- Goldsmiths is part of the University of London. It was originally created in 1891 as part of Goldsmiths Technical and Recreative Institute where it specialised in teaching and research into creative, cultural an cognitive subjects and was then later absorbed and rebranded by the University of London in 1904 as Goldsmiths College. Goldsmiths is usually identified as one of the leading universities in the creative arts and is proud of its reputation for having a more flamboyant curriculum in some courses. It has produced 6 Turner prize winners, (including Damien Hirst) and members of the YBA, Graham Coxon, Damon Albarn and Alex James of Blur fame, Vivienne Westwood, Tessa Jowell and many more.
- The more focused approach to the arts means there aren't any subjects like chemistry, mathematics or sports, but it still offers a wide range of subjects.
Opened in 1997, the Rutherford Building houses the library, IT Services, Media Services, The Language Resources Centre, the Copy and the Assistive Technology Centre. The library has over 250,000 books spread across three floors, music scores, large print books, DVDs and subscribes to over 1,500 journals, many of which can be accessed online. Recently the Rutherford Building was refurbished creating the cutting-edge Digital Media Suite and social learning spaces, and installing enhanced IT facilities and silent study areas on the second floor.
Senate House Library
Available to all members of the University of London, Senate House Library is located on Malet st (Goodge station) and offers 3,000,000 books volumes of books, along with a subscription to over 5,200 Journals and over 170,000 theses by graduate students. The building's use by the Ministry of Information during the Second World War inspired George Orwell's description of the Ministry of Truth in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.
IT and computing
There are 50 PCs and 70 Macs available in the Open Access computer areas of the Rutherford Building. There also four Computer Teaching rooms that feature 60 PCs and 22 Macs. Editing suites are available for media and many Macs have MIDI keyboards attached. The university also has a free wireless network 'Eduroam' which allows access to students and staff.
There is a hall/gym (which can be used for things like basketball, badminton and table tennis), tennis and netball courts and a sports ground in Sidcup which can be booked and used by students. There is also a new fitness gym.
In the local area there are facilities for many more sports, including athletics, climbing, cycling, golf, squash, swimming and tennis.
There are teams and games organised by the SU between students and sometimes staff too. Each year Goldsmiths sports teams compete against rivals from the University of the Arts in the Varsity Cup. Goldsmiths are the current holders of the cup.
Student Union sports clubs include:
Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW
Applicants per place:
The Uni has a medical centre on Laurie Grove. It's open until 6pm during the week and you're advised to register there. You can usually make an appointment for the same day provided you do it soon enough ie before 2pm.
Services here include GPs and nurses, and information on a range of issues and illnesses.
You shouldn't use the uni centre if you live more than three miles from the uni though - however you can get info on other doctor's surgeries in the area should you live further away than this.
The G-Shop, near Loafers in the Richard Hoggart Building, is open from 9.30am to 6pm. It stocks stationery, drinks, confectionery, newspapers and hooded tops. They also have a range of ‘ethical alternative’ products. A small Blackwells shop is situated next to the G-Shop and sells core academic textbooks.
Outside of the University there is a Sainsburys nearby which is ideal for a weekly shop, an Iceland if you're running low on money and dozens of other corner shops and off-licences.
The College operates three food outlets in the Richard Hoggart Building catering for students – the Refectory, Tastte and Loafers Café. All three outlets use Fairtrade tea, coffee, sugar and chocolate.
- Loafers Café specialises in freshly made sandwiches, home-made soup and a selection of luxury coffees.
- The Refectory offers an array of hot meals, including ‘meal of the day’, pizzas, salads and sandwiches.
- The Tastte outlet is also housed within the Refectory area selling pre-wrapped sandwiches, hot and cold drinks and a range of snacks.
The Student's Union is home to Natura Cafe which specialises in ethical and healthy food and has areas to socialize. The New Cross area is a hotbed of restaurants, or at least take-aways, numbers are almost excessive - all trying to get the students in by having cheap prices. The food there is edible, even very good in some cases, but I wouldn't recommend it as a staple food.
A Halifax is also located nearby on the corner of Old Kent Road and Lewisham Way and a Natwest is available 10 minutes away in Greenwich.
Goldsmiths is served by two mainline rail stations: New Cross (operated by Southeastern) and New Cross Gate (operated by Southern). Both stations provide services to London Bridge and also offer services into many parts of South and Southeast London, Kent and Surrey.
Both New Cross Gate and New Cross tube stations have recently re-opened on the East London Line offering a service north to Dalston Junction (with plans to extend this to Highbury and Islington) and south to West Croydon and Crystal Palace. The stations now accept Oyster Cards. It's also a 5 minute walk away from the DLR (Lewisham).
There's lots of bus stops around the uni too. You're 15 minutes away from Greenwich which is a lovely little town and only around 40 minutes away from Oxford Circus. Plus there's buses to all the places that you may find your self needing to be in London (Marylebone, Victoria etc)
The Careers service is on Lewisham Way and is the place to go if you want info and guidance about careers and further study. You can get info above talks and fairs that are happening, get guidance on picking careers, and get tips on improving your application and CV.
If you've graduated you can get Grad club membership (currently costs about £25) which allows you to make use of the service for an additional 2 years. This provides you with some free services and others at a discounted rate. Though it has to be said, some other unis offer the same services to its graduates for free.
There are a lot of part-time jobs in the area that are aimed at and suitable for students. South-east London is a lively area full of pubs, restaurants and cafes, offering waiting and service jobs. There are many stores in the area as well. The university itself does not offer many opportunities. However, there are student advisers, who are mainly used to attract students from SE London schools and to support open days.
The chaplaincy is located on Dixon Road. It's a place where you can go to chat about anything with friendly people and is in confidence. It doesn't matter what religion you follow, you can make use of the service. As well as this, it holds regular talks, services and discusses. Though it's primarily focused on Christianity, it offers info to people of other religions from faith advisers. They can put you in touch with local faith groups.
There is also a prayer room that is for use by any faith in the Richard Hoggart Building, though it is sometimes used for services. Other spaces - an Interdenominational Prayer Room in the Student Union Building and the Quiet Space at the Chaplaincy Centre can also be used for prayer.
Bars, pubs and clubs
The SU operates The Stretch - a pub/club which plays host to many events put on by the SU. Its a typical in the drinks it serves, though most students go there either the day between or just after lectures and only venture to The Stretch on Wednesday nights for Club Sandwich - an infamously cheesy night which causes people to get smashed enough to enjoy it.
In the area there are several good traditional pubs such as The Prince Albert, Marquis of Granby and The Hobgoblin, which offers a student discount. The Amersham Arms is less than two minutes away and is not only a pub venue but has a back room which acts as an amazing nightclub for new music (owned by the same people as The Lock Tavern in Camden).
The Union holds a varied selection of events including regular quiz nights, karaoke, live sports and film nights, a cheesy disco (the infamous Club Sandwich night), and a fortnightly Live Wire evening showcasing up-and-coming live acts.
Clubs and societies
There are loads of clubs and societies and you can find out about most at the Fresher Fair held near the start of the year. If you can't find a soc to your liking the SU has details on how you can set one up! Some of the societies available are:
To get accommodation in your first year you need to have sent your accommodation form back by mid-August and not have a 'home' address within the six London transport zones. If meet these conditions you can get accommodation. Otherwise your application will be added to the waiting list to see what is left - normally this means having to wait until term has started. If on the list, the further your 'home' address is from the College, the higher priority you get.
You can also apply for intercollegiate halls or look in the private sector.
There's lots of halls around campus - Loring Hall is actually on campus and is great for waking up 10 minutes before your lectures. None of the halls are luxury - but you'd be silly to expect that. But they're alright. I pay £109 a week for Loring Hall and it's worth every penny. I love it - if you get put in Loring, you're sure never to have a dull moment!
The layout there is what you might call "traditional halls"... There are 21 other people on a floor and they all share one BIG kitchen, 4 WCs, 3 showers and a bath. That might sound daunting, but it really isn't a problem. The rooms in SH I found were surprisingly big and people from other unis have commented on how much space there is!
The location, in some people's opinion, isn't great as you have to walk down a pretty dodgy alley that stinks of piss to get there and its on top of the main road in New Cross which means that the rooms on the bottom floor can be quite noisy at times. The rooms though are fine with a sink in each one and seven rooms per flat sharing one kitchen, three toilets a bath and a shower which are all cleaned daily.
Although one of the more expensive halls (I believe about £119 p/w), they're worth the money. People are 19+ (usually people who have taken a year or two out) are generally housed here which makes getting on fairly easy as you've had a similar experience and aren't giddy about going out now that you're 18. All the rooms are en-suite and have internet access and have furniture which is new(ish) that hasn't been damaged. Sadly for some it's non-smoking (like the other halls) but an open window and sock over the alarm is sufficient, failing that the kitchen alarm detects heat, not smoke. The kitchen is shared between 8 people with two ovens, two fridges, two freezers, a kettle, table + chairs, a microwave, iron and board and individual cupboards. Security is provided with porters; key cards and keys are needed to enter. It's located on New Cross Road across the road from shops, take-aways, next door to a pub and two minutes away from the Richard Hoggart Building (main building).
Housing in London is plentiful, but pricey. The University of London offers housing to most students attending any of the colleges. They also provide help finding flats and rooms with registered landlords.
The Goldsmiths Students’ Union is a diverse, vibrant, award-winning organisation, providing a range of services including representation, clubs, societies, volunteering opportunities, student media, advice, meeting rooms, sports facilities, and entertainment. Goldsmiths Students' Union is democratically run by elected officers. Each Spring, Goldsmiths students get the opportunity to elect candidates based on submitted manifestos for a variety of positions. These consist of four full-time positions which are remunerated and 14 part-time positions. The elections are independently verified by a returning officer from the National Union of Students of the United Kingdom or NUS as it is commonly known. Set in New Cross, Goldsmiths has a diverse student body and attracts students from all over the world and this is embraced and celebrated by the students' union who arrange events throughout the year and its core representative values can be summed up in its mission statement;
- Representation is at the centre of all we do and through representation we provide inclusive, accessibile activities for Goldsmiths' students
Each year the students' union publishes its Annual Impact Report which outlines to all stakeholders the work that the students' union has been doing throughout the year, its campaigns and its achievements. The document is designed in house and present to the college management board as well as being made available to students online and in a hard copy format.
Recycling and the Environment
GSU takes environmental issues seriously and since 2005 has recycled all paper waste and since 2007 has recycled all paper, glass and plastic. The union offices also have facilities in place for the recycling of ink and toner cartridges as well as mobile phones and similar devices. The students' union has won awards from Lewisham Council as well as the National Union of Students (United Kingdom) for three years under its Sound Impact Awards scheme.
Sound Impact Awards History
* 2007 - Gold Award * 2008 - Bronze Award * 2009 - Silver Award
Goldsmiths Students' Union is a supporter of Fairtrade and pledges to source Fairtrade products wherever possible. All teas, coffees, sugar and clothing it sells are certified Fairtrade as well as a selection of snacks and drinks which are available from the SU Shop (see below). GSU has also, since 2005, campaigned for Goldsmiths, University of London to strive towards becoming a certified Fairtrade university.
The university has buildings of varying architecture, from the listed buildings like the Grade II listed Richard Hoggart Building to more modern buildings like the Ben Pimlott Building which acts as a new centre piece of the university with the squiggle art piece dominating the skyline and The Rutherford Building won the RIBA award. Goldsmiths has also acquired buildings in the New Cross area and converted them, like the Deptford Town Hall, the Victorian Laurie Grove Baths, which now acts as studios for Post-Graduate Art Students, houses on Laurie Grove which house various departments and services, and houses on Lewisham Way where seminars take place in converted bedrooms (they're really ace that way). By September 2010 the new Media and Communications building should be completed which aims to be as environmentally friendly as possible whilst presenting itself as in a very modern style.
The uni is located in New Cross. Its like any other typical London area, densely populated with a wide variety of different cultures making it a fun place to live and study. I know I'm obviously biased seeing as I live in New X, but it really is a great place once you get to know it - the music scene is growing, it's full of students and it's one of the cheaper areas of London.
When you do first move to New Cross if you so choose, yes, you will feel a bit cautious. It isn't the safest of places - especially if you're coming from a small town back home, but if you're sensible you'll have no problems. Just don't get walking home alone when you're absolutely hammered at 3am in the morning - not to say that something would happen to you, but to be fair, if it did, you're asking for it - and that's the same in New Cross as it is in the 'safest' parts of London.
Obviously I can't vouch for any other subject but my own, but academically, Goldsmiths is a pretty good uni. No, it's not Oxbridge, UCL or Imperial level - but Goldsmiths has always had good reviews. A lot of the time, people mistake Goldsmiths for a bad uni because it seems so few people go there - this simply isn't true. So few people go there because it's a SMALL uni.
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