Chester is located near to Crewe in the North West of England. Chester University is split across two campus'. One is located in Chester just north of the city centre and another one is located in Warrington, between Manchester and Liverpool. Chester is a very new university, reaching this status in 2005 though has a history going back to 1839. For such a new uni the standard entry requirements can be quite high - sometimes up to 300 UCAS points.
Library facilities at the university of Chester are quite good. Everything on the book list for your course will be there, but sometimes there are limited copies of each book, so get there quickly!!
The University of Chester libraries follow the Dewey category system and allow 15 books per undergraduate, 15 per postgraduate, 20 per staff member. However, if you are an undergraduate studying teaching, your allowance of books will be raised to 20, due to the need to borrow items for your school practice/experience. There are a range of loan times, as illustrated below.
- Library Use Only or 3 hour loans for the very important items on everyone's book list
- One week loans for those items that are in demand but not as much as the above
- Three week loans, which is standard for every course
- Six week loans for those items needed for school practice/experience
Staff are very helpful and friendly, and will do their best to ensure each student has access to the resources they need throughout their time at Chester.
Many different online resource websites are available from all university computers (and off campus using athens login). These included online libraries including netlibrary and online journal websites including JSTOR and emeral. Due to the many different articles available this is recommended for a rounded reading.
The library is quite small compared to other universities, only on two floors, but with two major computer bases, a school experience section and a journal stack. There are also two seminar rooms, a tv studio and a recording studio available free for students too book to rehearse presentations or to put finishing touches to their media assignments. All education based books have now been transferred to the library at Riverside campus, a 15 minute walk from Chester campus. Riverside campus is a new acquisition for Health and Social care and Education.
The Warrington campus' Broomhead Library has recently been extended, each floor is given a colour code and has its own specialist functions. The ground "red" floor consists of a large open study area, with vending machines, newspapers and journals as well as all short loan and reference books. It also contains 14 open access dual processor iMacs, enabling students using either windows or mac their necessary OS. The second "green" floor is a part of the old building and has 27 PC's for open access, as well as back issues of journals and the Assistant Subject Librarians office. "Blue" floor, part of the extension, holds the majority of books (000-619.99) and also has 9 dual processor macs on open access, as well as 3 media rooms which can be booked out to watch DVD's or VHS's. There are also two meeting rooms which can be booked, one with a dual processor mac and the other suitable for group meetings. "Blue" floor also has "IT on the bridge", a bookable IT lab with 8 dual processor mac's, one of which is linked to a projector for practising presentations and small scale seminars and tutorial groups. "Yellow" floor, a part of the old building, houses a silent study floor with the rest of the books (620-999). Learning Support and IT Support are also situated on "Yellow" floor.
Parkgate Road, Chester CH1 4BJ
Applicants per place:
IT and Computing
The University of Chester IT department, previously known as CITS (Computer and Information Technology Services) has recently combined with Library services to become LIS, Learning Information Services. IT support is available to help with any issues you may have either with university computers, the intranet or even your own computer.
There are many computer bases across campus, all connected to the university network and all connected to the internet. First years in university accommodation will also have access to the internet, via either wireless or wired broadband, which will be issued in freshers week.
Open access computers are available in The Seaborne Library, Binks, The Rigg (Business Department), Critchley, The Westminster Building.
All accomodation on Warrington campus comes with wired internet access included. Warrington Campus library is wireless and is accessbile by any student of the University of Chester. Open access computers are available in the Broomhead library, and there are IT class rooms available for booking for large groups of individuals.
There are many sports teams to join at the uni, visit the SU in freshers week (or anytime) to find out what teams there are. Some teams like football rugby and hockey have 1st,2nd and 3rd teams to join depending on your skill, some teams you have to try out for or audition.
Student Support and Guidance (SSG), have recently been awarded the maximum award of five stars from the European Foundation for Quality Management. SSG are there to improve the lives of the students and are available throughout the week to help with any problems students may find themselves with, whether directly related to University or not. Based in Molloy and Binks in Chester and Martin in Warrington.
There are readily available sexual health advice sessions periodically on campus (Chester) and there is a sexual health surgery a 5 minute walk from campus where students can pick up condoms and other forms of contraception.
Both Garden Lane and Northgate surgeries are within walking distance of the University and are the official student surgeries in Chester. You can sign up at the Fresher's Fair (or indeed at anytime). Garden Lane has a dedicated student support phone number, and provides medical certificates free of charge if you are ill for exams, etc. Northgate surgery is registered for the Yellow Fever Vaccination.
An onsite health service called Occupational Health Clinic supplies Warrington campus with a weekday support network. Most days there is a drop in session as well as appointments available. If the OHC is unavailable, Padgate Medical Centre is available for daytime quiries, and all students are advised to join at the beginning of the year. For out of hours support there is an out of hours Warrington servies for the community.
Chester is a wonderful place to go shopping. The city has the usually range of High Street shops (as does Warrington). Chester also has a large number of specialist little shops, including loads in The Rows, a unique street of shops with an upper and a lower layer - think of it like a modern day shopping centre style place, only open air and hundreds of years old.
On campus is also the SU shop where you can buy basic food items/snacks, stationary and university branded clothing.
Supermarkets in Chester:
- Tesco - Sealand Road and Frodsham Street, access from the City Walls or at street level near the East Gate Clock.
- Tesco Express - Fountains roundabout 2mins from Studentville
- Iceland - Frodsham Street (opposite Tesco)
- Somerfield - The Forum Shopping Center, Northgate Street
- Morrisons - Liverpool Road (Liverpool Road runs parallel to Parkgate Road)
- Local convenience stores include, Spar and One Stop Stores on Garden Lane
Warrington Campus is a 20 minute walk (5 min drive) from Birchwood Shopping centre, a convenient centre housing a large ASDA, an ALDI, Argos, several pound shops, fast food venues and more. A shoft bus ride away is Warrington town centre, a place with a wide variety of stores, the large indoor Warrington Market and the recently extended Golden Square shopping centre, that boasts an assortment of shops including Debenhams, Lush, Paperchase, Game, La Senza, Revive and many more.
The Campus itself has a small Student Union store selling sweets, some food and merchandise, including University of Chester hoodies (both original design and Fairtrade varieties). The Broomhead library sells course related materials, as do the technicians rooms.
On campus in Chester there are loads of different places to choose from to eat - somewhere is never far away and whether you want a snack, a more substantial meal or somewhere to eat the food you've brought with you, you will find somewhere.
Binks Brasserie - good for snacks or for small meals. Main Dining Hall - Available at breakfast time for fully catered students only, lunch and dinner time is available for students and staff alike, either full meals or sandwiches at both times. Chritchley - Much like the Main Dining Hall, hot or cold food at reasonable prices. Nursing Building - Small cafeteria, again much like the Main Dining Hall. Students' Union Shop - selection of snacks and sandwiches available throughout the day.
Also in the Students Union and on the ground floor of the library, there is a place to sit and eat your own food.
Chester itself has a great selection of little restaurants and cafes too.
Pretty much all the high street banks have branches in the city centre, and Barclays/Natwest/HSBC are always at information events. There's a free ATM inside the SU building (as of Jan 2007), provided by Nationwide, available Monday-Friday 9am-9pm and on Saturdays as well. There is also a free ATM in Onestop on Garden Lane. There's a pay per use ATM in the SU bar, but it charges £1.50 per transaction (£1 is given back to the SU.) There is also a chargeable ATM in Spar charging £1.99
The campus in Chester is really close to the city centre, taking only about 10 minutes walking time to get there. So you'll not have high transport costs when at the uni as everything you need is close by. The train station is a bit further away, but you can still get there in about 20 minutes when walking.
Taxi from the Porters Lodge on campus to the train station is exactly £3 when there is no traffic, it is exactly a mile.
Rail links are pretty good to many big cities. Liverpool is 40 minutes away, Manchester is an hour away, Birmingham is less than 2 and London less than 3 hours away.
Also, there is a free bus link from here to Warrington, running every hour or half hour from outside the library for students to use facilities on either campus.
In Warrington the nearest station to the campus is Birchwood station, about 20 minutes away. From there you can get regular trains to Liverpool and Manchester. The rest of the country is well served too, with Birmingham as little as an hour away and London just two hours travel away.
The careers service on both campuses will help you prepare and search fro jobs. They will also offer you carers help after you've graduated too! They have good links with employers so will host events and talks from both local and national companies throughout the year. These are of a big help and so I'd recommend you check out when they are and attend them.
Students at the University of Chester are advised to work no more than 16 hours each week while you study there. The Careers service has a JobShop advertising part-time vacancies on both campuses. They will also help you with your applications forms/CVs and give interview tips in order for you to stand the best chance of getting a part-time job.
The chapel on campus is still a functioning place of worship, and there are services held in the chapel each week. There is also a faith space on campus, which is available for use by any student, regardless of any faith you may or may not have.
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Bars, Pubs and clubs
RB's, Cruise and Destiny and Elite (with a bus ride as its in Cheshire Oaks) are the main clubs in Chester.
There are many pubs and bars around the city, depending on what sort of night you want as to where you go and what is open. Student nights are Monday night with Beans at Cruise, and Wednesday night at Destiny and Elite - the official Chester University Student Night. Usually quite cheap, going up quite steeply at the weekend when the locals tend to go out, but nonetheless is still as good.
There are also quite a few clubs and bars in Warrington. There are more clubs than in Chester and a lot of bars to go in. The student night is on a Tuesday in Warrington where it's free to get in most places and the drinks are relatively cheap.
Clubs and societies
The uni has loads of student run clubs you can join including:
The uni doesn't have enough accommodation for all its first years, which is a bit of a problem, but don't let that put you off as if you don't make it in to uni housing there are plenty of privately rented houses to choose from.
The uni primarily tries to give accommodation to those who put the uni down as their firm choice. Those applying through clearing will be unlikely to get a uni accommodation place. Those with medical conditions are also given a priority on a place. Places are also more likely to be allocated if your home (i.e. your parents house) is quite far away from the uni.
This is only at the main campus though at the Warrington campus there is always plenty of rooms even after christmas likely due to the fact its a smaller campus with far less students..
The only block that seems to always be full is the half board one with en suite as its just 1 block that is quite new built(id say last 20 years) whereas the other 8 buildings are about 65 years old as they were built during the war.
John Milton Hall
- The most annoying thing about JM is the difference in room sizes and the fact that you pay the same rate. Some of the rooms can even be 'too big' for the furniture you get.
- The boys rooms are massive but dull, have old fashioned windows and blinds instead of curtains, whereas the girls rooms are a bit smaller but have proper new double glazing and proper curtains and better furniture.
- costs about £115 a week including 3 meals a days for 7 days a week.
- when new part of the building collapsed - something to do with unregulated boilers causing flooding and ceiling to collapse and with the building not actually being ready for people to move in yet. These problems seem to have been sorted now though...
- Another problem with John Milton is that everyone likes to play football and cricket in the halls bothering the other students and everyone drinks in the hall and no one uses the common room so expect to be kept awake all night if people are drinking.
- A good thing though is unlike other fully catered halls they have a proper kitchen with 2 fridges, 2 seperate freezers, and 2 full cookers.
- Another thing that can go either way is that you have no choice to stay over christmas and Easter which is fine if you have a lot of possessions and dont want to move but if you dont want to stay over those times and have little possessions you still have to stay.
- The rooms are quite small but they're en-suite which is good.
- Kitchen has hot water facilities, but no cooking facilities as it is a fully catered house.
- The ground floor is the best as it houses the common room.
- Another tradition is the 'astbury steal' where after a night out/bored afternoon you see what you can bring back to the house and place in the common room. We had a bin still slightly encased in concrete in there this year....
- Pro's is that it is right in the middle of campus, behind you you have the gym and swimming pool, on one side you have a nice garden and loads of benches, other side you have the main canteen and the union bar and shop.
- Negatives is that despite paying £109 a week the rooms are quite small and havent been decorated in years, theres no cooker, fridge or anything in kitchen meaning you cant buy food for snacks or if you missed dinner.
- It can get loud as people are drunk most nights and knock on each others doors and dont care about bothering the person in the next room
- People leave rubbish everywhere especially bin bags full of empty cans and bottles of booze everywhere
- A lot of people walking past the canteen look into your room as they walk past.
- The shower in each room is very old fashioned and the shower head cannot be taken down, it can just be moved, and also the extractor fan stays on for 15 minutes after the light is turned off so bad if you have a wash just before bed.
- It is however great for societies and socialising as the common room has people in it often and people go to film nights etc.
- 26 rooms, fully catered, en-suite facility.
- Shared toilets, baths, showers, small kitchen and common areas. One common area, kitchen and shower on each floor, two baths and two showers per floor.
- Good sized rooms.
- The house also has a garden which is great in nice weather.
- Is the same as Catherine house, is basically a mirror image, has the same ameneties.
- Same as above, Catherine, Alexandra and Margaret are all the same as each other.
Church College Close
- 16 or so houses in one cul-de-sac, self catered, on university property.
- Six people to a house, three to a floor.
- Kitchen, common area, bathroom and separate toilet on each floor.
- Room sizes smaller than others on campus, but not tiny and quite live-able in.
- En-suite - the only place you get it at Warrington
- 10 meals included in the rent price
- Downside rooms are a bit smaller and cost about £30 extra a week but for this you get a much more modern room
- great atmosphere
- the room size is quite good
- Aiken has recently been completely refurbished, and unlike other self catered Halls on campus has two kitchens per floor and multiple showers and toilets meaning a kitchen is shared between 7 people, and no more than three other people will need to use the same shower.
- Only 2 of the 4 floors are used, as the rest are used as offices, this Hall is often used as the "quiet" hall option if students ask for it when applying for Halls.
- The nurses, accomodation, the counsellor and the chapel for the campus is on the lower floors meaning not far to walk(Or just get into lift).
- Also its right next to the main entrance to the canteen and main building and about 1 minutes walk to union bar so not far to stagger back!
Previously the SU building was considered very tacky and run down, but a recent development programme has seen that change and it's now all new and modern looking. It has a cocktail bar with leather chairs and nice carpets - though the room may be a little too 'red' for some people.
Chester as a city is a wonderful place - very historic. Lot's of the buildings are very old with many made out of red sand stone (including the cathedral and some of the city walls).
The local area around Chester University is nice. There is lots of great countryside near by and Snowdonia National Park in Wales is actually within easy reach. You also have all the history of the city itself as well as the modern facilities you would expect in any town or city. Further a field, Manchester and Liverpool are only short train rides away - for just in case you want to visit somewhere a little bigger and busier.
Chester does not rank highly in the league tables, although the uni has a growing reputation in several areas for the quality of it's courses. The university was a purpose built teaching college, and still has strong roots in teaching and education today. Nursing is also very strong, with several work placements in and around Chester being used as 'Nursing Sites'. English courses at the University are also seen to be of high quality, gaining gleaming reviews from inspections and moderation. Other courses at the university are heavily weighted towards the vocational side of things. Many courses actually have significant portions of work placements. Perhaps despite the low ranking of the university in tables, you have a great chance of getting a job after you graduate with the uni scoring well above average in employment rates. However, this could be due to most people there being on vocational courses aiming for certain careers and getting excellent career specific guidance whilst on the course.
Applying to Chester
Thinking of applying to University of Chester? Why not read some Personal Statements which were used for applying here?
Other Chester Articles
Why not read these other University of Chester Articles?