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Bangor University was founded in 1884 as the University College of North Wales. It was later recognised as an independent university and rechristened Bangor University.
Bangor’s academic facilities are divided into five main colleges: Arts, Education and Humanities; Business, Social Sciences and Law; Natural Sciences; Health and Behavioural Sciences; and Physical and Applied Sciences. These are comprised of 22 subject-specific schools.
Undergraduate qualifications include single honours or joint honours degrees and Welsh-speaking students can also choose to complete their undergraduate studies in Welsh.
Bangor’s alumni roster includes: Slumdog Millionaire director, Danny Boyle, Nobel Prize winner Dr Robert Edwards and Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas (National Assembly of Wales, Presiding Officer) among others.
University facilities are scattered across the city of Bangor, but they are all within walking distance of each other. Local transport is cheap and plentiful, with the average taxi fare costing around £1.80. Bangor is home to over 13,000 residents and come term-time, more than 12,000 students make up the numbers.
Bangor University is situated on the North Welsh coast, sandwiched between the high peaks of Snowdonia and the coastal waters of the Menai Strait. The Isle of Anglesey, with its great beaches, is only a stone’s throw away; and you can take a ferry to Ireland for a day trip from just £9.
Back in Wales, the Snowdonia National Park stretches over 25 miles of spectacular landscapes, lakes and, of course, Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in England and Wales. Outdoorsy types can hike to the top, while those who like to ride in comfort can take the Snowdon Mountain Railway.
Bangor University’s facilities include: housing, the students’ union and a bunch of libraries. However, there’s also a state-of-the-art marine research ship owned by the Ocean Sciences faculty, an arts and innovation centre, and a new environmental sciences building. Furthermore, Bangor University has extensive Wi-Fi facilities across all its study areas and supportive technology facilities for students with disabilities and other special needs.
Bangor University guarantees university accommodation for full-time, first-year undergraduates, provided that their completed housing application forms are submitted by the end of July. Tenancy periods are set at 38, 40 and 51 weeks.
The university offers around 2,300 self-catered study bedrooms across 20 halls of residence. Rooms available across these halls include: standard study bedrooms with shared bathrooms and kitchens; standard study bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms; and larger en-suite study bedrooms.
Weekly rents range between £71 and £112, including basic contents insurance. Rooms are equipped with a single bed, wardrobe, bookshelf, waste bin, desk and chair.
Kitchen facilities are shared by groups of eight students. Appliances provided include: a cooker, freezer, refrigerator, microwave, toaster and kettle. Typically, there is one shared bathroom for every four students.
The main student halls are Ffriddoedd Road, Holyhead Road, which overlooks the Menai Strait, and St. Mary’s in the centre of Bangor.
Private accommodation is available at very affordable rates (around £50–£70 per week) and is ideal for students with families. The Halls Office at Bangor University should be contacted for further information and assistance with securing private accommodation.
Undergraduate tuition fees for students starting in 2012-13 will be £9,000 per annum.
Bangor is one of the cheapest university locations in the UK. In fact, the city occupies pride of place as the fourth most-economical location for higher studies in the UK (published by The Independent).
The Students’ Union satisfies nearly all your day-to-day living requirements, with facilities including a club, a cafe, a launderette, a crèche, a shop, a bank, a photo booth, a meeting room and a games room.
Bangor University eateries include: Bar Uno at Ffriddoedd and Cafe Teras on the main campus. There’s also a Café Teras Coffee Pod in the Main Arts Building. The Normal Site houses the Y Bistro and a new add-on for all your grocery needs, the Y Bistro Shop. Finally, Caffi Glas at the Environment Centre for Wales (ECW) serves quick bites, coffee and hot snacks.
Various bursaries and scholarships are paid out by the university. Bursaries of £500 and £1,000 are paid to students from low income families and care leavers respectively.
Bangor University scholarships include Excellence, Merit, Talent Opportunities Programme, Sports and Academic scholarships. The amounts offered range between £2,000 and £5,000 per annum.
The Bangor University Students’ Union building, which housed two nightclubs, was demolished last year. But after a long SU campaign, a new union will be built (complete with a brand spanking new nightclub) by September 2011.
Meanwhile, the social scene continues to flourish at Bangor University and within the city of Bangor itself, with drinks being sold at dirt-cheap rates. Indeed, a pint costs around £2.30.
Bangor’s collection of pubs and restaurants around the Victorian Pier are particularly buzzing. Other ‘sober’ entertainment venues include: The Apollo, Cineworld and Galeri cinemas, and Theatr Gwynedd.
The off-campus hall of residence, Hendre Hall, is the present stand-in facility for club nights and student events organised by the Bangor University Students’ Union.
Bangor University Students’ Union’s summer ball is certainly an event to look forward to, with past acts including: Zane Lowe, Tinie Tempah, Mystery Jets and Wiley. The union also plays host to retro nights on Monday; and R&B and house music nights every single week.
Bangor and its surrounding areas (especially Snowdonia) are great for those who love adventure and watersports. There are opportunities to do everything from mountain biking, rock climbing and skiing to windsurfing, rowing and kayaking.
The Students’ Union has over twenty sports clubs with men and women’s teams, ranging from American football, rugby and gymnastics to trampolining and football.
Onsite sporting facilities include: a main sports centre, Maesglas, and a second centre at the Normal Site. Maesglas has a gym, gymnastics hall, climbing wall and indoor court facilities for table tennis, squash and badminton. It also has an astro-turf pitch, two football pitches, a rugby pitch and tennis courts. The Normal Site has a sports hall and two gyms for fencing, judo, karate, and other martial arts.
Off-campus, the Treborth site near the Menai Strait has four football pitches, an 8-lane running track and a pavilion.
Non-sporting clubs and societies cater to all students’ eclectic tastes, including: Beer & Ale, Amnesty, Drama, Photography, DJ Society and War Games. There are also three performing arts societies: BEDS which is for English drama students, the drama society, ROSTRA, and the musical theatre society, SODA.
For media-savvy students there are two monthly newspapers, Seren in English and Y Ddraenen in Welsh. There’s also a student radio station called Storm.
The university hosts a Welcome Week for new students, including a two-day freshers’ fair where you can sign up for clubs and societies. Part of the week is taken up by the standard formalities: course registration, departmental orientations and meetings with personal tutors. Otherwise, it’s crammed with social events, such as freshers’ club nights, trips to the beach, quiz nights, music events and plenty of chances to dust off that old fancy dress and party.
The Careers and Employability Service (CES) facilitates various careers development and recruitment events, as well as providing comprehensive information and resources for Bangor graduates.