Bath Spa University

 

 

Overall ranking: Came 69th out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

History: It began over 160 years ago with the Bath School of Art. The two Bath-based campuses of the University, Newton Park and Sion Hill, began as teacher-training colleges in the 1940s. In 1975 the colleges merged to form Bath College of Higher Education. In 1992, it won degree awarding powers and in 1999 became Bath Spa University College. In 2005 it was granted university status and received research degree awarding power in 2008.

Address: The University has three main sites: Newton Park next to the hamlet of Newton St Loe, four miles outside Bath, Sion Hill, which houses the Bath School of Art and Deisgn, in Lansdown, 15 minutes walk from Bath town centre, and Corsham Court in Wiltshire which is the home of postgraduate teaching and research.

Ambience: 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. One of the safest cities in the UK according to the Complete University Guide.

Who's the boss? Professor Christina Slade took the helm as vice-chancellor in 2012. She is trained as a philosopher of logic and language.

Prospectus: 01225 875 875 or order one here.

UCAS code: B20

What you need to know

Easy to get into? You'll need between 260 and 340 UCAS points (or equivalent). There's been a big rise in applications in recent years. Mature students and those from non-traditional backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The university runs some foundation degrees in partnership arrangements with local further education colleges.

Vital statistics: Close to 7,000 undergrads (four in 10 are mature) plus around 1,300 postgrads and 700 on non-degree programmes. 560 members of staff. Courses in arts, music, education, performing arts, humanities, business and management, social sciences, human sciences and applied sciences. 70 per cent female, 30 per cent male.

Added value: A strong focus on creativity, culture and enterprise. Highly rated for teaching and student satisfaction. Ofsted 'outstanding' for teacher education. Good at helping those who missed out on higher education at a younger age. Boasts the Michael Tippett Centre, Bath's only purpose-built concert hall. Home to the school of music which provides a music honours degree and degrees in creative music technology and commercial music. Performing arts is a strong area- the university theatre has a full programme of performances courtesy of drama and dance students. Exceptional record of success in Fashion Design course (two Graduate Fashion Week Gold Award winners in the past three years). Very strong for Creative Writing – excellent record of students getting published. Strong links to the cultural and creative life of Bath, a city of festivals. The Sion Hill campus was recently refurbished with new specialist workshops, studios, a library and a refectory.  A major development of the Newton Park campus in 2014 has transformed facilities for students. It includes a new academic building featuring learning commons, teaching rooms and state-of-the-art digital suites as well as new residential accommodation for 561 extra students. Strong environmental ethos and awarded 'first class' in the People and Planet Green League.

Teaching: 54th out of 123 for student satisfaction with teaching in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: 92nd out of 123 with 56.8 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? A wide range of university-offered accommodation ranges from £4,185 to £7,200 for a 45 to 48 week contract.

Cheap to live there? Not particularly. Privately rented rooms go for between £85 and £90 a week plus bills.

Transport links: This is hilly country but buses go to and from Newton Park and Bath every 15 minutes till the early hours of the morning. Nine miles from Bristol and 90 minutes from London.

Fees: £9,000 per year BA and BSc degree courses for home and EU full-time undergraduates.

Bursaries: In 2014 non-repayable bursaries range between £350 and £500 depending on your household income.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Ravers head for Bath and Bristol but there are regular dance nights in the Students' Union at Newton Park. No need to fear having nothing to do here!

Price of a pint: Averages £3.10 throughout Bath but the Students' Union can offer much better deals.

Sporting reputation: Not great- 119th out of 145 in the BUCS league table.

Notable societies: All sorts from Dungeons and Dragons (yes, really) to Rock Music and Hip Hop Dance.

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.

Alternative prospectus: See how current Bath Spa students rate their university experience on What Uni? here.

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