Student life

Our resources

Student ambassadors

What are student ambassadors?

Student ambassadors work for a university or college to promote their courses and offer an invaluable insight to the student experience and life at their institution. They will normally work with prospective students, so children and young people at school, college or sixth form, as well as the general public at recruitment events like Open Days. Student ambassadors are trained to help you make positive choices about your future and act as role models for others.

Why be a student ambassador?

Make an impact and help others

The most rewarding part of the job- showing other people what they’re capable of and what opportunities are out there.

Its flexible

Most student ambassadors work as casual employees meaning that they can fit shifts around their studies and extra-curriculars.

Get paid

Generally, student ambassadors are paid above minimum wage and receive holiday pay too. It’s a great way to earn some extra cash while studying.

Try lots of different things

The shifts you work will vary hugely depending on the event. Some days you might be helping a sports event with Primary school children, the next you could be staying overnight on a summer residential with 17-year olds. You might also get the opportunity to work in different parts of the country, getting paid to travel and stay overnight!

Meet new people

You will meet people from different courses and years across your institution. Many ambassadors make great friends with each other. You will also get to work with varied groups of people on shift.

Get some important work experience

Being an ambassador will develop many transferable skills that will ultimately make you more employable.

  • Hear from current ambassadors

Hear about different types of courses

What do HE students say?

Academic skills

During your time at University you are likely to be juggling academic work with other demands such as paid employment, family commitments and having fun! You can improve your chances of a successful balance if you plan ahead.

One effective way of managing these demands, whatever your level of study, is to draw up a list of tasks you need to carry out in order to complete your academic work successfully (attending classes, collecting information, reading, note taking, writing and so on). Then, plot these on a weekly timetable working backwards from assignment deadlines.

You will need to construct this timetable in such a way as to accommodate the other demands on your time, always allowing extra time to cope with unexpected matters, such as not being able to find the right book or journal when you want it, computer malfunctions, extra shifts at work or family illness.

What is independent learning?

This is a crucial part of developing as a learner. You will be required to read, study and prepare work outside the class/lecture contact time and should regard this in the same way as preparation and research towards any assignment.

The practice of developing an independent, self-motivated approach to learning and delivery of your work is essential to your success and to achieving good marks.

Reading lists

Every unit you will study for your course will have a reading list put together by your lecturers to help you develop your knowledge and understanding of the topics you will be covering in lectures and seminars.

You will be asked to read from books and journals, society webpages, government publications and professional bodies (for example, Law Society and NHS). You may also be asked to watch videos or listen to webinars or radio programmes.

Academic reading

At university you are expected to read and engage with a wide variety of material, including books, scholarly journal articles, reports, and other resources, some of which may not already be familiar to you.

Academic reading involves you reading something in depth to build a clear understanding of the subject matter. This requires different strategies compared to reading a newspaper or novel.

Note taking

Your approach to taking notes will differ depending on what you need them for. When taking notes in class it is important to capture the points that are not covered in the slides/handouts. You will need to practice being selective and make sure to write down questions you need answers to – to help prompt you to fill the gaps in your knowledge at a later time.

When taking notes for an assignment you will need to note key information about the source so you can reference this appropriately and avoid plagiarism. You will also need to consider the context the information was written in and how reliable or useful you judge the source to be.

Planning and writing assignments

You will encounter different types of assessment during your course. Regardless of format, it is essential that you can effectively communicate your knowledge. Effective writing skills are therefore crucial to success at university.


Your reading list will get you started on developing knowledge and understanding of topics on your course, but you will be expected to read more widely and find additional information. Learning how to research effectively will save you time and help you to find the best quality academic/scholarly information. These skills are known as “information literacy skills”.


Referencing is a vital academic skill you will need to learn when writing assignments to avoid plagiarism. Referencing also demonstrates the scholarly research and theories you are using to support your arguments and opinions in your assignments. Different universities and courses may use different referencing methods and you will be informed and educated on these throughout your course.

Student accommodation

What Uni accommodation can I live In?

If you choose to move away from home when you go to university or college you generally have two options to choose from when it comes to accommodation: university-owned or private. University-owned accommodation is usually made up of halls of residence (‘halls’), which often resemble blocks of flats but can also be made up of smaller houses.

University accommodation tends to include the basic elements you need: a fully furnished bedroom (which can be en-suite) as well as a shared kitchen and (in some cases) shared bathroom facilities. Some accommodation will also include a common living area. Each student flat usually contains around 6-8 bedrooms, so you will be sharing your facilities with about 5-7 fellow students.

University accommodation can be catered, which means on certain days of the week at set times, meals will be provided for you. However, self-catered accommodation tends to be more common, which means you are in charge of feeding yourself. Self-catered accommodation also tends to cost less.
University accommodation tends to have termly payments with bills included, although double check this before you move in. You will find that costs vary depending on whether you choose a standard, en-suite or in some places, even a luxury studio room.

Private accommodation can either be a private-run hall of residence (which has a similar set up to university halls) or can be a room in a normal flat or house, run by a landlord or agency. Depending on which type of private accommodation you choose, you will either pay rent in termly instalments or pay monthly. Bills may be included or may be separate – make sure you check what is included and what is not before signing your contract.

Do I have to live in uni accommodation?

It is not compulsory to stay in university-run accommodation, and many students choose to live at home or find accommodation from a private landlord.

When should I start looking for university accommodation?

It is never too early to look at accommodation, so factor it in during your initial university research. Take a look at what each university is offering, how much it costs and whether you would enjoy living there. When attending open days, see if you can visit the accommodation too.

What should I think about when looking at uni accommodation?

There are lots of things to think about when choosing your accommodation. For example:

  • How many people do you want to share with?
  • Do you want to be in catered or self-catered?
  • Do you want an en-suite?
  • Do you want a single or double bed?
  • What size room do you want?
  • What’s your budget?
  • Do you want to live on or off campus?
  • Do you want to live in halls or in a house?
  • Do you want to stay there during the holidays?

When Do I Apply for Student Housing?

Every university will set a deadline for accommodation applications so once you know which one you want to attend make sure you find out when its housing applications close.

You can normally only apply for housing at your firm choice, but sometimes your insurance option will let you reserve a room too, so it is worth asking about that. That way, if you do attend your insurance choice you will not have to worry about where you are going to live.

Make sure you do not leave it until the night before to send your application; the earlier you send it, the more likely you are to get the room you want.

If you want to live in a private house, there is no fixed deadline to apply. However, student houses tend to become free around July/August so it is worth looking then, even if you do not move in until the September.

How Do I Get University Accommodation?

Some universities will guarantee you a room when you apply, while others will only offer a room if you put them as your first choice. Some will let you pick preferences (e.g. would you prefer to live in an all-girls flat, all boys flat or mixed) and others will simply allocate at random. Each university is different, so make sure you check with it early on.

Most universities will send you the details of how to get accommodation when it offers you a place. You will also be able to apply online, although we recommend you actually visit the accommodation before you do this.

And remember, the university is there to help so if you are confused about how to apply for housing or need help, drop them a line.

How Do I Pay for Student Accommodation?

Most universities will ask you to set up a direct debit with them and accommodation costs will be paid in termly instalments. Remember, your student loans can help you to cover these costs; it is what it is there for after all!

How Much Will Student Accommodation Cost?

Prices will vary depending on the type of accommodation you choose and the location of your university (e.g. a city-based one is likely to cost more than a rural one, and different areas of the country cost different amounts). If you opt for a standard room in a self-catering hall of residence it is likely you will pay a lot less than if you stayed in a catered luxury double bedroom with a large en-suite.

Can I Stay in My Uni Accommodation During the Holidays?

This will depend on what university you go to and where you stay. Some university accommodation will allow you to stay there from the minute you move in until you finish the year, while others will ask you to move out during the holidays so they can let the rooms out. Make sure you check your accommodation contract carefully and see how many weeks you will be allowed to stay there.

How Do I Make Friends in Uni Accommodation?

Making friends in university accommodation is easier than you think. You will move in at the same time, experience the same nerves and everyone will be trying to make a good impression and make friends at the same time. Plus, you will be surrounded by loads of other students who may not live with you but are likely to be close by.

Start by keeping your door open as you unpack – you will be surprised how many people you will end up chatting to as a result! From there, suggest dinners, nights out or a games night so you can get to know your new roommates.