Bath Spa University
Tuesday 26 June 2012
Bath Spa University
Age: 62 (but the Bath School of Art and Design was founded more than 150 years ago).
History: Originally a teacher-training college, it merged in 1983 with two colleges to form Bath College of Higher Education. In 1992, it won the power to award its own degrees up to Masters level. It subsequently became Bath Spa University College, and was granted university status in 2005. It now has the power to award full research degrees.
Address: The main site is Newton Park, next to the hamlet of Newton St Loe, four miles outside Bath; the other, for the Bath School of Art and Design, is Sion Hill in Lansdown, Bath, 15 minutes walk from town centre.
Ambience: This teaching-led institution is one of the country's newest universities. Bath is beautiful - England's only World Heritage city. Newton Park is on Duchy of Cornwall land, with lake, gardens, woods, farmland and a mixture of historic medieval buildings and modern state-of-the-art facilities. The Sion Hill campus recently underwent a £3.5m redevelopment, with new specialist workshops, studios, a library and a refectory. The place is 70 per cent female, 30 per cent male.
Vital statistics: Around 5,000 undergrads (four in 10 are mature) plus around 1,300 postgrads and 700 on non-degree programmes. Courses in arts, music, education, performing arts, humanities, social sciences, human sciences and applied sciences.
Added value: Highly rated for teaching. A very high number of National Teaching fellows relative to the number of staff. Good at helping those who missed out on higher education at a younger age. The Michael Tippett Centre, Bath's only purpose-built concert hall. And it is home to the school of music, which provides a music honours degree and degrees in creative music technology and in commercial music. Performing arts is a growing area, and a new university theatre opened in 2007, with a full programme of performances courtesy of drama and dance students. The university is a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in the creative arts, and the resultant 'Artswork' project has invested significantly in specialist resources.
Easy to get into? You'll need between 24 and 300 UCAS points (or equivalent). Mature students and those from non-traditional backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The university works closely with local further education colleges, and has partnership arrangements to run some courses, including new foundation degrees. There's been a big rise in applications in recent years.
Glittering alumni: Anita Roddick, Body Shop founder; Peter Flannery, TV scriptwriter and author of Our Friends in the North; Sir Howard Hodgkin, Turner Prize winning artist; Jason Gardner, gold medal-winning Olympic athlete.
Transport links: This is hilly country, but buses go to and from Newton Park and Bath every half-hour till the early hours of the morning.
Who's the boss? Professor Frank Morgan, a public finance accountant, supporter of Stockport County and aficionado of all things Indian, particularly south Indian food.
Teaching: 83rd out of 116 for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide in 2011. The university’s Primary Teaching programme has been awarded a Grade 1 Ofsted judgement.
Research: 93rd out of 115 in the Research Assessment Exercise in 2011.
Overall ranking: Came 76th out of 116 in Complete University Guide.
Nightlife: Ravers head for Bath and Bristol, but there are regular dance nights in the students union at Newton Park.
How green is it? Very. It came 8th out of 138 universities graded by People and Planet in their Green leauge 2012. The university is part of the nationwide EcoCampus scheme, which helps it reduce its environmental footprint. It also has its own Green Focus initiative.
Any accommodation? A wide range of university-offered accommodation ranged from £79 to £135 per week in 2010/11 and will go up on a yearly basis.
Cheap to live there? Not particularly. Privately rented rooms go for between £70 and £80 a week, plus bills.
Sports ranking: 133rd in the BUCS league table.
Fees: Maximum fees of £9,000 a year will be introduced in September 2012.
Bursaries: Awards of up to £500 for first-years and £1,200 for second and third-years are available to eligible students. For details, see the website.
Prospectus: 01225 875 875 / www.bathspa.ac.uk
UCAS code: B20
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