The Nouse College Guide 2015

Alcuin College

Where is Alcuin located on campus?

Alcuin is located away from the hustle and bustle of the central campus, tucked away just behind the library.

What is the accommodation like?

In Alcuin, all rooms are en-suite with standard and premium options available. There are newer and older blocks, the older blocks having smaller kitchens but with fewer people sharing each one compared to the newer blocks. All rooms are of a high standard, and are cleaned periodically, with your kitchen being cleaned every week.

Is the accommodation good value for money?

As you would expect from some of the most expensive accommodation at the University, Alcuin’s rooms are new and well maintained. Rooms are well rounded, offering reasonable space in both the rooms and kitchen, plus the added bonus of not having to share a toilet.

While it isn’t that much cheaper than rooms in the Boulevard or Heslington East, its location on Heslington West means you don’t have to get up as early as you would do if you lived off campus. Alcuin offers the best mix of premium accommodation and convenience assuming your course is located on Heslington West. If you were looking for one without the other, there are better options.

What are the benefits of being in your college?

Alcuin is removed enough from the main campus for it to be quiet when you want it to be, but close enough that it doesn’t feel like an inconvenience if you want to fetch something from the shop or go back to your room if you have a short break in lectures. The JCR is one of the more modern ones, with a large television and multiple sofas. For exam period, you’re as close to the library as accommodation will allow, so you don’t have to get up quite as early to secure a seat should you want one.

What are the worst kept college secrets?

The Bistro. Alcuin doesn’t have a bar actually in its college – The Courtyard is the ‘official bar’ – but if you want a quick bite to eat then look no further than Alcuin’s Bistro. Located in the same building as the Porter’s Lodge, it offers good value for money and swift service. You have to try the Breakfast Wrap if you have a hangover.

What are your tips for the incoming freshers?

As you should with all Colleges, take something to prop your door open. It’ll make the first few weeks of socialising much easier. Most importantly, make sure you have your card key with you whenever you leave your room. Should the door slip shut, you don’t want to have to trudge over to the Porters to get a new one, then trudge back to return the one you’d left on your desk. It is also wise to regularly check for post at both the Porter’s lodge and in the letterboxes provided outside your flat. If you leave it too long, something important could be buried amongst swathes of letters about Tesco Clubcards.

Constantine College

Where is Constantine located on campus?

Located on Heslington East, Constantine houses both undergraduates and postgraduates. While Heslington East is further away from most teaching departments, frequent (and free) buses run to Heslington West. For sporting types, Constantine also has the advantage of being the closest college to York Sport Village.

What is the accommodation like?

The college offers Premium Shared Bathroom at £126 per week (£5,040 per year undergraduate, £6,412 postgraduate) and Deluxe En-suite accommodation at £139 per week (£5,560 per year undergraduate, £7,101 postgraduate), both of which are self-catered. Being the youngest college at the university at only a year old, the accommodation is certainly brand spanking new and of the highest quality on campus. The modern-style blocks are designed to provide both sociability and privacy, offering ‘open block’ style accommodation, allowing access to all flats in the block from 11am-11pm and large kitchens allowing you to eat with your housemates.

Is the accommodation good value for money?

Constantine’s accommodation is some of the most expensive.  The Deluxe En-suite rooms offer large beds, comfortable seating and 42” LCD TVs with TV license in the kitchen, which may well make it worth the steep rents. Shared Bathroom rooms, however, match the prices of other Heslington East colleges Goodricke and Langwith, but offers rooms that are less lived in. Plus, students share a bathroom on a 3:1 ratio, beating other shared bathroom accommodation across the university.

What are the benefits of being in your college?

Being a member of the newest college on campus has the advantage of allowing you to take part in shaping the college’s identity, creating an open space for new students to set up societies. However, in more physical terms, Constantine has an upstairs common room with games consoles, pool and table tennis tables and a piano, plus plenty of space to relax. The college also has a quiet study room with a fiction library and some computers. Constantine tends to elude an air of mystery, but many members of the college feel that its newness adds to its appeal.

What are the worst kept college secrets?

Constantine students run regular film and free food nights which are definitely worth attending when the fridge is bare and a trip to Nisa seems too far away. A small group of Constantine students are also known for running Random Acts of Kindness, so watch out as this apparently often involves a lot of chocolate.

What are your tips for the incoming freshers?

Get involved. Constantine is the one college where you can really make your mark and help shape the identity of this brand new college. Don’t be afraid to have a go at setting up a society or join in with old ones. But also make sure you get some rest, sometimes the craziness of Freshers Week can be overwhelming.

Derwent College

Where is Derwent located on campus?

Central enough to be conveniently located near the English Department, Hendrix Hall and the Courtyard (should you want to venture beyond D Bar) and yet tucked away from where most murderous waterfowl congregate, Derwent has the best of both worlds of sociable location and picturesque placement next to Heslington Hall and the Quiet Place.

What is the accommodation like?

With rent prices ranging from £103-122 for self-catered accommodation and £128-152 for catered, Derwent College offers an affordable selection of rooms. Despite most of the rooms being economy and having shared bathrooms, there is one block of economy en-suite rooms and one block of standard rooms that were more recently refurbished in 2012.

What Derwent lacks in quality, it makes up for in space. Though very much older than the rest of the university as the first established college, most blocks still have the original room space save the block with standard rooms. The generous partitions afford lots of room for additional storage, furniture or just piles of dirty laundry.

Is the accommodation good value for money?

Derwent rooms are reasonably good value for money, especially if space and affordability are important to you. Despite certain blocks needing some negotiation when it comes to shared bathrooms and communal kitchens, you simply can’t argue with the price as Derwent offers some of the cheapest accommodation on campus.

What are the benefits of being in your college?

But by far the biggest benefit of living in Derwent is the social life. Whether you’re a party animal or a creature of comforts and Netflix, you’re bound to find friends who enjoy a night out, a night in, or both in equal measure. Everyone is extremely friendly, regardless, and you’re sure to find brilliant mates.

What are the worst kept college secrets?

However, no college is without its downfalls and good ol’ Derwent isn’t an exception. A product of ‘60s architecture and horrid planning, a lot of the rooms have asbestos walls. However resistant your notice board may be to your attempts to put up that really cool poster you bought at YUSU’s poster sale, do not, for the love of cancer-free lungs, hammer your thumbtacks into your board.

What are your tips for the incoming freshers?

All in all, living in Derwent is easy, fun and (relatively) safe. As is the tendency of all sociable environments, there will be cliques, but it is best not to be put off by them. Be nice and be kind, and you’ll soon find friends you love. And don’t steal other people’s food; you’d want to be a good flatmate, not a kleptomaniac.

Goodricke College

Where is Goodricke located on campus?

Located on the Heslington East campus, Goodricke is divided into three separate courts: Janet Baker, Oliver Sheldon and Kenneth Dixon all of which are divided into six, ten and twelve person flats. You can often spot rabbits and hares from the windows of some bedrooms in Goodricke

What is the accommodation like?

The rooms are all en-suite, at £135 per week, apart from in the smaller flats, costing £126 per week, where bathroom facilities are shared. But with two bathrooms between six people in these flats, and sinks fitted in each room, there’s hardly ever a queue.

Is the accommodation good value for money?

Despite being a little pricier than the rooms in some other colleges, the rooms in Goodricke are modern, spacious and bright with plenty of desk and shelf space along with two noticeboards to pin up photos and course work

What are the benefits of being in your college?

Although Heslington East may seem quiet at times, don’t be put off. The Goodricke nucleus can be used to host pre drinks before nights out in town, which is just a short bus journey away. Even though the campus is often criticised for being isolated, it’s actually a very easy walk (and even easier, free, bus journey) to the main campus so there’s no need to feel unable to attend events on Heslington West.

It is also a short walk away from shops in Badger Hill and the famous Innerspace stations petrol station on the corner of Tranby Avenue, which is easily identified by the large Daleks and Cybermen on its roof.

What are the worst kept college secrets?

Goodricke is perfect for relaxed nights that can be spent in the Glasshouse or, in the summer term, making use of the barbeque pits provided outside the accommodation blocks.  Be on the lookout for opportunities to get free food as well, such as jacket potatoes every Wednesday lunch time in the nucleus.

What are your tips for the incoming freshers?

The best thing to do in your first year at Goodricke is simply to get involved. This sounds cliché of course, but it is so for a reason. Anything from joining the JCRC to inviting neighbours round to your flat for pre drinks is a great way to meet new people. Goodricke also organises events ranging from trips abroad (last year it was Amsterdam) and bar crawls as well as hosting pub quizzes at the Glasshouse so there are plenty of different ways to spend time with other college members.

Halifax College

Where is Halifax located on campus?

Halifax is located just off the main campus of Heslington West, sandwiched in between Heslington Village and 22 Acres.

What is the accommodation like?

The majority of Halifax accommodation is built around eight courts and accommodation is arranged in houses or flats of 4 – 20 people. Both en-suite and standard accommodation is available.

Is the accommodation good value for money?

For a college that has a mix of en-suite and standard accommodation, the rooms in Halifax are reasonably priced. You won’t find the high prices of Constantine’s brand new accommodation in any of Halifax’s courts.

What are the benefits of being in your college?

It may have seemed like paradise lost (less of the paradise perhaps) on open day, but after a week living in ‘Fax, you will soon realise that this microcosm is the real life and soul of university life. The open courtyards are a perfect way for first years to meet people outside of the confines of their house and become a real social hub around fresher’s week and the summer with the provision of barbeques and picnic tables.

What are the worst kept college secrets?

Halifax enjoys a 24 hour porter service, very important for the inevitable lost card keys and a little Nisa store which closes at 7pm so make sure you get there early enough for the inevitable stocking up of ‘party’ supplies during your raucous first year as well as any unplanned dining options (it’s best not to shop here too regularly mind, your student loan will be reeling from the hangover).

Unfortunately, unlike the other colleges Halifax does not enjoy its own bar or restaurant but common room JJ’s is a reasonable place to hang out with a plethora of bar games from air hockey to table tennis. Student hangout The Charles is a mere two minute walk in the idyllic village of Heslington and is ideal for cheap pints and hot meals.

What are your tips for the incoming freshers?

Halifax may not be everyone’s first choice but ‘Fax alumni will be quick to jump to the colleges’ defence due to its quality of living, surrounding green fields and undeniable college spirit.

James College

Where is James located on campus?

James is situated to the south of the centre of campus, near to the sports centre. Its nearest departments are Mathematics, Psychology, Physics and Electronics.

What is the accommodation like?

One of the distinguishing features of James is the good quality of the accommodation. There are 236 standard and 359 en-suite rooms, on let lengths of 36, 40 and 44 weeks, across six different options. I stayed in a premium en-suite room, which was spacious and well appointed. Swinging a cat in the bathroom would be a real challenge, though, and quite a lot of the appliances either didn’t work at the start, or severely deteriorated over the year. The kitchens, shared by 16 people, get messy incredibly quickly.

Sharing a bathroom has its inconveniences, but the standard rooms are often as good and, crucially, the kitchens in such blocks are much bigger; better for pre-drinking and easier to manage lots of people cooking at once. The catered meals in the restaurant in the Roger Kirk Centre, despite not being offered on weekends, are really good and probably worth going for.

Is the accommodation good value for money?

To be honest, if all you’re looking for is value for money then James probably isn’t the place for you. The cost of my second-year house puts the cost of living in James in sharp perspective. However, to a great extent, this is offset by its excellent facilities, ideal location and the generally lovely nature of the people you’ll meet. You won’t wish you were anywhere else, taking money aside.

What are the benefits of being in your college?

James is close to a number of the biggest departments at the university, with the Mathematics department based in the college buildings themselves. It is also handy for the Exhibition Centre, the Roger Kirk Centre and the newly built seminar rooms opposite YUSU. You’re never far away from anywhere in James.

The grassy quads around which the blocks are arranged offer pleasant variety amid the concrete jungle of Heslington West. During Fresher Week, inflatables and the Quad Dash take place around the DEF quad. In the summer, when the sun’s out (it will come, I promise) they are great for outdoor revision and, of course, firing up the BBQ.

It is somewhat of a cliché that this is the sporty college, but the opportunities for getting involved in sport are nowhere greater than in James. The Sport Centre is a two-minute walk away, with the newly-built athletics track available to students on a pay-per-use basis. James teams often clean up in College Sport, particularly in netball, football and rugby union. Not everyone is sport mad though, so don’t worry! There’s something for you, whatever you enjoy.   

The JCRC are really quite good at putting on a range of different events. Although they are not always as well attended as they should be, they seek to cater for everyone in offering taster sessions of classic Yorkshire produce, trips to the seaside, walks in the country, cocktail nights and Gay Pride Nights. They realise that there is much more to their role than putting on a good Freshers week.

What are the worst kept college secrets?

Tuesday night Toasties, run by the Christian Union, are an absolute staple. In Freshers week they run a ‘Text-a-Toastie’ service, while during term time their events take place in the Lakeside JCR. I’m a peanut butter man myself; can’t beat it.

There are lots of study spaces that you can use instead of going up to the library! The James computer room always has free places, while the JCR Common Room is a good place for quiet study and group work.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that N Block is the worst accommodation, with 17 students per kitchen. Don’t think I’m prejudiced, though, some of my best friends are N Blockers and they’re really nice. Seriously.

Langwith College

Where is Langwith located on campus?

Langwith College is one of founding colleges of the university and is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. Originally based on Heslington West, Langwith made the move to Heslington East in 2012, and is now home to some of the highest quality accommodation on campus.

What is the accommodation like?

All of Langwith’s accommodation is within the ‘Premium’ price band. Students can choose whether they would like to live in ‘townhouse-style’ accommodation which have shared bathrooms, or whether they would prefer to have an en-suite in one of the more traditional ‘flat-style’ blocks. There are dedicated blocks for postgraduates and undergraduates, and these change every year.

The Centre Building serves as the nucleus of this circular college and is home to the Glasshouse bar, the laundry room and the Tom Lynch Room, which has a piano, two computers, a network printer and study space for students to use.

Is the accommodation good value for money?

Langwith has become renowned for its double beds, power showers and spacious kitchens. If you’re looking for premium accommodation at a price that isn’t overly extortionate, then Langwith is certainly worth considering.

What are the benefits of being in your college?

Langwith are the only college at the University that hold a formal meal at a posh hotel at the end of every term, they also have termly weekend ‘lollops’ (trips) to various different places (past ‘lollops’ have taken us to Edinburgh, Whitby and Scarborough.) Additionally, Langwith also have regular bar crawls, both in York and beyond, pub quiz nights, RAG bingo, and a college spirit that rivals no other!

If you’re studying on Heslington East then you’ve got the benefit of being able to get out of bed five minutes before your lecture and still make it in time. If you’re lectures are on Heslington West then the daily commute is slightly longer, but there’s a free bus that stops at Langwith every eight minutes or so, or it’s a really nice walk (about fifteen minutes), or cycle (about five to ten minutes) onto Heslington West campus. If you’re lectures are on the Heslington West campus then don’t worry! Unlike most, you will get to know both campuses and having somewhere to come back to every evening is also a very nice touch – it doesn’t take long before the grey tones of Derwent College start to grate on you.

What are the worst kept college secrets?

Langwith and Derwent hate each (the result of being college neighbours for many years on Heslington West). By the end of Freshers Week, you’ll know all the Langwith chants. The Langwith College Student Association provides free food for all of its students every Thursday evening.

What are your tips for the incoming freshers?

Langwith have got loads of college sports teams, an arts club and plenty of activities running throughout the year for freshers to get involved in.

Vanbrugh College

Where is Vanbrugh located on campus?

Vanbrugh is located at the heart of the Heslington West campus, about a five minute walk to the library. Le Page Court is based inside the main college building, which also houses the History and History of Art Departments. Donald Barron Court and Barbara Scott Court are a two minute walk from the main college building, while Eric Milner-White Court is a short walk over the bridge, across the lake from Vanbrugh reception. Fairfax House is based just ten minutes off campus on Heslington Road and is ideally situated between both the city centre and campus.

What is the accommodation like?

If you’re looking for student luxury, then Donald Barron Court and Barbara Scott Court are probably as close as you’ll get on Heslington West. All rooms in both courts are en-suite and the kitchens are large enough to have multiple people cooking at one time. Le Page and Eric Milner-White are two examples of basic student accommodation, and while they might not boast the luxury of Donald Barron Court, the rooms are decent sized and the kitchens are well equipped.

Fairfax House has a range of room sizes, from the average sized university room to rooms larger than my own living room. They were refurbished last year and have plenty of wardrobe and desk space, each room also has its own sink. Fairfax House also has its own TV room and common room, which are perfect for film nights and pre-drinks for those adventurous enough to venture outside. The downside to Fairfax House are the tiny kitchens, some of which are barely large enough for one person to cook in.

Is the accommodation good value for money?

As a former resident of Fairfax House, I can say that my accommodation wasn’t horrendously overpriced – I can’t speak for other Vanbrugh college members though! £115 per week for a nicely sized room and the use of a common room and TV room might not seem too bad, especially in comparison to the cost of alternative accommodation in the university. If you add in the catered breakfast every weekday morning, then you could even dare to mutter that you get a fair bit for your money in Fairfax House. However, the tiny kitchens are the bane of many a Fairfax resident. As a general rule for university accommodation, the more you pay, the higher quality accommodation you’ll receive.

What are the benefits of being in your college?

There are several benefits of being in Vanbrugh, the first being that all sport is free! You don’t have to pay match fees, the college pays it for you. It’s a real bonus if you enjoy sport and if you don’t, then it’s free to get involved! Vanbrugh members also have a wealth of musical opportunities available to them. If you fancy joining a choir, then you are spoiled for choice as Vanbrugh currently runs two choirs.

The first, Vanbrugh Chamber Choir, sing more traditional and challenging choral music and the second, Vanbrugh Voices sing a mixture of pieces in differing popular styles. Vanbrugh also runs an instrument lending library, something that my housemate took advantage of last year when he brought a bass guitar home. Perhaps the jewel in Vanbrugh’s musical crown is The Garage – a modern rehearsing space with all the necessary equipment.

What are the worst kept college secrets?

Eric Milner is covered in asbestos. Yes, asbestos. They fail to mention it in the college prospectus. V Bar is the only other worst kept secret, it’s the perfect place for a few drinks before a social or a night out. It’s equally fantastic in the day and is a nice alternative space to sit and each lunch and maybe do some casual work.

What are your tips for the incoming freshers?

You will have probably read this, heard it from your parents and seen it on social media numerous times, but the best tip that I can give to any incoming fresher is to throw yourself into something new. When I came to university, I had preconceptions that I would carry on playing hockey and cricket, two sports that I had played throughout school. Instead, I got involved in college football, a sport which I enjoyed just as much, but hadn’t played for over seven years, and I ended up writing for Nouse!

Looking back, I’m quite glad my STYC pushed me out of my chair and made me run for something at my first ever Nouse elections because I’ve discovered a brand new hobby and something new that I enjoy just as much as playing sport. Having said that, I’m also glad I continued playing sport. Playing a sport is a great way to meet new people and make friends and it will also help burn off the calories consumed from the inevitable 4am takeaways! In short, find something other than your degree that you think you’ll enjoy and just immerse yourself in it. Just remember to do your degree though!

Wentworth College

Where is Wentworth located on campus?

Located on the edge of Heslington West, Wentworth is only a five minute walk from the main campus facilities, including the library and Nisa, while also being surrounded by greenery, wedged in between the beautiful Walmgate stray and the campus lake. Wentworth’s position also makes it a quicker walk in to town than other Heslington West colleges at only 15-20 minutes.

What is the accommodation like?

Wentworth offers three types of room, all of which are self-catered, in two different locations. On campus, Wentworth blocks A-D offer premium en-suite rooms at £135 per week (£6,897 per year) and studio flats. Off-campus accommodation at Fulford Road offers standard accommodation for £103 per week (£5,259 per year). Much of the college’s accommodation was rebuilt in 2002 making the rooms some of the highest standard on campus. All of Wentworth’s lets are 51 weeks, so you don’t have to worry about having to pack up your stuff for holidays.

Is the accommodation good value for money?

While the price of premium en-suite and studio flats may be slightly steep, these type of rooms allow students privacy and bring a touch of luxury to college life for those that can afford it. However, the Fulford Road accommodation is more reasonably priced for those on a budget and are the cheapest rooms available for postgraduates in any college. All the kitchens in Wentworth are fully equipped and contain a cooker, hob, microwave, kettle, toaster and fridge/freezer with enough space for everyone to have a shelf each, so there’s no need to bring your own appliances.

What are the benefits of being in your college?

Wentworth is York’s only exclusively postgraduate college. Home to around 500 residents from over 50 countries around the world, the college harbours a diverse and exciting community for both research and taught postgraduate students. The GSA (Graduate Student Association) is based in Wentworth, making it a hub for postgraduate activity on campus and also providing a central support network.

The college offers a range of facilities, including a private study area and a common room equipped with TV, games and a table tennis table. The Edge, Wentworth’s bar and restaurant, is popular with students across the university and The Graduate Common Room Committee (GCRC) offers a range of social events. An art studio and the Dixon Drama Studio are also located in Wentworth.

What are the worst kept college secrets?

The Edge has been said to serve the best food on campus. It’s definitely worth a try.

Leave a comment