Southampton Solent University


Click to follow
The Independent Online


Overall ranking: 114th out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

History: In 1978, the art college merged with the tech college to make Southampton College of Higher Education. The latter shacked up with the College of Nautical Studies (now Warsash Maritime Academy). Emerged as Southampton Institute in 1984 and assumed its new name and new university status in 2005.

Address: Two sites in central Southampton, split by a park, and a waterside campus at Warsash, 10 miles away.

Ambience: One of the country's newest universities. Increasingly exciting vibe but keeping its close community feel. A fair share of watersports enthusiasts. Main campus is post-war. Expanded in the nineties with over £70m spent on buildings. Warsash campus beautifully landscaped but quiet.

Who's the boss? Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)Professor Graham Baldwin will take the post of Vice-Chancellor in August 2014, replacing Professor Van Gore CBE, who will be retiring after having led the institution since 2007.

Prospectus: 023 8031 9039 or request one here.

UCAS code: S30

What you need to know

Easy to get into? The average UCAS tariff Points on entry was 275, as of 2012/13 entry. Plenty of opportunities for those with non-conventional entry qualifications. Solent works hard to attract non traditional applicants and those from families with no tradition of higher education. Courses range from foundation years to master's degrees and PhDs, plus a variety of professional and short courses.

Vital statistics: Over 12,000 students, of whom 10,155 are full-time undergrads. The university boasts over 1,500 staff members, along with over 1,300 part-time undergraduates.

Added value: £100m campus investment from 2010 to 2020. Strong for business, technology, media arts and music, and maritime courses. Working with key employers, it boasts some of the UK’s most sought after work experience placements. For the tenth year its students have been a key part of the official Glastonbury festival industry-standard filming team. Students regularly hear lectures from radio, television and music presenters, performers, promoters and managers. Maritime studies is a particular strength, with courses in yacht design producing some of the most successful and influential designers in the industry. It turns out record-breaking and Olympian sailors, and is a world leader in research, facilities and training in ship handling. New £30m teaching and learning building due for completion in 2015, and a recently opened state-of-the-art £2m media academy. Recent accolades include being awarded the 2013 Quality Assurance kitemark for quality and standards of teaching and learning; being voted one of the most creative universities in a Which? University 2013 poll of students; receiving the Small Business Charter Award in recognition of the university's work to kick-starting British enterprise; and British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) Accreditation- widely recognised as the leading UK professional body in sport and exercise sciences.

Teaching: 119th out of 123 for student satisfaction with teaching quality in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: 120th out of 123 with 48.1 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? There are 2340 rooms available. From £89.95 to £135.17 in six halls of residences. Rent for the study-bedroom includes all utility bills, faster than broadband web access, cleaning of communal areas, accommodation during Christmas and Easter (no need to move your stuff out), repairs and maintenance.

Cheap to live there? About average, with private rents hovering around the £70 to £80 per week mark.

Transport links: Train station for London is 10 minutes' walk from the city campuses. A university coach service connects Warsash with the main site. Southampton airport is within easy distance and you can walk to the Isle of Wight ferry terminal from the city campus.

Fees: For EU/home students, a degree will set you back £9,000, with Higher National Diplomas at £7,650, Foundation years (level three) £9,000 and International Foundation Years being £7,650. International students pay between £10,080 and £11,140.

Bursaries: The National Scholarship Programme is available to new home and EU undergraduate students starting a programme of study with us, whose tuition fees are over £6,000 and who have a declared household income of less than £25,000 a year. See here for more details.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: The city has a busy nightlife with plenty of student nights.

Price of a pint: Expect prices of £3.30 on average in Southampton itself, but far cheaper drinks on campus.

Sporting reputation: Could be worse, but not the sportiest, at 77th in the BUCS league.

Notable societies: Screenwriters Guild for penning your own scripts, Solent Seahawks ultimate frisbee team, and a DJ group.

Glittering alumni: Olympic gold medal laser sailor, Paul Goodison; transatlantic record breaking sailors Geoff Holt and Katie Miller; David Quayle of B & Q; Pamela Blundell, fashion designer; Bobby Parks, former Hampshire and England cricketer; fashion designer Jenny Packham; former First Choice holidays CEO Peter Long; leading yacht and boat designers, Ed Dubois and Bill Dixon.

Alternative prospectus: See how current Southampton Solent students rate aspects of their university experience at What Uni? here.