Anglia Ruskin University

 

Overall ranking: 105th out of 124 in the Complete University Guide for 2014.

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 two main sites are at Cambridge and Chelmsford.

Ambience: Flat (this is East Anglia). Otherwise difficult to pinpoint because the university is split into two sites and accredits degrees at 11 associate colleges in the region. Cambridge is busy, lively, academic. Students enjoy a sometimes uneasy, sometimes mutually rewarding relationship with those at Cambridge University. Chelmsford has a friendly feel and hosts a lot of mature students and part-timers.

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: 0845 271 3333 or request one here.

UCAS code: A60

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Courses ask for 160-320 UCAS points. Keen on widening participation. The highest entry requirement is for optometry.

Vital statistics: Over 30,000 students of whom 23,000 are undergrads and just over ten per cent part-time. 45 per cent of undergraduates are over 21 at the start of their course. All courses are modular. The last university to drop the dreaded "p" word from its name (hint: polytechnic).

Added value: Strong links with industry. There's been lots of investment on both campuses into modern facilities (more than £60m in the last few 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: 94th out of 124 in the Complete University Guide.

Research: 79th out of 124 in the Research Assessment Exercise.

Graduate prospects: 70th out of 124 with 61.4 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? Yes. From £81.25 per week in Cambridge, from £83 per week in Peterborough, and from £98.50 a week in Chelmsford.

Cheap to live there? Not too bad, private flats start at around £78 a week in Cambridge and £75 a week in Chelmsford.

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: £8,300 for a course leading to a degree and £7,500 for a foundation degree or Higher National Diploma/Certificate.

Bursaries: The university offers several scholarships and bursaries, dependant on various factors, including but not limited to household income. For more information see here.

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: Barhouse, The Fleece and The Basement.

Price of a pint: Average costs are £2.50 in Chelmsford and £3.50 in Cambridge, but the Union bars are much better value.

Sporting reputation: Nothing special- 87th 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.

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