Bolton, University of

 

Overall ranking: 121st out of 124 in the Complete University Guide for 2014.

History: Started life in 1824 as the Bolton Mechanics Institute, which eventually became Bolton College of Education. In 1982, this merged with the Bolton Institute of Technology to become the Bolton Institute of Higher Education, and after steadily improving its reputation it became the University of Bolton in 2005.

Address: Based on Deane Campus, five minutes from Bolton town centre. There is also a campus in the United Arab Emirates called the Ras Al Khaimah campus.

Ambience: The main site on Deane Campus is urban and bustling, with a £7m design studio, new student bar and a £2.5m social learning zone with a computer room that is open to students 365 days a year.

Who's the boss? Dr George Holmes, former principal of Doncaster College, is vice chancellor.

Prospectus: 01204 900 600 or request one online here.

UCAS code: B44

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Varies by course, but BA degrees start at 160 UCAS points (2 passes at A-level). Keen on attracting non-traditional students. The change to university status was rewarded with a 45 per cent increase in applications, according to UCAS figures.

Vital statistics: One of the country's newest universities, with around 11,000 students, almost three-quarters of which are studying their first degree. It has one of the most ehtnically diverse universities, with around 13 per cent of home students coming from ethnic minorities. It also has a higher than average proportion of disabled students and is one of the leading universities for supporting students with additional needs.

Added value: Links with industry are strong and more than 30 programmes are professionally accredited. Close links with employers such as Alfred McAlpine, Marks and Spencer, Network Rail, the NHS and Reebok. It recently underwent a £17m refurbishment- there is now a one-stop-shop student centre at the revamped Eagle buildings and a bigger smart materials research centre with new laboratories.

A £30.6m wellbeing centre called Bolton One has recently opened, including an eight lane swimming pool, health and fitness facilities, physiotherapy equipment and health services offered by the local NHS. England Athletics, Warrington Wolves and Bolton Wanderers all use the athlete development centre, with clinic services offered by sports science students.

Bolton Business School (BBS) launched this year. Focusing on business management, accountancy and law, BBS has a developing range of profession-focused courses and a new £100,000 moot law court. Former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Norman Lamont, is on the board for this centre.

This year the university is opening a Centre for Advanced Performance Engineering (CAPE). The centre is a partnership between the university and RLR motorsport which will ensure students interested in a career in the fast lane receive an unparalleled academic and practical engineering experience.

Teaching: 41st out of 124 for student satisfaction with teaching quality in the Complete University Guide.

Research: 104th out of 124 in the Research Assessment Exercise.

Graduate prospects: 123rd out of 124 with 42.5 per cent finding graduate level employment after completing their degrees.

Any accommodation? Plenty of it. All rooms are self-catered and cost £76.50 per week for a 38 week contract with bills, internet and parking included..

Cheap to live there? One of the cheapest places in Britain. Average private rents are around £60 per week.

Transport links: Bolton Station is half a mile away with frequent connections to Manchester, Blackpool, Wigan and Blackburn. You can access the rest of the country via Manchester. The North West’s motorway network is on the doorstep.

Fees: From £6,300 to £8,400 per year for full-time home and EU undergraduates starting 2013/14 courses.

Bursaries: The university offers a number of scholarships, including the £15,000 Vice Chancellor's Bursary for those showing academic excellence. See the financial support page here for more details.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: There are pubs on every corner, plenty of bars and cafés and a cinema complex in the town. A bar, the Loft, hosts some club nights at the students' union. Three student balls a year, plus sports balls. Bolton’s acclaimed theatre, the Bolton Octagon, has a full season of plays and performances from local and national writers and performers. Bolton also enjoys a thriving new music scene with venues like the Dog and Partridge and Blind Tiger running regular live gigs and mini festivals.

Price of a pint: £2.85 on average across Bolton with drinks deals at the union bar.

Sporting reputation: Not great- 129th in the BUCS league at present.

Notable societies: Good range of sports clubs, including the opportunity to try mountaineering and trampolining. Or how about a game of poker?

Glittering alumni: Stephen Blyth, the poet who won the Gregory Award; Peter White, former director, Coates Viyella; Josie Cichockyj, three times paralympics medallist; and Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto, who met and formed punk band The Buzzcocks here.

Alternative prospectus: Visit The Student Room to find out more about what life's really like at Bolton from current students and chat to prospective friends.

 

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