Since 2007, QMU has been based on a modern purpose-built, sustainable campus located just a six minute train ride from the city centre of Edinburgh. The campus comprises of: a main academic building; performance rooms, student union, and sports building; and a student accommodation village.
Since smart cards form a major part of life at QM they need their own section. Smart cards must be kept in their holder either clipped to a yo yo on your trousers, or hung round your neck. These must be shown to security on arrival. You receive your smart card (also know as matriculation card) at matriculation or registration. They cost £20 to replace, so look after it.
Your smart card serves many purposes. In the food court, it is thought it will eventually be used to give you discounts/fast payment. It is your library card. It is also your print account card, and it is needed to operate many of the printers within the university. It gives you access to certain rooms, and may eventually be needed to operate the lift. Eventually it will replace the temporary smart card for accommodation for students in residence. You may need it to give you access to the union.
It is also your student card, and will give you discounts in many shops.
QMU has a learning resource centre. This includes extensive library facilities with plentiful provision of IT facilities as well. This is located on the right hand side as you enter university, and is the entire length of the building, until you reach the food court right at the bottom. (It's big!)
The library is made up of several sections. There are posh 'rolling stacks' a.k.a. compact shelving. These need a degree in library facilities in order to operate. They are shelves which can move, so more shelves can be fitted into the space provided. At present only the print journals and statistics collection are located here.
The main book collection is split into two. Reference books and half the non-priority collection are housed at the far end of the library, and the rest of the books in the main section of the library. Health care books appear to be split in the middle, so occasionally you need to trek from one end of the library to the other to pick up the books. This is why it is always a good idea to look up where the book you want is located in the library catalogue and this saves you wandering around the library for hours trying to locate it.
Queen Margaret University Drive, Musselburgh, EH21 6UU
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The library catalogue can be accessed from any computer terminal through the library webpages. Alternatively there are about four computers which can only be used to access the catalogue. These have yet to be plugged in, but are located behind the self service machines near the main entrance of the LRC. The library catalogue is also the place where you can check which books you have on your account, renew books, and place hold on books which are currently out of the library.
There is also a separate room which houses short loan and study skills books, as well as the audio visual collection such as DVDs. These need to be issued to your account before leaving this room. (There are anti-theft detectors in place at the entrance to this room). There is a self service machine located in this room to allow you to do this.
The LRC also contains a room which is for postgraduate students only. This has yet to be complete, but will house computer terminals and desks, and comfy chairs. Due to the super technology in place at this campus, your student ID card a.k.a. smart card will open the door to this room if you're entitled to use it.
Throughout the library there are comfy chairs, with coffee tables. However to do real work you probably need to go into one of the study rooms. There are four quiet study rooms within the main section of the library. These contain a few computers, with lots of desk space for book reading, taking notes, non-computer work. There are individual study rooms, one with disabled access at the far end of the library. There is a silent study room at the far end of the library where no technology is allowed to be used - this room does not contain computers. There around five IT workshops where timetabled workshops may be taking place, but if they are free they can be used by students. There are also six group study rooms, ideal when practising group presentations. In addition, for students who need a little bit of assistance, there is the assistive technology room where large screen computers and other technology is available to those that need it.
Throughout the library there are plenty of computer terminals. By the service desk is a plasma screen which rotates and will show you where in the university the best spot for computer availability is. There are also DVD/video players with headphones. The printing system at the university is through multi-functional devices including the professionally run 'print room' (as explained in the next paragraph). In addition all of the campus is, or will shortly be wireless enabled. The LRC is fully wireless enabled, apart from the silent study rooms.
The library contains six self-issue machines for returning, checking your account and borrowing items. Four of these are found opposite the service desk, and two in the short loan room. These machines require you to touch your smart card on the reader. You need to register in the library (at the service desk) before you can borrow any items. As undergraduate students you're entitled to ten three week loan books, but in your final year you're entitled to fifteen.
If you have any problems, members of staff are always on hand to help at the service desk. This is also the place where you pick up items on hold.
IT and Computing
The 800 residential rooms on the new campus, will eventually be wireless enabled. Currently internet is available through a standard network point, and a university username and password is required to access the internet. Unlike at the old campus, MSN Messenger is not blocked, and can be used to stay in contact with your friends.
Computer access within the main academic building is excellent. There are plenty of spare terminals. The entire ground floor from the main entrance to the food court consists of computers, and printers. The LRC also computers, and there are social spaces on all the other floors where computers have also been left. In addition, in the building yet to be completed there is going to be an internet cafe.
IT helpdesk is only accessible to staff. If students need specific IT help they should email the IT helpdesk. Alternatively ask at the service desk in the library. This is also the place to top up print credit, and buy IT accessories such as memory sticks. I assume this is also where you can get help when you're locked out of the system such as when you forget to change your password when it tells you to.
As undergraduate students you're given £10 credit free. Postgraduate research students are entitled to £20. This is on your smart card. (have you noticed your smart card is key to life at QM?) When you print, it doesn't send to any specific printer, and you can collect your work at any printer in the university. You either need to sign in using the touch button screen to print your files, or swipe your smart card. You still have the option of deleting print jobs if you decide not to print them, without being charged. Each page is 5p, and automatic settings are to print on both sides to save paper. (due to the sustainable campus). This can be changed in printer options before you print. These printers are also the place where you photocopy and you can also scan (for free) and email documents to yourself, or anyone within QM. There are 8-10 printers within the LRC, and others dotted around the university wherever there is computer access.
Despite the fact the sports building isn't quite complete, there are currently many sports clubs to appeal to many tastes. These include netball, fencing, basketball, rugby, dance, football etc., plus an on-campus sports centre with gym when this building eventually opens. The gym also offers a few fitness classes including circuits.
If you have a Student Union Activity card, you get 10% off gym membership. Gym membership is approximately £5.50 per month. The new campus includes a large air conditioned gym, with fitness studios. There is a sports hall and outdoor astroturf. For wetside facilities there are two private health clubs nearby - Bannatyne's in Newcraighall, and Quayside on New Street. These contain gyms, swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzis and fitness classes. Student gold membership at Quayside is £26 a month, whereas student off peak membership is £22.50 per month with no 12 month contract. These two clubs are about a 15 minute walk from QM. There is also Musselburgh sports centre which offers fitness memberships at £28 a month for students. This is run by the council and is approximately a 20 minute walk.
Personal tutors are usually the first port of call and are easy to contact via. email or telephone. There is a main reception desk for all of the school offices, which is open throughout the university day. This is located next to main reception. This is where you would go to deal with council tax forms, and to hand in or collect assignments.
There are various mentor schemes, plus representation through the uni for equal opportunities and such like. The uni's Advice Centre is based within the student union (which is currently under construction) and is run by trained students. Details of this can be found at the union's website: http://www.qmusu.org.uk
Nightline is a student run, annoymous and confidential listening service and is open every night of term. Nightline has both a telephone and an online service. The telephone service is open from 8pm until 8am and the online "msn style" elistening also opperates from 8pm until 8am. The service is a listening one, meaning the Nightliner will listen to anything the caller wishes to talk about, for however long the caller wishes or needs to stay on the phone/the internet. Nightline is also an information service, meaning students can phone for details about anything within Edinburgh or the university, from lecture times and room changes to taxi numbers and cinema listings. Students can also attend training and volunteer as a Nightliner. Nightline website - E listening link
There are also counsellors and various other student services to help you through difficult patches such as finance and jobs.
There's an on campus nurse and students can be registered with the Riverside Practice in Musselburgh. You can make appointments to see the nurse on campus every morning, and she can make appointments for you to see a doctor the same day. The nurse is situated on level 1, in the student services area, next to the jobshop.
Security are trained in first aid for times when the nurse isn't there. They can be contacted by dialling 2222 from any phone within the university buildings (including accommodation).
The College shop sells snacky type food, plus kitchen essentials like pasta, tinned fruit, milk, etc. Currently the full range of items are not available since the shop isn't in its proper premises yet. Eventually the shop will be located within the food court. Probably a bit more expensive than a supermarket, but it does mean that you don't have to leave campus. The shop doesn't open at weekends.
There is an Aldi, Lidl and Iceland approximately 10 minutes' walk from campus (towards the harbour), and a local newsagent and off licence five minutes' walk away towards Musselburgh high street.
For everything else - there's a Tesco in Musselburgh, M&S at the Fort (about 10-15 minute walk), or 24 hour Asda just past the Fort - walk down by Harveys, past the management suite, turn right, and onto the footpath. It's a two minute walk over the railway bridge. Musselburgh is a mini town, a 15 minute walk away - plenty of charity shops, butcher, fishmonger, banks, clothes shops, Woolworths, DIY shop, pound shops etc. A 30 minute bus ride from the bus stop by the union will take you into the city.
The Fort can be reached by a 15 minute bus ride or 15 minute walk down the cycle route path, and contains bowling, cinema, restaurants, and almost all the major high chain shops e.g. Borders, Boots, M&S, Next,, New Look, Clarks and lots more.
On campus, food is available from the food court. They serve a variety of healthy and fast food, at reasonable prices. The kitchens are currently still being built and as such all catering is provided by an outside catering firm from the back of the lorry and brought through the fire door into the service area. However at present it is extremely good quality.
As a guide coffees cost around 60p, sandwiches £2, and main meals £4. There seems to be a tax on all things nice, as cakes, muffins and biscuits are likely to set you back by £1.
It's easy to get a takeaway delivered to the uni and there are plenty of menus available within the management suite of accommodation. Most firms even deliver to the block you live in. There are also plenty restaurants in Musselburgh or at the Fort.
Musselburgh also plays host to coffee shops, a Subway, baguette shop and a Greggs for lighter snacks. There are also numerous pubs, although beware many of these are over 21 bars only.
There's still not a cash machine situated on campus but the students have recently signed a petition for one which will hopefully be successful.
Cash back of up to £50 is available in the student's union for purchases over £5.
The nearest cash machine is a 5 min walk to the co-op.
In Musselburgh there's a branch of almost every bank. Have a look at (www.discovermusselburgh.blogspot.com) for information on bank -opening hours, addresses, tel no's, etc.
Buses: Number 30 will be accessible from the Union bar every 10 minutes at peak times, and every 15 minutes in the evenings. This bus goes either to Musselburgh or into the city via the Fort. (for city travel ensure the bus says Clovenstone on the front) First bus 140/141 also comes onto campus, less frequently, and this also goes to the Fort or the New Royal Infirmiary. In Musselburgh other buses are available e.g. the iconic 26 bus of the old QMUC! Bus fares are £1 single or £2.50 for a day ticket (on Lothian buses) First buses may charge more or less depending on distance travelled.
A Ridacard can be purchased. This is a weekly/monthly ticket which allows unlimited travel, and discounts on night buses. Currently there is a young student discount for students under 26, and this works out as £11 a week or £31 for 4 weeks.
For getting home in the early hours, the N30 runs all night, usually every hour. This costs £2.50 for a single, or £1.50 if you own a Ridacard (Lothian buses travelpass).
If travelling back in the early hours by taxi, the driver may drop you off outside the student village, or even your own block if you ask nicely.
Nearest train station is Musselburgh situated right next to the campus. However trains appear to run every hour, or every half an hour at peak times or on a Saturday for some reason. First Scotrail may increase frequency if demand is high. Currently around 50 people get each train during the university day to or from the university, so hopefully extra services may be on the cards in the near future. A cheap day return is just over £2.00. (£1.60 during off peak hours with a YP railcard) Train journey time to the city centre is only 6 minutes compared with 30 minutes on a bus!
Parking on campus can be very limited, and is now controlled via permits based on several factors including green-ness of your car, and car sharing. A park and ride is a ten minute walk away at Newcraighall. There is also another train station here.
For bus, train and taxi information go to (www.discovermusselburgh.blogspot.com) - telephone numbers for local taxi companys, bus timetables, train links.
The JobShop has an office in the new campus, and also send out regular bulletins with jobs if you need more beer money.
The careers service also has graduate job hunting advice, and regularly keeps students informed about upcoming careers fairs. There are many publications relating to careers available free of charge from the jobshop.
The jobshop has plenty of advertisements for part time jobs.
The university often employs students in catering and in the bar.
Plenty of churches nearby of many denominations. A very active and successful Christian Union which includes weekly meets. They also run various social activities, and usually have a busy freshers' week program of activities as well as links with other CUs in Scotland.
There is also a contemplation room on campus, as well as a Islamic society.
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Bars, Pubs and clubs
Nearest bar is in the Union unsurprisingly, which opened in March 2008. Cheap drink, cheap food, friendly staff, pub quiz's, bands, etc. By Janurary 2009 the Sutdent Union no longers opens on weekends and is expected to be open from Monday to Fridays from 1200 to 1700.
In town, Rose Street is famous for pubs, so there should be somewhere for you there, along with other areas such as Grassmarket and Lothian Road which is popular with students.
The union usually has a deal with one of the clubs in town - Shaghai this year for cheap entry. Student night in Edinburgh is almost every night - Monday (Why Not?), Tuesday (Stereo), Wednesday (Shaghai, Mood, Lava Ignite, City, Liquid Rooms) and Thursday (Stereo again!)
Musselburgh (where the university is situated) also has loads of pubs. Have a look at this blog for pub lists and reviews...
Union run social events include:
Sports and Societies Ball Snow Ball Rock Night Halloween Party Various band nights
In addition to union events there is also a staff/student social committee which occasionally organises events e.g. in the past there have been curling competitions and barbeques. Many of the different clubs and societies also organise their own events throughout the year.
Clubs and societies
Reasonable number of sports and societies including fencing, psychology, poker, rugby, dance, film, cheerleading, etc. Distinct lack of the usual student politics societies however.
QM recently appointed a musician in residence who is setting up a lot of music related societies and offering music sessions. Many more are planned for this year. Lots of gigs in addition to concerts each semester. However due to delays with the new union building, there have been no practice areas, so music groups have been suspended so far this year.
Last year the Union introduced an activity card (£10, though some societies e.g. the Psychology Society get a discounted price of £5 as they don't do anything too dangerous) to cover insurance and such.
There is also the University paper - the Echo - which comes out monthly if you fancy trying out your journalism skills. This is currently looking for an editor.
The university prioritises 1st year accommodation to anyone who lives more than 50 miles away and is a 1st year, young student (probably under 25). However, since the move to the new campus 2nd, 3rd and 4th years who apply early have been offered rooms. There appear to be rooms free this year - possibly due to the higher rent than previous years, or people choosing the city life over campus life.
On campus, secure access to your block of accommodation via. a smart card, shop, bar (eventually), regular bus service, gym, sports centre. Large areas of grounds for sunbathing/relaxing in, cash machine. Walking distance to local shops. Laundry on site (£1.80 for a wash cycle, £1 to dry), secure mail boxes for each flat, and list of parcels is displayed in the management suite, and parcels can be collected from the reception.
Blocks of en-suite flatted accommodation for undergraduates and postgraduates. Catered packages are available but are mainly self-catered. Flats are shared with between 3-6 people and there are options for deluxe rooms with double beds. Each flat contains a large kitchen and dining area, with plenty of space for entertaining. There is also internet access within the halls, and a pay as you go style phone in the rooms, although internal calls are free. This is a 0870 number.
Private sector properties are advertised on http://www.studentpad.co.uk. These properties are not inspected by university staff, but applications for advertisements are approved by staff at one of the Edinburgh unis.
Also known as the Onion.
Union website: http://www.qmusu.co.uk/
Vodka mixer - £1.80 Pints - from £2 Pint Strongbow - £2.10 Chips - £1.60 Curlies - £1.80 Paninis/Sandwiches/Toasties - from £1.70 Curry Club - £5 Burgers - from £3
The new QMU campus will be the most sustainable in Europe!
Sustainable campus so expect lots of green areas and a pond! Also lots of glass, so the rooms inside can get hot, although windows are fitted with blinds. Ceilings and pillars have the natural plastered stone appearance. Most rooms have a white painted wall with a brightly coloured wall opposite.
Musselburgh is a small town, not ready for the huge influx of students.
Scores very highly in inspections, especially the healthcare courses. In the last year it has jumped 13 places in the university rankings.
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Thinking of applying to Queen Margaret University? Why not read some Personal Statements which were used for applying here? QMU like very focussed personal statements, more about the subject, and why you want to study it than you.
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What's available in Musselburgh: http://www.discovermusselburgh.blogspot.com/