Sunderland, University of
Wednesday 30 July 2014
Overall ranking: Came 108th out of 123 in the Complete University Guide.
History: Formed when the school of science and art merged with a technical and a teacher training college to become one of the UK's first polytechnics. Became a university in 1992.
Address: Two campuses scattered across the Tyne and Wear conurbation, and a new development in Canary Wharf in London.
Ambience: Super keen on widening participation and attracting local students. The award-winning Sir Tom Cowie campus, a contemporary glass, wood, and concrete affair, sits on the banks of the River Wear.
Who's the boss? Town planner Professor Peter Fidler is vice-chancellor and chief executive.
Prospectus: 0191 515 3000 or order one online here.
UCAS code: S84
What you need to know
Easy to get into? Yes. Students come with various qualifications from A-levels to GNVQs and HNDs. Courses take anything from 80 to 260 UCAS entry points (although the average is 270), with 220 in art and design, and 300 in sciences. The access scheme offers places to mature students without A-levels.
Vital statistics: More than 15,000 students, with a huge majority coming from state schools.
Added value: Strong links with local industry, especially with the Sunderland Software City initiative, Sunderland AFC, British Telecom, Sony, Microsoft, Sage, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Nissan, to name but a few. Sir Tom Cowie is home to a £20m media arts centre. Glass and Ceramics students work and study at the National Glass Centre. CitySpace sports and social centre plus a £7.5m science complex. Redevelopments happening left, right and centre. The university is developing a new £9m Sunderland Enterprise and Innovation Hub that could produce up to 650 jobs. The Centre is expected to attract and create over 120 innovative growth businesses over five years.
The university also opened a new Point of Care Centre in July 2014, based in the Sciences Complex. It delivers education and training to all those involved in patient care, including GPs, nurses and health visitors, pharmacists, healthcare scientists, sport and exercise scientists, sports medicine practitioners, and physiotherapists, and they all benefit from access to advanced techniques such as cardiac imaging.
New courses on offer include an MA in social work; a BA/BSc in social sciences; a PGC National Award for special educational needs co-ordination; PGC early years Teaching (overseas) and a BA/BSc youth and community engagement combined subjects.
The recently-opened University of Sunderland London Campus in Canary Wharf offers courses in financial management, business, tourism and hospitality and nursing.
Teaching: 69th out of 123 for student satisfaction with teaching quality in the Complete University Guide.
Graduate prospects: 119th out of 123 with 49.2 per cent finding graduate level employment.
Any accommodation? Yes and it's cheap. The University has five Halls of Residence, all located within 1.5 miles of the city. All student accommodation centres are self-catered, with fully equipped kitchens and on-site laundry facilities. The cheapest accommodation is a standard room at the Precinct, for £75.48 per week. The most expensive is a Riverview room at Scotia Quay (which is ensuite) £93.98 per week. Rent includes bills.
Cheap to live there? Indeed. Expect to pay as little as £65 per week if renting privately.
Transport links: Good train links around the north-east. Coaches carry you cheaply to many destinations. Inter-campus travel on Metro Link and free campus bus service. Free bicycle hire service now in place.
Fees: Sunderland charges £7,000 to £8,500 for full-time home and EU undergrads starting in 2014.
Bursaries: National Scholarship Programme to help those from families with household incomes below £25,000 per year. The Get There scholarship offers either free travel for the first year on buses and the metro or £500 off university accommodation. Further financial support is also available and can go up to £8,000. Click here to see if you're eligible for any of these financial delights.
The fun stuff
Nightlife: Cheap and cheerful thrills of the pub and club variety in town. Campus Academy nightclub is the main students' union nightspot.
Price of a pint: £2.85 on average in Sunderland but even cheaper lagers, spirits and wines are available in the union. Student club nights are wallet-friendly here too.
Sporting reputation: 83rd out of 145 universities and colleges in the BUCS 2013/14 league table.
Notable societies: The DJ Society is popular with those wanting to try something cool and new, while the Formula Student Motorsport Team prepares and races cars in an annual student competition at Silverstone.
Glittering alumni: Children's writer Allan Ahlberg; 'Horrible Histories' author Terry Deary; film director Tony Scott.
Alternative prospectus: See how current Sunderland students rate aspects of their university experience, from accommodation and facilities to nightlife and eye candy, on What Uni? here.
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