Brunel University is based in Uxbridge (Hillingdon), West London, and named after the world-famous engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. In 1966, Brunel was granted the right to award degrees, and is thus a relatively new university. Like its namesake, Brunel has traditionally focused on technology, engineering and physical sciences. In more recent years it's branched out more and developed strong departments in the arts, humanities, social sciences, geography and health with several departments receiving 'excellent' ratings.
Brunel Library, which is situated in the Bannerman Centre, provides access to over 400,000 books as well as thousands of online journals, so you'll find everything you need to research your work. There are also music scores available for the music students (as well as anyone else who's interested), and CDs/ Videos to aid you in your course or just for your leisure. In addition to the books, there are also over 200 PCs in the library and silent study areas. There is also a dedicated computer room for those with disabilities. Library access is available 7 days a week for much of the year and opening hours are extended to 24 hours a day during exam time.
The library is also the place to go for other services such as photocopying and printing (both A3 and A4 and colour and black and white options are available). These services are paid for through a card you can buy for £1. It comes with 35p credit and more can easily be added. Alternatively, you can just use your university card, which contains your credit for printing and photocopying. These can be topped up on the ground floor of the library at the machines opposite the reception desks.
IT and Computing
The Computer Centre is in charge of computer and technology services on campus. There are lots of computer rooms around campus, some giving you access 24 hours a day if you need to get online or type up an essay in the early hours of the morning.
You also have access to printing facilities from these PCs, both colour and black and white - remember your access control card to pick up your printing from the machines.
In addition there is the Computer Centre IT Store which allows you to buy printers and cartridges and various storage devices from USB drives to CD and DVDs.
Wired and wireless Internet access is available in all rooms in halls. During the registration process you will be asked to install some software (the Connect Assistant) which will check your computer passes some security checks, such has having an up-to-date antivirus, firewall, spyware protection software and Windows updates switched to automatic. There is no charge for the use of any of the internet connections on campus, however access to some websites is restricted, a warning will either ask you whether you want to continue to that page, or will deny access completely. If the category is wrong or if you need to access the page for work, you can report feedback by clicking the "User Feedback" link on the page that it took you to when you tried to access the site. More information about Connect services (ResNet, Wifi@Brunel and VPN) can be found at http://connect.brunel.ac.uk. If you are starting in September check out http://connect.brunel.ac.uk/freshers
01895 265265 (admissions)
Applicants per place:
There are extensive sports facilities at Brunel. Indoors facilities include the main sports hall, exercise studio, netball halls, squash courts, a climbing wall and a new and purpose built indoor athletics centre (something quite unusual at UK universities). Outdoors are the synthetic pitches, grass pitches, tennis courts, netball courts and an athletics area. Athletics is an important sport at Brunel, much more so than most unis - the outdoor 6 lane 400m track meets IFFA standards and the uni is home to one of just 4 'High Performance Athletics Centres'.
Students can make use of all these facilities and there are a number of clubs which you can join. These clubs range in ability from beginners/casual players to people who play in local and BUSA teams and above. The sports are run by the Student Union and you can join them or have a look at them on the 'Union Sports website'
Sports clubs include:
Brunel's welfare service is wide ranging, from a confidential professional counseling service, to teams set up to advice you on academic issues, on disability issues and provide you with legal advice.
Your first port of call for academic problems would usually be your personal tutor, who was assigned to you in your first week. If you have not had any cause to see them since then and can't remember their name, it's on your evision. If you do not feel able to speak to them for any reason, you can make an appointment to see any member of staff in their own individual office hours. You can also speak to the head of your subject or the head of each module about issues specific to your modules. There are module representatives who are elected at the start of each academic year who can also put your issues forward at the meeting between the student representatives and the teaching staff which takes place twice a year.
For issues that are not of an academic matter, you would usually speak to the student centre first. This can be regarding problems with finances, disability, mental wellbeing, advice on finding a job at university or legal issues. The student centre are then able to put you in touch with the people who would be able to help you with your issue, whether that's a counsellor or the jobshop where they can look over your CV.
The university has a medical centre on campus with several GPs and practice nurses. It is located in the middle of campus near the accommodation office and Howell building. For students, the medical centre works on a walk in clinic basis, which operates on monday-friday between 11.30 and about 1.30. You are required to 'sign in' as you go in, and you will then be seen as soon as possible, depending upon the number of other people in the waiting room. Appointments can be made to see a nurse only and non students can make appointments to see the doctor at times outside the walk in clinic hours. It is very important that you register with the local NHS when you go to the Freshers' Fair or as soon as possible afterwards - although it is possible to register at any time during the acedemic year, you don't want to be stuck with something horrible but unable to see a local doctor because you haven't already registered!
The Health Centre is also able to provide you with good help and advice on sexual health matters including contraception. You can also find assistance on the health centres website for how to help yourself with many common problems from colds to back pain - they also tell you when you should contact them for an appointment with these common problems too.
Most shops on campus are situated in the main promenade opposite the Bannerman Centre, which contains the library. The shops on campus are mainly convenience stores, and include: Mace newsagents (otherwise known as CampusStore), Endsleigh Insurance, Costcutter, Brunel Pharmacy, and HSBC.
Mace Newsagents and Costcutter contain many crossover items, such as drink and sandwiches, but it is important to remember that Costcutter has a licence to sell alcohol, whereas Mace currently does not. In addition, Costcutter alone has meals, such as Super Noodles and baked beans, and fresh fruit. Mace newsagents exclusively sells newspapers, magazines, stationary, ice lollies, frozen ready meals, such as pizza, and biscuits. However, despite being fairly well stocked in the basic essentials, these really are only the size of 'corner shops', and are no substitute for the large Sainsbury's/ Tesco Metro in town. Both shops open at 8am and close at 8pm during termtime, although both close at 4pm on Staurdays and Sundays. It is acknowledged that the staff in Costcutter are much more efficient, friendly and professional than their counterparts in Mace, although Mace is undoubtedly the busier of the two shops, and due to its poor layout, queues can be ghastly especially at lunchtimes. It is also important to remember that Mace does not accept debit/credit cards at all, and Costcutter only accepts them on purchases over £5.
In addition to the campus shops, there are two main shopping centres in Uxbridge, known as "The Pavillions" and "The Chimes". Uxbridge also contains a reasonable sized High Street, stretching from near Denham Marina all the way up to the busy Park Road.
The Pavillions contains shops such as Iceland, Wilkinson, The Body Shop, TK Maxx (which frequently has brilliant deals on 'last season' designer stuff) and MK One, and is usually referred to as the cheaper of the two centres. The Chimes is a lot more modern, and contains more clothing shops, such as French Connection, Debenhams and Next, as well as shops such as Boots. The High Street is a reasonable length and as well as containing food outlets, such as McDonalds, it contains much smaller pubs and shops.
South of University there is a Tesco Metro about 5 minutes walk away, It has recently been refurbished and have a good if basic selection of stuff. Further beyond that on the 222 bus you can find a larger Tescos, Iceland, Aldi and a Morrisons in close proximity to each other. A new massive Tesco store by the canal is scheduled for completion in mid 2011
Harrow is easily accessible by Underground, which contains an equally large shopping area, with a different selection of shops. Central London is also accessible by the Metropolitan line within the hour (or at a slightly higher cost from West Drayton station in about half that time), and contains many flagship stores, both cheap, such as Primark, and up-market, such as Selfridges, and stupidly expensive, such as Harrods.
On campus there is the More Food Court which serves up a wide variety of food from all corners of the globe. Situated on the upper floor of the Hamilton Building and accessed via the spiral staircase in the Atrium, More Food Court is a buffet service where you pay for your selected meal before you go and sit down at one of the many tables available. It has been common for More Food Court to offer different international cuisine each weekday, so one evening you may choose from an Indian selection, whereas the following day you may eat a range of Italian food.
Meal tickets can be purchased in bulk, meaning that considerable savings are made on each of the three hot meals offered every day. Otherwise, the More Food Court is considered a fairly expensive option, especially for students operating on a strict budget, and it is advised that cooking in halls of residence is usually a far better option in the long term, although the quality of food served up in the More Food Court ranges from good to very good.
In addition to the More Food Court, there is a small, fast food outlet called Pronto. It opened in 2006 and has been fairly popular with 'nightowls' on their way back to halls of residence after a night out in Academy. Offering many hot snacks such as garlic bread, chips, burgers, hot dogs, chicken pieces, and sausage rolls, as well as soft drinks and a small selection of chocolate, Pronto is seen as a fairly competitively priced outlet, and it is usually open until 2am Monday through Friday, meaning that it is the only free-admission venue to serve food or drink on campus after 11pm when Loco's shuts.
Brunel University has an HSBC branch on campus, and also three cash machines, located in between the bank and the adjacent pharmacy, which do not currently charge you to withdraw your money. Queues for the cash machines are often lengthy and a wait of up to five minutes is not uncommon, especially during the middle of the day in termtime.
HSBC offer a competitive student account, which many students will accept, although their student account is by no means the best one out there, so do not feel pressured into joining HSBC, as all other major banks are represented in Uxbridge High Street, only five minutes away on the U1 or U3 buses.
Brunel is part of the London Bus Network. There are routes which travel around the local area, as well as into central London, which cost £1 a trip with an oyster card, £2 without one. To travel into Uxbridge, the main buses are the U3 which stops outside Mill Hall (Cleveland Road) and the U1 and U4 which stopon the other side of the campus, in Kingston Lane.
Brunel is situated about a mile from Uxbridge Underground Station, which can be reached within 20 mins by foot or 5 mins by bus. Uxbridge is the final stop on the line, and is served by both the Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines, which head into Central London.
If you plan on using either of these regularly, then you should get an Oyster Card which will drastically reduce the cost of travel. In the long run, tickets are far more expensive. You can buy an ordinary Oyster from any of the larger stations, or order a student Oyster card online (this costs more and the benefits are only reaped if you buy season tickets). .
Brunel has a very dedicated careers service specialising in part time jobs, vacation work and sandwich placements for those on the four year course. Brunel students have access to the careers website where they can get advice on all aspects of work such as interviews and C.V's. They also have a large database of graduate jobs which can be accessed through the website.
Brunel graduates can continue to take advantage of the Careers Service for up to 2 years after they graduate.
With the large amount of shops in the local area, there are plenty of part time jobs available, both in The Chimes and the Pavillions, and areas which are further out, such as Central London.
The university has Christian and Muslim Chaplains based in Meeting House and has links with other faith groups in the area. Their services and the building can be used by any students whether you have a religion or not. The rooms are also used for prayer, worship and meetings of various student religious groups too. In addition a small library provides you with access to various publications for different religious groups. All in all, Brunel seems to have a well staffed, well stock and effective Chaplaincy.
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Bars, Pubs and clubs
Brunel has many places to enjoy a night out. The main place to be after a hard day of lectures and seminars is the Academy, which can hold approximately 600 people. On some nights the line to enter the club can be tediously long so it's best to purchase a ticket from the student union bar Loco's well in advance of your intended night out. Tickets can also now be purchased online at brunelstudents.
In the 2007/2008 academic year, the Academy offered club nights every weeknight, starting close to 10pm. The most successful nights were Flirt on Mondays, and Global on Fridays. These were mainstream events which offered funky house and cheesy pop. More defined musical tastes were catered for on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a range of clubnights during the year featuring drum n bass, hip-hop, indie, rap, reggae, trance, and even jungle. Such events like this were known as Masti, or Darq, and proved to be very popular. Wednesday nights at the Academy are a bit of a non-entity. Liquid in Uxbridge offer a stunning student night on Wednesdays from around 10pm until 2am (with the 2007/2008 theme being 'Shipwrecked'), and flyers are handed out on campus earlier in the week. Traditionally, entry to Liquid is cheaper if you obtain a flyer. Fancy dress is optional. Due to the endearing popularity of Liquid, Wednesdays on campus are a damp squib.
Brunel University was one of the first UK universities to enter the popular Formula Student engineering competition. It is an annual event in which universities from all around the world compete in static and dynamic events using formula style racing cars designed and manufactured by students. The Brunel Racing Team is composed of undergraduate and postgraduate students, each being allocated an area of the car to develop. The students on MEng Mechanical Engineering courses act as team leaders and manage BEng students throughout the year to ensure a successful completion of a new car each year. Brunel Racing were UK Class 1 Formula Student Champions in 2002, and were the leading UK team at Formula ATA 2005, the Italian Formula Student event. In 2006 Formula Student Event, Brunel Racing were also the highest finishing UK competitor using E85 (fuel comprising of 85% ethanol and 15% petrol.) The university also runs a second racing team, comprising exclusively of post-graduate students from the MSc Automotive and Motorsports Engineering course, called Brunel Masters Motorsports. The 20 students on this course are from 10 different countries, with various cultural backgrounds and a with a wide range of industry experience. The BMM team were the UK Class 2 Formula Student Champions in their first year, 2005. Brunel's Formula Student teams have won prizes at the annual competition every year since they first entered in 1999. In 2007, the Brunel Bhangra Team entered the Bhangra Showdown competition, and came second. After entering the competition in the last two weeks.
Clubs and societies
As this is a very sports orientated university the sports clubs are the most popular clubs. The societies range from active to "I had no idea we even had one of those", the ACS, Latin and cultural societies are definitely part of the former. In addition to this the arts and performance societies have received an influx of members especially the dance society.
All the uni accommodation is on campus - a bonus, meaning you don't have to travel long distances to your lectures. It's also all self-catered, meaning you have the flexibility in what you eat and when. You can either cook yourself, eat out or eat in the uni food places. You have the option to buy in bulk a number of food vouchers to buy meals on campus. You'll also have your room for 36 weeks - from the start of term until the start of the summer. Postgrad students can have their accommodation for 51 weeks.
The uni will send you details of accommodation when you accept a place. Although it is not possible to choose precisely which Hall you will live in, you can choose between en-suite and standard. If you choose ensuite, it is very likely that you will indeed end up in ensuite accommodation - however, this can not be guaranteed. Unlike other Universities Brunel does not allocate accommodation based on distance from home to campus.
For further up to date information about the accommodation at Brunel see www.brunel.ac.uk/life/accommodation or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The uni has schemes to help you find private sector accommodation - mostly needed for non-first years. You can use the Housing Office to help you and find a choice between renting a private house, renting a room in house or renting a house from the university on behalf of the houses owner.
Every student at Brunel is a part of the Union of Brunel Students (UBS). The Union supports clubs and societies, runs a nightclub and bar, as well as a student newspaper and radio station.
Student Activities The home of over 150 sports clubs and societies. These clubs are all run by students, for students - and any current student can join. For an up-to-date list, visit brunelstudents.com/studentactivities.
RAG and Media The Union organises numerous charity fundraising events during the year, through its Raise and Give scheme (brunelstudents.com/rag). We also run Le Nurb, our campus newspaper, and Radio Brunel, our radio station. Both are completely student-led and rely on student contributions (lenurbonline.com and radiobrunel.com). No experience needed!
The ARC The Advice and Representation Centre is a free, confidential service for all Brunel students. They're here to answer your questions - and if they don't know the answer to your question, they can find out who does. They'll offer free advice and guidance on a whole range of things including money and debt, housing, and academic issues.
Nightlife The Union has two student-friendly venues; Loco's bar (open all day, every day, offering food and drink) and the Academy nightclub. Event tickets are available on the website: brunelstudents.com/nightlife.
Representation The Union is led by four Student Officers, elected each year by all students. There's also ten Student Chairs who lead teams in overseeing everything from student media and clubs and societies to our environmental performance. You can also join our trustee board as a Student Trustee, or make sure any concerns about your course are dealt with effectively as a Student Rep.
Freshers' Week Fresher' Week is without a doubt the biggest week on campus. As a new student, you'll be welcomed by a team of Union Contacts, who have the sole job of making your first week at Brunel something to remember (for all the right reasons!). Full details at brunelstudents.com/freshers.
Find out more Get the latest updates on our website (brunelstudents.com), our main Facebook page (facebook.com/brunelstudents) or on Twitter (@brunelstudents). If you're joining us in September, our Freshers' 2013 Facebook page is available, too (facebook.com/brunelfreshers2013)!
Brunel was built in two phases. Phase one was in the late 60's when the university had just begun and people decided that concrete was the next big thing.
The scenes involving the 'reprogramming centre' in Kubrick's Clockwork Orange were shot at Brunel, inside what is now the John Crank building, a room in one of the original halls of residence and one of the lecture centre theatres (Giving rise to the annual tradition of film students sleeping through footage of someone in the same room as them having his eyes held open and forcibly glued to the screen, something film studies lecturers here have no doubt often contemplated.)
Brunel's recent master plan of combining all its campuses into one on the Uxbridge site has lead to a massive amount of building work on the Uxbridge campus, which has now mostly been completed. The building work has led to: An enlarged administration building, enlarged library holding the placement and careers centre and Cafe Rococo , enlarged SU building with shops and an atrium, new social sciences building, 18 new halls of residence, an athletics track, netball hall, loads of sports pitches. There is also the addition of a digital performance and black box studio to the Boilerhouse drama space for 2008.
The campus blossoms during summer days. It looks the best it ever has, as the development masterplan nears its end. The campus is modern, dynamic thrusting, and the mixture of architecture compliments each other to create some bizarre effects. The brutalist architecture of the lecture centre's concrete exterior, is now offset with a lawn area, which previously had been concrete paving.
More recently the university has decided to start naming its buildings after various people, presumably on the grounds that a sign saying 'library' would be too confusing.
A few of the more important buildings are:
Hamilton Centre: Student union, refectory, bars nightclub, shops etc.
Bannerman Centre: Library, Student Centre, Finance Office, Cafe Rococo's, Placement and Careers centre.
Wilfred Brown: Administration centre and reception. The student centre in Bannerman was created to keep nasty smelly students out of the admin block if at all possible.
John Crank: Maths, computer services, computer store and 24 computer rooms.
Lecture Centre: Lecture centre and AV unit.
Brunel students have the best of both worlds. Central London is only 40 mins travel by public transport, and boasts a multitude of pubs, clubs and bars catering for all tastes. However, if you fancy a night closer to home, Uxbridge sports its own array of pubs/bars/clubs, the most popular being Liquid&Envy, which holds a students night on wednesdays. If even that seems a little too far to travel, then Brunel's own range of drinking establishments offer a great evening out.
Uxbridge also boasts a range of restaurants.
- Baroness The Rt Hon Margaret Thatcher MP, former UK Prime Minister, honorary doctorate, 1996
- David Crutcher (Mechanical Engineering 1962), Canadian politician
- Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg
- John Leech (History and Politics), politician, MP for Manchester Withington
- John McDonnell, politician, MP for Hayes and Harlington
- Ralph Miliband, political theorist
- Anastasios Papaligouras (Masters in Comparative European Law), Greek politician
- Pekka Sauri (PhD 1990), Finnish psychologist and politician, writer and cartoonist
- John Tomlinson (Health Services Management), Labour politician and life peer
- Shailesh Vara (Law), politician, MP for North West Cambridgeshire
- Reza Moridi (MTech, 1972, PhD, 1975), MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament), Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Parliamenatry Assistant, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.
- Tony Adams (Sports Science), former Arsenal and England footballer
- Allyn Condon, Athlete
- Mike Coughlan (Mechanical Engineering 1981), Chief Designer for the McLaren Formula One team
- James Cracknell (MSc 1999), rowing champion and Olympic gold medallist
- Ben Gollings, rugby player
- Roger Hammond (Materials Science), Cyclist
- Audley Harrison (Sport Sciences 1999), boxer, Olympic gold medallist
- Richard Hill (Geography and Sports Science), rugby player
- Catherine Murphy, athlete
- Abi Oyepitan (Politics and Sociology), athlete
- Kelly Sotherton, athlete
- Iwan Thomas, (Geography and Sports Science), athlete
- Danny Holmes, (Sports Science), Sports Psychologist and Football Coach
- Thomas Arnold, (Sports Science), Biomechanical Analysist and nutritional consultant
- Tom Clark, ( Sports Science), Olympic Weightlifter and Marathon Walker
- Abi Ekoku, former GB Lions Rugby League Manager, British discus champion and Bradford Bulls, London Broncos and Halifax winger
- Tom Shanklin, Lions tourist and Wales Rugby Union International
- Nick Abbot (Psychology), radio presenter
- Hajaz Akram, actor
- Mark Bagley, comic book artist
- Carl Barat (Drama), Libertine & musician with the band Dirty Pretty Things
- Jo Brand (Social Sciences and Nursing), comedian
- Neil Clark, journalist
- Lee Mack, comedian
- Oreke Mosheshe (Management and Law), actor, TV presenter and model
- Archie Panjabi (Management Studies 1996), actor
- Bindya Solanki (Drama), actor
- John Watts, musician with the band Fischer-Z
Applying to Brunel
Thinking of applying to Brunel? Why not read some Personal Statements which were used for applying here?