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Bournemouth University prides itself on being a young modern university. It achieved university status in 1992, but can trace its history back to the 1970s with the establishment of the Bournemouth College of Technology. It’s a seaside university located in and around the tourist town of Bournemouth. Think sandy beaches, sun (well, more than most places in England) and ice cream.
Bournemouth University isn’t about dreamy spires and academics shuffling about in robes, it’s about providing a modern professional education. The majority of courses are devised with employability in mind and usually contain a vocational element. It has a healthy rate of graduate employment, with 78% of graduates finding graduate employment six months after leaving university.
Teaching is provided by six academic schools: The Business School; School of Applied Sciences; Design, Engineering & Computing; The School of Health & Social Care; The Media School; and the School of Tourism. You won’t see many traditional academic courses in Bournemouth University’s prospectus (although they do offer some like Law, Biological Sciences and English). Instead, think more along the lines of advertising, design engineering, hospitality management, nursing, television production and sports management.
In its short life, Bournemouth University hasn’t had the time to churn out any particularly famous alumni, but past students do include: Baroness Angela Browning; radio producers, Rachel Jones and Rebecca Huxtable; computer animators Lee Uren (Attack of the Clones, Star Trek) and Kevan Shorey (Madagascar and Shrek 2); founder of Criminal Clothing, Reza Dehghani; and inventor of the pop-up tent, Franziska Conrad.
Bournemouth University is a seaside university through and through. It has two campuses. The main one, Talbot Campus, is located two miles from Bournemouth’s centre. The second, Lansdowne Campus, is right in the town centre, five minutes away from the beach. It’s mainly home to health and social care students.
Bournemouth is a large and vibrant student town, less than two hours away from London, with excellent train and bus routes to the rest of the country. Bournemouth and nearby Southampton both have airports offering flights internationally and its coastal location means that you can hop on a ferry to Europe. It’s a pretty stylish town, some people even calling it the new Brighton. The surrounding countryside boasts extraordinary natural beauty and has miles and miles of sandy beaches.
Talbot Campus is the main base of most of the academic schools. It has shops, restaurants, cafes and two student bars. Add to that 15 lecture theatres and a five-storey learning centre (otherwise known as the Sir Michael Cobham Library) and you’ve got a pretty well-equipped campus.
Lansdowne Campus in town doesn’t shirk when it comes to facilities either. Bournemouth House forms the hub of the campus and has a library and study spaces. Studland House has skill-suites for health and social care students and there is also an Executive Business Centre for postgraduate business and management students. Notably, it is also the site of three of the University of Bournemouth’s halls of residence and it is also the location of The Old Fire Station (the Students’ Union nightclub).
Bournemouth University can provide university owned accommodation for 70% of first year students and helps put the rest up in university-managed houses and other private accommodation.
So what accommodation is on offer? Next to the Talbot Campus is the Student Village. It’s a collection of university-run houses (think the TV show Fresh Meat) with three, four, five or seven bedrooms. In total, the Student Village houses 250 students. There are also 24 purpose built studio apartments and two access studios for students with disabilities. Weekly rent is around £90 a week.
A little further away from the campus is Corfe House, a hall of residence with 308 en-suite rooms. It’s located near Poole’s town centre and there’s a bus that goes from the residence to the Talbot Campus. Weekly room prices are around £100.
If you’re looking for student accommodation near Lansdowne campus, then Bournemouth University has four halls of residence located in and around the town centre. Purbeck House has en-suite rooms for 518 students and rent comes in at £101 a week. Next to it is Cranbourne House with room for 497 students at £95 per week.
Lyme Regis House is the newest hall of residence on offer and is privately owned and managed by Signpost Homes. Again located in Bournemouth and near Landsdowne campus, it has 400 beds in en-suite single rooms and 10 self-contained studio apartments. Weekly rent is between £101 and £116.
Otherwise, there’s Hurn House that can house 151 students. Like the Student Village, it doesn’t offer en-suite accommodation and rent is around £83 a week. Alternatively, there are a number of university-managed private houses or students might procure their own private accommodation.
UK/EU tuition fees for undergraduate courses range between £6,000 and £9,000 a year, so you’ll have to check the tuition fees for your particular course. Eligible students will be able to procure a tuition fee loan from government. For more information on the tuition fee rise, check out this article.
Whilst Bournemouth can be an expensive place to live, it is still affordable on a student budget. Bournemouth University estimates that you’ll need between £6,800 and £8,000 to cover living expenses.
Obviously, budgets will vary student to student and you can get a maintenance loan from the government to help out with living costs. Many students also work part-time to help fund their studies.
Bournemouth University has 333 bursaries to award in 2012. These are split into maintenance and care leaver bursaries. Eligible home students for maintenance bursaries will have a household income of £25,000 or less and be new full-time or part-time undergraduate students. In total, the bursary amounts to £6,000 worth of cash bursaries, accommodation discounts or fee waivers, and living expenses vouchers. Foundation degree students will receive £1,000 in cash and a £2,000 accommodation discount.
There are also generous BU care leaver bursaries amounting to around £16,000 worth of support. You can find out more about them here.
Bournemouth University is also offering between £1,000 and £3,000 in academic achievement scholarships based on achieving certain grades at A Level, BTEC National Diploma or other equivalent qualifications. More details about eligibility and the scholarship can be found here.
Bournemouth’s nightlife is vibrant and exciting and very much catered towards the student population. The Student Union’s “Old Fire Station” nightclub is a favourite with Bournemouth Students and hosts a variety of club nights, live music events (recent acts have included The Subways and Newton Faulkner), comedy nights and an almighty summer ball. For a more laid back night, the Student Union also runs Dylans Bar which serves up cheap food and drink and has pool tables and a football table. Another option at Talbot campus is The Loft.
There are also a number clubs, bars and pubs in the rest of Bournemouth. For those interested in live gigs and comedy shows, check out the 02 Academy in Boscombe and the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC). There are also events and festivals throughout the year in Bournemouth, including the Bournemouth Air Festival and Bourne Free, the annual gay pride event, which takes place in July.
The Students’ Union at Bournemouth University runs a number of clubs and societies, from advertising and anime society to baking and sign language society. Sports clubs include swimming, trampolining, ultimate frisbee, handball and cycling. The Student Union-run Nerve* Media has a magazine, radio station and television station that students can get involved with too.
If you’re looking to get fit or flex your sporting muscles competitively, then SportBU is just the ticket. There are over 34 team sports at Bournemouth University and all of them compete in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competition. There are also fitness classes, instructional courses to help students learn a new sport or activity, and an intramural sport programme.
Sport facilities on offer from Bournemouth University include floodlit pitches, a large sports hall, a training zone, high performance training suite, climbing wall, a cricket ground, and two dance and activity studios.
The Students’ Union at Bournemouth puts shedloads of effort into Freshers’ Week. There are plenty of tours, various day-time events and welcome meetings to help you settle in; whilst after dark things are cranked up a notch with club nights, live music, themed parties (make sure you bring fancy dress), comedy and quiz nights. There’s a huge Freshers’ Fair and the week is crowned by an almighty Freshers’ Ball.
Bournemouth University’s Placements & Careers Service is there to help students and graduates find their first graduate job. They offer impartial guidance, CV and application form checking, mock interviews and a job shop for part-time work opportunities. They maintain and update a careers library of resources and there is also a vacancy database of work experience and graduate job opportunities.