Surrey began life as Battersea Polytechnic in 1891, where it aimed to give a rounded, vocational training to young people in London. In 1966 it became the University of Surrey, and today it has somehow retained much of its original character, even if it has moved from educating the poor in Battersea to educating the middle classes in leafy Surrey.
What makes Surrey different to other universities is its focus on getting you a job. Most students (~80%) go on a placement year between years 2 and 3, which gives them vital experience and employability, and the University maintains lots of industry links for sponsorship, awards and prizes. The careers service is strong and helpful, and many employers come to give careers talks here for final years and placement-seeking second years. Surrey is big on entrepreneurship, with a research park which fosters small companies and two societies dedicated to entrepreneurs. Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) was a University of Surrey spin-off company and is still known as the most successful such company in Britain, several years after its sale to EADS-Astrium.
The students at Surrey are internationally diverse. You can see the diversity if you turn up on a Thursday, as there is a fruit and veg market held in the union building, right next to Chinese and Korean stalls. For undergrads, life is mostly about spending time with the friends you make - you will, when you share a fridge and a sink, if you dare to venture out of your room. There are various societies on campus which cater to people's interests, but don't come here looking for a hotbed of political debate. Most people are here to get a degree in order to start their career, and to enjoy it while they're here.
The George Edwards building, or the Library, is in a fairly central position within the campus. The Learning Resource Centre was opened in September 2011, as an extension to the library, adding more computer facilities and housing new language labs.
The library is open until either 12.30am or 1.30am Sun-Thurs, shutting earlier on Friday and Saturday. In the evenings you will have to use the self-service book lending services, which are straightforward. During exam period, the library is open 24/6 (closed Saturday night). There are group work and silent-study areas, as well as areas where you can eat or drink and wireless internet zones. The SPLASH area located on level three is often used for group work. The University print shop, Surrey Design & Print, is situated on the ground floor and offers a range of printing services. Tip: during dissertation times they get very busy so try and submit your project for binding early!
IT and Computing
UniS has two separate networks for standard Computer access. There is ResNet for your own machines in Uni Accommodation, and the University network everywhere else on campus. These networks are not interlinked, and are only crossable via intermediary servers Tweek and Butters.
There are heavy restrictions on the use of P2P technologies (BitTorrent, Limewire etc) for any purpose, which may lead to the suspension of your access. We do have DC++ though which is capable of downloading a 750mb film in about 1 1/2 minutes and will cover any of your downloading needs. This is only available internally ResNet though, and needs a student on campus to host the server.
ResNet automatically bans users which send echo request packets to a large number of peers. Steam is usable and best used during off peak periods for the best download speeds. Connecting directly to a gameserver is not a problem, and no known ban list is in place. It is possible to connect to Xbox Live and the Playstation Network, however sometimes can be a bit tricky getting the consoles registered. One trick on the Xbox is to set its IP address to that of your pc/laptop.
ResNet requires that all systems which connect to it register their physical location and owner. They also require you to have an up-to-date and genuine operating system, an anti-virus and some form of spyware protection. This is checked upon registration. A remote scan is available to check that you meet the requirements before you arrive. It provides instructions on how to correct any problems and in theory you can just plug in, register and scan when you arrive.
ResNet advisors are students employed by IT Services to help out with any issues you might need solving. They are generally available on moving in day, or weekdays between 5pm and 8pm and can be summoned by leaving a form at your court reception.
The University Campus computer systems are well placed throughout the University. Many faculties offer their own IT Rooms, however a student only 24/7 building is available with good machines and printing access. The library also offers IT services in the forms of standard campus machines, and anonymous WinCE terminals. The student union has a limited area of computers, which is of use should you be in the vicinity.
1891 as Battersea Polytechnic, became the University in 1966
University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7XH
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The University opened its £36m sports park in April 2010. A very large array of sports is offered, and the Sports Park was recently voted the best facilities in the country in the summer 2011 Domestic Student Barometer survey with a 93% satisfaction rate.
For those who are extremely serious about sport, the park offers pretty good value for money - £200 a year. However, if you are more casual, the price is extremely high in comparison to other universities and you may be better off looking elsewhere. 6-month, and sometimes 3-month, memberships are also available as a cheaper alternative.
If you want to join a university sports club, you must join obtain sports club membership for insurance reasons: You can pay £100 a year just for the use of facilities while you practice/play with your club. You will also have to pay £10 for each sports club you join.
The sports park is currently used as the training base for the Harlequins Rugby Union team, and also hosted the Women's Rugby World Cup in 2010, up until the Semi-Final.
The sports park also hosts Europe's largest Starbucks in a sports facility.
The University of Surrey offers a comparatively high level of extra financial support, in light of the extreme cost of living in Guildford.
In the 2012/13 academic year, students from a low-income households are eligible for up to £3,000 worth of support each year, from a mix of fee-waivers, cash-in-hand bursaries and accommodation discounts. On top of that, high achievers (of which there are many at the University) can get a scholarship of £3,000 for getting A*AA at A Level, D*DD at BTEC or 36 IB Points.
The University also offers hardship loans and grants. The grants are heavily weighted against the student by the government however.
Disabled students, mature students and couples (particularly married ones) will receive slightly different treatment when applying for accommodation on campus.
The university has a health centre on site that runs on a "drop in" basis. The centre is open from 8:30am to 5:30pm. Drop in appointments are usually with the nurses at the centre but you can be referred to a doctor for an arranged appointment. Staff are friendly and they offer a wide range of help and advice. The only negative point about the health centre is that prescriptions cannot be collected on site. You have to go to either Boots, or Tescos to pick anything up, both of which are about a 15 minute walk away.
The campus currently has an Amigo convenience store, based on the ground floor of the new Learning Resource Centre. Amigo is very expensive though (you pay for the convenience) so should only be used for emergencies. Alternatives are Tesco (10-15 minute walk) or a Co-op that is off campus (5-10 minutes via the Stag Hill path). There is also a post office inside Amigo's, with a postbox. Also available is the SU Shop which sells various foreign foods (mostly oriental) in addition to USSU merchandise and the usual host of snacks, as well as all tickets for the SU events. For all your textbook needs there is university bookshop, Appleseed, which also sells some university branded products. This is also based in the new Learning Resource Centre building.
Be warned: Surrey is a very expensive university.
The University has a number of different places to eat/drink on site. The most popular is the Chancellors Bar, affectionately known as 'Channies'. It serves food from breakfast time to about 8:30pm in the evening, with a dish costing around £5. At night time it is one of the most popular places to pre-drink in and drinks are about £1.90 for a single vodka and mixer. Beer however ranges from £2 if a deal is on, to £3.50. Channies hosts events during the week such as the Channies Challenge (the pub quiz), comedy night and the very popular Open Mic night: the chance for any budding stars to take up the mic and serenade us with their new songs or covers.
The alternatives are:
Hillside Café: The university cafeteria. Has a large selection of food of average quality. Prices are high compared to other universities, but cheap compared to other places on campus.
Wates House: It says Staff & Postgrad Centre on the side, but is in fact open for everyone. The food is higher quality and the beer available at the bar is nicer than Channies. Good place to watch any football.
Young's Kitchen: Korean & Chinese - Not bad, but very expensive, based in The Living Room
Roots Bar: The University-run bar. Not too expensive and slightly better quality beer than Chancellors. Has a pool table. Mainly used by the Sports Teams.
Sorrento coffee bar: A cafe in the management school. A bit on the expensive side though.
Starbucks: The same as any other, but slightly more expensive than at other universities. Good for a free mug. There's one in the main campus, one in the GSA building and a third at the Sports Park.
Lakeside Restaurant: A proper full-on restaurant, it is also in the management school but students rarely go there as it's expensive and generally for lecturers. It is run by students on the International Hospitality Management course.
There is a fully fledged Natwest branch on campus (with internal and external cash machines) opposite PATS Field (also known as Natwest Field). A branch of Santander has also just been opened in 2012 in the bottowm of the George Edwards building, in the old bookshop. There is also a Barclay's cash machine and another Natwest cash machine outside the entrance to the Student Union nightclub, Rubix. Getting to the cash machines outside Rubix after about 9pm on a big night will be impossible unless you queue and pay to get into the club (usually Wednesdays and Fridays, with some events on other days too).
Chancellor's, Amigo's and Appleseed do accept debit/credit cards should you not fancy the 30 second walk around the corner but you may have to spend at least £5 or be charged 25p.
Foreign Students: The University of Surrey does not issue Letters of Introduction prior to you physically beginning to study at the university. This creates problems for many banks to open you an account before you can provide UK based utility bills etc. HSBC has the option of opening an 8 pound a month 'Passport Account' where you are immediately given a current account, low interest savings account, debit card and netbanking. They even send the original statements and debit card + pin abroad to your current address should you not yet have moved to the UK. On one hand it is not free, but should you be in need of transferring your funds to the UK before you move there, it is perhaps the only easy option.
Arriva, the local bus company charge around £1 for a single fare and go from the several university bus stops into town, or to Tesco, Manor Park or the Sports Park. A subsidised yearly bus pass is available from the university for around £120. Guildford train station is a few minutes' walk from campus. London Waterloo station is about 40 minutes away on the fast train and a day return will cost about £9 with a Young Persons Railcard.
If you're coming by train, when leaving the station go up the stairs (instead of down into the tunnel) and turn left. This bridge will take you to the back entrance of the station, from which you just turn right, follow the road around for 150m and take the second right (just after Guildford Park Church). This road leads around a car park which you can cut through, and up to one campus entrance. Keep following this road into campus, and after passing the boat-shaped Duke of Kent building, you should arrive at the university's main reception, Senate House.
The university has a Careers Service which plans several Employers Fairs each year, and provides CV and interview help and also puts on lots of presentations by various employers. Each faculty also has its own Professional Training Year co-ordinators who can help with obtaining placements.
Many people have jobs during evenings and weekends and with a bit of effort you won't find it too difficult to find a job. I would recommend to come to Guildford before the Uni starts and look for a job, as there is always lots of students looking for jobs, or visit the website of the main high street shops. The Student's Union also employs students to work in the bars, and there is also UniTemps on campus who advertising tempting jobs to students.
The Church of England is served by the gigantic, modern Guildford Cathedral overlooking the whole university. It was completed in 1961.
There are several smaller churches of various denominations around Guildford and there are at least two Christian societies, including the Korean Christian society.
The campus has a prayer space for muslims and the Islamic Society is a large, vocal and popular society.
There is a good sized Jewish community on campus with various social, cultural and religious activities. There is a very active Jewish Chaplain and there is a guide to Kosher facilities and Jewish life - . In the town itself is an orthodox synagogue and near to Guildford are synagogues from other denominations.
Surrey Multifaith Centre
The University has planning permission for a £7m Surrey Multifaith centre which will provide extensive religious facilities.
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Bars, Pubs and clubs
On campus there are four places for a night out, namely Chancellor's Bar (usually called Channies), which is a bar; Rubix, the main club; The Living Room, a smaller club usually used by music societies and Roots which is a smaller bars. The Living Room does some less mainstream music events (drum'n'bass, dubstep and metal for example). Roots is a bar run by the university with sofas, and a pool table. Entry to Rubix will cost between £4 and £8 for the main nights on a Friday (usually with a guest act/DJ or a theme on, such as Fetish), and Citrus Wednesday's can cost from as little as £1.50.
Themed nights this year included:
- Tease Foam Party (LGBT)
- School Disco
- Fetish Night
- Disney Night
- Barn Dance
- Pyjama Party
- Xmas Party
- Pirate Night
- Cowboys and Indians
- Chav Night
- Silent Headphone Disco
- Neon Night
- Stamina & Carnage organised bar crawls
There are also regular coach trips to Oceana Kingston & tonnes of places in London (Fabic, ministry of sound etc)
Clubs and societies
A list of sports clubs and societies can be found here: Sports Clubs & Societies
The accommodation is split into 6 bands, with on- and off- campus options. Band A is the cheapest going up to the most expensive Band F.
Band A - 2012 price £65.00 p/w
Stag Hill shared flats: Flats that are shared with a member of the same sex. It is a "duplex" room with the different sections on 2 levels allowing for some privacy. Very close to the union so prepare yourself for some base on the nights it's open. Shower and toilets are 1 between 4
Hazel Farm: Off campus accommodation with the possibility of parking. These are the smallest rooms available hence the price. A free bus pass is also included (saving £120 a year).
Band B - 2012 price £82.50 p/w
Hazel Farm: As before but slightly bigger and with a washbasin.
Guildford Court: Legend has it that the builders thought instructions were in feet and not metres. The result was very narrow corridors. Picturesque on the outside but cramped inside. Be warned that the walls are paper thin so if your neighbour gets up to any business you'll be the first to know!
Band C - 2012 price £93.50 p/w
Battersea/Surrey Court: Identical courts in every way. They look like miserable tower blocks on the outside but on the inside you'll find one of the best social experiences available at Surrey. 14 bedrooms share a huge kitchen as well as 3 showers and 3 toilets. Using the facilities is rarely an issue as all the residents have different timetables and are normally quite clean due to the cleaners coming every other day. Each room has a washbasin although it is heavily advised to scrub them when you arrive especially if a guy had the room last year if you catch my drift! Battersea and Surrey are the most numerous so if you choose band C you'll probably end up here. Downsides include possibly getting a top floor flat which will not have a lift. However you will get a brilliant TV reception even from a box top aerial! You are very close to the lecture theatres. If you run it's possible to get a lecture in about 2 minutes!
Cathedral Court: There are 14 blocks (1a, 1b, 2a, 2b...7a, 7b) of 3 storey buildings in 'Cath' court, so called because Guildford cathedral is about a 2 minute walk away from it. The reception has a lounge with a pool table and TV. There are 7 people per level, with 2 showers and 2 toilets, which is ample (unless there is a sudden bout of diarrhea!) The kitchens are quite 'cosy' because Cath Court used to be catered accommodation, when the court stopped being catered for, they converted the 8th bedroom into a kitchen! Saying this, it is definitely still adequate, and are still very sociable in comparison to courts with larger kitchens. Handy for the library and Wates House pub.
Stag Hill Single Room: Similar to the duplex rooms but you're on your own. As mentioned before you are close to the union so it could get quite loud. Sharing a shower between 1 other person.
Twyford and University Courts: Very similar accommodation but on opposite ends of campus. Twyford Court varies in terms of band and house sizes. Most houses in Twyford court are Band D meaning that they are en-suite. These houses are mostly large and you share with up to 14 people in a kitchen. Some houses in Twyford court are Band C meaning that you share showers and toilets but these houses are small and you only have to share 2 bathrooms between 5 people.
The rooms at Twyford are very high quality for a university, but are generally very, very small. If you have instruments, or a lot of books, leave some at home. There are larger rooms however for couples, mature students and disabled students. The Twyford Court rooms have washbasins but the University Court rooms don't.
Twyford Court is further from the lecture theatres than the other blocks but is still reasonably close and handy for the off campus facilities like Tesco. If you're very lucky you could end up with one of the rooms at University Court which are slightly larger for some reason but this is by no means guaranteed.
Band C - 2012 price £93.50 p/w
Band D - 2012 price £115.50 p/w
Twyford/University Court: As before but slightly bigger and with en-suite facilities. Cleaning it is up to you though. You share a kitchen with about 8-10 people.
Millennium House: The building that looks like a train in the photos. On the east side of campus so very good access for town and the train station. You share with less people than University Court but otherwise very similar.
International House: Not just for international students, it has some more modern en-suite rooms in.
Manor Park: The new accommodation about a 20 minute walk to campus. Very modern with electronic key access as well as lifts. The rooms are slightly bigger than the other en-suite rooms and you also get more desk space. The university is always building new rooms at Manor Park, and is currently building a new Reception block, with a bar/cafe. There is also two laundrettes based at Manor Park, a Muslim Prayer room and some rooms with table tennis tables in.
Bellerby Court: Next door to Manor Park. Some parking is available but is limited.
Band E - 2012 price £141.00 p/w
Manor Park/International House/University Court: Rooms that are 50% bigger than the other en-suite (band D) rooms. There is also a mini fridge in the room as well as more storage space. This is obviously reflected in the price.
Band F - 2012 price £173.50 p/w
Manor Park: Studio flats that provide a self-contained living, sleeping and kitchen area with an en-suite shower/bath. Looks a bit like a Premier Inn with a kitchenette! The rooms are brand new for 2012/13 and built above the new Reception Block at Manor Park.
For more information on accommodation you can go here: 
For locations of on campus accommodation there is a map here: 
The University has some services dedicated to helping students find private housing and the student union and accommodation office run a Housing Awareness Week during your first year. It cannot be emphasised enough how important it is to get it right with private housing.
Prices in Guildford are notoriously expensive - the most expensive outside London. Typical rents start from around £340 per month, up to around £450 a month and may not always include bills!
The private sector housing can only be advertised to students through the Accommodation Office, which means you don't have to deal with estate agents, and the houses all have fire doors, smoke alarms etc. Unlike other universities, you also don't have to sort out who to live with until well after Christmas in your first year.
The University of Surrey Students' Union is extremely expensive - comparable with a normal pub or bar: considerably more so than Wetherspoon's down the road.
Pint of Guiness: £3.50
4 Pint Jug of Snakebite: £8.40
Pint of Foster: £2.30
Double Vodka Redbull: £3
Basic Shots: £1.60
Also regular deals usually involving bottles of Budweiser: 3 for £5
Mixers: £1.95 for a single e.g. Malibu and Coke or £3.20 for a double
While the University buildings are all extremely functional, the cathedral atop Stag Hill is interesting for its functional design. It was completed in 1961 and is therefore out-of-keeping with most cathedrals in Britain.
Gulidford is a nice town to live in, there is a cathedral very close to campus, and Tescos, the town centre and the railway station are within 10-15 minutes walking distance from campus.
It is a very rich area: there is a House of Fraser and a Jack Wills (this place is rah city at lunchtime thanks to the nearby grammar school), and unfortunately, no pound shops, but the Friary Centre (the main shopping centre) has most of the main high street stores, such as Primark, Topshop etc. If you stray out a bit from the centre you are in the countryside more or less, or so I've heard. There is a big sports centre called the Spectrum with a swimming pool, an ice skating rink and bowling alley 10 minutes away by bus from the town centre. The Guildford Flames ice hockey team play here most Sundays, as do Guildford Town AFC.
Surrey is a specialist in engineering and physical sciences. If you are studying in these areas, you can expect teaching to be of a generally high quality.
It is important to note that while some staff embrace undergraduates wholeheartedly, there are others for whom teaching is just something they have to do. You can still get a lot out of these lecturers if you attend all your lectures and actually do your reading before you moan to them about not understanding.
Applying to Surrey
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