Northampton, University of
Friday 12 July 2013
Overall ranking: Came 61st out of 124 in the Complete University Guide for 2014.
History: In 1924, Northampton Technical College was established on the site of the current Avenue Campus. This was followed by the School of Art in 1937. In 1972, Northampton College of Education was opened on the site of the current Park Campus and the three institutions merged in 1975 to form Nene College. During the 1990s, the College incorporated St Andrews School of Occupational Therapy, the Leathersellers Centre and the Sir Gordon Roberts College of Nursing and Midwifery. The only higher education provider in Northamptonshire, it changed its name and became a university college in February 1999. Gained university status along with the power to award its own research degrees in 2005.
Address: Two main campuses in Northampton. The main Park campus is on the outskirts of town with the Avenue campus closer in.
Ambience: Park Campus (the larger of the two campuses) is set in 30 hectares of open, green parkland. It is the home to the University’s Schools of Education, Business, Education and Social Sciences. Avenue campus is one mile from Northampton town and is the home to the University’s Schools of the Art and Science and Technology.
Who's the boss? Professor Nick Petford is Vice Chancellor. Formerly of Bournemouth and Kingston Universities, Nick has worked in industry (BP) and on academic and commercial research projects throughout the world and is known internationally for his expertise in magmatic systems and volcanology.
Prospectus: 0800 358 2232 or order one here.
UCAS code: N38
What you need to know
Easy to get into? You'll need somewhere between 180 and 340 UCAS entry points, but in the spirit of widening participation, non-traditional qualifications are welcomed. Mature students are considered in their own right.
Vital statistics: Around 15,000 students. At undergraduate level, women outnumber men (62 per cent of students are female). They have a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, certificates and diplomas. There are six schools: Applied sciences, the arts, education, health, Northampton Business School and social sciences. One of five universities offering two year fast-track degrees.
Added value: You can study leather technology at postgraduate level, this being the centre of the British shoe industry, and it prides itself on links with business. The BA (Hons) in social welfare is the only course in the UK to combine a degree with a Certificate in Fundraising from the Institute of Fundraising. As part of the university's new strategy, it aims to be the top university in the UK for social enterprise by 2015. Over £30m is being invested in developments- £11m in the science and technology school, £3.8m in the education school, half a million into the Students' Union, and £25m into a residence project due for completion in January 2014.
Teaching: 41st out of 124 in the Complete University Guide.
Research: 107th out of 124 in the Research Assessment Exercise..
Graduate prospects: 67th out of 124 with 61.8 per cent finding graduate level employment.
Any accommodation? There are 1,700 rooms available across both campuses and in Northampton town centre, with a further 450 rooms available from January 2014 with the opening of the new halls of residence. Rent ranges from £58 for a twin room to £115 for a single room with en-suite.
Cheap to live there? Not bad. The average for private rents is around £70 to £75 per week.
Transport links: Northampton is on the train line from London Euston to the West Midlands and the North West. A number of trains stop in Northampton and the journey to London or Birmingham takes one hour. Or you can drive: it's 20 minutes to the M1. Or take the coach from Northampton town centre. There are free buses between the two main campuses and subsidised fares between the campuses and the town centre and railway station.
Fees: Between £6,000 and £8,750 per year for full-time home and EU undergrads. BA and BSc degrees are the most expensive.
Bursaries: Variable means-tested bursaries may be available to eligible undergraduates whose family incomes are less than £40,000. There are also a wide range of scholarships. Visit the website for details.
The fun stuff
Nightlife: The union has recently been refurbished. On Park Campus, check out nightclub NN2 and the laid-back Central Park Bar. The Pavilion is a must with 2-4-1 cocktail pre-drinks before student night Flirt! on Saturdays at NN2. George's Bar on Avenue Campus is always buzzing too.
Price of a pint: £3.15 is the average in Northampton.
Sporting reputation: In 81st place in the current BUCS league out of 148.
Notable societies: Cake Soc and Surf Soc both need a new committee to run them next year, while Cheese Appreciation Society is always popular.
Glittering alumni: Gavin Douglas, Fashion Fringe winner; Phil Manning, BBC Fossil Detective; Phil Drummond, musician/ artist; Andrew Collins, broadcaster.
Alternative prospectus: Check out student ratings for everything from uni facilities and job prospects to the SU and eye candy on Northampton's What Uni? page here.
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