University of Southampton


The University of Southampton (abbreviated as Soton in post-nominal letters) is a public research university located in Southampton, England. Southampton is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities in Britain In the most recent Research Excellence Framework the university was ranked 8th for research intensity in the UK and is regularly ranked in the top 100 universities in the world.

The origins of the university date back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862 following a legacy to the Corporation of Southampton by Henry Robinson Hartley. In 1902, the Institution developed into the Hartley University College awarding degrees from the University of London. On 29 April 1952, the institution was granted a Royal Charter to give the University of Southampton full university status, allowing it to award its own degrees.

The university has seven teaching campuses. The main campus is located in the Highfield area of Southampton and is supplemented by four other campuses within the city: Avenue Campus housing the Faculty of Humanities, the National Oceanography Centre housing courses in Ocean and Earth Sciences, Southampton General Hospital offering courses in Medicine and Health Sciences, and Boldrewood Campus an engineering and maritime technology campus housing also the university’s strategic ally Lloyd’s Register. In addition, the university operates a School of Art based in nearby Winchester and an international branch in Malaysia offering courses in Engineering. Each campus is equipped with its own library facilities.

The University of Southampton currently has 17,485 undergraduate and 7,390 postgraduate students, making it the largest university by higher education students in the South East region. The University of Southampton Students’ Union, provides support, representation and social activities for the students ranging from involvement in the Union’s four media outlets to any of the 200 affiliated societies and 80 sports. The university owns and operates a sports ground at nearby Wide Lane for use by students and also operates a sports centre on the main campus.

Besides being recognised as one of the leading research universities in the UK, Southampton has also achieved consistently high scores for its teaching and learning activities.  It additionally has one of the highest proportions of income derived from research activities in Britain. As of 2015, Southampton is one of the few universities to achieve a top 20 UK position in the most established national and international rankings. In the 2016 edition of U.S. News & World Report, Southampton is placed in the top 10 of British Universities. Southampton is a member of the European University Association, the Association of Commonwealth Universities and is an accredited institution of the Worldwide Universities Network. The university consistently ranks in the top 5 in Engineering programs in England.


The university comprises eight faculties, each with a number of academic units. This current faculty structure came into effect in 2010, taking over from a structure consisting of three faculties and several separate schools as part of them. The current faculty structure is:

  • Faculty of Business, Law and Art
    • Southampton Law School
    • Southampton Business School
    • Winchester School of Art
  • Faculty of Engineering and the Environment
    • Civil Engineering and the Environment
    • Engineering Sciences
    • Institute of Sound and Vibration Research
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
    • Health Sciences
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Physiotherapy
    • Podiatry
    • Nursing and midwifery
  • Faculty of Humanities
    • Archaeology
    • English
    • Film Studies
    • History
    • Modern Languages
    • Music
    • Philosophy
  • Faculty of Medicine
    • Southampton Medical School
    • Complementary Medicine Research Unit
  • Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences
    • Biological Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Ocean and Earth Science
    • National Oceanography Centre
  • Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering
    • Electronics and Computer Science
    • Physics and Astronomy
    • Optoelectronics Research Centre
  • Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences
    • Education
    • Geography and Environment
    • Mathematics
    • Mathematics and Science Learning Centre
    • Psychology
    • Social Sciences
    • Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute
    • ESRC – Doctoral Training Centre


They are committed to considering carefully and fairly all relevant qualifications presented by applicants. They welcome applications from candidates offering a broad range of qualifications.

These include GCE A levels and AS levels, Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers, Welsh Baccalaureate, the International Baccalaureate Diploma, Cambridge Pre-U, Access to HE Diplomas, BTECs, many European and international qualifications, and also combinations of qualifications. Applicants normally expected to achieve three A-Level passes or equivalent.

Over the next few years, many qualifications in the UK will be changing. They are committed to ensuring that no applicant will be disadvantaged when being considered for a place at Southampton as a result of these reforms.

Applicants also need to satisfy admissions tutor(s) that their academic qualifications are sufficient for them to cope with programme of study.

Each academic unit sets its own entrance requirements, and applicants are usually required to attain required grades listed in prospectus.

They were one of the first universities in the UK to recognise the EPQ formally in their offer. Applicants for most of  courses will be made two offers: the traditional offer, plus an alternative offer that includes the EPQ.


One of the top 20 research universities in the UK with consistently high scores for teaching and learning activities.

Southampton is one of only 13 UK universities listed in the Centre for Higher Education Development’s (CHE) Excellence Ranking of European graduate programmes in chemistry.

The University of Southampton is offering MEng Mechanical Engineering and MEng Electronic and Electrical Engineering programmes at its branch campus in the EduCity development in Nusajaya, Malaysia. The split campus (UK and Malaysia) degree offers the chance to gain a unique education in Malaysia combined with two years at a leading research-centred UK university, for around 60% of the cost of studying for the same degree in the UK only.

The university has introduced a new European medical degree. Started in October 2013, medical students undertake a major part of their education in Europe. This partnership with health provider, Gesundheit Nordhessen Holding, based in Kassel, allows German students to be taught in Southampton before returning to Germany for the latter part of their education.

The university has a centre to promote Chinese culture and language. The Confucius Institute is part of a growing global network which includes 11 centres in the UK. The Institute promotes China, its history and culture to university students, local businesses and schools. Staff at the Institute will visit schools in Hampshire to give taster sessions of the Chinese language, Mandarin, as well as calligraphy, culture and history lessons. Local businesses and undergraduates at the University will also be given the opportunity of learning Mandarin.

In 2011 the university was awarded a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its innovation and world-leading expertise in performance sports engineering.

The university offers a wide range of opportunities to develop the students skills as a budding entrepreneur, including giving them support and guidance in developing the ideas that could help them set up their own business.

Programmes provide opportunities to develop the critical thinking and independent learning skills that are essential for future leaders and decision makers.

An extensive programme of work placements and internships to give Southampton students that all-important head start in the job market.

Ranked among the top 15 UK universities (The Complete University Guide, 2016).


In the most recent institutional audit, QAA commended Southampton for its enhancement of student learning opportunities.

QAA also judged that Southampton meets UK expectations for the setting and maintenance of the academic standards of awards, the quality of student learning opportunities and the quality of the information about learning opportunities.


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