University of Southampton Visit (June 14)
by Charlotte Evans (Yale-NUS College)
In each of our sessions, the question of “Why here for a PhD or Master’s program?” seems to arise naturally within the conversation. Southampton provided a whirlwind tour for the NAFAns to showcase exactly why this coastal university campus was such a hub for unique research opportunities and industry-supported work.
What’s the general overview of Southampton?
Our day started with a presentation by Sian Steggles who represents the US international office and Alison Tebutt who works on scholarships.
Through their presentation, we saw the strong utilization of the surrounds through their seven-campus structure. Their facilities range for Winchester School of Art, which is based in a town known for its connection to Jane Austen, to the Humanities department on the Avenue campus that has a stellar Maritime Archaeology research structure.
What makes this city and university great?
The port-city influence is notable when in Southampton. It is the cruise ship capital of Europe, making it have a very cosmopolitan feel. Students who are looking for an outdoorsy type setting but with easy access to London would feel comfortable here. Also worthy of note is that cost of living is reasonable for city living but that all international graduate students participating in one of the 200 + Master’s programs can also opt in to the guaranteed housing during their time at Southampton.
The campus itself had a unique feel of old and new. It was previously the Hartley University College campus with buildings dating back to 1862, that has since expanded its facilities, especially since the official opening of the University of Southampton in 1952. The green, open expanses provided for nice bike and pedestrian paths between the seven campuses, and the buildings themselves felt warm while still modern.
Life outside of the classroom and research centers was also highlighted during our visit. Southampton is a hub for arts and culture, with access to cinemas, galleries, and theatres.
So which students would I talk with about Southampton?
- The university is ranked top in the UK for Engineering and Music in the most recent REF, so those looking for further study in these areas should consider Southampton.
- For Asia-minded students, their interest may be peaked by the University of Southampton Malaysia campus or their research in areas from places like Timor.
- Students looking for niche research programs should most definitely flag Southampton.
- Our visit to the research hubs looked at everything from sound wave direction and aerodynamics testing in wind tunnels, to cochlear implant use to allow for music appreciation. Students are actively involved in this research and are connected to industry partners who provide financial support for this work.
How can students fund their studies at Southampton?
During our conversations with students it seemed that many either choose the Fulbright or Marshall route to fund their time here or end up self-funding and doing part-time work to help support their living expenses while here.
In conversation with the Maritime Archaeology they highlighted the number of structures in place to help fund specific research. These grants (provided to many different research units beyond just the Maritime Archaeology department) is available for student use for certain projects which provides unique opportunities, whether its an archaeology dive to a site off the Italian coast or the study of population change and demographic influences.