York, University of


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Overall ranking: Placed 14th out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

History: A child of the sixties, like the universities of Warwick, Essex, East Anglia, Sussex, Kent and Lancaster. Opened in 1963 with just 230 students.

Address: Two sites: the main one is one mile from the centre of York in the village of Heslington and is undergoing a £50m expansion; the other is a medieval manor in the city centre.

Ambience: The main campus is set in a rural landscape wrapped around two lakes. A collegiate university, it has eight colleges. Some departments are based in college, others have their own purpose-built premises.

Who's the boss? Professor Brian Cantor, a world authority on materials manufacturing, has been vice-chancellor since 2002.

Prospectus: 01904 433 527 or view the digital edition here.

UCAS code: Y50

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Competitive. Offers are made in terms of entry grades rather than UCAS points. Each department has a typical offer and most typical offers are in the range A*AA - ABB.

Vital statistics: Over 15,000 students, over 11,000 of which are full-time undergrads. Highly rated for teaching and research, York is one of the most successful of the 1960s universities. Its policy of concentrating on a small number of large departments has paid off. York is one of 24 Russell Group universities, dedicated to the highest levels of academic excellence.

Added value: The Hull York Medical School welcomed its first students in September 2003 while the York Law School and the department of theatre, film and television admitted theirs in 2008. The university runs the York Award, where you study subjects such as IT, languages, financial management and active citizenship – with the emphasis on applying skills through voluntary work and work placements. It also runs the award-winning York Students in Schools scheme, where students volunteer in schools. Strong links with the business community across science, social science and humanities departments. The university hosts the National Centre for Science Learning and £50 million is being invested in the expansion of Heslington East, the first and second phase of which have been completed. Over the past 18 months York have invested in a new Teaching and Research Building for Chemistry, a research building for Atmospheric Chemistry and a new building to house Biomedicine.  The university plans to build a new general teaching building for 2016 and another teaching labs building for Biology, with the cost of investments amounting to around £60M.

Teaching: Placed 21st out of 123 for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide in 2015.

Graduate prospects: Ranked 29th with 73.7 per cent entering graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? York boasts over 5,500 rooms spread across 9 colleges, with prices from £4,400 to £5,100 per year.  There are a variety of rooms to choose from and catered packages available.

Cheap to live there? Average- private rents are around £70 to £85 per week.

Transport links: Take the train or a coach (cheaper) for London, Glasgow or Birmingham. For local travel, use buses or bikes.

Fees: Home and EU students pay £9,000 per year, with international students paying from £14,340 to £25,420 (for medicine).

Bursaries: The University offers extensive funding opportunities for undergraduate students including a generous bursary scheme. See here for more details.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Plenty of pubs, restaurants and wine bars in York, although music venues are a tad scarce. Each college has a bar and Students' Union music consists mostly of local bands and cover acts. Not a place for the serious clubber but try Fibbers and The Gallery.

Price of a pint: Around £3.50.

Sporting reputation: Above average- currently ranked 38th in the BUCS league.

Calendar highlight: The biggest event of the year is the Summer Ball, held at the York Racecourse.

Notable societies: Harry Potter geeks will be delighted with the Muggle Society while Dougsoc is simply for having fun in whatever way possible, following the motto that 'the greatest danger in life is not taking the adventure'. For the more *ahem* experimental among you, there's also Fetish Society.

Glittering alumni: Former BBC director general Greg Dyke (now the university's chancellor); the late Labour MP Tony Banks; Harriet Harman MP; writer Helen Dunmore; comedian Harry Enfield; Victor Lewis-Smith, writer and radio presenter; editor of The Times, John Witherow.

Alternative prospectus: None as yet but check out the Students' Union website YUSU.