Student Life in Nottingham

The city of Nottingham, with two universities and several smaller colleges, has a large and varied student population, which has contributed its own creative and edgy flavour to the city’s younger neighbourhoods.   Some 40,000 full-time students make Nottingham their place of education, life, work and entertainment. 

The University of Nottingham is the largest educational institution in the city, with about 32,000 registered students in 2005.  It features one of Britain’s largest medical schools, and staffs the Queen’s Medical Centre teaching hospital.  The principal University Park Campus lies just to the west of the Nottingham city centre, filled with award-winning buildings and green space.   University Park has a dozen halls of residence for first year students (and others who wish to stay on campus), each holding 200-300 students:  Ancaster Hall, Cavendish Hall, cripps Hall, Derby Hall, Florence Boot Hall, Hugh Stewart Hall, Lenton and Wortley Hall, Lincoln hall, Nightingale Hall, Rutland Hall, Sherwood Hall, and Willoughby Hall.

Smaller nearby satellite campuses are the Jubilee Campus, with its three residence halls (Melton Hall, Newark Hall, and Southwell Hall), the Sutton Bonington Campus (with Bonington Hall made up of a conglomeration of smaller residences), and the King’s Meadow Campus. The university also maintains two international campuses in Malaysia and China.

The University of Nottingham Students’ Union is made up of one hundred and fifty student societies and seventy two special interest clubs, and the university’s sport teams participate in the British Universities Sports Association.  The undergraduates at the university produce a student magazine called “Impact”, run the University Radio Nottingham, and stage shows and special events at the New Theatre.  The “Campus 14” is a series of bars on the University Park campus; new students are often surreptitiously challenged to complete the “bar crawl” of consuming at least one drink at each location.

The University of Nottingham’s main rival in the city is the Nottingham Trent University (named for the Trent River which flows through the centre of town).  It began as Trent Polytechnic, and later Nottingham Polytechnic, but became a full-fledged university in 1992, and now teaches over 25,000 students every year, focusing on a variety of useful and high end trades.

Like its rival institution, Nottingham Trent has multiple campuses.  The central campus, located near Shakespeare Street downtown, is known as the City Campus.  Clifton Campus, home to humanities and science departments, and Brackenhurst Campus which focuses on rural and animal sciences, are located on the fringes of the city.

The Nottingham Trent Students Union coordinates the activities of some three dozen student organizations, and maintains several student shops, bars, gyms, and other amenities.  They also organize weekly music nights, publish the “Platform” student newspaper, and produce the Fly FM and Kick FM radio programmes.

Other schools in the area which contribute to the lively student culture include New College Nottingham, the Nottingham School of Fashion, Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, Nottingham High School, Bilborough College, Chilwell School, Nottingham High School for Girls, South Nottingham College, the Greenwood Dale Technology College, and The Nottingham Bluecoat School and Technology College.

The Old Market Square, Canalside, the Lace Market, and Hockley Village are popular areas for off-campus student entertainment.  The Waterfront and The Corner House are popular gathering places, as are The Palais, Ohm, Bar None, Cucamara, Lizard Lounge, The Cookie Club, Jongleurs, Bell Inn, Daniel’s Hall, The Square, Muse, and the other three hundred and fifty pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants.  One shouldn’t miss a visit to Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, either -- the oldest pub in England, built half in a cave in the side of a sandstone bluff.

The city boasts numerous music venues, especially Rock City, The Rescue Rooms, Stealth, The Social, Junktion 7, The Old Angel, The Edge, Media, Ocean, The Bomb, Blueprint, The Works and the Boat Club, in addition to the Royal Concert Hall and the Nottingham Arena.  There are also numerous cinemas, live theatres, and interactive art galleries to suit the visually inclined.  The Arboretum Park, Abbey Court,

The “LeftLion” underground magazine and website provide a valuable guide to music and social events for students and young people.  The organization is named after the leftmost of the pair of large stone lions which decorate the steps of the Council House in Old Market Square -- rumour has it the left-hand lion is named “Brian“, while the other is “Ryan”.  The square has also been a gathering place for student events and celebrations, such as the winning of the European Cup and the F.A. Cup by local football team Nottingham Forest.

The universities and other local sites are connected by the Nottingham Express Transit, or NET trams.   Shopping areas like Broadmarsh Shopping Centre, Victoria Centre, and Flying Horse Walk are easily accessible to students, as are the high-fashion neighbourhoods of Hockley Village and Bridlesmith Gate.

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