University of Bath,
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Established in 1966, Bath University is, when compared to the likes of Oxford and Cambridge, a very new university. However, unlike many other modern universities it has built up a reputation for excellence and become one of the top universities in the country. This year Bath was rated in the top ten by both the Sunday Times and the Guardian. Bath also ranked fifth in a survey of headmasters taken by The Times.
Located about 200m above a world heritage city, the university campus is relatively compact, but it has been very well landscaped, providing a pleasant, green environment to live and work in. The university is bordered by a golf course and woodland and across the road is a large area of “access land” called Claverton Down.
The heart of the university is the 1960s “Parade”. Most of the main facilities (departments, union, shops, etc) are located around the Parade, which means easy access to everything. Somewhat further out, around the edges of campus, are the accommodation halls and a few departments.
In general the facilities such as shops and bars are very good. Being campus facilities they are a little more expensive than other shops, and Fresh often runs out of popular items. The Sunday Carvery in the Parade Bar is good value.
The university library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
The library has a number of computer areas (which quickly get busy during peak times) divided across all 5 levels and is divided by subject across 5 floors:
- Level 1 – Basement – Archives plus quiet working area as well as few computers and a group study area that can be booked out
- Level 2 – Parade level – Main entrance, reprographics, loan desk, IT services, quick access PCs, group work area with bean bags, sofas and white boards
- Level 3 – Engineering and Literature – PCs and quiet study work areas
- Level 4 – Sciences, Maths, Pharmacy and Sport – PCs, group work areas and quiet study areas
- Level 5 – Social Sciences, Management and Languages – silent work area with PCs
IT and Computing
Bath University network is run by BUCS (Bath University Computing Services). They provide email and face-to-face support with all computer issues.
A help desk in the library allows students to gain assistance with hardware and software issues - even with their individual PCs.
Every hall of residence has a wired internet connection called ResNet. The speed for each individual is capped at 8 Megs and has a set of terms and conditions. If breached, you will either be suspended from all ResNet Services (no internet in rooms, can't use public internet on campus) or completely banned depending on the severity of the breach. There are various wifi hotspots around campus, notably by the lake and in most lecture theatres.
Bath University hosts some of the best sports facilities in the Country.
The Sports Training Village (STV) on campus includes a fitness suite, four squash courts, a 50-metre indoor swimming pool, indoor (110m) and outdoor (400m) athletics tracks, multi-purpose sport halls (including basketball, netball and badminton courts), an eight-court indoor tennis hall, a judo/karate/jitsu dojo and centres for sports science and sports medicine. Outdoor synthetic and natural pitches and grounds cater for football, rugby union, field hockey, lacrosse, and American football. The latest addition to the University's facilities is a Rowing Shed on the River Avon for the Rowing Club, built in 2008. Limited free use of these facilities, with restrictions on times, bookings and frequency of use, can be obtained by students with a membership of the university's sport association. Alternatively, reduced prices are available to students and staff.
The England rugby team has previously trained on the rugby pitches. Malaysia will use the universities facilities prior to London 2012. The University of Bath is not only capitalised as a venue to prepare athletes for the London Olympics but is also a forward base for sports events like the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the badminton Super Series and cycling circuits in Europe.
All the Sports Village facilities can be used free of charge by students unless they've been prebooked by a sports club, but can only be booked on the day whilst the SU facilities can be booked for free up to a week in advance.
The university has a health centre on site, with GP surgery and dentist. This is located on North Road, just east of the Quarry Road entrance.
There are no pharmacy shops on or near the campus, the closest being in Bathwick, Combe Down (Lloyds), or in the city centre.
- Fresh - convenience store. Operated by the University and supplied by the Co-op. Adjacent to Wessex House. There is also a post office. Open from 7:30am - 10pm weekdays, 9am - 7pm weekends.
- Fresh Oriental - formerly a small shop in Wessex House, now merged with the larger Fresh store. Sells Chinese and Indian foods. Open 11am - 7pm mon - wed & 11am - 8pm thurs/fri.
- Students Union Shop (Fresh Express) - sells snacks, sandwiches, stationery and Bath Uni clothing. There is also a dry cleaning service based here. Located in Norwood House. Open 9:30am - 5:30pm weekdays
- Blackwell - temporary book shop in 3W open from September to November. Open Mon - Fri 9am-5pm
There are a number of eating places on site:
- Pit Stop - excellent baguettes, sandwiches & wraps, located in the Student Centre. Prices ranging from £1.90 - £2.50.
- Proper Pasties - serves a selection of Cornish pasties and slices. Prices range from £1.10 to £2.25. located in the new Student's Union building
- Parade Bar. Popular student bar. Indian nights on Mondays (£4.25 curry & pint/drink), Mexican on Tuesdays (£4.25 chilli/fajita & drink). Pizza deals on Thursdays & Sundays (£5 14' Pizza with 3 toppings). Also drinks deals on Wednesday & Friday evenings.
- Plug Bar. The SU bar also serves various types of food including Pizza's and burgers, with a campus delivery service
- Wessex Restaurant - not available to students
- The Level One Cafe - main campus restaurant/canteen - below the parade bar, has a Home Zone, European Zone & Oriental Zone.
- Blues Bar - in the STV, sandwiches, jacket potatoes, pasta and drinks.
- Costa Coffee - in the new Student's centre.
- Tiki - a shop on the parade. It mainly sells drinks, snacks and sandwiches. There is a 160 person seating area with sofas and Wifi. Open weekdays.
There are three banks on campus (NatWest,Santander and Barclays), although these have limited opening times.
All three of these banks have one cash machine each. There is also a cash machine (Alliance and Leicester) within the students union building. The Fresh shop offers cashback.
The city of Bath has most major banks, and there is also a Barclays bank in nearby Combe Down. All major banks are available on Milsom Street.
Traffic in Bath is always very congested and driving is best avoided if possible. Few students own cars; most are not even eligible for a university parking permit. Only undergraduate students not living within the BA1 and BA2 postcodes and those with mobility issues are eligible for a university parking permit. For those who still feel the need to drive the university does have some pay and display parking available but this is often full and expensive at £1 per hour with restrictions enforced 8am-5pm Monday to Friday. There is limited parking just outside the campus area on The Avenue (by the cats and dogs home). This parking is free but limited to 2 hours with no return within 1 hour and is enforced by Bath Council motorbike traffic wardens. Intensity of enforcement varies but if you ignore the restrictions expect to get ticketed at least once per week, the fine is £25 if paid within two weeks rises to £50 if you miss this deadline. The only free way to park near the uni is by parking in the unrestricted sections of Bathwick and Widcome hills. From the top of the unrestricted sections expect an uphill walk of 10 minutes for Bathwick and 15 minutes for Widcome to get to the uni.
The Bright Orange Bus (Service 18/418/410), operated by First, runs from the city centre to both universities. At peak hours in term time, buses arrive every six minutes. The last bus in each direction leaves town at 2:30AM. Tickets cost £1.10 a single or £1.75 a return. You can also buy a 10-journey pass which gets you 10 single trips, for £8.70.
The Blue Bus (UniConnect service U18) is a new service operated by Wessex Connect, which runs between Bath Uni and Oldfield Park, via the town centre. Buses arrive every ten minutes at peak times, and run until around 10:30 on weekdays. Tickets between town and campus cost £1.10 for a single or £1.55 for a return. Journeys to Lower Oldfield Park cost £1.55 for a single and £1.95 for a return.Ten-journey passes are normally £8.00 and twenty-journeys are £15.00 but have promotions during the beginning of the year. The competition between the two bus services should help to improve the quality of local transport, which had been a common complaint among students in recent years.
Taxis from the town centre to the university cost up to about £7.00, so are best shared with your friends!
Trains to Bristol are very cheap (under £5 a return with a railcard), however the trains don't run late at night so are unsuitable for nights out. A taxi back will cost around £35, but you can also get a bus which will take longer.
Careers service is available next to the new Student's Union. They provide help to find students either a part-time or a summer job. They also help building up CVs and covering letters as well as training students with new skills with the support of the Students Union. They offer a Skills Development programme with employers with events as application workshops and mock assessments. The University has close links with many different employers in the local area. The Student's Union also offer personal development (SORTED) courses to students who wish to enhance their skills for study, work, and many different types of training
Part-time jobs are available both on campus and down town. If you want a job on campus then you just need to wait and keep a close eye on all the bars and shops - the pay is around £5.60 and is available throghout the year. Jobs down town may be harder to get, however at times there may be more offer than on campus, specially during holidays.
The (ecumenical) chaplaincy is located in the centre of campus to the right of the library as you face it, just in front of the 3 East building. It is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week during term time and from 9am to 6pm during university hoidays. There is usually a chaplain available on weekdays between 10am and 4pm and often until 6 or 7pm on Tuesdays.
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Bars, Pubs and clubs
The small students' union has two main bar facilities:
- Plug Bar – the students' union bar, with games machines, pool tables, etc. Recently this area has been refurbished with the addition of a larger bar and sofa area. The entire Plug bar area is now brighter and larger. Has a big projector screen for live sports.
- The Tub (was called Elements) – the SU club. Small (capacity is around 1500 people), mainly used twice a week for Fuzzy Ducks on a Saturday and Score (attended by many sports clubs) on a Wednesday (combined with Plug Bar).
Happy hour (called "The Weekend Warmup") is every Friday from 4pm until 8pm. Lager and cider cost £1.50 and soft drinks are 75p.
An alternative to the Students' Union. Similar prices (typically 10p more per drink), with comfy chairs, and a terrace overlooking the lake. Also good for getting drinks on a summer day and sitting on the grass by the lake. Different meal deals every day of the week (14" Pizza for £5.00 is a must on a Sunday and 2-4-1 Burgers on a Thursday) and also breakfast/lunch deals. Happy hour on Fridays from 2pm - 6pm with lager/cider costing £1.50 and soft drinks £1.00. Double Vodka-Redbull for £2.50 and 2-4-1 cocktails also something to look for.
Sports Training Village bar.
The Students' Union organises a huge list of events during Fresher's Week. In the past, events have included:
- Masquerade Ball
- Bath city tours
- Trips to IKEA and Bristol Zoo
- Pub Quiz
- Sports Day
- Silent Disco
- Comedy Night
- Beach Party
- Silent Disco
- Clubbers & Ravers Party
- Toga Party
- Superheroes party
Full details about this years events will be released in due course. The latest information can be found in the following places:
Clubs and societies
The University of Bath Students' Union (BUSU) has been recognised by the NUS as one of the top three in the UK. It runs over 100 clubs and societies including sports clubs, cultural, arts, interest and faith societies, some notable examples are:
There are a wide range of clubs and societies ensuring there is something for everyone.
- Bath RAG collects money for local and national charities, raising over £1 million since 1966
- The Arts Union (including student theatre, musicals, dance, and various musical groups) performs plays and other shows to audiences both on campus and in the town, with support provided by Backstage Technical Services.
- The Students' Union faith groups include Buddhist, Christian, Islamic and Jewish societies.
- Three student media outlets: a fortnightly student newspaper, Bath Impact; a radio station, 1449AM URB; and a television station, Campus TV (CTV)
- There are also societies for most departmental subjects (e.g. Maths, Computer Science, Chemistry, Pharmacy, etc.)
Main article: University of Bath Accommodation
The accommodation varies greatly, from the shared bathrooms and aging buildings of Eastwood, through the old en-suite accommodation at Westwood (recently refurbished), to the brand new Solsbury and Marlborough Courts. All accommodation is self catering, and full kitchen facilities are provided.
The university's main campus is located on Claverton Down, two kilometres from Bath. The campus is compact; it is possible to walk from one end to the other in fifteen minutes. The main buildings along the parade are built with concrete with the central library and the new £5million Students' Centre the main differences with both supporting a large glass front.
Bath is one of the most beautiful cities in Britain and is full of Georgian buildings and historic monuments. Though seemingly full of tourists all year around, students seem to find their own space within the city.
Within Bath there are many but by no means all of the usual "big name" shops - and those that cannot be found in Bath are just up the road in Bristol. The Southgate shopping district completed renovation in 2010. Ted Baker, All Saints, Burtons, Next, River Island, Monsoon amongst many more.
The nightlife in Bath is limited to the number of clubs, but the pubs are much better (and there are loads) - but again, Bristol is under £4 train single. Most are by national student standards, expensive.
So - in brief. If you are looking for a green (but quite compact) campus, and a small (14,000 students), friendly university with excellent sports facilities, a good reputation, and good accommodation - Bath is for you.
Applying to Bath
Thinking of applying to Bath? Why not read some Personal Statements which were used for applying here?