Glasgow Caledonian University


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The Independent Online


Overall ranking: Came 72nd out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

History: Formed in 1993 out of a marriage between Glasgow Poly and the Queen's College.

Address: Right in the centre of Glasgow on Cowcaddens Road. A globally-networked university with satellite campuses in London and New York, plus partnerships in South Africa, the USA, China, Brazil, India, Bangladesh and Oman. The University’s study abroad schemes give students valuable opportunities to broaden their international horizons.

Ambience: In the heart of Glasgow city centre, walking onto the Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) campus is like stepping into a mini, bustling metropolis. GCU has become one of the largest universities in Scotland and prides itself on providing a friendly, dynamic and effective learning environment.

Who's the boss? Professor Pamela Gillies, a Founding Trustee of the Grameen Scotland Foundation, is principal and vice-chancellor.

Prospectus: 0141 331 3000 or view it online here.

UCAS code: G42

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Varies between courses and the UCAS points system is used simply as a reference guide; the uni makes offers on grades and not tariff points. A typical offer for an undergraduate course is BCC at A-level (or BBBC at Scottish Highers).

Vital statistics: GCU is a modern university with over 17,000 students from more than 100 countries. More than a quarter of students come from non-traditional backgrounds. Trains one in five of Scotland's nurses and healthcare professionals.

Added value: The biggest business school in Scotland and boasting a games technology lab. Has flexible credit accumulation and transfer based on the American model- good news for adult learners. Close links with employers, professions and many FE colleges (to allow students to transfer onto specially designed programmes). Many of the courses include work placement opportunities. Boasts Scotland’s largest student refectory. A £30million Heart of the Campus redevelopment is expected to transform the look and feel of the university estate and provide state-of-the-art academic and social areas. Outdoor space will be revitalised and the development will include a new university restaurant and a 500 seat flexible lecture theatre for exams and events. New facilities include human performance laboratories, an eye clinic, and a state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Laboratory, which is used to develop the clinical skills of nurses and ambulance staff. GCU has also opened the British School of Fashion at GCU London.

Teaching: 104th out of 123 for student satisfaction with teaching in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: 57th out of 123 with 65 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? Glasgow Caledonian University is ideally positioned in the heart of the city centre and the University’s purpose-built student accommodation, Caledonian Court,  is adjacent to the University. Consisting of 100 flats and housing 660 students, each self-contained flat has six to eight bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. Private en-suite facilities are available in 340 rooms and most rooms are single, with only a few twin rooms. Prices for 2014/15 are £96.39 for a standard room, £109.24p for an ensuite.

Cheap to live there? Pretty inexpensive- you'll be paying anything from £65 per week for a private rental. Many students still choose to live at home.

Transport links: Good access for trains and buses, as well as Glasgow airport.

Fees: Undergraduate full-time Scottish student fees are covered by SAAS as long as they apply and are eligible (only up to 5 years study).  Undergraduate fees for English, Northern Irish and Welsh students will be £7K up to a max of £25K over 4 years.  They can apply to SLC for a loan/grant.  Non-EU UG fees differ depending on what School the students are in but range from £10,200 to £11,000.

Bursaries: A number of scholarships based on subject, excellence and background are available. See the website for details. GCU’s bursary scheme ensures that UK students from low income households will pay no more than £12,000 for their full degree.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: The bright lights of Glasgow offer many a delight. A vibrant music and comedy scene with great pubs, clubs and restaurants.

Price of a pint: Beer-tastic. Prices average at £2.75 across Glasgow but regular drinks deals in the Students' Union.

Sporting reputation: Not the worst but far from the best- 94th in the current BUCS league of 145 universities and colleges.

Notable societies: Fashion Society hosts clothes swaps, discount nights, fashion shows and nights out, while Film Club is open to anybody keen on watching or making movies. Plenty of scope to create your own society too.

Glittering alumni: Stewart Maxwell, former Scottish executive minister for communities and sport; Cathy Jamieson, former Scottish executive justice minister; Andy Kerr, former Scottish executive health minister; Rhona Martin OBE, Olympic gold medallist in curling; Louise White, TV presenter; Heather Suttie, XFM Scotland DJ.

Alternative prospectus: Head to The Student Room to meet prospective and current students and discuss all things Glasgow Caledonian. Unearth the real truth here!