Oxford Brookes University


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The Independent Online


Overall ranking: 54th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide for 2016.

History: Founded in 1865 as a school of Art, it became Oxford Polytechnic in 1970, before gaining university status in 1992. Named after local philanthropist John Henry Brookes.

Address: Three campuses: Headington, Harcourt Hill and Wheatley.

Ambience: Suburban. Headington Campus includes Gipsy Lane site - on 11 acres of glass and concrete and not as bad as it sounds - and Headington Hill Hall, a Victorian wedding-cake affair housing the students' union, art, publishing and music. HHH has a view onto the dreaming spires. Harcourt Hill overlooks Oxford from its leafy western suburbs, while Wheatley students are in village five miles to the east of the city.

Who's the boss? Vice-chancellor Professor Janet Beer who sits on the Advisory Board of the Higher Education Policy Institute.

Prospectus: 01865 484848 or order one here.

UCAS code: O66

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Varies. Most courses don't set requirements in UCAS points. Our standard offers, couched in terms of A-level grades, range between AAB for our most popular course and DD for a degree including a foundation year. But don't fret, Oxford Brookes offers a good range of foundation courses.

Vital statistics: One of the most highly-rated of the new universities. Around 17,800 students, with 12,300 full-time undergrads. Pleasant campus. Good parties, and plenty of social mix. Divides its academic year into two semesters rather than three terms. Links with industry, e.g. automotive engineering degree run with the region's motor-racing industry. Free 24-hour e-mail and internet access for all. Well-equipped sports centre at Headington. Big ambitions in six sports: rowing, basketball, climbing, cricket, hockey and rugby.

Added value: A £132m library and teaching building has been built as part of a wider £150m masterplan to improve all their campuses. One section of the new building is open already, with The John Henry Brookes Building opening in February 2014. The impressive the central forum contains a café, the careers service, student services, as well as social learning space for students to work in. Floating above the forum is the John Henry Brookes Lecture Theatre and wrapped around the forum and lecture theatre is the central university library, with its own range of spaces including silent reading rooms, as well as group working spaces. The development has already received a national award and three regional awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Another new addition is The Abercrombie Building, which is home to the Schools of Architecture, Planning and Built Environment. It contains teaching and workshop spaces as well as the Glass Tank, an exhibition space for students’ and professional artists’ work.

Teaching: Came 37th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: Ranked 60th out of 126 with 66.7 per cent of graduates finding full-time employment.

Any accommodation? Yes. Rooms for for first-year students, as well as returning students. First year students from the UK or EU are guaranteed a place in Halls if they make Brookes their firm choice and meet certain conditions  Prices range from £71 to £181 per week depending on facilities.

Cheap to live there? There are a wide range of private rental prices in Oxford, with the lowest rent available in a house share in the University’s Headington campus postcode costing £344 per month

Transport links: Coaches to London stop outside the Headington campus (every 10 minutes at peak times). Coaches also to Heathrow and Gatwick. Train station a bit of a walk - two miles away. Brookes Bus links all campuses, halls of residence and the city centre. Use your bike but beware of Headington Hill.

Fees: Tuition fees vary from course to course but are around the £9,000 a year mark for UK and EU students.

Bursaries: There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available- including the International Academic Excellence Scholarship of £2,000. Check the website for more info.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: The Students' Union runs one of the biggest entertainment venues in Oxford. Five bars across all campuses, with two big club nights a week and a variety of smaller student-led events. The 02 Academy hosts high-calibre live music events. Cheap 'night owl' bus travel available to London (service runs 24 hours on Friday and Saturday nights; there's a stop outside the Headington campus).

Price of a pint: Oxford isn't the cheapest of places, so expect to pay around just over £4.

Sporting reputation: So, so. Ranked 33rd in the current BUCS league.

Notable societies: An active Watersports community and a strong Feminist Society for activism, debate and activities.

Glittering alumni: The late Lord Nuffield, founder of Morris Motors; world rowing champions Steve Williams and Alex Partridge; rugby star Andy Gomersall.

Alternative prospectus: Check out current students' star ratings and reviews of what life at Oxford Brookes is really like on What Uni? here.