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Bath Spa University
Bath Spa University is located in and around Bath. It has its roots in two teacher-training colleges and a college of art, and became a full-fledged university in 2005. Bath Spa is particularly known for its expertise in teacher training and is the UK’s sixth biggest provider of teacher training education.
Which? University has also ranked it as one of the country’s leading creative universities for the last three years. The University’s Department of Music is the 10th largest in the United Kingdom and its School of Humanities and Cultural Industries has become the base of what some have called ‘the best creative writing programme in England'. For this reason, its alumni include a succession of award-winning literary figures. It also lists a number of artist among its notable alumni and in recent years the University has invested considerably in its Sion Hill campus, which is the base for the Bath School of Art and Design.
The City of Bath is a beautiful and exciting place to live. It’s the only city in England to qualify as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is home to some of the country’s most stunning architecture. It is also a buzzing cultural hub, with award-winning restaurants, boutiques and high-street stores, great nightclubs, cinemas, plus a huge array of live music and comedy venues. Bath hosts a number of festivals each year, both mainstream and fringe, including the International Music Festival, Bath Film Festival, Bath Literature Festival and Shakespeare Unplugged.
Bath is a great city for students, having been voted one of the safest student cities in the country and being home to so many sites of historical and cultural importance. It is also only an hour and half from London by train and 15 minutes from Bristol, where there is an international airport.
Complete University Guide (2022)
Guardian League Table (2021)
Teaching Excellence Framework
Green Credentials (2019)
Young vs Mature
Male vs Female
Bath Spa University has three campuses. The biggest at Newton Park is roughly four miles, or a 30-minute bus ride, west of the city centre. It is home to 99% of undergraduate courses. The Campus is set in idyllic parkland, which was designed by the well-known landscape architect Capability Brown in the eighteenth century. There are a huge array of historic buildings including a 14th century Castle tower and the Castle Gatehouse, which are both scheduled ancient monuments. Facilities here are still ultra-modern, however, and include the newly completed Commons building, providing students with 1,000 square metres of learning space. The Newton campus is also home to the University’s Students' Union building and sporting facilities.
The University’s other campus, Sion Hill, is much closer to the city centre and is Bath Spa’s main base for Art and Design. It is situated in the residential Lansdown district of Bath, an area renowned for its architecture, but it's also within walking distance of the shops and bars of the city centre. Sion Hill's facilities have recently undergone a huge refurbishment and upgrade, making them some of the most modern in the UK. The two campuses are around 40 minutes apart by bus.
In addition, the University has the beautiful Corsham Court campus in Wiltshire, concealed within a grade I listed country house, surrounded by stunning gardens complete with peacocks. The majority of the University master’s courses is taught at Corsham Court campus. The campus is also home of the University 's research Support Office, which works on research funding bids, post award administration and knowledge exchange.
The University is currently transforming the former Herman Miller factory into Bath Spa University’s new art and design campus. The construction will be completed in the summer of 2019 and students will start to use the building from September 2019.
Bath Spa University began its life over 160 years ago as the Bath School of Art, one of the country’s leading art schools. In the immediate post war era the Bath School of Art was at the centre of the burgeoning English Modernist movement. The School’s post-war residence, Corsham Court, is now the home of the post-graduate centre.
The Newton Campus was originally an estate with the main house built for Joseph Langton in 1762-5. The house is now Grade one listed and set in grounds designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown. In 1946, as part of an initiative to fill teaching shortages following the war, Bath Teacher Training College opened at Newton Park.
In 1975, the Bath Teacher Training College merged with Bath College of Domestic Science, to become the Bath College of Higher Education. Eight years later, the Bath School of Art was also incorporated into the College. In 1992, Bath College was granted degree-awarding powers, becoming Bath Spa University College in 1999. Finally, in 2005 the institution was granted full university status and became Bath Spa University.
Schools & Institutes
- Bath Business School
- Bath School of Art and Design
- College of Liberal Arts
- Institute for Education.
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, Bath Spa University tripled its volume of 'internationally excellent' and 'world leading research', as compared with the Research Assessment Exercise of 2008. Particularly outstanding was research submitted in the English Language and Literature, and Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, units. In both units, over 50% was deemed 'internationally excellent'. Also, in Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts 26% was defined as ‘world leading’.
International & Industrial Opportunities
Students at Bath Spa can study abroad during their second year of study, either as part of the Erasmus+ scheme, or through the University’s own International Exchange Programme. They can chose to study at one of 27 institutions across Europe or at one of the University’s partner institutions in Australia, China, Japan, Mexico and the USA.
At Bath Spa, some degree courses offer in-built industrial placement opportunities - see the University’s website for more information. The University also offers open modules to all students, whatever course they are on, and one of the open modules on offer is a work placement module.
UK Students (2021/2022)
Art & Design
Bath Spa offers individual awards to students in particular subject areas or with particular interests. This includes the Bath Spa University High Performance Sports Scholarship created to support four students a year who compete on a national and international stage. Successful applicants will secure up to £1000 to support them in their sporting endeavours.
Bath Spa University provides 350 BSU bursaries, worth £3,500 each, split pver years. The bursary is open to students who have a household income below £25,000 and live in England and the EU. The bursary is a cash award of £1,000 in Year 1, £1,000 in Year 2 and £1,500 in Year 3, providing students meet the eligibility criteria each year. It can also be used as a fee waiver if preferred.
Each campus has its own library. At Bath School of Art and Design, the University invested in a new library facility, which opened at Sion Hill in 2009. Here, there is a wealth of specialist books and journals as well as collections of exhibition catalogues, images and DVDs. At Newton Park, with a larger library, there is a collection of books, journals, CDs and DVDs, covering the wide range of subjects taught there. The ground floor of this library provides a 24-hour collaborative learning space. Both libraries have separate areas for different kinds of study. These include designated areas for silent study, quiet study and group study.
As well as traditional library materials, the University provides students with access to electronic resources such as online journals, books and services. There are several hundred networked computers for students to use, many of which are available on evenings and at weekends. This includes the library’s 24-hour computer suites. There are also specialised computer facilities across the campuses for subjects such as music, art and design, and media production. The University offers PCs and Apple Macs as well as wireless connections for laptops.
Bath Spa offers a range of learning facilities above and beyond its libraries. The new Commons building, completed in 2014, at Newton Park Campus, offers students technology-enabled study space, social learning space, bookable group working rooms, a café and an outdoor amphitheatre. It also boasts the best specialist digital and studio resources for teaching in the South West – equal to those found in commercial organisations and broadcast companies. At Sion Hill, there are some of the most advanced resources around for art and design students, including graphic communication studios, electronic media workshops, studios for art, textiles and sculpture, workshops for wood, etching, lithography and silkscreen. The University also runs specialist teaching sites around Bath: The Circus for fashion; Burdall's Yard for music and live performance; Ashman's Yard for theatre production; Dartmouth Avenue for creative arts and Paintsworks for creative media practice.
At Bath Spa, all students have access to the University’s online virtual learning environment, 'Minerva'. Minerva allows lecturers to send course materials to students anywhere, any any time. It also provides various other features such as discussion boards, which allows students to have online conversations with others from their course, and lets them submit coursework electronically.
The University’s professionally qualified librarians run sessions to teach students how to find and use information to best effect. They also offer one-to-one tutorials, an electronic enquiry service and advice as and when students need it. The Writing and Learning Centre can help students develop skills such as academic writing, referencing, digital literacy, critical thinking, time management, oral presentation, academic reading and note taking.
The sporting facilities at Bath Spa University are located at Newton Park. The Students Union runs a 30-station gym and there are also a number of sports pitches on site for rugby, football and hockey, as well as a netball court. The University’s programme of exercise classes is also run from this site.
Students at the University who compete at a national or international level may be eligible for one of the University’s four High Performance Sports Scholarships. If successful they will receive up to £1000 to support them in their endeavours.
The Students' Union building at Newton Park Campus is home to the Union’s newly refurbished bar and kitchen, the university gym and the union shop, which sells groceries, stationary and university memorabilia. The students' union also hosts the University’s prestigious summer ball each year.
The Union is run by four full-time, elected, sabbatical officers, who are supported by four elected volunteer Student Experience officers. As well as this, there are academic reps, equality reps, postgraduate reps and partner college reps, who work alongside the union to ensure that students’ voices are heard. The primary role of the Union is to represent the students’ interests across the university and as part of this, they run a number of campaigns each year. The Union is also there to provide students with advice and support on a range of issues.
The students' union works closely with local charities, raising money for them each year with a range of events, as part of the Raise and Giving campaign. In the past, students have raised funds by completing the three peaks challenge, and putting together the Bath Spa naked calendar.
The Students' Union also helps charities by linking up students with volunteering opportunities. Students can work towards a ‘certificate in volunteering achievement’; this helps them stand out when applying for jobs.
There are a number of other clubs and societies for students to get involved in. This includes SpaLife, Bath Spa’s student led media hub. The TV station, podcast radio programme and termly magazine are all run by students and offer a mixture of news, reviews and exposure for homegrown talent.
Religion & Spirituality
The University Chaplaincy offers a place where staff and students can socialise, pray or talk in confidence about any spiritual issue. It also offers guidance on where to worship within the local area. The chaplaincy is staffed by a number of chaplains, from the Anglican, Catholic and Methodist faith. Chaplains offer non-judgemental support and information to students of all faiths, and those with none. Every Thursday, the chaplains serve lunch in the students' union. All profits from this go to WaterAid and last year they raised over £1000.
Health & Wellbeing
Students at Bath Spa are served by a local GP practice. There is, however, a range of other support available through the University directly.
The University’s Student Support offers professional guidance with issues such as abuse, academic stress, alcohol or drugs, bereavement, harassment, homesickness and other mental health concerns. Advice is available at booked appointments, drop-in sessions or through online self-help resources.
Counselling offers students the chance to explore concerns, in a private and confidential setting. Students are offered an initial assessment session and then may be offered up to four sessions – other sources of help will also be discussed.
Student Support also helps students with disabilities or specific learning difficulties. They provide help with DSA applications, offer a free disability screening service for all new students and offer guidance on a range of other related issues. They also organise an early induction programme so that disabled students can get acquainted with the University prior to other students’ arrival.
At Bath Spa University, there is a team of experienced careers advisors to help students with everything from CVs and job applications, to module choices. Students can arrange a one-to-one session, attend a group workshop or use the careers centre’s extensive e-resources. The Bath Spa careers service has received awards for its approach to employability and for its level of support.
The University’s online careers portal keeps students up-to-date with the most recent opportunities available. Bath Spa has links to a number of local companies and organisations meaning graduates get a pick of the best local internships and work experience opportunities. They also get chances to meet future employers through workshops, careers events, employer presentations and the university’s industry mentor programme.
Students who want to earn some extra money while at university also benefit from the University’s completely free, in-house recruitment service exclusive to Bath Spa students. This service offers good quality, well paid, employment opportunities as well as specialist staff to guide students through the application process.
Students who have completed work experience, volunteering or any other extra-curricular activities can ensure these are recognised by completing the Bath Spa Award. This award acknowledges any skills and achievements outside of a student’s degree and is aimed at increasing their awareness of their ability and helping them focus on areas they want to improve. The award helps students stand out to employers and includes a programme of interactive workshops and seminars, volunteering, work experience and networking opportunities.
The university’s business plan competition inspires and awards entrepreneurial spirit at Bath Spa. Budding entrepreneurs can also benefit from business planning workshops or meet like-minded people in the student enterprise society.
Self-catered (per week) (2021/2022)
There are a number of university accommodation options for students at Bath Spa University. These include university halls close to both campuses and a number of off-campus hall. Which halls students can apply for depends upon which campus they are studying at.
At Newton Park campus there are two halls of residence with a mix of single rooms, shared rooms, studio flats and a mix of shared bathrooms and en-suite accommodation. Here prices range between £69 a week and £185 a week. These halls are only for students studying at Newton Park.
There is one hall of residence 10 minutes from the Sion Hill campus, which is reserved for students at this campus. Rooms come with showers and washbasins and cost £146 a week. There are also a few studio flats available at a cost of £180 a week.
Located in the heart of Bath, Green Park house was opened in 2016 and houses 444 students. It’s easy to get to Newton Park campus from Green Park House. For students studying at the Sion Hill campus, there is a local bus service operating from the bus station, a short walk from Green Park House. It's also walkable if you're feeling energetic. Standard rooms with shared bathroom, cost £152 a week, while premium private studio flats cost £242 a week.
The University’s off-campus accommodation is managed by UNITE is located 20 minutes, by bus, from Newton Park and a 30-minute walk from Sion Hill. All rooms are en-suite and cost between £156 and £180 a week.
Art & Design
English Language Requirements
International students for whom English is not a first language must have at least IELTS 6.0, which must include a minimum of 5.5 in listening, speaking, reading and writing or Pearsons Level B2 or equivalent to undertake an undergraduate degree at Bath Spa. Students who do not meet these requirements can enrol on the University’s pre-sessional English programme.
Bath Spa University currently plays host to students from 81 countries. At the University, there are dedicated international representatives and an international relations team who organise a special introductory programme during welcome week and a number of events and trips throughout the year.
The University’s students’ services team can provide international students with all the help and support they need to settle into life in the UK. This includes visa advice, academic support and help finding a job and registering for healthcare.