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Freshers’ Guide 2019: All you need to know about starting at the University of Sunderland

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Published on 24 September 2019

Welcome to all our new students
Welcome to all our new students

It’s the start of a new adventure and, for many, the first taste of an independent life.

Welcome to the University of Sunderland.

While students are here first and foremost to gain their degree, it’s not all about study, study, study.

Take a look at our Freshers’ Guide for everything you need to know about university life on Wearside in 2019.


Before you arrive

Make sure you have your student bank account sorted prior to arrival. Use comparison websites to work out the best deal for you. Be cautious of freebies and make sure you go for the best option financially.

Check the welcome emails the University of Sunderland will have sent you and follow their various social media channels for the latest info, advice and guidance. You can find us on Twitter: @sunderlanduni  Facebook: University of Sunderland and Instagram: sunderlanduni


Keeping in touch

The University App is the best way to keep in touch with what's happening. The App also includes access to Canvas, news, events and timetables for the Campus Bus and Metro just a tap away – be sure to download it from here before you arrive.


Social life at university

Although the academic side of university is a priority, the social aspect remains a huge pull for students. We have an array of clubs and teams which will help you settle in and expand your social circle. Check out what the University of Sunderland has to offer here

Your Students’ Union has a number of activities to enhance your social life from SU Socials to Societies.

The city is a great party town, with lots to do. See what’s happening this September and beyond by visiting here Specific Student Union activities can be found by visiting here.

Don’t forget to save a few taxi company numbers to your mobile, so you know that following your night out you can get home safely.

Also, a timetable for the Metro can be found here, as well as the closest stations to you.



We all know budgeting money is a key part of university life.

Have you looked at the different types of scholarships and grants we offer here – maybe there’s one to suit you.


Money saving hacks

•Think budget brands, target the reduced price counters and consider meal-deals. Shop smart but try to avoid too may unhealthy options.

•Part-time time job: Loans are based on nine not 12 months’ minimum living expenses, so get part-time work. Our own Sunderland Futures can help in this area.

•Budgeting: Check for hidden course costs: Books, tech equipment, field trips, CRB checks etc.

•Computers: Make the most of the wi-fi on campus.

•Text books: Buy what you need rather than the full course text list.       

  •  Take part in SU Socials, often free events put on for students through your Students Union


Sexual health and wellbeing

We want everyone to enjoy their university years in a safe and protected environment, which is why we offer support and advice through our Wellbeing service, we are also members of the C-Card scheme which provides confidential advice and free condoms to anyone under 24 years of age.


Buddy up?

University life can be a little daunting to begin with which is why we have SU Buddies, to help new students settle into their new digs.

SU Buddies connect new and returning Sunderland students together so that they can share tips, knowledge and experience they've gained about the social, non-academic side to university life.


Ambassador life

Fancy becoming an ambassador? Not only do you get to wear a bright orange t-shirt or hoodie, the experiences gained from being a Student Ambassador can help you get ahead as a graduate and make your University of Sunderland experience even more life changing.

Staying safe

We take security seriously here at the University of Sunderland. Check out here all we are doing to make sure students are in the best hands when they are away from home.

We have our own dedicated police officers, security and a raft of measures all designed to make us one of the safest universities out there.


Freshers’ Fair

The 2019 Clubs & Societies Freshers' Fair promises to be one of the biggest student events of the year.

Held in our facility at CitySpace on City Campus the Fair is the perfect start to the academic year and in 2019 will be held on Wednesday, September 25.

The Fair has gained fans amongst students and businesses. The day is always action packed, busy and full of fun.

For students, it offers them an ideal chance to learn about the city’s provisions and services as well as indulge in the offers provided by the array of different businesses to keep them entertained throughout the year.

The event also showcases the extensive sport and recreation provision on offer from the University of Sunderland, including the CitySpace fitness suite, volunteering programmes as well giving students the chance to sign up for any number of our sports clubs and Students' Union societies.

Clubs & Societies Freshers' Fair also offers an unrivalled marketing opportunity for the businesses and organisations which attend.


Freshers’ Welcome Week 2019

At Sunderland SU, you are right at the heart of everything we do. So, weve put together an amazing calendar of events and activities, so you can find exactly what youre looking for from your first week at Uni.

      Love meeting people? Whether youre a Mature, International or UK-based student, we have loads of ways to connect with new friends.

      Want to party hard? Check out our amazing Freshers Circus Party for a chance to dance the night away.

      Just need a hand finding your way around? Weve got you covered with our guided walks and bike ride.


We have a whole host of amazing things lined up for you, from our Mexican themed Freshers Fiesta to a Murder Mystery evening that's sure to keep you on your toes! There's Afternoon TeaBowling, an International Pizza Party and everything inbetween.  Most of our events are absolutely free but booking is required. 


For more information check out the SU website.


Music, eating, drinking, and dancing

Sunderland is a fantastic city for music, spawning the likes of The Futureheads, Field Music, Lilliput, The Lake Poets and Frankie and the Heartstrings. The live music scene continues to thrive at different venues in the city. Whether you’re eating on a budget or going gourmet, there’s an array of cafes, restaurants and gastro-pubs in the city which you can sample. A What’s On guide is available here.

You can even check out City Venues Guide here. 


Student enquiries

We have a Student Gateway Enquiry Desk on each campus in Sunderland.

At City Campus, we are located in The Gateway Building.

At Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peters, we are located in Prospect Building.

Both of our Enquiry Desks are open as follows:

Monday - Thursday: 8.30am - 6.00pm

Friday: 8.30am - 5.00pm


Chaplaincy team and wellbeing

Whatever your faith, or lack of, we have an all inclusive chaplaincy which aims to support students regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs. Find out more here.