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Lancaster University's reputation precedes it. The university is currently ranked 7th in the UK by the Guardian and is among the top 150 universities in the world according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011-2012. Priding itself on its flexible teaching approach, Lancaster University offers some students the option to minor in other subjects during the first part of their degree.
Lancaster University has four core faculties, comprised of several departments, learning centres and research institutes: Arts & Social Sciences, Health & Medicine, Management, and Science & Technology.
Lancaster University was one of seven new universities approved by the government in the 1960s. It is one of UK’s six collegiate universities, comprised of one postgraduate and eight undergraduate colleges. Situated in the city of Lancaster, the main campus, Bailrigg, was built in stages between 1967 and the 1970s.
The nine colleges of Lancaster University are Bowland (first and oldest college), Cartmel, The County College, Furness College, Fylde College, Graduate College (postgraduate), Grizeland College, Lonsdale College and Pendle College.
If you attend Lancaster University, you can share the ‘alumnus’ tag with well-known personalities, such as correspondent for The Independent, Robert Fisk; Labour MP Alan Milburn (also former Health Secretary); actor Andy Serkis; Olympic gold medallist, Jason Queally; Coronation Street’s script doctors, Marvin Close and Peter Whalley; and Top Gear’s James May.
Lancaster University occupies around 360 acres of beautiful landscaped parklands, approximately three miles from the city centre of Lancaster. 20% of Lancaster’s population is made up of students and the city is within commuting distance of the university.
Lancaster town is full of shops, markets, pubs, clubs and theatres. The primary highlights of the city is an indoor market with the freshest day’s catch from Morecambe Bay, a shopping arcade and the Lancaster Canal, which cuts through the town, dotted with shore-side pubs and boating facilities.
Lancaster University’s main campus is packed with a fantastic range of facilities and amenities. The central core of the campus is Alexandra Square: a paved rectangle surrounded by university buildings.
An injection of £300 million into the campus has resulted in, amongst other things, an improved library, with over 1,000 study desks and 1 million books, the construction of the Ruskin Library (named after art critic John Ruskin), and 24 computer labs providing 24-hour access with 1,500 computers.
Other specialist facilities on campus include: a practice courtroom, drama studios, a design lab (Folio), a state-of-the-art TV centre, a sports centre, the Nuffield Theatre, the Scott Gallery, and the Lancaster House Hotel & Training Centre. There are also a number of places to eat and drink across the campus. All of the Lancaster University’s colleges are located on campus.
The Lancaster University Students’ Union (LUSU) provides a comprehensive menu of facilities and services, both in the Union Building (Edward Roberts Court) and across various other locations around the campus.
Lancaster University guarantees most first year undergraduates accommodation in any of the eight undergraduate colleges. There are over 6,500 rooms available in total and half of these are for freshers.
A confirmation deposit of £200 is required to secure the offered accommodation, along with a College membership fee of £30. The standard rental contract is for 40 weeks and includes weekly rent, electricity, heating, lighting, cleaning of common and shared facilities and ResNet: the university intranet and internet access.
Most accommodation is self-catered but catered accommodation is available in parts of Bowland, Cartmel and Lonsdale colleges. Standard self-catered room prices range from around £78 to £96 per week. Rent for townhouses based in Grizedale and County colleges is around £100 per week including bills. Room prices for en-suit accommodation ranges between around £101 and £120.
Rent for catered accommodation in Bowland County, Cartmel and Lonsdale Colleges (with two meals daily) is between £116 and £156 a week depending on the type of room.
In 2012/13 the University of Lancaster will be charging UK and EU students £9,000 a year in tuition fees. This might seem like a lot, but the government will provide you with a loan to cover the cost of tuition fees whilst you are at university. You’ll only start to repay your loan once you are earning over £21,000 a year and your debt is cancelled if you don’t pay it back within 30 years.
Living expenses, excluding tuition fees, mainly consist of rent, food, transport, bills, books/stationary, laundry, TV licence, mobile phone bill and contents insurance. On average, depending on the type of accommodation, you should budget for £160 per week (£640 per month) at the barest minimum. Students living in private accommodation will need to budget for a little bit more.
The LUSU-provided Purple Card offers student discounts and special offers on retail products and services, entertainment, drinking and eating-out.
As part of the National Scholarship Scheme, new undergraduates with household incomes of less than £25,000 a year will be eligible for a £1,000 cash bursary, £1,000 off campus accommodation and a £1,000 tuition fee waiver.
This will be supplemented with a further £1,000 cash bursary in the second, third and fourth (if applicable) years of study through the Lancaster Bursary scheme. Lancaster University will also award scholarships of £1,000 per year to new undergraduates achieving A*AA in their A-Levels.
Drinks on-campus are about 50% cheaper than the town centre; so no prizes for guessing which establishments you should patronise!
Sugarhouse is the Lancaster University Students’ Union nightclub venue. It is spread over two rooms and open three nights a week. Other venues in the city include Dalton Rooms, Elements and Vodka Revs. Lancaster also has thriving pub scene with a mix of traditional and chain pubs.
For more sober entertainment, there’s a Vue cinema and The Dukes in town puts on a range of films, live music and theatre events.
The LUSU and University options are: bars in each college; live shows in the Nuffield theatre; and a student-managed film club with cheap admission rates (£2 for non-members, free for film club members).
Annual/term regular events hosted by LUSU include a few balls, college-specific Christmas balls and a one-day, giant celebration at the end of the academic year with furious competition between the colleges to put on the best show.
Sports and exercise activities will receive a boost when the new £20 million sports complex opens in summer this year. The centre will be outfitted with the best and latest in equipment and facilities: a 100-station gym, health & fitness suites, sports hall with eight badminton and four squash courts, climbing wall and bouldering cave, and an eight lane, 25 metre-long swimming pool with an innovative ‘floating floor’.
There are also over 150 clubs and societies open to students at Lancaster University, reflecting a variety of interests from the usual and conventional to the arcane and exotic. You can start your own club or society if a particular interest is not already represented.
For those looking to get involved with student media, there’s a student-run newspaper SCAN and an online student radio station Bailrigg FM.
New and returning students enjoy a hectic, event-filled Freshers’ Week, beginning with a meet-and-greet with their respective College Officers, Personal Advisor, Freshers’ Reps, and Junior Common Rooms’ officers (individual college student representatives).
Events over the remaining period are taken up with enrolment formalities, faculty introductions, a look around the campus and various facilities open to students and an introduction to LUSU-managed clubs and societies. There are packed nights put on at The Sugarhouse and plenty of themed parties happening throughout the campus.
The Centre for Enterprise, Employability and Careers (CEEC) provides current students and graduates with a broad range of information, guidance and resources. These include a careers library, insight courses, career fairs, skills workshops and mentoring.