Plymouth University


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Overall ranking: 90th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide for 2016.

History: Started life educating navigators in 1862, and evolved to become a college of technology. Became a university in 1992 and has grown to become one of the largest in the country.

Address: The easily-navigated city centre campus is five minutes from the train station and near to local shops, cafés and bars. The seafront and historic Barbican are a short stroll away, while the beaches of Cornwall and rugged Dartmoor are minutes away by car. The university’s network of partner colleges and dental and medical teaching facilities stretch across the South West.

Ambience: Students in Plymouth are close to Dartmoor and the beaches of Devon and Cornwall. Good social scene and watersports galore - surfing, sailing and diving in particular. The city itself, home to 300,000 people, is the largest in the South West, and has a proud seafaring tradition.

Vital statistics: One of the largest univerisites in the country with around 30,000 students including around 24,000 undergraduates, and 2,900 staff. Good for computer science (including robotics), marine studies, the arts, engineering, geography, health professions, education and international business.

Who's the boss? Wendy Purcell is vice-chancellor. She graduated from Plymouth way back in 1985, and returns also working as Non-Executive Director of the UK Government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Prospectus: 01752 585 858 or order one online here.

UCAS code: P60

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Individual entry requirements range from 200 to 370 UCAS entry points, although non-traditional applicants with commitment and ability in place of qualifications are also welcomed.

Vital statistics: One of the largest universities in the country with around 30,000 students including around 24,000 undergraduates, and 2,900 staff. Good for computer science (including robotics), marine studies, the arts, engineering, geography, health professions, education and international business.

Added value: Nationally recognised as one of the UK’s top universities for teaching excellence, having gained 17 national teaching fellowships. It has a 'Skills Plus' project encouraging students to become volunteers, do work-based learning, employability development and relevant part-time/vacation work. It is rated highly for education for sustainable development. It has a cinema, performance space and a variety of cafes, as well as state-of-the-art teaching facilities Health professions students benefit from new purpose-built facilities, and labs and computer suites have undergone million-pound investment, as has the students’ union. It has a campus-based fitness suite and sports halls, and has use of the £46 million Life Centre, with 50m pool, all-weather climbing facility, and12-court sports hall. It’s Marine Building contains the country’s most advanced wave tanks, which play host to businesses and other universities testing marine renewable energy devices.  It’s also just opened a new performing arts centre, complete with theatre; a waterfront marine research station with diving centre, and a new student medical centre.

Teaching: 64th out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for student satisfaction with teaching.

Graduate prospects: 97th out of 126 with 57 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? Yes. The university allocates a variety of rooms based in 12 different properties, either on campus or a few minutes’ walk away. Room rates range between £91 and £151 per week, from regular rooms with shared bathroom facilities, to fully ensuite studio flats.

Cheap to live there? About average. Private rents range between £85 and £110 per week.

Transport links: Three hours from London by rail and three-and-a-half by road.

Fees: £9,000 per year for full-time home and EU undergrads, while overseas students pay more depending on the course.

Bursaries: Plymouth offers a range of bursaries and scholarships, including a Care Leaver’s Bursary and the National Scholarship Programme as well as extra financial assistance to support students during their studies. In addition, there are also a number of scholarships based on academic and sporting achievement, such as Sports Scholarships and faculty-based grants. Click here to find out what you could get.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: There is a vibrant students’ union. Amazing number of clubs in Plymouth, students' union has its own nightclub with late licence at weekend. Foodies well-catered for with recognised chefs such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the Tanner Brothers, and Michael Caines in and around the city.

Price of a pint: For the cheapest beers, check out the students' union, with its array of affordable tipples.

Sporting reputation: Quite sporty, in 46th place out of 145 in the current BUCS league.

Notable societies: Plenty of course-based societies but room to start your own recreational group too. Try HabSoc for something new- a ballooning society that organises events and trips to the likes of Bristol Balloon Fiesta.

Glittering alumni: Baroness Wilcox, consumer champion; Michael Underwood, TV presenter; Pam St Clement, EastEnders actress; Conrad Humphreys, yachtsman; David Braine and Clare Nasir, BBC and ITV weather forecasters; The Three Hungry Boys- Tim Cresswell, Thom Hunt, Trevor Brinkman.

Alternative prospectus: Put your queries to current Plymouth students on The Student Room and introduce yourself to prospective friends.