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The University of Southampton is a well-respected university which came into being in 1953. However, its earliest origins go all the way back to 1862 and its original avatar, the Hartley Institution.
It consistently ranks as one of the top universities in the UK and the quality of its degree courses on offer are a testament to that. A member of the Russell Group of Universities, it has a relatively high entry level standard and expects much from its students.
The teaching is split across eight faculties and the University awards BA, BEng, BM and BSc honours degrees in arts, engineering, medicine and science disciplines, as well as undergraduate degrees with a Master’s classification and combined honours degrees.
Notable alumni of the University of Southampton include models Laura Bailey and Stella Tennant, Commons stalwart John Denham MP, comedian Jeremy Hardy, wildlife presenter and producer Chris Packham, and Hollyoaks actor and Strictly Come Dancing finalist Ricky “snake hips” Whittle.
The University of Southampton operates out of five campuses in the UK: four of which are located in Southampton and one campus is located in Winchester. A recent addition is the University’s international campus in Malaysia.
The Southampton campuses include the main Highfield Campus, the Avenue Campus, Southampton General Hospital and the National Oceanography Centre campus. The sole Winchester representative is the Winchester School of Art, a self-contained site with its own Students’ Union, food, drink and retail facilities.
The Highfield Campus is about two miles away from the Southampton city centre, housed in its own expanse of landscaped spaces and is the main hub for administration, learning and teaching facilities, Students’ Union shenanigans and sporting activities.
The Avenue Campus is a short walk from the main site and caters mainly for the School of Humanities. The campus also houses the Centre for Language Study and other fixtures including a library, teaching and catering facilities. The latest addition is a £3 million new Archaeology building.
As is obvious from its name, Southampton General Hospital is home to the School of Medicine and is a frontrunner as far as UK teaching facilities are concerned. The National Oceanography Centre is aptly located on the waterfront in the southern part of Southampton. It’s where the School of Ocean and Earth Science is based and has been in operation since 1995, built at a cost of £50 million.
The Winchester School of Art is in Winchester, twelve miles away from Southampton and has a long and distinguished history, about 148 years’ worth of it! It has modern, state-of-the-art studios, study and work spaces, and a specialist library. This is where the Winchester Gallery is located too.
Whilst Southampton has its fair share of seagulls, it’s no seaside resort. Think more industrial port than sandy beaches. Heavy bombing in WWII left little of its early heritage, although little pockets of medieval and Georgian architecture remain. Out of the hammering it received in WWII, a modern vibrant city has emerged. With its bountiful bars and clubs and cheap transport, it has been voted one of the best place to live in the UK for single people aged 18 to 30.
Winchester offers far more picturesque surroundings than Southampton. A historic cathedral city with a rich heritage and culture, Winchester is fast becoming one of the most expensive and desirable areas in the UK. Whilst not as buzzing as Southampton, it still has plenty of shops, pubs, and a sprinkling of nightclubs.
The University of Southampton guarantees most first year undergraduates accommodation. University owned and managed accommodation consists of over 5,000 study bedrooms across twenty halls of residence in Southampton, Winchester, Portsmouth and Basingstoke (latter two sites for nursing students only).
Undergraduate accommodation facilities are either part-catered or self-catered. Types of accommodation available include standard rooms with or without washbasins and en-suite rooms. There is no student accommodation at Highfield Campus, although most of the halls are linked to the campus via the Uni-Link transport network.
Rents for catered accommodation starts from £109.41 rising up to £152.39 a week for en-suite rooms. Self-catered accommodation rent ranges from £73.36 to £178.
If your preference is for independent, private sector accommodation, there is a wide range of private housing available across the cities of Southampton and Winchester. Renting privately will set you back, on average, £60 to £70 per week.
The University runs an accreditation programme for private sector student accommodation (SASSH). This includes a list of approved private houses and comprehensive accommodation information and resources provided by the Accommodation Service, Student Services Centre and the Students’ Union.
The University of Southampton has set tuition fees for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at £9,000 for the 2012-13 academic year. This might seem like a lot, but remember you don’t have to pay anything while you are at university, and you’ll only start to repay the loan after you start earning over £21,000.
The cost of living in Southampton, Winchester and neighbouring areas is reasonable. Expect to budget around £8,500 to £9,000 a year for living expenses. Plenty of nightclubs hold student nights and the University of Southampton Students’ Union also runs an on-campus shop and café with student-friendly prices. With a bit of nifty budgeting, getting by at university will be a doddle.
Bursaries for 2012/13 haven’t been finalised yet, but you can find up-to-date information here. The University of Southampton has a range of generous subject based scholarships, as well as numerous ones for international students.
Highfield campus bars include Arlott Bar, The Bridge and the Stag’s Head Bar (main Union watering hole). The University of Southampton’s Students’ Union (SUSU) hosts an extensive line-up of entertainments throughout the year, including karaoke, quiz nights, themed nights, clubbing and live music gigs. Much of this takes places at the Union’s nightclub, The Cube, which has a capacity of 1700. There’s even an on campus movie theatre, where you can watch the latest blockbuster, indie and art house films.
The Athletic Union is no slouch either when it comes to social events: it hosts a weekly club night (I Love College: designed to ape the American ‘frat’ party) on Wednesdays. The annual AU Ball in May and the Graduation Ball in July are two events for worth dressing up for.
The University of Southampton’s sport and recreation programme (operating under the name of SportRec) looks after the University’s sports facilities. This includes the Jubilee Sports Centre, with its swimming pool, gym and fitness stations and sports hall with eight courts.
The Highfield campus is the place to go for less mainstream sports facilities, such as squash courts, a sports hall for handball and martial arts and dance studios. Outdoor sports and activities aren’t neglected either: there’s a 76-acre outdoor complex, just outside the city at the Wide Lane property in Eastleigh. Additionally, the University owns and operates the Boat Yard on River Itchen.
The Students’ Union sponsors over 180 clubs and societies, whilst the Athletic Union manages over 80 sports clubs. Student media platforms include Surge Radio; the student newspaper, The Wessex Scene; the magazine, The Edge; and SUSUtv.
Freshers’ Week is a week to remember. The Union works hard to put on plenty of events, including the Freshers’ Fayre, Welcome Party and numerous bar and club nights. There are plenty of induction sessions to help you find your way around the campus and Southampton, as well as departmental events to give you an introduction to your course.
The University of Southampton’s Career Destinations centre provides a comprehensive package of career-related services for current students and graduates, university staff and potential employers and recruiters.
These include an online jobs portal; a Graduate Passport scheme; overseas employment opportunities; industry-specific advice; information and resources; internships/work placements; entrepreneurship options; and various career and employability related events.