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If you’re thinking of studying a humanities subject at university, you should stop reading now; Imperial College London does not offer any humanities or arts degrees. However, if you’re a budding medic, scientist or engineer, you are definitely in the right place! Imperial is arguably the one of the best universities in the UK for science, engineering, and medicine students.
Imperial College is also ranked eighth in the world in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2011-12) and third in Europe. Not bad eh?
Home to more than 14,000 students and 6,000 members of staff, the main campus enjoys a prime location in one of London’s swankiest areas, South Kensington. The Royal Albert Hall is just around the corner, the Science Museum is a hop, skip and a jump away, and the grassy expanse of Hyde Park beckons from across the other side of the road.
Imperial is divided into four core faculties: the Faculty of Engineering; the Faculty of Medicine; the Faculty of Natural Sciences; and The Business School.
Notable Imperial College alumni include: 14 Nobel Prize winners, including Sir Alexander Fleming and Sir George Porter; Queen guitarist Brian May; writer H. G. Wells; and natural historian T. H. Huxley.
Imperial College is spread across eight campuses in London: Charing Cross; Chelsea & Westminster; Hammersmith; Northwick Park; Royal Brompton; Silwood Park; South Kensington; and St Mary’s.
South Kensington is the main campus, situated close to iconic cultural landmarks such as the Natural History Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and, best of all, it is right next to the Science Museum. It’s a beautiful area and pretty posh too.
Imperial College is abundant in learning and teaching facilities. It has first-class laboratories and simulation centres, including wind tunnels, flight simulators and the Ecotron. There are libraries at all of its campuses, cafes and bars, lecture rooms, and other facilities to help students pursue other interests such as sport, arts and music.
Most first-time, single students enrolling for full-time undergraduate degree programmes in Imperial College are guaranteed accommodation for the first year. The standard rental term for undergraduate accommodation is 39 weeks.
There are 15 halls of residence available. Two of these, Eastside and Southside Halls, are further comprised of adjoining sub-halls.
The other main halls are: Beit Hall, Bernard Sunley Hall, Boathouse, Fisher Hall, Garden Hall, Holbein Hall, Orient House, Parsons House, Pembridge Hall, Southwell Hall, Weeks Hall, Willis Jackson Hall and Wilson House.
All of Imperial College London’s accommodation facilities for undergraduates are located within easy walking or travelling distance from the main South Kensington campus.
Rents for single standard rooms start at £99 a week, twin-sharing standard rooms start at £76 per week while prices for deluxe ensuite rooms can go up to around £236 a week.
The Student Accommodation Centre offers information and resources to students looking to stay in private housing or those unable to secure rooms in Imperial-owned housing.
Yearly tuition fees for EU and UK undergraduate students enrolling in 2012 will be £9,000. This might seem like a lot, but if you get a loan from the government you won’t have to pay a penny while you are at university. You’ll only start to repay the loan once you are earning over £21,000 and if you don’t pay it back within 30 years the debt is cancelled.
London is expensive. Travel is expensive. Accommodation is expensive. A pint of beer in expensive. Living in London on a student’s budget certainly isn’t easy but it is doable.
You’ll need to be cost-conscious, practical and budget enough to get by. Most London universities estimate you’ll need around £11,000 a year for living expenses, but many students do get by on less. If you are a UK student studying in London, the government will provide you with a larger maintenance loan to help cover your living expenses.
All in all, it is up to you to hunt for bargains, student discounts and offers and take advantage of some great facilities provided by Imperial College and the Union.
As the College will be charging £9,000 a year in tuition fees, it will be offering substantial financial support packages on a sliding scale to students with residual incomes of up to £60,000 a year.
Those with an income of £25,000 or less will receive £3,500 in direct financial aid and £2,500 off their tuition fees, while students with a household income of between £25,000 and £60,000 will receive varying levels of financial support. More information can be found here.
Imperial College has a generous range of scholarships and departmental awards. These include the Rectors Scholarship Fund of £1,000 a year for students with a household income of £21,001 to £45,000. More information on the full range of scholarships available can be found here.
Imperial College Union is responsible for nightlife on campus. We are Metric is the Union’s nightclub hosting such events as Boombox, karaoke nights, DJ sets and… um… Wikipedia Races (this is Imperial after all). The Union also runs two bars at the South Kensington campus, FiveSixEight and The Union Bar, which are very popular with the students.
Headline events on campus include a Freshers’ Ball, a Halloween Masquerade Ball and a Summer Ball.
Outside Imperial, you’ve got the whole of London at your disposal. Whilst the local area of Kensington might be a tad too expensive for the average student (think exclusive clubs and pubs charging nearly £4 for a pint), elsewhere there are boozers galore and some reasonably affordable student nights.
The Imperial College Union supports over 300 clubs and societies, including 83 sports clubs. Non-sporting clubs cover the gamut of individual and group interests across arts, culture, academic, politics, and religion. There’s a chance to indulge your inner Gleek with the Musical Theatre Society or to hone your musical talent by joining jazz bands, choirs, orchestras or wind and string ensembles.
Sports facilities are located in the Ethos Sports Centre on the main campus and include the Energia fitness centre, a swimming pool and sports halls.
Other sporting facilities include the Boathouse at Putney Embankment, fitness centres and gyms at St Mary’s, Charing Cross, Hammersmith and Silwood Park campuses, and outdoor sports grounds in Harlington and Teddington.
Student media outlets include a newspaper, Felix; a radio station, IC Radio; and TV station STOIC.
Welcome Week at Imperial College starts off with a bang with the Undergraduate Mingle. This is followed by welcome talks from the Rector, a Freshers’ Fair and a Freshers’ Fair Afterparty. The Imperial College Union puts on a couple of club nights and the week ends with the almighty Freshers’ Ball.
The Careers Advisory Service team provides career-related guidance, information and resources for students, graduates and postgraduates.
It maintains its own job vacancy database, information about internship opportunities and puts on careers events, such as career fairs and employer presentations, throughout the year.