Lancaster University


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The Independent Online


Overall ranking: Ranked 9th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide for 2016.

History: Exactly 50 years ago, the first students were accepted to Lancaster in 1964, the same year that Princess Alexandra was inaugurated as chancellor.

Address: Greenfield site two miles from Lancaster, complete with rabbits and ducks.

Ambience: Modelled on a Spanish hill-top village and set in lovely countryside. At the centre is Alexandra Square, which recently underwent a make-over, set in 250 acres of landscaped woods and fields. The collegiate system with nine colleges (including Pendle with a witch as its logo) gives the university a friendly feel.

Who's the boss? Professor Mark E. Smith, vice-chancellor, an expert in material physics.

Prospectus: 01524 592 015 or request one here.

UCAS code: L14

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Varies by course, but the maximum is A*AA and minimum is ABB at A-level. Natural Sciences is still AAA and a range of AAB-ABB for modern languages.

Vital statistics: Over 13,000 students, very popular with internationals (from over 100 countries) and one of the safest campuses in the UK. Boasts over 3,600 postgrad students, and 4,735 students studying abroad in India, Pakistan, Ghana and Malaysia. As a member of the N8 Group - a research partnership of the top 8 most research intensive universities in the North of England, it focuses on five areas of research: ageing and health; energy; molecular engineering; regenerative medicine and water. Other areas of research include cyber security; linguistics; particle physics and graphene; along with design and business management.

Added value: Many changes and updates to the campus have been completed with students in mind – since 2002 more than £300m has been invested in to the campus creating new halls, academic centres for environment, ICT and management. Student facilities and teaching space have been transformed creating, for example, a 24-hour student learning hub. A £20m sport centre was completed in 2012. Lancaster University is working on a major project-  Lancaster Health Innovation Campus- that will help people to live longer and healthier lives thanks to a £17 million Government funding announcement. A new Engineering building is nearing completion, which will provide additional areas for future growth and recent new specialisms such as nuclear, energy and chemical engineering. Lancaster University has officially launched the first phase of its Quantum Technology Centre this year. It will build on the university’s status as home to the UK’s top-ranked physics department for research quality and will exploit the behaviour of matter at atomic/sub-atomic levels to create new products for computing, communications, measuring and sensing and medical diagnostics. Lancaster have also recently opened The Centre for Crime, Law and Justice, which the university says will generate cutting edge research across themes such as cybercrime, youth justice, civil liberties and gender.

Teaching: Placed 39th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide for student satisfaction with teaching.

Graduate prospects: Placed 22nd with 78.1 per cent entering graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? Yes - nearly 6,500 rooms. Weekly rents range from £86.10 to £164.50 for standard self-catered accommodation while catered starts from £126.21 per week.

Cheap to live there? Indeed. Off-campus rents start from around £65 per week excluding bills for a room in a shared house.

Transport links: Direct trains to London (2.5hrs away), Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow. Good bus and coach networks with services from the town to the middle of campus. The M6 is on the doorstep and the Lake District is within easy reach.

Fees: Set at £9,000 per year for home full-time undergrads.

Bursaries: The university offers a bursary of up to £1,000 per year for students with a residual income of less than £42,600. Scholarships of £2,000 are awarded to any first year UK student entering with A*, A, A in their A-levels. For further details click here.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: On campus, entertainment revolves around the individual college bars. The city isn't the UK's biggest party town, but there are plenty of bars, many of which do live music. Several in Lancaster host popular dance nights, and the Sugarhouse, owned and run by the Students' Union but situated in town, manages to attract some fairly big name acts.

Price of a pint: You'll be looking at an average of £2.55- not bad at all.

Sporting reputation: Not horrendous, but nothing special- ranked 49th in the BUCS league at the moment.

Notable societies: The 20 Minute society sounds awesome. You give them your number and they send you a text, once a week, stating a place on campus and an event to attend. Participants race to the location- the first to arrives gets 20 points, with others up for grabs depending on your place, and everyone who arrives within 20 minutes receives at least one point. Prizes are awarded on a termly basis.

Glittering alumni: Peter Whalley and Marvin Close, Coronation Street writers; Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent, The Independent; Alan Milburn, former health secretary; Olympic cycling gold medallist Jason Queally; actor Andy Serkis (Gollum and King Kong).

Alternative prospectus: For any more pressing questions you may have, speak to current and prospective Lancaster University students on The Student Room.