Open any university prospectus and you will be greeted with glossy pages of smiling students and testimonials. When every university seems to tell the same story, it can be difficult to know which one to believe, but once you’ve discovered the student-centric and industry-relevant approach of the University of Central Lancashire, or UCLan as it is affectionately known, you’ll soon know you’ve found the perfect fit.
At the UCLan School of Physical Sciences and Computing, the student sits at the heart of everything. This university sees your education as a multifaced journey that needs to be nurtured academically, culturally and socially – not just through intensive contact hours and assignments.
This school develops your expertise in the classroom, workplace and beyond. Not only will you be working closely with your individual academic advisor throughout your degree, you will also have the opportunity to experience cutting-edge technology such as the The Alston Observatory – one of the largest, best equipped observatories in the UK, which all students will use in their first year – and learn from leading academics during industry-focussed placements. It is worthy to note that all undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the school include an optional placement year.
Academic staff are committed educators as well as researchers, in the School of Physical Sciences and Computing, which creates a motivational learning environment where you are learning from industry leaders who are constantly pushing the boundaries of the ever-changing world of technology, computing and sciences.
You will be inspired by top academics for the duration of your course, on top of having the valuable opportunity to work alongside them outside of the classroom. Pursing research projects away from class is paramount to build industry knowledge and crucial problem solving skills, says Computer Games Engineering student, Callum Humpage, who helped his academic supervisor on his research projects.
“The opportunities are bountiful and I am grateful to have gone to a University that supplied such an option to their students,” says Humpage.
To help you solidify what you learn from UCLan’s leading academics, student study spaces are innovatively designed to create a dynamic learning environment that grants you the flexibility to find your flow. From quiet study areas, to group work rooms, cafes and vending machines and facilities to heat up your own food, the UCLan library has everything you need to put your knowledge into action.
Alongside study spaces that help fulfil your academic potential, there is also plenty of support available to help make sure you understand even the most challenging course content. Your academic advisor will always be on hand to help talk through any difficulties and give advice on assignments, but there are other options to help make sense of the complex theories you will grapple with.
The Peer Assisted Study Scheme allows you to discuss your issues with other students through study groups or individual sessions. This means you can work through hurdles informally with fellow students and problem solve internally; a valuable skill in the STEM field beyond graduation.
In line with UCLan’s commitment to helping students excel in their studies and maximise their real-world potential, students are encouraged to embrace their spirituality when not in the library or partaking in other university events.
The Oasis Centre provides a refuge for students to explore their spirituality and practice their faith, regardless of the religion or life philosophy they identify with. Open seven days a week, the Oasis Centre aims to connect students with others sharing their faith, supporting and advising those exploring their spirituality without trying to convert them to one way of thinking, all while providing a refuge to the everyday stresses of student life.
If staying on campus isn’t enough of a break, you can find yourself exploring the beautiful streets of Preston. The city was ranked as the best place to live in northwest England according to the 2016 Good Growth for Cities index, thanks to its proximity to famous cities such as Manchester and Liverpool, as well as the beautiful nature in the Lake District and Cumbria.
Isabel Rumoroso, who moved to UCLAN from France to study Chemistry found the campus life here a welcome change from life back home: “Moving to England and commencing studies at the University was the first time I had lived away from home, never mind living abroad,” she said.
“The student way of life was something I enjoyed, and living on campus was completely different to living back at home in Paris. I liked the level of interaction you could have with lecturers, which was vastly improved to the experience I had at my French university.”
A combination of the School’s student-centred academic approach, ideal location in one of the UK’s most vibrant and compact cities and a focus on helping you reach your overall potential propels UCLan above the more predictable student experience, making studying here a unique opportunity to become the very best you can be.