I am currently a student at Southampton Solent University in my first year doing Geography with Marine Studies.
Southampton Solent usually gets a bad reputation as when classified in the university league tables it's often placed very near the bottom. This is because those league tables are based on academic courses. Solent is largely vocational courses which is why I don't think it gets the credit it deserves.
I'm thoroughly enjoying the course I'm on at the moment. I get on with a lot of my coursemates and the lecturers are easy to get along with. The university as a whole is fairly good. It's maintained well and has been refurbished quite a lot in places with modern facilities, though there are sections of the university that could do with being upgraded or refurbished. The front doesn't exactly have great aesthetic value but it's what you'd expect in a big city, especially coming from rural Snowdonia! Many people I have met down here are enjoying their course and work can be demanding, depending what course your on but it gets much harder from the second year onwards!
I haven't used the student's union as much as I could have but it has various facilities such as a shop, two bars, and several help facilities. I don't engage with the actual union much as I let them do the job for the rest of us to enjoy our time at university!
I've visited many of the halls beloning to the university and they are modern in comparison to other university campuses I've stayed at. I live at Lucia Foster Welch which is located furthest from the university but the student life here is great, it's everything I wanted it to be and more. They are located close to the city centre as well which is very useful.
Southampton's nightlife has much to offer with a student night on every ngiht if you know where to find it. Southampton is an exciting city with lots going on throughout the year. I enjoy living here as I've made a lot of friends and it is a completely different environment to the quiet little village I come from but I've adapted well and I think anyone could live here.
I would recommened coming to Southampton Solent University but only if it has the course you want to do! Solent specialises in marine and vocational courses with some academic. There's a wide range of courses available, and when applying half of them I'd never heard of!
I was at Southampton Institute (as it then was before Southampton Solent University) between 2000 and 2004 studying Yacht And Powercraft Design and then later Yacht Manufacturing and Surveying. With a foundation year on the front of the degree as my A-Level results hadn't been as well as expected!
Out of the universities I'd visited Southampton hadn't been one, and I'd never been here before I suddenly plumped on choosing Southampton during clearing after getting my results. I came down to visit on an open day at the end of August, unlike most the major univeristies around the UK it isn't a really imposing campus. Which made it more inviting to someone as its less of a jump between FE and HE. It was also a big difference in the facilities it had, some being better than Southampton Univeristy for the courses I was interested in, which was also a good pull. No surprise after I started the course, the UCAS requirements went up from 12 points to 18 points.
The Halls of Residence were a different matter, they were also completely different to ones I'd seen. Highly expensive (one of the most expensive outside London), no transport to and from them through Southampton, no catered halls at all (I'm not afraid of cooking btw!), and hardly any en-suite halls available.
Still I went to Southampton for university, and I can truely say I loved the experience. The now univeristy has extensive maritime facilities on campus and down at Warsash Maritime Centre down near Hamble. I learned alot of skills and experiences I wouldn't have learn't if I'd gone to any of the major red brick universities. Academically they set you up well with the skills you need to start a career, the only two criticism I have on that note are the lack of One To One Tutoring that they seemed to cut every year I was there and the fact they didn't offer us the chance to do a Job Placement Year during the degree (which probably left most of us with little or no experience at the end of our degrees).
Socially Southampton Institute has a good ( a bit small) Student Union, based on campus with three bars over three floors, cheap drinks, events, live music, and pool tables. Plenty of events, careers fairs, student balls, sports clubs, social clubs, and soo much more. Southampton as a city has 30000 students (If I remember right) coming from two universities as well as students coming in from Winchester and several colleges. It has lots of clubs/pubs/events dedicated to student nights and were often extremely popular. You'll have only heard of Kaos if you're a student and you'll have also been in Ikon on a wednesday night for student night!
All in all Southampton Institute was great, I enjoyed the time I spent there...the major gripe is we seemed to be paying London prices for living on the south coast!
I was disappointed to read negative reviews about my uni on here but I suppose we all have different opinions about things, i guess that's what this site is all about!
I was a student between sept 03- jun 06 so i saw it change from southampton institute to southampton solent university.
I wouldn't recommend this as a place of study for people wishing the do the 'straight academic' subjects such as maths, english, history, languages etc. However if your interested in a more vocational course this could be the place for you. Media technology (electronics based, not media studies!), fashion photography, interior design, graphic image making, the list of excellent practical based subjects goes on!
As for uni life, this is a smaller place than most which is what i liked about it. I found it easy to get to know people and could always pop into the canteen or the union and be sure to see a friendly face.
The only negative aspect to uni life was writing my dissetation, but that is by now means specific to this university!
I applied to this university as i liked the idea of going to southampton as the location was convienient in may ways, however southampton uni didnt offer my course - Business studies. The location of the university itself is brilliant as its located right in the city centre, you literally just walk across a park and your there... however this park is noted for being dangerous at night - reports of rapes and muggings in the past, i know grown men who wouldnt walk throught this park at night.
The staff here (and students) and very friendly and unlike some universilties which i also applied to the staff did everything in their power to help me in everyway as an individual - something which i valued.
The university itself looks a bit scary looking as you approach it as its so run down! its in desperate need of refurbishment, or a rebuild infact! THe halls of residence on the other hand are much newer and are something the university should be proud of as they were much nicer than other uni's. Oh and the students union is patheticly small!! its 2 floors but just a tiny room with a bar on each floor.
It doesnt have a very good reputation as auniversity being ranked 97th in the country out of something like 120. However the students ive met that go there are lovely as individuals and very down to earth, unlike some at other uni's who see which uni they go to as a status and presume there better than people.
I am glad I have discharged myself. The pace of life in Soton is so slow, the city is drastically ugly and bland, and what you would think to be the main attraction, the marina is like a ghost town. University admin is ok I guess, however I had no guaranteed halls accommodation in the first year and had to stay with a host family for a month whilst all my buddies told me they had a room free next door! Eventually I got into halls which proved to be a big mistake (see accommodation opinion). This place is not value for money, some courses are phased out if not enough people are on them by the end of the first semester. My friend told she had failed and was offered little help by her tutor only to be told by a senior member of staff she had passed and there had been an error. However, this place is good for art, you get your own studio space which is open late, (but no art shop). It has great IT facilities (though the computer dept didn't know what a jen reader was) it has hundreds of PCs and MACs (hence high hall fees but that is another scandal), impressive law library and nice new modern buildings. I would not recommend going here, it is enough to send you mad.
This place offers a myriad choice of business related courses and a series of media courses. Some of the media courses are rated as some of the best in the country, Including Film studies Media writing and journalism. It's the largest non university higher education centre in England- and is tipped to be awarded university status in the not too distant future. Most of the students here like Garage and house music smaller social groups include drum and bass and Heavy metallers. The instittute is slap bang in the centre of town so if you want a city atmosphere in university the institute is good. The instsitute is great for people who want to make a fresh start at uni and who's past may not be perfect- but still have enthuisasm and a lust for life!