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East London (UEL), University of



Overall ranking: 124th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide for 2016.

History: In 1970 it was reincarnated as North East London Polytechnic after linking up with South East Essex technical college in Barking. In 1989 it was renamed Polytechnic of East London and became a university in 1992.

Address: Two main campuses four miles apart, one in Stratford, centre of the 2012 Olympics, and one in London's Docklands. An affiliated lifelong learning centre in Barking and a new centre in Thurrock, as well as studios for fine art and dance at Trinity Buoy Wharf.

Ambience: Kaleidoscopic ethnic mix meets Docklands post-modern. Strong vocational emphasis and a high number of adult learners contributes to a studious rather than part vibe.

Who's the boss? Professor John Joughin is vice-chancellor and chief executive.

Prospectus: UEL doesn't currently have an online prospectus, to get order one contact: 020 8223 3333

UCAS code: E28

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Yes: its raison d'être is to lower barriers to higher education. Mature students are encouraged to apply; special advisors to help them. Typical entry requirements are around 280 UCAS points. Students will also need grade Cs in GCSE English and Maths (or equivalent qualifications) and three other GCSEs at grades A–C.

Vital statistics: Two-thirds of students come are from ethnic minority backgrounds and almost all come from state schools. More than 120 different nationalities represented among its 19,000 students. Academic staff are also drawn from a wide range of countries and backgrounds. Two thirds of students come are from ethnic minority backgrounds and almost all come from state schools. Highest proportion of students from low socio-economic groups of any Higher Education institution in England. 86.4% of students in work or study within six months of graduating.

Added value: Many programmes start in January as well as September. Innovative courses such as International Development with NGO Management, digital journalism and computer games design. Offers civic engagement opportunities, with students traveling to 28 countries in 2015. Special needs a priority with dyslexia workshops. Runs a mentoring scheme to match black and Asian students with their counterparts in employment.

In 2014 became the first UK university to give entire first-year intake free electronic tablets pre-loaded with core text books. Docklands campus includes the Petchey Centre for Entrepreneurship, offering professional support to students interested in setting up their own businesses. A recently completed £130m development programme includes libraries, studios, workshops and computing centres, including brand-new £13m library on the Stratford campus. A £21m new sports centre at the Docklands campus featuring state-of-the-art facilities opened in March 2012 and was used by the United States team during the London Olympics. A unique build collaboration between UEL and Birkbeck University houses a range of departments from each institution in a new, £33m University Square Stratford building. Opened in 2013, the building is the base for 3,400 UEL students, including those studying degrees in law and criminology, dance and performing arts and MBAs. Strong part-time work possibilities with Westfield in Stratford.

Teaching: 66th out of 126 for student satisfaction with teaching quality in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: 122nd out of 126 with 49.9 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation?  Yes. One of the few universities in London to offer on-campus halls of residence. There are 1,200 en-suite rooms available at the waterside Docklands Student Village. Rents range from £125 to £164 per week.

Cheap to live there? Cheaper than central London, but not great. Private rent targeted at students in Beckton, East Ham, Plaistow and Stratford range from £90 to £140 per week. Purpose built private student accommodation (not too dissimilar to UEL’s student accommodation), such as Unite Students in Stratford, range from £179 to £265. See here to find out more.

Transport links: Overground station, tube, buses and Docklands Light Railway.

Fees: £9000 for new full-time UK/EU undergraduate students starting in 2015.

Bursaries: The University of East London offers a package of undergraduate incentives, scholarships and bursaries worth more than £2 million a year. Opportunities include academic scholarships covering tuition for three years and £1,000 bursaries for students dedicated to helping the community. The first university in the UK to give free Samsung Galaxy Note tablets to first-year undergraduate intake.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: A variety of cafes and restaurants and a bar on the Docklands campus that offers live music and other entertainment. Close to many of London’s greatest entertainment venues; the O2 Arena and the nightlife of Shoreditch and Brick Lane are on students’ doorstep. Less than 30 minutes by train to central London.

Price of a pint: We're in London here, so drinks average around £3.65. Head to local student nights for the best value bevvies.

Sporting reputation: Average- ranked 63rd out of 145 universities and colleges in the 2013/14 BUCS league.

Notable societies: A huge range, including Bright Futures group for helping young entrepreneurs. Cool Nerds speaks for itself, along with plenty of sports such as trampolining, rugby and even Gaelic football!

Glittering alumni: Hilary Armstrong, MP; Ken Russell, film director; Mark Frith, editor of Heat magazine; Imran Khan, human rights lawyer; Tinchy Stryder, pop star.

Alternative prospectus: Check into The Student Room to chat with former, current and prospective students and learn more about life as an East London (UEL) student.