University of Suffolk
Welcome to University of Suffolk
University of Suffolk is one of the UK’s newest and most vibrant educational institutions. The main campus is situated on Ipswich’s Waterfront. The iconic Waterfront Building is just one of many innovative and modern buildings which comprise the Uni of Suffolk Ipswich.
With approximately 5,000 students studying a variety of courses, both undergraduate and postgraduate, University of Suffolk is one of the smaller universities in the UK. However, being small gives a number of advantages. You won’t be just another face, you’ll be a name rather than just a number. Our small size also means making new friends is easy here at University of Suffolk. With a student population spanning the UK and beyond, University of Suffolk is one of the most vibrant and multicultural institutions and 93% of our graduates enter employment or further study within six months of graduating.
These are exciting times, with expansion and refurbishment of our facilities underway and our bid to achieve full independent university status, meaning among other things we’ll be able to award our own degrees rather than these being validated by UEA and University of Essex.
This guide will illustrate what the university has to offer, most of it from the students’ point of view. If you like what you’re reading, come along to one of our open events to find out more.
Courses and fees
University of Suffolk's offers a variety of different courses and financial support in the shape of scholarships and bursaries are available.
University of Suffolk's entry requirements take into account a number of different qualifications that prospective students may have obtained, or are on the way to obtaining. These include A-Levels, BTEC qualifications, and awards from the Open University.
For prospective students currently studying towards their A-Levels and/or BTEC, University of Suffolk will use the UCAS tariff system for determining offers. Offers of places are conditional depending on the student reaching or exceeding the number of points required for them to secure place on the course of their choice.
There are two main faculties based at University of Suffolk Ipswich. These are the Faculty of Arts, Business, and Applied Social Science, and the Faculty of Health and Science. The former contains four departments. These are the Department of Arts and Humanities, the Department of Children, Young People and Education, the Department of Psychology, Sociology and Social Work, and the Suffolk Business School.
The second faculty contains three departments. These are the Department of Health Studies, the Department of Nursing Studies, and the Department of Science and Technology.
Courses are also run at University of Suffolk centres in Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.
The University of Suffolk community includes hundreds of students from countries all over the world, currently 68 nationalities are represented at University of Suffolk. With this in mind, University of Suffolk offers a number of services to help international students acclimatise to the University of Suffolk way of life. Student Services can provide information regarding immigration and customs. English language sessions can be arranged free of charge. A mentoring scheme can also be set up if required.
As Ipswich is in a prime location travelling-wise, trips to London and the rest of East Anglia can easily be arranged for international students, giving them a taste of the UK.
For full-time students, the tuition fees are £9,000 per year for an undergraduate degree, whilst for a foundation degree it is £8,000 per year. Studying part-time is also an option.
Fees for international students vary according to what the course is. As a guide, for both undergraduate and foundation degrees, tuition fees are £10,080 per year for a classroom-based degree, whilst it is £11,520 for students studying in a laboratory, studio or around IT.
All of these fees apply to students beginning their course in 2016/2017.
University of Suffolk offers a bursary for first year students beginning their degree in 2016/2017. The bursary, worth up to £1,000 for students in their first year of study, and £500 for second and third years of study, are awarded based on the following criteria:
- The student is beginning their degree in 2016/2017
- In the first year of their course
- Studying full-time for an undergraduate or foundation degree
- Paying tuition fees of £9,000 (undergraduate) or £8,000 (foundation) per year
- Assessed by Student Finance England as having a household income of £42,620 or less per year
- The student is a UK resident
Students studying NHS-funded degrees, or students funded by agencies other than Student Finance England are not eligible for the bursary.
Closing date for applications is 1 December 2016.
University of Suffolk has plenty of modern facilities on its various campuses, including a huge Arts Building at its main Ipswich campus. In addition to this there are industry standard recording studios, a large sports hall, a film studio and various cafes all available across the university's campuses. The main Waterfront building forms the heart of the campus at Ipswich and is where the main teaching takes place.
The main campus is based in Ipswich, however there are smaller hubs in Bury St Edmunds, Great Yarmouth, and Lowestoft. The main campus is based at Neptune Quay in Ipswich and is situated close to both Ipswich and Derby Road train stations. The county town of Suffolk, Ipswich has lots to keep you occupied including a large shopping centre, and plenty of pubs and restaurants. A pretty green city, it's a great place to get a mix of town and country life.
Each campus has its own specialist library and skills development teams, so wherever you're based you will be able to get all the help you need while studying. Each campus has its own library and you can borrow books from any campus for your studies.
There are more than 100 PCs and 70 Macs on the main Ipswich campus with popular software installed including Microsoft Office and the Adobe suite. The IT helpdesk is on hand to help you with connecting to the internet, accessing the virtual learning environment and any other computer queries you may have.
A Careers and Employability team provides the University of Suffolk students with guidance and advice not only during their studies but three years after they graduate. You can arrange to meet with an advisor face to face, or you can contact the team via email for further information on how to apply for jobs, build your CV or attend specialist workshop sessions. An online job shop is also in place if you want to find a part time or graduate job.
There is a café based at the Waterfront building at Ipswich that is run by the Student Union. There's also a student union shop that sells snacks and other goods, plus Cult Café bar that sells food and alcohol at a reasonable price.
The University of Suffolk Union represents the students of the university, and also organises clubs, societies and events so you will find it hard to get bored at university. From Fresher's Week to volunteering events and jobs fairs, the union organises an active events calendar, catering for all needs and tastes. It also has very active sports societies covering a huge variety of sports including football, rugby and tennis.
If you're studying at Suffolk New College or the main Ipswich Campus, there is a large sports hall adjacent to the campus that has an all-weather football pitch. There are also plenty of local sports facilities within easy reach of the campus. In addition to this, the union has a large selection of sporting clubs that you can join.
University of Suffolk holds a number of open days throughout the year to give a taster of the University of Suffolk experience. But what do these open days consist of, and why should you attend one? This article provides a look into open days, and what you might expect.
Why come to an open day?
There are a variety of reasons why prospective students should attend a university open day. For instance, you may want to attend university but you find all of the financial jargon confusing and off-putting. The idea of finding accommodation in a place you do not know particularly well, or at all, can be daunting for some.
At open days, universities will hold numerous events explaining in plain English what the situation actually is, to ensure prospective students are not put off by the complexity surrounding things like student finance and UCAS.
For mature students who have been out of education for a while, open days can be an invaluable experience, helping you to get back into the swing of things.
Another reason for attending an open day could be to decide whether you would like to choose that university as one of your five choices on your UCAS application form. In addition, you may be wavering between studying one subject or another. At open days, you will be able to attend taster lectures for various subjects, which will help make an educated choice as to what you want to study at university.
Finally, if you picked up a place at a university through clearing, there is a likelihood this may be a university that you haven’t already attended an open day for. Many universities hold open days after A-level results day, once the clearing process has concluded. These open days will help students arrange student finance and accommodation, as well as acclimatising to a new university.
University of Suffolk open days for undergraduate students
Undergraduate open days at University of Suffolk Ipswich are based around the Waterfront Building. Guided tours of the campus are carried out, usually in subject groups. As the Ipswich campus is relatively compact in size, these tours are fairly comprehensive whilst only comprising a short amount of time. The ground floor of the Waterfront Building will be arranged with stands, from which you will be able to obtain information about student finance, accommodation, student services, the UCAS application system and you will be able to meet some of the academic staff. Subject tasters will also take place.
At later open days, when the majority of students have sent off their UCAS applications and received offers, these will be more subject-orientated, with an emphasis on the content you may learn whilst studying for your degree, and where this degree may take you after your time at University of Suffolk has concluded. As with previous open days, information about student finance, accommodation, student services will be freely available from many sources.
University of Suffolk open days for postgraduate students
University of Suffolk currently has a small postgraduate student population. Therefore, postgraduate open days tend to be organised around the same time as undergraduate open days.
Watch our Ipswich Campus Tour videos here
How to get to University of Suffolk Ipswich
Ipswich is fortunate in having a comprehensive dual carriageway running along the western, southern, and eastern sides of the town. From the West, take the A12/A14 to junction 56 (signposted Ipswich Central), and follow the A137 towards Stoke Bridge. From there, turn onto Star Lane and follow the one way system to Grimwade Street, where you will arrive at the campus. From the east, follow the A12/A14 the other direction to Junction 56 (crossing the Orwell Bridge to do so), and take the same roads as before.
Ipswich also has a number of rail services linking the town to the rest of the country. There are three trains per hour off peak from London Liverpool Street, two services an hour from Norwich, hourly services from Cambridge, Felixstowe and Lowestoft, and a two-hourly service from Peterborough. From the main railway station, walk straight across Princes Street bridge to the Royal Mail centre. From there, turn right and follow Commercial Road/Grafton Way past Cardinal Park to Stoke Bridge. Cross the road and continue onto the Waterfront, past Dance East, onto Wherry Quay and later Neptune Quay. The Waterfront Building is located approximately 600 metres down the Waterfront.
For those travelling from Felixstowe, there is a second railway station in Ipswich, located in the Rosehill area of town. Ipswich Derby Road is a 15 minute walk from campus. From the station, turn right down Derby Road to the crossroads with Foxhall Road. Follow this road down to a Y-junction with Back Hamlet (there is a Co-Op store on your left). Walk down Back Hamlet to the campus.
Living in Ipswich
The main University of Suffolkcampus is located in the county town of Ipswich. It’s strategically placed to reach Cambridge, London, and Norwich by train within or just over an hour, and is half an hour away from the Port of Felixstowe, one of Britain’s most important trade locations. However, there’s much more to Ipswich and you’ll discover so if you decide to study at University of Suffolk.
Located at the southern end of Ipswich’s buzzing Waterfront, it’s ideally placed for the multitude of restaurants and bars along the Waterfront, and only a 10 minute walk from the town centre. Athena Hall, the main on-campus accommodation, is home to almost 600 students, and has a gym, outdoor courtyards, and social area inside. The University of Suffolk Student Union hold many different events around campus, from sports activities to film clubs, to the weekly student quiz night held at Cult, the student bar. There are a growing number of societies at University of Suffolk, including dance, film, international societies, and a debating society.
Sports and recreation
Ipswich Town F.C., which plays in the Football League Championship, is the major sporting team in Ipswich. They play at Portman Road stadium, located 5 minutes away from the railway station, and 15 minutes from the campus.
For those who are of a motorsport disposition, Foxhall Stadium to the east of town regularly holds a variety of motorsport events.
In addition to the sporting facilities on campus, there are several other gyms located around the town centre. There are two major swimming pools in Ipswich. Fore Street pool is only a short walk from campus, with public swimming sessions held at regular intervals every day of the week. The larger Crown Street pool, opposite Tower Ramparts bus station and shopping centre is also open to the public throughout the day. Special student rates apply, making swimming affordable for all students.
Ipswich is also home to several parks. University of Suffolk Ipswich is fortunate to have three local parks near the campus. Alexandra Park, situated behind the Library Building, is perfect for a lunchtime walk and a kickabout. Holywells Parks, at the top of Bishops Hill, has just seen a £3.5 million restoration, turning it into a popular “green lung” of the town. Landseer Park, located almost adjacent to Holywells is perfect for jogging, with its rolling landscape. Just north of the town centre, Christchurch Park holds many of the town’s festivals, including the November firework displays. Christchurch Mansion museum and art gallery is also located within the park.
The eastern part of Ipswich is built upon several hills, which make them the perfect route for joggers. There is also a scenic path following the River Orwell from the north of town all the way to the Waterfront and the University of Suffolk campus.
Ipswich has a large cinema, Cineworld, located in the Cardinal Park area of town. Another cinema is expected to open in the renovated Buttermarket shopping centre in the town centre in the near future.
Ipswich Regent Theatre is the largest theatre in East Anglia, and regularly hosts major productions, as well as the Last Night of the Spring Proms.
To the immediate west of the town centre is Wolsey Theatre, a more modern counterpart to the Regent. It is well known for its in-house productions, including their Rock ‘n’ Roll pantos. An offshoot of the Wolsey, Wolsey Studios, also holds several productions. It’s tucked away in a side street just to the north of the town centre.
Very recently, The Avenue Theatre opened for the first time, and holds various productions in a converted Tudor manor house, located around the back of Ipswich railway station.
If your forte is history, Ipswich has two major museums. Firstly, the Ipswich Museum exhibits a variety of items and photographs local to the area, from prehistoric times through to the post-war era. The museum is located near the Wolsey Studios just to the north of the town centre. At Priory Heath, in the east of Ipswich, is the Ipswich Transport Museum, which restores and displays vehicles with a strong local connection. The museum also holds several special events throughout the year, so look out for vintage cars and buses on the streets of Ipswich. There is also a museum and art gallery located within Christchurch Park.
The Waterfront is vibrant at night.
The student union bar Cult is an excellent place to start your evening. They offer fantastic toasted cheese and ham sandwiches. Typically on Friday nights, live bands and singer-songwriters will perform. On Sunday nights, the weekly University of Suffolk student quiz is held by the student union president and vice president.
Isaacs on the Quay is known for its great food, especially their burgers.
In town itself, there are several friendly pubs including The Rep, The Golden Lion, The Plough, and Bowmans. If you are a clubber, New York Exchange Bar, Sin, Revolution, and KC’s are all within a short distance of each other.
Unit 17 (formerly known as Liquid), the largest club in Ipswich, is located in Cardinal Park opposite the cinema. It has recently undergone a refurbishment.
Suffolk and beyond
Ipswich’s status as a commuter town means it is a gateway to Essex and the rest of Suffolk. Frequent trains will take you to Cambridge in just over an hour, Norwich in 40 minutes, London Stratford in an hour, and the City of London in 70 minutes. In addition, there are many scenic bus routes, taking you to places like Aldeburgh, Colchester, Felixstowe, Leiston, Manningtree, Stowmarket, Sudbury, and Woodbridge. Felixstowe is a popular destination for those seeking the sun and a little relaxation between lectures, with its four miles of coastline and sandy beaches. Further up the coast is Orford Ness, which is a National Nature Reserve.
Dunwich Forest is also worth a visit, along with the remnants of the once mighty Medieval port of Dunwich, now almost all lost to the sea.
The biggest treasure to be found in Suffolk however, is Sutton Hoo (near Woodbridge), site of an Anglo-Saxon ship burial, and many other Anglo-Saxon artefacts. If you’re one for history, Sutton Hoo in an absolute must.
What do you look for in your students?
We look for individuals, people who are willing to be different from the accepted norm. We look for students who are driven, who have the energy, the will to succeed and better one’s self, to become all they can and want to be. We look at the potential that all of our students have inside them, to understand how we can unlock it.
Do you have any famous or notable alumni?
David Wilson Nunn, a graduate from our Graphic Design course, now holds the position of Creative Director at BBC Worldwide.
Sam Lawson, a Sport and Exercise Science graduate, is now working at the University of Missouri as director of their Women’s Soccer Programme.
Kate McCoid, a Film graduate, has worked on films such as Man From U.N.C.L.E (2015), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), and Far From The Maddening Crowd (2015).
Simon Dukes, a graduate of our Business School who completed his MBA here, is Chief Executive of Cifas, the leaders in fraud prevention.
What grants/scholarships do you offer?
In addition to the standard maintenance loans, if you are a mature student with children under the age of 15, University of Suffolk offers a Parents Learning Allowance, and Childcare Grant. These will enable you to attend university without worrying about the costs. We also offer an Adult Dependent Grant to students who have an adult dependent financially on them, and a Disabled Students Allowance. University of Suffolk also offers a number of scholarships to enable students from all over the world to study in the unique University of Suffolk environment.
How much of an emphasis do you place on building workplace skills like presenting, project management and people skills?
Many of our courses will have presentations as part of the scheme of work to be graded. These can vary from individual presentations to group presentations. Some courses offer a work placement as part of the graded portfolio of work, which enables students to learn in an actual workplace. In addition, the Library Building and the first floor of the Waterfront Building are set out in such a way that group work and study can be carried out in the characteristic “pods” we have at University of Suffolk Ipswich.
What's university welfare and disability support like?
The Student Services team will help students with any problems they could encounter. University of Suffolk offers a counselling service to all students free of charge, and a multi-faith chaplaincy. For disabled students, University of Suffolk offers a programme of support which can be put in place as soon as you start your degree, tailored to your requirements. There is also a Disabled Students Allowance grant available.
What support is available to students who are struggling for any reason?
University of Suffolk Student Services offer counselling sessions to all students, free of charge. These sessions run for typically 50 minutes each time, where experienced councillors will meet with you, treat you with respect, and attempt to find solutions to your difficulties. University of Suffolk also offers a multi-faith chaplaincy, where students can receive support, advice, as well as a place to worship. For disabled students, University of Suffolk offers a programme where disabled students can receive the support they need to succeed during their time at university.
Do you offer any courses/sessions to help mature students with the university experience?
The Learning Services department at University of Suffolk runs workshops and seminars throughout each semester, on a variety of subjects, including how to reference, writing skills, and how to make the most out of the IT system. These are available to all students free of charge. Don’t worry if you miss a workshop, they are held every few weeks.
What social events do you offer when people first join to help people make friends and settle in?
Induction Week, held usually at the end of September, is where students can meet others on their course, and their lecturers. These are informal sessions and typically involve lunch.
Running co-currently is Fresher’s Week, with a number of events organised by the Student Union. Don’t worry, these are not all drinking/clubbing based events! The Student Union organises trips to London or other places of interest, sports events such as bowling or go-karting, and the weekly University of Suffolk quiz night, held on Sunday evening at Cult.
What will my first few weeks at your uni be like?
Your first few weeks will ease you into student life. Induction Week is an informal occasion where you’ll be able to meet your lecturers, as well as the people who will be setting out on the same journey as you are. Fresher’s Week is filled with fun events day and night, allowing you to enjoy the best that Ipswich has to offer, meeting new people along the way. Your first week or so of lectures and seminars are merely introductions into the material you’ll be learning throughout the semester.
Is it a campus or city based university? What advantages do you think this offers?
University of Suffolk is a campus based university; the main Waterfront Building is situated by the picturesque Ipswich docks and marina and holds lecture theatres and numerous smaller teaching rooms, as well as the Theta Café. The second building that houses the Library, along with a multitude of quiet study rooms and more teaching spaces, is just a stone’s throw away from the Waterfront Building. University of Suffolk is very contained, sitting just outside the hustle and bustle of Ipswich town centre.
- New students are less likely to feel intimidated despite the unfamiliar environment, as everything is very close by- there will be no getting lost!
- Everything you need is within walking distance, the library, the student shop, various bus stops, student parking, cash point and various pubs or little cafes if you fancy a coffee or a bite to eat.
- Our campus offers a strong community vibe that can help gently ease new students into university life.
- Easy access to societies and clubs on campus.
- Student accommodation is again, only a short while away from the main university buildings.
What sort of societies are there?
At University of Suffolk there is a wide range of societies and activities to get involved in; always looking for new members the societies at University of Suffolk are created by us, the students. From Dance and Drama to gaming societies, whatever your interest, there will be a society for you! However, if you feel like you can’t find a club that suits you, you can start your own! Also, the student union provide a range of sports activities for just £1.00 a time in their “Most Active Students” organisation, which is a great way to keep if fit if you’re not into the gym.
How far is the campus from the town centre and what is the public transport like?
The campus is a 10 minute walk from the town centre, so you could easily pop into town in-between lectures or on your days off. There are two bus-stops 2 minutes from the Waterfront Building and a main bus terminal in the centre of town offers reliable transport. Ipswich train station is also about a 15 minute walk from the campus.
How far apart are different university buildings, and how far away is the accommodation?
As a student at University of Suffolk, I’ve found it very helpful that the buildings are so close together, you don’t have far to walk at all, cross the road and you’re there.
How much one-to-one contact time do students receive from their lecturers?
From personal experience, the tutors are always happy to help and offer their time and advice as much as possible. You can roughly expect 2-3 tutorials a month with one tutor depending on the subject and the timeline of your assignments. You can email your lecturer to arrange a meeting or write your name down on one of the tutorial timetables outside the department office. Tutorials usually last around 20-30 minutes and lecturers offer more tutorial times as deadlines draw nearer.
What percentage of your students get a full time job after 6 months of graduating?
University of Suffolk achieved an employability rating of 93% in the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DHLE) Survey and ranks University of Suffolk in the top third of UK higher education institutions.
The Careers and Employability Service at the university provides support for students with one to one careers advice and guidance. Students are invited to attend various workshops to help improve their employability. This includes, writing CVs and applications, successful interview techniques and practicing networking and communication skills. The University of Suffolk online Job Shop is also very helpful, as students are made of aware of employment opportunities via a weekly email.
Roughly how many students start each year?
Approximately 5,000 students enrol at University of Suffolk every academic year.
How much is a pint at the student union?
The student union is called the Cult café, filled with comfy, mismatched sofas and stacked bookshelves, it feels more like a big living room than a student union! Cult is the perfect place for a bit of lunch or a pint after a lecture, the menu is full of hearty, wholesome food and they offer a 20% discount to students. The house draft beer is called ‘3.8’ and costs just £2.50 for a half pint or £3.50 for a full pint.
What fields of study is the university best known for?
At University of Suffolk, we are popular for our thriving Arts department as well as the Health and Social Science fields. A new building, the Atrium, is currently under development to house the Science based subjects.
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