Goldsmiths, University of London



Overall ranking: Came 50th out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

History: The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths set up its Technical and Recreative Institute in 1891 to provide educational opportunities for the people of New Cross. The University of London acquired the institute and re-established it as Goldsmiths College in 1904.

Address: Located in New Cross, Lewisham, south-east London, Goldsmiths is 15 minutes from central London by train.

Ambience: Creative and cool, a vibrant urban area in one of the grittier parts of London.

Who's the boss? Mr Pat Loughrey, a former BBC director of nations and regions, took up post as warden of Goldsmiths in April 2010.

Prospectus: 020 7078 5300 or order one here.

UCAS code: G56

What you need to know

Easy to get into? It depends. Different courses ask for between BCC and AAB at A-level or equivalent, while most art and design subjects require a portfolio. There are no formal requirements on the foundation courses, where students just need to "demonstrate an interest in the subject and the ability to benefit from studying the programme."

Vital statistics: Part of the University of London, Goldsmiths has traditionally excelled in art and teacher training. Today it's also known for good drama, music, visual arts, sociology and media. It has 8,844 students: with around 5,000 undergrads, over 3,500 postgrads and over 1,700 staff. Almost one third of undergrads are over 21.

Added value: Library, IT and language resources have been brought together in a state-of-the-art building which won a RIBA award. The new Ben Pimlott Building, named after the late warden, houses art studios and psychology and digital media labs. Its Alsop-designed façade (and accompanying sculptural ‘scribble’) has become a new landmark in the area. Six former students of Goldsmiths have gone on to win the Turner Prize. Radical and unconventional approaches to certain subjects may attract those looking for something a little different. Goldsmiths have invested £6m to improve the campus for staff and students. Recent developments include revamping the first floor of the Refectory dining area; refurbishment of the Students' Union; and renovation of the St James Hatcham Building to create more teaching, exhibition and performance spaces.

Teaching: 37th out of 123 for student satisfaction with teaching.

Graduate prospects: 110th out of 123 with 52.4 per cent entering graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? You bet. Prices start at £102 week. Options include on and off-campus halls of residence, along with flats and houses leased via the University of London. Visit the accommodation page to find out more.

Cheap to live there? Surprisingly this part of London is not all that expensive, but it's still upwards of £100 per week for a room in a shared flat.

Transport links: Very close to central London- 15 minutes by train, bus or DLR.

Fees: New full-time UK and EU undergraduates are charged £9000 per year. Overseas applicants pay up to £16,700 per year, depending on the course. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase by 3% to 5% each year.

Bursaries: More than £1.4m has been offered in financial support, consisting of nearly 300 scholarships and bursaries- one of the most generous packages in London. Find out what you could get here.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: The student bar has an excellent atmosphere and a late license several nights each week. It is great value for money and a friendly place to meet people. The Students’ Union hosts a varied selection of events too, including regular quizzes, gigs and film nights, as well as the fabulous weekly Club Sandwich night, a Goldsmiths institution! There are four student balls per year.

Price of a pint: We're in London here- average prices are £3.65.

Sporting reputation: Renowned for the arts they may be, but the Goldsmiths lot aren't particularly sporty- ranked 133rd in the current BUCS league, near the bottom of the table.

Notable societies: The Drama Society often take their plays to the Edinburgh Fringe while the Adventure Society seeks to promote all sorts of adventure across London, hosting regularly fun trips and events.

Glittering alumni: Contemporary artists, including Sam Taylor-Wood, Tracey Emin, Bridget Riley and Damien Hirst, plus leading creative figures such as Vivienne Westwood, Malcolm McLaren, Graham Coxon and Alex James. Also Julian Clary, Tessa Jowell, Damon Albarn of Blur, Katy B, and Mary Quant.

Alternative prospectus: Put any burning questions to current students on The Student Room and learn more about the Goldsmiths experience.

A boy holds a chick during the Russian National Agricultural Exhibition Golden Autumn 2014 in Moscow on October 9, 2014.
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