Of Bath Spa’s four campuses in and around the city, Newton Park is one of the UK’s most picturesque, with grounds landscaped by Capability Brown. Located four miles outside the Unesco World Heritage city, it features an imposing Georgian manor house owned by the Duchy of Cornwall and a 14th-century gatehouse is among the teaching facilities. Contemporary developments include the Michael Tippett concert hall and the Commons building.
The Locksbrook Road arts and design campus opened in 2019. With views over the River Avon, the city centre building features technical workshops, flexible studio spaces and social areas in a redeveloped factory close to the Lower Bristol Road and Oldfield Park student accommodation. The Sion Hill campus is within walking distance of Bath city centre and houses studios and workshops for fashion and textiles, plus a specialist art and design library. Corsham Court, another historic manor house, is the university’s postgraduate centre near Chippenham.
Bath Spa was rated silver in the government's Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), winning praise for its course design and assessment practices “that provide high levels of rigour and stretch”. The TEF panel also noted the personalised teaching, the availability of a personal tutor, peer mentoring and independent study at Bath Spa.
Having had a chance to digest the relative merits and pitfalls of blended online learning, developed during the Covid-19 pandemic, Bath Spa is hosting all seminars and workshops on campus. Lectures, meanwhile, are taking place either online or on campus — and recorded in most cases. The location of tutorials and dissertation supervision is similarly fluid, depending on the student’s preference. The university has done away with traditional-style, unseen exams under exam hall conditions for 2022-23, replacing them with alternative methods of assessment.
One in four entrants to Bath Spa are on a professional placement-year-added route. The university also helps students to secure internships at local and national businesses. In spite of these efforts, Bath Spa remains in the bottom ten for graduate prospects, according to our analysis of the Graduate Outcomes survey comparing the numbers in highly skilled work or further study 15 months after finishing a degree.
Bath Spa recorded its best research results yet in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), increasing the amount of its world-leading work by 60 per cent. However, it falls 16 places in our research rankings this year to 89th against strong competition across the sector.
Although 93.7 per cent of undergraduates are from non-selective state schools, Bath Spa lies in the bottom half of our table for social inclusion overall (85=).
The university awards about 500 undergraduate bursaries per year, which range in value from £2,500 to £4,000 (plus £750 for care leavers), paid over three or four years to students from areas with low participation in higher education, where household incomes are less than £42,875. Talent and Excellence scholarships of £500 are paid in the first year to students who achieved results better than their predicted grades, or who display outstanding talent in the creative arts — and to all students who enter Bath Spa with AAB or equivalent grades.
Support for student mental health and wellbeing includes mental health practitioners, a chaplaincy and accessibility advisers who provide information and practical help to students who identify as disabled and neurodiverse. Wellbeing advisers offer guidance around matters such as budgeting, homesickness, family estrangement and caring responsibilities and Bath Spa operates a 24/7 wellbeing and mental health service for students online and by telephone. All students complete compulsory training on sexual consent as part of induction activities.
A gym, netball and tennis courts, and games pitches are among the sports facilities located across the university’s campuses. The university has also acquired the Bath Spa Sports ground close to town, which has a cricket pitch and floodlights. The university fields about 15 teams in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (Bucs) league and has nearly 25 sports societies and clubs.
First-years who apply by the deadline are guaranteed student accommodation within a housing stock of almost 1,700 rooms. Spaces are allocated so that everyone gets the same chance of their preferred option, regardless of which stage in the cycle they applied.