West London, University of


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Overall ranking: 110th out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

History: Previously the Polytechnic of West London, it was formed in 1991 from a merger of Ealing College London, Thames Valley College Slough, London College of Music and Queen Charlotte's College of Healthcare. It became a university in 1992. Formerly Thames Valley University, from October 2010 its official name has been the University of West London.

Address: Ealing and Brentford in West London; with some additional higher education courses offered in Reading.

Ambience: Most students are in West London, 10 miles from central London; The focus is firmly on the vocational; close links with employers and good work-related facilities, such as a kitchen showroom, fully functioning training restaurant and nursing simulation suites.

Who's the boss? The vice chancellor is Professor Peter John, formerly deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Plymouth. He has been published widely in academic and professional journals.

Prospectus: 0800 036 8888 or order/download one here.

UCAS code: W05

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Yes. Committed to widening participation, offers start at 180 UCAS points for a degree with Foundation year. The average range of offers is between 260 and 300 points, or BCC to BBB in A-levels.

Vital statistics: Big, ethnically diverse institution with a large number of students coming from the local area and even more coming from state schools. 72 per cent are mature students. In 2012-13, the university had 12,232 enrolments, with almost a quarter of students studying nursing and midwifery. 60 per cent of students are female.

Added value: A credit accumulation scheme gives students recognition for the work they've already done if they take a break from studying, drop out or change course. Strong links with further education institutions across the country and several universities overseas. The university has industry-standard kitchens and a training restaurant. Development work has also been on overdrive recently. New and upcoming facilities include the Future Campus, a £50m project which includes a new students' union and performance centre. Other developments include a new library, refectory, book shop and a social space. New undergraduate full-time courses are also arriving in the 2015/6 academic year, including BA (Hons) policing, BSc (Hons) building surveying, BMus film music composition, MSc cyber security, MA in international tourism and aviation management and MMus music theatre.

Teaching: 95th out of 123 for student satisfaction with teaching quality in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: 67th out of 123 with 62.1 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? The university has student accommodation based at its Brentford and Ealing campuses, both are one mile from the Ealing campus and a free shuttle bus service is provided for students to travel between these sites. Prices start at £60 a week for the accommodation at Ealing (excluding bills) and £140.45 for a single en-suite study bedroom (inclusive of bills and internet). All students are allocated housing on a first come, first served basis. However, first-year, care leavers and international students who pick the university as their first choice and apply before 31 May will be given priority. The Student Village housing in Ealing can accommodate up to 440 students and the accommodation at Brentford can accommodate up to 839 students

Cheap to live there? Nope. Average rents for private flats are £100 per week minimum.

Transport links: Free shuttle bus connects Ealing and Brentford. Easily accessible to central London. Tube and trains from Ealing and trains from Brentford.

Fees: The standard fee for full-time home students is £9,000 per year.

Bursaries: Scholarships are on offer to assist full time undergraduate entrants from lower income households with the associated costs of study. Part time undergraduate entrants will also be eligible for a £1,500 fee waiver if their household income is £42,620 or less. See here for more details.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Freddie's Bar at Ealing is the main venue, named after alumnus Freddie Mercury. Regular events at the 500-capacity Lawrence Hall including live music and comedy. Annual May Ball. Ealing is a vibrant town with numerous bars, cafés, and nightclubs. A short train ride to central London and a night bus home will sort you out for a more wild night.

Price of a pint: £3.65 on average in London but don't fret, for there are plenty of student club nights and drinks deals at the union bar.

Sporting reputation: Not great- 135th out of 145 in the 2013/14 BUCS league table.

Notable societies: Musical theatre, music and media, fashion and style, dance, radio and photographic societies for arty students. Plenty of sports options available.

Glittering alumni: An eclectic mix. Pete Townshend of The Who; John Bird, founder of the Big Issue; Queen's Freddie Mercury; Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones; members of bands Radiohead, Reef, Tricky and Bloc Party; chefs Chris Galvin and Eyck Zimmer; author Jung Chang and Russian politician Sergey Ivanov.

Alternative prospectus: Check into The Student Room to chat with current, former and prospective students about the real University of West London experience.