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The University is split into two main campuses at Stoke and Stafford. Most of the teaching buildings are ugly grey concrete high rise which kind of remind me of a high school, however inside they aren't so bad with some nice and not nice lecture theatres. Being at the Stoke campus i can't say much for Stafford having only been there on a couple of occasions. The liabry at Stoke has recently undergone a bit of a referb and now has some great facilities such as large screen apple macs and electronic book cases. Work has almost been complete on the new science building, the building looks modern however is spoilt some what by its "t**d brown" colour.
Course and Lecturers
Lectures on my course (BSC Geography) are relatively engaging and there is a wide choice of human and physical option modules. Some of the lectures are a bit hit and miss but are all generally knowledgeable on their subject and approachable. Personally I have found the second year far more interesting than the first, (which at times felt a bit tedious). In the first year we went to the peak district very early in the year. This proved to be an excellent way to make great friends, with the whole class heading into the village pubs to socialise after a day in the field. This year we are going to Exeter to carry out our own group studies and the final year involves a trip to Barcelona.
I live at home and travel in, a word of warning to those planning to do the same, as the only university in the country to not charge for parking the car parks become stupidly full with staff and students literally parking anywhere! All my friends stayed in halls in their first year, they seemed relatively nice although the walls are pretty much painted breeze blocks on the inside. Also frisky fresher tend to set the fire alarms off regularly at all times of the day.
Stoke-on-Trent is a city made up of seven towns, the centre being Hanley which is home to the Potteries Shopping Centre. There are quite a few clubs in Hanley such as a Liquid, Walkabout, Reflex etc. For Pubs the best place to be is around the University with a number a number of them geared towards students with a good choice of drinks such as The Terrace and The Graduate.
At Stoke their is the Stanley Mathews Sports Centre which is home to a decent sized gym although a little expensive it is often very busy. The union has the Ember Lounge and Verve where you can grab some food and a pint. As far as i know disabled access is good with ramps etc. All the buildings i have been in have computer labs and there are plenty of PCs and Macs in the libary.
Clubs and Societies
There are plenty of clubs and societies from Extreme Gardening to American Football. I am part of both the cricket and badminton and i cant speak highly enough of clubs and societies at the university. I have made loads of great friends from these clubs which train 3 times a week and often run very entertaining socials. The union organises the annual Varsity between our much hated rivals Keele, with the competition growing to 17 sports this year. Varsity takes place on one day at alternating universities and is often a close contest with extremely large and vocal amounts of support turning up to support each university. If you are into your drink, sport and loud mob chanting varsity is for you! It is without doubt the best thing about Staffs Uni.
The union venues at Stoke are the LRV, Ember Lounge and Verve. LRV has club nights on Wednesday (Gobble) ans Friday (Super Friday). Gobble is popular with the sports teams after their Wednesday fixtures and often has a fancy dress theme. The union also organise events through out the year with relatively famous artists such as Example, Wheatus etc playing there
If you are going to Stafford....Unlucky its a sausage fest, girls tend not to do the mechanics, compute programming and IT courses which are all mainly based there.
If your looking to beat the system and get a degree for doing very little work then staffords where you want to go!
You go to univesitiy to learn, and you will learn.... how to download powerpionts from lectures that have changed for about 5 years. I'm currently on a computer degree at stafford about to go into my third year and i can't wait to leave. i went there beacuse of all the computer degrees they had, the supposed great facilities and genreal crap they sent through my door to get me there. Most of the staff there have been workin there for a 100 years and couldnt be less enthusiactic about what there teaching and just want to get you out the lectures with enough to get by.
I opted to do a sandwich course which involed getting a placement (big mistake) and recvied next to no help in finding one but am still expected to pay the uni £600 in fees if i get one which i didnt and now am going striaght into my third year.
When i went to the open day i remeber them constantly tellin us facts and statistics about pass rate and employement rates after graduating, beacuse now i realise thats all they care about, getting there numbers up and looking good so more money is pumped into the dump.
As for the social life, anyone whos been to stafford even for one day will tell the guy to girl ratio is something like 20:1 (a statistic you probably won't find in the prospectus) its sounds harsh but its full of geeks and finding a group of down to earth people there is hard to come by. theres two night clubs there one of which i worked at and belive me, they aint pretty. the union itself is quite nice but a lack of sociable people make the place a like a haunted house.
I gave this review two stars instead of one beacuse i did meet some awsome people there and the place has done me a favour beacuse i now know that no ones gunna help you in life and you have to get everything yourself. not only that but that small towns that no ones heard of arn't peaceful and quanit they're mind numbingly boring!
I could talk about how bad this place is for days but its making me sad so im goin to stop.
as a previous review said uni is all about what you make of it, just make it somewhere else!
I must point out that I attended Staffordshire University (Stoke Campus) between 1997 & 2000, so can't comment on any changes implemented since this time....
I chose Staffs Uni as one of my 'possibles' for a couple of reasons - 1. The entry level was low to medium on the points scale (I wanted to choose a range of Universities, so that I would be covered whichever way my A-level results went), 2. The location (only 2.5 hrs drive from my hometown, so not too far for getting home in the holidays, but far enough to not have my parents breathing down my neck!), 3. Cost of living (one of the cheapest places in the UK - a massively important point when scrimping on a student budget).
So, off I went in Sept 1997. I finalised my application too late to get into the halls of residence, so instead found a room in a 4-bed house about 20 mins from the University. The local area is quite poor, with back-to-back terrace housing & mainly consists of students & ethnic minorities.
The Uni itself is quite old, having been converted from a Polytechnic college some years prior. New sections have been built since the conversion, such as the Law department. The library is just across from the main campus, & is open late for any last minute dashes. There is a student bookstore just around the corner, along with the University GP. There are 2 student union bars at Stoke campus, each with their own style, hosting such as comedy nights/top-name DJ's etc. There are no end of clubs to join, from football to chess etc. There are several canteens dotted around the campus for cheap eats, as well as a plethera of takeaways & bars in the area.
Help is also at hand from the University - such as financial aid for students in extreme hardship, & careers advice at the careers centre nearby.
The location is good. Quite central for most people, & the train station is but a 5 minute walk from the Uni which is great for commuting home.
Personally, I thought the staff were fantastic (I studied within the Biology dept). I had no reason to believe that my education was of a lower standard than any of the bigger, more well-known Universities, but obviously this depends on the degree undertaken & is an individual opinion.
I absolutely loved my time there. They were the best 3 years of my life. The people who work, study & live there are great - everyone was down-to-earth & friendly. Staffs Uni may not sound the best on your CV, but if it ticks the boxes as it did for me, then it may just be the place for you.
(Also published on ciao under the same name).
We are all different and all look for different things, and we all see different things in Univesities. I am a part time student, so have never seen it from the full time perspective or lived in Campus or drunk in the student union bar or been to freshers.
I attend two evenings a week and have done for the last 4 years, firstly Staffs University comprises more than one site - there is Stafford - Beaconside and Blackheath Lane, Stoke - College Road and Leek Road and Lichfield. Something to bear in mond when only reading one persons comments.
The various sites have different facilities - the libraries in particular tend to stock books according to the main subjects studied at those universities. There are never enough core books per student, so there becomes a need to buy your own, or become embroilled in short loans and being put on a waiting list.
The canteen isn't bad - my mine gripe is that it doesn't stay open for evening students - there is a coffee style bar in the Brindley Building but sometimes you just need gravy not another tuna sandwich.
Lecturing standards do varying - but you have the material and as a mature student you are supposed to do more reading and leg work out of lectures than in lectures. Ultimately whether you just want the qualification or are learning for its own intrinsic value you have to contribute to that too.
Students get email accounts, can access the lecture materials on line and there is also access to e-journals etc online - brilliant. Libraries do stay open through the night on a restricted basis to enable that last minute scramble to get work done too.
Being a part time student is equally about location and convenience - Staffs Uni offered me both these.
Stafford sucks, it really really sucks! This is the worst university in the worst place on earth! Please for your own safety, don't go.. I went there for 3 years.. and failed.. mostly because I made a film that expresed things that I found interesting. I took film production technology and , as opposed to sticking to a pretentious boring ass film idea, that they wanted me to make cuz the teachers are losers who dont know what's entertaining. The worst part is the teachers don't know jack either.. all the lessons are downloaded off the internet, ergo you can get the same lessons for free if you download them your self. It also means the teachers actually don't know the subjects themselves so, when they misread or forget what the answer is, we students have to correct them. It was ridiculous.. they also advocate and hand out pirate software for the subjects which is totally illegal, and when I called them on it the just tried to sweep it under the rug and shut me up, or pretend it didnt happen. The place is a disgrace, the teachers are a disgrace and there are no woman there.. it is the worst 3 years of my life and I've had tons of hospital time with operations and cancer in the past. And stafford uni is still the worst thing that has ever ever ever ever happened to me.. I had to rate it one star to qualify the review but you can count it as a non star review the place is hell!
I'm a former student, and although i'm grateful to the friends I made there and any help I recieved, i'd recommend - if you have any degree of intelligence at all - to stay the hell away from this uni.
The place has had road works being done since the beginning of time. Renovation took place from the moment I arrived to the moment I left on the roads entering the city, and I dare say they are still "in progress". The Stoke Campus and surrounding area has a nasty, cold and unwelcoming look to it. The buildings themselves look passable, but whatever you do take the time to drive into Hanley (the local town centre) for a glimpse into what you'd be in for. Terrible , lack of choice nightlife, horrible run down shops and a bus station that wouldn't look out of place in Beirut.
The staff are for the most part nice enough, but some clearly have little interest in anything further than giving you the handouts. Attendance isnt at all strictly monitored.
The two union's, both the LRV and Ember Lounge respectively are fairly basic, with little to entice you if trendy tunes aren't your bag. If you are into the alternative/rock scene, make plans to learn to drive before arriving here, as there is sweet FA to accomodate you. The halls of residence are resemble Alacatraz. Less student accomodation as much as you wondered when you're about to recieve the lethal injection, as you were situated in a prison cell.
People will tell you "Uni is what you make it," and that for the most part is spot on. Word of advice though, make it at another university, and you'll have far far more fun along the way.
Unfortunately, Staffordshire University degrees aren't worth the paper they're written on, because the standards of modules / marking varies dramatically, and staff cannot be trusted - check out this site to read more: http://staffsuni.freehosting.net/index.html As the above site shows, if you are not marked fairly by a lecturer, and can show this to be the case, Staffordshire University will refuse to investigate. They prefer to ignore all evidence, and lie blatantly and repeatedly, rather than consider that a lecturer may not have marked a student correctly. In particular, the fact that I was so routinely lied to by the University calls into question the integrity of several of the staff there.
Don't believe all the hype they put into their propspectus. It's simply not true. If you are going to be at the Stafford campus then you will have to either e-mail or go visit the Stoke campus where the international office is based. E-mailing them is pointless as they rarely ever respond. You could try and telephone but usually get told you'll be called back which never happens. Once there you will have to deal with one of two people. Either the one that knows everything and is usually out, or the one that passes her messages. Be very certain of your fees as well as they like to make as little mention of that as possible and enjoy international students dropping out. They essentially take the students money for the course even if the student is no longer on the course. As an international student I was meant to have a room on campus secured for me however I did not. I had to find my own accomodation and spent the first semester living about 2 hours drive away from campus. Renting privately is difficult as most agents do not like having studentsas tenants. The classes are a joke many times. Lecturers don't show up or don't know how to operate the equipment andcancel lessons. Silliest part is they don't learn how to do it for next time, it's just the same story next class. Be prepared to have your e-mails forwarded to loads of different people and eventually get a response that doesnt actually answer your question.
I have been to Open Days On Both Campuses, they are both very large but if you are considering taking a Degree in IT Staffs Uni is supposed to be the best around (or so they want you to believe). I am currently studying at Tamworth College which has close links with Staffs Uni, also the computer network is run by the university so everything I see every day has links to the University (even the Home Page on the computers is Staffs Uni's Website). So I may be slightly biased towards the wonders of Staffs Uni, because I see and hear about it everyday.
When i went to look round staffordshire for the first time it looked very big but everyone there seemed real friendly and tried to make you feel relaxed. The stuidents on the Media Porduction course pointed out to me that there is a lot of work that needs to be done in the first year so i know it isnt going to be a doss subject but i still cant wait to go. Its so close to the station with a direct connection to my home town and my house is ten minutes from the station there so maybe i will go home for visits!
Ok Staffs uni was a new University for me (see my reveiw of Bham) I thought it was totally brilliant I had an excellent time there...the halls were superb and pretty new. I had a T1 internet connection in my room and that was damn useful I will tell you and no restriction on what was viewed over that connection. The social life was wicked...had such a laugh there with my mates and we always knew how to have a good time! the gaff was the main place to hang out (see my reveiw on that) it was a top place full of frijj fights and network games!! and lots iof beeeer! Totally cool place....i would recommend it anytime...in fact my girlfriend is going next year! The one form Ireland! Had to mention her there somehwere!