Reading The Canterbury Tales at school was enough to put most off from even uttering the word “Canterbury” ever again. But Canterbury is one of the UK’s oldest and most beautiful cathedral cities that lies on the banks of the River Great Stour – and it’s also really popular with students.
Situated in the county of Kent, it’s perfectly positioned if studying near the city of London is important to you. Still lined by ancient Roman walls, it’s home to a coast, a bustling city centre and surrounding countryside that is waiting to be explored, as well as two top class universities. If you’re thinking of studying here for the next few years, let’s take a closer look at what it’s got to offer.
Universities In Canterbury
There are two universities in Canterbury. Both of their main campuses are located in a UNESCO World Heritage Site:
University of Kent
The University of Kent is ranked 23rd in latest league Guardian university rankings table. It scores highly for research quality (97% of their research is recognised as being of international standard) and student satisfaction, while 91% of students go onto complete their degree. Graduate prospects continue to be high.
The University of Kent is a hugely cosmopolitan uni with unrivalled international connections. Here, students can enjoy postgraduate programmes in Rome, Paris, Athens and Brussels. For anyone who wants to stay in the UK, the Canterbury campus is situated just 20 minutes from the city centre, and has good connections with London, while the European campuses are all close to the hearts of their respective cities.
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University lies 109th in the latest Guardian league table rankings for 2017. 80% of students go onto complete their degree, while student satisfaction on the whole is good. The University is working hard to improve teaching standards, and is implementing more flexible learning environments that will parallel real workplace experiences.
University status was granted to Canterbury Christ Church in 2005, before which it existed as a college. It was later awarded the powers to add research degrees to its program in 2009.
There are three campuses; the main campus is located in the city centre of Canterbury, while other two are located in Medway and Broadstairs respectively, the latter being a quaint seaside resort.
There are hundreds of arts, humanities, social and applied sciences and educational courses on offer, while partnerships with local businesses ensures that professional placements will be guaranteed for some students.
Fee’s, Living Aspects & Student Finance
Most full-time courses at universities in Canterbury cost £9,000 per year in tuition fees, which is the maximum amount a university can charge you. The good news is that you’re not expected to pay the money upfront yourself; instead you can pop over to Student Finance and apply for funding. Nice one.
There are two types of loans that most students are eligible for:
- Tuition Fee Loan
- Maintenance Loan
The tuition fee loan covers your tuition fee in its entirety, from first year to last, and because it’s paid directly from the student loans company to your university, you never have to worry about it.
The maintenance loan is obviously finite, and it will run out eventually. For this reason, it’s important that you manage your finances sensibly so that you don’t have to beg your parents in January for more cash, or take on 3 jobs just so you can still survive. Living away from home is often an expensive business at the best of the times, but the cost of living in Canterbury is not cheap, and students here find that they spend more than the average student living in most other UK cities.
In terms of living aspects, Canterbury is one of the UK’s prettiest cities. If you decide to move into a house share, you won’t be short of attractive property. However, most first year students choose to move into a halls of residence, whether one provided by their university or a private building. There are obvious benefits: You get to meet like-minded people from day one, you get the protection of 24/7 security, and most halls are located just minutes from the university.
For students looking for halls of residences at the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus, you will find that there are 12 student accommodations on offer with 8 self catered residences and 4 catered residences. The cheapest halls of residence, which also turns out to be the most popular, are the Park Wood Houses starting at £4,400 per year. Halls of residence are not cheap, but because the cost of living in Canterbury is higher than the UK average, they still represent a solid option.
Canterbury Christ Church students have 9 student halls of residence to choose from including the newest accommodation; Petros Court. All of the rooms in Petros Court are Superior Rooms featuring a large bedroom and en-suite facilities, available at £167 per week. If you’re looking for slightly cheaper student accommodation you can choose Parham Road Student Village or Pin Hill, which both offer standard single study bedrooms for £121 per week sharing a bathroom and kitchen with other students.
If you are looking to live in private halls of accommodation instead you could consider:
- Palamon Court – from £140.00 per week
General Info about Canterbury
Canterbury has a total population of 151,000, and a student population of 28,000. It’s a historical medieval city that combines ancient ruins with contemporary buildings, making for a quaint, buzzing city that is known for its charm, and friendly locals.
Most people choose to walk around the city centre or cycle thanks to the presence of lots of pathways, and the roads rarely feel as busy as those in larger cities such as Manchester. Buses are frequent and reasonably priced for students, while London can be reached in just an hour by train.
Despite its market-town vibe, there are plenty of well-known high street brands here in Canterbury. Whitefriars Shopping Centre is especially crammed with all the big names, while there are also lots of indie retailers and vintage shops.
Events, Venues And Points Of Interest
As usual with a quaint English city, walking tours are available each day and are highly recommended if you want to get to know the city early on. And once you’re nicely settled in, there are lots of things to do in this medieval city that is stuffed with cosy pubs, historic streets and quality restaurants.
If you’re a bit of a culture vulture, you’ll be pleased to know that, besides the ancient Roman walls that line the streets, there are plenty of museums in Canterbury. These include the Canterbury Heritage Museum, the Roman Museum found at Longmarket, while the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge doubles up as a museum, a gallery and a library.
If you like a bit of theatre, you’ve got a choice of two; The Marlowe Theatre, which recently moved into a new building, as well as the University of Kent’s Gulbenkian theatre. The Marlowe stages Shakespeare, but it also hosts offbeat stand-up comedy night, too.
Points of interest include the glorious Canterbury Castle, a ragged Norman Fortress that sits amidst tranquil gardens and the ancient St Augustine’s Abbey, a church that was built way back in the 6th century.
If you like your music, you’ll find that a lot of the best bands that visit Canterbury play at the versatile Marlowe Theatre, and you will also be able to catch musicals here too. Other gig venues in the city include the Playhouse Theatre and The Front Bar.
Canterbury is also not too far from the coast or countryside, so whenever you want to get out of the buzzing city centre and chill out, you can do so easily.
And if you simply must find out just what the heck The Canterbury Tales were really about, you could pop into the Canterbury Tales building, where you can also enjoy a recreation of old, medieval England.
One of the most common concerns students have when they’re considering studying in Canterbury is whether the nightlife is any good.
Naturally, Canterbury is no match for London or Manchester when it comes to its selection of pubs and clubs, but it’s still got a lot of good vibes to offer students and because the city centre is compact, most of the pubs and clubs are within walking distance of one another.
The Cuban is arguably the most popular bar/club in the city. Ideally located on High Street, it’s trendy, not too expensive and reserves Monday’s for student events. At the weekend, it gets busy with the locals and prices do go higher, but you can buy a £10 queue-jump card which will last you all year.
The Venue is located right next to the University of Kent campus and is the biggest club in Canterbury. Friday’s and Saturday’s get packed with all kinds of people. Student Republic – as Wednesday night is called – is a huge night that blasts out the best house and electro music around.
If you prefer to just chill out at pubs, The Old Brewery Tavern is always a safe bet. Weekends get busy and prices are a bit high, but it’s a smart pub that is always doing something to keep things lively. Thursday’s are Jaeger Rocks nights, which can only mean one thing – Jaeger bombs for just £2.
Chill is probably your best option if you’re out on a random night of the week and need somewhere to go. It’s always open and the drinks are always cheap. AlphaBeats is your midweek night for cheese and drink stains, while Tuesday night’s Glitterbomb event usually always means students are crawling on Wednesday’s.
Other pubs in the city that are student friendly include The Jolly Sailor, The Penny Theatre and The Lounge.
So, There It Is…
Canterbury might be a really old city, but it seamlessly weaves together history with a contemporary look and feel. If you’re still not sure whether this is the city for you, feel free to browse the rest of our website until you find what you’re looking for.