Newest Review: ... senior management in particular have absolutely destroyed this place over the past few years. The Uni has just laid off scores of staff - ... more
In Most Instances, Avoid
University of Salford
Author Name: CPGP
University of Salford
Advantages: Fairly decent Library; occasional brilliant lecturer
Disadvantages: Appalling facilities; most lecturers abysmal; no culture of academic rigour; no 'campus feel'.
Where to start.
First of all, if you are hoping to study a technology-based subject or a science-based subject at Salford, you will be promised the earth on an Open Day. You will see excellent facilities and become excited about the prospect of learning in a cutting edge environment.
I advise people to take photographs of these wonderful facilities on the open day, because it is the last you will ever see of them. When you actually start your education here, you will be expected to somehow muster reserves of enthusiasm whilst using knackered, ancient (and usually broken) equipment from which to realise complex scientific ideas. If you can manage this, fair play to you. Most cannot, which probably explains the 25% non-Completion rate at Salford.
The teaching is highly variable. Some, to their eternal credit, are brilliant and will help you as best they can. Most, however, are totally useless. Some of the courses were designed upwards of 10 years ago and have barely been revised since. I have been given exam papers which have been identical to exam papers issued in previous years of study (!!). Some have not changed in four/five years.
The Libraries can be very good, depending on what you need them for. If you need to rely on access to up-to-date journals and publications for the bulk of your academic activity, then forget it. If however you simply need access to books then you are probably fairly well catered for.
Accommodation is an absolute disgrace - almost all of it has been privatised and barely improved as a result (although naturally the prices have exploded). Most of it is effectively a glorified Borstal - the buildings are surrounded by enormous iron gates (because burglary rates are so high) and your "room" is almost identical to a prison cell. None of it is catered, all of it is within proximity of violence/drugs/psychopaths. Myself and my friends were attacked outside of one Halls of Residence by two Local Yokals for (allegedly) moving an empty cardboard box - one of our group was lucky to escape with his life after the thugs attempted to stamp his head into the curb (yes, seriously).
The Students' Union is a total disaster. They have just closed their only nightclub (which is the only nightclub in the entire city - yes, seriously) and the one remaining bar has all the atmosphere of a Neapolese funeral. Some of the societies are well managed, although they have to make do with shoestring budgets and a terribly run system of Student Union management.
Extracurricular activities are very thin on the ground. Plenty of Societies start up in September but die mid-year. There is not enough support available for those that are well run and there are not usually enough established networks for new societies to engage in much.
Campus Facilities... There is a gymnasium which is far too small to be fit for purpose. There is also a swimming pool which suffers from the same problem. On the plus side these are free if you agree to endure certain halls of residence for a year.
The place has dived through the rankings for a very good reason (it is, according to every league table, one of the worst Universities in the country). The University's one, forlorn hope is their new campus at MediaCityUK. To be fair, this is a fairly exciting venture and Salford Quays is a highly attractive setting. I anticipate it will still be a case of lunatics running the asylum, and so would not encourage people to get too excited about the activity there.
If you are hoping to study a technology or science based degree, my strongest recommendation is to avoid this University at all costs. If you are hoping to study Nursing or History, then it may be able to cater adequately for you, providing you are willing to accept some deeply discouraging elements to the University and are willing to put a tremendous amount of work in (it is the only way of making up for the University's failings).
Summary: For most people, you are better off looking elsewhere.