Cumbria, University of


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The Independent Online


Overall ranking: 111th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide for 2016.

History: An amalgamation of St Martin's College, Cumbria Institute of the Arts, and the Cumbrian campuses of the University of Central Lancashire.

Address: Most of the campuses are located in north-west England at Carlisle, Ambleside and Lancaster, with other sites in Barrow and Workington. The university even has a specialist teacher-education centre in the east end of London.

Ambience: Describes its mission as allowing students to 'achieve their personal and professional potential wherever they study'- fitting, really, because of the distances between each campus. They are also committed to learning which is 'innovative, flexible and student centred' and which uses the latest technology. An eclectic mix of students is promised, and the university aims to meet the needs of both full and part-time.

Who's the boss? Peter Strike, a genetics professor and former deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Sunderland, is vice-chancellor.

Prospectus: 0845 606 1144 or request one online here.

UCAS code: C99

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Depends on the course, but honours degrees ask for anything between 220 and 300 UCAS points.

Vital statistics: Nearly 18,000 full-time and part-time students across undergraduate, postgraduate, foundation, and professional development courses.

Added value: Has already forged strong links with the four FE colleges in Cumbria (Lakes College, Furness College, Carlisle College and Kendal College). The university’s science, outdoors, forestry and conservation courses are all taught in the Lake District.

There has been extensive campus investment recently- Over £24m is being invested in our estates over the next three years at the four main campuses; Ambleside, Carlisle Fusehill Street, Carlisle Brampton Road and Lancaster. Including investing £1.2m in high-spec lab and new STEM courses.

Teaching: 34th out of 126 for student satisfaction with teaching quality in the Complete University Guide, an astronomical improvement on last year.

Graduate prospects: 80th out of 126 with 61.2 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? Cumbria boasts several residences with prices varying. Click here to find out more about the accommodation on offer, or download their student housing guide.

Cheap to live there? The North West is a relatively inexpensive part of the country. Costs vary according to the accommodation, but expect to pay anywhere between £55 and £70 per week for a shared flat in Lancaster, Carlisle and Penrith.

Transport links: Lancaster is just off the M6, its campus 20 minutes from the city's main train station, which is handily situated on the main west coast line between London and Glasgow. The three Carlisle campuses are all within walking distance of the city's mainline train station. Ambleside is off the A591, just north of Lake Windermere in the Lake District. If you're studying at the Professional Development Centre in London, you'll find it near Westferry station on the DLR.

Fees: General undergraduate courses are £9,000 per year for full-time home and EU students, while foundation courses cost £7,000.

Bursaries: Part of the National Scholarship Programme (NSP) which is designed to support students with a household income below £25,000. For more information, see the finance page here.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Depends where you're based. Ambleside caters for the quiet-pint-in-a-local-pub brigade, while Carlisle is stuffed full of cultural pursuits: a theatre-goers delight. Lancaster, on the other hand, has a lively club scene and some live music venues.

Price of a pint: Split between different areas, prices vary, but head to one of the union bars for tempting drinks deals or try one of the student nights in town.

Sporting reputation: Near the bottom of the BUCS league in 113th place.

Glittering alumni: Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton.

Alternative prospectus: See how current Cumbria students rate various aspects of their university experience on What Uni? here.