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Anglia Ruskin University



Overall ranking: 115th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide for 2016.

History: Parts of it go back to the 19th century. The most ancient part opened in 1858 as a school of art founded by the Victorian art critic John Ruskin. In 1989, two well-established colleges, the Essex Institute of Higher Education and Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology, came together to form the first regional poly. Became a university in 1992 and changed its name from Anglia Polytechnic University (APU) to Anglia Ruskin University in 2005.

Address: The three main sites are at Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough.

Ambience: Cambridge-based students will have access to a lovely and deeply student-centric historic city. Since students make up a large part of its population, it’s always vibrant, with lots to see and do. Chelmsford buzzes with nightlife and attractions for culture vultures. There are great shopping centres, a covered market, an ice rink and lots of sports clubs. Plus, the V festival comes to the city’s Hylands Park every August.

Who's the boss? Professor Michael Thorne, previous vice chancellor at University of East London and chair of the government's Advisory Committee on Libraries.

Prospectus: 01245 68 68 68 or request one here.

UCAS code: A60

What you need to know

Easy to get into? The entry requirements for undergraduate courses vary greatly. The absolute minimum is usually two A-Levels and 3 GCSE's. On popular courses like Nursing students need to get around 240 UCAS points, Early Childhood Professional Studies requires 200 UCAS points. The university will accent students whom have fallen short of the entry requirements but can demonstrate that knowledge in a different way.

Vital statistics: Over 36,000 students of whom over 18,000 are undergrads and around a quarter are part-time. 67% are over 21. All courses are modular.

Added value: Strong links with industry. There's been lots of investment on both campuses into modern facilities- with £122 million spent over the last 5 years and another £98 million over the next 5 years. The degree courses are designed to be vocational and relevant to the needs of industry and the professions, and some of them are developed alongside employers. Boasts a suite of forensic science labs that include a scene of crime unit, simulated hospital wards and operating theatres, two art galleries, a music therapy clinic, an eye clinic and a mock courtroom.

Teaching: A massive jump up; Anglia are now 40th out of 126 universities in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: 92nd out of 126 with 58.3 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? Yes. University provided accommodation from £84.56 per week in Cambridge, and from £107.38 a week in Chelmsford.

Cheap to live there? Not too bad, private rented accommodation starts at £69.23 a week in Cambridge, £75 a week in Chelmsford, and £87 per week in Peterborough.

Transport links: Frequent trains to London, good road links with both campuses. Stansted, London's third largest airport, is a half hour drive from either Cambridge or Chelmsford.

Fees: For full-time home and EU undergraduates: £9000 for a course leading to a degree and £7,500 for a foundation degree or Higher National Diploma/Certificate.

Bursaries: Anglia Ruskin offers a number of bursaries related to not only household income but also academic achievements. The "Books Plus" grant, which most first year students recieve in the form of a card with £400 credit on that allows them to buy school supplies and books, The "Access Bursary" awards £400 cash to students with a household income below £25,000 a year and the "ARU Sports Scholarship" can provide students with awards of up to £1,000 who are competing in a sport at national or international level.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Cambridge has a lively student nightlife of bars, restaurants and clubs. The city is home to several famous venues including the Corn Exchange, The Junction, the Cambridge Arts Theatre, the ADC Theatre, and Anglia Ruskin’s own Mumford Theatre. There is an annual programme of events from the Film Festival and the Folk Festival to the Bumps and the Beer Festival. Chelmsford has a vibrant, cosmopolitan nightlife of clubs, bars, cafés and restaurants; you will never be short of ideas. There are two theatres, a multi-screen cinema and its own Film Club/Film Festival, as well as unique live music venues including The Golden Fleece and The Bassment.

Price of a pint: Average costs are £2.60 in Chelmsford and £3.50 in Cambridge, but the Union bars are much better value.

Sporting reputation: Nothing special- 75th in the 2014/15 league table in the current BUCS league.

Notable societies: A wide range at Cambridge and a good few at Chelmsford, from Harry Potter and Pokemon to the Roots and Shoots wildlife conservation group.

Glittering alumni: Pink Floyd members Syd Barrett and David Gilmour; Patricia Scotland, Britain's first black woman QC; Harry Potter illustrator Thomas Taylor; Ronald Searle (creator of St Trinian's).

Alternative prospectus: Take a look at how current Anglia Ruskin students rate all aspects of their university experience on What Uni? here.