What IS Staffordshire University like? Watch

Kaibaman
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So for many people who have applied and are looking to come to Stafford this is the top priority question burning on your minds, after all,an open day can only show you so much and dresses everything up to its best, what you see on an open day isn't the most reflective of the true nature of the university. Well allow me to help answer this burning question as best as a third year student who has studied elsewhere previously can!


Please Note: This is strictly concerning the Stafford campus, not the Stoke campus. I have no knowledge of the Stoke campus.


Lets start things off with the good shall we?

Generally speaking, most all of the courses at Stafford are fantastic for their content and the way it is taught, especially if you're looking to do a games anything course (which most are). For the taught content and the strong link with Epic Games and the Unreal 4 engine, you couldn't ask for a better university, with different courses depending on your personal preference, meaning you study exactly what you want and leave out all the guff. My only real complaint with the course content is that feedback can often be lacking for end of semester work as I personally have had it where the feedback and predicted grades from tutors has been completely different from what the actual grades were.

The tech available for learning is up to an amazing standard, with the ability to take out and rent almost any piece of equipment you'd ever need. Some of which requires training, but it's quick and painless. Between the behemoth PC's provided by Epic and the motion capture devices, there isn't a shortage of whatever you need to get the job done.

Accommodation is extremely close and offers so many rooms, I'm not sure they alleven get filled by the time September rolls around. Located in scenic "right across the road from the campus", you wont have to worry about getting to your lecture on time until 5 minutes before the lecture. Rooms are pretty standard affair for most Uni halls and offers a sturdy wifi & internet service for free that can be upgraded to levels beyond what you'd ever need.


Sadly,this is where the good ends and the bad begins, as the bad encompases just about everything you can think of. Let me go into more detail.


On the topic of Accommodation, it's worth noting everything wrong with that too. From the lack of any social or common room for students to meet each other and hang out in, even in your own flats, to the lack of cleaners... at all. Instead a monthly room check and weekly kitchen check is in place, and should you fail either of those, you best believe fines will rain down hard.. and all it takes is for one person not to care to ruin it for everyone. On top of this, we have a tedious postal service, in which the post is delivered and accessed for one hour every day via a post room, instead of say, post boxes in a common room. Of course, this one hour every weekday is usually between 1 to 2PM, and its not unusual for a lecture to be on then.

Next lets address the dying campus and make no mistake about it, it is dying. Since my first year, where they announced the closure of the campus, I can't help but notice the rapid deterioration of what little the campus had in the first place. Most noticeably, the library being completely moved to one of the main buildings rather than staying in its own. On top of that there's the steady decline of services and events, to the point now where there is basically nothing but what the University itself offers: A cafeteria that closes as soon as it can and offers food of a completely random quality each time you visit. A student shop that carries the bare basics. A coffee shop which is the only remaining third party. And the lounge, which is often understaffed and overpriced. To be fair to the lounge, it's really trying its best to hold the place up most ofthe time and does a pretty decent job of doing so, often getting into the spirit of things and putting on themed nights and offers,including the standard Mucky Duck every Friday. But the grim effects of a dying university are still present in the Lounge, as even that has gone downhill over my time here.

Which brings us to the social and nightlife, of which theres next to none.Again, the Lounge tries hard to keep it alive and Mucky will be your best bet at that. But the clubs in down are non existent or pretty terrible. But hey, you might be one of those like me who doesn't care much for the nightlife and are excited to see what the societies have to offer! Well, I'm sorry to crush your hopes there but they too have fallen to the wayside. With the majority of societies either not really bothering to do anything at all or becoming nothing but a big circlejerk with existing members. Often times societies have no social aspect to them at all and are dedicated to their primary goal with little interaction, the worst offender in my opinion being the "Otaku Society", which consists of a small group of people sitting in a lecture theater watching anime. No discussion or excitement for it, just a dull atmosphere, you'd be better off just watching at home on your computer. Which seems to be most people's attitude towards everything in all honesty.


To summarise; Staffordshire university isn't exactly what I'd call a modern university at all. Compare it to any other university,especially a city based campus, and you'll find it coming up wanting. The campus is dying quickly and it shows. It lacks so many basic things and any sense of life or social aspects that it's almost cringe worthy. However, the courses, their content and what you will learn is superb. If you're considering or coming to Stafford, then keep in mind you are here to learn, as that is all it has going for it, especially thanks to the move that no one asked for and most protested against. I can only hope the move does good for those of you who stay long enough to experience it, and maybe, just maybe, you freshers can bring some life into this dying university and make the best of it's final year. I desperately hope so, as outside of it's courses, Stafford campus offers nothing. But I suppose that's what we're all here for isn't it? Shame there's no experience to go along with it, other than the barest of bones.

Feel free to ask me questions. I'll answer anything I can in detail, even specific things, and give you a 100% honest answer.
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JVA123
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*Just want to say I think you are looking at it too negatively. Yes the campus is dying but anyone who joins now will be moving to Stoke for their second/third years anyway, I'm sure they could manage one year here, it's not really that bad. I have been here 4 years, made some unforgettable memories, met many awesome people and can honestly say I'v enjoyed it so bar but it's a matter of opinion.

*The night life could be better since we only have one main club to visit (Couture) and once you go so many times you may get bored then again new students will only have it for one year. Even once people do get bored they can easily go to Hanley for a night out or try the Stoke campus version of Mukky (Gobble). Yes it costs a lot to travel to Hanley but it works out cheap if enough people chip in for a taxi. This year the student union even paid for a coach to take people to and from a Stoke night out, one a month.

*I am a health student so I can't really comment on games courses but the games jam they hold has always been fun.

*Halls is pretty basic but it's a great place to meet people as sometimes people who choose to live out of halls can feel out of the loop. Due to the campus 'dying' there isn't much money spent on improving the place. There is a free shuttle bus to Stoke every hour if anyone wants to spend their time over there instead.

Not all societies can't be bothered to do anything. All of the societies I attend DO put in the effort, for example Staffs TV. This society is fantastic! It has allowed me as a non-film student from day one to use their equipment, contribute to making weekly TV shows and other big events like the leadership race. Also, This society has won society of the year twice in the past 2 years and also committee of the year. Video games society holds lan parties and socials and the beard society meet up weekly and organize events/meet ups/socials like bowling, hiking trips and board game nights etc. Christian union meet up weekly, not only at Stafford campus events but also with Stoke campus and sometimes travel to Keele uni for events.They have socials, go to the cinema, go out for meals and even handed out goodie backs during deadline week containing, fruit, chocolate, bottled water, a Christmas card and red bull to keep students energy up. The sports clubs always have stuff planned, especially the rugby team so I honestly think you just haven't attended the right clubs yet. I attended Otaku, I agree it literally was just everyone in a lecture theatre watching a screen but what more could they do? Me and some friends have literally just set up a theme park society and I am quite confident that this wont be a 'can't be bothered' society because the manager is very dedicated and puts a lot of effort into everything they do. Shameless plug if anyone wants to join, please click the link: https://www.facebook.com/themeparksociety?fref=ts

The campus overall is quiet compared to Stoke and everyone seems to know each other. In Stoke you will meet quite a few people that you will probably never see or speak to again during the rest of your time at uni. I like that Stafford campus is quieter because when I do want somewhere noisy I can just go to Stoke and when I want to be away from the noise of a busy town I can be in Stafford. The bottom line is, Stafford is what you make it. Don't stay in your room all the time, if you make the effort to get involved with everything and meet people, you will enjoy it.
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