Living in Sunderland
If you choose Sunderland, you're not just choosing a course, but a home away from home too. Find out everything you need to know about how friendly, diverse and affordable it is to live in the North East and get ready to explore city, coast and countryside from your doorstep.
Eating and drinking
There's something to suit all tastes and budgets when it comes to food and drink options in Sunderland, with the city offering a blend of familiar chains and independent eateries to discover, from a wide range of cuisines. Whether you're looking for a cosy café for brunch, a pub for a quick pint or somewhere to grab your Friday night takeaway, we've got it all here.
Or, hop on the Metro and travel just a few stops to Seaburn where you'll find Stack – one of the North East's most popular food venues providing a variety of street food traders all in one place, as well as regular live music events.
If you fancy indulging in some retail therapy, Sunderland's shopping scene comprises your typical high street names with quirky boutiques and independent retailers. The Bridges Shopping Centre serves as the main shopping hub within the city centre and houses over 90 stores, plus several food outlets if you want to grab a bite to eat while you shop.
A short drive or bus journey away, you've got Dalton Park and The Galleries which are home to an even wider range of retail outlets. You've also got Gateshead's Metrocentre and Newcastle's extensive choice of shops, just a train ride away if you want to plan a day trip.
Over £400 million is being invested in Sunderland over the next four years
Sunderland is the 3rd most affordable city to buy a house inAccording to an Open Property Group survey, 2021
By 2030, Sunderland will have attracted £2.1 billion of public and private investment resulting in more than 17,000 new jobs
Arts and culture
Sunderland has a rich cultural heritage and it's well worth taking a break from your studying to spend a weekend exploring what we have to offer. There's something for everyone, whether you're looking for art galleries and museums, historical attractions or theatre and cinema.
Enjoy an exhibition at National Glass Centre, experience a slice of history at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens or step back in time with a trip to Hylton Castle. Then unwind in the evening by catching a show at the Sunderland Empire Theatre or soaking up some live entertainment at the newly refurbished Fire Station.
Nightlife and music
When it comes to nightlife, the city's large student population means that there's something going on every night of the week on Sunderland's clubbing scene, from themed nights to classic club nights, plus lots of student-friendly drinks offers to take advantage of. If you prefer a more relaxed night out over the partying lifestyle, Sunderland isn't short of craft ale pubs and cocktail bars, perfect for winding down with friends.
Gig-goers will love what the city delivers in the way of live music. Not only does this include a thriving independent offering, but some of the world's biggest artists and bands like Beyoncé, Elton John and Ed Sheeran have performed at our very own Stadium of Light.
We love our central city location, but one of the great things about living here is that you're never far away from open, outdoor spaces, with the coast and countryside right within your reach.
It goes without saying that one thing our students love is the beaches. With the endless sands and miles of beautiful coastline, Seaburn and Roker Beaches are ideal for walks and spending summer days with friends. Both beaches have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award for another year running in 2022, putting them at the forefront for cleanliness and safety.
Living in Sunderland wouldn't be complete without a trip to Penshaw Monument, one of Wearside's most recognisable landmarks. Close by is Herrington Country Park, which is a beautiful place to walk and take in nature. The park also hosts regular music events such as Kubix Festival and Let's Rock the North East.
If you want to stay closer to the city centre, Mowbray Park is one of the oldest in the North East and is right in the heart of the city.
While Sunderland itself has plenty to offer, you'll find there is so much more of the North East to discover while you're a student here. Head just 15 miles north west of Sunderland and you've got the buzzing city of Newcastle and its many attractions, shops, bars and restaurants to explore. You've also got the historic city of Durham nearby, with its scenic riverside location dominated by its castle and cathedral.
A little further afield, you've got one of the UK's most beautiful counties, Northumberland, capturing the ultimate of the North East's rugged natural beauty. Noted for its stunning beaches, remarkable castles and spectacular national park, the opportunities for days out are endless.