatre, plus the Union Films cinema, which is run entirely by students and shows recent blockbusters at heavily discounted prices. The Union is particularly active, supporting 180 different societies as well as opening doors for future journalists, DJs and TV producers with a range of roles covering the union’s newspaper, magazine, radio station and TV channel.
The union also organises 11 Junior Common Rooms, one for each hall in the university. Each JCR represents that hall’s voice and also organises sport and social events: http://www.susu.org/something-for-everyone/halls/
Sports and recreation
There are a number of jewels in Southampton’s sporting crown. The £8.5m Jubilee Sports Centre complex sits on Highfield campus, boasting a 25-metre swimming pool, eight-court sports hall, martial arts and dance studios, and even a bouldering wall. Those willing to brave the weather will be pleased to learn the university’s Wide Lane Sports Ground recently benefited from a £4.3m facelift, and it’s host to everything from cricket, football and rugby to lacrosse and baseball.
Unsurprisingly, given its proximity to water, the university also boasts a Watersports Centre on the River Itchen, offering kayaking, sailing and even powerboating, while on solid ground there is an indoor rifle and archery range. And if you can’t face the walk, many halls also offer their own facilities, from gyms to tennis and squash courts.
Access to these is best met through a Sports and Wellbeing membership, which costs £145 a year, or £80 for a shorter six-month subscription. Membership also grants you free access to selected gyms, pools and leisure centres across the city.
Over 90 sports and fitness groups are run by the Student Union, so you’re covered whether you like aikido, American football or Zumba. There's even a Fancy Dress Society for those with a passion for getting into costume.
If you prefer watching sport than playing it, then head down to St Mary’s to sample Premier League football or over to the Ageas Bowl in summer for a spot of cricket courtesy of Hampshire Cricket Club.
There’s a lot to do in Southampton, as you’d expect from living in such a large city. The city centre has you covered for shopping with more than 100 shops packed into West Quay alone, but you’ll also find a wide selection of bars, cafes, restaurants to serve all tastes and budgets – many of which can be found in the student area of Portswood. There’s a 13-screen cinema in Ocean Village, plus the local O2 Guildhall is a popular venue for pop, rock and classical acts. Theatre lovers should check out the Mayflower, where many musicals, plays and other acts transfer to from the West End.
Sandwiched between two rivers – the Itchen and the Test – Southampton is obviously a great place to go messing out in boats – whether up river or down to the Solent. The Isle of Wight is a short hop away by ferry, leaving you perfectly placed for the Isle of Wight Festival, which typically plays right at the end of the summer term. Look out too for a brand new festival – Common People – which will debut on Southampton Common in May 2015.
Southampton boasts a history stretching back to pre-Roman times. There are a number of museums tracing its origins, including the SeaCity Museum, which unsurprisingly taps into the city’s seafaring past.
The university has an additional campus at Winchester, 14 miles north-east of Southampton on the M3 corridor. England’s ancient capital is packed full of history and architecture, but with a population of 120,000 it’s no shrinking violet, with plenty of culture, entertainment, food and drink to consume.
There are three notable Student Union-run places to frequent on the main campus itself: the Cube nightclub houses 1,700 people and runs regular events on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. There’s also a bistro bar (The Bridge) with alternative music nights on Mondays and comedy nights on Tuesdays, while The Stag’s Head promises the cheapest drinks anywhere, and lets you belt out karaoke on a Thursday while screening live sport most other nights. Each hall also comes with its own student-run bar.
If you’re venturing further afield, there are two primary destinations. The city centre caters for all tastes, and is a 15-minute bus ride from most halls, while Portswood (a 15-minute walk from uni where many second and third years make their home) is another student-friendly spot, with Jesters and Sobar clubs particularly popular.
Worried about getting home after a heavy night out? The Student Union runs a cheap Safety Bus service from both campus and Portswood that drops people off at their halls for as little as £1.50. It’ll even take you home to Winchester for under a fiver – and if you’re out of cash, you can temporarily surrender your student ID card in lieu of making a payment the next time you visit the Union reception on campus.
What the students say
“Engineering is highly valued in Southampton and it is among the most reputable universities in the UK” – Engineering Undergraduate
“The uni is great. It is always evolving and there is always something to do. It has excellent facilities and support for students and has outstanding research facilities too.” Medical student
“From my experience it doesn't really matter which halls you are at… However, if you study at the Highfield Campus, Wessex Lane and Glen Eyre are both very good.” – First year undergraduate
“I want to study law and I chose Southampton as it's a great uni with a good reputation - went to an open day and it looked great, nice students and staff and a lovely campus!” Prospective Law undergraduate
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