Hertfordshire, University of



Overall ranking: 75th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide for 2016.

History: Began life as Britain's first post-war technical college, Hatfield. Reincarnated as Hatfield College of Technology and Hatfield Polytechnic. Gained university status in 1992.

Address: Sites in Hatfield and Bayfordbury, all of which are around 20 miles north of London. The state-of-the-art £120m Hatfield de Havilland campus opened in September 2003 and humanities, education, business and law are based here..

Ambience: Hatfield HQ is a big, open, green site with modern, hi-tech buildings. The de Havilland campus lets students sleep, swot and socialise all on one site. It has a glittering 460-seat auditorium for conferencing and arts events, a fabulous £15m sports complex, and a state-of-the-art learning resources centre to match the award-winning learning resources centre located on College Lane campus. Bayfordbury boasts a teaching conservatory, a large lake, woods and farmland.

Who's the boss? Professor Quintin McKellar, former principal of the Royal Veterinary College, took up the role of vice-chancellor in January 2011.

Prospectus: 01707 284 800 or request one here.

UCAS code: H36

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Stiffish for its star subjects. Most full degree courses ask for between 240 and 340 UCAS entry points, with foundation degrees needing between 120-180 points. Encourages applications from those from non-traditional backgrounds and without formal qualifications.

Vital statistics: The university has grown hugely, boasting 25,100 students, including more than 2,900 overseas students from 120 different countries. Its excellent reputation in computer science, engineering, business and education has been complemented by new developments in art and design, health, sports science and law. Its two learning resources centres are open around the clock.

Added value: Glamorous facilities including chemistry labs and a film, music and media building. The university boasts a research and development centre in Welwyn Garden City called BioPark Hertfordshire, providing a focal point for bioscience and healthcare industries in the region. It looks set to do so, with fully equipped laboratories, conference and meeting facilities. The university was a pioneer of internet-assisted learning with its StudyNet system allowing students to use their learning resources wherever they are in the world, and it was one of the first universities to offer a 'sandwich' degree. Its £15m Hertfordshire Sports Village offers some of the best university-based sporting facilities and hosted Olympians as they trained for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Law School opened in September 2011 and hosts a fully-functioning law court. The award-winning learning and resource centre on College Lane is among Britain’s biggest. Both LRCs at the University are open 24/7, providing 3,000 study places, 1,200 computer workstations and WiFi for laptop users; plus 30,000 academic journals and over 800,000 books (including 300,000 online e-books). On College Lane there is also a new science building under construction and set to open in 2015. The university hopes to bring all their state-of-the-art facilities, including labs and research technology, together under one roof.

Teaching: 116th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide's student satisfaction with teaching rankings.

Graduate prospects: 54th out of 126 with 67.9 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Accommodation? Yes. For 2014/15, prices range from £72.66 to £160.16 a week. See the website for more information.

Cheap to live there? If you prefer to live off campus your options would be to rent a local property with a group of friends or lodge with a local family – a room in a shared house usually costs around £85-£95 per week plus bills or lodging with a local family costs for around £90 (full board) or £75 (self-catered) for seven days.

Transport links: Uno Bus, the university's own bus company, trundles between each campus, Hertfordshire, and into the north London boroughs. In 2012 it expanded to Northampton.

Fees: Standard tuition for home or EU students for an undergrad degree is £9,000. Fees are slightly higher for overseas undergraduates.

Bursaries: There are a number of excellence-based and course-specific scholarships available. Non-repayable grants can help with living costs and depend on your household income. NHS means-tested bursaries are available to successful UK applicants for full-time health related subjects such as dietetics, nursing and social work.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: The Forum is the main source of nightlife, with a total capacity of 2,000, three entertainment spaces, a restaurant, café and multiple bars. The refurbished Ele house is the 'local pub' on campus with squishy seats, high quality TVs and pool tables. The nearest clubs are in St Albans and Watford.

Price of a pint: Prices vary across the sites, but around £3.

Sporting reputation: Could be worse- placed 45th in the current BUCS league.

Notable societies: The Hertfordshire Sirens Cheerleading Club tours competitions and sports events- a fun way to make friends while trying something new.

Glittering alumni: Commander Sarah West RN, the first woman to command a battleship in the history of the Royal Navy; Alistair Spalding, chief executive and creative director of Sadler’s Wells theatre, London; Helen Lederer, comedienne and author; Sir Colin Chandler, chief executive and chairman of the industrial giant Vickers; Claire Ward, former MP and government whip; Kate Bellingham, television and radio broadcaster; Nitin Sawnhey, world-renowned musician and composer.

Alternative prospectus: Put any questions to current and recent Hertfordshire students on The Student Room and meet potential future friends.