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The University of Northampton is all about social enterprise. By 2015, it aims to be the top university for social enterprise, integrating social enterprise into its teaching, learning and research. As a result, students now have the option, as part of their degree, to do a placement at a social enterprise company.
Social enterprise isn’t the only side to the University of Northampton’s story. Looking back, you can trace the University’s roots back to 1924 to the founding of the Northampton Technical College. It was only in 1999 that it began to resemble the institution it is now with the establishment of the University College Northampton. In 2005, it threw off its college status, donned a shiny new university gown and was renamed the University of Northampton.
Of its 13,000 students, girls outnumber boys and over half are mature students (e.g. over the age of 21). The University is committed to flexible study and it is one of the few universities to offer fast-track two year degrees. There are a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, as well as higher education certificates and diplomas, with particular strengths in waste management, leather technology, and fashion.
Northampton is a large market town in the East Midlands. It’s got industry in its bones and it is famous for its leather industry and shoe factories. At one point half the people in the country wore shoes made in Northampton.
As for Northampton nowadays, it’s dominated by shopping precincts, attractive green spaces and bars, restaurants and clubs. There’s a nice little Art Deco 1930s cinema that is used for theatre productions, concerts and musicals and the Fishmarket is a little pocket of culture in Northampton, housing creative businesses, gallery spaces, artists’ studios and a café bar. Unfortunately, the town is also home to the 1970s eyesore that is Northampton Bus Station which has the dubious honour of being voted one of the ugliest buildings in the country. Northampton has excellent transport links and is only an hour away from London and Birmingham.
Good things come in pairs and at the University of Northampton there are two campuses, Park Campus and Avenue Campus. Avenue Campus is just a mile from the town centre. This is the campus for the art, design, technology, architecture and performing arts students. Consequently, it is a pretty artsy place with a gallery, performance spaces, dance and drama studios, workshops, computer aided design suites and a restaurant and bar to kick back and relax in. There are also laboratories, lecture theatres and other amenities for its technology and science students too.
Park Campus, true to its name, is set in 30 acres of green parkland. It’s less than two miles away from Avenue Campus and a little further out of town. The School of Business, the School of Health and the School of Social Studies are based on campus. There are lecture theatres, a big library, IT facilities, shops, a restaurant, and a sports hall.
The University of Northampton has a range of on-campus accommodation. There are five halls of residence at the Park Campus: Charles Bradlaugh Hall, (which consists of two halls and seven small houses), Margaret Bondfield, John Clare (one of the smallest with 92 bedrooms), Simon Senlis and William Carey halls with 300 en-suite rooms a piece.
At the Avenue Campus, there is one hall of residence, Bassett Lowke Hall, which offers en-suite accommodation. Belinda Ferrison House is the only university accommodation in the town centre. It has 21 single sex flats.
Rent for university accommodation ranges from £48 to £105 a week depending on room type.
The University of Northampton will be charging UK and EU undergraduates £8,500 a year in tuition fees.
The University of Northampton estimates that it will cost between £5,400 and £6,400 a year to live in Northampton. That’s including food, accommodation, clothes, book, entertainment and other costs. Obviously, if you have a taste for designer clothes and splash your cash around, then you’ll probably need to budget for more.
There’s the big fat University of Northampton Bursary for those with household incomes of £42,600 or less a year. Eligible students will receive £1,000 a year if they have a household income of £25,000 or less, £500 a year if they have a household income of £25,001 to £42,600.
Alternatively, if you have a household income of less than £5,000 a year, you might be eligible for one of the University of Northampton’s 133 National Scholarship Awards. They consist of a tuition fee discount of £2,500 and a £500 cash bursary.
Northampton isn’t starved for nightlife, although it does have some critics. Balestra, Groove and Atmosphere put on student nights, alternatively there’s the Momo Bar, Vodka Revs, and Bamboo Lounge. You can get your indie kicks and live music at The Roadmender, whilst Embargo, set in a converted three storey shoe factory, is a perennial favourite with the students.
The University of Northampton Students’ Union also runs three bars, two at the Park Campus, one at the Avenue Campus. Perfect for cheap drinks and food.
There are over 20 sports clubs, including American football, rugby, tennis, dance and hockey, and these make good use of the University of Northampton’s sport facilities, which include a large sports hall, outdoor playing fields, a dance and exercise studio and a gym.
If sport isn’t your thing, then there are only 40 societies to tickle your fancy, including bodypopping society, film appreciation society, various subject societies and other common interest societies.
We couldn’t find out a whole lot about the University of Northampton’s Freshers’ Week but we do know it usually involves a big freshers’ fair and various student nights at clubs across town.
University is the perfect time to explore your career options and the Careers Service at the University of Northampton is there to help you along the way. You can book an appointment with a careers adviser, get help with applications, CVs and mock interviews, browse their careers library, and search their online vacancy database for graduate jobs, placements and internships. They also hold an annual careers fair and various skills workshops