The University of Leicester is based in the city of Leicester in the East Midlands, England. The university is one of the older universities in the country. The main campus about one mile out of the centre. It currently has over 20,000 students of which nearly 10,000 are full time undergrads. The uni was created in 1921, later being known as University College Leicester, before achieving university status in 1957, when it was granted its Royal Charter.
The academic heart of the University is the David Wilson Library, well stocked library of over a million books, and numerous digital resources. The library opened in early 2008, following a £30 million extension and refurbishment of the campus, offering contemporary design with new technology, including:
- ●1500 study spaces
- ●13 group study rooms each with wall-mounted plasma screens and a PC
- ●350 PCs, 2 ICT training rooms and wireless internet access
- ●Self issue and return of books
- ●38km of shelving for printed books and journal collections, totalling over 1 million volumes
- ●A 'one stop shop' for student support - the Student Development Zone, the AccessAbility Centre and the Library and IT Services Help Zone
- ●The Graduate School Reading Room (exclusive to postgraduate students, providing formal study areas, group study rooms, PCs and social areas)
- ●A cafe and bookshop at the entrance.
The library also offers students an extensive digital library with access both on and off campus to 18,000 electronic journals, over 250,000 electronic books and 60 databases. During term, the David Wilson Library is open from 8am to midnight on weekdays, and 9am to midnight at the weekend. Hours are extended further during the summer examination period.
The library staff are all well trained and will help out whenever needed. There is usually a guide on hand, if you get lost, and you can currently go on a library tour at 11 am or 3 pm.
In addition the the main library, there are also several others, the largest being the education library situated at the School of Education. This has a wonderful assortment of children's literature, teaching books and classroom resources. There is a clinical sciences library for medical students located at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Several departments also have their own libraries, the Law department owns the Harry Peach library in the Fielding Johnson Building, and the History Department has dedicated libraries to Holocaust studies, English Local History and Urban History.
IT and Computing
Leicester University is well equipped with computing services. Upon enrolling every student receives a 'CFS' username which gives them access to a personal university approved email address, a computer account allowing you to log onto all computers on campus and allows access to the online learning resource come to be known as 'Blackboard'; a crucial link between students and their tutors for announcements about upcoming lectures, seminar information and alike; and a way to submit coursework online through a plagiarism detector. The CFS username also allows the use of Athens authenticated online learning resources.
There are various of computer suites around campus, in the library and Ken Edwards' buildings amongst others; and there are also several 'quick access points' which are standing units around the university, which allow users to log on for 20 mins at a time. Generally these are for checking emails and such short term activities.
The computer centre is located on the main campus library and is available should anybody have any problems.
The Oadby halls of residence are equipped with limited internet access, which has its slower times at peak points during the day. This is included in accommodation fees. Mary Gee houses has a limited internet access. Freeman's Common and Nixon Court also has limited but adequate internet access.
1921 (granted university status in 1957)
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The main University building, the Charles Wilson building, has its own Sports hall; with facilities for many of the university approved clubs, from badminton and basketball to indoor football. In addition to this there is Manor Road sports ground, located close to the Oadby halls of residence. This has a slightly smaller indoor area; but features tennis and hockey courts, space for 5-a-side football; and a running track. The majority of the university clubs will have training sessions at both, utilising these facilities to the full. Fortunately located next to Leicester's Victoria Park, there's plenty of room for clubs and friendly training. Both Manor Road and the campus sports halls have gym facilities, which are free to use with posession of a sports card.
As well as the two sports halls there are also two university gyms, one at Manor Road and the other on campus. Manor Road has a wide range of cardio and resistance machines as well as a 25m swimming pool. The campus gym used to be a private one and is well equipped with 2 studios, a well stocked resistance area, 20m pool and wide range of cardio equipment.
To partake in one of the many university sports clubs, and to get free use of any of the university sporting facilities at any time, you need to purchase a Sports Card. You can do this at the campus sports centre any weekday, provided you have a picture of yourself, and the money! There are 2 main types: Silver which allows use of everything besides the pool and gyms (pitches, classes, insurance for sports clubs etc.) and Gold which allows the use of those facilities not included in Silver whenever you wish and can be purchased online as well as the sports centre. Silver is £100 for the academic year and Gold £200.
The University Welfare Office is located on the first floor of the Percy Gee building. The staff are efficient, helpful and well-informed and offer services such as counselling for students with personal or social problems and arranging temporary financial aid for those who have not yet received their student loans as deadlines for tuition fees and accommodation payments approach. As well as the universities welfare office, each hall has an elected team of welfare reps on the JCR. Their job is to make sure your time in halls of residences is as care free as possible, they do an excellent job and are there whenever you need them.
Upon joining the uni you are given the option to register for a doctor in Leicester. This is done when you move into halls. The doctor is found just down the road from the university, and a short bus ride from halls in Oadby, located on the site of the Freeman's Common residences.
As with any City, Leicester City Centre hosts many of the major shops you all know and love. With two shopping 'malls', the Highcross shopping centre and the Haymarket. Suitable for clothes and entertainment shopping, of all varieties, Leicester's intricate side roads and independent shops make it a great place for walking around on a relaxing shopping trip. Apple Store, WHSmith, Waterstones, Next, Burton, Monsoon, Topshop, Thorntons, HMV, Game, JJB Sports, Swaravoski Crystal and of course, Primark, are among the numerous shops on offer.
On campus, there are various places to shop. You can buy books, stationery and gifts in the Library Bookshop and in Willingales, next to the students' union. Within the Percy Gee building, Nourish sells essential provisions, magazines, newspapers and sandwiches.
There are numerous supermarkets in Leicester. For students living in Oadby in their first year, the most convenient of these is Asda, located very close to the Oadby halls of residence. There is also a Sainsbury's and Waitrose in Oadby, although these are at a further distance from the halls of residence. For those living in Mary Gee there are a large variety of shops along Queen's Road to choose from. There is also a Morrisons located near to the university, which is very useful if you are living in halls close to the campus such as Freeman's Common, Nixon or Opal Court. Within the city centre, there are also many stores.
On campus there are various places to eat during the day: including Delicious (hot and cold food), Café Piazza and Chi (good quality hot food), the Library cafe (sandwiches, paninis, cakes, coffee) and Planets (sandwiches, drinks etc.). There is also a Starbucks and Nourish (a small supermarket) in the students' union, alongside Nineteen Twenty-Three, a more formal restaurant.
The city itself has many places to eat out. Along London Road are situated many bars/pubs that serves meals, such as Varsity and the Loaded Dog. There are many Indian, Thai and Chinese restaurants in Leicester especially on London Road, as well as various cafés. There are three Nando's - one located within the Highcross shopping area, one near Morrison's supermarket by the Odeon cinema and one near the top of Granby Street.
There are plenty of takeaway places too if you want to order food to halls. They know exactly where you are, and they hand out plenty of flyers at the halls. Leicester's takeaways are mostly excellent in quality, and AJ's, Bluepoint, Delight Express and In'n'Out are the most popular for students in addition to the standard Dominos and Pizza Hut. During Freshers Week, you will be given a lot of vouchers, keep them, they will be very useful!
The main University Campus has two cashpoints - one located by the Charles Wilson building, and another located near to the entrance to the Percy Gee building. There is also a branch of Santander within the students' union which also has a cash machine inside.
In addition to these on campus, the city centre contains all of the major banks. Natwest, HSBC, Halifax and Santander are in the city centre, and there is a Lloyd's TSB adjacent to Victoria Park.
The Evington area, a popular student area, also has Barclay's, Natwest and a Santander bank.
The 80/80A is the only regular bus route that collects from all Oadby halls of residence, and Mary Gee on Ratcliffe Road. The 80 service runs half hourly, Monday to Saturday until around 11.30pm, and goes to the university, and then on to the rail station and city centre. From Monday to Friday before 6pm the 80A service also runs on a loop service from halls to university (not into the city centre). The 80A service runs every 10 minutes, but not on the half hours when the 80 runs.
To get to university on time for lectures using the 80/80A, get the bus 20 minutes before your lecture is due to start, 30 minutes to be early, and 40 minutes if your lecture is at 9AM.
The 31/31A runs every 5/10 minutes, 7 days a week; but less frequently on Sundays; and can be caught from anywhere along London Road. This service runs into the city centre, including a stop right outside the rail station, and up to Oadby. It's convenient on those rainy mornings when the buses are too full to pick up students from Digby Hall - the buses collect from John Foster, GMS, Beaumont, then Digby before heading to Mary Gee. At busy times (when lots of people have lectures starting at the same time), the bus may completely fill at John Foster.
The 15/15A takes you to Meridian Park, the site of Bowling and Cinema entertainments.
A yearly bus pass covers all Arriva bus services you are likely to use whilst at Leicester. A bus pass can be purchased for £400 at the bus station, or online. Most people find that their bus pass has paid for itself after the first term!
If you choose to walk into university, be prepared for at least a 30 minute walk from Oadby (if you walk fast) and 50 minutes for slower walkers. If you choose to do this, a shorter route can be found by taking a left at Duke's Drive (on London Road), followed by a right (your first right) then a left (along Knighton Park Road) which takes you to Victoria Park, at the foot of Queen's Road, saving about 5 minutes from your journey. From Freemen's Common, Nixon and Opal Court, it is a five minute walk to campus.
Cycling to campus is also an option. It can take 15 minutes at a reasonable speed, quicker than the bus most days! The quickest way is the same as the route suggested above for walking. There are cycle paths all the way along London Road and most places around the city, so it can be a safe and healthy option. If you are planning to cycle to uni, don't forget your bike lights and a flurescent safety vest as it will get dark pretty quickly, especially during the winter.
The University of Leicester Students' Union operate a Safety Bus service in the evenings from the university to anywhere you like - either the city centre or halls of residence. This costs £2 per journey, or you can purchase a yearly pass for £30. The service runs hourly or half hourly depending on the day until the bars and Library have closed.
On Sunday evenings (between 7 and 10pm) the Safety Bus also collects people from the train station, which is handy after a weekend home.
Based in the David Wilson Library, the careers service provides information leaflets based on everything you might need to know when applying for a job. The small team of staff can also be booked for appointments to discuss CVs, interview techniques or any other job related questions.
Part-time jobs can be found in the students' union Welfare Office, or alternatively at 'Workbank' - www.theworkbank.co.uk. You have to sign up, but they have information on all kinds of jobs in Leicester and can fit around your free hours. They also hold information on jobs based on campus.
The University of Leicester acknowledges the wide cultural heritage of the city. The Charles Wilson building features gender specific prayer lounges for those of the Muslim faith. Opposite the main campus, is the Leicester University Chaplaincy, which provides opportunities for interfaith co-operation and access to resources.
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Bars, Pubs and Clubs
Leicester offers plenty of opportunities for nights out, both at the university and in the city.
The university has its own bar, the Scholar, which has numerous drinks deals as well as drinks from £1 on Wednesdays from 7pm until 10.30pm called 'Squids'. It also hosts a Karaoke Night on Mondays. The Union also has an O2 Academy, which hosts a range of live music and student-only nights on Wednesdays and Fridays. On Wednesday nights, the venue hosts 'Red Leicester', and features a range of music in each of the 3 rooms, with the main room playing mainly cheese & retro music. The club stays open until 2.30am, by when it is scaled down into the Scholar bar and Academy 3 to host 'Red Later' which lasts until 5am. On Friday nights, the union hosts 'The Big Shabang' with the main room playing chart music. The other rooms, O2 Academy 2 and 3, which can hold 500 and 250 people, play mainly Indie, drum and bass, and dubstep. The club is open until 3am, and then plays host to 'The Late Lounge' in the Scholar and Academy 3 until 6am.
Each of the Oadby halls of residence have their own bars. John Foster's bar is the newest, which can be seen by it's modern feel and comfortable seating. S Bar, situated in GMS, is the next biggest and also the most popular; followed by Beaumont & Digby across the road to S bar. Sporting events are shown on TVs at John Foster and in S Bar.
The city has many places to go. On Monday nights, the official student night is 'Superstar Mondays' at Club Republic, which has several rooms playing music to suit everyone's tastes. On Tuesdays, the new official night is No Brainer at Liquid. Also on Tuesdays is the club Mosh, which offers alternative, indie, and rock music. On Thursdays, the official student night is 'SiMioLoGy' at Chilli White's. Also on Thursdays there is club Fanclub, a smaller club which plays rock, and also hosts 80s & 90s nights on Fridays and Saturdays, and the recently opened Sosho. There are other clubs in the city such as Life, so whatever your taste you will easily be able to find a good night out! These are quite big clubs in the city centre. The number 31 bus will take you into the city centre, and taxis back to Oadby from these places will cost approximately £12-15, which between 4 or 5 of you, is not too bad.
Leicester city's gay scene offers a range of pubs and bars to explore, as well as a couple of clubs and gay nights. Bars include Bossa, Rainbow & Dove, Dover Castle and The Village. For clubs, Helsinki is popular on Wednesdays - hosting Pinki Helsinki, where very cheap cocktails are offered - whereas Quebec is more popular on Fridays and Saturdays. Also on a Wednesday night is ISU's gay night, I-Candy - being a new event, however, it will be some time before people begin to frequent it more.
In terms of pubs, The Loaded Dog and Varsity, both along London Road are popular, offering TV, WiFi internet access and pool tables. They too play a variety of music, and have a very good atmosphere. They are popular on both Monday, Wednesday and Friday as pre-student event drinking locations. There is also a Wetherspoons in Oadby, a short walk from halls, and the Dry Dock, adjacent to Nixon Court and Freemen's Common. These offer some great deals in terms of food and drink and is a popular hang out. It is recommended you purchase a 'Yellow Card', which costs £1 for the entire year and gets you massive savings on your drinks.
The city centre also has a wide variety of bars and pubs. There is the Lansdowne on London Road which offers a relaxed environment and some very nice cocktails! Further along London Road there is also TIME, which is a common feature on bar crawls. Within the city there are a lot of other bars. Some of them are R/Bar, The Sun, Walkabout, The Turkey Café and many more. For a more traditional pub, the Old Horse near Victoria Park is fantastic and it also has a delicious and affordable Sunday carvery, popular with students.
Whatever your taste, you will find a bar you like. There is a large bar crawl hosted by the students' union during Fresher's Week, which is the best opportunity for you to discover Leicester's nightlife.
As well as the weekly on campus events, the university hosts many other events. The O2 Academy has recently played host to various bands including Kasabian. Adjacent to the university is the De Montfort Hall, which hosts a wide array of affordable entertainment including comedy and drama.
The halls of residence also have their own events, organised by the Junior Common Room Committee - events such as comedy nights, bar crawls and chocolate fountain nights. There is a central university ball at the end of the academic year, and all of the halls of residence hold their own balls throughout the year.
Varsity holds an annual football and rugby match, played at Leicester's Walkers Stadium - available to anyone for a fee of about £5.
Clubs and Societies
The Students' Union offers a large number of clubs and societies. These include:
- Academic - degree-related groups, such as Law, Politics or English societies
- Associations - including Contact Volunteers, Nightline and RAG
- Campaigning - including Amnesty International, United Nations as well as other political groups
- Media - The Ripple, the student newspaper, LUSH Radio and LUST Television
- National - representative societies for national groups
- Performance - including LUTheatre, Cheerleading and Big Band societies
- Recreational - including Real Ale, Curry and Muggle Quidditch societies
- Religious - many societies catering for Leicester's diverse religious groups
There are also many societies dedicated to various sports.
It is highly recommended to students to get involved in these diverse societies, as there is great potential for making new friends and developing new skills outside of your academic work. You will be able to find all of these societies during the Fresher's Fair every October.
The University of Leicester guarantees accommodation to anyone holding conditional or unconditional offers for the university having selected the uni as their first choice. Those with the university as their insurance choice and who go through clearing are given the choice of rooms available from what's left. However due to the large amount of accommodation, coming through clearing isn't always a bad thing, and you can still get decent accommodation as long as you sort your forms out as soon as possible.
Halls in the Oadby village each have a bar, with pool table(s), a common area open when the bar isn't, and on site laundrettes. Some also have bike storage facilities. They also have internet access.
Nixon Court and Opal Court also have their own laundrette. These residences do not have their own bars, but as it is more like living in flats you have a living room area. Both offer internet access, although it is not included at Opal Court.
Mary Gee, similarly, has all the washing facilities required and full broadband access in every block.
The University of Leicester has numerous halls of residence of varying distances from the University campus. The main bulk of the university's accommodation is located in a student village in Oadby in the south of the city.
The Oadby halls of residence, featuring five halls, are the furthest away from campus; comprising a 30-45 minute walk and 15 minute bus ride. They consist of John Foster Hall, formerly known as New Hall, as it was officially opened last year (2006-2007); Gilbert Murray Stamford (GMS, formerly Gilbert Murray and Stamford separately); Beaumont and Digby. The Oadby halls are in a nice location, near to Asda supermarket, in a quiet area; situated near the University Botanical Gardens, the perfect place for a nice stroll.
John Foster Hall is the newest and most modern hall. One of the largest Halls of residence, John Foster Hall is all en-suite rooms. In the other halls, communal shower and bathrooms are still used in parts. Communal foyers are a good place to get to know your halls mates, with night times being alive with activity. All these halls have their own bars, with typically cheap alcohol on sale, and pool tables available. Both catered and self catered accommodation is offered at each hall, with food being served from 7:15 - 10 AM and 5.30 - 7 PM weekdays, and 12 - 1 and 5.30 - 6:30 PM Saturdays and Sundays. Each block has it's own kitchen facilities. On site launderette's are available at each halls, which obviously get busy at certain times of day.
GMS comprises a variety of blocks, old houses and smaller houses. It has a mixture of new buildings such as Bowder Court, and older houses dating from 1902, like Kent House and more. It contains both catered and self catered residences with a very active social comittee organising a wide variety of events e.g. balls, bar crawls, comedy nights and treasure hunts. There are both catered and self catered ensuite rooms also available in GMS.
Beaumont Hall is a very sociable largely catered hall with some self catered. It features a mixture of blocks and houses. Beaumont House itself was built in 1904 and contains residences, a lovely bar, a games room and the dining hall.
Digby Hall is the smallest and closest to Asda. It features 6 blocks; yellow, green, white, blue, black, and red (a smoking block); the main house, staff flats and various houses on the other side of the road. Meals are taken at Beaumont, which is a 5 minute walk up the road.
Ratcliffe Road is the site of the Mary Gee houses. These are a number of self catered houses arranged in blocks ranging from A to double I, with each block consisting of 10 single rooms with communal wash facilities on the ground and second floor and a kitchen and laundry room on the 1st floor. They are about half the distance from the university as the Oadby halls. The Mary Gee Houses were scheduled for demolition but greater than expected demand for accommodation forced the university to reopen them in order to fulfil their promise of "guaranteed accommodation" for all students applying on time. There is a small common room with 100mbs wired and wireless internet access and a laundry room containing washing machines and tumble dryers.
The closest halls to the uni are located on and around Freeman's Common. These are self-catered houses,are usually populated by post graduates and international students. Opal and Nixon Court are flat like accommodations, also self catered. They are within 5 minutes walk from the main campus.
Students at the University of Leicester tend to live in two main areas; Evington and Clarendon Park, and a couple of subsidiary ones.
- Clarendon Park is situated just south of the university campus, it is on the whole, the most expensive area to live, but if you look closely enough, you can live here for as little as £45 a week in rent. Clarendon Park is quite a bohemian area with plenty of cafés, bookshops and a top notch off licence on Clarendon Park Road. There are restaurants on Queens Road on one side of Clarendon and also, at the other side, on Welford Road. It takes about 10 minutes to walk to the centre of Clarendon Park from the University Campus.
- Evington is located the other side of Victoria park, close to London Road, which is one of the main roads into the city centre. Generally a cheaper and less desirable area then Clarendon Park, Evington is still popular with students thanks to its reasonably priced, large housing, and close proximity to the university campus (from as little as ten minutes), as well as all the amenities and bars of London Road. Evington Road itself is well stocked with supermarkets, banks, and take-away restaurants. It is near both Varsity and the Loaded Dog - both extremely popular student pubs, as well as more traditional places such as the Marquis Wellington and the Old Horse.
- Students also live further down Welford Road. This area has decent modern housing, and is close to the city centre. It is also popular with students at the nearby De Montfort University.
The Students' Union is located in the Percy Gee Building on the main campus. It has recently reopened following a £15 million refurbishment. It is home to O2 Academy Leicester, which is spread over three venues in the building and attracts a wide variety of performers and artists. The union is also home to a Starbucks, Ryman's and Nourish, a small supermarket selling essential goods. The new Percy Gee Building also houses Nineteen Twenty Three, a restaurant which uses mostly local produce. Willingale's is a small bookshop, also selling university branded merchandise. A cashpoint is provided by Santander.
All offices for sabbatical officers and welfare services are located in the ARC, on the upper floor of the Percy Gee Building, along with SULETS, which provides accommodation services.
The Students' Union shop is generally well priced for most things, including stationary, a meal deal for £3.29 (including a Ginsters' sandwich, Walkers crisps and a drink e.g. Coca-Cola/Oasis), sandwiches (rolls can be bought for as little as £1!) and snacks. The students' union shop is also the place you can purchase your university merchandise e.g. Leicester hoodies, pens etc.
One of the key attractions of Leicester is the amount of greenery around both the main campus and the halls of residence. The campus is adjacent to Victoria Park, which was, until the 1920's the city's racecourse. The park contains a large war memorial, which is a rather impressive structure, and in the summer is host to all sorts of sporting and cultural events, and is very popular with students relaxing in between exams.
The halls of residence in Oadby are, environmentally, in a stunning area. By far and away the most affluent area of the city of Leicester, Oadby is an area of lovely green spaces, and very, very large houses indeed. The main attraction here is the university's own Harold Martin Botanic Gardens, which are really beautiful. Students from the nearby halls of residence come to the gardens to relax and revise during the summer.
Architecturally the university campus is an interesting place. The university's first building, which now houses the administrative core of the university, as well as the Faculty of Law, is the Fielding Johnson building. Built in 1837 as the Leicestershire and Rutland Lunatic asylum, the building was used as a field hospital during the First World War and donated as the main building of Leicester's new University College in 1918. Also of note from the university's early days are the Astley Clarke buildings, constructed as the university's first scientific laboratories in the 1920's, and College House, home of the careers service, notable for having been the childhood home of Richard and David Attenborough, whose father Fredrick was Principal of the University College.
It is, however, the university's modern architecture, that is now the defining image of the university. Leicester's skyline is defined by the three towers of Leicester University, the Engineering building, the Attenborough Tower and the Charles Wilson building. Of these three, of most note is the pioneering engineering building, designed in the late 1950's by James Stirling, one of the 20th centuries greatest architects. Ironically, the engineering building is possibly the worst on campus. The Attenborough Tower, home of the infamous paternoster lift, is currently undergoing a refit, is the home of the Faculty of Arts; while the Charles Wilson building is the central hub of the university.
Most of the university's buildings are named after notable figures in the university's history, the Chemistry, Biology buildings are named after George Porter, Edgar Adrian and Alan Hodgkin, Nobel Laureates and former Chancellors of the university.
Leicester is a modern campus, currently undergoing long-term repaving and public sphere improvements.
Situated close to Victoria Park, Leicester University has a peaceful feel. Victoria Park is a large expanse of greenery and trees. It's the perfect setting for a friendly game of football, a picnic or a nice walk. Also in Victoria Park is the WWI memorial (as pictured to the right.)
The City itself is a good mixture of new architectural shopping centres and old side streets with your independent style shops.
London Road is home to many bars and restaurants, and various shops. Leicester train station is also along London Road, about 10-15 minutes walk from the uni. The station itself is clean and, considering it only has 4 platforms, quite expansive, serving London (every 30 mins) and most other areas in the Midlands regularly.
For 5 consecutive years, the University of Leicester was nominated for the University of the year award, and was finally recognised, winning the award for theacademic year 2008/2009. Leicester has consistently performed outstandingly well in both the governments teaching reports, and the National Student Survey. For three consecutive years the University of Leicester has recorded the highest average score for overall satisfaction amongst full time students at mainstream universities in England.
Described as a "first class university" Leicester is ranked 12th in the UK out of 113 universities by the UK Complete University Guide  published on 24 April 2008.
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