Population: 176,000 (Bath and North East Somerset)
University students: 23,685 (13.5%)
Bath, Bath Spa
The Royal Crescent, Bath
The World Heritage City of Bath is known for its beautiful buildings and the natural hot springs that gave the city its name. It has a strong student presence, with university students making up 13.5% of the population of Bath and North East Somerset.
The city was first established as a spa town by the Romans around AD 60. They built a temple and the famous Roman Baths. Its popularity as a spa town led to a major expansion that left a heritage of Georgian architecture using honey-coloured stone.
Bath is an inspiring place to study and the University of Bath is one of the top-rated universities in the United Kingdom. The city is close to a number of major attractions and population centres.
Bath is at the bottom of the Avon Valley, near the southern edge of the Cotswolds - a range of limestone hills designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is surrounded by countryside. Interesting places near to Bath include Stonehenge, Salisbury, Wells, Glastonbury, Cheddar Gorge, Oxford and Bristol.
The flood plain of the River Avon runs through the centre of the city. A single channel exists, created using weirs, from what was once a series of streams, swamps and ponds.
The water that bubbles up from the ground as geothermal springs first percolates down through limestone aquifers. Under pressure, the heated water rises to the surface along fissures and faults in the limestone. Three hot springs feed the thermal baths.
Along with the rest of South West England, Bath has a temperate climate that is generally wetter and milder than the rest of the country. Seasonal temperature variation is less extreme than most of the United Kingdom because of the adjacent sea. Temperatures range from an average minimum of 6.0°C (42.8°F) to an average maximum of 14.4°C (57.9°F).
Bath provides a wide variety of accommodation options for students. On-campus accommodation is around £3,800 at Bath University for a basic package and £4,570 at Bath Spa University. There are many residential colleges to choose from, which are mostly filled by first-year students.
From the second year onwards, students normally live off campus. Houses can be rented for the average price of 60-70 pounds per person per week. While the main student housing area is Oldfield park, houses are available all around the city. Houses in the centre can be expensive (£80+ a week).
Buses and walking are good options for students in compact Bath CityPublic transport, walking or cycling (though the area is hilly) is generally the way to go because of Bath's compact layout. Traffic congestion is a significant problem, particularly with large numbers of tourists coming and going.
There is a reliable network of buses servicing city, campus and residential areas. Roads commonly have bus priority lanes. There are regular bus services from the train station to campus (and around town).
Traffic in Bath is slow moving and driving is best avoided. Few students own cars; most are not even eligible for a university parking permit. Only undergraduate students not living within BA1 and BA2 postcodes and those with mobility issues are eligible for a university parking permit.
Bath Spa railway station is just a few minutes’ walk from the city centre. The station is on a main railway line, offering easy travel to Bristol to the west (20 minutes) and London to the east (1.5 hours).
The nearest airport is Bristol International Airport. An express coach service connects it to Bristol Temple Meads railway station. There are also regular connections by rail or coach to London Heathrow.
The Roman Baths in Bath CityBath is steeped in history and the Roman Baths are a main attraction. The Thermae Bath Spa is a modern complex in the historic city centre where people bathe in naturally warmed spa water – the only place in the UK where this can be done.
One of Bath's principal industries is tourism, with more than one million staying visitors and 3.8 million day visitors to the city annually.
Bath has a busy nightlife, with over 150 restaurants, pubs and bars and a selection of live entertainment in small venues. Moles on George Street is a renowned place for gigs and quality club nights, while the Comedy Cavern in the same area has a national reputation.
The Bath HotelMany students opt for nights out in Bristol, which is just 9 miles away. Trains to Bristol are cheap (under £5 a return with a railcard). However, the trains don't run late at night. A taxi back will cost around £35 but you can also return by bus.
Bath is a well-known festival city, for both mainstream and fringe, and hosts the International Music Festival, Bath Film Festival, Bath Literature Festival and Shakespeare Unplugged. Students are often involved in performing at the festivals.
The Theatre Royal hosts big-name productions while a more alternative selection can be found at the places such as Ustinov Studio and the Rondo. Komedia, housed in a former cinema, offers cabaret, live music and comedy.
Bath has many museums, including 17 museums within a square mile. Among them are the Holburne Museum, Jane Austen Centre and the Roman Baths.
The city’s outer regions and the surrounding countryside offer walkways and cycle paths. The River Avon runs through the centre of Bath and it is possible to hire punts and canoes 10 minutes from the city centre.
The city has several public parks, the main one being Royal Victoria Park that is overlooked by the Royal Crescent. The 23 hectare (57 acre) park has a variety of attractions, including a skatepark, tennis courts, bowling, putting green and golf course, pond and a children's play area.
For sports fans, Bath Rugby Club is considered one of the finest in the world. The University of Bath’s sports teams are some of the most successful student associations in the country.
The main campus of the University of Bath is a mile from the city centre while Bath Spa University's Newton Park campus is four miles away.
According to The Sunday Times University Guide, Bath is ranked as the 3rd best University in the United Kingdom behind only Cambridge and Oxford.
Over 25% of students are international (non-British) students, reflecting the university's strong international reputation. The largest number coming from China (including Hong Kong), Germany and France. Tuition fees for international undergraduates are £13,000 per year.
The University of Bath is one of the leaders in the fields of science, engineering and social science. Its School of Management also has unique, world leading programmes. Students rate the courses highly, with an overall satisfaction score for the university of 4.8 / 5.0.
Bath Spa, on the other hand, has strong programmes in writing, performing arts and music. The Newton Park campus is the largest of the university's three campuses. It is here that the majority of courses are taught. The site has a lake, nature reserve, woodlands and arable farmlands. The Campus is home to the majority of the student accommodation, which consists of several halls.
Bath Spa University has six schools of study: Art and Design; Graduate School; Education; Humanities and Cultural Industries; Music and the Performing Arts; and Society, Enterprise and Environment. In terms of graduate satisfaction, the university scores an above-average 2.8 / 5.0.